In Another Life (The Outer Limits)
|"In Another Life"|
|The Outer Limits episode|
|Episode no.||Season 4|
|Directed by||Allan Eastman|
|Written by||Naren Shankar, Brad Wright, Naren Shankar, Chris Brancato|
|Original air date||February 20, 1998|
"In Another Life" is an episode of The Outer Limits television show. It was first broadcast on February 20, 1998, during the fourth season.
|“||Do we have the power to shape our lives or are we predestined to be who we are? If our Fate is but one amongst many, then whose life, if anyone's, is real?||”|
Mason Stark, a project manager for a company called Eigenphase, hates his life. A year ago, his wife Kristin was killed by a mugger's bullet; Mason still blames himself for failing to protect her. His depression continued to worsen, and today he was fired from his job. Mason is given a generous severance package, but in the privacy of his office he produces a gun — and contemplates killing either himself, or his coworkers. Rejecting murder, he puts the gun to his head. But right before he can pull the trigger, Mason becomes disoriented and vanishes, finding himself in a parallel universe — one where dozens of duplicates of himself are imprisoned in an Eigenphase lab. His counterpart indigenous to this universe is the CEO of the company.
The CEO version (Stark) explains to Mason that he built a machine called the Quantum Mirror, to explore all those different versions of himself. However, his experiments quickly turned to disaster — one of their counterparts is an insane killer (Mace), who murdered Stark's entire family. And Mason — the first version we met — has been enlisted to stop the killer. To Mason's surprise, Stark tells him that for whatever reason, he is the closest version to Mace, which makes him the most qualified to understand the murderer. To that end, Stark promises to reunite Mason with Kristin — specifically, her counterpart in this universe — as his reward.
Mason quickly learns that things are not as they seem. He is confronted by Mace, who he learns is much like himself, apart from one fundamental difference: Mace made the choice to burst out of his office and murder all of his coworkers at Eigenphase. Now that Mace has found himself in another universe, he has decided to put things the way he thinks they should be — by murdering all of the counterparts of the people he originally killed. Mace claims that he knows the truth about why they, and all of their counterparts, were brought here: Stark, the Mason of this universe, for all of his wealth and power hates his own life as well — and was looking for a version of himself who was happy, and whom he could replace. (Mace appeared happiest of all the duplicates, so he was chosen.) Once Mason stopped Mace, Stark would not honor his promise and instead send Mason back to his own universe.
Mason reluctantly teams up with Mace to return to Eigenphase and confront Stark. A fight breaks out, and two of the Masons — the murderer Mace and the CEO Stark from this universe — are trapped in the Quantum Mirror, which activates, sending them to other universes.
- Mace appears in Mason's universe from the beginning of the episode. He is trapped to continue Mason's original action and shoots himself in the head. His coworkers, who hear the gunshot, investigate and discovering the body, wonder why he is so badly scarred.
- Stark is sent to Mace's universe, right after Mace had killed his co-workers. Over his protests that he is not the murderer, Stark is shot to death by police.
In the end, Mason is left to take Stark's place as CEO of Eigenphase. He meets the local version of Kristin, and the two strike up a friendship.
|“||If our lives are indeed the sum total of the choices we've made, then we cannot change who we are. But with every new choice we're given, we can change who we're going to be.||”|
- Identical twin actors Mitchell Laurance and Matthew Laurance played the various versions of Stark in this episode. Which versions they played depended largely on the specific scenes (as various combinations of Stark appeared together); generally, Mitchell played the 'normal', protagonist version of Stark, whereas Matthew played the 'killer' and 'CEO' versions.
- The Earth-like sphere seen in the Season One episodes "Birthright" and "The Voice of Reason" is present in the office of Stark.
- A clip from this episode was shown in the previously broadcast Season Three finale and clip show "A Special Edition".