November 30, 2023

Gabbing Geek

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The X-Files “Salvage”

A man is turning into scrap metal, and he ain't happy about it.

He we are:  some poor schmuck is turning into Iron Man.  No, not the Tony Stark version.  The Tetuso version.

The Case:  Iron Man!

The Rest:  So, a man named Ray is believed to be dead, but after his co-worker and friend Curtis leaves the grieving widow’s house, he sees a man on the road and hits the guy.  The man somehow causes the car to crumble instead of himself, and it’s ol’ Ray.  Ray then puts his fist through the window, and later it turns out he crushes his buddy’s skull with one hand and left the body for dead.  Time to call in Scully and Doggett.

OK, Doggett is no Mulder (and he shouldn’t be), but he and Scully do seem to be working well together.  Doggett makes a couple of token suggestions that the guy they are looking for isn’t that guy and he isn’t turning into a pile of possibly living scrap metal, but he doesn’t object too hard and even admits there isn’t much anyone can do to contain this superstrong guy who takes hits from cars and shotgun blasts while basically shrugging it off.  Scully is still more or less the “Mulder” here, and it’s not a role that fits her very well, but someone needs to suggests the weird theories, and once Doggett sees the evidence, he’s onboard.

Imagine what this show could have been with this dynamic from Day One.  Oh, the actual Mulder/Scully dynamic is much better, but as I said before, there’s a part of me that wonders what this show would have been like if it had gone a different route with a more standard investigative unit since that’s basically what Scully and Doggett are right now.

That said, what makes this episode interesting is basically there are no real villains here.  Ray was hit with a chemical that is turning him into metal by accident, and none of the people he killed did anything to him on purpose.  Heck, one woman was actually concerned about him and her death looked more accidental than anything.  But when Ray finally gets his hands on the guy he thinks is the worst, he ends up letting the guy go when he sees the man’s young child screaming, and then Ray disappears to let himself be crushed in a trash compactor.  That’s kinda sad, but it does allow Scully and Doggett to wax philosophical on how much Ray w as a man and how much he was a machine.

So, not a bad episode.

Up next, an evil beggar.