Jake and a couple others are trapped in a penal facility run by a computer program that wants to kill them.
In a penal facility, Jake watches as a criminal named Lowell is cryogenically frozen and put away. However, a virus in Lowell triggers an alarm, prompting most of the facility’s staff to evacuate.
The warden and two others, plus Jake and a young security guard named Tara (played by Nicole de Boer) remain inside the facility.
The computer automatically resuscitates Lowell – all this is going according to his plan. Before he was frozen, he injected himself with a synthetic, non-virulent form of the virus, knowing the facility would detect it and go into lockdown.
Lowell and a buddy (working undercover as a guard) release two other criminals from the freezer to act as lackeys: a guy with facepaint and a braindamaged guy who has an imaginary cat named Woody.
Jake and Tara work together to try and thwart Lowell’s plans of escaping, but are immediately captured and join the warden as hostages. A redshirt hostage is killed to prove a point, while Jake manages to kill the facepaint guy by setting a defibrillator on overload.
The facility’s computer activates a program called the Protector; it detects Lowell’s dormant virus and believes the only way to prevent it from spreading is to sterilize the entire facility, killing everyone inside.
Meanwhile, on the outside, a team works on getting Jake and the hostages out, but the Protector denies them entry as well. Nika gets ahold of one of the Protector’s programmers, but he doesn’t have much sway over her programming either.
Jake figures out the only way to get out alive is to fake everyone’s deaths: they go into a cryofreeze so deep that their lifesigns register as “dead.” While frozen, the group’s minds are all connected in a neural network, and they appear in a sort of shared dream where they encounter their worst fears.
Sid shows up to give a “why did you let me die?” speech to Jake, while Lowell is haunted by someone he killed. Nevertheless, the plan works and the Protector shuts down. Lowell doesn’t survive, but the others (Jake, Tara, and the warden) get out of cold storage in one piece.
This episode felt like a mixture of several movies: it started off as Die Hard, then became 2001, and ended as Flatliners. For the most part, this combination worked. The AI storyline was easily the strongest, and I liked how it switched Lowell’s role from captor to captive. It did get a little too out there at the end with the cryosleep, shared dream scene, which was a bit much to add to an episode that already shifted gears once already.
Nicole de Boer was a great guest star, and Lowell wasn’t too bad himself; his cowboy persona made the episode a bit more fun. His lackeys on the other hand were a little too silly to take seriously, but they fortunately don’t last long.
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