After Vogel is spirited away by the SWAT team, Doggett noses around the laboratory some more, and conveniently runs across a bunch of blue haz-mat barrels -- just like the ones at Southside Salvage. Doggett makes his face of Realization and Understanding.
The outside shot of the Halfway House for Men of Metal and the Women Who Love Them reveals that it's actually an apartment building in Venice, fairly close to where I live. That's a big-ass shout-out, y'all. Ray comes bungling into his cozy room to find Nora waiting for him. More bad acting ensues. It hurts me. I'm actually in pain at the badness of this acting. Nora wonders why Ray didn't come to her. He tells her that it's because he's not himself anymore. He's...METAL MAN! Ray mournfully wanders away from Nora to stare at his metally face in the mirror. Nora Bad Acts that "it's a miracle" he's alive, and yelps that she wants to help him! He stoically tells her that "they've got to pay for this. They've all got to pay" What sparkling and creative dialogue. I'm in awe. Or is that just indigestion?
Doggett's still knocking around the goddammned Salvage Yard. Wandering. Wandering. Sad piano of abandoned cars. Finally, Doggett finds the blue barrels matching the ones he saw at Chamber Tech. A look of comprehension flutters across his face. Doggett hears a knock, knock, knocking on his cellar door. On one of the barrels, I mean. He goes over to investigate and see hands imprinted on the metal end of the barrel. The barrel tips over and rolls away. Doggett scampers after it and pries the top open. Kids, don't go prying haz-mat barrels open at home, okay? Naturally, inside the barrel is a man made totally of metal. "Oh my God," Doggett breathes, taking a cue in line-reading from Gillian Anderson.
Whoosh over to Chamber Tech. Will this episode NEVER END? SWEET GOD! Okay. Deep breath. Deep breath. Scully and Doggett confront Vogel with the Metal Man from the Barrel of Connections Made. Vogel stutters that it's not what it looks like, and explains that the man in the barrel is Clifton. Scully does the Raised Eyebrow of Irritation. She demands that he explain himself, as Doggett wonders why Vogel spun this web of lies, lies, lies. Vogel explains that Clifton was dying and afraid that "it would finish us." I have no idea what it was that would finish them, or what "it" refers to -- Clifton's death, or what killed him, presumably the metal alloy he had been working on. "Oh, you're finished," Doggett sneers. Vogel stammers that they were "trying to push the envelope and do the right thing for the company." If I hear "push the envelope" used without irony one more time, ever, I'm going to kill someone. Not myself, I hope, but it may come to that. Vogel explains that Clifton got poisoned by the metal alloy they had infused with some kind of memory-creating genome, but after the metal did Clifton in, Chamber shut down the project and moved on to other ways to create metal with memory. Vogel admits that the barrels at Southside Salvage must have infected Ray, but he has no idea how or why they ended up there.