The Outer Limits

Season 5 Episode 4

The Grell

Aired Friday 9:00 PM Feb 12, 1999 on Showtime
out of 10
User Rating
25 votes

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Episode Summary

The Grells were rescued from their dry and dying planet by humans, only to be turned into slaves on earth. Now the aliens are rebelling against their masters, fighting a guerilla war against a government lead by men like High Secretary Paul Kohler (Ted Shackleford). When a jet carrying Paul, his wife Olivia (Marina Sirtis) and their children is shot down by a missile, his Grell slaves Jesha (Maurice Dean Wint) and Ep (Gerry Currie) have the opportunity to escape. Ep breaks for freedom and is killed when Paul activates the electronic slave collar all Grells must wear. Jesha, driven by his love for Paul's children Sara and Ken, stays and rescues his master's family from the jet's twisted wreckage. Despite his horror at Ep's death and Paul's brutal treatment of him, Jesha remains loyal to the humans. He rescues Sara when the rebel slave leader Shak-El (David McNally) captures her. Then he uses Grell alchemy to heal Paul, who has been mortally wounded in a fire fight with a Grell rebel. When Jesha saves Paul, however, the master becomes a half-breed; his skin changes to a mottled yellow, like a Grell's, and he is able see ultraviolet light by day and heat at night. Paul also begins to see the world from a Grell point of view. He's horrified when he comes across a rebel settlement, where men, women and children have been massacred by federal troops. And he's terrified when a federal soldier, Lt. Lockhart, captures him and slaps a slave collar on him, believing him to be a Grell rebel. The experience changes Paul, but will he or his family or Jesha live long enough to change the world?moreless

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  • A Powerfully Emotional Episode

    When their roles are reversed, the ties that bind a human family and their loyal and long serving Grell slave, are put to the test. After the family jet crashes in remote rebel held territory, the slave, Jesha stays with them out of love for the children and his knowledge of what will/could happen to them without his skills in the wilderness. The mother and father both fall apart emotionally and physicall and at these times Jesha shows great dignity and restraint. When he has the chance to abandon them, and join his fellow Grell, he doesn't. That choice says a lot about compassion and the power of love to change minds. As we've come to expect from the new Outer Limits, there is a sci-fi twist in the story, that leads to the final role reversal that I didn't see coming. I'm hoping that if we went back to this world and characters five years down the road, that social change - with pressure from the rebels, would have brought about real change in their society. Great story, strong performances. Race, class and culture all explored in an intelligent mind-opening premise.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • 10:00 pm