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Recap / The Outer Limits 1995 S 6 E 5 Breaking Point

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The Control Voice: Nothing in our world is more unyielding than the inexorable march of time. But what will happen when man finds a way to manipulate that awesome force?

A man uses a time machine to go two days into the future and finds his wife is dead. Returning to the present, he tries to stop it from happening.

The Control Voice: We have always struggled to control our destiny. But even when we think we've succeeded, fate may have the final word.
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Breaking Tropes:

  • Cruel Twist Ending: A guy makes a time machine and travels a few days into the future, but finds out his wife is dead. Horrified, he returns to the present and tries to protect and warn her. His wife refuses to believe his stories of time travel, and eventually, he loses his temper and accidentally kills her. Anguished, declaring himself a monster, he decides she would have been better off without him, so he travels back to the day they met and kills his past self before he met her, erasing himself from existence. It was all for nothing. In the new timeline, it turned out that his wife had been contemplating suicide and meeting him that fateful day had saved her.
  • Fading Away: Andrew McLaren fades out of existence after traveling back in time and killing his younger self.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Andrew McLaren is terrified that he may be the one who kills his wife Susan two days in the future, especially since he saw himself drive away from the scene of the crime. It turns out that he was right.
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  • My Future Self and Me: Andrew McLaren travels back in time to 1993 to prevent himself from meeting his wife Susan so that he will not be able to kill her on December 6, 2000. He confronts his younger self and, before killing him, tells him that his theories about time travel are correct. The older Andrew then ceases to exist. However, Susan still dies as she takes a drug overdose, which meeting Andrew originally stopped her from doing.
  • Ret-Gone: The Andrew McLaren from 2000 ceases to exist after he kills his younger self in 1993.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: A scientist invents a Time Machine, which he uses to travel several days into the future. There, he sees his wife, who has been shot. When he returns to his own time, he desperately tries to convince everyone that he really did travel to the future, only to have everyone think him crazy (doesn't help that the time shift apparently has some nasty side effects, such as actually turning him crazy). In the end, he ends up accidentally shooting his wife while trying to stop her from leaving him. In a twist, he decides to prevent her death by ensuring that they never meet in the first place, so he travels back to the day they met and shoots his younger self. Both versions of him die. Unfortunately, fate doesn't like to be cheated - his future wife was planning on killing herself that day, and only meeting his past self kept her from taking the pills.
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  • Stable Time Loop: Andrew McLaren tests the chronological phase shifter, the CPS-1200, which his company Anderson Technologies has been working on without permission by traveling two days forward in time. He is so excited that he immediately runs home to tell his wife Susan. He is shocked to find her lying in a pool of her own blood, having just been shot. Andrew then sees a man fleeing the house and driving off in his car. He tries to stop him but is unsuccessful. As the car speeds away, the driver turns to look at Andrew and he sees that it is his future self. After returning to his own time, Andrew obsessively tries to prevent Susan's murder. However, the fact that he is becoming increasingly unstable due to Temporal Sickness means that all he manages to do is frighten Susan and put the final nail in the coffin of their already precarious marriage. Andrew becomes so frantic in his attempt to protect Susan that he accidentally shoots her.
  • Temporal Sickness: Andrew McLaren travels two days forward in time and back again. He begins to experience nosebleeds and severe jolts of pain and his behavior becomes highly erratic.
  • Time Is Dangerous: This episode has a time traveler end up a few days in the future to see his wife dying from a gunshot wound. He goes back and tries to prevent it. However, the side effect of the trip is physical and mental degradation. By the end, his wife has had enough and decides to leave him. In a deranged state, he ends up shooting her. Seems to be a case of You Already Changed the Past, doesn't it? Then the episode does a 180 on this idea and has the guy go back to the night he first met his wife and shoot his younger self, himself turning to dust. Of course, the worst part is that she was planning on killing herself that day.
  • Time-Travel Episode
  • Who Shot JFK?: Discussed. In a conversation about the possibility of changing history, Andrew McLaren asks his friend and colleague, the physicist Carl van der Meer, what he believes the most likely outcome would be if someone traveled back in time to Dallas on November 22, 1963 and stopped Lee Harvey Oswald from assassinating John F. Kennedy. Carl is of the opinion that JFK would leave Dallas without a scratch, dismissing all of the conspiracy theories about a second shooter on the grassy knoll. However, he notes that the fatalists would argue that someone else would shoot Kennedy and he would still die in Dallas as history recorded.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Andrew McLaren travels forward in time two days and finds his wife Susan dead in their house, having been shot. It turns out that his attempts to prevent her death are what resulted in it happening in the first place. He then travels back in time to 1993 and kills his younger self just before he was about to meet Susan so that she will live. However, Susan was severely depressed at the time and Andrew was the one who helped her get her life back together. This episode ends with Susan taking an entire bottle of pills with alcohol. The clear implication is that she will not survive the night.
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