Monday, October 19, 2009

Season 6, Episode 19: The Unnatural


In Roswell, New Mexico in 1947, a black baseball player named Josh Exley is the star of a minor league team and content to stay there despite offers from national recruiters. The game is interrupted by the Ku Klux Klan, who have come for Exley. The players chase off the Klansmen, and one of the coaches removes the hood of one to find that it's an alien. Title screen: "In the Big Inning."

In present day DC, Mulder and Scully are looking through New Mexico obituaries from that time period, and Mulder happens upon a baseball article with a photo of Exley, Arthur Dales, and the Alien Bounty Hunter. Mulder finds that the Arthur Dales in the photo is the brother of the Arthur Dales that Mulder knows, and this Dales is happy to talk about baseball and Exley, with a bit of the alien conspiracy mixed in.

Back in 1947, Dales is assigned to protect Exley after a poster offering a reward for Exley's murder is put up. Dales sees Exley reflected as an alien in a bus window, and Exley bleeds some green blood after getting hit by a pitch. Dales finds that Exley is using an assumed name, and is deliberately trying to keep out of the major leagues. He also walks in on Exley while he's in alien form, and Exley demonstrates how he can change appearances. He explains to Dales how he fell in love with baseball, and is keeping on the down-low by assuming the appearance of a black man and staying in the minors.

A lab tech tells Dales that the blood on the glove is unlike anything he's seen, and that he's contacted the feds. The Alien Bounty Hunter takes Exley's form and kills the tech, so Dales urges him to get out of town to avoid a murder charge. Dales refuses to tell the feds anything, and realizes that Exley is at the Roswell game seen at the beginning. The alien is the Alien Bounty Hunter, angry at Exley for jeopardizing the colonization project for a game.

The Alien Bounty Hunter neck-stabs Exley and gets away. Exley warns Dales not to get near him due to the acidic nature of the blood, but it turns out that he has apparently become human somehow, as he has red blood. The wound is still fatal, though. The story inspires Mulder to give Scully a very early or very late birthday gift of a batting lesson, and she finds herself enjoying the sport.

David Duchovny wrote and directed this episode, and his brother has a role as Piney. Jesse L. Martin, last seen a long time ago in "Irresistable," is worth noting again for his role as Detective Ed Green on Law and Order, which he was starting around the same time as this episode. Paul Willson, who plays Ted, also played Paul Krapence on Cheers.

Episode Body Count

Ted: a lab technician, killed after being thrown through a glass door by the Alien Bounty Hunter.

Josh Exley: stabbed by the Alien Bounty Hunter. Has apparently become a human by that point, so that's what I'll count him as.

Humans: 2
Creatures: 0
Aliens: 0

Cumulative Body Count (136/202 episodes, 1/2 movies)

Humans: 1,546
Creatures: 104
Aliens: 62

Grand Total: 1,712

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