Sunday, June 7, 2009

Season 1, Episode 20: Darkness Falls


The episode opens with a group of panicked loggers trying to escape the Olympic National Forest in Washington before we see a pair of men being attacked by a swarm of green bugs. Mulder notes how 30 loggers have disappeared since their arrival at the forest (paralleling a disappearance of a WPA crew in 1934) and ecoterrorists are suspected.

Investigating with a Forest Service agent and lumber company security man, the agents find a dessicated corpse cocooned in a tree. They also find Doug Spinney, an ecoterrorist who says the attacks occur after sundown. An examination of a felled 500-year-old tree finds tiny insects living within the trunk, and Mulder posits that the insects were lying dormant in the trees until the logging started. Mulder entrusts Spinney to use the last of the gasoline to go get a working vehicle.

After a harrowing night where it is determined that the insects don't swarm in the light, Spinney returns to pick up the survivors. However, the jeep is disabled and swarmed as the group tries to escape. Evidently due to timing with the light, Mulder and Scully as well as the Forest Service agent manage to survive the attack and are quarantined as the government begins efforts to destroy the swarm.

Titus Welliver, who plays Doug Spinney, had a recurring role on Deadwood as Silas Adams.

Episode Body Count

Forty-two loggers: the group finds only one body, drained of fluids, cocooned in a tree out of the party of 30 missing loggers. However, Scully says they "have a pretty good idea" as to what happened to that group after the discovery, along with the 12-member WPA group from 1934.

Steven Teague, Doug Spinney, and two other ecoterrorists: All killed by the swarm of insects.

Steve Humphreys: killed by a swarm of insects.

No, I'm not going to count every bug that flies into the zapper in the one scene. I'll declare insects as the cutoff point for recorded creature deaths.

Humans: 47
Creatures: 0
Aliens: 0

Due to the extremely high body count in this episode, I'm going to create two "award" categories that can be shifted around as needed. First is Deadliest of Season, second is Deadliest of Show. This episode just won both, for now.

Cumulative Body Count (20/202 episodes, 0/2 movies)

Humans: 161
Creatures: 8
Aliens: 7

Grand Total: 176

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