In which Mulder is shirtless briefly

1×11 Fire

Episode Summary:
A pyromaniac named either Bob or Cecil tries to burn some old rich dude to death, as is apparently his wont. Mulder and Scully try to stop him, while Mulder’s old Oxford flame Phoebe reminds us just how nice it is that Phoebe is never in any other episodes besides this one.

Ye Olde England

An old rich dude! An Irish gardener guy named Cecil!

Cecil: bad and saucy.

Oh no! Richie McRicherson is on fire!

No one is trying very hard to help him.

Wish You Were Here cover art, rough draft

And Cecil just sits there, grinning Irishly.

He just sits because he has completed his motile larval stage.


Scully and Mulder, bantering gamely in a parking garage, discover that (a) their car is unlocked, and (b) there is a CASSETTE TAPE on the dashboard!

What’s that?
It’s like a record, Scully, but smaller and rectangular and stores audio information on a strip of magnetized—
Why I oughta…!

The tape contains what appears to be a threat that the car will explode and kill them both if they open the door. This is a very tense revelation! And then…some lady opens the door to the car! And says hi. And the car does not explode. And they do not die. Mulder knows her!

Phoebe: Don’t tell me you left your sense of humor in Oxford ten years ago.
No, actually. That’s one of the few things you didn’t drive a stake through.
She’s a vampire hunter!
So does that make Mulder Xander, or Giles?

And then:

kay eye ess ess eye en gee

Her name is Phoebe Green. She’s in the US regarding a rash of people-burning-to-death incidents. The perp likes to send love letters to the wives of the victims. The latest intended victim is hiding out in Cape Cod after a near, uh, burn.

I figured my friend Mulder couldn’t resist a three-pipe problem.
I don’t know what that is but I’m betting it’s dirty.
That’s from Sherlock Holmes, it’s a private joke.
How private?
oh HELL yes
I was merely extending her a professional courtesy.
Oh, is that what you were extending?
I’m going to run this by the arson guys—
The arson guys don’t want to see your dick, Mulder.

The Arson Guy

Arson guy: “Spontaneous combustion?”

Spontaneous combustion!
SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION! I once wrote a paper about SHC*.
*Spontaneous Human Combustion.
It was a compare and contrast thing with spontaneous human liquification.
Which is…
…caused by reverse photosynthesis.
Admit it, honey. You ARE Chris Carter.
[rips off face mask, cackles, flees]

Arson guy drops some vocab: aliphatic pyrolysis.

Mulder counters:


Mulder cherishes an opportunity to talk slide projectors.

Arson guy gives Phoebe — who he clearly has a huge arson guy crush on — a sidelong glance and says, “You’ve got quite a case for yourself here, Mulder. I almost wish I could be in your shoes.”

[imagines Arson Guy stealing his shoes while ominous music plays]

Out on Cape Cod

Oh, look, an accelerant!
Whoever’s on the other end of that brush is in trouble.
They’re kind of not trying too hard to make this episode a mystery.

It’s Cecil! He’s painting this house with rocket fuel, and creepily watching the British guy he apparently tried to kill back in England arrive at said house. And then he puts a cigarette in his mouth and lights it…WITH HIS MIND.

Apparently his name is actually Bob.
Not Cecil. They said it was Bob.
No reason to worry.

And now, the kicking of a dog:

The dog was digging up a corpse! This makes CecilBob unhappy. The digging up part, anyway, not so much the corpse part.

Back at the office

So, Sherlock, is the game afoot?
‘fraid so, Watson.
This show would be so different if they were actually Holmes and Watson.
It’d be a lot more homoerotic, for one thing.
“Watson, we’ve got a three pipe problem, IYKWIM.”

I can’t HANDLE it!
Check out those drawers. The handles are all sideways. It’s the worst card catalogue ever; you open it up and all the cards fall out.
It’s cool, it’s a card splatalogue.

Okay, so, at this point Mulder goes off into the mists of major personal revelations.

What are you talking about?
There’s something else I haven’t told you about myself, Scully. I hate fire. Hate it. Scared to death of it. When I was a kid, my best friend’s house burned down. Had to spend the night in the rubble, keep away looters. For years I had nightmares about being trapped in a burning building.
Well that’s probably not foreshadowing or anything.

Cape Cod

British lady makes tea. Cecil creepily spies on her from the yard. A man coughs!

It’s the family driver! Cecil bums a smoke off him, and offers to get him some cough syrup. This is…this is not very exciting stuff. Let’s skip a bit — Cecil chats up a girl with a lighting-his-finger-on-fire trick:

David Copperfield is a mean drunk.

…then sets the bar on fire. Okay!



That was the only good part of the line. Anyway, Mulder and Phoebe talk to the lady who did not end up hooking up with Cecil. Instead she ended up hooking up with some 3rd degree burns. She recaps the fire thing and gives ‘em a rough description. And then some Mulder/Phoebe post-romatic yadda yadda. Including the revelation that THEY HAD SEX ON ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE’S GRAVE.


