At the Stone Optical Laboratory, Detective Lieutenant Runyan checks out the door and Elizabeth tells him that when she came in, she discovered that someone had broken in and torn up the place. Dr. James Stone arrives, and Runyan introduces himself and his partner Jackson. Runyan notes that other optical labs have been destroyed and wonders why, and James doesn't have an answer. He looks around, distracted, and Elizabeth says that James is one of the experts on optical science.
James cleans up his office and Elizabeth comes in after the officers leave. She suggests that he uses the special lenses #901 that he created for stigmatism. Elizabeth notes that the other pairs were distributed to three patients. She gives James the addresses. Once Elizabeth leaves, James puts on the glasses and then quickly whips them off, and looks at something in the corner of the office. He puts the glasses on and sees a bizarre six-armed two-dimensional figure outlined in energy. It turns sideways, disappearing, and then turns full-on and approaches James, smashing the furniture aside and stunning the man. The creature sees the notebook and the three names, and advances on James as he wakes up. It destroys his glasses and he's no longer able to see it.
Elizabeth runs in and helps James to his feet as the being turns sideways and passes through a wall. He claims that he stumbled and they find the destroyed pair of glasses on the floor. James asks to see the meteoric quarters that the lenses were made from, and Elizabeth confirms they have enough for one more pair. He tells her to have them made to the same prescription as the glasses he put on and says that he's going to his brother Bernard's office. Elizabeth warns that Bernard's secretary said that he won't see James without an appointment, but he tells her to make the call.
James drives to the U.S. Science Research Division where Bernard works. Bernard's secretary, Miss Willet, claims that Bernard is in conference and can't let him in. Bernard comes out and tells James that he's disrupting an important conference with the atomic committee. He reminds James that he rejected an offer from the government for a job, and James asks him for a little information. James talks about other dimensions and light frequencies, and asks if a two-dimensional being can exist in their dimension and if so, would it have mass. Intrigued despite himself, Bernard tells Willet to tell the committee that he'll be momentarily delayed. Bernard then says that a two-dimensional object couldn't exist in their three-dimensional world. James suggests that it came from another dimension. He tells his brother that he saw such a creature in his office while wearing his special glasses. James wonders what would happen if such a creature went through a wall straight on, and then leaves. Bernard goes back into the committee meeting.
James drives to the hospital where one of the patients, George Wilkenson, is hospitalized. He went to Wilkenson's address and they told him that Wilkenson was in an accident. Wilkenson says that he was in an accident when something tore the glasses off of his face while he was driving. He insists that he's not crazy and says that he saw a creature. James asks about the other two patients who received the spectacles, and Wilkenson says that he talked to the woman, Rita Morgan. All he remembers is that Rita lived in the Rosemont district and James leaves.
Runyan and Jackson are at Rita's home examining her body. They don't have any motive or suspect. James arrives and sees Rita's body, the glasses laying next to her. Runyan asks what James has to do with Rita, and James claims that he's her friend. The detective says that they just got a report of another case on the east side.
The news are reporting about a 37-story building that has been sheered at the 19th floor so cleanly that the upper half hasn't fallen off. A welder, Kowalski, saw the creature which passed through a wall, leaving a silhouette in the shape that James saw. The welder suffers from double vision cured by special lens. James is watching the broadcast and trying to locate the third patient, and the announcer confirms that the welder was wearing the glasses at the time he saw the creatures. James asks Elizabeth to do something for him.
Runyan and Jackson meets with Bernard, who says that he has no idea why James was at Rita's apartment. He says that the only thing capable of sheering through the building would have to be a monster, but refuses to speculate further. Willet is unable to reach James, and Bernard tells her to keep trying.
At his office, James finally takes the ringing phone off of the hook. Joan comes with the glasses and says that there was enough quartz for two pairs. James confirms that she's been with him for two years and asks if she thinks that he's a rational human being. He wonders if she thinks that he's irresponsible and a "weirdo", and asks if she would believe him if he told her something impossible. Joan smiles and says that she would believe anything he told her, and James comments that she looks different. He then says that there's a creature at large in the city and is trying to get back to its own world, and explains that it only exists in two dimensions. James wonders why he can see the creature with the glasses, and Elizabeth reminds him about the meteoric quartz. He figures that the creature wanted to get the glasses away from him so he couldn't see it, because it felt safe as long as it was invisible. James notes that the creature also took the page with the names of the other three beings. Elizabeth suggests that the creature may come back since it knows that James designed the glasses.
Bernard arrives and says that he has to talk to James. James invites him in and Bernard finally says that he has to know if James really saw the creature. When James says that he did, Bernard wonders how it went through the building and his brother says that it's a form of laser. He figures that the damage the creature has caused isn't intentional, but Bernard says that they have to stop it. James says that the creature was in the office earlier, and Bernard sees the glasses on the desk. He remembers that Kowalski was wearing spectacles that James made for him, and James was wearing glasses when he saw the creature. Bernard picks up the glasses and figures that they're the key to seeing the creature. He puts them on and sees the creature in the corner. Bernard takes off the glasses and stumbles out, and James puts on the glasses and sees the creature. Elizabeth puts on one of the spare pairs and sees the creature as well.
