The X-Files Revisited: Season 1, Episodes 7 – 8

“Ghost in the Machine” S1E7

One of the more charming elements of rewatching The X-Files is seeing the technology that they are using. The computers are practically dinosaurs, which makes this episode stand out even more. “Ghosts in the Machine” is about a software company whose building is controlled by a COS (Central Operating System). In essence, the whole building is a computer with everything from the water to phone system being controllable from a main hub.

The main hub is an artificial intelligence created by a geek turned business man, Brad Wilczek (played by Rob LaBelle). Because this AI can control the whole building, whenever Mulder and Scully or anyone really tries to investigate, the building becomes a haunted mansion. Things work and move all on their own. It mirrors a technophobia that has certainly defined science fiction and horror for quite a long time.


There are eyes everywhere

Wilczek created a virus to destroy it since it is now sentient and has started to kill. The Department of Defense has other plans, and with that, X-Files returns to one of its original premises. The government is out to play puppetmaster on the world, and if anything is as powerful as the COS, then it needs to work for their agenda.

Rating: 8/10

“Ice” S1E8

After a mass murder-suicide in a lab outpost in Alaska, Mulder and Scully are asked to join 3 scientists and a pilot to go up to the lab and investigate what exactly happened. Soon after they get there, Mulder and their pilot are attacked by a god. Scully notices something moving under its skin, and the group believes it is infected with whatever caused the former outpost residents to kill each other. This freaks out the pilot, but the others are afraid of letting the contamination leave the outpost. The pilot eventually lashes out, and they find he is also infected.


Hey, a Mexican standoff!

As Scully digs out a worm from the pilot’s neck, he dies, leaving them stranded. They send word for help now that the worm is stuck in a jar, but they are pretty much stuck until the weather stops. When Mulder finds one of the scientists with his throat slit, the group turns on him. Mulder gets locked up until they can figure out how to stop the infection.

This episode is clearly influenced by the novella, Who Goes There? This story was adapted twice before: first by Howard Hawks and again by John Carpenter. It most recognizes Carpenter’s The Thing, specifically the paranoia surrounding who is infected and who is not. It becomes hard to separate the erratic behavior based on the infection and the erratic behavior based on the paranoia. Unfortunately, Carpenter did it so well that pretty much any other version is going to pale in comparison, this one included.

The paranoia also seems to get to Mulder much quicker than everyone else. I guess that is what happens when a dead body falls on top of you, but Mulder goes completely off the handle which is the complete opposite of the savvy and cool under pressure agent Duchovany plays him as.

Rating: 5/10


Gross! Worms!