Thursday, December 17, 2015

The X-Files - S8:E12 "Medusa"

[ S8:E11 "The Gift" <<< Season 8 >>> S8:E13 "Per Manum" ]

This is the second episode in a row with a solo writing credit by Frank Spotnitz, and the third this season. He must be putting in double time, although it seems that the producers are playing this season close to the chest, with a lot of repetition and familiar names on the writing side of the business. I'd place this episode above the last one, but not quite as high as Via Negativa. Among others, it costars Ken Jenkins, playing a gruff authority figure not unlike his role as Dr. Kelso on Scrubs. Here, he is a transit bigwig, intent only on getting the trains back up and running by rush hour, after a mysterious death in a subway tunnel halts operations just long enough for Scully to send Doggett down underground to investigate. What they find is a bit of a mystery organism that attacks like a disease (threatening the possibility of an outbreak scenario) and kills with a biochemical reaction that looks a lot like electricity. It's a fun premise, that recalls the isolated sets of early-era episodes, like Ice, Firewalker, and especially Darkness Falls (which also dealt with a bioluminescent organism). Plus, the conclusion fits nicely into the tradition of this season's reinventing the old formula, by introducing Doggett to corporate corruption, via a mild conspiracy angle that recalls episodes like F. Emasculata and The Pine Bluff Variant. I don't know that I would rate this episode quite as good as either of those two, but it's one of the better episodes this season.

Memorable quotes:

Scully: You don't understand - they could be infected and contagious.
Karras: With what? Sea water?

Scully: Who are those dead men and how did they die?!
Karras: Prob'ly tunnel rats.

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