Outer Limits – New Lease (03/21/97)

Oscar Reynolds collapsed on the tennis court committing not only a foot fault but an asphalt.  I guess he had picked up a few bucks when still alive by selling his body to medical science.  Ergo, 12 hours later his frozen corpse is being delivered to a lab.  The doctors run him through the microwave and are able to bring him back to life.

He is understandably skeptical, but finally accepts that he is back from the dead.  Unfortunately, the doctors tell him that he will die again in a couple of days.  They just haven’t worked out all the bugs yet.  In an unusual departure for Outer Limits, this miraculous scientific breakthrough is made by two guys working in a dark lab rather than one guy working alone in a dark lab.

After 13 hours, Dr. McCamber is ready to pull the plug.  Dr. Houghton correctly points out there is no plug — the guy is alive.  McCamber counters out that the life he has was forced on him.  Well, welcome to the club, pal!

Oscar just wants to die.  When Houghton points out that Oscar will go down in history, Oscar busts him for being more concerned about his own reputation.  When Oscar has a seizure, McCamber implores him to just let the guy go.  Oscar does indeed die despite Houghton’s efforts.

Houghton is mugged in the parking lot.  After a struggle, he is shot. McCamber wastes no time dragging his dead ass back into the lab where he can be resurrected. When he awakens, his first thought is that he will soon re-die like Oscar did. McCamber drives him home where he hopes he can make up for years of neglect.  The next day, instead of buying millions of dollars of life insurance, he takes his wife and daughter to the park.  They then go out for a nice lunch.  Out the window, Houghton sees the man that killed him.

That night he tracks the man down and kills him although I never understood that sort of brutal vengeance.  Kneecaps . . . shoot him in the kneecaps!  Because everyone dies thinking they didn’t spend enough time at the office, he goes back to the lab that night. McCamber tells him the previous revivals all failed because they were working on frozen stiffs.  Houghton was fresh dead so he is actually recovering.  So, good call on skipping the insurance premiums; not so much on murdering a man in front of witnesses.

He has a loving reunion with his wife for about two minutes.  In an ending more like the 1960s Twilight Zone, the police show up and haul Houghton away.  They tell him he could spend the rest of his life in jail.

It was a good story with a great premise mostly supported by the usual Outer Limits quality production.  It felt like a little bit of a slog at times, though.  The most interesting thing was seeing Stephen Lang much younger than he was in Avatar and much, much younger than he was in Don’t Breathe.

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