harsens_rob (harsens_rob) wrote,

X-Files Reviewed: "Ice" (part i of ii)


The X-Files
Season 1, Episode 07


Written by: Glen Morgan, James Wong
DIR: David Nutter

Blurb: Mulder and Scully are sent to investigate when a team of geophysicists, stationed at a remote Alaskan outpost, [once again, the description is giving a bit too much away before our opening].


Scene 01: We start our episode right about here:


Scene 02: Inside, we see snow flying against the window. The base seems quiet, except for the rattling of what turns out to be a can, which in turn is being rattled by a dog looking for food or water.

As we follow the pooch, we see a man lying on the floor with a wound to the back of his head. The dog continues, whining to itself and finding no company to comfort it.

As it passes a table, we see a still hand lying over the edge of it.

Scene 03: Nearby, we focus on an open box which is labeled as having had ice core samples until recently. We finally get someone alive, who kicks the box out of the way.

He’s a heavy panting sort. We pan up to see that he’s shirtless with shallow cuts on both sides of his chest. He looks around briefly before continuing to limp down darkened hallways. He’s carrying a pistol. When he reaches the radio room, he lumberingly sits himself down before a video camera. He repeats to the camera, “We’re not who we are” as well as talking about something being stopped right there and then.

From behind him, a sudden other alive person grabs him and tackles him backward to the floor.

Scene 04: Our two men wrestle around the room in a fight for their lives against one another. Our wounded guy wins and appears to knock the other out. He goes and retrieves his gun from where he’d laid it down to record his message, but we find out that our other guy wasn’t unconscious. He was just playing that way so that he’d have a chance to retrieve his own gun, which our wounded man had knocked from his grasp during the fisticuffs.

The two now stand facing each other with pistols drawn. [Alas, our second man has not had time to rip his shirt off, as well. Although, he did get it unbuttoned for us.]



Our wounded guy chooses to lower his gun first, to the confusion of our second survivor. After a moment of hesitation, he does likewise. Our wounded guy then raises his gun to his own head. Our second survivor does likewise.

Scene 05: Outside, the storm rages on the doomed expedition’s complex. Two gunshots in quick succession ring out.

Commentary: I loved this opening. It was atmospheric, creepy and the way that the two men didn’t say a word to one another throughout was unworldly. It was also a shock when the second survivor lowered his gun; I’d thought that Wounded Guy was going to go to shoot him dead and one of them or both of them would then be killed by the other. I wasn’t expecting the double suicide. This is a really good start to what promises to be a story in which the agents are cut off from civilization during their investigation of whatever happened here.

And Queue Credits.

Scene 06: When we return, we’re viewing a video tape of our presumed killed crew at the ice station before things went to hell. They’re all smiles and beer. The crew leader - which was Wounded Guy - proudly tells us that after some perseverance, the team finally successfully broke the record for the deepest drilling into the ice sheath.

Mulder freezes the image and gives us and Scully background on the Arctic drilling project. He informs Scully that what he’s about to show her was the station only a week after the first video was made: It’s our Wounded Guy sounding loopy.

The transmission was cut off as soon as Wounded Guy got tackled by Second Survivor.

Dana is left shaken by how quickly whatever happened took place. Mulder tells her that so far all attempts to reach the complex have failed due to the unstable weather. He further jokes with Scully that somebody either thinks they’re brilliant or expendable because they’ve been handed the assignment to find out what went wrong out there. She suggests some sort of cabin fever distress syndrome. Fox pulls out the scientists qualifications for just such a mission, including their successful psychological tests to determine just that possibility. He tells her that they’ve got to fly to Nome, AK where they’ll meet a second team of three scientists who will escort them up to Icy Cape.

He shares with Dana, with a small bit of amused smirk, that they have three days to get up there, find out what happened, and leave before the next Arctic Storm traps them on site.

Commentary: I don’t know. Sometimes it feels like David has a tendency to want to mumble his lines. He’s doing that here. It’s not enough to make him unclear, but it’s a strange tic. What I like about this basically rehashing what we just saw and determining the next step scene is Fox’ playful demeanor with Dana about going up into the White Tundra. Duchovny’s personality really helps us through the data dump.

Scene 07: At the airport in Nome, one of our guests is listening to the radio and getting jacked up because his team scored a needed touchdown. Fox recognizes the name the guy was cheering on as somebody already retired. Dana points out also that United States football doesn’t generally get played on Wednesdays. Our First Guest is Dr. Denny Murphy. He clarifies that he has his favorite sports moments on tape.

