Masters of Science Fiction

Season 1 Episode 1

A Clean Escape

Aired Saturday 10:00 PM Aug 04, 2007 on ABC

Episode Recap

[Stephen Hawking narrates: Are there events so impossible to forget that they become too painful to remember?] Dr. Deanna Evans (Judy Davis) in scanned. It shows she has metastatic cancer. Doctor gives her 3-4 months. Robert Havelmann (Sam Waterston) comes to see her. He seems a bit confused. She puts a paperweight of Lincoln on the table and it covers with a handkerchief and asks him what is under it. He answers correctly. He gets upset when she seems to turn on a camera. It seems it's not so much that she did it, but that she did it without asking. She says they're both being observed. She asks if he likes it here. He says he hasn't been here long enough to form an opinion. She asks how long he's been here and he doesn't seem to know. She asks what he did before he got here. He says he was at work at IST Worldwide. He runs the company and he assumes she already knew that. They do work for the Pentagon. She remarks that it must be lucrative. He says he could retire before he's 45 but he doubts that he will. (The actor is 67.) She asks about family. He seems irritated but then says he's been married to Dorothy for 13 year and they have two children. He spits out lots of other facts about himself that she didn't ask about and he's getting annoyed. He asks if he's being interrogated. Then she asks what's under the handkerchief. He asks how he's supposed to know. She asks his age and he says 41. Then she asks the year. He says 2007. He is getting increasing agitated. Then she tells him to look in mirror. He is shocked. He angrily asks what she's done to him. In cafeteria line she discusses this with Kelly, who had observed the session. Kelly disagrees with Deanna's plans, thinking she could be helping more people. Deanna says she needs one more week. Deanna sees a boy and she has a flashback of her own family. Robert returns for a new session. But he doesn't remember ever meeting Deanna. He thought he's there for annual checkup but he asks what kind of doctor she is. She says she's a psychiatrist. He says he must be in the wrong place. Then he claims Pierce is behind this. Flashback: Jerry Pierce tells Niles that he's going after Robert. Niles thought they had agreed that the strategy was to let Robert self-destruct. Jerry says Robert canned Seidelman this morning. Jerry says Robert smells rebellion in the ranks. That makes him dangerous. Niles says he will not be joining Jerry in this "suicide expedition". Niles notes that Robert has friends in high places. Robert tells Deanna that he fired Pierce. Rob built the company and he's got a plan that he won't let others derailed. Robert describes his conservative values. And he admits to being ambitious. He's considering running for office but has an empire to build first. Then Deanna gets angry and wants him to drop the charade. He says he has to leave in 10 minutes for daughter's school play. He says if she had children she'd understand. She says, angrilly, that she had two children. But somebody killed them. Then she says, "You killed my babies. Deanna discusses situation with boss, Warren Geslow (Tom Butler). He is frustrated with her. He says she's been banging her head against a wall for almost a year. She thinks Robert has to be held responsible. Geslow gives her two more days, but she says pushing too hard won't work. Deanna tell Robert that he's exhibiting symptoms similar to Korsakoff's Syndrome, a rare form of memory loss. She describes a case of a WWII soldier.. And then she lays into him about how Rob caused such misery but blissfully doesn't remember it. He doesn't like her accusations and is about to storm out when she asks him about the weather. He talks about the beautiful spring morning. Then she tells him to look out the window. It's rather desolate. And then she mentions the 24 years that are missing from his memory. She asks him how he got to the hospital this morning. He doesn't seem to know. She says the answer is that he was already here. She asks about his company's patents. He says he's prohibited from discussing them. She says he has her permission and he accepts that. They were working on an impulse beam weapon for a satellite. Deanna says Rober sold his interest in the company for $1B in 2009. He snorts. Then he ran for seat in Maryland state legislature. He calls her a deeply disturbed woman. Flashback: She's having lunch in backyard with family when military officer arrives. He addresses her as Major and tells her they're at DefCon 1. She's been ordered to bunker. She wants to bring her family but he orders her into Hummer. When Robert addresses her as doctor she informs him that her title is actually Major. Robert wants to go home. She says he doesn't have a home; none of them do. "Our families are gone." Anything that ever mattered to them are gone. She says they are 1000 meters under a hillside in Virgina. He says that doesn't make any sense; they just looked out the window. She says it's not a real window. It's a digital display. He gets very upset and accuses her of playing with his mind. "It's not winter!" She says it's nuclear winter. The camera is 3000 feet above them. She says, "Welcome to the apocalypse He says he's going to go to daughter's play and report Deanna. She says his family is dead. Then she pulls gun on him. Kelly and Geslow are watching but Deanna cuts off the camera feed and lowers blast shields. Red light flashes. Deanna insists that Robert will remember or he'll die trying. Kelly thinks Geslow should allow it to take it's course. Rob says he doesn't believe anything Deanna has said. She shows him recording of New York City. She says that there were no survivors. She shows other cities around the world. They are not sure if there are more than 871 people alive in the whole world. They are all inside this bunker. Flashback: Pierce tells Rob that the device might be more powerful than they intend it to be. Rob thinks the more powerful the better. They think the beam could trigger all fissionable material within 60 mi. Rob tells Deanna that the competition wouldn't take a time out. He accuses her of being a Luddite. He says she lives in a world of paralyzing fears and irrational paranoia. He says if we surrender to that fear we might as well be back in the cave. She says, "We are back in the cave. When he mentions he has important people in Washington that he could call to end her career. She says Robert is the most important person in DC. Geslow is in charge but he never took the oath. Robert is still the President of US. He laughs. The room that Robert and Deanna are in is the President's safe room. There is no way to get in there. But Geslow tells them to attempt to use plasma torches to try to get in. Deanna says Rob ordered a preemptive strike despite all advisors warning against it. He says the I.B. is a deterrent. He triggered nuclear explosions overseas and 6 countries responded in kind. And then, "All hell broke loose. Deanna turns the cameras back on. She shows Rob recording from robotic camera at the western White House where his family was. They were burned to crisps. He sees wife's ring. His memory returns. He cries and says he believed in what he was doing. She says the US prevailed... it's 871 strong. Deanna says the world will start again and says they will remember that none of us can survive individual responsibility. Then she cuts off the cameras. We hear a gunshot. We see Robert coming to appointment with Kelly. She's his new psychiatrist. He doesn't remember anything that happened.