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The Visitor

First aired:
November 14, 1997

Waring, South Dakota, 1975

A group of young men head into the woods from their car, in the dark, on a fishing trip. "Come on, Runt. You're supposed to be this big, tough army guy now", calls Michael O'Ryan, laughing in a superior way. Michael is leading the group. A younger Jimmy Vise, who recently joined the army, is hurrying to keep up at the rear.

"Hey, I don't think your brother likes me very much", Jimmy Vise tells David, Michael's younger brother.

"Don't sweat it. He hates everyone, man. But it's cool. He wouldn't have let you come with us if he didn't think you were alright."

Suddenly, a very bright light appears, and the men are pulled, struggling, one by one, into the light. Their terrified voices can be heard calling from one to the other for help. "Runt! Do something!" Michael O'Ryan's voice can be heard amid the noise and shouting. Finally, Jimmy is the only one remaining on the ground.

Colonel Vise struggles in his darkened bedroom to awaken from this dream. He turns to the window and is startled by the image of Adam MacArthur illuminated by lightening, and drenched by the thunderstorm outside. Vise pulls a hand gun from underneath his pillow. Taking a drink from a bottle of liquor, he follows MacArthur's image out into the storm, firing the gun.

When Adam's image disappears, Colonel Vise falls to his knees, screaming. Once again, the images of the lost fishermen appear, each pleading for help. "Come on, Runt. You're in the army now. You're supposed to be tough. Come on. Help us!" finishes a ghostly image of Michael O'Ryan.

"I can't! No", screams Vise, awaking once again in his bed from the recurring nightmare.

A young man works at the computer in an office located at a junkyard. Lou, an older man who could be his father, scolds him for "screwing around" and urges him to get to work and process the new applications. [Adam works in the junkyard, fixing cars.]

Lou then walks out into the yard where he urges a new worker, Adam MacArthur, to stop welding since he's going into overtime. Adam thanks Lou for giving him the job and allowing him to stay in a storeroom on the site. Lou gives Adam permission to weld as much as he'd like in the storeroom, as long as it is on his own time. Lou questions what Adam is working on in the room, asking "Are you some kind of artist or something?"

"Something like that", responds MacArthur.

Once inside the storeroom, Adam examines a structure of interlaced metal triangles and lights, surrounded by houseplants. He carefully reads the print from the triangles: "Brain wave transmission; destroyed satellite; extra-atmospheric radio telescope; anti-gravity/Faraday." Connecting cables to a large battery, Adam watches a series of lights displayed across the structure. [Another worker at the junkyard saw Adam on the FBIs most wanted webpage.]

Back in the office, the young man on the computer has accessed the FBI's Ten-Most-Wanted site on the Web. His attention is drawn to MacArthur's employment application in his hand. Adam MacArthur's picture appears on the computer screen, along with his name and the promise of a reward.

Colonel Vise enters a confessional in a church. "Forgive me, Father, but ...I had a dream again. The third time this month", Vise begins. "I'm closer to finding MacArthur. I can feel it", he adds. Shaking with the emotional strain, Vise admits it's not a dream, and proceeds to tell the priest about the abduction experience he witnessed in 1975. He relates how he had accompanied his best friend, David, on the fishing trip with David's brother, Michael, whom he described as "a real tough cookie." Vise admits that he idolized Michael. He expresses regret that he wasn't able to save his friends.

"Maybe it wasn't your place, wasn't your destiny", suggests the priest. "Destiny", Vise pauses with a look of revelation on his face. "Now I know why I've been having these dreams. An eye for an eye..." he concludes, under his breath.

The scene shifts to an FBI office where agents Wilcox, Larue and Van Patten are reviewing the evidence on MacArthur and Vise with their supervisor, Assistant Director Sanford Grushaw. "This is an embarrassment to the department, gentlemen", the supervisor asserts. "Vise and the NSA know your every move before you even make it." He suggests that perhaps the case should be closed altogether.

