Recap: The X Files S 02 E 02 The Host

When Mulder is assigned to investigate a homicide in a New Jersey Sewer, it seems like the latest step in the Humiliation Conga Assistant Director Skinner has lined up for him. Scully insists on doing the autopsy despite Mulder's dismissiveness of the case, and discovers that the corpse is incubating an oversized flukeworm. And when something man-sized but with worm-like teeth attacks a sanitation worker, Mulder starts getting strangely encouraging calls from a mysterious "friend in the FBI", and even Skinner admits that this should have been an X-File. With the future of the X-Files at stake, can Mulder track down a giant bloodsucking worm before it escapes out to sea? And once they've got it, what can the FBI reasonably expect to do with such a creature?

Tropes:

  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer
  • Adorkable: Ray the sewer foreman.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies
  • Body Horror: Specifically, the scene of Craig throwing up a flukeworm in the shower.
  • Enhance Button
  • Half the Man He Used to Be: Mulder cuts the Flukeman in two with the gate over a pipe, as it attempts to escape.
  • Jump Scare: One of the show's most infamous.
  • Lamprey Mouth: repeatedly referred to by its scientific name, "scolex."
  • Mauve Shirt: Ray. The poor guy seems doomed from the minute he appears, but manages to survive the story.
  • Not Quite Dead
  • Nuclear Nasty
  • Orifice Evacuation
  • Sewer Gator: Craig (the sewer worker) claims he was once grabbed by one. It's never established whether he's telling the truth or not.
  • Sound-Only Death: Done with the US Marshal in the ambulance. One of this episodes only examples of a Discretion Shot, bizarrely.
  • Taxonomic Term Confusion: Constantly conflates the Turbellaria (free-living flatworms) with the Trematoda (parasitic flukes) and Cestoda (tapeworms, the only group with a scolex).
  • The End... Or Is It?: The final shot is that of the bisected Flukeman revealing itself to be alive.
  • Throwing the Distraction: Done with Ray. The Flukeman attacks him and drags him underwater, then releases him so he surfaces nearby. The idea seemingly being that while Mulder is busy saving Ray from drowning, the Flukeman can escape, but Mulder manages to both rescue Ray and (mostly) prevent the monster from escaping.
  • Toilet Humor: Given it revolves around a monster in a sewer, has some shades of this.