12 June 2008

Season 8: Vienen (8X16)

Written by: Steven Maeda
Directed by: Rod Hardy

As the Galpex Petroleum Orpheus oilrig sits in the Gulf of Mexico, its crew eats dinner in front of the television. They don't notice Mexican worker Simon De La Cruz steal a knife from the kitchen. He slips out to the ship's communication shack and stabs the engineer. When the television fizzles out in the mess hall, Chief Bo Taylor goes to the Comm Shack to find De La Cruz smashing all the radio equipment. He notices the fallen engineer's eyes have welled with the alien black oil. Now you've gone and done it, Bo says. His face lights up in a blinding white glow that overtakes his entire body.

Back at the FBI, Doggett finds Mulder rummaging through the X-file cabinets. Although he is no longer assigned to the office, Mulder believes that a recent death of an oilrig worker exposed to radiation is extraterrestrial-related. Scully calls Doggett to remind him that she is waiting with Kersh and an executive from Galpex Petroleum, who had come when contacted by Mulder. Kersh sends Doggett to the rig. When he arrives, Doggett is angry to see Mulder is already there. In Washington, Scully's autopsy on Simon shows that he was infected with the black oil, but that his body had some sort of immunity to it. She tells Skinner that they need to evacuate the ship for Doggett's safety, fearful that others may be infected. Scully shows the body to the Galpex executive and orders him to shut down the rig. She is alarmed when he chooses to bring the ship and its crew back to shore. Meanwhile, another sailor named Yuri notices that the radio on the boat is intercepting some strange frequency. Bo attacks Yuri and leaks the black oil on him.

Scully tries to radio Doggett on the oilrig and is surprised when Mulder answers. Doggett orders quarantine from a possible contagion, and Mulder finds that there is one man missing from the ship's manifest. While Mulder and Doggett go out looking for this man, Diego Garza, Doggett attempts to wrestle control of the investigation, and demands to know what the crew might possibly be protecting. Mulder admits to having seen the alien black oil substance. He also believes that the Galpex executive was lying to the FBI because the ship's crew has already drilled the oil that the ship was supposedly looking for. Suddenly, an alarm goes off and the agents see a fire in the Comm Shack. Mulder comes upon the remnants of a molotov cocktail in the Comm Shack, and he is convinced that the fire was set purposefully. Doggett runs to seek another extinguisher and gets pelted over the head by the hiding Diego Garza. Garza slices Doggett's arm and is relieved that the agent's blood is indeed red. He tells Doggett in Spanish that the flying ships are coming.

Despite Scully's pleas, Kersh orders the quarantine to be lifted as soon as radio transmission is renewed. In her autopsy, Scully realizes that De La Cruz's Mexican Indian background may have caused his immunity to the alien virus. The crew probably irradiated him because he knew something, and they could not control him.

Doggett convinces Garza that he can help him get off the ship without the crew finding out. Looking for Garza himself is Bo, who attacks Doggett. The chief is about to infect Doggett with the black oil when Mulder saves him. The agents lock themselves in the Comm Shack and try to fix the radio as the black oil infected crew bangs on the door. Mulder holds them off, and Doggett somehow fixes the radio. Scully is waiting on the other end of the transmission to tell them that choppers are on the way. Doggett says that he, Mulder and Garza are the only ones not infected, so the helicopter should not land on the ship. Suddenly, Mulder smashes the radio. Doggett isn't sure if he too is infected, but Mulder explains that the radio is actually making contact with the mother ship.

Mysteriously, the crew stops banging on the door. Doggett goes back to find Garza after promising the man he would help him. Garza is dead, charred from radiation. The crew begins to demolish the rig, and Mulder and Doggett run to escape the fires. The agents get to the side of the rig and see the helicopter in the distance. The pilot is mouthing something to them, and they think they're being told to jump. As the rig explodes, Mulder and Doggett leap off into the water.

