Well, there was an episode earlier in this first season called “Ice,” one that featured a lot of familiar faces in guest spots. Now, here’s “Fire,” which has two actors recognizable to fans of Geek TV. then and now. For then, there’s Amanda Pays. She had roles on both Max Headroom and the first live action iteration of The Flash, a role she’s actually reprised a few times on the current show. For now, there’s Mark Sheppard, an actor I know for colorful supporting roles on the revised Battlestar Galactica and currently on Doom Patrol.
For this episode, Sheppard likes to burn members of the British aristocracy.
The Case: Firestarter!
The Rest: So, Pays’s character, Phoebe Green, is a Scotland Yard detective that used to go out with Mulder while he was getting some training done overseas. Sheppard is a guy who starts fires with his mind, but no one knows he can. However, he’s been able to burn multiple members of the British upperclass, and there’s some suspicion that someone will target a Sir Malcolm Marsden. He and his family are coming to Cape Cod, and there’s some suspicion that he could soon go up in flames just like the old man in the cold open who didn’t suspect that shifty-looking gardener who didn’t seem the least upset that the man went up in flames right in front of a number of people.
As it is, Sheppard’s Cecil L’Ively did follow the family to America, killing and replacing the caretaker of the place the Mardens are staying at until he can do whatever it is he’s going to do. Green suspects there’s some kind of arsonist and enlists Mulder’s help, something Mulder is reluctant to give at first but eventually does, heading off to Cape Cod with Green and leaving Scully behind.
By the by, I don’t recall (or care to recall) when Charles and Diana split up, but were the Mardens supposed to look like Charles, Diana, and young Andrew and Harry? Because they kinda did, at least with “Diana”.
Regardless, leaving Scully behind might have been the smartest thing Mulder could have done. She ends up doing all the heavy lifting in the investigation. And since it’s Scully, she does it the old fashioned way. Mulder is too busy being distracted by Green, particularly since she’s the anti-Scully, someone who actually thinks Mulder might be on to something with his sci-fi theories, a trait that actually throws Mulder off at one point to the point where he outright says he’s not used to that. But that just means he and Green are making out when the two are supposed to be doing some guard duty at a fancy gala where there don’t seem to be too many people standing around.
Once again, Scully does the heavy lifting, noticing the smoke detector going off on the hotel floor the children were deposited on. She found the guy’s name, his backstory, noticed the right man was in an odd place, and did all that while ignoring Green and Mulder making out in the hallway. She even wrote up a psyche profile…which is supposed to be Mulder’s specialty.
Man, Mulder really lay down on the job for this one. Oh sure, there’s some subplot about how Mulder has a fear of fire, and he even passes out from smoke inhalation at one point. He’ll get over that at a key moment.
Then again, Cecil was doing a poor job of hiding since he was doing fire tricks out in public. It’s a wonder he wasn’t caught sooner. Heck, he was doing fire tricks for the Marsden kids. But yeah, he got caught, and I’m giving Scully credit. Green, considered as a reoccurring the character, never returned to The X-Files. And Mulder, well, it’s TV, so I guess he’s over his fear of fire even as the fast-healing Cecil is asking for a cigarette.
Next up: Scully and Mulder switch roles.
Weekend Trek “Ship In A Bottle”
Vikings: Valhalla “Pieces Of The Gods”
Noteworthy Issues: The Amazing Spider-Man #52 (September, 1967)