Better Luck Next Time (The Outer Limits)

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"Better Luck Next Time"
The Outer Limits episode
Episode no.Season 5
Episode 22
Directed byMartin Cummins
Written byNaren Shankar, Martin Cummins
Original air date20 August 1999
Guest appearance(s)
Episode chronology
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"Star Crossed"
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"Judgment Day"
List of The Outer Limits episodes

"Better Luck Next Time" is an episode of The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 20 August 1999, during the fifth season.

Introduction[edit]

In a warehouse, two men are fighting for possession of a gun. During the struggle, they mention various connections to earlier struggles between them. One of the men is finally able to get the gun, declaring himself the winner, and then promptly shoots himself. While he is dying, a blue energy being comes out of his chest. Before the surviving man can escape, the police show up and arrest him.

Opening narration[edit]

Plot[edit]

Detectives Terry Russo and Frank Daniels investigate an incident at a warehouse. When attempting to interrogate Gerard, the man they arrested, he insists on speaking only to Terry, in private. Gerard then reveals that he is an alien life form, capable of inhabiting human bodies, hunting another life form similar to himself, but a criminal.

To prove this rather outlandish claim, Gerard mesmerizes Terry by looking into her eyes, showing her vivid scenes that he claims are past crimes committed by his target. Soon, however, a security guard from the warehouse shows up, claiming to be an alien, arguing that 'Gerard' is the real criminal. Gerard tries to convince Terry, while the security guard tries to convince Daniels. The two aliens prod Terry and Daniels to return to the warehouse. Worried and tense over the bizarre circumstances, the detectives panic; Daniels pulls a gun and fires on Gerard, and Terry, worrying that the other alien has taken him over (as Gerard insists) shoots him.

Both Daniels and Gerard are fatally wounded — but this is not a concern for Gerard, as he can take over another body. And he has one in mind. Only now do the two aliens, ignoring the humans, reveal the truth in an argument among themselves over who 'won' — which one was more successful in convincing 'their' detective they were telling the truth.

It was all a game to them, even to the point of manipulating Terry into fatally wounding her partner. The two aliens are BOTH criminals; they are not enemies, but engage in a sort of friendly rivalry. Bored with immortality, they engage in elaborate deceptions such as the one they perpetrated on Daniels and Terry, as 'games', casually snuffing out human lives in their pursuit of entertainment. Now they intend to continue their 'fun', with 'Gerard' taking over Terry's body and using her position as a police officer to further their agenda. But, in their arrogance, the aliens, while trying to convince each detective that the other alien was evil, revealed that they cannot remain in a dying or dead host and cannot survive very long without taking another host.

Daniels, before he dies, mortally wounds the body of the security guard the second alien is inhabiting, meaning that both aliens' hosts are dying, and they are stuck in a large, empty warehouse with only one potential host. Neither gets the chance to survive by taking over Terry, who kills herself rather than let them continue hurting people, and both aliens expire before they can reach another host.

Closing narration[edit]

Trivia[edit]

  • This episode is a clip show, and is made up from clips from other episodes of The Outer Limits. It continues the "Ripper" story arc. It also includes an excerpt from "A Stitch in Time" starring Amanda Plummer and Michelle Forbes, which may be inconsistent with the episode timeline, as well as scenes from "Living Hell" and "Heart's Desire".
  • The characters of Kimble and Gerard and the premise of never ending flight and relentless pursuit are obvious homages to The Fugitive.
  • There are also many references to Hill Street Blues, such as characters with names such as Larue, Daniels, Esterhaus and Russo. (In Hill Street Blues, Megan Gallagher played a character named Tina Russo; her character in this episode is named Terry Russo.)

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]