Saturday, August 29, 2009

Season 4, Episode 20: Small Potatoes


At a West Virginia hospital, a pregnant woman says her child's father is from another planet. After giving birth to a healthy baby girl with a distinct tail, the doctor exclaims, "Good Lord, not another one." The matter attracts Mulder, since it's the fifth such birth in three months with the naturally occurring but extremely rare vestigal tail characteristic. The trip seems to be a waste when the woman tells the agents that the father is Luke Skywalker; apparently she's a huge Star Wars nerd.

Surprisingly, Scully digs a little deeper and finds that the tail babies all have the same father. They trace the cause to a doctor who used artificial insemination, and find him being waylaid by pissed parents who think he used the wrong sperm (a charge he denies). Mulder sees a janitor named Eddie Van Blundht working at the facility with a vestigal tail removal scar, who admits to involvement in the pregnancies. Scully wonders if he used date rape to impregnate the women. As he's being booked, Van Blundht changes his appearance to look like the admitting deputy and escapes.

Mulder quickly latches onto the shapeshifting theory, which he says could also explain how Luke Skywalker got involved in all of this. The agents meet with Van Blundht's father, but realize that it's actually Eddie Jr. when he refers to them by name without introduction. They find a body, Van Blundht's father, preserved in quicklime in the attic, and further analysis reveals that the body has 11 more muscles than usual. Van Blundht tries to take refuge as the husband of one of the tail baby mothers, and manages to leave as Mulder when the actual husband returns.

The Star Wars girl is visited by Van Blundht Mulder, and she reveals that she used to date Van Blundht but doesn't really have any feelings for him anymore. Mulder realizes what's going on and detains two men in the hospital's locker room, but ends up getting knocked out by Van Blundht, who heads to DC with Mulder's identity. Van Blundht tries to get into character, and also is disappointed that his tax dollars fund Mulder's conspiracy theories and that Mulder is socially a loser.

Van Blundht Mulder decides to hit on Scully, and the two end up chatting over a bottle of wine. Van Blundht Mulder goes in for a kiss just as real Mulder busts in. Van Blundht changes back, and one month later Mulder visits him in a reformatory, where he is being given a muscle relaxant to avoid shapeshifting. Van Blundht tells Mulder to stop being a "loser by choice," though Scully assures him that's not what he is.

Christine Cavanaugh, who plays Star Wars geek Amanda Nelligan, has done quite a bit of voice work including Dexter on Dexter's Laboratory, Gosselyn Waddlemeyer on Darkwing Duck, and Chucky on Rugrats. I usually don't mention notable people when they come around the second time, but it's interesting to note that Darin Morgan, a writer and editor with the show who plays Van Blundht here, was last an actor on the show as the Flukeman.

Episode Body Count

Eddie Van Blundht, Sr.: found mummified in the attic of his house, determined to have died of natural causes.

Humans: 1
Creatures: 0
Aliens: 0

Cumulative Body Count (93/202 episodes, 0/2 movies)

Humans: 1,185
Creatures: 80
Aliens: 55

Grand Total: 1,320

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