This is a very interesting episode. It begins with a joyful wedding reception and promptly moves to an eerie box labeled "Do Not Open Till Doomsday." This box contains a strange creature with an unusual ability: it can transport people into the box (shrinking them in the process). Of course since the box arrives at a wedding reception, one of the people captured by the creature is from the wedding party (i.e., the groom). Once the groom cannot be found, time passes by until another victim is captured by the creature. Eventually the episode reaches a climax with a surprise ending. Vintage Outer Limits!
It's not often that an episode stays with you, lurking in the corner of your mind, shouting out voicelessly to you in idle moments of your otherwise humdrum day, but this is one episode. It leaves an imprint. It abides. The tone is set for this horror tale with SF overtones by the control voice speaking of the perfection of evil. That is, that evil cannot afford to make a mistake -- and so the voice fades as a mysterious man delivers a gift to wedding party. Upstairs, curiosity gets the better of the groom, who opens the gift. He goes mad and the next scene is some years later, where history threatens to repeat itself. Two young lovers have met at a justice of the peace to wed; the tension in the atmosphere is nearly unbearable; the acting and atmosphere are top-notch. Worry clouds the expressions of the runaway underage lovers; the justice of the peace is a conflicted, careful man; his wife is a scheming malevolent soul. It is she who arranges for the newlyweds to spend the night at the house with the gift. The house has fallen into ruin and decay; its sole inhabitant, the woman who still expects her husband to return at any minute. Time has not been kind to her body, nor her mind; she is now quite mad and morbid, keeping her wedding dress at the ready and marking the bridal suite with petrified flowers. I cannot emphasize enough how utterly chilling and disturbing her scenes are!
I will not spoil the ending, but the twists and the turns keep coming as we find out what resides in the box marked "Do Not Open Until Doomsday" and whether or not evil prevails.
This episode has an interesting plot, but fails to pull it off adequately, and totally ruins any suspense by having yet another one-eyed blob for an alien monster. What is with this series and blobs? It would have been far more effective to never show the alien, leaving only a mysterious box with a blinking light behind glass. The way the newlyweds conveniently come to the house and the over-the-top acting of the old flapper make this grating to watch.
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