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The Mutant Recap

The United Space Agency sends a psychiatrist, Dr. Evan Marshall, to the planet Annex One. Sunlight is constant there, meaning that there is no night. The initial reports from the small expeditionary team stated that the planet is suitable for colonization by Earth's overflowing population. However, recent reports have seemed strange, so Evan is going to investigate.

Evan's capsule lands and the team comes out to greet him. As Evan squints in the sunlight, team member Julie Griffith recognizes him. The team are wearing protective goggles against the sunlight, and Dr. Frederick Riner gives Evan a pair. A technician, Reese Fowler, tells Evan that they have to wear them that all times. He introduces Evan to the others. Evan shakes the hands of Riner, Professor Henry Lacosta, and Lieutenant Peter Chandler., but Reese keeps his distance Philip "Griff" Griffith is absent, and Reese tells him that Griff died in an accident. Evan notes that it wasn't reported when he left Earth, and Reese says that it happened recently. Peter says that it happened just before noon, and Frederick says that they have a problem with their communication system. He doesn't go into details, and Evan asks Peter if it can be fixed up. Reese speaks up, saying that it can be corrected, and Evan says that the mothership won't be back for him until he sends the word.

The team take Evan into their hut and Peter gives Evan his room while he moves in with Frederick. Peter says that they're trained to remain unemotional, and explains that he misses dreaming. Once Evan leaves to begin his examinations, Peter writes on a piece of paper and then hides it in the lining of Evan's discarded suit. He then puts the suit in the locker.

Julie is in her quarters looking at a photograph of Phil: her husband. She hears someone outside, puts away the photo, and opens the door. It's Reese, still wearing his goggles inside. He motions to her to stay inside, and then goes in after her and closes the door. Reese figures that Griff knew Evan was coming and told her, and she lied to him. Julie insists that she can't lie to Reese anymore, and Reese says that there's no need for him to act like a person morally. She says that she and Griff expected Evan to come because of the issues between her and Griff. Reese says that he doesn't like being inhuman but his condition makes him pitiless and it happens more and more.

Peter slips out of his quarters and Reese approaches him and asks where Evan is. Reese tells Peter that when Evan contacts Earth, he'll put the component in the communication system and take it out once Evan is done. He warns Peter that no one can say anything during the moment before he takes out the component, and then reads Peter's mind and asks what he did with the suit.

Peter tries to block his thoughts, but Reese hears him and advances on hm. Peter ducks into his quarters and Reese follows him, and asks where the note is. Exhausted, Peter sits on his bunk and thinks about how there is no night. Reese takes out the suit and tells Peter to take out the note and destroy it. He removes his goggles, revealing a mutated human face, and says that he can read their thoughts and it's impossible for them to keep him out. As Peter takes out the note, Reese says that he'll never let Evan leave. Reese tells Peter to destroy the note by eating it, and laughs as Peter does so.

Peter says that he won't do it again, but his thoughts betray him. Reese touches his shoulder, disintegrating him in a burst of energy. The technician then puts his goggles back on and leaves.

Evan goes through the base psychiatric records as Frederic and Henry look on. The psychiatrist realizes that someone is covering up something. Reese comes in looking for Peter and tells Evan that Julie would like to talk to him. Once Evan leaves, Reese tells Frederick that it's time for his treatment. Henry protests, but Frederick says that Evan still has a chance if Reese keeps his word. Henry says that Reese is a madman, and Reese tells him that he's a mutant.

In her quarters, Julie tells Evan that she was never afraid of the quiet between them. She explains that she ran away from Evan but knew that one day she'd have to face him and explain why. She figures that Evan came there to find out why her and Griff never had children in the two years that they've been on Annex One. She says that she ran away from Evan and bumped into Griff, and it wasn't until they arrived on Annex One that she realized that she didn't love him. Evan wonders if Griff's death was an accident or suicide, and she insists that Griff wasn't suicidal. Evan isn't convinced, and Julie explains that she and Griff became friends. She admits that it makes her feel guilty, and Evan's presence is aggravating her guilt. Evan figures that it's more than that, and Julie tells him not to probe any further.

Evan returns to his new quarters and finds the open locker. His suit is on the bed and the lining is ripped out where the note was. He puts the suit away and leaves, but then goes to Frederick's quarters. Before he can knock, Reese opens the floor. Reese says that Peter is probably somewhere daydreaming, and Evan goes to Julie's door. She refuses to answer, and Evan goes outside. Henry arrives, tells him to put on h is goggles, and warns him that the hut is the only protection against the radioactive rain shower that will come down in a half hour.

