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"Better Luck Next Time"
The Outer Limits episode
Episode no. Season 5
Episode 22
Written by Naren Shankar, Martin Cummins
Directed by Martin Cummins
Original airdate 20 August 1999
Guest stars

Megan Gallagher,
Michael Riley,
Nicholas Campbell,
William McNamara,
Martin Cummins

Episode chronology
← Previous Next →
"Star Crossed" "Judgment Day"
List of The Outer Limits episodes

"Better Luck Next Time" is an episode of The Outer Limits television show. It first aired on 20 August 1999, during the fifth season.



Two men are fighting in a warehouse. One has a gun and they both struggle for it. During the struggle they mention various connections to earlier struggles between them. One of the men is finally able to get the gun, declaring himself the winner and then promptly shoots himself. While dying a blue energy being comes out of his chest. Before the surviving man can escape, the police show up and arrest him.

Opening Narration

Is violence born in the heart, or in the mind? If we must kill to protect ourselves, what will that do to our souls?


Partner Detectives Terri and Daniels investigate the incident at the warehouse. When attempting to interrogate the man they arrested, he insists on speaking only to Terri, in private. He then reveals that he is an alien life form, capable of inhabiting human bodies, hunting another life form similar to himself, but a criminal.

To prove this rather outlandish claim, he mesmerizes Terri by looking into her eyes, showing her vivid scenes that he claims are past crimes committed by his target. Soon, however, a security guard from the warehouse shows up, claiming to be an alien, arguing that 'Girard' is the real criminal. Girard tries to convince Terri, while the security guard tries to convince Daniels. The two aliens prod Terri and Daniels to return to the warehouse. Worried and tense over the bizarre circumstances, Daniels and Terri panic; Daniels pulls a gun and fires on Girard, and Terri, worrying that the other alien has taken him over (as Girard insists) shoots him.

Both Daniels and Girard are fatally wounded — but this is not a concern for Girard, as he can take over another body. And he has one in mind. Only now do the two aliens, ignoring the humans, reveal the truth in an argument among themselves over who 'won' — which one was more successful in convincing 'their' detective they were telling the truth.

It was all a game to them, even to the point of manipulating Terri into fatally wounding her partner. The two aliens are BOTH criminals; they are not enemies, but engage in a sort of friendly rivalry. Bored with immortality, they engage in elaborate deceptions such as the one they perpetrated on Daniels and Terri, as 'games', casually snuffing out human lives in their pursuit of entertainment. Now they intend to continue their 'fun', with 'Girard' taking over Terri's body and using her position as a police officer to further their agenda. But, in their arrogance, the aliens, while trying to convince each detective that the other alien was evil, revealed that they cannot remain in a dying or dead host and cannot survive very long without taking another host.

Daniels, dying, mortally wounds the body of the security guard the second alien is inhabiting just before dying, meaning that both aliens' hosts are dying, and they are stuck in a large, empty warehouse with only one potential host. Neither gets the chance to survive by taking over Terri, who kills herself rather than let them continue hurting people, and both aliens expire before they can reach another host.

Closing Narration

In the struggle between life and death, sometimes survival is not the only way to win.


  • This episode is a clip show, and is made up from clips from other episodes of The Outer Limits. It continues the "Ripper" story arc. It also includes an excerpt from "A Stitch in Time" starring Amanda Plummer and Michelle Forbes.
  • The characters of Kimble and Gerard and the premise of never ending flight and relentless pursuit are obvious homages to The Fugitive.


External links

Season 5 of The Outer Limits (1995-2002)

Alien RadioDonorSmall FriendsThe GrellThe Other SideJoyrideThe Human OperatorsBlank SlateWhat Will The Neighbors ThinkThe ShroudRipperTribunalSummitDescentThe HavenDeja VuThe InheritorsEssence of LifeStrandedFathers and SonsStar CrossedBetter Luck Next Time

List of The Outer Limits episodes: Original Series (1963-1965)The New Series (1995-2002)



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