March 3, 2018

The X-Files 7.5, Rush: No, We Don’t Need Another Reboot of “The Flash”

Posted in TV tagged at 4:03 pm by Jenn

Yep, that’ll give you a concussion, all right

Summary: A teenage boy goes to some woods in Pittsfield, Virginia, to meet up with a guy named Max. Max’s girlfriend, Chastity, doesn’t think the boy, Tony, is ready for whatever’s about to happen. Tony insists he is and promises not to tell anyone what he’s going to see, even if someone dies. A sheriff’s deputy arrives and Max and Chastity take off. Tony pretends he was just going for a walk, but he’s on private property, so he’s in trouble for trespassing. The deputy calls dispatch, then seems to disappear. He turns up in his car, his face bloody and caved in.

Scully goes to St. Jude’s Memorial Hospital the next day and meets up with Mulder. Tony has been accused of beating the deputy to death, but he claims the real killer was someone who happened to be invisible. Tony’s a good kid and doesn’t seem like the type to commit murder. Scully examines the deputy’s body, which has sustained more damage than fits with the cause of death, a single blow from his own flashlight. Not only is his face destroyed, but he was hit so hard that his glasses are now embedded in the back of his skull.

Scully allows that Tony could have caused this kind of damage if he were high on something like PCP. Mulder tells her that Tony’s blood tests came back clean, but Scully thinks an adrenaline rush could do the trick. The sheriff arrives and asks the agents to wrap things up quickly. Tony’s their guy, so they don’t need to investigate. Mulder asks to speak to Tony; at the very least, he might be able to find out why Tony killed the deputy.

The agents go to the sheriff’s station, passing Chastity as she’s leaving. Tony’s decided he’s done talking to the authorities. Mulder plays good cop, saying he knows Tony must have been born in his small town, so he was just taking a walk, like he said. Tony’s smart enough to know that the agents are just trying to get him to incriminate himself. Mulder asks for details – how long between when the deputy screamed and when Tony found him. Tony says only 10 or 15 seconds passed. He didn’t see or hear anyone else around.

After the interview is over, Mulder asks Scully why Tony wouldn’t come up with a more plausible story if he’s really innocent. Scully thinks he is innocent, but he saw what happened. Mulder suspects some sort of paranormal force, like a poltergeist. Scully suggests that they question some people who are still in their dimension – Tony’s friends.

Max is late for school, and there’s only one minute left in the class period during which he was supposed to take a midterm. Chastity looks on with interest as the teacher, Mr. Babbitt, tells Max he’d better not fail; he doesn’t care who Max’s father is. Max turns around for a few seconds, then hands in the completed test. He got every answer right.

Mulder and Scully find Chastity, who tells them Tony didn’t kill the deputy. She knows he doesn’t have it in him to murder. Scully suspects that she can provide them with information, but before Chastity can say anything further, Tony interrupts. He tells Chastity she doesn’t have to answer any questions if the agents don’t have a warrant. Mulder sees Max’s last name on his binder and realizes that he’s the sheriff’s son. As Max and Chastity leave, Max tells Scully that she “must have been a Betty back in the day.”

The sheriff calls to tell Scully that the murder weapon has disappeared. The agents return to the station, where Mulder finds some kind of gunk on the floor. Surveillance footage of the evidence room doesn’t show anyone opening the locker where the flashlight was being kept, and there’s no gap in the footage. Without evidence, Tony has to be released. Mulder slows down the footage so that they can see a flash of movement in the room.

Tony goes home, trying to avoid having to tell his mother what happened the night before. She thinks Max and his buddies are involved in the murder. She tells Tony he’s not allowed to see them anymore. Tony objects, since they’re his only friends. Mrs. Reed reminds him that they moved here for a fresh start, and up until now, he was doing great. Tony’s upset that his mother’s never around, since she has to work two jobs.

After Mrs. Reed leaves Tony’s room, Max shows up outside. He takes Tony for a drive and congratulates him for following Chastity’s directions to keep quiet and wait for things to work themselves out. Tony’s not happy with the situation, though; a cop is dead, and they’re in what’s probably a stolen car. Max said “he had to go,” since he was snooping around. Tony tells him to slow down, but Max says he hasn’t seen anything yet. He vanishes, leaving Max alone in the speeding car. But when it crashes, Tony’s outside it, perfectly fine. Max promises to make him “one of us,” but Tony has to follow his rules.

Chuck takes a look at the surveillance footage and is able to tell Mulder and Scully that the image on the screen wasn’t a glitch. It didn’t come from spirit activity, though; they’re not dealing with a ghost. Scully figured, since ghosts don’t leave behind gunk like what Mulder found on the floor. (It contains synthetic polymers.)

Chuck tried to compare the silhouette of the shape on the screen to every object the Library of Congress’ database, but the only thing that came close to matching was a submarine. He did find a shadow on the object, which indicates that it’s something solid, but if it’s solid, it would have to appear for more than a 30th of a second, the length of a frame of the footage. Chuck thinks he might have some luck with a beta-tested generator that can color the black-and-white footage. When he tries it out, Mulder recognizes the colors of the image as Tony’s school colors.

At school, Tony complains to Chastity that everyone’s looking at him like he’s a criminal. He asks what happened with Max and the car, and she tells him he’ll find out. Tony’s not so sure he wants to find out, though. Chastity says it’s too late to go back now. Max joins them and asks if Tony’s trying to move in on his girlfriend. However, when they get to class, he tells everyone staring at Tony to back off.

Mr. Babbitt returns the class’ midterms, and Max objects to the F he received. Mr. Babbitt accuses him of cheating, even though he can’t explain how that would be possible. Max walks out. Tony asks Chastity how he can tell Max he wants out of whatever’s going on. Chastity says he can’t help him – she can’t even get herself out of it.