The discussion is interrupted when Van Patten receives a priority one E-mail from Mother detailing the report of a man who claims to have seen Adam MacArthur. Validation was provided by a scan of MacArthur's signature which matched the signature on his draft registry card from 1939.

Colonel Vise is escorted to General Montgraf's office. The general looks very displeased and says he is reading about "a soldier who has crossed the line, whose behavior is out of control", The general then explains that he is talking about Colonel Vise, citing a list Vise's actions which were not Montgraf's "definiton of clandestine" -- attacking a cult on national television, et cetera. Vise asks for permission to explain his actions. The general denies the request and places Vise on leave until further notice.

Adam is in the storeroom at the junkyard. Outside are the FBI agents and other law enforcement officers. The young man who informed the FBI of Adam MacArthur's whereabouts is assuring the agents that Adam is still inside the storeroom. [Adam runs the abacus, and the triangle that said 'junkyard' now says 'capture'.]

Once again, Adam connects cables to the battery. As the lights flash, he watches the words on a triangle change from "junkyard" to "capture." With the storeroom surrounded, Agent Wilcox calls to MacArthur on a bullhorn, suggesting that he should give himself up. "Slowly exit the building with your hands in the air", Wilcox instructs.

Adam searches for a way to escape and slips through an upper-story window. He is immediately spotted and a chase through the junkyard begins. Law enforcement officers fire whenever they catch sight of the fleeing Adam MacArthur. Adam takes shelter in the back of an old van. When agents walk away from the vehicle, Adam steps out, only to be knocked down by Agent Larue who was waiting for him. Agents surround MacArthur with guns drawn. [Shackled and gagged, Adam is taken to Ricanto Federal Prison.]

MacArthur is escorted into Ricanto Federal Prison under heavy security. Warden Burke and a small group of guards arrive. Wilcox is told that these are the only men available, since the prison does not officially open for another month. The warden shares an access code number with Agent Van Patten which will be required for anyone wanting to exit the prison for the next 18 hours.

Adam is interrogated by the three FBI agents in his cell. He glances at each of them but does not reply to any questions. Finally, Van Patten removes Adam's hand-cuffs and the agents leave MacArthur alone in this cell. Larue and Wilcox prepare to leave for the airport to make arrangements for MacArthur's eventual transfer. They leave Agent Van Patten in charge at the prison. He has memorized the access code and gives his only written copy to Larue.

Back in his bedroom, Colonel Vise is drinking. Flashbacks from the 1975 abduction of his friends haunt him. These are interrupted by his ringing telephone which he answers, and after listening, breaks into a a sly grin.

Colonel Vise is seen meeting another man, in the dark, who insists, "I wanna know that this makes us square. This is the last time, Vise."

"If this proves to be accurate, we're good. Now give!" replies Vise. The dark figure is revealed to be Agent Grushaw of the FBI. He informs Vise that Adam MacArthur is being held at Ricanto Prison for the next 6 hours.

Van Patten examines Adam's "machine", the latticework of metal triangles. He walks directly to Adam's cell. Adam appears to know what Van Patten will ask him, volunteering, "Wanna know about the device I built?" Adam calls the device "a very simple machine" and explains to Van Patten that he is using it to calculate checks and balances. He states that he needs the machine in order to make the changes that will affect the future and alter destiny.

Van Patten is skeptical, replying, "Is that gonna be your story? An insanity plea. 'I'm gonna save the world through divine intervention.'"

"Not divine... human", Adam corrects him. Van Patten leaves the cell, as Adam explains he has talked with Van Patten because he is the only one who can actually hear what Adam has to say. Colonel Vise is seen pulling on a ski mask and other gear in a van outside the prison.

Inside the prison, staff alert Agent Van Patten to a security breach. They decide to block off all main arteries. The warden explains that there are not enough men to surround MacArthur's cell. Finally, Warden Burke suggests shutting down the power which would cause the emergency system to automatically lock down the entire prison. The lights go out and only auxiliary power remains for operations.

