25 February 2007

Season 1: Fire (1X11)

Writer: Chris Carter
Director: Larry Shaw

Inspector Phoebe Green of Scotland Yard contacts Mulder and Scully for assistance in the protection of a British diplomat, Sir Marsden in the US with his family following a foiled assassination attempt. Phoebe, a girlfriend of Mulder's while he was at Oxford explains that there has been a series of British aristocrats burned to death by an unknown assailant. Mulder tells Scully that he is afraid of fire and Phoebe knows it, that this is the sort of 'mind game' she likes to play. In order to spare Scully the ordeal Mulder decides to help Phoebe on his own. A move that causes resentment in an already jealous Scully.

Following a fire in a local bar in which a witness claims that a man with a British accent caught fire, although no body is found in the ashes, Mulder formulates a theory that the man has the ability to control fire, that he has been using this ability to kill. When a fire breaks out in a hotel where the Marsdens are attending a party that traps their children upstairs, Mulder is overcome as he tries to rescue them, although the children are still saved, by the Marsden's caretaker Bob much to the their delight. However Scully working on the case herself manages to match a name Cecil L'Ively from a list of people the previous victim's employed. Records show L'Ively has recently been issued a US visa. When Scully gets a description of the man, she realises that he is the Marsden's caretaker Bob. But can Mulder overcome his fear of fire in time to foil L'Ively's plan.

While shooting this episode, David Duchovny suffered a burn severe enough to leave a scar on his hand. It is clearly visible on the outside of his left hand in the scene where he is waiting outside the ballroom and he wipes his forehead. It was not there earlier, in the opening scene between Mulder and Scully. The scene where Mulder is crouched in the hallway, the ceiling on fire, is where he got the burn. If you watch closely, as he walks down the hallway, with his hands on the walls, he yells in pain and grabs his left hand - exactly where the burn later surfaces.

This is the second episode to provide character development as we learn a bit about Mulder's past: His rocky relationship with fellow Oxford student Phoebe Green (where they shared a certain 'youthful indiscretion atop the tomb of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle'), and that Mulder is deathly afraid of fire.

Episode Number: 12
Season Number: 1
First Aired: Friday December 17, 1993
Production Code: 1X11

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