At lunch, Mr. Babbitt trips over nothing, looking up to see Max standing in front of him. A few seconds later, Mr. Babbitt starts bleeding. With a twitch and a blur, Max makes a table fly over. Mr. Babbitt falls onto it and the table speeds into a wall. After another twitch and another blur, a chair hits Mr. Babbitt in the face.

Mulder and Scully come to check things out, and Mulder decides that Max needs to be questioned about Mr. Babbitt’s murder. Scully reminds him that a roomful of eyewitnesses all said they didn’t see Max do anything. Mulder has looked at Max’s school records, which show that his behavior has gotten worse, but his grades have gone up. Scully blames peer pressure or substance abuse. Mulder blames psychokinesis. A deputy tells them that they’ll have to wait to talk to Max – he collapsed and is on his way to the hospital.

Tony runs into Chastity, who’s upset. She won’t tell him what’s going on, since it’s better if he doesn’t know anything. He follows her to the woods and into a cave, where he finds a space on the ground where it looks like sand has been cleared away from some stone. It’s conveniently illuminated by a beam of sun. When Tony stands in the sort-of spotlight, he starts to spasm.

The agents go see Max, but his father doesn’t want them to question him while he’s supposedly sick. Mulder totes out his theory that Max tapped into some kind of superhuman powers and used them to kill Mr. Babbitt. Instead of calling Mulder crazy, Max just says he’s “whistling Dixie.” Scully looks at Max’s chart and sees that his condition is consistent with extreme exertion. Mulder guesses that Max gets a buzz – a rush, if you will – from his powers.

Max asks what’s stopping him from hurting Mulder, if that’s the case. Mulder thinks his battery’s drained. Max says he’ll just wait until he’s recharged, but Scully says his condition is getting worse. He needs their help, but he’ll have to tell them what’s going on. Mulder gets the sheriff to step outside with him and Scully before he can go off on Max for his bad behavior. They ask to search the family’s house, but the sheriff says no. He doesn’t want to believe that his son might be a murderer.

There are some test results missing from Max’s chart, so the agents head off to track them down. Chastity arrives just as they leave. The agents look at scans of Max’s head, which show that he’s sustained multiple concussions and other injuries. He has the medical history of someone who’s played pro football or crashed racecars for 15 years. Whatever he’s doing, it’s killing him.

A nurse sees on her monitor that Max has a visitor, Chastity, but when she goes to his room, Max is alone. Chastity then returns with a wheelchair to break her boyfriend out of the hospital. Max finds gunk on the soles of Max’s shoes and puts everything together: Somehow, Max has figured out how to move faster than the eye can see. He also has super-strength. Just then, the nurse lets the agents know that Max is gone.

Max and Chastity go to the woods, where Chastity begs her boyfriend to get some help. He doesn’t see why he would; this is the best thing that’s ever happened to him. “I can’t go back to things standing still, and neither can you,” he says. As he goes off alone, Chastity runs into Tony, who now has Max’s super-speed powers. He loves the rush they give him. Chastity tells him she wishes things were different. Tony suggests that they go to the police, but she tells him Max is already out of the hospital, so it’s too late.

The sheriff looks around his son’s bedroom (which, interestingly, has a picture of a UFO in it). Hidden in a drawer, under some clothes, he finds the flashlight used to kill the deputy. He hears a noise and goes downstairs, where the front door appears to close on its own. Max appears, now holding the flashlight, and the sheriff confronts his son for being a murderer. As he moves on Max, something hits him over the head. Max’s super-speed has allowed him to attack without being noticed.

Max tells his father he’s not going to let him push people around anymore, like Babbitt and the deputy did. Max isn’t afraid of him anymore. He moves to hit his father again, but Tony arrives with a gun and puts a stop to the fight. The sheriff is taken to the hospital, but no one knows what actually happened. They found the flashlight on the scene, but not Max or Tony.

Mulder thinks someone intervened in the fight – someone who knows how Max can do what he does. The agents figure it’s Tony, and that the secret lies in the woods. Tony and Chastity are on their way there, and she’s worried that Max will get to the cave. She tells Tony that he was only able to stop Max because he’s slowing down.

As they run for the cave, Tony trips and sends Chastity on ahead of him. When he gets to her, she’s unconscious. Max claims he hit her in self-defense, and that Tony has everything turned around. Max attacks Tony and takes his gun, mocking him for underestimating Max. He tosses the gun aside and starts to confront Tony for betraying him. Chastity picks up the gun, shoots Max, and stops time. She tells Tony she can’t go back, then steps in the path of the bullet. When time restarts, the bullet hits her. By the time the agents arrive, Chastity and Max are both dead.

Tony is taken to the hospital, where Mulder tells Scully that geologists didn’t find anything in the cave that can explain the boys’ supernatural abilities. Scully notes that the two of them both went to the cave but don’t have the boys’ abilities. Mulder thinks they weren’t affected because they’re adults; their chemistry is different from teenagers’.

Scully isn’t sure about that theory, but it’s no crazier than other theories Mulder has come up with. Unfortunately, the cave has been sealed, so they won’t be able to further the investigation. Scully says Tony will be able to put this all behind him and go back to being a normal kid. What she doesn’t know is that Tony can still alter time…and can now make it move backward.

Thoughts: Mrs. Reed is played by Ann Dowd, which reminds me: Everyone needs to watch The Leftovers.

No high school boy in 2000 would call a woman a “Betty” or say “whistling Dixie.” Maybe Max was also a time-traveler?

I’m surprised that Scully didn’t think Max was being abused, since his records showed so many previous injuries. I thought that’s where things were going when he confronted his father for pushing people around, but I guess we’ll never know.


  1. Deja said,

    it warms my soul that you are also a fan of The Leftovers.

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