09 May 2007

Season 4: Terma (4X10)

Writers: Frank Spotnitz and Chris Carter
Director: Rob Bowman

Mulder and Krycek are held in the Russia Gulag but Krycek talks in Russian with one of the guards and is released from the cell. The prisoner in the next cell speaks English and tells Mulder that Krycek addressed the guard as a superior. Mulder discovers that the prisoners are being used as Guinea-pigs by the Russian to create an antidote to the Black Oil, that they all eventually die. Mulder swears to the prisoner that he will live long enough to kill Krycek.

The prisoner is impressed by Mulder's spirit and gives him a hand made knife, which Mulder uses to escape taking Krycek prisoner at the same time. A former KGB assassin, Peskow is brought out of retirement and travels to the US to kill the Well Manicured Man's physician Dr. Charne-Sayre, who was in charge of the Conspiracy's own Black Oil antidote experiments being carried out in retirement homes in Florida.

Back in Washington Scully and Assistant Director Skinner testify to the Senate Subcommittee hearing, but the Cigarette Smoking Man is pulling the strings, and the hearing focuses on the whereabouts of Agent Mulder, not the origin of the extra terrestrial Black Oil. Unwilling to reveal Mulder's location, Scully is jailed for contempt of Congress. Mulder turns up at the next Senate hearing and Scully persuades the Senate to adjourn the hearing until further evidence can be presented. But Peskow is one step ahead of the two agents and they can do nothing as the evidence is systematically destroyed.

'Terma' is Russian for prison or jail, and is also a Latin conjunction of 'death'. It has also been suggested that the title refers to the Tibetan Buddhist term "Tyurma", meaning hidden or buried truth. Of course, within in the episode it was the name of a town in North Dakota.

Krycek's Russian alias (or perhaps his real name), 'Comrade Arntzen' is named for Val Arntzen, a member of the Set Decorating Department.

This episode's tagline changes to 'E Pur Si Muove', Italian for "But It Does Move". Supposedly, this is the phrase Galileo said under his breath after the Church forced him to admit that his theory on the Earth rotating around the sun was incorrect - meaning that no matter what someone makes you say, it doesn't change what you know to be true.

Due to production time constraints some of the visual effects of the black-oil worms weren't ready until the very last minute so the networks in Canada and in the Midwest, who had to have the episode a couple hours earlier, saw a different version of that particular visual effect in the original broadcast.

Scully: It is not just Mulder I am protecting sir.
Skinner: Then what are you doing?
Scully: We were called before this committee to answer questions about a murder, about an intercepted diplomatic pouch. A pouch that was to be delivered to a prominent Doctor, A woman who is now dead, as is the man who was delivering said pouch. The Contents of which have infected an exo-biologist with a paralyzing toxin... Yet, what are we stuck on here, the whereabouts of Agent Mulder.

(CSM pulls up in front of a house where the Well Manicured Man is sitting. He's smoking a cigarette.)
That’s a nasty habit. It's bad for the health.
Well-Manicured Man: Health is the least of my concerns at the moment.
CSM: Yes.
(CSM takes a cigarette out and lights it up for himself.)
CSM: According to reports from your personal physician you suffered a serious riding accident here on your property.

Sorenson: Well... uh... what are we talking about...? Little green men?
Scully: No, sir. Not at all.
Mulder: Why is this so hard to believe? When the accepted discovery of life off this planet is on the front page of every newspaper around the world? When the most conservative scientists and science journals are calling for the exploration of Mars and Jupiter? With every reason to believe that life and the persistence of it is thriving outside our own terrestrial sphere? If you cannot get past this, then I suggest this whole committee be held in contempt, for ignoring evidence that cannot be refuted.

Mulder (Hugging Scully): It's good to put my arms around you. Both of them.

Episode Number: 82
Season Number: 4
First Aired: Sunday December 1, 1996
Production Code: 4X10

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