The X-Files: Fresh Bones   Rewatch 
April 4, 2020 9:07 PM - Season 2, Episode 15 - Subscribe

Scully and Mulder are called to Folkstone, North Carolina, after a distraught Marine Corps private who has been experiencing hallucinatory episodes drives his car into a tree bearing a vévé, a drawn voodoo religious symbol.
posted by orange swan (2 comments total)
This episode has a particularly good creepy/menacing feel, and a lot of disturbing images: the maggots in the cereal bowl, the body in the bathtub, Mulder chasing Chester Bonaparte down to the dock and finding only a black cat there, the cemetery scene, Colonel Wharton being buried alive, etc. But it does have that "too much going on" feel to it that The X-Files tends to have sometimes.

Given that Scully knew a huge mistake had been made in the case of McAlpin, you'd think she would have been extra cautious about declaring Wharton dead. You'd also think she would have checked to be sure Dunham was dead when she found him in that bathtub, and been much more proactive about her festering hand injury.
posted by orange swan at 5:55 PM on April 5, 2020 [2 favorites]

Thought that the treatment of Haitian Vodou was more or less respectful and was a pretty reasonable exploration of the power of belief - an oft recurring theme for the rest of the series.

The mistreatment of refugees remains especially relevant.

1994 was Clinton administration. Was mistreatment widespread then, or was it fictionalized towards an extreme and we've caught up with the fiction? Like, 1984 was a warning, not a game guide on how to speedrun an authoritarian regime.

Loved the look on Scully's face in the mirror when she first suspects that she'd been dosed, but then dismisses it. The musical score cue was perfect for that scene. Caught that 'woah, it just kicked in' feeling really well.

Maybe Scully was residualy tripping when she overlooks testing for sub-lethal amounts of TTX* (tetrodotoxin) or residual life functions. Or maybe the Vodou worked.

More surprised that Mulder doesn't want to make sure they don't have a real-life TTX zombie on their hands, especially when Mulder witnessed a dead man "killing" Wharton.

Visual depiction of Scully's trip (re: neurotoxin) in the car, with her hand - fantastic old school physical effects!

The fingers digging out of the wound in her palm hit one of my personal phobia (digging chunks of stuff out of my skin, and it comes out and keeps coming out and more and...) straight in the feels.

Found the cemetery caretaker a really sympathetic character, which framed the irony/ justice of the ending. But that tickled another personal phobia again. My dreams tonight are going to be interesting.

*during grad school I had unrestricted access to a large variety of neurotoxins including TTX. Having knowledge of the physiology of the brain and the pharmacologies of these compounds, not once was I ever tempted to experiment with them with my own central nervous system. There are very dangerous and unverifiable accounts on Erowid that describe the purported effects of a bunch that are commonly used in in vitro neurophysiology-related research - many that are obviously fake because the author survived/ dosed the material in a way that wouldn't make it into the brain in the first place.
posted by porpoise at 8:53 PM on April 5, 2020 [1 favorite]

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