Also: Cecil is poisoning the driver’s cough syrup? Probably?

Now: Scully writing up a quality case report. Key notion: he’s a crazy sexual deviant psychopath nutter.

And: Cecil entertains the British kids by pulling a burning cigarette out of his ear.

Then: Scully catches up with Arson Guy.

Next: Cecil tries to peer-pressure the kids into smoking.

At this rate, someone’s going to learn a valuable lesson about not skipping school.

Venable Plaza Hotel

So the family is coming to a party at this hotel, and Mulder and Phoebe (sans Scully) are going to use that to set a trap for their perp, and they’re sharing a hotel room at the hotel and there’s only one big canopy bed and oh nelly that’s–

I’m kind of anticipating having my hands full.
Full of pipes.

Cut to the party. The Phoebester is all dressed up in a dress and shit, and Mulder’s all “hey that lady is kind of pretty” in a mooning, wordless sort of way. And then, fuck it, how about some slowdancing and innuendo? What’s the harm? It’s not like Scully could show up at any minute and–

Well, shit.

Scully, put out, glances around the portions of the lobby where Mulder isn’t dancing with THAT WHORE, and she notices Bob Cecil hiding behind a potted plant grinning like a voyeur. Uncomfortable, she looks away — at Mulder kissing THAT WHOOOORE. Uncomfortabler, she looks away from that to where Cecil is now no longer standing.

And then she notices a fire alarm on the 14th floor and that kind of makes the whole I See You But I’m Not Telling You That I See You romantic drama bullshit moot, and they go running to save the British kids.

Mulder is all kinds of about to face his personal demons here.
There’s an entire hotel full of people. Why is the pyrophobic guy the one doing the rescuing?
You know, demons are from hell, right? And there’s a lot of fire in hell? So “personal demons” is maybe a little more literally apt than — oh hey, Mulder is totally asphyxiating in the smoke-filled hallway.

Someone who is not Mulder saves the kids, and a couple of firemen save Mulder.

“Mulder, this is not your manliest moment.”

So it was Cecil who saved the kiddos. How conveeeeenient.

This whole weird sexual-tension love triangle thing here is really not compelling. Let’s jump to a line that sounds naughty out of context:

Are you at all interested in what I came all the way up here to show you?
[childlike grin] Yeah.
Okay, that was mostly a little weird.

So Cecil (last name: Lively) died in 1971. Hmm! Also, something about satanism. Also, Mulder takes his shirt off when he gets excited:

Now how about a little dance, sugarbuns?

Scully gets a sketch of the suspect and it turns out that it’s ACTUALLY CECIL!


The Brit House

Mulder bursts in and…finds Phoebe and British Guy neckin’!

Where’s the rest of the family?
They went outside for a walk.
“After I kissed them too.”

And now, pretty much out of the blue, they find the driver in the bathroom, poised in puking position but burnt to a crisp.

But nothing around him is burnt.
That is unlikely but not entirely unheard of in spontaneous human combustion.

And now the house starts catching on fire, and Mulder bats at a burning wall with a towel, which I guess is progress for him compared with falling down and choking to death. He mans up and goes upstairs to look for the kids.

But Cecil sneaks up on him! And snaps his fingers and sets the hallway on fire! And bails, but Scully points a gun at him and it’s all “freeze” and “no but if you shoot me the house might blow up” and then Phoebes jumps him and douses him with accelerant or something? And Mulder is still upstairs facing his fears and shit and saves the kids after all.

But then Cecil laughs madly and sets himself on fire and, uh, dies. Take THAT, someone!

Closin’ it up

Scully psyches Mulder out by pretending to be British.

Scully mentions 5th and 6th degree burns in her report.

Cecil lived, and is recovering nicely.

Scully says:

Federal Penal Authorities.
Heh. Penal.


  1. Ashley Said,

    November 12, 2008 @ 10:35 pm

    What you guys do, it is art. Please don’t ever stop.

  2. sunburnfreezerburn Said,

    November 13, 2008 @ 8:22 am

    Mulder said he’s scared of fire the same way he mentioned he’s scared of insects in that episode with roaches and a chick.

    And that whhhoorreee Phoebe! British accent used to be sexy until she happened.

  3. sunburnfreezerburn Said,

    November 13, 2008 @ 8:22 am

    More More More!

  4. tzikeh Said,

    November 13, 2008 @ 10:24 am

    YAY! You guys are back!

    Man, I forgot how young he was, back before he was wandering around the Galactica with a dead cat in a bag.

  5. Carl Caputo Said,

    November 14, 2008 @ 4:47 am

    Hey, did tzikeh just let a dead cat out of a bag? Myself, I picture the firebug peeling an apple in a device specially designed for the purpose, whilst wearing a very fine hat.

