The X-Files (1994) – Firewalker, and Red Museum

Leland Orser, Shawnee Smith, Hiro Kanagawa and Bradley Whitford guest star in the first episode of The X-Files up this week. Firewalker was written by Howard Gordon and first aired on 18 November, 1994.

Agents Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) have their office back! The X-Files are re-opened, and they are off to the Cascade mountain range to investigate a remote outpost that seems to be experiencing some strange difficulties.

In fact, this episode is a little too similar to season one’s Ice to ever actually stay with me. Which is too bad, because look at that supporting cast I listed. It seems that a vulcanologist, Trepkos (Whitford) discovered something. A silicon based parasite that has infected the rest of his team, and is slowly killing them in an attempt to spread itself.

It’s not quite so paranoia filled as Ice, but the circumstances feel similar, making this just a run of the mill monster of the week story. I do like, however, that before they head out on the investigation, Mulder checks to make sure Scully is up for this considering all she has been through lately.

The parasite, and it’s spread is done fairly well, with some solid makeup and visual effects. It’s always unnerving to see something moving around in a person’s throat.

And while it’s great to have Scully and Mulder working together as a team again, this one doesn’t quite have the self-assured chemistry they had in season one. I’m not worried though, I know it’s coming back.

Red Museum was written by series creator Chris Carter and first debuted on 9 December, 1994.

What starts out as a monster of the week episode, centring around a religious cult that believes they are walk ins (enlightened souls that have taken over a physical body from its first soul) becomes linked with the mythology arc when Scully spots the assassin (Lindsey Ginter) who killed Deep Throat at the end of the first season in the same small town.

Mulder and Scully are investigating the abduction and return of a young man who has the words ‘He is One’ scrawled on his back in black magic marker. When another boy, the local sheriff’s son, turns up dead, with the same thing on his back, a toxicology report delivers some troubling news.

It seems a doctor has been treating some of the kids in the neighbourhood with an unknown, possibly extraterrestrial gene strand… they’ve been injecting the kids with alien DNA to see what would happen.

And now that the program has been rumbled by the FBI’s investigation, the Cleaner has been sent into town to live up to his name. If they can catch him alive he may be able to give some answers about the project known as Purity Control, and the possible source of the injections.

Mired in red herrings, and troubling behaviour by one of the doctors, the episode also gives a nice little Mulder-Scully moment over a rib dinner.

There is so much more to come, because, as we know the truth is out there…

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