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Recap / The Outer Limits 1995 S 7 E 16 Abduction

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The Control Voice: When a heart has been turned cold by anger and grief, can patterns of destructive behavior be averted or are they predestined?

Five high school students (a jock, a popular girl, a geek, a religious girl, and a loner) are abducted by an alien who orders them to vote on which member of the group will be killed.

The Control Voice: In an ever more complex and dangerous world, vigilance and guidance is needed for those most vulnerable to its cruelties... our children.

"In a fit of rage, a trope is capable of anything":

  • Alien Abduction: Cody Phillips, Jason, Ray, Brianna and Danielle are abducted by aliens.
  • Alternate Universe: Discussed. Jason, a science fiction fan, theorizes that he, Cody Phillips, Ray, Brianna and Danielle may have entered a parallel universe.
  • Axes at School: Five high school kids are abducted by an alien. They eventually find out that the alien chose them because one of them brought a gun to school and was planning to shoot the other four.
  • Black Dude Dies First: Brianna, who's black, is the student who's killed as Cody votes that she be the one to die so the rest live. Subverted though as she gets resurrected (or perhaps never actually died, since it was a secret test of his character). When he's remorseful, the alien sends her back unharmed in either case.
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  • Bottle Episode: This episode takes place entirely in a high school history classroom and the corridor leading to it (or alien copies thereof).
  • Career-Ending Injury: Ray was the star running back of the Eden Park High School football team until he injured his knee, bringing his football career to a swift end.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Cody Phillips continually makes snarky remarks at the expense of Jason, Ray, Brianna and Danielle after they are abducted by aliens. He later admits that he began acting this way as everyone in school picked on him and he wanted to give them a reason for doing so.
  • False Friend: Cody Phillips claims that everyone that he knows, including his so-called friends, blame him for everything in life.
  • Good All Along: Rather than a sinister being taking pleasure in forcing the kids to vote, the alien was actually trying to prevent the tragedy of a school shooting.
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  • A House Divided: An alien kidnaps five high school students, and tells them that one must be killed. They must decide which of them it will be. And of course they're from completely different social groups. Ray, a typical jock, Danielle, the hottest girl in school, Jason, a stereotypical geek, Brianna, a devout religious girl, and Cody, a social outcast. So needless to say they don't get along. But then again it was a test. And the ensemble was picked for that very reason.
  • Lovable Alpha Bitch: Danielle initially seems to be an Alpha Bitch as she taunts the deeply religious Brianna for being a "Jesus freak" and mockingly suggests that she is still a virgin. Cody Phillips resents her for laughing in his face when he asked her out. However, she tells Cody that he needs to forgive her for doing so and that she is as much trapped in her role as the most popular girl in school as he is trapped in his role as the school outcast. Danielle is later just as delighted as everyone else when she learns that Brianna is still alive and is the first of the students to hug her.
  • Lovable Jock: The former Eden Park High School running back Ray seems to be a Jerk Jock since he taunts both Cody Phillips and Jason but he turns out to be a nice guy.
  • Of Course I Smoke: Jason asks for one of Cody's cigarettes, figuring he might as well since their group may get killed by the aliens who abducted them. Since Jason never smoked before, he coughs.
  • Sadistic Choice: Five high school students abducted by a mysterious alien are told they must vote for one of them to die. If they don't, they'll all die.
  • Secret Test: Five Eden Park High School students, Cody Phillips, Jason, Ray, Brianna and Danielle, are abducted by aliens and find themselves in an exact replica of their school. An alien soon appears and tells them that in five hours' time, they will be forced to decide which of their fellow students will die. If they refuse to vote, all of them will be put to death. When the time comes, Brianna, who is convinced that it is some kind of test, refuses to vote and, with some reluctance, Jason, Ray and Danielle follow suit. However, Cody doesn't want to die and votes for Brianna. The alien fires an energy bolt from his staff and Brianna is killed. When a furious Ray attacks Cody, a gun falls from his belt. Ray then has Jason go through Cody's backpack and he finds that Cody has torn pages out of the yearbook and circled the faces of the other four students. Cody admits that he resents all of them for different reasons but denies that he was planning to shoot any of them. Jason, Ray and Danielle soon disappear. Now left all alone, Cody cradles Brianna's body and apologizes for voting for her, saying that he did not realize what he was doing and wishes that he could take it back. The alien reappears and tells Cody that it was a test for his benefit. Their observations indicated that the day would soon come when Cody would act on his desires and they wanted to see whether he could take a different course. Cody is returned to school and finds all of the other students, including Brianna, alive and well. He then goes to the principal's office and places the gun on his desk, meaning that he will get the help that he needs.
  • Token Religious Teammate: Brianna is a devout Christian, the sole religious member of the group.
  • Twofer Token Minority: The only person of color in the group is a black girl, Brianna.
  • Two Girls to a Team: Dianelle and Brianna are the two girls in the five-student group.
  • Unstuck in Time: Discussed. Jason speculates that he, Cody Phillips, Ray, Brianna and Danielle may have become unstuck in time.
  • Whole Plot Reference: This episode is essentially a sci-fi retelling of The Breakfast Club with a Sadistic Choice thrown in for good measure. Five students - a jock, the hottest girl in school, a nerd, a deeply religious girl and an outcast - are abducted by an alien and are told that they must decide which of them will die. If they refuse to make a choice, they will all be killed.
  • Wrong Assumption: Jason draws on his knowledge of science fiction and speculates that he and the other four students have entered an Alternate Universe or become Unstuck in Time. Instead, it turns out that they have been abducted by aliens.

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