They’re joined quickly enough by Drs. Nancy Da Silva and Hodge -- who doesn’t get a first name, so we’ll be calling him Xander Hodge.

Xander [in keeping with the actor Xander Berkeley’s usual roles] turns out to be kinda fussy and annoying by demanding to see our agent’s IDs right out of the gate, before they get started.

It’s quickly apparent that our Geologist, Toxicologist and Medical Doctor haven’t been briefed on why they were recruited specifically for this assignment. They did get a look at the tape, but they were hoping the two agents received a more complete briefing of what they’re walking into.

A jeep pulls up rapidly into the hanger before Mulder and Scully have to admit that they‘re as much in the dark as anyone. This is Bear, our contracted bush pilot. [No last name, so he’ll be Bear Kober because he’s played by the always welcomed Jeff Kober.]

Xander asks for Bear’s credentials which the pilot finds amusing. He points out that the only credentials he has is that he’s the only pilot willing to take them up to Icy Cape… he’s a bit of a return-ass at Xander about that point.

Commentary: Aiiii. We’ve already got the two antagonists for our trip who will no doubt be at each other’s throats even before the shit hits the fan. WHY?

I hate flat characters who are unpleasant just to be unpleasant, especially in circumstances where it’s ridiculous. I find it difficult to believe that our team wouldn’t be transported aboard a Coast Guard flight, as it is - let alone that if Bear Kober was this big an ass when putting himself up for the job, the government would’ve given him a pass and found an air force or army pilot somewhere. It’s just lazy writing.

Scene 08: We get a shot of our plane flying over the steep mountains of Alaska.

Scene 09: At the Ice Station, snow is continuing to come down hard. Our crew break into the main building, with Mulder in lead. They find our two shooters immediately inside the building. Bear is asked to check on restoring the main power. Xander tells them they’ll need the body bags from the plane. Mulder delays this by pointing out he and Scully will need to document the scene before they start disturbing it. As everyone else continues to gingerly explore, Scully starts taking photos of our two suicides.

Commentary: I want to compliment this scene as well. The set was nicely set up and the lighting … although, maybe a tad too bright… is very effective at establishing a sense of mood and making the vibe of foreboding come across the screen.

Scene 10: As Scully’s camera whines in the background, Fox and Dr. Murphy find the ice box with the core samples where they’ve partially melted with the lack of power.

Denny sets to preservation of what he can save, while POV focuses in with meaning on the ice core vials/tubes/thingies.

Scene 11: Elsewhere, Dr. Da Silva creeps into a dark room. A sudden bang makes her jump, but Fox has joined her and tells her it’s just the generator being started.

Just as the lights finally start coming on in the rooms, our pooch launches itself with a growl at Mulder’s back, with Nancy’s cry of alarm coming just a tad late.

Commentary: Strange, but effective: Just before the lights come up and we get the dog-jump-scare [literally] the visuals were reminding me of Carpenter’s The Thing, while the percussion on the soundtrack made me think of certain audio cues in Scott’s ALIEN. In addition to liking these familiar elements, I also liked that they filmed this sequence with just the flashlight, making everything feel far more claustrophobic and scary. The director and cinematographer, along with the lighting crew and sound design were clearly all working from the same page.

Scene 12: The dog doesn’t stop nipping at Mulder, so Da Silva screams a lot. This draws everyone else to see what the fuss is about. Kober tries to help, but the dog turns on him next. Fox grabs up a blanket to throw over the dog and wrestle it under control. Meanwhile, Hodge prepares a sedative to render the dog unconscious. Bear is left with bleeding bite marks on his forearm.

This makes the possibility of rabies a concern. Hodge checks for obvious signs, but sees nothing to indicate such an infection. Dana’s examination though reveals black nodules under the dog’s armpit, which Da Silva points out would be a symptom of Bubonic Plague. Hodge tells them they’ll get blood samples. Scully then finds irritation on the back of the animal’s neck, as if it had been scratching it’s skin raw repetitively.


While probing at the raw mark, Scully sees the skin moving - as if there were a worm or something crawling underneath. She quickly points it out to the others.

Scene 13: In the bathroom, Bear has gotten his injury wrapped up. He suddenly falls onto the commode and grabs at pain under his arm. When he checks what the hell, he finds black nodules swelling over his lymph nodes.

