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Recap / The Outer Limits 1995 S 2 E 7 First Anniversary

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The Control Voice: When we look in a mirror we see a reflection of ourselves. But how much more powerful than this is the reflection we see in the eyes of another? Especially in the eyes of one we hold to be more beautiful than ourselves.

After their first anniversary, two men suspect something is off with their wives.

The Control Voice: We all wear masks, illusions of what we want the world to see. But when we hide our true selves from those we love... what price do we pay for that deception?

First Tropes:

  • Appearance Is in the Eye of the Beholder: Dennis can see his wife Barbara in her true form, that of a repulsive aquatic alien, while his best friend Norman Glass sees her in the new form that she has assumed to trick him. This is because Dennis has developed a resistance to Barbara's ability to fool his senses after a year of close contact. Later, when the same thing happens to Norman, he sees his own wife Ady as she truly is while the paramedics who are taking him to hospital see her as the beautiful woman whose form she assumed when she first met Norman.
  • Canon Foreigner: The hideous female alien who married Norman Glass and took the form of a beautiful woman named Ady Sutton has a companion who married Norman's best friend Dennis and calls herself Barbara. Neither Dennis nor Barbara appear in the short story by Richard Matheson. The same is true of Norman's other friend Roy, who is approached by Ady in the form of a different woman in the final scene after Norman goes insane.
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  • Cruel Twist Ending: Despite her attempts to keep Norman Glass as her husband, Ady is unable to do so and when the effects of her hallucinogenic disguise wear of, he becomes so repulsed by her true form that he is carried off by paramedics. Her friend's husband dies under similar circumstances. A while later Ady is seen changing her form again and is being chatted up by another man meaning she will have to repeat the cycle every year and will never find true love. (Oh, and she'll also probably drive many more men to insanity or death.)
  • Fantastic Aesop: Two aliens who are stranded on Earth use their shapeshifting/psychic powers to make themselves appear as beautiful women to seduce men. The problem is that the effect wears off after a year of exposure and reveals their hideous true forms to their husbands. The guys can't handle this revelation and are unable to see that True Beauty Is on the Inside. However, the aliens are not just ugly but so downright inhuman that even touching them makes the men violently ill and eventually Go Mad from the Revelation. As a result they look less like a bunch of superficial jerks and more like a bunch of duped victims; it's implied that the two aliens have been doing this for some time, and one of them has already stopped caring about the damaging effect she has on humans.
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  • Glamour Failure: Two stranded female aliens whose true form is beyond the ability of human senses and sensibilities, decided to mimic humans to cope with their loneliness. By using their Psychic Powers / Voluntary Shapeshifting, they could make themselves look and act like any man's ideal woman. Unfortunately, humans develop an immunity to their powers after a year of close contact, and the men inevitably go insane when they realize their wives' true nature. Word of God is that they are Fish People (given the episode descriptions of aquatic people). By the end of the episode, "Ady's" glamour has stopped working on her "husband" whose last appearance in the episode is strapped to a gurney on the way to a mental hospital. In the final scene she already has her sights set on her ex's best friend and has already taken a new form to appeal to his tastes.
  • Go Mad from the Revelation: A man's gorgeous wife of one year turns out to be a Fish Person / The Greys hybrid alien who is suffering Glamour Failure because his mind is starting to develop an immunity. He's eventually carted off to a mental asylum and she finds herself a new husband.
  • Here We Go Again!: A hideous (but nice) alien turns herself into a beautiful woman to marry an average-looking dude. After he finds out what she really looks like when the effect wears off after a year and is driven to madness, the alien is last seen changing her form again to seduce one of her husband's colleagues. (Considering that the revelation left the last husband insane and the one before dead, maybe she wasn't so nice after all.)
  • Named by the Adaptation: The protagonist's name is Norman Glass. In the short story by Richard Matheson, his surname is not given.
  • Non-Human Lover Reveal: Two aliens are stranded on Earth use their power to fool people's senses in order to pass as human. Specifically, as very pretty human women who act romantically interested in some rather plain-looking men. Unfortunately, people tend to become resistant to their power after about a year or so, and the men who marry them tend to Go Mad from the Revelation after seeing their true appearances. (In an aversion of Take Our Word for It, when they let down their disguise, it's on-screen - and they really are horrifying.)
  • Shapeshifting Seducer: The protagonist's wife is actually a foul shapeshifting alien, whose power makes her appear as every man's perfect woman. Unfortunately, the power starts to fade when used too much on someone, such as her husband.
  • True Beauty Is on the Inside: Ady removes her glamour and begs her husband to love her regardless, but he Goes Mad From The Revelation instead.
  • Ugly Guy, Hot Wife: Subverted: the "hot wife" is actually a hideous-looking alien using Mind Control to appear to be a beautiful woman. They're really nice aliens, though, so when the control breaks, we'll all learn that True Beauty Is on the Inside, right? Not a chance.

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