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Recap / The Outer Limits 1995 S 5 E 9 What Will The Neighbors Think

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The Control Voice: How well can we ever know our neighbors? Perhaps we might better ask, how well do we want to?

A woman gains the ability to read minds and tries to blackmail her neighbors.

The Control Voice: It is said that our relationships deepen as secrets give way to truth. It may be, however, that there are some stones better left unturned.

What Will the Tropes Think?:

  • Black Comedy Cannibalism: Subverted. From reading her mind, Mona Bailey comes to the conclusion that Tory Beth Walters killed Beck Sanders after a disappointing date and has used his body to make meat pies. Tory Beth is arrested and the pies are confiscated by the police. However, it turns out that Tory Beth was not being literal when it came to thinking about killing Beck. He had simply left the Clackson Arms in a hurry because he had been intimidated by Tory Beth's aggressive manner.
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  • Character Narrator: Mona Bailey's narration is heard throughout this episode.
  • Cordon Bleugh Chef: Tory Beth Walters makes cookies using baking soda toothpaste instead of baking soda so that people can clean their teeth while they eat them.
  • Creepy Crossdresser: After he sleeps with a woman, Dom Pardo likes to keep their underwear and wear it himself as he loves the feel of the silk against his skin. He does so with underwear belonging to Shirley Baxter and Delia Pendergast. After gaining telepathic powers, Mona Bailey uses this piece of information to blackmail Dom into letting her join his poker game with Shirley and Delia's respective husbands Vince and Miles.
  • Driven to Suicide: Mona is so horrified thinking the voices have returned at the end that she jumps to her death.
  • Extreme Close-Up: Whenever Mona Bailey hears someone's thoughts, extreme close-ups are seen of their faces as they talk directly to the camera.
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  • Foreseeing My Death: Mona Bailey has visions of her death after receiving her telepathic powers. She sees herself falling out of the window of her third floor apartment. Considering that everyone is thinking about killing her, she assumes that she will be murdered and takes steps to ensure that all of the other residents turn on each other before this can happen. All of the other residents, that is, except for her husband Ned. He was the only one who knew that she had become telepathic and was able to control his thoughts to prevent her from finding out that he planned to kill her. Unable to cope with the revelation or the voices in her mind which she thought had gone, Mona jumps out the window to her death. It turns out that the voices had actually gone and Ned had used a tape to trick her.
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  • Gaslighting: Ned uses a tape of voices to gaslight Mona into thinking she's really still hearing them after they went away. This makes her so distraught she kills herself.
  • Harmless Electrocution: Mona gets electrocuted, with a charge which looks pretty significant (around a minute at least, and knocking her out). She's not only unharmed, but gains telepathy because of it.
  • Hypochondria: Mona Bailey is a severe hypochondriac to the point that she uses a wheelchair when she is completely able-bodied. After checking her Physicians' Deck Reference, she comes to the conclusion that she has Lyme disease in spite of her husband Ned's reassurances that she would have to have been bitten by a tick to have contracted it. She is also convinced that there is radon in her apartment building, the Clackson Arms, which she has not left for six months. After she begins hearing voices, Mona worries that she may be either hallucinating or have a brain tumor but it turns out that she is hearing the thoughts of the other residents.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Mona is electrocuted by accident, and suddenly becomes telepathic as a result. Later, she loses the ability after this happens again.
  • Love Dodecahedron: After gaining telepathic powers, Mona Bailey discovers that Delia Pendergast and Esme O'Brien both want Beck Sanders, who wants Tory Beth Walters who wants Mona's husband Ned. She also learns that Delia, who is married to Miles, and Shirley Baxter, who is married to Vince, have both recently had affairs with Dom Pardo. The only resident of the Clackson Arms who is not involved in the love dodecahedron is Leona Fletcher.
  • A Mind Is a Terrible Thing to Read: Mona Bailey gains mind reading powers and tries to use it to blackmail her neighbors. Not only does it backfire, but she starts to get overwhelmed by all the voices in her head.
  • The Shut-In: Mona Bailey has not left the Clackson Arms, the apartment building where she has lived for her entire life, in six months as she is a severe hypochondriac.
  • Telepathy: Mona gains this ability due to being accidentally electrocuted. She uses it to read her neighbors' minds and manipulate them to do things she wants.
  • Tuckerization: The apartment building in which the episode takes place, the Clackson Arms, is named after Brent Karl Clackson. Mona Bailey mentions that several families, the Egans, the Peterses, the Ruppenthals and the Shankars, have recently moved out. Each family takes its name from one of the series' writers: Sam Egan, Scott Peters, Chris Ruppenthal and Naren Shankar. Dom Pardo is named after Don Pardo, the long-time announcer for such shows as Saturday Night Live, The Price Is Right and Jeopardy!.
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