X-Files Podcast “2 X-Philes and a Newborn” featuring season 2 episodes F. Emasculata, Soft Light, Our Town

Long time X-Files fans Walt Frasier and Laurice Fattal are joined by fellow improv comedian and baby-phile new comer Patrick Reidy. Together Walt, Laurice and Pat rewatch and discuss episodes of the series as well as its impact while visiting 1990s memory lane. See everyone at the New York Comic Con this weekend!!! Anyone going to SESSIONS at WILLOW GROVE to see David sing tomorrow night, send us pictures (See you all in DC, NY and Philly later this month…)

” The X-Files episode – F. Emasculata
F. Emasculata

A prisoner with exploding pustules. The pustules were carefully rigged to burst on command by makeup supervisor Toby Lindala.
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 22
Directed by Rob Bowman
Written by Chris Carter
Howard Gordon
Production code 2X22
Original air date April 28, 1995

In the rain forest of Costa Rica, entomologist Robert Torrance stumbles upon a decomposing boar carcass covered with dark purple pustules. As he extracts an insect from one of the pustules, it erupts, spraying him with fluid. By nightfall, Torrance himself has developed the boils and tries to radio for help. When a group of soldiers arrive the next morning, Torrance is dead.

At a prison in Dinwiddie County, Virginia, an inmate—also named Robert Torrance—receives a package containing a boil-covered piece of meat. He becomes infected and dies thirty-six hours later. Two other inmates, Paul and Steve, escape in a laundry cart after being sent to clean Torrance’s cell. Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are sent to help the U.S. Marshals find them. The agents note that the FBI does not normally investigate prison escapes, and become suspicious as the prison is quarantined by the CDC and the National Guard. Mulder joins the Marshals to hunt the fugitives, while Scully stays behind to investigate the situation in the prison.

Scully learns that the lockdown population is infected with an exceedingly deadly contagion, finding a pile of body bags stored for incineration in the prison’s boiler room. Scully cuts open Torrance’s body bag and examines his corpse, but Dr. Osbourne, a member of the CDC team, tries to stop her. A pustule on Torrance’s body erupts in Osbourne’s face, causing him to flee the room. Meanwhile, the fugitives steal an RV and stop at a gas station, where Paul calls his girlfriend, Elizabeth, looking for shelter. The station’s clerk finds an infected Steve in the restroom; he is knocked unconscious by Paul. Scully calls Mulder after the Marshals raid the gas station, telling him that the contagion could spread into the population if the fugitives are not captured. Mulder sees a CDC biohazard team arrive at the scene, forcibly taking away the clerk in a helicopter.

The fugitives arrive at Elizabeth’s house, where she tends to Steve, in the late stages of his infection. One of Steve’s pustules erupts in her face, killing him and infecting Elizabeth. At that moment, Mulder and the Marshals raid the house and arrest her, but find Paul missing. Meanwhile, Scully traces Torrance’s package to Pinck Pharmaceuticals, a major drug developer. She also finds an insect in the body of another prisoner. Dr. Osbourne, who has become infected, reveals that his team works for Pinck and are researching a dilating enzyme produced by the insect. However, the insect has a parasitic life cycle that kills its hosts. Osbourne claims that the insect and its contagion were deliberately introduced into the prison by Pinck as an experiment. He tells Scully that since she was next to him when he became infected, she may have contracted the contagion as well.

Mulder confronts Skinner and The Smoking Man, believing that he and Scully were deceived into taking the case without knowing about the contagion. Mulder is adamant that the public should know the truth about Pinck’s actions. The Smoking Man counters that public knowledge of the truth would create mass panic and do more harm than good. Mulder tries to take his case to Scully, but she agrees that exposing Pinck may result in a deadly hysteria. Paul becomes the only remaining proof of the company’s crimes, but he takes a hostage and is killed by the Marshals before Mulder can convince him to divulge the contents of Torrance’s package. The episode ends with Skinner warning Mulder to be more wary of the situations he will find himself in.

