Good news: Director Mario Azzopardi worked on 21 Outer Limits episodes, so he should have this down pat. Bad news: This was the first.
John-Boy Walton is giving a presentation of his revolutionary nano-technology which will clean everything from polluted rivers, to cancerous livers, to grass stains on your kid’s clothes. By attacking problems at the molecular lever, he can cure everything from cancer to dandruff. When asked if he is playing God, he responds, “Let’s just say God created a flaw in man — I think I can do better.” So you know he’s screwed.
John-Boy’s friend Andy shows up in the lab and tells him that he is going to marry his sister — John-Boy’s, not his own. 30 seconds later, he finds out that he has pelvic cancer. Chemo and surgery are not promising options. So naturally Andy breaks into John-Boy’s lab; because a sociologist would totally know how to navigate the equipment and administer the nanobots.
Three days later, his cancer is almost completely gone. And he gives his fiancee a real pounding. Like Spiderman, his vision has even been corrected. He tells John-Boy that he injected the nanobots; John-Boy is furious and wants to deactivate them. Andy will not allow that, so they begin testing the effects on him.
After the sex gets too rough, Andy’s fiancee walks out; but not in a straight line. The next morning, he rushes to the lab and shows John-Boy that the nanobots have started constructing gills on his neck, having interpreted his inability to breathe underwater as a “defect.” Andy finally agrees to have the nanobots deactivated even though the new ability to breathe through his neck might have won his fiancee back.
The flush-and-deactivate command does not work. He sends Andy home for a good night’s sleep. The next morning, John-Boy goes to Andy’s apartment. He is complaining of a pain on the back of his head. John-Boy checks it out and discovers that the nanobots have taken Andy’s inability to parallel park without a mirror as another “defect” and have now given him perfect 20/20/20/20 vision like Lolac of Twilo.
John-Boy concludes the only way to kill the nanobots is to electrocute them. He sends three surges through Andy which have the slight side effect of killing him. John-Boy is able to CPR him back to life. Over the next few days, the nanobots do more renovation on Andy, They have covered his chest with jellyfish type stingers and reinforced his chest cavity to make him invulnerable to attack, or from treatment by John-Boy.
Andy stabs himself rather than go through life as a freak. After he collapses, the nanobots slowly slide the scalpel out of his gut. He awakens, and realizes they will not let hem die.
Andy asks John-Boy to electrify him again, but really turn it up so he and the nanobots are both fried. John-Boy takes all the vials of his serum and smashes them on the floor which seems like exactly the wrong thing to do. But then he turns on all the gas jets and sets fire to his papers. As he leaves the lab, it explodes in the background.
As Andy’s fiancee is packing, she cuts her finger on a broken picture. When she goes to get a band-aid, it has already healed.
Another good episode.
- Writer Grant Rosenberg was responsible for the Start Trek TNG episode that introduced Brian Bonsall as Worf’s son. I’m sure it wasn’t his idea, but what a cross to bear.
- Andy and his fiancee in the episode were actually married 5 years later.