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The Visitor

"The Black Box"
First aired:
October 24, 1997

Colonel Vise pressures a staff member, Davis, to gather data from an orbiting satellite. He wants to know when an incoming "unidentified object" (spacecraft) will reach Earth. The estimate is somewhere between 24 and 36 hours.

Adam MacArthur walks into an electronics store and turns on a computer that is on display there. He hooks it up to a phone line. Adam manages to access similar information from the satellite on his computer screen. He stares at the image, his face intent and unsmiling.

Later, a rather unkempt man walks along an inner-city street. Adam watches from a corner and using a picture in his hand, identifies the man as Ben Proctor. Adam then follows Ben down the street and into a bank. An argument between the teller, bank officials and Ben Proctor develops when he tries to withdraw funds from a VA check he had deposited the day before. The check has not cleared and his request is refused. [Adam is not intimidated when Proctor points his gun at him.]

As voices rise, Adam steps forward and says "Ben, let me help you." Ben looks startled and pulls out a gun, yelling to everyone in the bank to get down. He demands money from the teller at gun point. Meanwhile, Adam refuses to get down on the floor with the others, saying, "Ben, we are out of time. We need to go now."

Adams refuses to back down, even when Ben holds the gun to his neck. Meanwhile, the sack containing the money has exploded, scattering the bills and the police are on their way. Ben and Adam leave the bank together after a lengthy confrontation with the two men staring into each others eyes at close quarters. [The bank robbery surveillance video.]

At FBI headquarters, Agent McNally is showing agents Van Patten, Wilcox and Larue the video of Adam MacArthur taken during the bank robbery. They do not yet know Proctor's identity and McNally assures the other agents that no one else has this information on Adam MacArthur.

At the NSA, where Col. Vise is receiving a briefing on Capt. Benjamin Wright Proctor, a doctoral student of Chemistry at UCLA in 1967, assisting in a project analyzing objects of unknown origins. Proctor is said to have had a theory that the artifacts were "extra-terrestrial" in origin.

The attention of Vise and other staff members is drawn to the screen indicating the approach of the incoming object in space. One staff member, Davis, indicates that it isn't necessary to "shoot first", but Vise seems unmoved by the comment and argues that he is the one who will have to act to save people, "Even sorry-asses like yours", he tells Davis.

At the same time, the NSA tactical team has been dispatched to get Ben Proctor. The FBI has arrived ahead of them, though, and surrounds the apartment building. Inside, Adam and Ben argue. Adam says "I want those pieces", referring to some things he believes Ben has. Adam also insists that they leave the building because he knows that, for the authorities, "This is the first place they'll look."

Ben recalls his work in the lab at UCLA, his theory about the unidentified "pieces" that he thought were extra-terrestrial, how the lab was destroyed apparently by a student protest group in which his girlfriend, Elaine Barker, appeared. He knew, then, that he would be blamed for the break-in because of his connection to Elaine. Soon after the incident, he was shipped to Viet Nam. He did not see Elaine again. But, "that was the night my life ended", was all Ben told Adam.

Ben and Adam manage to escape the apartment and elude the FBI closing in on the building. Adam tries without success to get Ben to tell him where the "pieces", the unidentified objects, are, and the two men part ways. [Elaine's Pentagon file.]

Vise and his men are in route to Los Angeles. In his black semi, full of equipment, Col. Vise is supervising a test of a new weapon launched with the last satellite. He is also receiving information about Elaine Barker. Ironically, he discovers that, despite her apparent connection to the destruction of the lab in 1967, she is now a violinist and shares his taste for classical music.

Adam arrives on the scene of an outdoor concert. He intercepts Elaine as the concert ends. Elaine is blind. She becomes upset at the mention of Ben Proctor's name, saying that he still blames her for the destruction of the laboratory, thirty years before.

Adam asks her about the "pieces", emphasizing that he has very little time. He grabs the back of Elaine's neck, and enables her to temporarily see his face. In shock, she finally admits that she has one of the pieces but doesn't know the location of the other piece.

Adam explains that the objects are a simple machine, a warning device that only works "when they get near." He further explains that "they" are the ones who want to stop his mission and take him back...

Vise continues to receive briefings as his truck moves toward the city. He learns that Proctor is the only one left of 8 researchers from that UCLA lab, the other 7 having died. Col. Vise ponders that significance of the alien "pieces" and MacArthur's interest in those objects and Ben Proctor. Col. Vise concludes that MacArthur's "alien friends are on the way."

The NSA tactical team surrounds what is supposed to be Elaine Barker's house. Col. Vise knocks on the door and discovers that the FBI are occupying the house. They all leave together, when a soldier announces the discovery of "a problem".

Monitoring the approach of the "alien craft", Davis informs Vise that the craft has slowed its approach. They decide to target an asteroid with the NSA weapon as a test. The asteroid is destroyed.

Ben Proctor enters the doorway of a pawnshop, with police following close behind. He resists capture and is shot in the arm. As the police take Proctor away, but leave behind a clear crystalline mineral, glistening in the window of the pawnshop.

Col. Vise visits Ben Proctor in a military stockade where he is being held ostensibly for attempted bank robbery. Vise persuades Proctor to help him obtain the alien objects in return for freedom from prison, dropping the charges, and arranging for a job.

Adam and Elaine arrived on foot at a violin repair shop to get Elaine's concert violin. Adam is impatient but takes the time to listen to Elaine. He learns that Elaine took one rock out of lab just before the explosion which caused her to lose her sight. Adam also learns that Ben had taken the remaining rock that day. Finally, the violin is ready and Elaine shows Adam the mineral embedded in the neck of the violin. Adam is persuaded to wait until after Elaine's next concert, before having the rock removed from the violin.

Meanwhile, Vise has gone to the pawnshop with Ben Proctor and gained possession of one "alien piece". Vise detains Proctor further, demanding the second piece. [The laser fires on the target.]

Davis informs Col. Vise that the alien craft is within lunar orbit. The space weapon is aimed at the incoming craft and fired. The hit does not appear to damage the craft. Instead, the weapon and the satellite begin to vibrate and breaks into pieces. The alien craft then continues its path toward earth. The meteor shower caused by the destruction of the satellite is seen by people on Earth, including Adam and the FBI agents, and Col. Vise.

Both Elaine and Ben Proctor are taken into NSA custody in Vise's truck headquarters. While left alone, Ben and Elaine became re-acquainted. Elain touched Ben and enabled him to see what she saw that night, even though she didn't know how she was able to. The pair reached an understanding about what really happened in the lab, 30 years before.

Col. Vise obtains the final alien piece by destroying Elaine's violin, ingoring her pleas to spare it. He then allows the two detainees to leave. They are quickly picked up by the FBI for further questioning, once they leave the NSA truck.

Meanwhile, Adam has been hiding on the roof of the truck, waiting for his opportunity to get the objects he needs. Col. Vise is told that the accident at the UCLA lab was actually the work of the government, called Operation Patchwork, an attempt to cover up the existence of alien artifacts. Vise still does not know the significance of the objects. [Adam examines the alien artifacts in Vise's semi.]

Adam sneaks into the NSA truck via an air vent on the roof. He locates the two rocks, but he is discovered by Col. Vise in the process. With Vise firing a gun at a glass door that separates them, Adam changes plans and places the two rocks together, which fuse and cause an explosion. The two objects meld and transform into some sort of device which Adam grabs.

Adam manages to escape back through the roof and away during the aftermath of the explosion, taking the device with him. He is last seen hitching a ride north out of town. Checking his new device, Adam notes that "they" are closer than he thought, and that he hopes the device will help him find "them" before "they" find him...

synopsis written by Kefla