Henry walks off and Evan follows him. The older man goes into a cave, well aware that Evan is following him. Before Evan can go in, he hears Julie call his name and runs back to the hut. She gets him inside as the silver radio isotopes shower down. Once the shower stops, Henry continues into the cave.

In the hut, Evan and Julie realize that they're holding hands. Evan says that he'll never let her go again, and she walks away. He asks what's wrong on the planet. Julie says he is too persistently analytical, and tells him to stop watching life because it will go on as it will. She goes into her quarters, and Frederick comes out of his quarters. Evan asks to talk, and Frederick leads him into an adjoining lab. Reese looks out and then goes back into Frederick's quarters.

Julie goes into the lab and when she sees Evan, tells Frederick that it can wait. Evan mentions the cave and excuses himself, and Frederick goes outside as well. Julie goes to the cave, and Frederick follows her. He calls to her and says that Evan knows about the cave, and she worries that Reese will find out. She goes in and screams. Frederick follows her and sees a mutated spider on Henry's chest. It bites him and Henry runs out screaming and then disintegrates like Peter. Frederick tells Julie that the cave is no longer safe and there may be other mutations.

Evan enters the cave and sees Julie and Frederick. He asks them to talk to them, and Frederick says that they can talk there. He and Henry were hoping that he'd follow them, and Julie explains that they were trying to keep Evan safe. She says that Reese can hear Evan's thoughts, and Frederick explains that Reese was caught in the first rain shower and mutated. Reese was outside tending to the plants, and Griff kept the others inside. When Griff said that Annex One was useless and they had to leave Reese behind rather than risk contamination, Reese disintegrated him.

Frederick says that Reese told him that he killed Peter as Frederick was preparing a useless treatment for him. Reese destroyed their spaceship and disabled their communications. Frederick warns that Reese will be standing over Evan as he reports to Earth. Evan asks Frederick to hypnotize him and make him forget everything he learned until he gets back to Earth and someone uses a post-hypnotic trigger he wouldn't hear on Annex One. He suggests that they use "Reese", because the board will ask Evan to report on each team member by name.

Using a candle, Frederick hypnotizes Evan as they discussed.

In the lab, Reese lies beneath Frederick's treatment lamp and insists that he's still a man named Reese Fowler and has to keep saying it to everyone to remind himself.

Later, Frederick comes to the lab and Reese puts on his goggles. When Frederick turns off the lights, Reese screams in pain until Frederick opens the skylight. Frederick tries to go, saying that it's not safe to be in confined quarters with Reese. Reese wonders why Frederick won't say his name, and Frederick tries to block his thoughts with a riddle. Frederick backs away from Reese as the mutant advances on him, and trips on a stand.

Julie wakes up Evan from his hypnotic sleep and they go back to the hut before the next shower.

Dying from the fall, Frederick mutters what he told Evan when he hypnotized him and how "Reese" is the post-hypnotic trigger. Reese puts on his goggles and leaves the lab.

Evan asks Julie where they've been, remembering that they were somewhere dark. Julie insists that there's no place dark on Annex One. Inside, Reese locks the door, and Julie discovers that she can't turn the knob. Reese asks who it is and tells them to use his first name before the rain comes. Julie calls to Frederick, and Reese tells Julie to use his first name. As she takes Evan to the cave, Reese comes out and shouts his first name. Evan remembers everything, and goes into the cave with Julie.

Reese follows them inside as the shower begins. Evan tells Julie that they may die, and Julie says that Reese doesn't want to be alone. The psychiatrist warns that only Reese's human parts wants people, and that may not last much longer. Reese calls to the couple to come out, claiming that he won't harm them because he needs them. He says that Frederick died in an accident and he wouldn't kill the only man who can help him. Evan yells back that he locked them out, and Reese says that he couldn't help it. He begs them to help him, but laughs when Evan asks him to let them return to Earth. Reese says that the Space Agency will write off the experiment and he'll get a posthumous medal , and tells them to come out.

Julie asks Evan to forgive her for running away from him, and they run further into the cave. Reese moans in pain, yelling that he can't see. He staggers into the cave and goes to the candle... and knocks it over. The darkness closes on him, snuffing him out, and Evan and Julie emerge into the light.

Written by Gadfly on Feb 13, 2019

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