Monday, January 25, 2016

Miniseries, Episode 2: Founder's Mutation

Synopsis

At a biotech company called Nugenics, a scientist named Sonny Sanjay has a freakout during a meeting after hearing some high-pitched noises. He locks himself in a laboratory, accesses a computer terminal, and fatally stabs himself in the head when his colleagues try to get him out.

Mulder and Scully arrive to investigate Sanjay's death. The company refuses to give up the hard drive of the computer Sanjay was using before his death, saying it's classified information belonging to the Department of Defense. They also aren't too keen on having the agents visit "The Founder" of the company, one Augustus Goldman.

During the autopsy, Scully finds that Sanjay has written "Founder's Mutation" on his palm. At Sanjay's apartment, the agent's find several files on children with genetic abnormalities. Mulder suffers the same high-pitched noise, which he soon interprets as the words "Find her." The files are quickly confiscated, again on the basis that they're classified by the DoD, and Mulder suspects that the genetic abnormalities might be the result of a DoD experiment.

The agents try to make contact with Goldman through the hospital where Scully works; he agrees to meet with them after Mulder asks him to weigh in on Founder's Mutation. Mulder suspects that Goldman's connections to a hospital that helps destitute young pregnant women might be part of the overarching conspiracy mentioned in the last episode.

Goldman says his company is working to help children who are suffering from several horrific genetic abnormalities. Scully speaks with a young boy named Adam, who was included in Sanjay's files and has been in Goldman's care since he was a baby; she wonders why he hasn't been released, and posits that Goldman might be after some alien DNA. A young pregnant woman from Scully's hospital is run down by a car, and the agents find that her fetus has been surgically removed.

Mulder and Scully find that Goldman's wife, Jackie, has been committed to a mental institution for murdering her child. Jackie recalls how she witnessed her daughter Molly breathing underwater about 10 minutes after falling into a pool. She says was nine months pregnant at the time, and tried to flee. When she got into a car accident, she claims that she experienced the high-pitched noise and cut open her womb to free her son.

The agents realize that a janitor named Kyle Gilligan has been present at the incidents of high-pitched noises, and that he is Goldman and Jackie's son. He says he didn't mean to kill Sanjay, who was trying to help him, but has been working as a janitor at hospitals to try to find his sister. Kyle reunites with Molly, and the siblings quickly focus their powers to disable the agents, kill Goldman, and escape. The DoD quickly takes over Goldman's lab, but Mulder has managed to sneak a vial of Kyle's blood out.

Aaron Douglas, who plays Lindquist, played Chief Galen Tyrol on the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica. Doug Savant, who plays Augustus Goldman, might be best known for playing Tom Scavo on Desperate Housewives and Matt Fielding on Melrose Place. Vik Sahay played Lester Patel on Chuck before appearing as Gupta in this episode. Fans of Dead Like Me might recognize Christine Willes, who plays Sister Mary, for her role as Delores Herbig (or Agent Karen Kosseff in the X-Files episodes "Irresistible," "The Calusari," and "Elegy").

Episode Body Count


Dr. Sonny Sanjay: stabs himself with a letter opener



Agnes: run down by a car in a D.C. tunnel



Deer: Jackie recalls how she got into a car accident after striking an animal in a road


Augustus Goldman: given that Mulder says his eyeballs exploded under the high-pitched assault by Kyle and Molly, it seems likely that he didn't make it

Humans: 3
Creatures: 1
Aliens: 0

Cumulative Body Count (202/202 episodes, 2/2 movies, 2/6 miniseries episodes)

Humans: 2,321
Creatures: 132
Aliens: 66

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Miniseries, Episode 1: My Struggle

Synopsis

A mere half-hour after Fox decides we've had enough post-game football BS, and we're back again!

Mulder gives us a recap of how he came to work with the X-Files and work with Scully. He says the FBI closed the X-Files in 2002, but he remains committed to pursuing whether aliens might exist. "Are we truly alone, or are we being lied to?" he asks. The good old opening kicks in. In New Mexico in 1947, a military bus brings a doctor to visit the crash site of the Roswell UFO.

In the present day, Scully is now working in a hospital and gets a call from Skinner. He wants to see if Mulder is familiar to an wealthy online conspiracy theorist named Tad O'Malley. Mulder is less than impressed with O'Malley's rantings, but agrees to a meet him with Scully. O'Malley takes them to a remote cabin in Low Moor, Virginia, to meet a young woman named Sveta. She claims that she was abducted and impregnated by aliens multiple times, and that the aliens took the alien-human hybrid babies from her.

In 1947, a military team guns down an alien that survived the UFO crash, much to the doctor's horror. In present day, Sveta surprises Scully by correctly noting how Mulder and Scully were once a couple and had a child together. O'Malley takes Mulder to an undisclosed location with a Faraday cage containing what seems to be an alien spacecraft powered by zero-point energy and containing a gravity warp drive.

