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Recap / The Outer Limits 1995 S 3 E 2 Second Thoughts

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The Control Voice: It is only human to dream of rising above one's limitations. But what if we had the power to instantly acquire the qualities that we envy in others? Would it bring real fulfillment... or a hunger that can never be filled?

A dying scientist uses a device to transfer his memories into a mentally disabled man, turning him into a genius. The man attempts to woo a woman, and starts absorbing more minds in the hopes this will help him win her over.

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Second Tropes:

  • Brain Uploading: Dr. Valerian, who is dying of pancreatic cancer, is able to transfer his memories and personality into the brain of Karl Durand. Karl subsequently kills three other men - the first incident being an accident - and transfers their minds into his brain.
  • Cruel Twist Ending: The aging Dr. Jacob Valerian transfers his mind into mentally challenged helper Karl Durand. Karl absorbs the mind of a colleague of the doctor who was using him to make money off the mind transferring device. Using the two minds he makes millions on the stock exchange and does this to gain the affection of his teacher and caregiver Rose, who is engaged to a poet. To finally win her affections, he absorbs the mind of the poet and disposes of his body by dropping it off the bridge. After his new personality freaks out Rose, he eventually commits suicide with a bullet to the brain. It's when Rose hears the news of her fiance's death she reveals to a detective that he was temperamental and suicidal.
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  • Split-Personality Makeover: A mentally impaired janitor named Karl Durand transfers the memories, experiences and personalities of four other men into his brain using a device built by Dr. Valerian, the first of those men. After the first two transfers, Karl begins to exhibit signs of something akin to multiple personality disorder as the other personalities briefly surface and take temporary control of his body. Karl's appearance does not change but Howie Mandel differentiates between the various personalities by changing his facial expressions, tone of voice and body language. Different camera angles as Karl converses with the other personalities add to the effect. It is best illustrated by Mandel's performance as the rude, obnoxious thief and gambler William Talbot.

The Control Voice: How easily we scorn what Fate has dealt us and dream of what it has not. Before we cast aside our lots, it would be wise to remember... that dreams have a way of turning into nightmares.
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