Monday, February 15, 2016

Season 10, Episode 5: Babylon


In Texas, a pair of Muslim men blow up a gallery displaying anti-Islamic art. At FBI headquarters, Mulder and Scully meet with a pair of younger doppelgangers, agents Miller and Einstein. Miller is a fan of the X-Files, while Einstein takes a more skeptical and rational view. Miller is interested in somehow communicating with a comatose surviving bomber named Shiraz.

Scully gets in touch with Miller, while Mulder gets in touch with Einstein. Both are interested in communicating with Shiraz to get information on the other bombings rumored to be in the planning phase. Mulder believes that he might be able to accomplish this task with magic mushrooms, although Einstein flatly refuses this proposal. Scully believes that it might be possible to communicate through certain brain impulses. A pair of Homeland Security agents try to take jurisdiction of the case, but Miller chases them off.

Einstein decides to summon Mulder to Texas after finding that Scully is on the case, and ends up getting the hallucinogenic mushrooms as well. After experiencing a bit of racism from from the local FBI and a nurse who tries to pull the plug on the bomber, Mulder tries his mushroom strategy. He winds up in a trippy fantasy world where he walks down the middle of a highway, kicks ass at square dancing, and comes into contact with the bomber as a woman holds him. Elsewhere, a terrorist cell prepares for more attacks.

Mulder regains consciousness in a hospital room and finds that Einstein administered him a placebo, and that he isn't as good a dancer as he thinks. Mulder insists that he spoke with the bomber, but didn't understand what he said since it was in Arabic. He also recognizes the bomber's mother as she tries to get into the hospital and brings her in to speak to her son. After some noticeable brain activity, Shiraz dies. Miller and Mulder both believe he has tried to give a message to them.

Mulder recalls the words he heard Shiraz say in his vision, which Miller translates as "Babylon the hotel." The authorities raid a hotel by that name and capture the members of the terror cell. The agents all reflect on the strangeness of the case, with Mulder saying it's gotten him to reflect on God.

The Lone Gunmen make a brief cameo in the square dance scene. Lauren Ambrose, who plays Agent Einstein, appeared on many episodes of Six Feet Under as Claire Fisher. Eric Breker had small roles on "Apocrypha," "Demons," "Christmas Carol," and "Emily" before playing Special Agent Brem in this episode. Garry Chalk, who plays Mad Dog, has done an enormous amount of voice work, including several Transformers series where he's spoken for Optimus Prime. Marci T. House, whose only role here is the "Angry Woman" in the TV debate, played a sheriff in The X-Files: I Want to Believe.

Episode Body Count

Nine people: killed in the bombing attack on the Texas art gallery

Bomber: it isn't specified whether the stated body count includes the bomber, but I'm going out on a limb and saying that's how the FBI is calculating it

Shiraz: dies of his injuries injuries in the hospital

Humans: 11
Creatures: 0
Aliens: 0

With only one more episode to go before the miniseries concludes, I'll call this one the Deadliest of Season.

Cumulative Body Count (202/202 episodes, 2/2 movies, 5/16 reboot episodes)

Humans: 2,345
Creatures: 132
Aliens: 66

Grand Total: 2,543

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