June 7, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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The X-Files “Duane Barry”

Mulder is called in to deal with a hostage crisis when the hostage-taker is a former FBI agent who claims he was abducted by aliens.

Alright, some more familiar faces.  First up is Steve Railsback, the star of the cult sci-fi horror movie about naked alien vampire women stalking London Lifeforce, as title character Duane Barry.  And then someone whose been around a bit more as the agent-in-charge of the case that asks Mulder for help played by the great CCH Pounder.

Also, Krycek is still here, and he’s mostly answering the phone and fetching coffee.

The Case:  An Abductee Takes Hostages!

The Rest:  Well, let’s open the episode proper, after a cold open when a very smart dog runs away from an alien abduction, with a little somethin’ for the ladies and the gay men:  Mulder in a bathing suit.

Oh, he’s swimming laps when Krycek comes to get him for a hostage crisis despite the fact Mulder has no experience with any such thing.  But the thing is, the hostage-taker, Duane Barry (and he refers to himself in the third person so you’ll never forget his name), believes he was abducted by aliens.  Mulder goes in, talks to Duane on the phone, and figures out pretty quick Duane is former FBI.  So, Duane knows all of the tricks.

Oops.  You’d think someone would have told Mulder that.

Then again, after a bright light that never gets explained interrupts everyone and Duane shoots a hostage, Mulder goes in as a paramedic to try to get an eye on the situation.  And no, Duane does not recognize Mulder’s voice as the guy he’s been speaking to on the phone.  So maybe Duane ain’t as on-the-ball as he says he is.

So, here we are:  Mulder vs Duane in a battle of wits.  Mulder’s got the FBI in his ear giving him advice, Scully calling in to say Duane has some head trauma that makes him liable to go violent at any second, and Mulder’s obviously ignoring what everyone is telling him because he believes the guy is telling the truth.  He does eventually maneuver Duane to the door to get the crazed man shot and taken to a hospital, but Mulder, man, he leveled with the guy, he wanted to believe him, and a whole host of other things.

Me, I just though Railsback was yelling far too much for my taste.  Especially for a show where most characters are kinda softspoken.

Well, that would be the end of it if this were a normal show, but this is a set-up for a two-parter to briefly write Scully out of the show so Gillian Anderson could have her baby.  That means there needs to be more stuff.  Like the discovery that there’s evidence that all of Duane’s stories about what the aliens did to him are completely true, and Mulder gets a piece of the metal taken out of the guy.  Scully takes it down to ballistics, and it isn’t a bullet or a piece of shrapnel.  It does have a barcode on it that will make a supermarket scanner go crazy.

But see, I said this was a two-parter.  Duane’s alien buddies come back, and then he escapes and goes right to Scully’s house because…wait, how did he know where Scully lived?

There better be a good explanation for that in part two…

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