3×12: War of the Coprophages

“Did you know that the ancient Egyptians worshipped the scarab beetle and possibly erected the pyramids to honor them, which may be just giant symbolic dung heaps?” — Fox Mulder
“Did you know the inventor of the flush toilet was named Thomas Crapper?” — Dana Scully

Mulder finds himself investigating a series of deaths in a small town, where the bodies are generally found covered in cockroaches. Scully offers her ever-so-helpful scientific theories… while working from home.

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Radhika: Any episode that begins with the line, “Behold the mighty cockroach,” is the sort of episode that should make me run screaming in the opposite direction. I do not care for bugs, at all, and having encountered the occasional terrifying cockroach thanks to living in a big city, I prefer to avoid them at all costs.

But when I was younger, I did watch this episode a couple of times due to my completist Phile-dom. And because this rewatch is all about re-completism, I had no other choice. Did I suddenly find something to do in another room while there were too many roaches on the screen? Yes. Did I watch a few scenes only out of one half-closed eye? Of course.

Do I still enjoy the hell out of this episode? Absolutely! Continue reading

3×11: Revelations

“I … believe in the idea that God’s hand can be witnessed. I believe He can create miracles, yes.” – Dana Scully
“Even if science can’t explain them?” – Fox Mulder
“Maybe that’s just what faith is.” – Dana Scully

In suburban Ohio, Mulder and Scully look into the case of a boy who has suffered injuries reminiscent of the stigmata, and Scully’s Catholic background comes in to affect her thoughts on the investigation…

Revelations

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Max: “Revelations” is a pretty standard MOTW by most accounts. A man obsessed with eschatology becomes so enraptured by it he does everything in his power to hasten the coming of the end times. A child with some kind of supernatural spiritual connection to scripture. These tropes are common in everything from horror flicks to novels you can buy at K-Mart. What separates this episode from the pack is how it uses Christianity as a way of shaking up the typical Mulder and Scully dynamic, specifically how a person’s upbringing shadows and complicates their worldview as an adult.

A minister who fleeces his flock with fake acts of stigmata is found murdered in Pennsylvania, one of eleven such ecclesiastical charlatans Mulder has linked together as the work of a single individual. Meanwhile, one state over, ordinary kid Kevin Kryder exhibits a seemingly legitimate act of stigmata while at the blackboard in class. Learning of this, our agents travel there to look into the matter. Continue reading

3×10: 731

“What I am saying, Mulder, is that there is no such thing as alien abduction. It is just a smoke screen, happily created by our government to cover up the biggest lie of all.”
— Dana Scully

In the second part of a two-episode series, Mulder pursues a dangerous adventure on a train that may be carrying an alien-human hybrid, while Scully digs deeper into the truth behind her abduction.

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Radhika: The drama of “Nisei” continues in “731” as Mulder finds himself ensnared in a dangerous journey, while Scully digs deeper into understanding the “truth” and possibly finding information that may unravel everything Mulder has believed to be real.

When we last saw Mulder, he was jumping onto a moving train to look for an alien-human hybrid, conveniently losing his cell phone and a link to Scully in the process. He manages to enter the train on the hunt for Japanese scientist Dr. Shiro Zama. He does find some journals, written in Japanese, and meanwhile, another sinister character (who claims to be from the NSA) strangles Zama elsewhere on the train.

Scully, encouraged by X to look further into her implant to better understand what’s happening on the train — and also find out more about her sister’s murder — winds up enlisting more help from Agent Pendrell, who tells her the implant contains advanced technology that can help someone know a person’s thoughts. This leads her to a West Virginia compound, where she meets a group of deformed patients who have escaped “death squads.” (We encounter some of these mass murders in the episode teaser.) Continue reading

3×09: Nisei

“Oh, my God. She’s one.” – Penny Northern
“One what?” – Dana Scully
“One of us.” – Lottie Holloway

Trying to locate the source of a bizarre videotape, Mulder and Scully find themselves again embroiled in conspiracy. While Mulder goes hunting for EBEs, Scully’s journey comes to some surprising revelations…

Nisei

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Max: In 1995, I have vivid memories of one summer night when Fox aired a special called Alien Autopsy: Fact Or Fiction, which featured footage of a purported autopsy of an extraterrestrial biological entity. Grainy and in stark black and white, the film terrified the hell out of my ten-year-old self. If you recall, it was only a few months prior when I watched my first episode of The X-Files, so I was fully enthralled by all of this skullduggery. The special was one of the sources of inspiration for this episode, so biographically it fits that the two-parter that kicks off with “Nisei” is the earliest mythology episode I recall seeing on Friday nights.

