I hope everyone is excited. Tomorrow is the premiere of season 3, “The Blessing Way.”
Get out your tinfoil hats (there are instructions for fashioning a good one linked from last year’s pre-season warmup post). It is important to have a good tinfoil hat so that the government and their alien conspirators can’t broadcast distracting radio waves into your brain while you are trying to watch the 2-decade-time-shifted X-Files. They don’t want you to understand the past future because it might interfere with the now future plans to hybridize the human race with alien DNA.
But I’ve said too much. Tune in tomorrow. 9pm.
We have less than two weeks until “The Blessing Way” begins season 3 twenty years later.
This is obviously very exciting, but we cannot let it distract us. We have jobs (or whatever). We must resist the urge to lie on the living room floor from now until then staring at Netflix in anticipation. Go to work, fools. Don’t be hapless, listless jerks.
We shall reconvene on 22 September and kick off the new season together while live-blaghing.
John Nelson, a data visualization specialist, plotted geographic distributions of UFO sightings over the last 90 years. Fascinating work. All XX-philes should obviously read the linked article and then also John Nelson’s work and then probably also spend some time at the National UFO Reporting Center website, just for good measure.
Keep watching the skies. Happy hunting.
What to do? Well, OBVIOUSLY you join in. OBVIOUSLY.
My synopsis of this episode is: “What? Forest sex? Masks? What the hell is going on here? Weird diseases? Where are they getting… Oh! Cannibalism? What the bleeding, lunatic hell is going on here? HOW COME NO ONE NOTICED THIS BEFORE MULDER AND SCULLY? What on earth? CABINETS FULL OF HUMAN HEADS? HUMAN SOUP BONFIRE?”
This episode demonstrates to us the importance of really never, ever going to small rural towns or interacting with the people in them. If you do this, you are very likely to end up in the soup.
This episode is incomprehensibly bonkers. It is like a Craigslist date. Not even a weird Craigslist date, just a normal one, which is admittedly pretty weird.
This episode might also be a comment on those weird white people clubs that have their basis in some-vaguely exoticized interpretation of some mysterious eastern culture. Is that what the Shriners have been doing all these years? The Elks Lodge may just be a cannibal soup smorgasbord or whatever. There is literally no way to know for sure since the main manner of finding out would be going to these places and potentially being eaten.
Best to keep away from all that. Stay safe everyone.
What is this episode? I forget it. It is gross so far. Why is there such gross? Omg gross. Stop it. OH GOD I JUST REMEMBERED THIS EPISODE. IT IS DISGUSTING. SPOILER ALERT THIS IS THE GROSSEST EPISODE OF X-FILES THAT THEY EVER MADE.
So this is about the Biodiversity Project or something and it turns out that some nerds found some bad shit in the jungle. Dr. Robert Torrance, Biodiversity Project, has some really bad buboes on his mug. Why? Because he was poking around some disgusting dead animals. What is the plague? I can tell you. Some people think it is about not detoxifying enough. Maybe that. Drink more juice. Dr. Robert Torrance didn’t drink enough juice. The vulture knows. The vulture knows not to be fucking with that disgusting dead plague thing.
Note while the opening credits play: You should know that I’m writing this blog entry while procrastinating on doing things I should be doing, like writing term papers. Ha, ha. No one can stop me, because I’m a grown up.
So after our initial teaser of Dr. Bob getting plagued, we go to some scary industrial office scenery. Wait it’s a prison. PRISON. A prisoner receives a letter. It’s probably just a letter from a concerned follower. Or maybe his girlfriend. It probably isn’t a PLAGUE LETTER. Oh, but it’s bloody. Bad sign. Oh shit, it’s also addressed to Robert Torrance. WRONG ROBERT TORRANCE. Things are going to get bad! Why are there no lights in this prison? Budget cuts. In the 90’s, the prisons didn’t have lights, due to budget cuts. Thanks, Clinton.
