X-Files

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This is Why Jessica Drives

Restored to power, the train pulls up at more populated station. People begin to pour in. A woman looks down to see Costanza laying on the floor of the car, his face half eaten away. Screaming ensues.

Fade in on Transit Operations Center, Boston, Massachusetts, 10:34 AM. The Land of No Date Stamp. Scully and Doggett swing into the shot, overcoats billowing -- Angel-esque -- around them. Scully's especially covered up, with a turtleneck and a long dark coat, fastened at the collar, but open the rest of the way down. Her hair looks good, too; it's not as pouf-y as in previous episodes, and is a bit more casual. Hair is important, people. The dynamic duo meet with the Deputy Chief of the Transit Police -- a crabapple named Karas -- and his lapdog, Detective Bianco -- who, you can tell already, is a big fat dickhead. Because Karas is An Insensitive Curmudgeon, he dispenses with pleasantries. "Where the hell have you been?" he barks. Scully and Doggett exchange glances. Scully calmly explains that she had to examine Costanza's body. Karas makes some dismissive noises in her direction. His main concern, it appears, is getting the trains running again -- which even I, public transport virgin that I am, know is the last thing the transit police ever worry about. "What I need from the FBI now is a time frame," Karas snorts. Yeah, I'd like a time frame too, dude, because by my calculations, Scully's water ought to be breaking right about now. Scully kind of sputters that they can't really give him a time frame, exactly, because she doesn't even know what they're dealing with. Karas blusters that the mayor is paying him to keep the trains running, and run they will! Okay, Type A, take it down a notch. Doggett gives Karas his best steely-eyed glare, which has no affect whatsoever. Karas spits that the agents have five hours, and then he's putting trains back on the tracks, face-eating demon or no face-eating demon. Scully's all, "no, you aren't," and Karas is all, "yes, I am," and Doggett's all, "glare." Scully purses her lips and reminds Karas that half of Costanza's bodily tissue was eaten away, and that, until they know why, they aren't opening up the tunnels. Dickhead busts out his own pet theory, which is that Costanza was attacked by some lunatic with a bottle of acid or lye in his or her pocket, and that all they need to do is track down said lunatic and lock him or her up and throw the key into the bay, like so many boxes of English tea. (You thought I was going to let this entire episode pass with shoe-horning a Boston Tea Party comment in there somewhere? It doesn't say "hack" on my business cards for nothing.) Scully doesn't even bother to eyebrow Dickhead, but wearily repeats that she needs to run some tests to find out what killed Costanza. Karas flares his nostrils and flaps that the CDC found no biological or chemical assailants in the tunnel. Doggett reaches GlareCon 4. "At least, that's the cover story," Doggett snarks. Dickhead and Karas stare at him. "It's the story you're feeding the press," Doggett coldly elaborates. Hey, I think that was a burn. Karas shoots Doggett a super-quick look of death, and turns back to Scully, snipping that they have to solve this case within the next five hours, because "come hell or high water," the trains are running at 4 PM. He and Dickhead stomp off.

Down in the tunnel, we meet the rest of the fools who will be investigating the flesh-eating whatever-it-is. The chief structural engineer has a name, but I didn't catch it, don't want to rewind, and know none of you give a shit. Let's call him Tubby. Just because. He's a leetle chubby. But, hey, Boston? Middle of -- well, who knows when, but Boston is cold, right? Who doesn't put on a little extra poundage when it's nippy out there? ["That's my excuse. Even in August, when I'm anticipating the cold winter months to come." -- Wing Chun] Alongside Tubby is an attractive black woman, who tersely introduces herself as "Dr. Lyle, special pathogens branch, CDC." Scully gives Lyle the old once-over, and wonders why she's there if the CDC cleared the tunnel. "Moral support," Lyle spits. God, what a bunch of grumpy Guses. Karas snips that they're just covering all their bases. Scully responds with a minor eyebrow. Lyle wants to know why the FBI is there. Good question. Scully is presented as an expert in "equivocal death." Tubby makes a crack to the effect that if you're dead, you're dead. Scully explains that she specializes in "deaths for which there is no explanation, or for which an explanation is hard to find." Doggett falls under the microscope, and cracks that he's "just a good shot." I have to say, Doggett isn't really my type, but he looks pretty cute in his tight little t-shirt and manly bulletproof vest. He, Lyle, and Tubby load up on their firearms, and he notices that Scully hasn't put on her bulletproof vest. "Need some help getting into that?" he asks. She draws him away from the gaggle and tells him that she's staying above ground. Doggett makes his surprised face -- which, like Mulder's surprised face, looks basically the same as his regular face. She explains that she wants to "analyze" the situation from above, thinking that she'll be better able to get a grasp on the situation from a distance. Doggett shrugs, and tells her that she's the one with all the experience with this kind of thing, so.... Scully tells him that she needs him to be her "eyes and ears" down in the tunnel, and Doggett looks either at his feet or at her belly, and agrees. He looks her right in the eye and holds his gaze there for a moment, like he knows something's up and he knows she knows he knows. Good acting by Robert Patrick in this scene.

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