Plunking down $29.95 plus shipping for the privilege, Mulder shows Scully a riff on that alien autopsy footage (a point that Scully ribs Mulder with in a moment of meta-humor). However, this one ends with a black ops unit invading the autopsy suite before the tape suddenly cuts off. If curiosity killed the cat, then the investigation into the circumstances of this tape is going to put the Fox [Mulder] and his faithful companion into yet another fix. Continue reading

3×08: Oubliette

“If I’m her best hope, then that little girl’s in a hell of a lot more trouble than you think.” — Lucy Householder

Mulder and Scully find themselves entangled in a case involving the kidnapping of a young girl named Amy and her psychic connection with a woman named Lucy, who was also kidnapped by the same man many years earlier.

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Radhika: “Oubliette” is one of the more poignant installments of The X-Files with its most scary elements rooted less in the supernatural and more in the day-to-day horrors one may encounter in reality. And while it does deal with the supernatural more than another episode of this nature — “Irresistible” — the main attraction of the episode lies in its exploration of human emotions.

Our story begins with the abduction of young Amy Jacobs, who is taken out of her bedroom by an unstable photographer who had been taking photos at her school on picture day. On a seemingly unrelated note, fast food worker Lucy Householder collapses with a nosebleed. And of course, Mulder and Scully come in. Continue reading

3×07: The Walk

“I blame him for what happened to all of us. You don’t know what it was like… You sat home and watched the war on cable TV like it was a damn video game. You have no idea about the guys that died. About the blood… the sand. What it feels like when a hit comes. Thing is, you just don’t care, do you? You got your crude oil. Just change that station, right? Killer got his prime time. LC got his fancy little medals. Now, take a good look at me, WHAT DID I GET?! Nobody knows how I feel. They took my life away.” – Leonard Trimble

Our heroes look into the case of a suicidal Army officer at a VA hospital in Maryland. Little do they know about the mysterious goings-on there…

The Walk

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Max: If “2Shy” delved into issues that were at the very time very new (internet dating), then “The Walk” goes back to those around for decades, namely the effects of war on those who waged it, and the reinsertion of these individuals back into civilian life after the conflict.

Mulder and Scully come to the hospital after learning of reports of a suicidal officer who claims a ghost or spirit will not let him die. Lt. Col. Stans shares with the agents his despondence at being unable to save his wife and children in a house fire, and lets on he thinks it is this same apparition that caused their deaths. The controlling officer of the hospital, General Thomas Callahan, is rather upset that a bunch of “low-level” civilian agents are conducting an investigation of the hospital’s affairs. Continue reading

3×06: 2Shy

“What possible motivation could the killer have for removing his victim’s fatty tissue? I mean, who do you think we’re dealing with here?” — Dana Scully

Our agents find themselves investigating a series of murders targeting overweight single women, who may or may not have met their killer online. They eventually realize that they have a bit of a situation with a “fat-sucking vampire” on their hands…

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Name: Virgil Incanto

Sex: Male

The first things people usually notice about me: I’m attractive, but slightly “off.”

The six things I could never do without: My computer, medieval poetry, body fat, a good moisturizer, an Internet connection, an alibi.

I spend a lot of time thinking about: My next snack.

On a typical Friday night I am: Going out on a date with you.

Radhika: If online dating profiles were honest, the excerpt above might be the one you’d be seeing for this episode’s villain, Virgil Incanto — sometimes known as “2shy” online. But alas for many of his victims, Virgil Incanto managed to come across as a nice, sweet man, only to end up being a fat-sucking vampire who doesn’t care so much about keeping his dates’ best interests at heart. Continue reading