07 September 2007

Season 7: First Person Shooter (7X13)

Written by: William Gibson and Tom Maddox
Directed by: Chris Carter

Mulder and Scully are called to the offices of the First Person Shooter video game by the Lone Gunman, after one of the gamers was actually killed whilst inside the game. The members of the Lone Gunman have a vested interest in the game and share the concern of the game's programmers, Ivan and Phoebe, who wish to keep the death as low profile as possible to avoid any adverse publicity before the game is released.

The victim appears to have been shot despite the fact that there is no evidence of a gun in the game area. Working with the computer they manage to get an image of a woman who it appears is responsible. When a computer guru is brought in to play the game, he too is attacked in the game area and killed.

All the evidence suggests that the murderer is a virtual character inside the game called Maitreya, until the local police contact Mulder telling him they have a suspect in custody. The woman named Jade Blue Afterglow, who looks exactly like Maitreya, knows nothing of the game First Person Shooter, claiming that she was paid by a medical facility for a full body scan.

Back at the First Person Shooter offices, the Lone Gunman are checking out the gaming area when the game starts by itself, trapping them inside. Mulder enter the game in order to aid Frohike, Langley and Briers, but he is soon over come by Maitreya. Promptly the game ends with Mulder still inside, however monitoring software locates him and it is left up to Scully to try to save him.

A 'First Person Shooter' is actually a computer game 'genre'. Examples of such are Doom, Halo & Half-Life.

Scully comments that she can get into the Pentagon easier than into the FPS offices, possibly referring to Mulder's infiltration of the Pentagon in the Season 5 premiere episode ''Redux''.

Maitreya says: "Watashiga korekara surukotowo yurushitene" to Musashi just before she kills him - it is Japanese for "Forgive me for what I am about to do." The naming of the vengeful female figure for the compassionate Maitreya is evidently an ironic point.

Scully: This man's been shot.
Ivan Martinez: No! See, when somebody is shot, there's a gun involved, right? That is absolutely impossible because there's no way anybody could ever get a gun past security.
Scully: What do you call this?
Ivan Martinez: It's a laser blaster. For wasting cybertrash.
Langly: It emits a low-frequency...
Ivan Martinez: Just let me. All right. The weapons feed off the FPS mainframe. The effect is intensely real, but harmless.
Scully: You say this weapon is a toy but this man clearly has gunshot wounds through his...
Ivan Martinez: Stun suit. See, it's rigged with paint for wounds and kill shots. It's total bleeding-edge technology. He's dead. I got it.
Mulder: Who was he playing against?
Ivan Martinez: Against the game. You waste the cyberthugs before they waste you. It's all about body count. But they're computer-generated images running on a projector. It all happens in the game space.
Phoebe: It's a total digital environment. Nothing's real. It's all virtual.

Scully: I thought I was on to something. You know, Mulder, this suit holds more than just exploding paint cells. It measures the player's vital signs from the heart rate to the extant body chemistry and then sends that information back to the computer. Then when a player is shot, a battery pack sends a 12-volt jolt that keeps him from getting up until the game is over.
Mulder: Virtual death.
Scully: Yeah, well, if only that were the case.
Mulder: Yeah.
Scully: I thought at first that maybe the uh, suit had malfunctioned, that one of the charges had blown inward but, unfortunately, that wasn't the case either.
Mulder: I've got a birthday coming up. You have to admit, though, Scully, this is a pretty amazing piece of technology.
Scully: Yeah, wasted on a stupid game.
Mulder: Stupid?
Scully: Dressing up like high-tech warriors to play a futuristic version of cowboys and indians? What kind of moron gets his ya-yas out like that? Mulder, what purpose does this game serve except to add to a culture of violence in a country that's already out of control?
Mulder: Who says it adds to it?
Scully: You think that taking up weapons and creating gratuitous virtual mayhem has any redeeming value whatsoever? I mean, that the testosterone frenzy that it creates stops when the game does?
Mulder: Well, that's rather sexist, isn't it? I mean, maybe the game provides an outlet for certain impulses, that it fills a void in our genetic makeup that the more civilising effects of society failed to provide for.
Scully: Well, that must be why men feel the great need to blast the crap out of stuff.
Mulder: Well, testosterone frenzy or no the only suspect we have in this man's murder is a woman.

Scully: For the record, can you state your name, please?
Jade Blue Afterglow: For the record again, my name is Jade Blue Afterglow. I reside...
Scully: I'm sorry. Your real name?
Jade Blue Afterglow: That is my real name. What were you expecting? Mildred?
Scully: No.
Jade Blue Afterglow: I sure seem to be upsetting a lot of people around here.
Scully: Well, you're not upsetting me, Miss, uh...
Mulder: Afterglow.
Jade Blue Afterglow: I sure upset the man running the metal detector.
Scully: You say that you have no knowledge of Ivan Martinez or a company known as First Person Shooter or FPS?
Jade Blue Afterglow: I meet a lot of men.
Scully: Would it surprise you to know that you have been placed at a crime scene in the offices of FPS?
Jade Blue Afterglow: Let's just say it takes a whole lot to surprise me.
Scully: You might want to start telling the truth.
Jade Blue Afterglow: And what truth am I not telling you?
Mulder: That you murdered two men. One with a 14th century broadsword and the other with a flintlock pistol.
Jade Blue Afterglow: Oh. You must have had me confused with my sister — Xena, Warrior Princess.
Mulder: Are you denying that this is you?
Jade Blue Afterglow: Now I get it.
Scully: What?
Jade Blue Afterglow: The medical imaging place in Culver City. I got paid to let them do this body-scan thing.
Scully: They paid you to scan your body?
Jade Blue Afterglow: You think that's the strangest thing I've been paid to do?
Mulder: We're very sorry... Miss Afterglow but, um... We're sorry. You're... You're free to go. (Jade Blue Afterglow leaves) I don't know about you, Scully, but I am feeling the great need to blast the crap out of something.

Frohike: Go, girl!
Byers: Oh... Scully's on fire!
Langly: The bloodthirst is unquenchable.
Frohike: Are you witnessing this?
Ivan Martinez: Oh, yeah.
Byers: Scully's in the zone.
Ivan Martinez: Clearly.
Langly: What's wrong?
Phoebe: This is level two. It only gets harder.
Ivan Martinez: No one's ever beaten level two.

Mulder: (voiceover) We came, we saw, we conquered. And if the taste of victory is sweet, the taste of virtual victory is not Sweet 'N Low, nor the bullets made of sugar. Maybe out past where the imagination ends our true natures lie, waiting to be confronted on their own terms. Out where the intellect is at war with the primitive brain in the hostile territory of the digital world where laws are silent and rules disappear in the midst of arms. Born in anarchy with an unquenchable bloodthirst we shudder to think what might rise up from the darkness.

Highlights from ''First Person Shooter"

Episode Number: 152
Season Number: 7
First Aired: Sunday, February 27, 2000
Production Code: 7X13

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