To commemorate the 20 years since the X-Files saw the light of day I decided to rewatch all the episodes and share my opinions and thoughts the episodes provoke.
Season 1, Episode 7: “Ice”
Director: David Nutter
Writers: Glen Morgan & James Wong
Remember The Thing? No no, not the orange stone guy from the Fantastic Four, but the 1982 sci-fi horror classic directed by John Carpenter. You do? Great, because this episode is that. No, seriously, this episode blatantly copies that film (or is this an homage?), but funnily it pulls it off, because The Thing is kinda X-Filesy in the first place.
Mulder and Scully go to the arctic with a team of scientists (including Xander Berkeley and Felicity Huffman) to find out what happened to the people working in a research camp. After arrival they soon discover that people went crazy there and started to kill each other.
The science team decide that a parasitic worm buried deep under the ice is the culprit behind the insanity. Their Steven Tyler -looking pilot gets contaminated and gets killed while the team tries to remove the worm. And if you know you’re the Thing, you know that soon they start to get paranoid about the contamination. Anyone could have the worm and the storm outside has them boxed in. Scully and Mulder must solve the parasite problem quickly before everyone gets infected.
The show blatantly steal scenes directly form Carpenter’s classic. Everyone gives blood samples (and stool samples, which is good) and accuse each other as being a carrier for the insanity-ensuing worm. It’s good that they don’t start to wield flame throwers in the episode, because that would be too much. There’s also a weird scene where Scully and a female scientist Da Silva have to strip down and give each other a check-up. That scene feels intimate and it has erotic undercurrent going on, but when the guys do the same thing, they behave like they’re hanging out in the boys’ dresser room at highschool. It seems like Mulder doesn’t swing both ways, but Scully might. Interesting, and I hope I see this more often (for analytical purposes only, I assure).
The episode has a strong stand-alone concept (if not an original one), and the writers manage to make it a brisk 50-minute episode, where the acting is solid (especially the supporting cast is filled with capable actors) and succeeds to evoke a sense of paranoia. Yeah, not bad.
Best scene: Scully reluctantly turns against raving and paranoid Mulder, when the team finds him on a murder scene with a proverbial smoking gun. Tense acting there, folks.
Most memorable bit: The deliciously vague sparks, that fly when Scully gives Da Silva a physical.
Scully: There’s not going to be anything left!
Mulder: Do it!