LONG TIME X-Files fans, Walt Frasier and Laurice Fattal are joined by improv comedian and newborn baby x-phile Patrick Reidy. Together Walt, Laurice and Pat discuss The X-files series and its impact on 1990s memory lane. In this episode we talk about Død Kalm, Humbug and The Calusari
|The X-Files episode “Død Kalm“|
Mulder is ravaged by unnatural aging. Many critics wrote negatively of the make-up effects.
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Rob Bowman|
|Teleplay by||Howard Gordon
|Story by||Howard Gordon|
|Original air date||March 10, 1995|
|Running time||45 minutes|
In the Norwegian Sea, chaos erupts on board the USS Ardent, an American destroyer escort. Due to mysterious yet unspecified events, half of the Ardent’s crew board lifeboats and abandon ship against their Captain’s orders. Eighteen hours later, they are spotted by a Canadian fishing vessel; however, in that short span of time, the young crew members have undergone rapid aging.
Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) visit the ship’s sole surviving crew member, Lt. Harper, who has been quarantined at the Bethesda Naval Hospital. Scully finds that Harper, despite being in his twenties, has aged to the point of being unrecognizable. Mulder explains that the Ardent vanished at the 65th parallel, a location with a history of ship disappearances. Mulder believes that a “wrinkle in time” exists there, and that the Ardent was the subject of government experimentation related to the Philadelphia Experiment from World War II.
In Norway, Mulder and Scully get Henry Trondheim (John Savage), a naval trawler captain, to take them to the Ardent’s last known location. After crashing into the bow of the Ardent, Mulder, Scully, and Trondheim find signs of advanced corrosion, even though the Ardent is only a few years old. Below decks, the party finds the mummified remains of several crew members. They also find the wizened commanding officer of the Ardent, Captain Barclay, who claims that “time got lost” after his ship encountered a “glowing light” in the ocean. Trondheim’s boat is stolen and his first mate is murdered.
Trondheim is later attacked by a Norwegian pirate whaler named Olafsson, who has not aged despite being on the ship for the past two days. Mulder, Scully, and Trondheim eventually begin to age unnaturally. Scully develops a theory that the Ardent is sailing near a metallic object beneath the ocean, and that it has caused free radicals to rapidly oxidize their bodies and age them. When Mulder notices that the ship’s sewage pipe is the only one not corroded through, the agents realize that something from the ocean contaminated the Ardent’s potable water and led to the aging; Olafsson’s men remained unaffected due to their consumption of recycled water from the sewage system. Desperate to survive, Trondheim kills Olafsson after he reveals the secret, and sets out to keep the water for himself.
Scully learns from blood tests that the contaminated water causes rapid cellular damage and dramatically increases sodium chloride in the body. She tries to ration the drinkable water amongst the three, but discovers Trondheim attempting to hoard what little that remains. Trondheim locks Scully out of the sewage hold, forcing her to use minuscule supplies to keep Mulder alive. The corrosion eventually eats through the ship’s hull, flooding the hold and drowning Trondheim, who cannot seem to lock the door. The agents both lose consciousness shortly before Navy rescuers arrive at their former ship. Scully comes to at the hospital, where she is told that her written observations on the case helped naval doctors reverse their aging and save Mulder from near-certain death. Scully says that she wants to return to the Ardent for more research, but the doctor tells her that the ship sank shortly after their rescue due to the flooding.
|The X-Files episode “Humbug“|
The Conundrum consumes a raw fish.
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Kim Manners|
|Written by||Darin Morgan|
|Original air date||March 31, 1995|
|Running time||45 minutes|
In the town of Gibsonton, Florida one night, two brothers are playing in their home outdoor swimming pool. A mysterious figure approaches them from the woods surrounding their home and jumps into the pool without them noticing. As the brothers play, they notice something is wrong and before they leave the pool, the figure emerges from the water. It’s revealed to be the boys’ father, “Alligator Man”, who scares his sons for fun.
After some laughs in the pool, the “Alligator Man” tells his children to go back into the house as it’s late and time for them to go to bed. The boys leave the pool and their father stays behind to swim. An unknown mysterious figure approaches the pool from the woods. It attacks and kills “Alligator Man” in his pool.
Agents Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) travel to Gibsonton to investigate a 28-year series of attacks by an unknown assailant in a community of former circus sideshow performers. They attend the funeral of the “Alligator Man” (who suffered from Ichthyosis). Among the people they meet afterwards are “self-made freaks” human blockhead Dr. Blockhead (Jim Rose) (who interrupted the funeral by hammering a railroad spike into his own chest) and his “geek” sidekick The Conundrum (The Enigma), who will eat anything, but says nothing. The agents also meet former performer Jim Jim, the Dogface Boy, who later became the local sheriff after his face went through hair loss.
Mulder and Scully stay at the Gulf Breeze trailer court, whose name is a reference to the 1987 Gulf Breeze UFO incident, also mentioned in season 1 episode, “Fallen Angel”. Here, they meet the distrustful manager Mr. Nutt (Michael J. Anderson), and Lanny (Vincent Schiavelli), an alcoholic with an underdeveloped conjoined twin named Leonard. The agents hear a story about the legendary Fiji mermaid, a common sideshow act in the 19th century that generally turned out to be a monkey with a fish tail attached—the “humbug” referred to by the episode’s title. Despite Scully’s usual skepticism, Mulder is intrigued because of what look like simian tracks left by the mystery attacker.
