The X-Files: Folie à Deux   Rewatch 
June 21, 2020 8:40 PM - Season 5, Episode 19 - Subscribe

Mulder goes to Oak Brook, Illinois to perform a threat assessment after a vinyl siding company employee sends an anonymous, audio-taped manifesto to a local radio station, on which he speaks of a monster at the company who "hides in the light", and who must be killed.
posted by orange swan (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I haven't seen this in a while but I remember really liking the episode. I may go rewatch, now.
posted by rmd1023 at 7:07 AM on June 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

I'd almost argue that the real horror of this episode was the job the VinylRight employees had to do. I'm pretty sure that if there is a hell, there's at least one place in it for people who are forced to be telemarketers for their sins. The very concept of spending all day callng strangers and trying to sell them something they probably don't want and dealing with their subsequent and rightful annoyance at being bothered.... [shudder].

How on earth would Scully even have begun to find the phrase "hiding in the light" in those hundreds of hard copy case files? Would she really have physically scanned each file, or at least all of those with which she wasn't familiar with herself?

Why wouldn't Gary have shot Greg Pincus immediately during the hostage situation? Was he really waiting for everyone to believe him? And why not take out that supervisor of his while he was at it?

I had to laugh at Mulder winding up institutionalized. It felt much more like it was due to Skinner having had it with him than it being a case of Mulder's behaviour being worse than it has ever been... because he's behaved just as badly a number of times. Even Mulder didn't seem to resent it or be surprised by it. His reaction was all, "Well, I guess this is happening now... like I always knew it would."

posted by orange swan at 11:40 AM on June 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

"Monsters. I'm your boy."

Mulder sounds as burnt out as I am about my own work, right now.

Interesting concept, Pincus sounds like a kook but he's entirely correct. Very 'They Live.'

Huh, Mulder mentions that it isn't "Helsinki Syndrome" - Helsinki Syndrome is the disorder where the afflicted is unable to distinguish between the countries of Sweden and Finland.
posted by porpoise at 3:44 PM on June 22, 2020

Something else I meant to mention was that Mulder immediately assumed that Skinner was sending him on a case that was nothing but a big waste of time. He's made this assumption about Skinner a number of times and it always turned out to be wrong -- there was always an X-file to be solved. You'd think that by now he'd have learned to trust that Skinner isn't out to humiliate him or waste the time of his agents, and that he has good instincts about whether something is an X-file or not.

Gary is the guy who could see Greg Pincus is secretly a monster.

Apparently the Helsinki thing is a reference to Die Hard where the name was mixed up.

Also... an entire episode like this and no Kafka reference? I am disappointed.
posted by orange swan at 4:36 PM on June 22, 2020 [1 favorite]

IMHO this was one of the two scariest and creepiest monster-of-the-week episodes, along with Field Trip. The trope of being the only one who can see the danger, and being treated as insane for it, is an old but still effective one, but this episode cranked it up to 11 by having the danger be something that’s right about to happen in front of everyone’s unseeing eyes. And it has some very chilling images—every time the bug creature was on screen but especially when it scuttled across the ceiling, or the zombie co-worker sitting on the couch watching TV with dead eyes. This is the good stuff right here!
posted by ejs at 6:17 PM on June 22, 2020 [2 favorites]

Yeah, an insectoid with mind/ reality perception control - unhingingly terrifying because there's little defense Also the creep (insect) factor

For me, it was the lack of belief in what Pincus was experiencing that was most terrifying. Something the The X Files is usually sympathetic with.

Horror, I can deal with - it's horror where I'm the only one dealing with it (or acknowledging it) is terrifying. I have a situation at work like that - no one else thinks its a problem or taking it seriously - but it affects me every day.
posted by porpoise at 10:04 PM on June 23, 2020 [2 favorites]

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