Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Season 4, Episode 17: Tempus Fugit


A friend from way back, Max Fenig, is on a commercial jet over upstate New York; as a suspicious man assembles a weapon in the lavatory, the plane is hit by turbulence and a glaring light, and a door is removed. In DC, it's Scully's birthday and Mulder gives her an Apollo 11 key chain. They're approached by Max's sister, who has told her to get in touch with them if anything happens. She also said he was on his way to DC with something the government would kill for, but his plane crashed before he arrived.

At a NTSB meeting, Mulder asks if there is any chance the plane was forced down, and says Fenig was a known alien abductee. At the crash site, two NTSB workers retrieve the assassin's gun and destroy his identifying features. Mulder also notes nine minutes of missing time on watches at the scene. Fenig's seatmate is found to have radiation burns. Scully wonders if Fenig was carrying plutonium, while Mulder thinks he's been abducted mid-flight. That theory is dashed when Fenig's body is recovered. Fenig's sister is apparently abducted.

Mulder finds that all of the wristwatches have been removed from the bodies. The official explanation for the crash is given as a complete systems failure. Mulder and Scully visit a nearby Air Force installation to see what their radar showed, but apparently there was nothing out of the ordinary; after they leave, we see that the two air traffic controllers there have been instructed to keep quiet about something. A NTSB official named Mike Millar tells the agents that the airframe shows signs of serious fatigue, despite the fact that it was a new plane.

One of the Air Force controllers kills himself, and the evidence-tampering NTSB man leads a group of soldiers to find the other one. He manages to escape, and tells the agents and Millar that he saw another aircraft on the radar and that the military apparently shot down the plane. Mulder believes that there was a stealth craft near the jetliner that was shot down by the military, apparently leading to the plane crash.

Millar sees a UFO hovering over the crash site, and is surprised when Fenig's sister is returned there. Mulder realizes that the stealth craft may have crashed into a nearby lake. Scully takes the controller under protection, and thence to a bar. The NTSB man enters and tries to kill the controller, but instead hits Agent Pendrell, a friend of hers, as Pendrell brings them a couple of beers. Scully plugs the NTSB guy in the leg. Meanwhile, in the lake, a scuba-diving Mulder discovers wreckage and the body of an alien, and a bright light suddenly appears. To be continued...

Joe Spano, who plays Mike Millar, also played Detective Harry Goldblume on Hill Street Blues.

Episode Body Count

133 passengers and crew: killed when Flight 549 crashes. An NTSB official says there were 134 people aboard, but Max is missing. Another passenger, Larold Rebhun, survives the crash, but considering he has serious radiation burns and Mulder refers to him in the past tense, he probably didn't make it.

Max Fenig: never mind, there he is. Also killed in the Flight 549 crash.

Sgt. Armando Gonzales: commits suicide due to his guilt over being told to lie about the crash.

Alien body: found by Mulder in a submerged UFO.

Humans: 135
Creatures: 0
Aliens: 1

The Zeus Faber outdoes Flight 549 by a few people, so this doesn't quite get Deadliest of Show. Definitely good enough for Deadliest of Season, though.

Cumulative Body Count (90/202 episodes, 0/2 movies)

Humans: 1,179
Creatures: 80
Aliens: 50

Grand Total: 1,309

No comments:

Post a Comment