One night, Mr. Nutt is fatally attacked by a creature. The agents eventually discover that the attacker is Lanny’s twin, Leonard, who is able to detach himself from Lanny’s body. According to Lanny, Leonard attacks people and attempts to burrow into them because he is looking for a new brother to replace Lanny, who is dying from liver failure due to years of alcohol abuse. Lanny voluntarily locks himself in the local jail in an effort to keep Leonard from escaping, but dies during the night, and Leonard is able to slip through the bars on the cell window and flee. Mulder and Scully try to capture Leonard, who goes inside a funhouse, but he manages to get away. Upon leaving the funhouse, they find The Conundrum lying on the ground, rubbing his stomach, apparently having been attacked by Leonard. As Dr. Blockhead prepares to leave town with The Conundrum the following morning, he comments to Scully that with modern science eradicating genetic anomalies, it will be up to self-made freaks like him to remind people that “nature abhors normality.” The Conundrum looks unwell and Mulder asks what the matter is. The Conundrum — in his only line of the episode — replies, “probably something I ate.” As Dr. Blockhead drives away with The Conundrum, Mulder and Scully turn to each other with confused and somewhat shocked expressions.
|The X-Files episode|
|Episode no.||Season 2
|Directed by||Mike Vejar|
|Written by||Sara Charno|
|Original air date||April 14, 1995|
|Running time||44 minutes|
In Murray, Virginia, the Holvey family visits a local amusement park. When the youngest child, Teddy, lets his balloon fly away, his father, Steve, gives him the balloon that belongs to his older brother, Charlie (Joel Palmer). When the boys’ mother, Maggie (Helene Clarkson), is in the bathroom, the strap in Teddy’s stroller comes undone. Teddy follows the balloon floating under its own power out of the restroom and onto the tracks of the park’s tour train, leading to his death. Charlie is the only member of the Holvey family not to grieve Teddy’s death at the scene.
Three months later, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) shows Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) a photo taken moments before Teddy’s death, showing that the balloon moved horizontally against the wind. Chuck Burks (Bill Dow), a digital photo expert, uses software to uncover evidence of electromagnetic disturbances in the shape of a child, holding the balloon. During a visit by the agents, the Holveys adamantly dispute Mulder’s theory that Teddy was led onto the tracks. Scully sees Golda (Lilyan Chauvin), Maggie’s elderly Romanian mother, drawing a swastika on Charlie’s hand. Scully theorizes that the Holvey children may be victims of Munchausen by proxy, perpetrated by their grandmother. At a meeting with Steve Holvey, he explains that Golda was against his marriage to Maggie, and that strange things began to happen when Teddy was born and Golda came to live with the family. Steve hints that Golda might be hurting Charlie, leading Scully to suggest that they visit a social worker named Karen Kosseff (Christine Willes). While preparing to take Charlie to a session with Kosseff, Steve is strangled when his tie is caught in the seemingly-malfunctioning garage door. Charlie, having been mysteriously locked in the car, starts crying over his father’s death.
Investigating Steve’s death, the police find evidence of the ritualistic sacrifices in Golda’s room. Mulder finds a film of fine dust in the garage, which Chuck identifies it as vibhuti, a residual sign of spiritual energy. Golda and three elderly Căluşari mystics conduct a ritual in her room. Meanwhile, during Charlie’s appointment with Kosseff, the child goes into convulsions. Kosseff and Maggie see smoke coming from under Golda’s door, coming across their ritual. Maggie is horrified, and forces the old men to leave the house. However, Golda grabs Charlie and pulls him into her room in an attempt to complete the ritual. However, Charlie quickly gains the upper hand and brings a pair of dead chickens back to life and makes them kill her.
When Kosseff asks Charlie about the incident, he insists that he was not in his grandmother’s room, and that it was a boy named Michael. Maggie is terrified at the claim, explaining to the agents that Michael was Charlie’s stillborn twin, about whom she and Steve agreed to never tell Charlie. Maggie also explains that Golda had told the parents that a ritual should be performed to separate the spirits of the twins, but Steve refused. Charlie has another seizure and is hospitalized. Michael knocks out the nurse and afterward convinces Maggie, by pretending to be Charlie, to take him home. Scully sees them leaving, and checks on Charlie. They find the nurse and Charlie still in the hospital room. Mulder, now convinced that Michael’s spirit is behind the killings, sends Scully to the Holvey residence to stop him.
Maggie tries to complete her mother’s ritual, but Michael tries to intervene. Back at the hospital, Mulder joins the Căluşari as they perform an exorcism on Charlie. As Mulder helps with the ritual, Scully arrives at the Holvey house, and finds Maggie being attacked by Michael. Scully is tossed across the room by an unseen force. Just as Michael is about to stab Scully, the exorcism ends, and Michael’s spirit disappears, sparing both Scully and Maggie’s lives. Maggie returns to the hospital and is reunited with Charlie. Before the agents leave, the head elder of the Căluşari says it’s over for the time being and cautiously forewarns Mulder that “it knows you.”