Outer Limits – The Sentence (S2E22)

olsentence16It’s 19 days left on this blog, I need 3 episodes of Outer Limits, there’s 1 episode left on the DVD, it’s dark and I’m wearing sunglasses.  God, I hope I can squeeze them out of the free Hulu trial period.

Niles Crane has invented a device which will be “the future of our penal system.”  Fittingly, he tests it out on a Senator in the pre-credit scene.

He also has a real criminal, well a 2nd real criminal, who has been hooked up to the new machine for only a few hours, but in his mind, he has experienced the passage of 25 years of his life sentence.  Soon, the prisoner is awakened and is disoriented.  As usual, an “emotive outburst” occurs after waking when the crook discovers he has a second chance at life.  He is still young and vigorous enough to continue raping and murdering innocent people.

They bring in another prisoner, Cory.  Because he was truly innocent, the machine induces seizures in him.  Niles goes into the virtual prison to rescue him.  Despite his effort, Cory dies.  Niles is sentenced to manslaughter.

olsentence17At his trial, a previous test subject claims that he now has trouble at work and can’t sleep.  Niles’ lawyer asks if it isn’t true that without Niles’ procedure, he would be in jail!  He says he would rather be dead.  So Niles really did Cory favor; you know, except for the part about being innocent.

The senators can’t wait to call a press conference to denounce this new invention.  After all, while it might save billions of taxpayer dollars and hundreds of lives, it would also eliminate the opportunity for millions in graft, bribes, union jobs, earmarks, and no-bid contracts for relatives in the military-industrial-incarceration complex.

Niles is hustled off to a real jail, the kind Harry Reid or Hillary Clinton will never see the inside of.  He enters cell 14653 and is immediately set upon by his cellmate.  “I hear you like to torture cons,” he screams in between kicks.

Dana finally comes to see Niles in prison, and tells him his appeal has been rejected. Not only that, she married one of the scumbag Senators.  He attempts an escape, but is stymied by an electrified floor that is far too efficient and amusing to use in real prisons.  He serves out his full sentence.

olsentence18Then wakes up in his lab, having only been in the chair a few hours.

Once in the virtual prison, he rescued Cory, but was unable to get out in time so his trial and incarceration were not real.  Hearing that his device will be rolled out nationally, he flips out and has to be hauled away screaming.


  • Canadian DVD Title: La Condamnation, which I like better than the English version.
  • Niles is directed to cell 16453, and that is the number on his shirt.   He is identified later as prisoner 63994 which I would expect to be on his shirt.
  • Why would season 2 cost $17 and season 3 cost $35?  The 3rd season even had 4 fewer episodes.  Might have to hold my breath and get Hulu.
  • Hulu sucks.

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