So what was in the letter? Maybe some organs or something. Definitely plague-infested. Now the prisoner has some plague. The worst thing about this horrible plague is that the buboes kind of move on their own. Honestly, if I saw someone with buboes gently rising and falling, sinking subtly into the gore of the suffering patient, straining upwards against the stretch of skin on which they’ve colonized, I would probably just set them on fire. That seems reasonable.
The other prisoners are pretty incredulous. One guy is an idiot and is like “Maybe something’s just going around.” The other guy is more clever because he knows that the sheets of infected prisoners are going to the incinerator, not the laundry. He’s probably a white-collar criminal. Probably did some insurance deception shit or maybe a Ponzi scheme. This dude knows what’s going on. He’s used to tricking people, not being tricked. Guess what. Plague for you. Plague for everyone.
Now Mulder and Scully have arrived. They’re here to work on the federal marshals. The prison guards are like WTF why are you idiots here. GTFO. M&S don’t know why they’ve been sent, and no one knows anyone or anything. This sound about right based on what I know of federal procedure. Mulder doesn’t think they’re being told the entire story; guess what, Mulder, you work the X-Files, duh. The entire story is too nutso even for you, always.
Now some guys stole an RV. They are the prisoners who escaped I guess, which is why M&S got called in. Now I’m getting it. So complicated. Scully is trying to figure out what’s going on in the prison, and she’s got it figured big time. Some terrible infection is going on in the prison, she realized, and the CDC are here acting like some cagey bitches. That’s pretty much always how the CDC act I guess. Not much has changed in twenty years.
We’re cutting back and forth between the prison and the escaped prisoners. One of the prisoners is on the phone with his wife, who seems to be quite glad that he’s out of prison, though perhaps she wonders about the protocol that has (or has not) been followed. It is rather unorthodox for a prisoner to be released without prior warning late at night, she probably knows. The other prisoner is in their hotel room covered in some pretty bad pustules. Disgust. Why for the pustules?
Back to the prison. So much fire. Bodies, bodies, burn, burn, burn. Scully finds out how much they’re burning, and how messed up the bodies marked for incineration are. Not much gets past Scully. But, Scully gets past the CDC, I guess, as the CDC asshole just now realizes she’s poking around the incinerator area. The CDC guy is so anxious about her finding out the secret cremations that he pokes a body bag open, what? How even? So he gets sprayed in the face with pustule juice. Serves him right, I guess? One time I had such a bad sunburn that my leg erupted in disgusting burn pustules, and my friend Nick was harassing me, so I threatened to put burn juice on him. I followed through, too. That wasn’t as bad as this X-Files disease, though. All things considered, Nick got off pretty easy.
Mulder’s focusing on the manhunt while Scully sneaks around the dead. Mulder’s no idiot; the escaped prisoners might have the disease. He’s a good FBI agent. He knows that the prisoners might have tried to call their girlfriends, and he’s tally right. Mulder gets on the pay phone (quaint!) and swings around his FBI badge number like it’s a big dick to get the operator to give up some info on the calls out of here. But then a helicopter lands and some crazy stuff goes down. Everyone is crazy. Everything is crazy. I have a universal theory of humanity: Exploding pustules bring out the worst in humans.
Luckily, though, Mulder got the phone number and address of the call made to the prisoner’s girlfriend. And just in time, because Prisoner Dude just got home. He’s making out with his lady, and then he goes right to showing her his escaped buddy who is now absolutely covered in tumescent, bulging buboes.
Meanwhile, Scully is like, hey, maybe I’ll find out who sent this pustule-meat letter to Robert Torrance the Prisoner in the first place. Probvs what I would have started with. DUH. Turns out the gross disease-meat was sent to the prisoner by the biggest pharmaceutical company in the country. Sinister! Why would Big Pharma send disease-meat to a prisoner? Maybe a name mix-up is involved. Ha, ha, duh. You can’t outsmart me, X-Files.
You can’t outsmart Scully, either, because she just found a bug in disease-meat. Since we saw a clip of the same bug in the original disease animal in the opening teaser, I’m guessing this is integral. OH NO!!!! The Prisoner Dude’s girlfriend just got pustule-sprayed while trying to take care of the other guy. She’s a goner. Don’t mess with your friends’ exploding pustules. That is some life advice for you.
