1×09 Fallen Angel
On a tip from Deepthroat, Mulder books to Wisconsin to investigate the crash of a mysterious flying something-or-other, gets arrested by the army, and meets UFO conspiracy wonk/epileptic Max Fenig. Scully tries to take Mulder back to DC in time for the “should we close the X-Files” hearing, but hijinks ensue which culminate in the apparent abduction of Max by aliens. Probably. And then the X-Files don’t get closed after all!
Wood you like to hear what happened?
We open in the woods, in Wisconsin. A fire! Deputy Rike, from the sheriff’s office investigates the situation.
And then a cut to US Space Surveillance Center in Colorado! They’ve spotted a bogey.
It was flying around like no known aircraft could; also, it was an object. Additionally: not identified.
But the ornery military officer dude guy, Henderson, declares that it was “a meteor”, and that the official report damn well better say as much. Then he secetly sneaks off to make a phone call about a “confirmed fallen angel” and mobilizes Project Falcon.
Now back to Wisconsin, where Deputy Rike gets rushed by something totally invisible.
And then come the strobelights of doom.
A motel in Townsend, WI. The text crawl say this is just after midnight on Day 1.
TV is blaming the evacuation of Townsend on an undisclosed chemical spill. We know this because Mulder is watching TV while gearing up Buffy-style (leather jacket, flashlight, serious looks) while having a flashback to a conversation with Deepthroat.
The thrust of the flashback: Operation Falcon is the reclamation of a crashed aerial vehicle. Deepthroat tells Mulder that he has, oh, maybe…
…TWENTY FOUR HOURS. Ish. To get to the crashed whatever before it’s as if nothing ever happened.
And so we find Mulder running through the woods, where he encounters a cheesy laser security fence:
And then: military guys going all “GRUFF RUFF OOF GRR” like military guys do, but what is this? Something is detaching from below the vehicle…
No, it’s just Mulder being all Solid Snake and sneaking inside the perimeter by riding underneath a truck.
Night in the woods
Mulder sneaks toward lights!
He gets to the camp, and boy is he excited by whatever the hell it is he sees. Which seems mostly to be guys in hazmat suits firing off fire extinguishers. Ffff, whoooosh. He takes a bunch of pictures, which means someone pretty much has to fuck that up for him, which a soldier does by sneaking up on him and braining him with the butt of a rifle.
Next thing we know, someone is exposing all of his film.
It’s Henderson, who gets all chappy with Mulder:
And then the army guys throw Mulder in a chain-link holding cell and subject him to Torture By Conversation With A UFO Nut.
So that’s Max Fenig, folks.
Scully decides to be in this episode.
Scully shows up to kind of chew Mulder out about his UFO-chasing and bring on some serious drama:
Mulder does not seem either surprised or particularly cheery about any of this.
Scully tells Mulder it was a Libyan jet with a nuke, but doesn’t sound super confident about the whole thing.
Back to the woods and the cheesy laser fence, where we watch the invisible pilot thingy angel whatever get kind of flirty with the fence for a while before just streaking out through it and across the forest road.
And then Mulder and Scully head back to Mulder’s motel room and find it totally trashed. There’s something there! They pull their guns! They confront…a pair of flailing legs!
Max commences with the creepiness:
More Muldercore: Max read Mulder’s pseudonymous OMNI article (“M. F. Luder”). Helpful hint for Mulder: huge nerds like doing anagrams.
Max shows the agents to the Fenigcave — a silver airstream trailer full of UFO books and radio equipment.
Max shows off crop circle photos to Mulder…
…while Dr. Scully checks out his medicine cabinet.
Max plays them a recording of the opening night, where the unfortunate Deputy Rike was found by local firefighters who then apparently freaked the hell out as well. Creepy.
Day 2, school cafeteria
Mulder and Scully go to the local evacuation center to ask Mrs. Dead Deputy Rike about her husband. The government is apparently strong-arming the hell out of her not to talk about anything. And: high piercing noise makes everybody go “ow!” Movement! They’ve spotted “it”! Our man Henderson gives the order:
And then the invisible strobe light monster completely fucks these army guys up.