In Washington, Mulder is in the X-files office when Doggett enters. Galpex still intends to keep drilling, and Doggett is prepared to take responsibility for the mishandled case. Yet Mulder says that he has been fired from the FBI, taking the fall for both Doggett and the X-files. You've seen it, Mulder says, urging Doggett to prevent any more drilling. Whereas on the oilrig, Doggett wanted Mulder off the case, now he tries to convince him to stay. Mulder leaves the office, telling Doggett that he's in charge here now.

This is the only mention and appearance of the Black Oil in Season 8, it is also the last. It would be later referenced in flashbacks during the series finale in Season 9. The apparent changes in plot are obvious as the writers seem to be doing away with former plot lines and adding new ones.

"Vienen" is Spanish for 'They Come'.

Agent Mulder, I understand that you had more than a proprietary interest in these cases, but I can't help it if you're not assigned to this unit any more. I didn't see any reason to pursue this oil worker case.
Mulder: Oh, well maybe you missed the fact that this victim's corpse washed ashore at Port Arransis, Texas, massive flash burns on 90% of his body.
Doggett: I read the report, Agent Mulder, if you're insinuating I didn't.
Mulder: Then you must also know that this man was not the only man to disappear from the Galpex-Orpheus platform that night, but one of two men. The communications officer is also missing.
Doggett: The company attributes that to an explosion on the rig, a blow-out. Which is what they say caused Simon de la Cruz his burns.
Mulder: Burns, the ME said in his report, were not inconsistent to exposure to high levels of radiation.
Doggett: Not inconsistent. It's not exactly what I call a ringing endorsement.
Mulder: These files include the same kind of radiation phenomenon. Tissue destroyed by exposure to —
Doggett: Black oil. Five years ago, you and Agent Scully investigated a case of a World War Two plane salvaged from the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, where a substance was brought to the surface. Which you described as a highly contagious virus of extra-terrestrial origin, that has radioactive properties and can take over a man's body. And it's part of an alien conspiracy to colonise the planet, if I'm not mistaken.
Mulder: And you'd love to help, but you left your light-sabre at home. How'd you get stuck down here, Agent Doggett? Kersh catch you peeing in his Cornflakes?

Skinner: Scully.
Scully: Close the door and lock it.
Skinner: What's going on? You said you want to see me straight away.
Scully: I didn't know who else to talk to, and I haven't been able to reach Agent Mulder.
Skinner: About what?
Scully: About what I found in my autopsy of the oil rig accident victim, Simon de la Cruz.
Skinner: Agent Scully, this man's body was supposed to be transported back to Mexico completely intact.
Scully: I found it by accident in the third ventricle of his brain.
(She probes the brain with a scalpel and a pool of Black Oil forms on the table beside the head)
Skinner: Scully!
Scully: No it's okay, it's all right.
Skinner: What do you mean? I was under the impression that this stuff could literally jump into a man's body.
Scully: No, it can, and I've seen that happen. But that's the thing — this man was clearly infected by the alien virus. It entered his system and it was massing in the pineal gland — but it's dead.
Skinner: What killed it?
Scully: Well, intuitively, you would say the same thing that killed him — exposure to high levels of radiation — but it makes no sense because the virus itself has radioactive properties.
Skinner: Somebody needs to tell Agent Doggett that, he needs to have some kind of idea as to what he's dealing with out there.
Scully: No, you need to tell Deputy Director Kersh that he has to order a controlled evacuation of that rig right now.
Skinner: Don't tell me to go to Kersh with this evidence. Telling him to order an evacuation for something that you can't even explain.
Scully: If the virus is loose, Agent Doggett's life is in danger.