Back to the prison. The CDC jerk has the infection now, since he got pus-sprayed (pusprayed?). Oh, actually he works for Big Pharma. He’s not CDC at all. I guess he just lied about being with the CDC, that or the CDC are in bed with Big Pharma. (Which they are, duh.) So Dr. Osbourne (from the pharmaceutical company, also CDC) knows about the disease, and he also knows that when the pustule exploded on him, Scully was in the room too. Honestly, I would probably think Scully was infected if she didn’t have protagonist’s immunity, but since she does, we don’t have to worry about her. If I ever encounter disgusto-explosion disease, I hope I have protagonist’s immunity. Do you ever wonder if you’re the protagonist? How can you tell? I guess you can tell if you can fight off like fifteen men and not get diseased from exploding pustules when everyone else does. Simple science.
Now Mulder is confronting the FBI wanks who sent him out. Cigarette Smoking Man is like, duh, the public doesn’t need to know. I agree, actually. Do you know how dumb the public are? They don’t even know how to handle stuff like exploding pustule diseases. CSM is right — don’t tell ’em, everyone’s better off.
The prison is under full quarantine, and Scully is trapped inside. Mulder wants the public to know about the health crisis, and Scully doesn’t. She’s so reasonable. “They’ll be a time for the truth, Mulder, but this isn’t it.” Talk about a quote that sums up their relationship. She’s not even mad about being trapped inside the prison with not only prisoners, but also puspraying Costa Rican disease.
Dr. Osbourne is testing Scully for the disease by using the insects. Remember how I told you they’d matter? They do now. It’s a 30 minute plus 2 hour test. Somehow the bugs tell you if you have the disease, whatever, I forgot to care. Scully has 2.5 hours to find out if she’s going to die of pustule explosions. I’m so nervous.
Mulder is talking to the infected prisoner’s girlfriend. She doesn’t think anything is wrong. Why are movie people always so resistant to understanding that they’ve been infected by some horrible disease? I mean, I usually think I’m not sick when I am, so I guess I have some sympathy. One time I had pneumonia and I refused to go to a doctor until I was so sick I couldn’t walk from the bedroom to the kitchen. Ha, ha. If I got pustule explosion disease, I would probably refuse to seek treatment too. This is how epidemics happen! Human nature.
Before Scully can get her explosion disease test results back, the doctor starts dying of the pustules. She has to complete the test. The doctor thinks people have a right to know the danger that Big Pharma are putting them in by, uh, what? Mailing disease-organs to prisoners? He says, on his deathbed, or death-incubator or whatever, “Don’t believe for a second that this is an isolated incident.” So I guess Big Pharma are mailing disease-meat to like every prison in the US. Not cool, dudes.
Scully now does her requisite science stuff, mostly to remind us that she can. This is a lady who went to medical school, then FBI academy. Now she’s stuck in a prison testing bug guts for pustule explosions. Never stop dreaming, Scully.
Prisoner Dude is now infected big time, and he’s taking a Greyhound. I tell you what, this scene is the most realistic of the whole episode. Have you ever taken a Greyhound? Basically everyone on there has exploding pustules on their face. Or they’re murderers or something. You can see the OUN of Greyhound — I can’t believe they let them have even those letters.
Scully is indignant: Dr. Osbourne is dead now, and he’s in line for the incinerator, so there’s no one in the System who is willing to tell the tale. The Big Pharma lackeys are covering up all the evidence so that no one ever knows the risk they put the public in, and Scully is mad. She doesn’t even get to keep any evidence! No souvenir pus, no memorable meat. Like usual, she doesn’t have anything to corroborate what she’s seen. So now, Prisoner Dude is infected, on a Greyhound, and he happens to be the last shred of evidence of Big Pharma’s reckless endangerment of the American public in the pursuit of new erection drugs (or whatever they were looking for; probably erection drugs because that’s all anyone wants).
