Season 9

Episode 918: “Virtual Reality”

Episode 918: “Virtual Reality”
Original Air Date:March 15, 2003
Written by::Burt Pearl & Daniel H. Forer
Directed by:Larry Peerce
Produced by:

Martha Williamson
Jon Andersen
R.J. Visciglia, Jr.

Guest Cast:
Rafael Alexis Cruz
Josh Kyle Gallner
Victor Billy Kay
Charles Cliff DeYoung
Deborah Marita Geraghty
Willy Jordan Warkol
Professor Milgrom Elizabeth Hansen
Dr. Warren Bruce Newbold


Marissa Atkins lies in a coma in her hospital room. She’s been asleep for nearly six months, and shows no signs of recovery. Her future is locked away in a dormant mind, just like the future of the boys who did this to her are locked in the wheels of justice.

Victor Jackson is on trial, for what is essentially attempted vehicular manslaughter. The prosecution is trying to demonstrate that Victor intentionally ran Marissa over with his mother’s car. The defense claims that Victor tried to stop, and that it was the fear of an inexperienced driver that led him to flee the scene of the accident. The truth is somewhere in between, and must be discovered by the angels; Rafael for the prosecution and Andrew for the defense. With Tess acting as Judge, the trial begins. And while various experts take the stand, Monica tries to make some headway with the only witness to the alleged crime, Victor’s cousin, Josh.

Rafael brings to the jury’s attention, the fact that Victor and his cousin had been playing a video game called “Carjack 2000: Millennium Mayhem.” In this violent game, players get points for: stealing cars, killing drivers, breaking roadblocks and running over prostitutes. Andrew argues that the game bears no relevance to the case and that violent crimes are not spawned from representations of violence in entertainment.

Meanwhile, Monica is learning more about Josh. She finds out that he’s been living with his aunt and uncle, Victor’s parents, while his own mother and father are in the midst of a divorce. She learns of his victimization by tougher kids at school, and about his academic decline after he started playing Carjack 2000 with Victor. She also, using her God-given gift of seeing into the hearts of others, discovers that what happened to Marissa was no accident. She sees the boys driving through the rain-soaked streets, jamming angry rap music and getting into the Carjack 2000 mindset. She watches as Victor spots Marissa, scantily clad under a raincoat. He sees her as a prostitute, as “street-scum” from his video game, and he does what is needed to garner the 20,000 points, he runs her down. Now that she knows this, she works with Josh to humanize the victim, to put a person’s face on the unreal figure that his cousin tried to kill.

In the end, she is successful. With Marissa awake and in the courtroom, Josh breaks down and confesses. He says that Victor was trying to kill her, he was sick of playing the game on a computer screen and wanted to do it for real. Of course when you do something for real, you must face real consequences, especially when the angels are on the case.

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