Scene 14: After a quick transition of the base still being snowed on, Scully reveals that after her autopsy exam, she’s sure that the former team killed each other or themselves and there is tissue damage associated with fever.

Bear asks about the black nodules the dog shows sign of, but Scully didn’t find anything like that present on the bodies. Naturally, Bear doesn’t reveal his infected status. He wonders if whatever happened to the scientists had nothing to do with the dog’s medical issue, but Xander reveals that he’d just examined the dog again and the nodules that had been there are now gone.

With not getting any comforting answer, Pilot Kober starts dragging the body bags out to their plane. He naturally still doesn’t tell anyone that he’s contracted whatever is going on with the dog, and nobody questions why he’s looking a little feverish.

Scene 15: Meanwhile, Da Silva checks out one of the guns that was placed in an evidence bag. She quickly sets it back down and grabs up some notes to leave the room with.

Over with Fox, he’s stepped away from Da Silva and is checking out the words, “we are not who we are” that were scrawled across a lab report.

Scene 16: Fox carries the report over to Murphy.  They discuss a satellite scan and the results of a drilling report where Fox guesses that the depth of the ice was found to be twice what the satellite claimed.

Danny explains that the results look like the team drilled into a concavity, probably an old and buried meteor crater.

Scene 17: They’re interrupted by Xander Hodge and Dana arguing over some results that Scully found in one of the victim’s blood samples that doesn’t make sense. Hodge reminds Scully that ammonia would vaporize at human blood temperatures. Da Silva offers that she checked the air filtration system for toxins and found no ammonia from that vector. Danny interrupts to tell them that he may have a source -- he found ammonia and other compounds in the ice core samplings. The ammonia level to water ratio is way too high, even for samples from several million years ago. But that isn’t all that Danny has found.

Fox and Scully look in his microscope to find a life form wiggling around in the water droplet he was examining. Meantime, Bear has returned and is looking a little on edge. Dana tells them all that she found the same microscopic form in one of the victim’s blood samples. She suggests that it may be a larval form of a larger creature… though Hodges tells her she’s making quite a logical leap with that. Meanwhile, our pilot is looking more panicked at the thought of microscopic larva in blood samples, what with feeling ill and having the same symptoms as their canine patient.


Bear Kober is ready to just pack up and get the hell outta there. Nobody seems to take note of the way he’s gone pale, not to mention that bit of unsteadiness on his feet, he’s doing. Xander Hodge agrees that they’ve done what they can and should pack up the bodies to a proper facility for a confirmation autopsy in an environment with the adequate facilities. Fox nixes the idea of leaving without a proper quarantine period to ensure they don’t bring back an unknown into the general population. Mr. Kober replies that they’ve not come down with anything, so staying is dangerous. Hodge agrees, as they’ve followed safety procedures so cross infection isn’t a danger.

But Scully points out the obvious: Bear was bitten by the dog. Kober flips and reminds everyone forcefully [and sounding like a kid deflecting attention onto a sibling, funnily] that the dog jumped Mulder, too. Dana straightforwardly offers that they have to test everyone for infection before they leave the facility. Doctor Hodge is now on board with this sensible precaution and institutes parasitic sweep procedures asking everyone for both a blood and stool sample.

Everyone is… understandably… uncomfortable with the stool sample thing, but it’s got to be done. Pilot Kober though is adamant -- he’s not “dropping his cargo” for anyone. He shatters the sample jar meant for his sample. He then becomes determined to leave, pointing out that he was only hired to fly them up and fly them back. Possible medical quarantines and infectious dangers were not part of the deal.


Well, obviously he cannot be allowed to leave without screening under any circumstances. Mulder calls for a vote to take Bear into custody and confine him until he agrees to an examination. He gets three votes and then draws his gun to back up the demand as Bear returns.

Commentary: This scene is, as you can see, quite long and I really liked the way it was handled. Our characters all get the same information at the same time, so we don’t have to play around with repeating information later to bring the absent member up to speed on the situation, and the arguments are tense and offer a good reflection on our various characters’ personalities.

But… [did you see a ‘but’ coming?]

I didn’t really like the way that some of the characters were handled here. Bear is just too suspicious for anyone to not think long before they do that he may be a carrier of whatever is happening with the dog. That should’ve been an immediately voiced concern by somebody in this group the moment that the microscope revealed the microscopic larva. Maybe even before, right after the dog was presenting something under its skin and signs of lymph node infection.

