Outer Limits – White Light Fever (S1E5)

Out of 152 episodes, this one is 6th from the bottom in ratings on IMDb.  It garnered 3 times the number of votes as the other lousy episodes at the bottom of the rankings.  That means that not only did people strongly dislike this episode, they made the effort to selflessly steer other viewers away from making the same mistake they did.  It would be 3 years before another episode got a lower rating.

Sadly, being a completist, I did not heed the warning.  But mostly, I did not see the rating until after viewing. Note to self . . .

Trust me, you don't want a picture of William Hickey

Trust me, you don’t want a picture of William Hickey

The insufferably grating Harlan Hawkes (William Hickey) is a 102 year old billionaire.  That he got to that age without someone killing him is inexplicable.  Naturally, at that age he is obsessed with staying alive despite his failing heart; and Matlock.

He is using his billions to fund research into developing an artificial heart to benefit humanity.  Understandably, he expects to be the first beneficiary.  Lately, he has been experiencing heart failures and seeing the doorway to the afterlife open up.  Hawkes is unbearably obnoxious, and the introduction of unalloyed religion just makes the episode a chore to watch.

Whatever your view, religion is not science-fiction.  If you are an atheist, it isn’t science; If you are a believer, it isn’t fiction.  Ghosts, deities, the afterlife, hauntings, seances, etc are all fine.  But actually seeing the glowing doorway to heaven open up just seems a little too on-the-nose for a sci-fi series.

Hawkes soon has to make a moral decision about the assignment of the first artificial heart, and by Someone’s reckoning, makes the wrong choice.  The person who lost out goes to Heaven, and Hawkes goes to Hell.  If you are a believer, that simple equation cheapens your beliefs, and does not really seem to follow the “rules” as I understand them.  If not a believer, that binary Heaven / Hell choice just does not ring true.  This really could have been one of those moralistic dramas that used to come on Sunday mornings.  Or a very special episode of Davey and Goliath.

On top of the usual commercial issues with Hulu, it was just tedious.

I rate it Thou shalt not watch.

Post-Post Leftovers:

  • Screw this — Sopranos is streaming on Amazon.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.