The X-Files: Firewalker

Case: A team of scientists studying volcanos may have found a silicone based life-form.

Destination: Cascade Mountain Range, Washington

I have good news and bad news. The good news is that Scully has miraculously recovered from her coma and is able to accompany Mulder to solve cases again. The bad news is that the case this week is almost a complete re-tread of last season’s “Ice” and, to a lesser degree, “Darkness Falls.”

Unfortunately, this case does not have the same intensity that the previous two did. While our duo is in some ridiculously remote location with extreme temperatures and a life form that is running amok, the threat didn’t seem as severe to me as it did in the others. In “Ice,” we see Mulder and Scully at odds for the first time and in “Darkness Falls,” the threat was very real and nearly killed them. Here, we had neither the emotional nor the physical threat needed to ramp up the tension.

What I do enjoy about this episode are the parallels that the writers are drawing between Mulder and Trepkos. Both are seekers of the truth and both are willing to do pretty much anything to find it. The difference is that Trepkos has found his truth and ends up sacrificing everything and everyone (including his girlfriend…) to keep it hidden. In fact, Trepkos expressly tells Mulder that the truth is not always worth the search and that it is best kept hidden.

This is definitely a MotW episode, but Scully’s abduction is alluded to and the relationship between the two leads seems to have subtly shifted. They appear much more comfortable with each other, and seem to be able to read each other’s silent looks without effort.

Scully is still the skeptic, but she appears much more willing now to at least listen to what Mulder is thinking. The scientist in her cannot grapple with the thought of a silicone based life, but instead of scoffing and walking away, she at least lets Mulder complete his thoughts and grudgingly admits that the may be right after the first autopsy. Whatever happened to her, Scully’s mind is much more open to spooky possibilities than it was before.

Other Thoughts

I am a huge fan of Bradley Whitford’s, so I always smile when I see him as Trepkos.

Although the Cascade Mountain Range does exist in Washington State, it does not have a Mt. Avalon.

Mulder and Scully were a couple long before the Internet felt the need to create shipper names. Good thing as their names are odd together. Sculder? Mully? Neither really works.

Quotes

Pierce: “I always played Salieri to his Mozart. I was never quite on his plane of intellect.”
I always tip my hat when a show assumes its viewers are literate.

Mulder: “We’re not exactly proper channels.”

Scully: “Where’s home?”
Jesse: “Anywhere but here.”

Trepkos: “...wondering if I haven’t lost all perspective, if my intense desire to find the truth hasn’t finally eclipsed the truth itself.”

Trepkos: “I say the earth holds some truths best left buried.”

Trepkos: “If you found that answer, what would you do with it?”

Final Analysis: A good episode, not because of the story, but because we got to see Mulder and Scully working together again.

ChrisB is a freelance writer who spends more time than she ought in front of a television screen or with a book in her hand.

4 comments:

Jess Lynde said...

Yeah, I refer to this one as a poor man’s, ‘Ice.’ Only with Fire! But I agree on the nice parallels they draw between Mulder and Trepkos, and did appreciate the few nods to how Mulder and Scully are attempting to adjust post-abduction. He’s being slightly overprotective, and she just wants to push forward.

I’ve gotta say, the phallic asparagus organism really grosses me out. Now whenever I see white asparagus I think of this episode. Seriously! I see it in the store and the image of poor Shawnee Smith with the asparagus sticking out of her neck pops into my mind. Thank goodness it wasn’t green! I like regular asparagus!

Dr. Johnny Fever said...

Was that supposed to be Trepkos' shadow in the video being watched at the very start of the episode? If so, didn't one of the video watchers say nobody could survive at that temperature?

If it wasn't Trepkos' shadow, was it explained what made the shadow? I guess it could have been the 'asparagus', but that doesn't seem to match the shadow.

drnanamom said...

Okay so now white asparagus is going to be totally creepy! I never did like it but now I have a reason thanks Jess. It was nice to see Mulder and Scully together again or should I say Sculder/Mully?

Juliette said...

Josh! Josh is in this episode!

That's pretty much all I got on this one :)