Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Season 8, Episode 17: Empedocles


A fired corporate worker in New Orleans named Jeb Dukes witnesses the fiery end to a police chase shortly after he's laid off. After appearing to be possessed by a burning man, Dukes returns to the office and murders his boss and boss's secretary. Reyes is called to the scene on the mistaken presumption that Dukes was involved in satanic activities and sees a brief vision of one of the corpses completely burnt. Reyes tells Mulder that she last had such a vision after seeing the body of Doggett's murdered son. The person killed in the crash turns out to be a former suspect in that case, and Reyes thinks there may be a chance to put case to rest.

Doggett is angered by their investigation, but later asks Scully how she became more accepting of paranormal explanations after she's hospitalized with abdominal pains. Dukes has visions of himself surrounded by flames or other red-hot phenomena, and ends up killing another woman in South Carolina. Reyes suggests that a thread of evil is at work, and passed on to Dukes from the suspect. Dukes ends up at his sister's house in Maryland, appearing normal as he says he didn't commit the murders.

Dukes' sister lets Reyes know that he's come back, and Doggett warms up to the idea that he may know something about his son's murder. Reyes shoots Dukes after he takes his niece hostage. Doggett flashes back to a vision he had of his son's body charred to ashes after the body was found. Mulder tells Doggett that when he was working on violent crimes, he came to think of evil as a sort of disease, with vulnerable people open to infection. Dukes dies, and the evil passes on to his sister. She attacks Reyes, but Doggett saves her and tells her its over; Reyes replies that it's never over.

Denise Crosby, who plays Dr. Mary Speake in this and one other episode, also played Lt. Tasha Yar on Star Trek: The Next Generation. Cheryl Francis Harrington, who plays an ER nurse, also voiced Ms. Mambo Garcelle on The PJs.

Episode Body Count

Bob Harvey and station wagon driver: Harvey, a suspect in Luke Doggett's murder, is killed in a car accident while fleeing from police. Considering the entire station wagon explodes after Harvey crashes into it, I'm not holding out much hope for the driver visible inside.

Gary Garber: shot by Jeb Dukes in his New Orleans office.

Roberta Toews: also shot by Jeb Dukes in New Orleans.

Luke John Doggett: murdered while Doggett was working with the NYPD.

Flat tire woman: shot by Jeb Dukes in South Carolina.

Jeb Dukes: dies in the hospital after he is shot by Reyes in his sister's Maryland home.

Humans: 7
Creatures: 0
Aliens: 0

Cumulative Body Count (178/202 episodes, 1/2 movies)

Humans: 2,029
Creatures: 127
Aliens: 64

Grand Total: 2,220

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