Now we’re at the action-climax of the episode. US Marshals have the bus surrounded, and the prisoner is on there, we think. Mulder is surreptitiously asking the bus driver if the prisoner is on the bus, and it’s super sexy. When Mulder gets sneaky, everything gets good. So of course the prisoner takes a young boy hostage so that they let him go to go explode his pustules all over whomever he wants. BUT GUESS WHAT. That’s freedom! What is freedom other than the freedom to go spray your disease-pus on whomever you want? Duh.
The prisoner is putting two and two together. The disease came from the disease-meat letter in Bobby Torrance’s cell. Bobby Torrance was a guinea pig. Personally, I think it’s a highly convoluted system. Big Pharma orchestrated the whole thing “to circumvent years of FDA trials to get their drug on the market.” Skinner doesn’t think Mulder should go public with this; Mulder obviously wants to. Scully is resigned to the notion that they can’t prove anything. Duh. They never can. Mulder never solves a crime. It’s funny, because supposedly he was a superstar when he was doing behavioral profiling, and now he’s in the X-Files and never solves a single case. How does he make it past his reviews?
Skinner lays down some truth: they’re always ahead of you, Mulder. Watch your back, Mulder, he says. Mulder’s like whatevs. As always. Thanks, Mulder. See you next week for “Soft Light.”
Okay, so, this episode is about what can go wrong with trains. There are a lot of things: bad brakes, derailing, running out of whatever powers trains, tracks that lead to a bridge that is out, etc. But the most dangerous possibility by far is that of a poltergeist messing with kids so that they walk in front of novelty trains. Truly horrifying.
Also, can we talk about the weird “childproof holster” that Teddy’s mom tied him to the sink with? Is that a thing? I remember when there were those weird spring leashes for kids for mom’s to have in stores so that their children wouldn’t get snatched in the 1980’s. Everyone was worried about the abduction of children in the 1980’s. Presumably it happened a lot or they wouldn’t have been so worried. I was not abducted as a child, so I really don’t know about that.
Anyway, back to poltergeists. So, the crazy old Roma lady, Golda, screams about how the child is a devil child. This episode would be impossible today, as there are so few well-behaved children anymore that they would be identified as the devil children for being so well-tempered and polite. Instead, children are now expected to scream continuously, particularly in movie theaters and the like, and always wherever I am sitting whilst trying to eat lunch. It is also totally normal now for children to send their malevolent, ghostly doppelgangers out to harm those around them.
Golda, on the other hand knows the business. The chicken guts on the roof trick. That is the good stuff. If more grandmothers threw chicken guts on the roof, maybe their grandchildren wouldn’t be such devils. Of course, the idiot government people want to bring social services into the mix. They do not know how to deal with evil children and poltergeists. All they have is bureaucracy. What they need is chicken guts to throw on the roof. They do not have any of those.
Why are the cops and everyone else so freaked out by Golda’s religious practices. First amendment, jerks. If she wants to draw backward swastikas (the not-Nazi kind) on kids and bleed chickens dry in her bedroom to protect herself and her family from nutty stuff and ghosts, let the lady be.
BUT NO, Scully. You have to call social services.
Back to bleeding roosters. The technique portrayed in this episode is impeccable. Big bowl. Lots of rooster blood, and what happens: the bound poltergeist child gets trapped in smoke. But even the daughter can’t appreciate a good ol’ avian bloodletting spirit-binding ritual. How dare she toss the old Roma grandmother out on her ass. Rude. She is clearly the only thing standing between this family and utter madness. I mean, here is Charlie bringing dead, bled-dry roosters back to life. What the hell is social services going to do with a kid who has a poltergeist who can bring dead animals back to life. That is way worse than those pre-psycho kids killing neighborhood cats when they are teenagers.
So, back to trains. When you are booking your next train trip, be sure to ask about the rate of poltergeist-related accidents the railway company has experienced in recent years. They are legally obligated to tell you. If there are a lot, I might rent a car or something instead. You don’t want to mess with poltergeists and trains. They are already super slow and prone to all sorts of delays. Poltergeists will only make that way worse. There will be exorcisms involved. Nobody wants to deal with all of that just to go on a train without bother.
