Awakening (The Outer Limits)

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"Awakening"
The Outer Limits episode
Episode no. Season 3
Episode 10
Directed by George Bloomfield
Written by James Crocker
Production code 54
Original air date 14 March 1997
Guest actors

Lela Rochon as Beth Carter, Roger R. Cross as Kevin Flynn, Gordon Pinsent as Dr. Steven Molstad, Michele Greene as Joan Garrison

Episode chronology
← Previous
"Tempests"
Next →
"New Lease"
List of The Outer Limits episodes

"Awakening" is an episode of The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 14 March 1997, during the third season.

Introduction[edit]

Beth Carter suffers from a condition known as alexithymia — she cannot feel emotions or understand their effects on others. A revolutionary brain implant changes this, and for the first time she experiences the world the same way as everyone else: Friendship, attraction, happiness and even fear.

When she begins to have strange experiences, she realizes that something is wrong.

Opening narration[edit]

It is said that emotions are the language of the soul. But what happens when that expression is muted? What becomes of feelings... that have no voice?

Plot[edit]

Beth, a woman with alexithymia (a psychiatric disorder whereby an individual cannot process emotions) is a guinea pig for a chip that could restore emotion to alexithymia sufferers. After the chip has been implanted Beth experiences emotions for the first time. She then begins to hear voices, and even sees aliens who kidnap and perform experiments on her. The doctors suspect that this is a result of the implant and want to remove it.

Before the chip can be removed, Beth escapes from the hospital and returns to the house where she has been staying. She discovers that the apartment above hers contains the props and lighting necessary for staging the alien kidnapping. Her supposed friends in the apartment building enter the room looking for their cat, Beth hides and, trusting they are alone, her friends discuss their plan to make Beth believe she is hallucinating. They reveal that their plan is to discredit the company funding the research into the brain implant to give a rival company an advantage. Beth springs out of her hiding place and pushes the trolley bed towards them, pushing them out the window and killing both of them. Given her psychiatric problems, Beth is not held responsible for her actions by the law courts. She appears to have returned to her original unemotional state and it is assumed that the chip has burnt out. Days later, Beth is seen at home stroking her cat and she slowly develops a wry smile, suggesting that she was just hiding her emotion to avoid having the brain implant removed.

Closing narration[edit]

Errant computers can be reprogrammed, imperfect machines redesigned... but human beings are another matter.

External links[edit]