The X-Files: The Walk   Rewatch 
April 22, 2020 7:30 PM - Season 3, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Scully and Mulder are called to a VA hospital in Fort Evanston, Maryland, after a "phantom soldier" begins to target its officers, killing their families and destroying their lives.
posted by orange swan (3 comments total)
This was another uncomfortable episode for me - body integrity/ burn issues and children being involved.

But as a MotW episode, this is pretty classic. In addition to unexplainable/ undocumentable experiences, Mulder manages to collect epiphenomenal evidence (the dental x-ray films) that proves... not much.

Also true to Mulder's mo, he doesn't have any good controls (for ex, some films left in the car, or film in a lead-lined case alongside the sampling films; all from the same lot) - dental x-ray films can and does go bad.

I've played around with silver halide and silver nitrite and depending on how one screws up developing the film, one can get really funky looking artifacts. I wonder what they used for/ to make those prop films?

Way to go Scully "protocol"-ing her way past a stonewalling military captain - woman to (rather taller) woman.

An uncomfortable callback; Rappo (the quad amp) makes a joke/ threat that if he could leave his body, that he'd rape Scully similar to how in s02e11 Excelsis Dei the old man astrally projects and rapes the nurse, and another "jokes" about the absurdity of them being able to rape anyone.
posted by porpoise at 8:23 PM on April 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

Rappo (the quad amp) makes a joke/ threat that if he could leave his body, that he'd rape Scully

Mulder, who clearly did NOT like that comment, then positions himself between Rappo and Scully, to the point where he is aggressively getting into Rappo's face.

Way to go Scully "protocol"-ing her way past a stonewalling military captain - woman to (rather taller) woman.

Scully can be really tough-minded and brusque. We don't see her being that way with Mulder, but it's pretty common for her to push back against anyone who interferes with her doing her job.

Mulder really ought to take guidance from Scully on how to handle forensic evidence.

That huge mound of sand on the one side of Trevor's sandbox was pretty contrived. I've never seen a children's sandbox with that amount of sand in it.

I found it really odd that the people in this episode seemed to have served together on the ground in Iraq in the Gulf War. General Callahan commanded in Iraq, and now he's head of a VA hospital. Freely served in Iraq with Rappos, and now he's a hospital orderly. Kind of a career leap for them, isn't it, give that these are jobs that require very different skill sets?
posted by orange swan at 6:11 PM on April 23, 2020

Mulder was definitely doing the "not cool, man. not cool." thing.

The depth of Trevor's sandbox was epic that he could dig a boy-sized trench in it. It was really high quality sand, too.

Agreed, it was definitely weird that everyone had served together - not only in the same field army (requiring at least a lt. general) - but it sounds like they served in at least the same company and probably at the platoon level for such personal animosity/ anti-bonding to have occurred.

I can't recall the rank of the off-screen guy who threw himself into a wood chipper, but the boil-himself-alive guy was a lt. colonel, and the general's adjutant was a a captain.

Granted, they could all have received promotions, but for Rappo to hate this particular chain of superiors to this degree sounds like the general was a complete piece of work and personally created Rappo's hell. Or something.

I'm chalking it up to 'writers not doing their homework,' explaining how the general and captain ended up in administrative positions stateside at a VA hospital. Also a bit odd that boil-himself guy took up the adjutant position after the captain died/ he recovered instead of retiring (especially as a lt. col.) - which could point to his emotional involvement/ guilt into whatever above-and-beyond horror he helped the general perpetrate.

Same with the Mailman getting assigned/ choosing to being an orderly in the same VA.

Or maybe Rappo was just bitter and taking it out on whoever was around him - but it was obvious that the people he was targeting all knew each other well and were once in the same chain of command.

Rappos was a jerk to the leg-amputee guy in group therapy, but didn't seem like he was astrally haunting him, only those he had served under.
posted by porpoise at 7:12 PM on April 23, 2020

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