The X-Files: Tunguska (Part 1/2)   Rewatch 
May 17, 2020 8:22 PM - Season 4, Episode 8 - Subscribe

While investigating the deaths of two men in connection with the recent arrival of a diplomatic pouch, Mulder and Krycek travel to Tunguska, Russia to investigate Russian experiments with the black oil, while Scully tries to ascertain the nature of the contents of the pouch.
posted by orange swan (6 comments total)
Stress Man (the guy smuggling the black oil) - cartoonishly amateur hour, gosh, it's almost as if somebody wanted to inoculate a new hotspot on purpose. Accidentally spray a little too much lubricant in those high density foam sleeves, especially near the top...

No matter how big of a rat, Krycek's no dummy. Claiming he's incited/ aided other nationalist cells is a credible enough story that Scully and Mulder, as FBI agents, are obligated to take seriously. What a rat move. The fellow prisoner with surprisingly good English - is that actually true that there are varying levels of familiarity in Russian grammar?

Pileggi looks like he's authentically in good shape, not just bodybuilding.

The scariest thing about the black oil, at this time, is that there doesn't seem to be any effective PPE against it, not a ultra-high pressure diving suit nor a BSC4 suit.

Don't know if I'm imagining things, but the sound mixing was at the top of their game. Did anyone catch the Klick graffiti and the opening door going klick?
posted by porpoise at 4:42 PM on May 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

I don't remember the scene, and I'm far from a fluent Russian speaker, but the polite way to address someone is generally First Name Plus Patronymic. If you're on better terms, you can switch to just the first name and then the diminutive of the name. There's also the same distinction of formal/familiar "you" as in many other languages (including English until we stopped throwing around "thees" and "thous").
posted by tobascodagama at 5:21 PM on May 18, 2020 [1 favorite]

The scene was after Krycek put Mulder in his place (don't put your hands on me again in this place) after they both get captured. Krycek asks the guard to "see management" after the cockroaches in their coup, and goes back and forth in Russian with the guard. Krycek leaves and the prisoner next to Mulder's cell tells him that Krycek is fucking with him - he and the guard are buddies, not Krycek begging/ pleading for better treatment for both of them.

I see similar in other languages - it also seems a given that if there were different levels of formality baked into the language; that dealing with Soviet bureaucracy could really lock down "formal" language of a supplicant. Like, super formal/ polite/ subservient to try to weedle/ charm an official into doing (or not doing!) something.
posted by porpoise at 6:06 PM on May 18, 2020

The plausible deniability here is that Krycek's family moved to the States when he was young so he never had to deal with authority, and his family rejected that kind of thinking and grammar in the home.

But, nah.

Mulder was, justifiably, a dick to Krycek - but took it pretty far - and then decides to trust his life to Krycek as a translator? That Marita Covarrubias would give Mulder coordinates but not a contact/ guide feels wrong unless she (or her handlers) planned on (successfully manipulating) Mulder into drafting Krycek.

How much of the plan did Krycek know, to start swearing loudly in Russian to snare Mulder?

I get that Scully and Mulder are willing to work with Krycek when he offers to give up the people who gave him the orders to murder their relatives, but, still.

Again, Mulder and Krycek are really physically intimate with each other during their journey to the camp. Neither of them seem to have a concept of personal space when it comes to one another out in the wilderness - and neither are carrying protetion armed!
posted by porpoise at 6:19 PM on May 18, 2020

Basically everybody punches Krycek whenever they get a chance. In Mulder's case it might be a way to... subvert other urges.

Not a bad little trick on Krycek's part to drape his jacket over his hand and stand by the railing oh-so-casually to disguise the fact that he was handcuffed to it.

I didn't buy that Krycek could pull that other guy over the balcony railing from own his "hanging by one wrist" position.

I don't find Pileggi attractive exactly, but I also find that I don't at all object to seeing him strip or have sex. He has a body of which he needeth not be ashamed. By the way... Skinner and his wife seems to have parted for good. He's not wearing his wedding ring, and he's in another apartment from the one he was living in in "Avatar", which suggests he may have moved back home, and then subsequently had to find another bachelor pad.

Mulder continues his pattern of waking people up in the middle of the night to do stuff for him.

The prisoner in the cell next to Mulder's was played by Stefan Arngrim, older brother of one Alison Arngrim, also an actress and comedian, and best known for her role as Nellie Oleson in the Little House on the Prairie TV show. Alison has gone public with her account of how Stefan sexually molested her for years as a child and, well, when the prisoner tells Mulder he has "committed no crime", all I could think was, yeah you have, and if anyone deserves to be held in a Russian gulag and tortured with black oil, it's him. [Shudder.]
posted by orange swan at 1:32 AM on May 19, 2020 [2 favorites]

re: Arngrim - Yuck!

and then subsequently had to find another bachelor pad.

irl, that apartment tower is in the "low rent" part of downtown (at the time). More "boring" than "unsafe" - it's where the taxi depots are, it's a 2 minute walk to "Granville Strip" but the women's shelter/ xxx stores end rather than the club/ theatres/ shops end, and that big green neon sign at the top of the building across the way, that was (is?) a "cheap" hotel that was "downtown" but also close enough to an arterial to the airport that you wouldn't have to fight too much traffic.
posted by porpoise at 10:35 AM on May 19, 2020

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