I also don’t like the way that Hodge is being presented here. He’s not jerkish enough to be unrealistic, but being a medical doctor, he should’ve been the one to be agreeable with everything Scully pointed out. In fact, he should’ve been the character to first suggest a quarantine period and testing of everyone. This is something that the episode itself heavily implies would be in character by having him be so prickly about insisting on credentials verification before the flight. His also not being the first person who raised his hand when Fox suggests taking Bear into custody until he’s more agreeable doesn’t track for this character’s field of expertise. It doesn’t matter in this context that he’s the “jerk” character -- he’d be a jerk about protocol, not the opposite.

For similar reasoning, our Toxicologist isn’t being written correctly either. She would not be the person to tell everyone that if Bear is taking off, she’s on the flight. She’d have too much of a scientific and medical background during her studies to blow off a quarantine for this situation. The scripters for this episode are simply too focused on trying to fit their group of characters into boxes to create conflict with our agents, rather than following the logical character paths of the character-types they’ve introduced.

The only scenario that would work right here is for Bear to continue acting out the way he is and for either Dr. Hodge or Dr. Da Silva to be the one to suggest to Mulder that they must use force to establish a secure quarantine with Scully agreeing with them, or have Scully arrive at the conclusion and have the other two on board. It should’ve been our Geologist -- no matter how cooperative he’s been up until now -- to have the freak out over being trapped with a possible infectious agent and basically taking Bear’s side.

Again, the real problem is the writers not following through on the logic of the characters, instead of forcing them to take the personality-roles they want to fill for the conflict with our heroes.

Scene 18: Mulder holds his weapon out so it can be clearly seen, but otherwise tries to act and sound reasonably. He tells Bear that they just need to have everyone checked and if they confirm no pathogen spread, everyone will be on the flight out of there.

Bear acts as if he’s finally agreed after a tense moment of waiting. But when Scully hands him the sample jar, he smashes it over Mulder’s head while our agent is putting his gun away. Bear runs for the exit, but Dana flying tackles him. Mulder recovers quickly and helps restrain him, getting a rope from Murphy to ensure he’s kept restrained.

While they’re tying his hands, Kober goes into a series of convulsions. Da Silva notes the parasitic worm crawling around under the skin of his neck. Hodge orders her to grab his bag for a scalpel to remove the worm while it’s visible. Mulder objects that they don’t know what that will do to Kober, but Hodge believes the worm is killing him and must be removed immediately, whatever the risk. Dana assists without objection and Mulder tries to keep Bear restrained. It’s grueling, but they manage to extract the parasite.

Commentary: Some nice special effects work going on here. The resistant worm stretching out while being tugged from Bear’s neck was especially icky. Nice work from our FX team.

Scene 19: After the worm is secured in a specimen jar, Mulder runs to the radio. He calls the air field for an immediate pick up and quarantine procedure but the air base reports that the threatened arctic storm is blanketing them already. They can’t send out an extraction team and offers that he and the others either contact a further base to send in a flight, or to risk an immediate take off and worry about quarantine on landing.

Fox offers that they were promised three clear days, but Mother Nature don’t give a flying fig about what we think should happen. Radio Operator offers a welcome to being at the top of the world.

Scene 20: Fox asks the doctors if Bear can manage a flight, for if they don’t get out now, they’ll be stuck for several days in their situation. Dana and Xander share disappointed glances at one another. Dana has to report that Bear has died in the minutes Fox was at the radio controls.

Scene 21: Some time later, our worm is being stared at in its jar of liquid. Hodge offers that its physical characteristics places it similar to a hook worm. This gives Murphy short lived hope that its familiar enough to know how to deal with it, but Hodge has to tell them that its very different from any life form he’s seen before.

Fox wants to know vectors of transmission, but right now nothing - including airborne infection - can be ruled out. Scully returns from where they’re storing the previous team members remains. She offers that they were all infected, but the worms seemed to have died with their hosts, excepting one which she places into a sample jar with liquid ammonia. She also reports that the parasites weren’t in the back of the neck, like with the dog and Bear, but had migrated to the hypothalamus.

Dennis asks about this and we get a quick explanation of the gland in the brain and what effects we can expect, including heightened aggression levels.  Fox offers a theory that the worm may drive people to want to kill others and that could’ve been why the previous team turned on one another. Hodge also theorizes that the worm released a form of poison when they were extracting it from Kober, which led to his death so soon after.

