The X-Files: War of the Coprophages   Rewatch 
April 27, 2020 8:02 PM - Season 3, Episode 12 - Subscribe

Mulder investigates a series of deaths in which the victims were all attacked by cockroaches, while Scully enjoys a quiet evening at home.
posted by orange swan (9 comments total)
I remember Tyler Labine being "Stoner #1" in a couple of episodes, forgot that he was in this episode first (for a total of three episodes).

Love that Scully immediately groks Mulder, "You aren't thinking of trespassing on government property again are you? I know you've done it in the past but..."

Mulder flashing badges with sexy Federal USDA officer is super cheesy, I guess we'll have to concede that this is a straight up joke episode. At least we get a lot of snappy dialogue and a put-upon Scully.

But Bambi Dr. Berenbaum has a point about insect swarms potentially creating electrostatic discharges that could be interpreted as UFOs.

Neat gag (~31:35).

That cockroach at the end was gorgeous.
posted by porpoise at 9:44 PM on April 27, 2020

X-Files wouldn't have worked if every episode were a Darin Morgan episode, but damn if those episodes weren't a refreshing drink of cool water.
posted by ejs at 11:54 PM on April 27, 2020 [6 favorites]

That cockroach crawling on the screen gag was absolutely brilliant and I still remember the horrifying feeling when it first aired. It's one of those effects that works well now but somehow seemed more effective on the older curved screens tvs used to have which made it seem even more real-looking for a second.
posted by acidnova at 12:35 AM on April 28, 2020 [11 favorites]

Who's got two thumbs and a phobia of cockroaches? THIS GUY.

Still liked this episode, though.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:19 AM on April 28, 2020 [2 favorites]

This is one of the excellent comedy episodes that's also a great look at Scully and Mulder's relationship. Such fun.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:09 PM on April 28, 2020

I always loved the bit where Mulder talks to the freaked-out guy about the cockroaches making noise by forcing air through their thoraxes and then his cell phone rings from his coat pocket and the guy thinks he's a giant cockroach.

That and the part where Scully eats the malted milk ball (echo of her popping the cricket in her mouth in "Humbug").
posted by dlugoczaj at 9:39 AM on April 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

I do NOT like cockroaches, and would never pick one up the way the people in this episode are constantly doing [shudder], but this episode's so much fun -- so many funny lines and sight gags. "Scully? What are you wearing?" "Her name is Bambi?" "He's hung like a club-tail dragonfly." "Mulder, are you sure it wasn't a girly scream?" The bug's eye view of Mulder. Scully munching away on the malted milk balls. Mulder's crestfallen expression and Scully's not-so-subtle satisfaction when Dr. Berenbaum walks away with Dr. Ivanov.

I really liked seeing how Scully uses her downtime: she cleaned her gun, she bathed Queequeg, she ate dinner while watching TV, and then she read Breakfast at Tiffany's by the fireplace, all with perfect efficiency and contentment. Meanwhile she fielded Mulder's calls every hour or so, and then had to get out of bed and get dressed and drive up to Miller's Grove, Massachusetts to rescue his ass. He really took over her life when she began working with him.

Scully's camel-coloured overcoat is probably one of the most iconic pieces in her wardrobe for me. It just seems so her: classic, practical, and flattering on her. I don't know if she has it cleaned after a sewage plant explodes all over it in this episode (though I'll be looking for it as the rewatch continues), but I can tell you she has another camel-coloured overcoat -- with a different cut -- in the 2008 movie I Want to Believe.
posted by orange swan at 3:31 PM on April 29, 2020 [5 favorites]

Yeah, it was cool seeing Scully off-work and its pretty balanced - not sure we see Mulder do the equivalent (other than being passed out on his couch); he seems to be working on his obsessions (or, implied, enjoying some pornography) when he's not at work-work, which is rare.

Even later on, bearded Mulder seems to have been pursuing his research in isolation.

The only instance I can recall Mulder enjoying himself/ appreciating the world is when his body was taken over. Or maybe the batting cage scene with Scully.
posted by porpoise at 5:04 PM on April 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yes, that's true. Mulder is an obsessed man with no real room in his life for anything else. We see some indications that Mulder likes sports (i.e., such as the time he buys tickets for himself and Scully, though they don't get to use them because of work, or the time we see him playing basketball at the FBI gym), and he keeps himself in excellent shape, and is always well-groomed and well-dressed, probably largely because he needs to be for work. But otherwise he basically doesn't bother doing any housekeeping, and his interests are all conspiracy theory/supernatural/alien related. Even the movies he likes all seem to be sci-fi/fantasy type movies, and he seems to rewatch the same few obsessively.

Hilariously, when he's body switched with someone else, the other guy is disappointed/disgusted when the life they get doesn't live up to their expectations of what a young, attractive, single, urban, FBI agent's life should be: Mulder's apartment is a disaster, he has geeks for friends, his interests are bizarre, he has a porn habit instead of liaisons with actual women, and though he has Scully in his life, he isn't even getting it on with her.
posted by orange swan at 10:58 AM on April 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

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