A gloved figure removes keys from the body of a guard who has been shot in the back. He runs down a hall and approaches Adam's cell. Michael O'Ryan and Adam MacArthur face each other through the glass wall of the cell. Adam backs up as O'Ryan says, "Quit worrying. I'm here to set you free."

"I won't go back with you by choice", Adam answers.

"Have it your way", responds O'Ryan, pointing his gun at MacArthur. The two begin a debate. O'Ryan insists that what Adam is doing on Earth is not benevolent, that Adam is taking away humanity's only chance to survive, through natural selection. O'Ryan suggests that the Elders may destroy Earth's civilization as a "tainted" experiment if they find out that Adam is interfering with events.

Adam argues that humanity has already sealed its fate. He notes that the Elders have even given up experiments on humans. Adam concludes with his conviction, "Well I'm not gonna stand by and watch my world be extinguished. I am human and I'm gonna do something about it."

O'Ryan demands his key to the spacecraft, but Adam doesn't have it with him. O'Ryan leaves Adam in the cell and searches for the key among Adam's confiscated possessions. Meanwhile, Colonel Vise bursts into the prison control center, knocking out Van Patten and Warden Burke. He releases the lock on the maximum security cell where Adam is held. Vise locates Adam's cell and aims his weapon at Adam's chest.

"You don't have to do this, Colonel Vise", Adam gently reassures him. "Put the gun down. Your friends are OK. Nothing bad has happened to them." Adam describes the Colony where they live as a beautiful place. He adds that Vise's friends are happy and do not blame him for what happened.

Vise does not believe Adam. He becomes agitated, saying "Do you think I'm stupid? I've seen what your kind does. You come here and you take people. Use their bodies. Like what you done to the real Adam MacArthur."

Adam is not successful in convincing Vise that he is telling the truth. Their interaction is interrupted by Michael O'Ryan returning with his key. "Put it down, Runt", he commands Vise. O'Ryan also insists that the abductees are all fine. He tells Vise that he needn't worry about MacArthur anymore because he is being taken back to the Colony.

Vise aims his weapon at Michael O'Ryan and demands that he "freeze!" [Vise shoots O'Ryan twice in the chest. Adam tries to save him.]

O'Ryan shoots Vise twice with little warning, when it is clear that Vise will not give up. The wounded Colonel Vise fires back at O'Ryan, killing him. Adam tries his best to revive O'Ryan, but he cannot. Slipping the key to the spacecraft into his palm, Adam tells Colonel Vise, with dismay, "you have no idea what you've just done. You may have caused the very thing you've been afraid of! They're gonna find out he was here. They're gonna find out everything! Then they'll destroy us!"

Adam shoves Vise's gun aside and runs down the corridor with the wounded Colonel Vise following as best he can. Adam reaches the control center where he revives Craig Van Patten. He urges Van Patten to get him out of the prison, warning that Colonel Vise will kill him if they don't leave.

MacArthur and Van Patten run to an exit where Van Patten is entering the exit code. He handcuffs Adam and insists that they must stay together. As the door opens, however, Vise arrives, firing his weapon. In the confusion, Adam escapes the handcuffs and disappears.

With Wilcox, Larue and Colonel Vise standing by, the body of Michael O'Ryan is wheeled out of the prison and into a waiting ambulance. Vise eulogizes, "His name was Michael O'Ryan. He liked to fish."

Colonel Vise is again dreaming in his bed. His abduction dream has now changed, with O'Ryan appearing and echoing Adam's words, "You have no idea what you've just done... You may have killed us all, Runt."

"I did what was right!" yells Vise in return. The image of O'Ryan transforms into Adam MacArthur's likeness. Colonel Vise yells, "no... NO!" as he wakes.

synopsis written by Kefla