September 9, 2017

The X-Files 6.2, Drive: Mulder Needs This Like a Hole in the Head

Posted in TV tagged , at 1:12 pm by Jenn

“Jesse, we have to drive!”

Summary: A Fox news break shows a high-speed police car chase focused on a blue car. It’s been traveling through Nevada, and two people appear to be inside. The passenger may be a hostage. The news feed cuts out, and we join the driver and passenger inside the car. The passenger is a woman lying in the backseat, experiencing a loud ringing in her ears.

Police put down spikes and successfully stop the car. They pull out the driver, who’s more concerned about his passenger, Vicky, than about himself. The police pull out Vicky and put her in the back of a squad car. A cameraman in a helicopter gets footage of her banging her head on the window, followed by a splatter of blood.

Mulder and Scully go to Buhl, Idaho, to chat with a man named Virgil (who thinks they’re Jehovah’s Witnesses). They’d liked to know what he plans to do with the 5,000 pounds of fertilizer he recently purchased. Virgil says he grows sugar beets and isn’t planning on blowing anything up. Virgil has the TV on, and the agents catch a glimpse of a news report about the end of the car chase. Vicky is dead, but there’s no word on what happened.

The agents are asked to help investigate, but Scully reminds her partner that they’re no longer with the X-Files. They’re supposed to be investigating domestic terrorism. Besides, she thinks Vicky was shot, so there’s nothing to investigate. Mulder disagrees – he thinks the driver, Vicky’s husband, was trying to warn the cops before she died. He convinces Scully to go to Nevada with him.

In Elko, Nevada, the driver is in police custody. He realizes his nose is bleeding, and he starts getting the same ringing in his ears that Vicky had. He begs for help, yelling, “It’s starting!” Mulder and Scully meet with a police captain named Van Gelder, who says that the driver claims the police are going to kill him the way they killed Vicky. Van Gelder promises that they had nothing to do with Vicky’s death.

Mulder reads up on the driver, Patrick Crump, who had no police record before he hijacked a car and led the cops on a chase. Scully heads out to examine Vicky’s body while Mulder waits around to be allowed to talk to Crump. He checks out a map and follows the route Crump and Vicky took. They started going in one direction, then changed course and headed towards Wells, Nevada. Mulder wonders why.

Scully begins examining Vicky, who looks like she was shot in the head but doesn’t have evidence of an entry wound or gunpowder residue. Basically, it looks like she was shot from the inside of her head, or, as the coroner puts it, “like a little bomb went off in her ear.” Blood squirts out of the hole in Vicky’s brain, spraying Scully.

Crump’s in bad physical shape, so the police send him to the hospital. Mulder follows the ambulance, where Crump’s condition seems to stabilize. Suddenly the ambulance starts swerving, then stops. Crump jumps out the back with a gun, which he points at Mulder.

Scully calls her partner from the coroner’s lab (“Mulder, it’s me”), which she’s quarantined. She warns that Vicky may have died from something communicable, which has also killed someone in Montello, Nevada, the Crumps’ hometown. Scully orders Mulder not to have any contact with Crump, but it’s too late. Crump has started a new car chase, this time with Mulder driving at gunpoint.

Van Gelder comes to the lab and talks to Scully on the phone from the next room. The police are going to put up a roadblock and stop the chase. Scully tells him the steps that need to be taken once the two men are stopped; they need to be quarantined separately. But someone gets a message to Van Gelder from Crump, who says he’ll kill Mulder if the police don’t stop following them.

The police listen, so now it’s just Mulder and Crump on the road. Mulder tries to get Crump to let him out so he can drive off on his own. Crump refuses, then throws Mulder’s phone out the window for good measure. When Mulder slows down at a red light, Crump, who appears to be in pain, tells him to keep driving. Mulder realizes there’s a connection between the car’s speed and Crump’s condition, so he floors it. He guesses that Vicky died because the car stopped moving. “I think I saw this movie,” he says.

Mulder knows that Crump’s life is now in his hands, so he asks Crump to explain things. There’s a helicopter following them, which makes Mulder think the roadblock is still in play. He’s right, and the people waiting there have taken the precautions Scully told them to. Crump and Mulder change direction, and while Van Gelder thinks Crump dictated the new route, Scully thinks it was Mulder. Maybe he knows something they don’t. A CDC doctor examines Vicky and the other victim’s bodies but doesn’t see any signs of an infectious disease. Scully doesn’t want to call off the quarantine just yet, though.

Kersh calls Scully to ask how things are going in Buhl. “Think carefully,” he warns when she pauses to decide what to say. She comes clean, admitting that she and Mulder are in Nevada. Kersh tells her that agents at a local field office are available to help her find her partner. He thinks that he might want to see Mulder alive even more than Scully does. Scully looks at the second victim’s information and sees that he’s a meter reader. She wonders if he read the meter at the Crumps’ house.

In the car, Crump demands that Mulder call him Mr. Crump, but he doesn’t have a gun on me so I don’t have to afford him that courtesy. Also, he asks if Mulder is a Jewish name, so he really doesn’t deserve my respect. Mulder replies, “It’s Mr. Mulder to you, you peanut-picking bastard.” He again asks what’s going on. Crump suddenly cries out in pain and tells Mulder to turn to the left, even though there’s no road there, only trees. He bangs his head on the window until Mulder makes it to an intersecting road and makes the turn. He realizes that Crump needs to keep moving west.