James talks to the creature, which says that its name is Eck. Eck says that it attacked James because it was afraid of being seen, but now it's aware that James wants to help it. It explains that when it broke the time barrier, something happened to its senses. Eck opened a narrow passage and came through by mistake, and can't find its way back. It knows that the passage is above the public square, but it can't see it clearly. If something in the three-dimensional world goes through the passage, it could rip apart both worlds. Eck needs James' glasses because no other lenses will help. James says that he needs its eyes, and Eck gives him one of its four eyes.
Bernard tells the detectives what he saw and insists that it's real. Runyan shows him the glasses they found at each spotting, including Rita who died of a heart attack. They were all designed by James, and Bernard warns that Eck has a capability for destruction beyond their comprehension. Bernard suggests that they get more of the glasses from James, and they head to the optical lab.
Eck tells James and Elizabeth that there is nothing to sustain it in the third dimension. If it dies then something will inevitably go through the passage and destroy the three-dimensional world. Eck can only survive 24 hours, until the sun comes up again. Bernard and the detectives knock at the door, and James takes off the special glasses and lets them in. Runyan says that they want James' help to capture Eck. James insists that Eck doesn't mean any harm, and Runyan says that his job is to protect the public. The optical scientist promises that there won't be any more incidents and he needs eight hours. Runyan asks for some glasses just in case and James refuses. The detective tells him that every citizens' life is in James' hands. Outside, Runyan tells James that he's going to try and find a way to force James to cooperate.
James goes back into the office and puts on the glasses. He apologizes to Eck, saying that the others are afraid of it. Eck says that he was frightened by Kowalski because he had a "fire gun", and fire can destroy Eck. James has Elizabeth turn on the TV, and a news report is playing about the building. Eck notes that the broadcaster is two-dimensional, and slams into the TV. Its body glows and James realizes that now everyone can see Eck because it's charged with electricity.
Eck leaves the office and goes to a power tower, destroying it. A driver, Grayson, sees it and, panicking, goes off the road.
As they drive back, Bernard admits that he has no idea what James has planned. He figures that there must be a way to force James to cooperate, but Runyan notes that they have nothing to make James talk. They get a report on Grayson, who jumped clear of the car before it went off the road. Grayson describes Eck and confirms that it fled when the car's gas tank exploded. Runyan has Jackson get a flamethrower and tells Bernard to convince James to help them.
Eck returns to James' lab and James tells him that he thinks he's worked out the formula to create lenses that Eck can use to see. He calls in Elizabeth and explains, and then tells Eck that the eyes that it's made for itself have more refractive surfaces than human beings. James figures that he'll have to make the lenses himself and Elizabeth goes to get the necessary materials. Bernard comes in and Elizabeth tells him that James can't be disturbed. James come out and Bernard says that they know how to destroy Eck with fire. Eck hears him, and James tells Bernard to get out. Bernard reminds him that he promised that Eck wouldn't harm anyone else, and James explains that Eck is trying to find his way back to where it came from. He says that he's spoken to Eck, and Bernard figures that he's lying to mastermind the entire affair. James tells Bernard to take the situation on faith and says that Eck is trying to prevent the disaster. Bernard figures that his brother is crazy and realizes that Eck is in the office. James orders Bernard out, and Bernard tells James to stay out of their way when they come for Eck.
James and Elizabeth go back to the lab and discover that Eck is gone. They figure he overheard Bernard and James figures that he'll come back and he has to make the lenses.
Outside, Bernard tells the officers that he doesn't know if Eck is in the office. The police have the building surrounded, and are waiting for the flamethrower to arrive before they go in.
James works to make the lens for Eck.
The police spot Eck outside the building, and it retreats into James' office. James finishes the lens and goes to work on the frame with Elizabeth's help. The radio announcer reports that police are ordering people away from the optical labs building and Eck has been spotted. Runyan and his men enter the lab and Elizabeth hides the lens and frame in her purse while the police take James out.
Runyan sees Eck's energy glow in the office and has an officer open fire with the flamethrower. Once they're done, they clear out of the lab and Bernard tells James that he's sorry. He insists that they destroyed a monster and leaves with the police. James and Elizabeth go into the ruins of the lab and a dying Eck appears in the corner. He says that he transferred some of his energy to a statue near the desk to emulate its own glow. It thanks James for trying to help him, and Elizabeth gives it the lens. Eck is able to see clearly but discovers that the lens won't go through the wall. James takes the lens and says that they'll meet Eck at the square. Elizabeth and James leave together.
Written by Gadfly on Apr 20, 2019