Writer: Howard Gordon
Director: David Nutter
When contact is lost with a volcanic research team working on Mount Avalon, Mulder and Scully are approached by Adam Pierce, a technician at the Californian Institute of Technology's Volcanic Observatory. Pierce is able to remotely activate the cameras on the research team's survey robot, Firewalker. The picture shows the dead body of one of the members of the team and the shadow of something moving around in a cavern with temperatures in excess of 300 degrees. Pierce asks Mulder and Scully to join him in an investigation.
Mulder is concerned about Scully condition following her recent abduction and return but Scully tells him she is back working on the X-files. When they arrive at Mount Avalon, they find three members of the research team, Jason Ludwig, Jesse O'Neill and Peter Tanaka. They describe how the team leader Daniel Trepkos went berserk, smashed the radio and destroyed the base. Shortly after Pierce is strangled by Trepkos. Meanwhile Mulder uncovers Trepkos' notes which seem to indicate the discovery of a silicon based life form living in the Volcano. And that Firewalker accidentally brought back this fungal life form which infected the members of the research team.
Trepkos is killing the infected members to ensure the infection does not spread. Scully's medical expertise is invaluable once more, her research indicates that infection only occurs if a person is exposed at the moment that the fungal spores are released, so Trepkos lets them leave.
Not a goof, but some creative editing: After Mulder, Scully and Dr. Pierce are dropped off at the volcano research site, the shot of the helicopter flying away is the same shot as when it was arriving, but flipped around so the copter is now flying from screen right to screen left - you can tell by looking at the mountain formations in the back ground.
Scully: I'm back, and I'm not going anywhere.
Mulder(voice-over): Scully and I are in the third day of a month-long quarantine, undergoing level 4 decon procedures. We are so far without symptoms of fungal contamination. All our specimens and field notes were confiscated by the military biohazard corps prior to our evacuation. Their presence has delayed for an indefinite period the arrival of the USGS data retrieval team. I suspect, though, that there will be little left for them to retrieve. There are no plans at present to explore further any of the hundreds of volcanically active mountains in the Cascade Range, including Mount Avalon. All access points to that volcano have been sealed off by army engineers.... Of the members of the Firewalker descent team, only Trepkos and O'Neil remain unaccounted for. They are presumed dead, and the search for them has been abandoned. Firewalker, however, was recovered, though its sensory and locomotive systems were found to be irreparably damaged. The data it collected from the earth's interior will never be known. And of the events that occurred at Mount Avalon between the 11th and 13th of November, 1994, mine stands as the only record.
Episode Number: 33
Season Number: 2
First Aired: Friday November 18, 1994
Production Code: 2X09