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Recap / The Outer Limits 1995 S 6 E 1 Judgment Day

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The Control Voice: In the face of violent crime, the thin line between justice and vengeance can grow ever thinner. But what happens when society becomes as violent as the criminals it seeks to contain?

A man accused of murder is forced to join a reality TV show where he will be hunted down by the victim's family.

The Control Voice: To those who would corrupt the search for truth... be warned. The sword of justice cuts both ways.

Judgment Trope:

  • Condemned Contestant: The criminals are hunted down by the families of those they murdered. Declan McMahon manages to prove that the show's producer Jack Parson had framed him to get ratings. The episode ends with Parson being hunted down by him in turn.
  • Deadly Closing Credits: In the final scene, Declan McMahon has tracked down the former Judgment Day producer Jack Parson, who framed him for Caitlin Channing's murder and killed her sister Allison. He proceeds to electrocute him with the specially designed 10,000 volt taser that has been provided to him by Judgment Day. This episode ends with the sound of electricity surging and Jack screaming.
  • Deadly Game: This episode does a version of this with a reality TV show in which convicted criminals are hunted down on camera as their punishment.
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  • Documentary Episode: About one-third of this episode is presented as an episode of the titular Immoral Reality Show.
  • Eye Cam: A slight variation. Declan McMahon, who was tried, convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Caitlin Channing on the reality show Judgment Day, has a camera embedded in his left eye so that the audience can see his perspective while he is on the run from Caitlin's sister Allison, who has 24 hours to hunt him down and kill him. Numerous shots are seen from the POV of the eye camera. In order to hide his movements, Declan has his brother Dooley scoop out his eye with a grapefruit spoon. For quite some time, both Allison and the Judgment Day production team believe that they are tracking him when they are in fact tracking Dooley, who is carrying Declan's severed eyeball in his hands. On the advice of the Justice Channel executive Everett Costello, Declan places another camera in his empty eye socket, hidden behind a pair of sunglasses, so that he can catch the Judgment Day producer Jack Parson admitting that he framed him for Caitlin's murder and that he planned to frame him for the murder of Allison, whom he shot only moments earlier. Jack's unwitting confession was seen live on the Justice Channel by more than 20 million viewers.
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  • Frame-Up: Declan McMahon was framed for the murder of Caitlin Channing, a former police officer turned guard at Dawlish Security who discovered that he had a criminal record and had him fired from the company. After he learned that his brother Dooley was going to be fired for getting him the job, Declan went to Caitlin's apartment to talk to her but she was already dead. When the police arrived, he was covered with her blood. The true killer was a 16-year-old Championship Pizza delivery boy named Joey. His presence in the building was readily apparent on the CCTV footage but it was doctored by Jack Parson, the producer of the reality show Judgment Day, to remove all traces of Joey. However, they missed Frame 259 which showed a reflection of Joey's trousers. Jack framed Declan as Joey was too young to receive the death penalty and therefore could not have been featured on Judgment Day, which would have interfered with his plan to create a ratings bonanza and get a full 22 episode order for the series.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: The titular Immoral Reality Show gives convicted murderers the choice of having their death sentence performed by the state or being hunted down and killed by a relative of the victim. The relative is given 24 hours to find the killer. If they fail to do so within the allotted time, the killer's sentence is automatically commuted to life in prison without the possibility of parole. The killer is implanted with a chip which is tuned to the same frequency as a 10,000 volt taser given to the relative. The taser can shock the killer at 50 feet and kill them at 3 feet.
  • Immoral Reality Show: This episode involves a TV show where crime victims' families hunt down and kill the apparent killers. The guy this episode focuses on didn't do it, was framed by the show's producer, and uses the show to clear himself.
  • Karmic Death: The corrupt TV producer who framed a man for murder so he could be hunted down and killed on live television, suffers the same fate after he kills someone in an attempt to cover it up. He's killed by the person he originally framed, in fact.
  • The Killer Becomes the Killed: This episode is about an Immoral Reality Show in which convicted murderers are released so that the family members of their victims can hunt them down and kill them on national television. This is subverted in the case of the protagonist, both because he's been framed and manages to convince the person who's hunting him that he didn't kill her sister, but played straight in the case of the T.V. show's producer, who is responsible for the Frame-Up and then kills the other sister as well to cover it up. The protagonist later hunts the producer down as after he's exposed and become a target on his own show.
  • Precision F-Strike: This episode is one of five to feature the word "fuck".
  • Ratings Stunt: An In-Universe example. Jack Parson, the producer of the Immoral Reality Show Judgment Day, framed Declan McMahon for the murder of Caitlin Channing in order to create huge ratings. At this point, it had only produced a series of specials and it was his hope that it would receive an order for a full 22 episode season if the McMahon episode was a ratings success.
  • Show Within a Show: The titular Immoral Reality Show airs on the Justice Channel and features the relatives of murder victims being given 24 hours to hunt their loved one's killer. Declan McMahon, who was framed for murder by the producer Jack Parson, described it as "voyeuristic" and a "moral outrage."
  • Tuckerization: Two characters are named after Elvis Costello, whose real name is Declan MacManus: the convicted killer and Condemned Contestant Declan McMahon and the Justice Channel executive Everett Costello.
  • We Will Not Use Photoshop in the Future: A murderer who has been sentenced to death is hunted down by the sister of the woman he was convicted of killing as part of a reality TV show. It turns out that the security footage used to convict him was altered by the show's producer, since the real killer was a juvenile, thus not eligible for the death penalty, and the new show. In the end the bad guy gets exposed and forced to perform in the same role.

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