  6. Chelly Said,

    November 15, 2008 @ 11:42 am

    Better than ever! So worth the wait! (And oh, how we waited ;p) On a completely non-assholeish note, I really hope that the whole housing adventure worked out well for you both.

  7. B. Said,

    November 15, 2008 @ 12:00 pm

    Oh my goodness the little Phoebe icon with the EYES and MOUTH. This is why you guys are the best television bloggers in the history of ever, and also why the internet was invented.

  8. Esmeralda Said,

    November 16, 2008 @ 3:58 pm

    I missed you guys so much.
    Dear god I needed that.

    This is nonstop brilliance.

  9. Suze Said,

    November 16, 2008 @ 7:19 pm

    “Watson, we’ve got a three pipe problem, IYKWIM.”

    Priceless. I’ve actually been reading Sherlock Holmes lately, so this was particularly lolworthy to me.

    I hope that you guys’ house buying adventure has gone well, and that you keep the posts comin’. IYKWIM.

  10. Cristina Said,

    November 17, 2008 @ 11:30 am

    Phoebe’s cap alone was worth the whole post! Amazing, you guys are absolutely awesome. I always laugh like a mad person reading these.

  11. Shalora Said,

    November 19, 2008 @ 8:39 pm

    Check out those drawers. The handles are all sideways. It’s the worst card catalogue ever; you open it up and all the cards fall out.

    It’s cool, it’s a card splatalogue.

    This about made me hurt myself with the laughing. Ask Esmeralda, I had to stop and text her about that, mainly to have a moment to get my breath back. The lame episodes are the most fun to lampoon, aren’t they? SOOOOOOOOOOOO glad you guys are back! Moar, pls!

  12. Heather Said,

    November 20, 2008 @ 12:04 am

    Okay, call me what you like, but that action photo of “Richie McRicherson” nearly made me black out. If I had one percent of your brilliance, I’d be able to retire at 24.

    Thanks for making my non-constructive internet perusal seem all worth while.

  13. Nate Said,

    November 20, 2008 @ 10:51 am

    Just, ah, so you know. The card catalog wouldn’t really be a splatalog, as there’s a rail that runs through all the cards and holds them in. See here:

    Still, “David Copperfield is a mean drunk” is freaking gold.

  14. Dani Said,

    November 20, 2008 @ 2:27 pm

    I just…*sniff*…love you guys. And I second the “don’t ever stop.”

  15. stop sleep apnea Said,

    November 22, 2008 @ 4:33 am

    ROFL! I just found this site by accident. I loved X-Files too. Mulder’s dry apathetic sense of humor. I even liked Scully but she was waaaay too serious. Glad you could keep the silliness of the show alive. I gave this website a big thumbs up on Stumble Upon. Love it.

  16. Calraigh Said,

    November 24, 2008 @ 6:25 pm

    All is right with the world again because the briliance that is you guys is back!

    As an aside, or a freaking majorly major mad thing- have you guys seen this? It’s apparently on the new blu-ray edition of Fight the Future and it’s snogtastic! I may need some therapy having watched it about 84 times in 2 minutes. Yes. Ohhh yes.

    Here y’are.

  17. Nina Said,

    December 1, 2008 @ 9:29 pm

    I fucking fucking fucking love you guys and I can’t believe I only just discovered your blog. :D


  18. Calraigh Said,

    December 2, 2008 @ 6:16 pm


  19. Brig Said,

    December 3, 2008 @ 9:31 pm

    i am rather in awe you you guys..
    this is unthinkable amazing!!!!!

    and regarding that new blue-ray outake- *whoa*

    keep it up- this blog makes my life =DD

  20. Julia Said,

    December 6, 2008 @ 3:16 pm

    This is remarkably awesome. I love how you so unashamedly love the show. :D

  21. Brig Said,

    December 27, 2008 @ 7:09 pm

    wow- i just reread this and felt the need to comment again- the Phoebe icon is superb, EXACTLY how she should be portrayed to the public (and to mulder- gah! you git!!) who are often vulnerable to british accents. Scully just continues to kick ass- esp. in that opening convo- “oh is that what you were extending?”
    (i’m also sure GA’s regular brit accent is better than phoebe’s anyway..)

  22. deborah Said,

    March 1, 2009 @ 11:36 am

    Mulder shirtless?

    I’ll be in my bunk.

  23. Pat Said,

    July 14, 2009 @ 7:15 pm

    I have just discovered your blog and am dying laughing – Dont stop this madness till you have lampooned every episode … what you are doing is priceless sick and funny as hell – and please know that I love the X-Files -especially that little cupcake known as Mulder

  24. Kels Said,

    August 20, 2009 @ 5:13 am

    omg you guys are absolutely amazing!!! I laugh like crazy when I read these posts. Great screencap for THAT WHORE by the way!!! But you left out the end scene wear CecilBob asks the nice nurse for a cigarette!! :0!

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