Da Silva is worried about what could happen among themselves [Rather than the very logical response of offering to take samples from Bear to search out any foreign substance that could be their toxin --- ‘cause y’know, why would she bother, being THE TOXICOLOGIST in the room], and Scully wonders about our last two previous team members turning their weapons on themselves instead of each other. Mulder offers they must’ve been trying to save any investigative team from infection that would’ve arrived to find out what happened to them.

Commentary: Which is actually an inadequate explanation and should’ve been discussed further. If the worms were driving aggression against the other team members, it suggests to me that our last two men somehow were able to overcome the influence. This suggest that perhaps the driving influence of the worm was weakened somehow - perhaps over time. Which leads me back to Hodge and Da Silva actually performing more complete autopsies with Dana looking for unusual chemical or byproducts in the brains of the former team members, however limited the lab equipment may be for this type of work.

It’s not really a big deal that we’re going to time-skip ahead, but it bothers me a bit that Da Silva isn’t being given something more to do in these last two scenes, because the theories in regards to what the worms are doing directly references her area of expertise. It feels like she’s been assigned the role of the ‘damsel in distress’ and the script is ignoring why [as in her job, not her character role] she’d be there to begin with. It’s really the Geologist role that should be the ‘damsel’ in this scenario… or Fox Mulder, but obvs he can’t be used as that place holder due to the hero status.

Scene 22: Sometime later, Fox finds Scully in the snowmobile shed where the bodies are being kept. She offers that she was just double checking herself to make sure she didn’t miss anything they could do [like taking bio-chemical samples for THE TOXOCOLOGIST to actually do something].

Fox tells her they all need to get some sleep to consider their next steps with fresh eyes. Scully tells him that she doesn’t want to waste time in finding a way to kill their unwanted guests. This leads directly into an argument on her wanting to kill a possibly confirmed instance of extraterrestrial life on Earth. Dana presents a scenario of a city the size of New York being infected within days if the creature got loose. Fox is concerned with the scientific achievement of proving life from somewhere else exists. Mulder also is afraid that if they kill the parasite now, they’ll not have a way of stopping any infestation in the future of it, or something like it going forward. Scully isn’t concerned about the possible future, when they’re fighting an infectious agent right now.

Commentary: Which -- it doesn’t even take thinking about this scenario to see how stupid this entire argument is! We’re being set up for a Mulder/Scully confrontation with possibly one or both being infected with the Aggression Worm but the scripting of getting us there is just horrible!

It isn’t a matter of killing both of their test subjects immediately: Scully could find a way to kill one of them, and have this ready in case the infection breaks loose among their team. This is NOT an either/or dilemma. In addition, Fox’s claim that killing their parasitic subjects now would endanger finding a way to stop them or something like them later is just so illogically stated by the writing, that it sounds bone-deep stupid! If Scully manages to find a way to kill the parasite, then DUH - She’s found a way to stop it for the future! How in the hell did this logical flaw in Fox’ argument not jump out at the writers when they were scripting this stupid scene??

Mulder’s “proving alien life” argument also isn’t a reason to not kill the parasites. You can kill them and still prove that they couldn’t have evolved on Earth by running tests on their itty bodies… if necessary to safeguard the investigative team. Fox’s entire argument here is just made of dumb-ass to put Mulder and Scully in conflict where none actually exists. It’s particularly irritating to me here because I didn’t even have to analyze the scene for this to have jumped out at me -- the fail is sitting right there loud & proud.

Scene 23: In the lab, Murphy is trying to ignore the agent’s arguing with one another. He puts his ear buds in and gets back to his own work. Our other two doctors are also there, hearing the argument in process. Da Silva mentions the temperature in the room and Hodge confirms it’s not feverish symptoms, but the environmental controls suffering a malfunction. Outside it’s freezing, inside it’s starting to get sweltering.

Da Silva [pretends to... they're clearly audible] wonder what their two team members are arguing about and Hodge suggests they’re probably discussing their government secrets. Nancy takes this as Xander suggesting they already knew what was going on up here before they arrived, which he confirms is what he believes. He also reminds Da Silva that Bear’s infected blood was on Scully, but Nancy reminds him that it was also on himself.

They share suspicious looks at one another, as the isolation and risks start to play on people’s minds wondering who else may be carrying one of the parasites.

Commentary: Seriously. What is this toxicologist doing here? She hasn’t done one scientific thing since her arrival and with the suggestion that Bear may have been killed by a released poison of the unknown life form, she SHOULD be all up in that, confirming that and finding out what it was -- not standing around with generic dialog!

