Season 2, Episode 3: Firewalkeron January 18, 2013 at 12:01 am
I don’t feel like this episode gets enough love. Fans tend to prefer the similar episode “Wetwired” and/or feel that the references to then-recent violent news stories were over the top. But this episode, more than almost any other, captures the rambling weirdness of true Art Bell-style four-in-the-morning conspiracy paranoia. The writing assist from Darin Morgan, seen just last week in the Flukeman suit, probably helped. Morgan, of course, went on to write ultimate batshit-paranoia episode “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space.”
And we never find out who’s behind the whole thing! Excellent.
I didn’t watch X-Files regularly when it originally broadcast, but I think this was one of the few I saw when it was broadcast. The central conceit of digital displays telling people to go on killing sprees was pretty cool. Mulder has a bunch of different crazy theories about what’s going on over the course of the episode, but I didn’t feel like any of them were supposed to seem particularly plausible, which is enjoyable. Really a lot of stuff doesn’t quite hang together, so I think it’s best if viewers mostly concentrate on how frikkin’ freaky evil digital displays are.
The things that triggered the psychosis were a combination of: exposure to the chemicals being dropped by the airplanes; exposure to digital displays; and intense anger or fear, so if this episode were to happen today, there would be a crazy amount of carnage, given the number of people who rage-post stuff on the Internet.
The crazy postal worker is William Sanderson, who does a nice job of someone frightened practically out of his skin. Sanderson’s been an actor in a bunch of things but the one I’ve seen most recently is Deadwood (where he played E.B.) I think.
The ambiguity of Blood is indeed one of its strengths, since the lack of an explanation avoids the risk of having the explanation not really work. For sheer trippiness, though, you can’t really beat Paranoid!Scully’s vision of Mulder and the Smoking Man yucking it up in Wetwired.
The “ALL DONE BYE BYE” message that Mulder gets at the end comes to him on a 90s-appropirate text pager that he’s carrying, not his phone — SMS became available in the US in 1993, the year before this episode was produced.
Andrew recognized William Sanderson immediately as Larry from “Newhart.” No character actor can escape Andrew’s eagle eyes.
Morgan and Wong took over Millennium and moved on from the standard psychic-detective-hunts-serial-killers stories into actual supernatural events killing people. Of course Chris Carter ruined the whole thing by taking it back and turning it into a government conspiracy/evil conspiratorial terrorist group thing.
What kind of world do we live in when William Sanderson’s work is referenced, but his role as J.F. Sebastian in Blade Runner is not mentioned? What kind of world?
It’s not 2019 yet, and William Sanderson fans are fiercely chronological?
Blood has to be one of my favorite episodes. Having William Sanderson of Blade Runner and Newhart fame be the guy who goes crazy is the cherry on top.
Off topic, but this is what I’m getting at the Skin Horse site:
skin-horse.com Coming Soon!
The DreamHost customer who owns skin-horse.com has not yet uploaded their website or has chosen to leave this holding page active.
If you are the owner of this domain, you’ll find your login information contained within the emails sent to you when your account was activated. Once logged in, you’ll be able to delete this page (quickstart.html) and upload your new site.