Saturday, September 12, 2009

Season 5, Episode 11: Kill Switch


A man manages to hack into some sort of system at an all night diner in DC. An anonymous caller sends several drug dealers with grudges to the diner. As the hacker is about to do something with a CD-ROM, two U.S. Marshals enter and a massive shootout erupts. Mulder thinks the target was the hacker, a Silicon Valley genius named Donald Gelman who disappeared in 1979. Mulder also takes the CD in the laptop, which plays music and causes the car's lights to flash.

The Lone Gunmen take a crack at Gelman's laptop, and find an e-mail pointing to a shipping container. The container turns out to be the living/hacking space of a hacker named Invisigoth. Soon after, she warns them that a defense satellite is locking onto the container, and the three flee as the container is blown up by a laser from space. Invisigoth tells Mulder and Scully that Gelman released an interlocking series of viruses onto the Internet to evolve into an artificial intelligence. She also says the system will target her if it recognizes where she is by voice or other cues, since it's become malevolent, and that Gelman was working on a kill switch (the CD) to destroy the program.

Invisigoth says the kill switch has to be fed directly into the source. Invisigoth takes Scully, under gunpoint, to find a third hacker associated with the kill switch named David, only to find that his house has been destroyed. Mulder, looking for a safehouse the AI is believed to have created, discovers a tech-filled trailer in the middle of a Virginia field. He finds David dead inside, then gets captured by a virtual reality machine that depicts him in a strange hospital where vindictive doctors amputate limbs. Invisigoth tries to remotely cut off the AI's Internet access, but is unsuccessful after another space laser destroys her laptop.

Scully and Invisigoth find the trailer and head in. The AI starts to target itself, and Invisigoth briefly puts it on hold with the kill switch to allow Scully to escape with Mulder. She puts herself through some kind of upload with the virtual reality machine before the trailer is destroyed, and Mulder wonders if she somehow managed to live on in a virtual way. The Lone Gunmen get a "Bite Me" message on their computer, and in Nebraska another AI trailer remains in an RV park.

Peter Williams, who plays Jackson, was also on Da Vinci's Inquest as Morris Winston and Stargate SG-1 as Apophis. Kristen Lehman, playing Invisigoth, was also Kristin Adams on the series Poltergeist: The Legacy and Dr. Lily Reddicker on Judging Amy.

Episode Body Count

Eleven Metro Diner victims: two U.S. Marshals, Donald Gelman, and eight cocaine dealers all apparently die in a shootout.

David Markham: found dead in the AI trailer.

Invisigoth (aka Esther Nairn): is killed by the virtual reality machine, or else by the defense satellite that destroyed the trailer. Mulder suggests that she might be alive in some way on the Internet, but hey, her body is toast.

Humans: 13
Creatures: 0
Aliens: 0

Clinches Deadliest of Season for now.

Cumulative Body Count (108/202 episodes, 0/2 movies)

Humans: 1,257
Creatures: 82
Aliens: 57

Grand Total: 1,396

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