Scene 24: Hodge decides to interrupt our agents’ pointless bickering. Meanwhile, Scully is shouting at Mulder for being more concerned about his pet theories than stopping a possible pandemic.

Scully wants to remove the bodies to the outdoors and incinerate them to ensure the quarantine, while Fox is more concerned about containment rather than extermination.

Hodge, Da Silva and Murphy wander in to find out what is going on and Scully blows them off. But Xander questions why she seems so excitable and she aggressively asks what he’s getting at. Mulder butts in to tell them all that they’re all exhausted and scared and they can’t let this turn them on one another. Hodge says that the next course of action is clear: Everyone is going to have to be checked for the black spots and if found, that person needs to enter isolation.


Da Silva wonders if Hodge will perform the exams, but Scully nixes any of them being checked out in private. She wants no secrets and demands that everyone being checked in front of one another.

Commentary: After my arguments above, you may be getting the wrong impression so let me clarify: I really like this episode and think that it’s tense, variably exciting and it generally well acted. I enjoy the “group isolated with a killer dowhatski” stories. So, despite my irritation with this section of the story, I’m not hating the episode -- I’m just annoyed at the scripting for being so obvious in pushing the scenario over the characters and their arguments and counter-arguing that isn’t making sense.

This is another instance of the ongoing artificiality of setting the characters against one another: There is no conflict between containment/destruction of the organism. You have to know how to destroy it if it breaks the quarantine scenario. You should keep a sample alive for analysis and ongoing lab tests. Scully is, at heart, a scientist. She wouldn’t be against Mulder’s wanting to keep a sample alive, she’d only be insistent that at the first sign of the parasite being loose, she’ll take extreme measures to eliminate it. This isn’t the one choice over the other scenario that the writers want desperately to make it and their “fingerprints” are too clear on this scripted conflict.

Scene 25: Our male cast members strip down for inspection. Fox jokes that before anyone passes judgment, they should remember that he’s standing in the arctic.

[We cut away with only a shot of the top of Fox’s tighty-whities so don’t get excited….]

Scene 26: We skip forward to the girls’ turn, where they did separate from the guys after all for their mutual exam. Both women are relieved to find no trace of the nodules.

Scene 27: The group reconvene to head into the dark quarters section to get some needed sleep. Dana offers Fox a ‘good night’ as a way to recover their relationship from that spat earlier. She offers that at least everyone else is uninfected, but Mulder has to remind her that they saw the spots on the canine go away, while it was still infected.

Commentary: I want to again offer a kudo here for the soundtrack work. Between the “duh-duh-duh” percussive beat and the wind howl, it really works quite well to establish the ongoing tense atmosphere between the characters over not being able to be sure that just because they want everyone to be uninfected doesn’t mean that they’re all okay.

Scene 28: In whoever’s room this was, Dana tries to relax. It’s not easy being surrounded by the personal effects of a dead person. She ends up barricading the door with the dresser and crouching against the wall.

Scene 29: In his own borrowed room, Murphy is again listening to his old football games. And glaring at the wall in front of him with intensity.

Scene 30: In his room, Hodge is listing the possible risks that one of his team members has already been infected by earlier exposure. He can find reasons to distrust Murphy, Scully and Mulder. Nancy seems to be the only one who didn’t have exposure.

Scene 31: Speaking of Nancy, she’s lying in her borrowed bed and crying to herself.

Scene 32: Mulder meanwhile is laying his sidearm on the bedside table and staring at it thoughtfully. He looks at his bedroom door with deep and worried thoughts.

Scene 33: In the night, the wind continues to punctuate the tension and fear around the base. Fox wakes from a nightmare and fumbles for the bedside lamp. He’s just in time to hear a door shut and gets dressed to investigate.

Scene 34: He creeps around with his gun and a flashlight. Murphy’s door is open and Fox notes his Walkman lying on the bed.


Commentary: For some reason, the wiring around this base is very funky. Bedroom and lab lights are working, but the hallways are all emergency lighting and dark shadows. Huh.

Scene 35: Fox’s investigation leads him to the room where the dog has been caged, which responds with aggressive barking. Mulder breathes a sigh of relief and continues to look for Denny.

He finds melt water and blood dripping from one of the coolers. When he opens the door from a crouch [which nobody would do, certainly not an agent already on edge], the body of Murphy falls out into his arms with a slit throat and what looks like a stab wound to the abdomen.


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