The Outer Limits

Season 1 Episode 19

I, Robot

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Jul 23, 1995 on Showtime

Episode Recap

The first images we see are through the framed view of what could be a robot. An old scientist is apparently doing something to him, but tells him to go to sleep since he does nothing to concern him. The robot, named Adam, listens and the scientist continues with his work. The scientist apologizes in low voice for what he is about to do and starts to insert something into the wiring. That moment the robot surprisingly wakes up and grabs the scientist which frantically orders him to stop. The machine does not listen and ends up tearing the lab apart after throwing the scientist against a wall and killing him. He is seen dashing through a window by one of the companies employees. We see him again in the street after the alarm has been sounded and everybody is looking for him. A cop finds him and shoots him four times, but the bullets ricochet from him and one of them grazes the policeman's arm. The robot does not seem aggressive and he turns himself in when more policemen come. Next we see him in a cell visited by a woman who appears to be the scientist's daughter. He asks her where her father is and she tells him with grief that he is dead. Adam immediately asks if he did it and he is told that this is going to be found out. He then tells them that he only remembers when her father asked him to go to sleep and next waking up in the middle of the street being shot at by a police officer. She then searches for a lawyer for him, willing to save the robot from being dismantled. She finds a well-known, but retired lawyer playing chess in a park. She convinces him to come and see Adam. While doing that he meets his future opponent, a woman he apparently used to know and he agrees to the case. In the court he tries to convince the instance that Adam is as human as any of them and he has feelings, hence he should benefit from a murder trial instead of being dismembered in the same manner you would kill a dog that attacked his master. The woman attorney seems a worthy opponent and he probably has a hard fight on his hands. He proves the injured officer was lying when saying that the robot shot him by using a ballistic report and then, as the accusation tries to question Adam's humanity, he tries to prove it by calling the scientist's daughter, Mina. She had apparently developed a brother-sister relationship with the robot as they grew up together. We then find out that the project's funding was cut and that Mina's father had to find alternate sources of funding. The accusation convinces the court that it would be a good idea to duplicate the conditions of the operations that the scientist was performing that night by inserting a key card into the robot's brain to see how he reacts. Adam reacts violently and out of control, destroying the court in the process. They manage to stop him and pull the card out after which they bring him back to his cell. He is then able to reconstruct the video sequence seen in the beginning of the episode, when he killed his creator. This is presented to the court and then the robot himself is questioned. Finally, the ex-retired lawyer smells something and looks through Mina's father financial transactions. Thus he finds out that the accusation was holding back some documents and he asks for them. After receiving them he is approached by a man in a limousine that tells him the robot should be destroyed and that they will take care that he never practices law if he does anything to impede that. He tells them that the case is lost anyway. In court, he presents the documents and we find out that, in fact, Adam was supposed to be reprogrammed as a perfect soldier for the government according to the contract the scientist had signed to keep the cash flowing into his project. Adam had gone berserk that night when his father was trying to destroy his personality and make him a soldier. After all this, the court finally decides that Adam is a being capable of human feelings and he should be trialed for murder, as any human being would. The case is won and the robot is escorted back to his cell to stand trial. On his way out he is followed by Mina and his lawyer, both rejoicing for their success. The lawyer doesn't forget to condescendingly greet his defeated opponent while she crosses the street. A truck comes speeding towards her and the robot breaks loose of his chains and pushes her out of harm's way just to be crushed himself by the truck. Torn to pieces, he can still look at Mina who is crying over him and he finally ceases to exist. We see the man that had earlier approached the lawyer leaving the scene content and it all ends with the accusation attorney watching baffled and unbelieving the remains of the machine that had saved her life with the price of its own.