Guest actors
The X-Files episode “Soft Light
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 23
Directed by James A. Contner
Written by Vince Gilligan
Production code 2X23
Original air date May 5, 1995

At a hotel in Richmond, Virginia, Chester Ray Banton (Tony Shalhoub) frantically knocks on the door of a room, seeking a person named Morris. Banton’s shouts attract the attention of Patrick Newirth, a guest in the room across the hall. When Newirth looks through his peephole, Banton’s shadow slips beneath the door. Newirth suddenly evaporates, leaving a strange burn mark on the floor. Banton realizes what has happened and flees the scene.

The case of Newirth’s death, the latest in several of its kind, is assigned to local detective Kelly Ryan (Kate Twa). She seeks help from Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson), her former instructor at the FBI Academy. Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) also takes part in the investigation, believing Newirth died from spontaneous human combustion. While searching the home of an earlier victim, the agents realize that both she and Newirth had recently traveled by train. Meanwhile, Banton sits in a train station, cautiously looking at the floor; because the room is lit by soft light, his shadow cannot be seen. After he leaves, Banton is confronted by two police officers patrolling the area. Despite Banton’s warnings, the officers step into his shadow and disappear, leaving more burn marks.

The following day, while reviewing the station’s surveillance tapes, Mulder sees footage of Banton staring at the floor. After blowing up the frame, Mulder sees the logo for a company called Polarity Magnetics on Banton’s jacket. The agents visit Polarity Magnetics, where they meet scientist Christopher Davey (Kevin McNulty). He identifies Banton, a physicist conducting research into dark matter. Davey reveals that Banton disappeared five weeks earlier after an incident in his laboratory in which he was locked in a target room with an active particle accelerator and exposed to a large amount of subatomic particles. His account is enough for Scully to consider spontaneous human combustion, but Mulder is now doubtful of this theory.

The agents find Banton at the train station, but he runs to a poorly lit area. He declares that walking into his shadow will kill the agents, so Mulder shoots out the overhead lights. Banton allows himself to be taken to a mental hospital, where he is put in a room with soft light per his own request. He tells the agents that the accident in his laboratory caused his shadow to behave like a black hole, splitting atoms into component particles and reducing matter into pure energy. Banton claims that the deaths were all accidents, and that the government wants to apprehend him. Detective Ryan and her superior officer stop the questioning, declaring the case closed, despite Mulder’s objections. Mulder contacts X (Steven Williams), who assures him that the government has no interest in Banton. However, X and two associates later attempt to remove Banton from the hospital by cutting the power. In the process, the two attendants are killed when the emergency lights turn on and Banton’s shadow falls upon them. Banton flees from the hospital.

Banton returns to Polarity Magnetics and is confronted by Ryan, whom he reluctantly kills with his shadow when she tries to arrest him. Banton orders Davey to destroy him with the particle accelerator, but Davey reveals that he has been helping the government hunt him down. Davey locks Banton in with the particle accelerator, but is shot by X. Mulder and Scully arrive soon after, seemingly too late to save Banton from being vaporized by the accelerator; Mulder realizes that X has betrayed him, and tells X to never contact him again. The case is considered closed, but Mulder notes that Davey disappeared after the incidents. The episode ends as X enters a research facility where experiments are being performed on a despairing Banton.

Guest actors
  • Steven Williams as X
  • Tony Shalhoub as Chester Ray Banton
  • Kevin McNulty as Christopher Davey
  • Kate Twa as Kelly Ryan
  • Nathaniel Deveaux as Detective Barron
  • Guyle Frazier as 1st Officer
  • Forbes Angus as Government Scientist
  • Donna Yamamoto as the Night Nurse
  • Robert Rozen as the Doctor
  • Steve Bacic as the 2nd Officer
  • Craig Brunanski as the Security Guard[
The X-Files episode “Our Town
Our Town

A man wears a sacrificial mask. Director Rob Bowman found scenes featuring the mask the most difficult to shoot.
Episode no. Season 2
Episode 24
Directed by Rob Bowman
Written by Frank Spotnitz
Production code 2X24
Original air date May 12, 1995

In Dudley, Arkansas, government health inspector George Kearns follows his seemingly young lover, Paula Gray, into the woods. However, after losing track of Paula, Kearns soon finds himself surrounded by lights in the woods. He is then killed by an axe-wielding assailant wearing a tribal mask.

