Monday, July 27, 2009

Season 3, Episode 20: Jose Chung's "From Outer Space"


In Washington State, a young couple drives past a man working on a utility pole problem and soon after are beset by a pair of little gray men. The "aliens" are surprised soon after by a beastly creature coming down from a UFO, at which point one asks the other in English, "Jack, what is that thing?"

Scully is being interviewed by Jose Chung, a novelist seeking to write a "non-fiction science fiction" book on the abduction; Mulder has refused an interview. Scully says the incident was seen as more of a date rape situation, though lost time was involved. Under hypnosis, the girl said she was abducted and Mulder felt that and the boy's corroborating story was evidence that aliens were involved. A detective with a colorful vocabulary (censored in Scully's telling) thought the agents bleeped up the case.

The boy mentioned how one of the gray "aliens" was imprisoned with them and was a bit of a smoker; he also mentioned how he and the girl had sex, which Scully thought might be the only reason for the abduction story. The electrical worker, a guy named Roky, told the agents that he was visited by a Man in Black (who looked like Jesse Ventura) and ordered not to say how he witnessed the abduction. He did anyway, but it included him being mankind's only hope by the real alien and an orgy with reincarnated souls. Under hypnosis, the girl changed her story to say she was abducted by Air Force men.

A dead alien was found by a conspiracy nut named Blaine Faulkner, who mistakes Mulder and Scully for Men in Black (and later had an autopsy tape stolen by the Ventura MiB). An autopsy revealed the alien to be an Air Force major who had gone AWOL, and Mulder found another AWOL pilot, Lt. Jack Schaffer, on the road. In a diner, the pilot told Mulder the abductions were just the military messing around, and that everyone was abducted by real aliens on that night. Chung says that he spoke with the cook in the diner, and that on the evening in question Mulder was actually just eating a lot of pie and asking the cook questions about alien abductions.

Scully also tells Chung that Mulder returned to the motel to find two MiB rifling around: Ventura and Alex Trebek. Scully has no recollection of it, but was surprised to find Mulder sleeping in her room the next day. The wreckage of a top secret plane was found, along with the bodies of Vallee and Schaffer. The foul-mouthed detective recognized Vallee's body from the autopsy and seems a little skeptical.

Mulder asks Chung not to write the book, thinking it cheapens the conspiracy's threat and could be part of the military-industrial-entertainment complex. Chung goes ahead anyway, and gives a bit of an epilogue, which includes the girl getting inspired to work towards saving the planet, Faulkner getting Roky's job, and Roky becoming a preacher.

The two Men in Black here are, of course, the most recognizable guest stars. Jesse Ventura has been a professional wrestler, acted in some films (including Predator), and was elected Governor of Minnesota a few years after this episode. Alex Trebek has hosted the game show Jeopardy! since 1984.

Episode Body Count

Major Robert Vallee: found dead in a field in an alien suit. His body is later planted at a plane crash site.

Lt. Jack Schaffer: killed under uncertain circumstances, and his body is also planted with the plane.

Humans: 2
Creatures: 0
Aliens: 0

Cumulative Body Count (69/202 episodes, 0/2 movies)

Humans: 873
Creatures: 54
Aliens: 47

Grand Total: 974

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