X-Files mythology, TenThirteen Interviews Database, and more

2X22: F. Emasculata

Case Profile

The Syndicate uses a pharmaceutical company to test the spreading of a lethal contagious disease by triggering an outbreak in a prison. M&S unwillingly become part of the Syndicate’s plan when they help hunt down 2 escaped prisoners.

Field Report

A very tense episode written by Carter and Gordon. The Syndicate seems to be doing all kinds of things; experimenting on civilians is in the line of 2X03: Blood.

F. emasculata and its parasite

The insect F. emasculata itself isn’t deadly nor dangerous. Pinck Pharmaceuticals was “interested in it because of the dilating enzyme it secretes“, the enzyme responsible for the pustules in the victims’ bodies. The parasite that F. emasculata carries, from larval state to fully adult, is that which is lethal. Dr. Osbourne: “The F. emasculata is a parasitoid, a bug that carries a parasite. In this case, a deadly parasite that attacks the immune system” and that is in symbiosis with the insect. However, “the contagion can only be contracted through exposure to the larvae” that is infected before, which is how the test of Dr. Osbourne works. The insect lays its (uninfected) larvae in Scully’s arm. If Scully is already infected, the uninfected larvae will mix with the larvae already infected with the parasite and the larvae will grow. If Scully isn’t infected, the larvae will die off in Scully’s organism. “Uninfected insects act as incubators“. Obviously Pinck Pharmaceuticals has manipulated enough the F. emasculata to be able to grow insects uninfected by the parasite.

Tools of the Syndicate

Using the manpower and research of Pinck Pharmaceuticals, itself passing as the CDC (governmental agency Center for Disease Control), the Syndicate tests in the open how a fast virus spreads. This profile resembles very much 4X21: Zero Sum; when the colonization begins, the Purity virus will be released through bees. At this time this last detail hasn’t been decided yet, and the Syndicate still looks for the best way a virus spreads. The Faciphaga emasculata and its parasitoid are the best vector around, so much that it warrants a test.

A major theme in the episode is the right of the public to know the whole truth versus to hide from the public certain facts that would be troublesome. Mulder wants to expose everything of course, and CSM is the chief conspirator, but Scully too thinks like the CSM (“There’ll be a time for the truth, Mulder, but this isn’t it.“). The Syndicate manipulated Pinck Pharmaceuticals, the National Guard and the FBI, and used the CDC’s name to let loose this outbreak and successfully containing it at the end. M&S don’t know why Skinner gave them the case, the US Marshal in charge says “I don’t know why [we’re here]“. The man from Pinck Pharmaceuticals tells Scully “Just be glad this thing’s under control“, and indeed that’s how the Syndicate works, by using different organizations independently; nobody knows he works for the conspirators. Mulder: “I won’t be a party to it.” CSM: “You’re a party to it already.” M&S were CSM’s agents of choice for this matter.

But Pinck Pharmaceuticals isn’t entierly clean on this either. They are fully cooperative with the Syndicate on this outbreak, and this is the kind of thing that the company does in secret (Dr. Osbourne: “Don’t believe for a second that this is an isolated incident.”) Mulder thinks it’s a way “to circumvent years of F.D.A. trials in order to get their drug on the market.” Thus Pinck Pharmaceuticals has something to gain from all this, the National Guard is just following orders and the FBI can’t blame anyone but the Post for making a mistake that never was one.

Surveillance Recodings

Mulder: “You can’t protect the public by lying to them.”
CSM: “It’s done every day.”

Elizabeth: “If that’s true, how come it’s not on TV? How come they’re not telling everybody?”
Mulder: “That’s not my decision.”
Elizabeth: “Well, whose decision is it? You knew about it and you didn’t say anything! Why should I tell the truth if you won’t?”

Dr. Osbourne: “Don’t believe for a second that this is an isolated incident.”

Skinner: “For every step you take, they’re three steps ahead.”

Mulder: “Well, what about you, where do you stand?”
Skinner: “I stand right on the line that you keep crossing. I’m saying this as a friend. Watch your back. This is just the beginning.”

E.T.C 2004-2006

Comments are closed.