Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Season 2, Episode 23: Soft Light


A hotel guest dissolves into a molten pool after a man named Ray Banton accidentally places him in his shadow. Mulder and Scully look into the case with help from Kelly Ryan, a former student of Scully's who has become a detective. Mulder notes scorch marks and light bulbs that have been tampered with at the scene. Two other people have gone missing, including an engineer with Polarity Magnetics.

After observing Banton on a security tape, the agents realize that Banton was a doctor who worked at Polarity Magnetics. Moreover, his shadow was burned into the wall by an experiment gone awry. The agents find Banton at a train station, where he has been staying because no shadows are cast by the soft light. Banton says his shadow has properties similar to a black hole and dark matter, and worries that the government is after him to study it.

Ryan calls Mulder and Scully off the case, since they're on an unofficial basis, and Mulder worries that proper preparations won't be taken for Banton. Mulder calls on Mr. X for help, but he refuses; later, Mr. X tries to remove Banton from his psychiatric hospital, but Banton escapes. Mulder figures (correctly) that he'll go to Polarity Magnetics. After killing Ryan with his shadow, Banton tries to destroy himself with the magnetic accelerator but is betrayed by his former business partner. In the end, he is captured by Mr. X and subjected to government tests.

Tony Shalhoub, as Dr. Ray Banton, became fairly famous and has had a number of roles including Antonio Scarpacci on Wings and Adrian Monk on Monk. Steve Bacic, here in a bit role as a police officer, played Telemachus Rhade on Andromeda.

Episode Body Count

Patrick Newirth: melts into a briefly glowing pool and scorch mark after getting caught in Banton's shadow.

Gail Anne Lambert and Margaret Wysnecki: two other "missing persons" who are said to have met their ends in the same way.

Two police officers: get shadowized after trying to arrest Banton.

Two men: destroyed while trying to move Banton from the hospital.

Kelly Ryan: deliberately ionized by Banton when she tries to arrest him.

Dr. Chris Davey: executed by Mr. X. His body destroyed by the magnetic accelerator as a decoy.

Humans: 9
Creatures: 0
Aliens: 0

Cumulative Body Count (47/202 episodes, 0/2 movies)

Humans: 412
Creatures: 29
Aliens: 23

Grand Total: 464

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