March 2, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

The X-Files “Firewalker”

Mulder and Scully investigate a murder in a volcano.

Alright, the pair are back, the X-Files are reopened, Scully can do field work again, and let’s see what familiar faces are here for this episode.  Well, Shawnee Smith apparently has done a lot of Saw movies, but…wait, Bradley Whitford!?!  And he spends most of his screentime covered in burns!?!

Well, that was unexpected.

The Case:  Silicon Lifeforms In A Volcano!

The Rest:  And the show is back, more or less.  Mulder has one line where he asks Scully if she feels up to going out, and she does, and that’s all that the episode or I have to say about that.  The pair are back together.  No more sneaky temporary partners.  No more Scully stays behind at the Academy to do autopsies while sneaking around the Bureau’s directives.  Just Mulder and Scully going somewhere that was filmed in or near Vancouver to look into the weird and mysterious.

This time, that’s a murder in a volcano as discovered by the scientific crew’s robot rover, Firewalker.

Despite the title, Firewalker barely factors into the story.  It’s the product of the brilliant (but missing) Dr. Daniel Trepkos (Whitford), but there is something else there.  Something Mulder thinks is neat, Scully thinks is unlikely, and both learn is actually pretty dangerous, the one thing that could live inside an active volcano: a silicon-based lifeform.

Oh, and it’s actually a kind of weird fungus.  The dead man in the crater was because of Trepkos, and not because Trepkos went insane or anything.  All the other people, including the lone woman who might have been Trepkos’s girlfriend, turn out to be infected by the fungus.  It will kill them, and in doing so, shoot out a cloud of spoors.  Anyone who inhales a spoor becomes infected.  No cure.  No way to stop it.  But Scully is here, and she’s the scientist, and she figures out that the spoors are only really dangerous for a minute or so.  After that, they become inert, and then they can’t infect anyone.

Of course, by then, Mulder found Trepkos after the scientist killed a fellow with a flare gun to the back followed by a quick blast from a flamethrower.

This is the sort of episode that looks like it’s going for a discount xenomorph thing, only instead of an alien from a chest, it’s a blast of spoors from a tube in the throat.  Not a bad effect for network television, actually.  Mulder learns the truth because a disillusioned scientist who discovered everything he thought he knew about science was a lie and accidentally got the rest of his team killed while Scully figured it out for herself, and both got away fine after a month of quarantine because Scully doesn’t need Mulder to come save her when she can figure things out for herself.

Good to have her back, really.

Next time, something involving a vegetarian cult from the looks of things.