March 2, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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The X-Files “Ice”

Scully and Mulder deal with paranoia and frozen worms.

Now normally, I might here point out this episode is very much a tribute (or rip off depending on whom you ask) of The Thing, but man, look at the guest cast here!  Felicity Huffman!  Genre actor and perennial “That guy!” actor Xander Berkeley!  Seinfeld‘s Kenny Bania!  And…some guy named Bear?

OK, they can’t all be recognizable.

The Case:  Prehistoric parasites!

The Rest:  Man, this one might have been pushing it to get Mulder and Scully out to the arctic to look into a case there, but it’s in Alaska, so that checks out.  A research station out there looking into long frozen sections of arctic ice managed to wake up some ancient worms that infect a host and make them crazy.  After that, the entire crew of the station ended up dead with the last two killing themselves.  The FBI dispatches Mulder and Scully because the show is still pretending these two don’t just go wherever Mulder finds something weird he wants to look into yet.

Regardless, the outpost is out in the middle of nowhere.  They have a group to go with them.  There’s uptight physician Dr. Hodge (Berkeley), nervous toxicologist Dr. Da Silva (Huffman), sports fan geologist Dr. Murphy (“Bania”), and Bear the loner pilot type.  The group gets to the outpost and finds a dog that immediately attacks everyone, biting both Mulder and Bear.  Mulder’s skin wasn’t even broken, but Bear was infected and soon dies.

So, there’s a worm in a jar, a dog that seems inclined to attack anyone who gets close, and with Bear dead, they’re stuck there while a storm blows through.  Naturally, when Murphy turns up dead, there must be one other infected person in the group.  Who can it be?  Is it Mulder?

Um, no.

The problem is Mulder is acting rather paranoid.  Of course, paranoia is Mulder’s default setting.  He might trust Scully enough to check him for symptoms, but not the others, and he spends much of the episode locked in a room unarmed.  Scully has to figure out how to cure whoever has the worm in them, but it turns out that there’s one sure fire way to cure these people.  See, they have two worms in separate sample jars, but it turns out mixing previously infected blood cleans everything out because the worms can’t help but attack each other.  One of the two sample worms cures the dog, and he becomes a good boy.  Yes he does.

So, there’s one worm left.  If Scully can put the one worm in the infected person, that’s a cure.  If she puts it in an uninfected person, well, then they have two infected people and no cure.  And Mulder will submit to Scully for an exam (and he’ll check her in return).

Too bad the other two outside are uninterested in trusting Mulder.

Man, you’d think being paranoid all the time might not be the best way to go through life.

Fortunately, Hodge spotted the symptoms on Da Silva and they cured her.  Hey, that’s good news!  And Mulder can go back and check the site out later with better protection, right?

No.  Someone burned the outpost to the ground.

Not sure what Mulder would have found looking around on his own.  I mean, he’s not a scientist or anything…