August 25, 2018

The X-Files 8.8, Surekill: I’m No Superman

Posted in TV tagged , at 1:20 pm by Jenn

Yep, that’s fire, all right

Summary: A man in Worcester, Massachusetts, makes a frantic pay phone call to leave a message about a woman who’s lying. He insists that the truth is in a desk drawer. He abandons the phone and runs away, but trips and falls, because apparently this is a cheesy horror movie. The man runs to a police station and tells the officers there that someone wants to kill him. He grabs a gun, but the officers wrestle him to the ground. They shove him in a holding cell, which the man says isn’t safe enough. The person coming for him will still be able to kill him. And he’s right, as suddenly he’s dead, in a big splat of blood.

The next morning, Scully looks at an x-ray of the man’s head. It shows that he was shot in the head, despite the fact that no one visible shot him. The man, Carlton Chase, was a Realtor with no criminal record. The police captain, Triguero, greets the agents and shows them the spot in the ceiling where the killer appears to have hidden to shoot Chase. That still doesn’t explain why no one heard a gunshot.

The agents head up to the spot above the cell, a small attic space that doesn’t look big enough for someone to make the shot. On the roof, Scully finds only a pencil. She and Doggett guess that this was more than just a lucky shot, since Chase knew he was going to be killed. Doggett finds a piece of towel and thinks it was used as a makeshift gun silencer.

Scully thinks the killer could have aimed (through two layers of non-transparent materials, by the way) by using thermal imaging to detect Chase’s body heat. Doggett notes that the device needed for that weighs 90 pounds and would have to be lugged up to the roof of the police station. And even if that were the case, the killer would be pretty gutsy to plan all this at a police station.

A woman named Tammi heads to work at AAA-1 Surekill Exterminators, opening the business for the day. As she reads a newspaper article about Chase’s death, she plays the messages on the business’ machine and hears his. She checks the desk drawer he mentioned and finds a cash box, but it’s empty. When a co-worker catches her, Tammi lies that she was fixing a printer cable. She also lies that there are no messages on the machine. Her co-worker, Dwight, notices the light on the machine is blinking, but fortunately for Tammi, there’s another message to play.

She asks if Dwight heard about Chase, but he just tells her to get someone named Randall on the phone. Randall himself then arrives, and Tammi tells him his brother wants to see him. Instead of going to see Dwight, Randall gets to work, getting rid of exterminated rats. Dwight is cranky, so I’d probably choose to go that route, too.

Dwight finds him and asks what happened last night. He’s not happy that Randall decided to make a move without telling the others. Randall says he saw Chase stealing from the business. Dwight asks where the stolen money is, but Randall doesn’t know. Dwight reminds him that he always needs to get the money before he kills someone. The others always need to be informed. Randall asks if they’re going out tonight, and Dwight smiles.

Scully and Doggett go to Chase’s office, which is less than a mile from the police station and probably where he started thinking someone was after him. Scully notices from Chase’s paperwork that he did a lot of business with Surekill, probably having them check out houses he was selling. Doggett finds a bullet casing, but it doesn’t match the kind that killed Chase. There are dozens of holes in the walls, making Doggett think Chase was trying to shoot someone in the office. Scully says it could have been someone outside shooting inside.

Dwight surprises three guys in a warehouse when he arrives to get the money Chase stole, as well as some drugs. The men have guns and are more than happy to shoot Dwight, but he acts first, shooting them just by making the motions with his bare hands. (He also says “bang” every time he shoots, which is understandable. It would be hard to resist doing that.) Once the guys are on the ground, Randall joins his brother, ready to set the place on fire.

The agents come to the scene, wondering if they’re dealing with more lucky shots. Scully lines up bullet holes with the victims and determines that the shooter was standing behind a wall. That means he wouldn’t be able to see his victims. Scully suggests that the shooter can see through walls thanks to the use of wavelengths most people can’t see. In other words, maybe he has x-ray vision.

Scully won’t admit that she has a weird theory; she just says that her conjecture is that the shooter’s eyes are configured differently than most people’s. “Calling Clark Kent,” Doggett quips. He thinks this was a simple drug rip-off, a not-uncommon occurrence in the area. He’s not sure of Chase’s part in this yet, but he wants to follow up on a lead: sulfuryl fluoride.

At Surekill, Tammi tries to go about her normal tasks, but Dwight wants to see her in his office. And by “see her,” I mean engage in activities that are completely inappropriate for the office. Tammi feels especially uncomfortable because Randall’s right outside the door. If Scully’s right and Randall has x-ray vision, he’s getting quite a show.

The agents show up to talk to Dwight about the paperwork from Chase’s office tying him to Surekill. Dwight reveals that he’s been legally blind since birth, then calls Tammi over to look at the paperwork for him. She IDs it as billing from Chase, whom Dwight says was a great client. Doggett shows the two the piece of the towel from the police station, which has sulfuryl fluoride on it, an insecticide. Dwight acknowledges that they use it, as do a lot of other exterminators in the area.

Doggett confirms that Dwight is an ex-con, though he served his time a long time ago, and he’s now a model citizen. (Well, allegedly.) Doggett asks why Chase called Surekill less than 15 minutes before he was killed. Dwight says the employees were all gone by that time, and there was no message on the machine from Chase. Tammi doesn’t say anything.

