Thursday, October 15, 2009

Season 6, Episode 15: Arcadia


In a planned community in San Diego, a man is irritated by the fact that the codes are so strict that his neighbor is painting his mailbox an approved color. As a show of dissent, he puts up a tacky whirligig that someone has sent him. He and his wife are killed the same night by a mysterious creature.

Back on the X-Files and posing as a married couple, Mulder and Scully move into the couple's old house after the local police turn to the FBI for help in investigating unexplained disappearances from the community. Mulder finds what looks like blood on the overhead fan. Their neighbor, "Big Mike," tells the community president, Gene Gogolok, that they might want to let the new folks know about what happens when the rules aren't followed. Considering Big Mike a weak link, Gogolok apparently has another person break a lamp outside Big Mike's house, and Big Mike is attacked by a creature that rises from the ground. Gogolok declines to let Mulder have a basketball hoop at the house, and also notes how he's traveled to Nepal and Tibet frequently on business trips.

Walking with another neighbor and her dog, Scully finds Big Mike's necklace in a storm drain. Noticing how everyone is obsessed with the community rules, Mulder aims to break them by putting out a lawn flamingo and messing with the mailbox. Someone fixes both infractions and leaves a note warning Mulder to behave before it gets dark. Instead, he breaks out the basketball hoop, but his neighbor is nearly attacked instead due to another broken lamp.

The sample from the fan is found to be garbage, and Scully says the community was built upon an old landfill. Thinking the couple might be buried in the yard, Mulder starts excavating the front yard under the guise of putting in a reflecting pool. They don't find the bodies, but they do find the whirligig, an import from Gogolok's company. Big Mike turns out to be alive, and also the one who broke the other neighbors' lamp as an attempt to satisfy "The Übermenscher." He says the creature was asked for by the original owners, and that it's targeting the agents. He's killed soon after trying to take it out, but Scully is saved in the process.

Mulder arrests Gogolok, and charges him with eliminating the prior residents by summoning a tulpa with a Tibetan artifact, then losing control of it. Mulder handcuffs him to the mailbox while going to check on Scully. Apparently that's a violation of the rules, as the tulpa soon mortally beats him. It goes to attack Mulder, but dissolves into compost as Gogolok dies. Several residents of the community come forward after Gogolok's death to blame the disappearances on him, but claim ignorance on their own behalf.

Abraham Benrubi, who plays Big Mike, is best known for his role as Jerry Markovic on ER, but also played Ben Thomasson on Men in Trees and Larry Kubiac on Parker Lewis Can't Lose. Tom Virtue, who plays Dave Kline, also played Steve Stevens on Even Stevens.

Episode Body Count

Dave and Nancy Kline: killed by the Übermenscher.

Two other couples: Scully says they've disappeared since the community started.

Big Mike: roughed up by the Übermenscher, and later killed while trying to shoot it.

Gene Gogolok: beaten to death by the Übermenscher.

The Übermenscher: a living, breathing tulpa made out of compost, dissolves after Gogolok's death.

Humans: 8
Creatures: 1
Aliens: 0

Cumulative Body Count (132/202 episodes, 1/2 movies)

Humans: 1,528
Creatures: 102
Aliens: 62

Grand Total: 1,692

The count just broke my original estimate, with 70 episodes and a movie still to go.