Thursday, September 17, 2009

Season 5, Episode 15: Travelers


In 1990, a decomposed body is found in the bathtub of a Wisconsin man named Edward Skur. After he is shot, Skur repeats "Mulder" over and over again to the sheriff. Mulder, a greener pre-X-Files agent, is interested in the case and Skur's repetition of the family name. It turns out Skur disappeared 38 years prior and was wanted for a series of killings in which the victims' soft tissue was removed. Mulder starts to converse with Arthur Dales, the special agent who worked on the case.

Thinking back on the case, Dales remembers arresting Skur with his partner on suspicion of being a Communist. He heard that he hanged himself, then saw him walking on the street and was attacked by him, seeing tentacles beginning to emerge from Skur's mouth before he was scared off. Dales was warned off the matter, but pursued it anyway. He was tipped off to visit a German doctor, who was found dead and decomposed in his home.

Dales met with his informant, Mulder's father, who told him that Skur and two other State Department men (smeared as Communists) were turned into something, and the two others committed suicide. Bill Mulder told Dales that Skur was seeking revenge for the men who did the experiment on him, and thought Dales and his partner were part of it. Skur killed Dales' partner by destroying his internal organs with his tentacles.

Dales' assistant said she saw one of the three men's names in an unsolved case, which are filed under "X," and it led him to one of the dead men. An autopsy discovered something crablike in the body, and Dales told Skur's wife that the three men may have been involved in xenotransplantation experiments: the grafting of one species onto another, and something the Nazis were toying with. Skur, who was hiding in the bomb shelter, killed his wife after losing control of his other species.

J. Edgar Hoover told Dales that the U.S. must use the tools of the enemy if they are to defeat them, and gave Dales a chance to clear his name for disobeying orders by meeting Skur while wearing a wire. Skur told Dales that he's part of the government test now, and the other G-men won't come for him. He attacked Dales, but Dales managed to escape after handcuffing Skur to a bar rail. In the present-ish day, Mulder is disappointed that his father would let the government dictate his conscience. However, we see that Bill Mulder actually let Skur escape, apparently in hopes that the government's crimes would one day be exposed.

Garret Dillahunt, who plays Edward Skur, was also Cromartie/John Henry on Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Francis Wolcott on Deadwood. Frederic Lehne, who plays the younger Arthur Dales, also appeared on Lost as U.S. Marshal Edward Mars and Eddie Cronin on Dallas.

Episode Body Count

Bathtub victim: found in Edward Skur's bathtub in Wisconsin.

Edward Skur: shot and killed after attacking a sheriff serving his eviction notice.

Decomposed German doctor: found by Dales and his partner.

Gissing and Oberman: commit suicide after they are subject to an experiment.

Agent Hayes Michel: tentacled to death by Skur.

Dr. Stohman: another German doctor who dies at the Veterans Administration.

Mrs. Skur: killed by her husband.

Humans: 8
Creatures: 0
Aliens: 0

Cumulative Body Count (112/202 episodes, 0/2 movies)

Humans: 1,379
Creatures: 88
Aliens: 60

Grand Total: 1,527

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