The agents guilt-trip the doctor who won’t tell them squat into telling them some squat after all. Key point: the deputy, and the firemen who found him, were suffering from mysterious fifth- and sixth-degree burns.
Also, the doctor hates fascists. Mulder does that thing where he asks a really specific question out of nowhere:
And then the pwned soldiers get rushed into the hospital followed by Henderson, who gives Mulder a REALLY MEAN LOOK. Mulder and Henderson growl at each other a bit, and then Dr. Antifascist suddenly stands up to Henderson and says that Dr. Scully stays or else, which is kind of awesome. Except that Mulder isn’t a doctor and doesn’t get to stay. Apparently the cameraman is also not a doctor, so he goes with Mulder to visit Max.
Mulder finds him — having a seizure! He grabs him and holds him- aww. Max is epileptic, and has been ever since he was 10. And now he needs a nap, which gives Mulder a chance to notice his CRAZY EAR SCAR.
Mulder, never one to forget a juicy scar, digs out some similar scar photos, and is going over them when Scully comes back to remind him that they have to catch a plane for Mulder’s not-shutting-down-the-x-files hearing. But wait!
The scars? From people who claimed to have been abductees. But, Dr. Scully points out, Max’s meds include a powerful antipsychotic used to treat schizophrenia.
BACK TO SPACE SURVEILLANCE
Now there’s a bigger “meteor”, and it’s hovering over Townsend. Okay!
BACK TO MAX’S TRAILER
Invisible Thing POV cam is on top of Max’s airstream, looking around, and then it…flies through the roof into the trailer?
Anyway, it sneaks up on sleeping post-seizure Max and…his ear starts bleeding.
Max, go figure, wakes up and stares at Captain Fisheye, and then–
And then a commercial break. (Except we’re watching it on DVD. But still.)
When we come back, the agents are in his trailer, where there’s earblood on the sheets but no Max. But Max’s radio mentions a trespasser on the waterfront! Mulder wants to go find him, and to HELL with making their flight. Scully…acquiesces.
ON THE WATERFRONT
Some army guys find Max. Max kind of warns them off. Scully and Mulder find the army guys dead and smoking at their jeep!
And then they chase down some yelling in a nearby abandoned warehouse/factory type building. It’s Max, who is pointing out loudly that It Hurts and that They’re Coming For Me. Army guys close in — Scully goes out for a look while Mulder stays with Max.
Scully holds them off by putting her arms up and being immediately apprehended; the army guys decide to forgo Plan A (“walk through unlocked door”) in favor of Plan B (“use C4 to blow wall open”). Guy with a heat scope spots THREE people in the warehouse.
The very same! He sneaks up on Mulder and Max, and then Max yells and there’s a zappy noise and Mulder goes FLYING THROUGH THE AIR.
And then a flash of invisible guy, and some yelling of Max’s name, and then, well, holy crap:
And big flashing lights! And twitching floaty Max! And then army thermal scope guy reports there’s only ONE person in the building now. (That person is Mulder.)
And once again, Mulder has witnessed something profoundly unusual and Scully has missed it.
DAY 4 – OFFICE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY HEARING
A serious looking guy in a suit — that McGraff fellow who wants to can Mulder, apparently — asks Scully some pointed questions about Mulder. Scully responds by sitting at the end of a very long table.
The thrust of the questions seems to be that Mulder just went to Wisconsin of his own accord, and that’s totally not cool. After she’s done, she tags in Mulder (who is on crutches — broke his leg in the fall?), who seems less than optimistic about not getting canned. He proceeds to have a shouting match with McGraff, who, amusingly enough, accuses him of “exposing yourself and possibly others”.
But seriously, big speech from Mulder here:
Cut to a still-frothing McGraff out on the FBI lawn, asking SOMEONE why they countermanded the decision to terminate Mulder. The someone? Deepthroat! The reasoning: Mulder out of the bureau is more dangerous than Mulder in the bureau where he can be kept track of. (Or at least that’s what he’s telling FBI dudely.)
BUT WHO IS WHO?!