Follow TV Tropes


Recap / The X-Files S01 E07 "Ghost in the Machine"

Go To

Index | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24
Season 1, Episode 07:

Ghost in the Machine
HAL 9000's got nothing on this machine.
Written by Alex Gansa & Howard Gordon
Directed by Jerrold Freedman

Deep Throat: How much do you know about artificial intelligence?
Mulder: I thought it was only theoretical.
Deep Throat: It was, until two years ago.

When the CEO of a technology company is found dead, suspicion turns to the founder of the company, whom the CEO was trying to force out. However, the true killer may be a little harder to put in handcuffs...


  • AI Is A Crap Shoot: Played Straight. The Big Bad in this episode is the AI, and it's entirely willing to kill for the sake of preserving itself.
  • Air-Vent Passageway: Scully tries to make her way through one to beat the technology, and is very nearly killed in the process.
  • Artistic License Linguistics: Scully analyzes a COS-generated synthesized recording of Wilczek's voice against another reading of the same line she creates by splicing together various clips of Wilczek's real voice. Somehow the two clips have identical spectrographs. Needless to say, that wouldn't happen and the analysis wouldn't work.
  • Artistic License Physics: When the elevator plummets, Larry is pinned to the floor rather than experiencing freefall.
  • Cruel and Unusual Death: Number 1: Electrocution while trying to unlock a door with a metal key. Number 2: Crushed in a falling elevator. Both are unpleasant.
  • The End... Or Is It?: The AI is revealed to still be functioning even after being shut down by Wilczek's virus and taken apart piece by piece, even if only barely.
  • Evil Elevator: An elevator that's part of an office building's sentient computer network. It kills an investigator.
  • Haunted Technology: Not quite. It's got a mind of its own, that's all.
  • I Just Want to Be You: Jerry explains that some of his Jerkass tendencies have to do with his jealousy of Mulder's superior skills as a profiler and agent.
  • It's Personal: Once the AI kills Mulder's former partner.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Jerry Lamana steals Mulder's brilliant profile of the killer and passes it off as his own. A few scenes later, he meets with his death in a falling elevator.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: Brad Wilczek is most definitely NOT Steve Jobs. Ahem. Not even Steve Wozniak. No siree.
  • Not Quite Dead: Looks like the AI might have survived the virus after all!
  • One Head Taller: Agents' height difference is especially noticeable in the scene where Brad Wilczek asks them to remove their shoes and there are a few shots without the aid of anything to make up for it (no box, no high heels). Gillian Anderson looks positively tiny; she barely comes up to David Duchovny's shoulder.
  • Prefers Going Barefoot: Brad Wilczek. He even made Mulder and Scully take off their shoes while they were in his residence.
    Wilczek: [in a cell sitting barefoot on a bed] They make me wear shoes all the time. What else do you want from me?
  • Tempting Fate: The suit trying to rebuild the murderous AI says, "I'm going to figure this thing out if it kills me."
  • We Used to Be Friends: Mulder and his former partner, Jerry Lamana.