The X-Files: Terma (Part 2/2)   Rewatch 
May 18, 2020 8:57 PM - Season 4, Episode 9 - Subscribe

Mulder is held captive in a Russian gulag and used as a test subject for the black oil, while Scully is held in contempt of court for refusing to disclose what she knows about Mulder's whereabouts.
posted by orange swan (6 comments total)
The scientist who tried to take a core sample of the rock gets infected and goes catatonic (or worse, since he's described as not breathing) from the black oil *through his Hazmat suit*, but Mulder, who has black oil *poured directly onto his face*, does not. I wish I had the kind of luck that lead characters of hit TV series always have.

I remember on some commentary track that one of the directors said David Duchovny is an exceptionally fast runner, that they used to have to put their cameramen on motorcycles to keep up with him, and that in one episode in which he was being pursued by men on horseback, he outran the horses. That would be this episode, although his horse race win is probably mitigated by the fact that that the horses were on such hilly, uneven ground.

It makes no sense to me that there would be a Senate subcommittee hearing that seems to be focused entirely on discovering the whereabouts of Fox Mulder. Wouldn't Scully just be called to Skinner's office to answer such questions?

Why did the nurse not notice that there was an extra body in a bed in that ward when checking her (dead) patients with Mulder and Scully?

Krycek gets no respect, not even from Russian peasants.
posted by orange swan at 1:58 AM on May 19, 2020 [2 favorites]

Clearly the black oil has been talking to the Syndicate and agrees with their weird idea that doing anything other than just letting him continue on Muldering would "make him into a martyr", which is somehow worse than whatever he's doing on his own.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:08 AM on May 19, 2020

I just want to say that the show is too creepy for me right now but I am totally here for these summaries and threadlets. I am enjoying the refracted vicarious rewatch!
posted by sixswitch at 7:19 PM on May 19, 2020

It's been a long time, I've forgotten so much.

So they're testing vaccines against the black oil. Could explain the differences in reaction to getting infected; they could be using an attenuated or drone or weak black oil.

Unless the different colonies of black oil can communicate somehow, the black oil from the asteroid would have been out of touch for eons, so it might still be figuring out how to infect, much less control, a host and put the Goddard host into 'sleep mode' while it figures things out.

Could also explain the slightly more savvy black oil that infected the diver, and the super savvy black oil that infected the assisted suicide lady (would that be the colony that freed itself by being dropped off at an airport?).


Wow, contrast the big hearted Russian peasants that finds and helps Mulder. Maybe Mulder was able to demonstrate that he has the resources to get and stay out of dodge right away and make amends for the truck, so was allowed to keep his arm?

The arm detaching thing, do they think that it's for the other person's own good? Or to protect the tribe since no-one in their group is of any interest to the power group anymore?

Surprised the escaped survivor peasants didn't just kill Krycek on the spot for being One of Them.


That old Russian assassin's still got it. What an operator.
posted by porpoise at 8:06 PM on May 19, 2020

Vassily Peskow is such good character -- cultured, courtly, highly intelligent, reluctant to come out of retirement/kill people but stone cold efficient at it when necessary. I found I remembered his role with perfect clarity. It's a shame he never reappears in a later episode. Jan Rubeš, the actor who played the role, was a Czech-Canadian opera singer and actor. So... that air of being cultured wasn't entirely an act.
posted by orange swan at 9:34 AM on May 21, 2020

If anyone is curious to hear the late Jan Rubeš sing, here he is performing the Soviet and Canadian national anthems at the 1981 Canada Cup match between Canada and USSR. The sound quality isn't great (as you'd expect from a recording made in a hockey arena in 1981), but the calibre of his voice is pretty clear regardless. The video also features a glimpse of a 20-year-old Wayne Gretzky.

Rubeš left Czechoslovakia for Canada in 1948, just as it became part of the Soviet Bloc, so for Canada to trot him out to sing at a Canada-USSR World Cup match over 30 years later was some shade.
posted by orange swan at 12:06 PM on May 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

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