When Kearns is reported missing and a witness claims to have seen foxfire near Dudley, Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigate. At the site of the alleged foxfire, the agents find the ground burnt; Arens, the local sheriff, disclaims anything unusual occurring. After visiting Kearns’ wife, Doris, the agents discover that he was about to recommend a local chicken plant, Chaco Chicken, to be closed down for health violations. While giving the agents a tour of the plant, floor manager Jess Harold claims that Kearns held a vendetta against Chaco Chicken. After hearing this, a hallucinatory Paula attacks Harold and is shot by Sheriff Arens. The plant’s physician, Dr. Vance Randolph, later claims that Paula was suffering from headaches, which Kearns had also reported.

Paula’s grandfather is plant owner Walter Chaco, who gives the agents permission to perform an autopsy. The agents find that while Paula’s personnel file gives her age as 47, she appears no older than her mid-20’s. They also discover that Paula suffered from Creutzfeldt–Jakob disease, a rare and fatal illness that causes dementia. When the agents nearly collide with a Chaco Chicken truck, they learn that the driver also suffered from the disease. Noticing the plant’s blood-red runoff in an nearby stream, Mulder orders a reluctant Sheriff Arens to dredge it. They quickly find the bones of nine people, including Kearns. The agents notice that the skeletons are all missing their skulls, and that the bones appear to have been boiled. Meanwhile, Randolph and Harold discuss the increase of Creutzfeldt-Jakob cases, and complain about Chaco’s inaction.

Using FBI records, Mulder and Scully find that eighty-seven people have vanished within a two-hundred mile radius of Dudley over the past half-century. Mulder suspects that the town’s residents are practicing cannibalism in order to prolong life, possibly explaining Paula’s youthful appearance. Mulder also realizes that Kearns originally had Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, and that the other residents caught the illness after consuming his body. The agents try to search the town’s birth records for confirmation of Paula’s age, but find that they have been destroyed. At Chaco’s mansion, Chaco and Harold meet with Doris, who tearfully implies that she “helped” Chaco kill her husband; Chaco instructs her to obstruct the FBI’s investigation.

Doris calls Mulder, believing that Chaco wants to kill her; after she hangs up, she is attacked by the masked figure. Scully goes to help Doris while Mulder searches for Chaco at his mansion. There, he finds the shrunken heads of Kearns and other victims in a cabinet. Mulder calls Scully on the phone and hears her being knocked out by Chaco. She is taken to a secluded field, where Harold has started a bonfire and led the townsfolk in consuming Doris. Chaco berates them for killing one of their own, but Harold chastises him for allowing the Creutzfeldt-Jakob epidemic to occur. He has Chaco executed by the masked figure. Scully herself is about to be killed when Mulder arrives and shoots the figure; he is revealed to be Sheriff Arens. Harold tries to shoot Mulder, but is trampled to death by the fleeing townsfolk.

In narration, Scully explains that Chaco’s plant has been closed down by the Department of Agriculture, and that twenty-seven Dudley residents have died from Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. She reveals that Chaco was ninety-three years old at the time of his death, and had spent time with the allegedly cannibalistic “Jale tribe” after his transport plane was shot down over New Guinea during World War II. She also states that his remains have never been found; the final scene suggests that Chaco’s remains are being fed to chickens at his plant.

Guest actors
  • John Milford as Walter Chaco
  • Carolina Kava as Doris Kearns
  • Gary Grubbs as Sheriff Arens
  • Timothy Webber as Jess Harold
  • Gabrielle Miller as Paula Gray
  • Robin Mossley as Dr. Vance Randolph
  • John MacLaren as George Kearns
  • Hrothgar Mathews as Mental Patient
  • Robert Moloney as Worker
  • Carrie Cain Sparks as Maid

 

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