Scully lets herself out of quarantine to check out the Crumps’ house in Montello. A K-9 dog has a very strong reaction to something on the premises, running around and barking his head off. Scully gets a sample of the dog’s blood, but moments later, he dies the way Vicky did.

Mulder tries to go through the events of Crump’s day. He didn’t go to work, since it was raining and he’s a roofer. Vicky was cooking breakfast when Crump noticed that her nose was bleeding. Mulder asks what caused it, and Crump says he has no idea – “what am I, like, Quincy?” Wow, what a timely reference. Vicky developed a headache that kept getting worse, and Crump didn’t know what to do, so he started to take her to the hospital. She felt better the faster he drove, so he kept driving.

Mulder expresses sympathy for Crump’s loss, but Crump doesn’t think the “Jew FBI” is capable of sympathy. He believes he and Vicky were “government guinea pigs.” Mulder notices that the car is running out of gas and informs his captor, “on behalf of the international Jewish conspiracy,” that they’re going to have to stop soon.

In Montello, there are still no signs of an infectious disease. Scully sees that there’s a house nearby, so she and a CDC doctor go check on the Crumps’ neighbors. Their pet birds are dead, so that can’t be good. But fortunately, the old, deaf woman who lives there is alive, though probably traumatized by the sight of doctors in Hazmat suits entering her house in the dark.

Mulder pulls into a gas station, promising Crump that he’ll gas up fast. He’s delayed when he pulls up to the wrong side, then when the employee inside won’t turn on the pump until he pays. Mulder thinks fast, stealing another car. He leaves behind a note for Scully in his passenger seat.

Scully mulls over the meaning of the old woman’s survival, then decides they’re not dealing with something infectious. Since the inner ear is affected, maybe they’re dealing with a sound. Van Gelder calls to tell her that Mulder stole a car. He reads Mulder’s note to Scully, which explains that Crump is sick and has to keep moving so he doesn’t die. Scully tells Van Gelder this means they have to let him through the roadblock. As their phone connection cuts out, Scully sees what look like clothes on the ground outside the Crumps’ house, as well as a plate identifying the property as belonging to the government.

Crump’s getting worse, so Mulder has to drive faster to keep him comfortable. Crump semi-apologizes for “the Jew stuff,” but Mulder isn’t going to accept that. Crump wonders if Mulder is doing exactly what the government wants him to. If he is, he’s taking away Crump’s dignity. It would be better if the government just killed him. Mulder notes that, if Crump dies, the government gets off the hook, so Crump needs to stay alive to stick it to them.

As Mulder and Crump approach California, “running out of west,” Scully goes to a Naval research station in Wendover, Nevada, to ask a lieutenant about the electrical equipment in Montello. The lieutenant thinks she’s with the FCC, since he’s already spoken to them. He explains that there was a power surge during a conduction test the previous morning. He won’t tell Scully the possible effects such a surge might have on a human being.

Mulder and Crump have driven all night, and a couple of CHiP officers are now on their trail in California. One of them has a phone for Mulder so he can talk to Scully. She offers to get on a jet and meet him wherever he’s going. Scully tells him about the radio-transmission waves used in a Naval mission that appear to be causing Crump’s problems. Basically, he’s being affected by an electrical weapon. The agents aren’t sure why the movement of the car is making things better.

Scully has a plan, though she knows Crump won’t like it. Mulder tells his captor that he was right about the government being to blame, though it may not have been on purpose. Scully plans to put a huge needle in Crump’s ear to relieve the pressure in his head. It’ll hurt a lot and probably leave Crump deaf, but at least his inner ear won’t explode. Crump decides that’s a fair trade-off.

The agents meet up in Loleta, California, but despite Mulder driving up toward the triple digits in speed, it’s too late – Crump is dead when they arrive. When the agents return to D.C., Kersh lectures them about all the money they racked up during the investigation. He wants to bill Scully instead of Mulder, so Mulder can’t keep relishing his role as martyr. Mulder says they’ll go back to looking into big piles of manure, and Kersh replies that he can always quit. But that would mean he can’t stick it to the government, so he’s not going to do that. (He will storm out of the office, though.)

Scully wants Kersh to show some compassion for Mulder, who’s been through a lot. Plus, the investigation is going to lead to the end of the project in Montello. Kersh says that can’t be proven – the closing of the Naval facility is supposedly coincidental. He doesn’t care if they save “a busload of doe-eyed urchins on their way to Bible camp.” They’re no longer in the X-Files. “Big piles of manure,” Scully spits out as she leaves the office.

Thoughts: As you can see from the picture above, Crump is played by Bryan Cranston. Van Gelder is played by Michael O’Neill, who also worked with James Pickens, Jr. in a few episodes of Grey’s Anatomy (he played the guy who went on a shooting rampage in the hospital).

The point of Crump’s antisemitism was…?

I wish we could have seen the CHiP officer trying to pass the phone to Mulder through the window while they were both speeding down the highway. Talk about a missed opportunity for comedy.

Now let’s all go watch Speed!

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2 Comments »

  1. Erik said,

    What is the Quincy reference Mr Crump makes? I don’t understand it.

    • Jenn said,

      He was referring to the TV show Quincy, M.E., which was about a medical examiner.


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