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Scully and Doggett race to investigate a string of bizarre deaths in the tunnels of the Boston subway system linked to a mysterious killer.


Episode Summary
By Michael Marek

A man is alone in a subway stop in Boston -- another man approaches, dressed in black. The first is an undercover cop, who describes the second into a hidden microphone. The second could be planning a mugging. The train arrives and the cop enters the car. The second man enters the car a few moments later from the rear. Suddenly, the train loses power and the breaks screech. The two men struggle and we hear screams. At the next stop, passengers find the body of the officer, his skull and portions of his body apparently eaten away, as if from acid.

At the Boston transit operations center, Scully and Doggett talk with authorities. The local transit supervisor is upset that one of the main subway arteries is closed and announces that the line must be open for the evening commute. One third of the dead man's body tissue was eaten away. Scully doesn't want the line reopened until they determine what caused the death. Transit police Lieutenant Bianco thinks it was an assailant, using acid or something. Doggett, Bianco, the man who was construction supervisor of the tunnel a few years earlier and a woman from the Centers for Disease Control don assault gear and enter the tunnel. Scully will remain in transit control and communicate by radio. Doggett also carries a small TV transmitter with a camera on his headset. Doggett acknowledges that Scully has the experience with this kind of matter. He is just tagging along. Ventilation was shut down, making the tunnel hot. The construction supervisor screams -- he has a burn on his neck. Liquid in a puddle a few yards back might contain acid. The woman from CDC does an instant test, but the puddle is only seawater that has seeped in.

The team sees movement -- there is someone else in the tunnel. The go find him. They pass a tunnel connection to an old, obsolete, about a mile from there the train lost power. Doggett has a hunch, and enters the tunnel. As the members of the team debate returning to the main tunnel, Doggett is attacked. Doggett is stunned, but soon wakes up. The assailant is the one responsible for the police officer's death and portions of his body apparently eaten away. Bianco pushes to leave, saying that they have found the man responsible for the death, but the Construction supervisor finds three bodies, wrapped in plastic. They have been there for some time and all show signs of the same tissue damage. There may be a contagion at work after all. The woman from CDC sees a shadow indicating that there is someone else in the tunnel, but they can't find the person. At Scully's direction, the team leaves the bodies and continues up the main tunnel. The construction supervisor screams again -- his arm is burning. Scully quickly orders them to pour fresh water on the burns, which is done from a canteen. Doggett and Bianco leave the woman from CDC to care for the construction supervisor, pending arrival of a quarantine team to be sent by Scully. Bianco sees a green glow on his hand, but does not report it.

Scully meets the hazardous chemical team as they remove the construction supervisor from the tunnels. The team also has the three bodies, and Scully prevents them from being taken away by transit workers. She suspects that the transit supervisor wants to cover up the problem, suspecting that he knew that the bodies were there. The bodies are taken to the CDC after all. Doggett and Bianco continue, and Doggett discovers the green fluorescent glow on the Bianco's face. It burns other people, but hasn't had any effect on the Bianco yet. Doggett has to pulls a gun on Bianco to keep him from leaving. They fight and Doggett is knocked down. A marine biologist comes to talk to Scully. She analyzed the salt-water sample. There are medusas -- a kind of microscopic jellyfish -- in the water. They glow with bioelectricity, but the bioelectricity does not burn people on contact. Something triggers it. In the tunnels we see that Doggett is unconscious and also has the green glow of the medusa on him.

Scully's repeated radio calls wake Doggett up. Lt. Bianco is not there. Doggett discovers the green glow on his skin. Scully wants to send a quarantine unit, but Doggett insists on stopping Bianco, in order to keep the medusa from spreading. The transit supervisor tells Scully that there are already passengers waiting on many platforms. They can't block the tunnels to keep Bianco in. Doggett finds Bianco, lying in the tunnel. Scully tells Doggett to get out, but Bianco asks him to stay. Doggett puts an arm under Bianco's shoulder and helps him walk. They see a shadow of another person. Doggett finds a child, a boy who points up the tunnel. He is uninfected. Scully thinks she has it figured out -- sweat may trigger the electrical burns. Sweat will conduct electricity and a child's sweat glands are not fully developed. Doggett follows the boy through a green glowing chamber that has a big leak of water seeping in from the bay. The boy is leading them to a nearby access point. Doggett and Bianco cross the chamber into another tunnel, but the trains are rolling and one is coming right toward Doggett. In moments it will splash through the seawater that contains the medusa, probably contaminating everyone on the train. Doggett has an inspiration he uses his gun to short out the rail that carries the electric power for the trains, feeding a high electrical charge into the puddles of seawater. The electrical discharge kills the medusa, including wiping it off Doggett's and Bianco's skin.

At the hospital, Scully informs Doggett that his body is rid of the organism. He can be discharged. The boy is with social services. The others who are injured will be worked on by plastic surgeons. Doggett wants to charge the transit supervisor with reckless endangerment, but the organism can no longer be found. There is no evidence and the officials can easily claim that they were just doing their job by keeping the trains running. Doggett is frustrated, but Scully has experience with this kind of unsatisfactory ending to a case. Doggett recognizes Scully for figuring it out. He was just the yes and ears.


Episode Cast and Information

Gillian Anderson Special Agent Dana Scully
Robert Patrick Special Agent John Dogget
Mitch Pileggi Assistant Director Walter Skinner
Ken Jenkins Deputy Chief Karras
Vyto Ruginis Lt. Bianco
Penny Johnson Hellura Lyle
Brent Sexton Steven Melnick
Judith Scott Dr. Kai Bowe
Adam Gordon Passenger / Transit Cop Philbrick
Christopher and Kevin Graves Kid
Bill Jacobson Gangbanger
Mary-Kathleen Gordon Woman

Written by Frank Spotnitz
Directed by Richard Compton

Aired on: 11th February April 2001


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