season 2, episode 2, “the host”
“the host” is one of these earlier monster of the weeks that is so much more. we have a little mythology, a key character introduced, and we have an incredibly frightening monster. a monster in every sense of the word.
mulder is finally called off his surveillance duty and sent on a case in the new jersey sewers. obviously he thinks he’s being jerked around by skinner. but, we got a small glimpse in the season opener that proves skinner might not be out to get mulder, after all. it’s unclear if skinner knew that this was an x-file when he gave it to mulder or if it was him giving mulder a chance to prove himself enough to be taken off the bullshit job he’s on and it just, coincidentally, turned out to be an x-file. either way we’ve got skinner somewhat advocating for him and another mysterious figure championing him and the x-files. enter mr. x. we don’t know him as such, we just know that he has contacted both former x-files agents while mulder is on this case. he stresses to mulder, “success in your current assignment is imperative. reinstatement of the x-files must be undeniable.” he gives scully information that helps lead to answers in the investigation. skinner, to some extent, affirms mr. x’s opinion. mulder tells him, “you had a pair of agents that could have handled a case like this.” skinner responds, “i know, this should have been an x-file.” you can tell he’s not entirely happy that the x-files got shut down and he doesn’t agree with the people who are pulling the strings.
ok, now let’s talk about said x-file case. the flukeman. this is a monster straight out of a campy sci-fi movie, but it’s not campy, it’s pretty scary. this creature was made out of a “primordial soup” of toxic waste. a parasitic sexless worm with primate physiology. oh, and it’s freaking adult human size! its bite is how it reproduces, introducing a larva into a host that incubates off the organs. they finally catch this thing that has been trapped in the sewer plant and take it into custody. but, what do you do with it? do you prosecute it? do you put it in a zoo? our modern civilization has no precedence in a case like this. they transport the “prisoner” and it escapes, killing a US marshall in the process. it makes its way back into the sewer system via porta-potty. as if porta-potties weren’t disgusting and scary enough already, now we have this image to haunt us. mulder ultimately is able to get to the flukeman before it’s able to make it out to sea and chops its body in half. but, don’t breathe a sigh of relief. this thing can regenerate and the last shot shows him doing just that. the creep factor is on point from beginning to end in this essential episode.
mulder’s baby duck hair is in full force.
ugh, the worm in the autopsy scene. startling and so, so gross.
my heart hurt when scully laughs at mulder’s theory and then says, “i’m sorry, it felt like old times there for a second.” partner these two up again, ASAP!
i believe this is the FIRST EVER “mulder, it’s me.” squeeee!
it made me really sad that mulder thought scully spoke to someone about their conversation. it made her sad, too. her reaction was so genuine. damn you, gillian anderson, and your perfect face acting. “i wouldn’t betray a confidence.” of course you wouldn’t, sweet scully.
this whole episode is disgusting, but grossest moment goes to the toothpaste/shower scene. fuck, i can’t even…
it’s terrifying when that nice sewer plant manager falls in.
sewer water gets in mulder’s mouth. i repeat, SEWER WATER GETS IN HIS MOUTH!!
did you know? behind the scenes facts:
darin morgan, who later became a writer, plays the flukeworm. how did that come to be? he plays a monster in a rubber suit and production is all, “i wonder if this guy can write?” or was it the other way around? he’s working in the writer’s office and says, “can i play the fluke?” i need to know!!
the autopsy number is chris carter’s birthday, 101356.
her face when he says he’s thinking about leaving. she suggests that he comes to work at quantico. so she could be closer to him; not lose him. he replies, “they don’t want us working together, scully, and right now that’s the only reason i can think of to stay.” omg, the feels! “i can request to do the autopsy.” let’s try to work together in whatever capacity we can…
“i’d consider it more than a professional loss if you decided to leave.”
mulder says “we” have a friend in the FBI, when before both him and scully refer to mr. x as just mulder’s friend.
ray: “five hundred, sixty thousand people a day call my office on the porcelain telephone.”
m: “i didn’t want to have to tell skinner that his murder suspect is a giant bloodsucking worm.”
m: “it looks like i’m going to have to tell skinner that his suspect is a giant bloodsucking worm after all.”
s: “nature didn’t make this thing. we did.”