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The X-Files: Medusa

Case: A transit police officer is attacked and killed in a gruesome manner.

Destination: Boston, MA

Scully: “These guys were just doing their job, keeping the trains running.”

This is a good episode in a spotty season.

What makes it good? Moody lighting, Doggett continuing to become a real X-filer, Scully taking on the Boston Transit assholes and a teeny, tiny monster of the week. As a follow-up to the 'The Gift', this episode further develops Doggett and his travels into X-File territory. In 'The Gift,' Doggett is forced to accept that the world is much weirder than he every imagined. In 'Medusa' he is introduced to how the government, in the form of the Boston Transit Authority, deals with such weirdness. Doggett has completely accepted Scully as the expert. He no longer questions her version of reality and is happy to just be her eyes and ears. His foil is Lieutenant Bianco, a transit cop, much like Doggett used to be in that he wants to cut to the chase and deal with concrete facts. He and Karras are happy to blame the death on an ordinary human. On top of that the CDC has cleared the tunnels of any contagions or contaminants. Despite this Scully and now Doggett know that there are other things in the world that might be lurking down there.

Karras is the supposed villain of the piece, willing to risk full scale contamination to keep the trains running. But it is more complicated than that. He thinks that the crazy people from the FBI are overreacting. The word of the CDC is good enough for him although it is obvious that he knows more than he is saying. He has been hiding bodies for a while and wants to continue to hide them. We come to despise him but if he lets the trains stop, millions will despise him. We all think we might do better, but would we?

Doggett is amazed at the fact that Karras would do such a thing. He wants him punished. This would maintain his previous clear sense of right and wrong. But the worldview he has been operating under will no longer hold. Although Doggett saves the day, he also destroys the evidence. He is now fully in the position of Scully, Mulder and Skinner. He knows the world is much more dangerous than most people know but there is no way to prove it and few will believe it even if they could. They have to hold on to the important things — they saved a whole bunch of people.

Scully has lived this all before. She is smart enough to stay on the surface so that she can contain and confront Karras. She might also be concerned about the fact that she is pregnant. Whatever the reason, it is the right call as Karras continues to try and cover up the disaster in his tunnels. Scully also has to do her science thing and figure out what is happening. Doggett is smart but he is still out of his depth. The placing of the gun in the pool of Medusa was a last ditch, lucky guess. Once he has his new rearranged bearings, though, I think Doggett will start to more quickly put the pieces together on his own.

I thought the lighting was moody and dark which upped the creep factor in this episode. This helped with the distraction that it was some kind of monster in a humanish form. I was tickled that the MOW was microscopic. On the other hand, one of the biggest threats to us right now is antibiotic resistant superbugs, so maybe not so funny.

Other Thoughts

The woman from the CDC was named Hellura Lyle. Great name.

Equivocal death: deaths for which there may be many explanations or for which an explanation may be hard to find.

The tunnel was dug through a landfill. I was betting on toxic waste but I prefer teeny, tiny jellyfish.

The scene where Doggett backs away from Scully in his hospital gown was cute.


Doggett: “I’ll be your eyes and ears, only I wish somebody would tell me what the hell it is I’m supposed to be looking for.”

Lyle: “Aren’t we lucky? Hot, sticky and crawling in the dark. All so every commuter in Boston can get home to watch Survivor II.”

Doggett: “I don’t know and I don’t like it that you don’t know!”

Final analysis: I enjoyed this episode and the progression of Doggett's character. Three out of four teeny, tiny jellyfish.

1 comment:

  1. Great review, Doc. I like episode, too, for the reasons you listed here. At this point in the season, I'm really enjoying Doggett and Scully.


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