The X-Files: F. Emasculata   Rewatch 
April 12, 2020 7:04 PM - Season 2, Episode 22 - Subscribe

After several men in a prison die of a mysterious illness, Scully tries to discover the cause while Mulder attempts to find two escapees who could potentially spread the disease.
posted by orange swan (4 comments total)
Topical! If only Coronavirus caused giant explosive pustules—it would be easier to avoid. Anyway, this was some excellent body horror when it first aired, and in my opinion an iconic X-Files episode.
posted by ejs at 7:28 PM on April 12, 2020 [2 favorites]

Wear the level of PPE appropriate for the situation, folks!

Scully saw the doctors in level 3+ gear and she goes about opening containment bags with only gloves and a paper mask? Irresponsible of the "CDC" guy to not have the headgear donned appropriately when incinerating the evidence, but television and faces.

If the parasite can spread without the insect vector... it's possible it can use the insect vector as a long term intermediate host. Still, a very curious life cycle.

Clever diagnostic though, but I'm skeptical about the timeframe. Whoever was taking blood from the insect hilarously doesn't know how to use a pipette. A detail that wasn't explored - there were two insects; sampling from the one that bit Scully and another presumably non-infected insect would be a decent control in a less-than-ideal circumstance.

I viscerally needed to pop that thing on the escaped convict's face during the Greyhound standoff scene.

Nice bit of further Skinner development.
posted by porpoise at 7:50 PM on April 12, 2020 [4 favorites]

I viscerally needed to pop that thing on the escaped convict's face during the Greyhound standoff scene.

You can actually see it pulsing! And I was so anxious for the kid, despite the fact I was pretty sure he gets away safely.

I don't understand why Mulder and Scully's focus was on bringing the case to the attention of the public. CSM was totally right that that sort of thing can cause mass panic! Surely it would have been better to concentrate on finding out who was responsible for sending the package to the inmate -- was it Pinck Pharmaceuticals or the government? -- because they seem to have deliberately caused an outbreak, leading to the death of over a dozen people and a possible public health crisis, and bring those responsible to justice. It seemed like such a weird misdirect on their part.

I also thought that Scully was being very irresponsible to be examining those dead bodies when she didn't know what she was dealing with and couldn't be sure she wouldn't be infected/spread the disease. It never seems to occur to her that she was partly responsible for the death of Dr. Auerbach.

Scully is present when Dr. Auerbach gets a face full of pus, yet doesn't get infected, while two inmates get infected from merely changing some linens. The woman does have the devil's own luck.

And yes, this was a very topical episode. I spent part of it thinking sourly that the exploding boils infection looked dead easy to contain compared to what we're dealing with at present.
posted by orange swan at 11:49 AM on April 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

The woman does have the devil's own luck.

If the universe grants you immortality it might as well be retroactive.
posted by figurant at 2:35 PM on April 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

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