The Outer Limits

Season 4 Episode 16

Final Exam

1
Aired Friday 9:00 PM Jun 26, 1998 on Showtime
8.2
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Final Exam
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Dr. John Martin, a negotiator for the Department of Energy Nuclear Response Team, is called in when a disgruntled grad student takes hostages at a university. The student, Seth Todtman claims to have invented a cold-fusion bomb and is threatening to detonate it, killing millions, unless the government brings him five people on a list and kills them for him. Martin's colleagues dismiss Todtman as a crank, until a sample device he provides goes off with megaton force, wiping out a DOE team and the top-secret facility where they work. Faced with an impossible choice, Martin meets with Todtman face to face and tries to understand the logic behind his rage at the people he wants killed: cruel foster parents, corrupt professors, a heartless librarian. As the clock ticks, Martin tries to reason with Todtman while the military tries to find a way to disarm the device. But, even if they stop Todtman, can they stop the knowledge he has unleashed on the world?

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  • ALLUSIONS (1)

    • Seth: Oh come on, Martin. Are you trying to tie me up in logical knots like I was some sort of war game computer you can crash with a game of Tic-Tac-Toe?

      A reference to the dramatic conclusion of the 1983 movie WarGames (starring Matthew Broderick) where a computer running the United States' nuclear missiles decides not start a nuclear war based on it's newfound logic (from playing tic-tac-toe) that not all games have winners or losers, but can ultimately end with no true winner.

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