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Recap / The Outer Limits 1995 S 1 E 6 White Light Fever

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The Control Voice: The one certainty of the human experience is death. But what might happen when our effort to prolong the inevitable starts to turn that battle around? Will someone, or something, step in to ensure the final outcome?

An elderly billionaire fears dying and thus, devotes his resources into keeping himself alive. A mysterious ball of energy tries to kill him.

The Control Voice: For one man, the battle against death is over. But for the rest of us, the war rages on. At what point does the cost of survival... become too high a price for us to pay?
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White Light Tropes:

  • Enemies with Death: Harlan Hawkes is a billionaire centenarian with an abject fear of death due to his extremely traumatic childhood experiences, and uses his wealth to reserve revolutionary medical treatments for himself. The Grim Reaper concludes that he's outstayed his welcome, and starts to hunt Hawkes Final Destination-style.
  • The Grim Reaper: Death takes the form of a lightning bolt. He does not like people trying to escape him by medical means, apparently because it would destroy reality if done too much.
  • I'm Cold... So Cold...: Played with. Harlan Hawkes, an old, rich, selfish man who nearly died says that death feels cold. When he dies, he meets an innocent girl who died earlier as a result of his selfishness, and asks to go with her. She says he can't because they're not going to the same place; where she's going, it's warm. Then she says that she always thought it was the other way around.
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  • Mortality Phobia: The 102-year old businessman Harlan Hawkes is permanently living on a reserved floor of a major hospital and has contracted a personal doctor to carry out research to keep him alive at all costs. This was explained by a severe Freudian Excuse where Hawkes witnessed his parents being murdered in front of him during a war when he was a kid and spending days hiding underneath their corpses to survive. The dilemma starts when he desires another heart transplant while an 18-year-old girl also needs it, while The Grim Reaper himself starts hunting for Hawkes in the form of electricity.
  • Offscreen Afterlife: Harlan Hawkes has been doing everything he can to stave off death, including putting himself ahead of a sweet young woman to have a heart transplant. He remarks during the episode that "death is cold". As he is finally dying, he sees the ghost of the sweet young woman approach him. "Take me with you," he pleads. She tells him this is not possible, and that where she is going, it is always warm. Just before she leaves, she turns to face him, saying, "It's funny. I always thought it was the other way 'round."
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  • Rich Bastard: Harlan Hawkes.
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