A team of volcanic researchers in the Cascade Mountains send out a distress call; another research station manages to pick up an image from Firewalker, a robotic volcano probe, that shows a dead seismologist and mysterious shadow. Mulder and Scully are sent to the scene, and find that the station in shambles and team members afraid of vulcanologist Daniel Trepkos, who thought up Firewalker.
Mulder becomes fascinated with Trepkos' notes stating that he may have found a new organism, while Scully wants to get the team out since they're suffering from post-traumatic stress. A team member dies after a fungus bursts from his throat, and the station goes into self-quarantine. Scully determines that the fungal spores become harmless unless they are immediately ingested or inhaled.
Mulder finds Trepkos, who has been hiding out in a volcanic chamber, and he reveals that all of the team members except him were infected when the fungus was first discovered. Scully narrowly avoids contamination herself when the last surviving team member handcuffs herself to Scully for some unknown reason. Mulder lets Trepkos go, and he and Scully enter quarantine. The volcano is sealed off, as Trepkos continues to live in hiding on the site.
David Kaye, who has a bit part as a reporter, has done a fair amount of voice work, including Optimus Prime on the animated series of Transformers (and, ironically, Megatron on other Transformers shows). Shawnee Smith, who plays Jessie O'Neil, also played Linda on Becker and Amanda in the movie Saw. Bradley Whitford (Trepkos) is best known for his role as Josh Lyman on The West Wing, but also appeared in the movies Philadelphia, Scent of a Woman, and Revenge of the Nerds II.
Episode Body Count
Phil Ericson: chief seismologist on the research team, dies of spore contamination.
Dr. Adam Pierce: strangled to death by Trepkos.
Peter Tanaka: dies of spore contamination and a very nasty throat fungus.
Jason Ludwig: shot with a flare gun by Trepkos, and subsequently set on fire to destroy the fungus.
Jessie O'Neil: dies of spore contamination.
Cumulative Body Count (33/202 episodes, 0/2 movies)
Grand Total: 260
8 hours ago