Doggett: So what are hoping to find, Agent Mulder, honestly?
Mulder: I'm hoping to find Diego Garza.
Doggett: There's no chance of that if you ask me. The crew boss said it; a man could disappear of this platform and no one'd even notice.
Mulder: Did you see the crew manifest listed Diego Garza as mestizo, of mixed Mexican descent, just like his friend who died?
Doggett: Yeah. So what?
Mulder: Well the crew chief said these mestizo were particularly good workers, but we've got one dead trying to sabotage the rig and another who's missing. For one of their best workers you'd think somebody would've noticed him missing.
Doggett: Yeah, so maybe he's still here. Maybe he's just waiting to finish the job that killed his friend to protect Mexican oil interests.
Mulder: These men are hiding something, but that's not it.
Doggett: You know, I quarantine a whole damn oil rig without any evidence to support what you're saying, not one damn thing, but you still have yet to give me straight answer as to what you think is going on out here. And if these men are hiding something, if they're protecting something, then what the hell is it?
Mulder: I don't know yet.
Doggett: And when you do, let me know, 'cause I've got to get on the radio to justify this action.
Mulder: Agent Doggett, I didn't come out here just to bust your ass. I'm telling you, I've seen this substance. I've seen it can take over a man's body. This crew could be infected and not even know it. They may have no idea they're being controlled.
Doggett: This? This is what you're saying is going to take over my body? Well, when's it going to kick in?
Mulder: That's not how it works. It body-jumps from man to man, and I'm not sure that it's in all oil.
Doggett: Well that's a relief, because only ninety percent of the planet is dependent on the stuff.
Mulder: The man from Galpex Oil lied...
Doggett: What, he's infected too?
Mulder: No, that new oil province that he wants protected, it's already in production. It's being pumped by this rig. That's how this crew got infected.
Doggett: You're reaching, Agent Mulder.
Mulder: Billions and billions of barrels lying right underneath us, waiting to be produced, waiting to infect that ninety percent of the planet you talked about.
Doggett: These men are hiding something, that'd sure be something to hide.
Mulder: Agent Doggett, what if that's why this man is in hiding — Diego Garza — because he knows what they're up to, and he knows what they're up to, because he's the only one who's not infected with this alien virus.
Doggett: All right, he knows. Then why doesn't he just come down and tell us?

Deputy Director Kersh: Agent Scully.
Scully: Sir.
Deputy Director Kersh: You're in a hurry. To do what?
Scully: To continue with my work, Sir.
Deputy Director Kersh: I'm not privy to this work. I'd have thought this body would have been well on its way back to Mexico. (Skinner enters the room) I obviously haven't been able to rely on those whose job it is to keep me apprised and informed. I have to rely on phone calls. Like the call I received from Martin Ortega. Why doesn't somebody make me privy to who the hell gave the order to shut down that rig.
Skinner: I did.
Deputy Director Kersh: Well, I'm giving the order, this quarantine is lifted.
Scully: We could do that, Sir, but all radio contact's been cut off.
Deputy Director Kersh: As soon as it's re-established I want that rig up and running, and the entire crew choppered off the Galpex-Orpheus and debriefed.
Scully: Sir, I think that's a mistake...
Deputy Director Kersh: I think it would be a mistake not to, Agent Scully. And you're running out of mistakes — both you and the Assistant Director. If I didn't know better, I'd say this was a Mulder stunt.

Mulder: Where's the fire, Agent Doggett?
Doggett: I've been called up to see Deputy Director Kersh. As have Agent Scully and AD Skinner. I think it's all hitting the fan.
Mulder: You mean with Galpex Oil?
Doggett: The word came down that Galpex has lost the right to drill that entire Texas oil province.
Mulder: That oil should stay right where it is. You should do everything in your power to make sure that it does.
Doggett: Me? (The phone rings)
Mulder: That is the Deputy Director calling to tell you there's no need to see you. That the blame has been properly assigned for what happened out on that platform. I'm out. I'm 86'd, Agent Doggett.
Doggett: What do you mean? You're out of the FBI?
Mulder: Kersh could barely contain his happiness when he... stuck it to me.
Doggett: So you're taking the fall? Not for me?
Mulder: For you, for the X-Files. You're all the credibility this office has left. You have Kersh's ear and you've seen it now, out on that platform, you saw it for yourself. (The phone rings again) Answer the phone, Agent Doggett. You're in charge here now.

Episode Number: 179
Season Number: 8
First Aired: Sunday, April 22, 2001
Production Code: 8X16

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