I am thrilled to announce that Fox has ordered a six-episode EVENT SERIES. What is an event series? Fuck a miniseries. We don’t do miniseries at xfiles20yearslater. XX-philes, rejoice.
Please see the episode index for updates. Welcome to the 2030s, X-Files 20 Years Later.
So, Død Kalm, our most recent episode, raises some interesting questions about just what the hell the US government is paying for. Mulder manages to charter a trawler and sail it near to the Arctic Circle to ensure that its entire crew dies and that it almost kills him and Scully as well.
None of this was inexpensive. I can only imagine what his expense report looked like after he woke up from nearly dying of old age or whatever.
|Last minute flight to Norway||$6800.00||My back hurt. I had to fly business class.|
|Flight for Scully||$6800.00||We obviously both needed to go to Norway.|
|Trawler rental||$18000.00||I don't see how you expect me to do my job if I can't rent a trawler whenever and stuff.|
|International waters rescue||$48000.00||What? Were you just going to leave us out there to die of old age?|
|Hospital costs||$286000.00||Dude. I was dying of old age. That is ex-pen-sive, yo.|
|Coffee at Dulles||$18.00||I held off on asking for another shot and extra whip. What do you want from me?|
I would hate to be the admin who had to deal with that. Or Skinner, having to sign off on those expense reports? His boss must be ready to kill him most days.
The truth is that this would never work these days. The bureaucratic processes involved in reimbursement at governmental institutions are much more advanced than they were in the 1990’s. That means that a reimbursement that took a month then might take 48 years now.
Lovely, maggot-hallucination-ridden Folkstone, North Carolina. Camp Lejeune right next door. Nutty things happen near military bases. Particularly Marine bases, probably.
Anyway, as Xfiles20yearslater’s south-east correspondent, it is my duty to discuss this episode since it is set in the great state and one of the original 13 colonies. Amanda has long familial ties here as well. We are all North Carolina loyalists here at Xfiles20yearslater. We’re also the first to admit that there is some crazy magic up in here. We don’t need any imported voodoo to have some nutty things happen in the Superior Carolina. We’ve got about all we can handle.
There is a place, about 40 miles from where I live, called the Devil’s Tramping Ground. It is a circle in the woods upon which nothing will grow. It is suspected that this is because the devil tromps around it when no one is looking. It looks a bit like a bonfire pit.
BUT IT’S NOT. It’s demons or something, y’all.
This state is filled with stories about crazy things happening at the hands of supernatural forces. Take the Lost Colony at Roanoke Island, for instance. It was the first English colony in the New World. It didn’t last very long. After a failed attempt at settlement in 1585, colonists returned in 1587 to give it another go. When John White left and returned again in 1590, the colony was completely gone, leaving only a tree emblazoned with a crude carving of the word “CROATOAN.” CREEPY.
No one knows what “Croatoan” means. No one ever will. Actually that is not true. It likely refers to the name of an Island south of Roanoke where some English-friendly native Americans lived. John White instructed that if the settlers he left behind decided to leave Roanoke, that they carve the name of the place to which they absconded into a tree. It is like texting your friends to tell them that you went to a different bar because you were bored where they planned on finding you, but with trees and carving with knives.
Anyway, it is a better story for the Lost Colony to just be lost. Scary, scary. The Outer Banks of North Carolina are host to loads of creepy stories about creepy things. Also pirates. Like, proper pirates. Like, Blackbeard. The actual Blackbeard. Edward Teach. Look him up.
So, back to the X-files: the moral of this story is that this is what we get when we don’t regulate immigration properly. Voodoo. Dead marines. Crazy chicken feet stabbed through military paperwork. Obviously, we should be doing a better job at this kind of thing. Or, we should maybe not pay so much attention to ghost stories and actually pay more attention to the humans around us. Maybe immigration reform is a good idea. We should perhaps be more compassionate. If we were, folks wouldn’t do so much voodoo on us.
I leave you to contemplate that with this song. Enjoy.
Oh, and try not to get buried alive. That would be a total bummer.