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Recap / The Outer Limits (1963) S 1 E 18 "ZZZZZ"

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Regina, Ben, and Francesca; An un-bee-lievable Love Triangle.

The Control Voice: Human life strives ceaselessly to perfect itself, to gain ascendancy. But what of the lower forms of life? Is it not possible that they, too, are conducting experiments and are at this moment on the threshold of deadly success?
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A queen bee turns into a human in order to create hybrids that'll take over the world.

The Control Voice: When the yearning to gain ascendancy takes the form of a soulless, loveless struggle, the contest must end in unlovely defeat. For without love, drones can never be men, and men can only be drones.

"Don't let me die without knowing tropes, Ben!"

  • An Aesop: "Without love, drones can never be men, and men can only be drones."
  • Bee Afraid: Especially when the bees involved are murderous, super-intelligent, and want to Take Over the World.
  • Bee in Sheep's Clothing: Regina may pretend to be naive and sweet as honey in Ben's company. However, her true nature is a cunning queen bee as venomous as a bee sting.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Ben has finally gotten Regina to take a hint and buzz off, saving the world in the process. But his life will never completely go back to normal, since the mutant queen bee's machinations have left him widowed.
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  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Regina may look human, but after Dr. Warren examines her, he calls her "a medical anomaly" and "the closest thing to a complete mutant I've ever seen".
  • Break Them by Talking: During his speech at the end, Ben intimidates Regina into accidentally walking off the balcony, by angrily describing love and how it's the reason marriage isn't just some trophy for her to compete over.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Regina comes through as this to Ben and Francesca at first, because she is unfamiliar with human behavior, emotions and customs. However, she turns out to be something much more sinister than this.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Regina goes barefoot the whole episode.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: Zig Zagged Trope. Regina is nice to her fellow bees; it's humans who need to watch out for her.
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  • Half-Human Hybrid: Regina becomes one, and she intends to use Ben as breeding stock to create more.
  • Happily Married: This was ultimately the monkey wrench in Regina's plans from the beginning. She thought if she could only seduce Ben or kill Francesca, she'd have herself a new human mate in the former. The problem is, Ben loved Francesca too much.
  • Innocently Insensitive: When Regina appears before a grieving Ben in Francesca's wedding veil, she tries to feign this by claiming she found it and thought wearing it would make him laugh.
  • Insect Queen: Regina, in both her bee and human forms.
  • Kick the Dog: Regina knows Francesca once wanted a child and tries to twist the knife by aptly wondering if the guestroom used to be a nursery. It doesn't stop there when Regina spins a made-up past about having a narcissistic mother who looked down on her, purposefully guilt-tripping any jealous feelings Francesca might have.
  • Meaningful Name: Regina means "queen", so what other name would a transformed queen bee choose?
  • Murder the Hypotenuse: Poor, doomed Francesca. However, Regina realizes too late that Ben took his marriage too seriously to even consider leaving his wife.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Ben might've saved himself (and Francesca) some grief if only he hadn't been too nice to take Regina's sob story with a grain of salt.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Ben's speech to Regina at the end, after he learns that she's responsible for Francesca's death, has elements of this trope.
    Ben: No one, nothing, can uproot that memory [of marriage]. No sudden, senseless tragedy, no willful murderer can rip it out and desecrate it!...That's our ritual, Regina. It's called life. And no evil, no inhuman mutation, has ever been able to stop it!
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome: Killing your love interest's beloved spouse isn't going to make them love you, nor will it diminish the feelings they had for said-spouse. In fact, it may make them resent you, at best.
  • Tranquil Fury: Realizing that Regina was behind Francesca's death, Ben starts out confronting her with this level of fury before it gradually escalates into actual fury.
  • Transformation Sequence: The episode opens with a surreal, almost dance-like scene of the queen bee turning herself into Regina.
  • Uplifted Animal: Ben does this to the bees.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Regina worms her way out of giving a resume she doesn't have by claiming her last employer had a jealous wife who started to spread rumors of them having an affair. While her pretend-employer was able to save face, Regina says she herself wasn't so lucky and had to move away. Poor Ben buys it hook line and sinker.

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