After the agents leave, Dwight, of course, asks Tammi about the call. She says Chase must have left a message, but she accidentally erased it without hearing it. She was afraid to tell Dwight in case she lost them some business. Dwight flicks open a lighter, wanting a better look at Tammi’s eyes to see if she’s telling the truth. She lies that she is, and he seems to believe her.

At the police station, Scully and Doggett pull up Dwight’s record, which says he was arrested for grand theft auto in 1986. Interesting, since he’s legally blind and wouldn’t be able to see to drive a car. He and Randall were arrested together, so they must have been working together. Scully notes that they have the same birthday. Doggett says he hates twins, since they never rat each other out. Scully suggests that Tammi might.

Tammi’s at home for the night, but Randall’s keeping an eye on her through her apartment wall. It’s gross. The next morning, Tammi rushes to work, trying to get the box Chase mentioned before Randall and Dwight catch her. She fails, but before Dwight can look in the box, Scully and Doggett arrive with a warrant to search the office. Doggett asks about the box, but Tammi says she doesn’t remember the combination to the lock. Doggett pries it open and finds nothing inside.

Dwight insists that everything about his business is legit, but Scully finds some invoices that contradict that. Dwight and Randall earn themselves a trip to the police station and separate interrogations. Scully would like to know how Surekill, a tiny three-person company, was able to bill Chase for $700,000 last year. Just how many rats did they kill? Scully suggests that Dwight, Randall, and Chase were running a side business.

Dwight tells Doggett that he’s just a regular Joe providing a public service. Next door, Randall stares through the wall and tells Scully the same thing. Scully guesses that he’s repeating what his brother just said to Doggett. Her theory (sorry, conjecture) about Randall having x-ray vision is becoming more and more likely. He can read lips, and he can shoot drug dealers through walls. All Dwight and Randall’s money is coming from drug dealers they rob. Randall says no, they’re just exterminators. “You certainly are,” Scully agrees.

She guesses that this whole side business was Dwight’s idea, so it’s time for Randall to be his own man and think for himself. And then it’s time for the agents to question Tammi. Randall promises Dwight that he only said the same things Dwight did. Dwight says they still have a problem, and it needs to be taken care of.

Tammi insists to Doggett and Scully that she’s just a bookkeeper and doesn’t know anything about drug dealers or murders. The agents present their theory that Chase was a fence, selling the drugs that Dwight and Randall stole. So why did they kill him? Scully thinks it was for personal, not business, reasons. Tammi asks if she’s under arrest. She’s not, so she gets to go home, but of course, Randall’s still watching her.

Phone records show that Tammi’s made multiple calls to Chase, probably to discuss Dwight and Randall’s activities. They guess that Dwight found out about the calls, thought Tammi was hooking up with Chase, and eliminated his romantic competition. As Tammi goes over to Randall’s, Scully changes her mind: Maybe Randall is the jealous one. Tammi has the same theory that Randall killed Chase, and she tells Randall she still needs help.

The next morning, Tammi drives Randall to the bus station and tells him to wait for her. She’ll join him once she has the money. She knows Randall took her book to protect her from Dwight, but she needs it to get her money. Randall gives her the book, which is some kind of ledger, and she promises she’ll be back to join him. She owes him since he saved her from Chase.

Scully and Doggett go to Tammi’s apartment, where all her stuff is gone. They guess she was fleeing town. Doggett calls the last place Tammi called, Cradock Marine Bank. That’s where she is now, leaving with a bag full of money. Dwight’s hiding in her car to steal back the money Tammi stole from him (after he stole it from drug dealers). Just as Randall’s giving up on Tammi joining him at the bus station, police officers arrive.

At Surekill, Dwight confirms that Tammi, not Chase, was ripping him off. She explains that Chase blackmailed her when he found out she was stealing. She didn’t want to take part in their relationship. Dwight asks why Randall killed Chase if he wasn’t the thief. He figures out that Randall had a crush on Tammi and killed Chase because he knew about their relationship.

Randall arrives, and Dwight decides it’s time for him to kill his crush. He’s mad that Randall knew that Tammi was stealing. He must have thought they would run off together. Dwight says that Tammi used Randall, but Dwight’s the only one who really loves him. They need to stick together no matter what. Dwight says he’ll walk away and try to figure out how to forgive his brother. Randall’s job is to get rid of the thief.

Tammi pleads for her life, promising Randall that she was coming back for her. He wraps his gun in a towel and says he doesn’t believe her. He takes a shot, but not at Tammi – he shoots Dwight instead, even though Dwight’s outside, hundreds of feet away.

The agents bring Randall in for questioning, but he won’t talk. Tammi has taken off. Scully thinks Randall watched her every day and chose her over anyone or anything in the world. He must have seen something in her that she didn’t even see in herself. Doggett asks if she’s suggesting that he could see into her heart, something that’s beyond the FBI’s ability to grasp. Randall uses his x-ray vision to look through the police station’s walls at a picture of his crush on a computer screen.

Thoughts: I always thought “the Exterminator” would make a good name for an assassin.

The real question is how Randall’s bullets are able to travel so far.

Guy Dwight is about to shoot: “You’re funny. Nah, you know what? Chris Rock is funny. You’re just dead.” Well, that wasn’t funny either. Try harder next time. (Oh, wait. YOU’RE dead. Never mind.)

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