On an oil rig off the coast of Texas, a worker named Simon de la Cruz kills a communications officer (who bleeds black oil) and smashes up some equipment. Another worker, Bo Taylor, blasts this upstart with a lethal dose of radiation, something we've seen before. The company that owns the rig is concerned that the death could be used by the Mexican government to force the United States to abandon its claim to a recently discovered oil deposit. Mulder and Doggett spar a little over ownership of the X-Files, but Kersh ultimately sends Doggett out to the rig; Mulder makes his way out there anyway.
Scully finds that the burn victim is infected by the black oil, also also that it's inexplicably dead; still, she worries that Doggett and the others on the rig are in danger if the black oil is loose, while Skinner wonders why there's only been one infection. Taylor infects the new communications specialist as he tries to restore the gear. Scully lets Mulder know about the dead virus, and the rig is quarantined. Mulder and Doggett look to track down a man named Diego Garza, who is missing. Mulder suspects that the black oil is hiding out in the petroleum deposit, ready to cause a worldwide infection, and Garza might be the only person on the rig not infected.
Kersh says he's lifting Skinner's quarantine order, but luckily that order can't go through because Garza has torched the rig's radio room. Garza tells Doggett that de la Cruz was killed for what he knew and is worried that UFOs are coming for him. Scully determines that de la Cruz had an immunity to the virus, but was killed anyway by radiation. Taylor confronts Doggett, but Mulder saves him from infection. The other workers try to attack them, then decide to destroy the rig instead. Garza is killed by a radiation blast, but Doggett and Mulder manage to escape as the whole structure explodes. The oil company loses the drilling rights, so the black oil remains safely sealed under the Gulf of Mexico. Mulder takes the blame for the whole thing and is canned, confident that Doggett will faithfully run the X-Files now that he's seen the black oil.
Miguel Sandoval, perhaps best known as D.A. Manuel Devalos on Medium, plays Martin Ortega here. M.C. Gainey, the not-so-lovable Tom Friendly of Lost, is also not so lovable here as Bo Taylor. Casey Biggs, who plays Saksa, also played Damar on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Gregory Cruz, who plays Diego Garza, also plays Detective Bobby Stillwater on Saving Grace.
Episode Body Count
Communications engineer: stabbed by Simon de la Cruz.
Simon de la Cruz: blasted by radioactivity from Bo Taylor; his body is later found on the shore of Texas.
Diego Varza: killed by a radiation blast from the infected oil workers.
Seventeen infected oil workers: presumably killed when the rig explodes.
Cumulative Body Count (179/202 episodes, 1/2 movies)
Humans: 2,049Creatures: 127
Grand Total: 2,240