Mulder goes to meet with Sveta and finds that humans were involved in the theft of her children. He calls Scully and suggests that there might not be an alien conspiracy at all, that they've been led to believe in a lie and that Sveta is the "key to everything." At the FBI headquarters, Skinner and Mulder pay a visit to Mulder's old abandoned office. Skinner says the country has gone in a very odd direction since the 9/11 attacks and suggests that Mulder should do something about it.

Mulder meets with the elderly Roswell doctor, who has promised to confirm Mulder's theory if he ever manages to put all the pieces together (he says Mulder hasn't even come close with his "warring aliens lighting each other on fire and other such nonsense"). Mulder suggests that 2012 kicked off a countdown, in which a conspiracy of men are using alien technology against humanity. The doctor/informant says Mulder is "nearly there."

Although Mulder is eager to use O'Malley's show to broadcast the conspiracy to the world, Scully is worried that this is yet another time where Mulder thinks he's made a breakthrough and actually has nothing. In a meeting between Mulder, Scully, Sveta, and O'Malley, Mulder outlines his conspiracy theory: UFOs were drawn to Earth by the threat of nuclear weapons and concern about humanity's self-destruction, plus tests involving alien tissue and spacecraft technology.

The question is just what the conspirators hope to accomplish, though O'Malley and Mulder suggest that the aim is to try to take over the world. The possible signs include the Patriot Act, perpetual warfare, FEMA prison camps, corporate takeovers of food and takeovers, data collection, and even obesity; Mulder and O'Malley posit that the takeover may involve the disappearance of digital money, the detonation of EMPs blamed on terrorists or Russia, or a simulated alien invasion. Scully dismisses all of it as "fear-mongering claptrap isolationist techno-paranoia so bogus and dangerous and stupid that it borders on treason" and says it would be irresponsible for O'Malley to broadcast it. She reveals that Sveta's blood test came back negative for alien DNA.

Though O'Malley has promised to reveal "the truth" on his show, he is unable to do so when Sveta publicly accuses him of bribing her to make up stories about alien abduction. A military team raids the Faraday cage warehouse and blows up the spacecraft. O'Malley's show is apparently shut down. Mulder meets with Scully, and says that she actually sequenced all of Sveta's DNA to confirm the results. She also tested her own DNA because of what she observed with William, suggesting that she too might have alien DNA as a result of her abduction. Skinner sends an urgent text message saying he needs to meet with Mulder and Scully.

Sveta's car loses power as an alien spaceship hovers overhead. It turns out that they're not there to abduct her, but to blow her up. Soon after, a familiar figure takes a drag on a stoma and says there's a problem at hand: the X-Files have been reopened.

Joel  McHale, who plays Tad O'Malley, might be best known for his role as Jeff Winger on Community or the host of The Soup. Fans of The Americans will recognize Annet Mehendru, who plays Sveta, as the actress who plays Nina Krilova. Gardiner Millar, who is credited simply as Man in Suit, is returning for his second role on The X-Files after first appearing as Mr. Baiocchi in the episode "Schizogeny." Andrew Morgado, who plays Charlie Scully, has a few acting credits to his name but is more involved in sound work, having worked as an ADR and foley mixer on a ton of shows.

Episode Body Count



Autopsied alien: Mulder references how Dr. Edgar Mitchell has referred to secret studies on extraterrestrial bodies, one of which is shown



Roswell alien: Gunned down by soldiers



At least four scientists: Blown up when the soldiers detonate the spacecraft


Sveta: Blown up by a UFO

UNDEAD'D



Cigarette-Smoking Man: Well I guess he was just very badly burnt.

Humans: 4
Creatures: 0
Aliens: 2

Cumulative Body Count (202/202 episodes, 2/2 movies, 1/6 miniseries episodes)

Humans: 2,318
Creatures: 131
Aliens: 66

Screenshots are from springfieldspringfield.co.uk.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

The X-Files Body Count returns in two weeks

I wrote what I thought would be the last entry in this blog at the start of 2010, after watching The X-Files: I Want to Believe and tallying up the final body count. In the time since that post, I got a new job, got laid off from that job, started another job, and got married. It's amazing what can happen in six years, right?

The traffic to this site has been fairly modest, as may be expected for a niche topic on a TV show that ended nearly 14 years ago, but it's been mentioned in some interesting places. It was cited on the X-Files Reddit page, and Popular Mechanics gave it a shout-out as well.

But enough about me. Anyone visiting this site has no doubt heard that The X-Files is returning with its original cast for a miniseries. In the United States, the first of six episodes will air in two weeks, on January 24.


And yes, I'll plan on updating this blog for the six episodes set to air. When I originally watched these episodes, I employed the simple strategy of having the episode run in one window and keeping a tally and summary going in another window. This time around, I'll probably just start up the episode, open up my laptop, and go to town in a similar way. I'm not sure how easy it will be to access screenshots, so those may have to be added a day or two after the original post.

Among the characters who have been slated to return are the Cigarette-Smoking Man and The Lone Gunmen. Perhaps I'll need to update the UNDEAD'D category, or maybe they'll just show up in visions like the finale.

Yes, I'm still a hopeless nerd six years later. But at least I have a wife who appreciates that now.