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Recap / The X-Files S01 E10 "Fallen Angel"

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Season 1, Episode 10:

Fallen Angel
"Thats a lot of firepower just to protect Mother Nature."
Written by Howard Gordon & Alex Gansa
Directed by Larry Shaw

"Code Indigo Delta Echo Niner. I have a confirmed Fallen Angel in Sector 87. Mobilise Operation Falcon immediately."
Colonel Calvin Henderson

Mulder and Scully investigate a mysterious crash site in Wisconsin, where an alien creature attacks people with lethal doses of radiation. Their investigation is complicated by a military retrieval team assigned to destroy the creature at all costs, and a UFO abductee, Max Fenig (Scott Bellis), who has a connection with the alien. Back in Washington, Mulder's superiors consider shutting down the X-Files.


  • Black Dude Dies First: The sheriff's deputy at the beginning of the episode.
  • Blatant Lies: The cover story that the radiation is caused by a Libyan fighter jet carrying an atomic weapon. Mulder mocks it as "a highly classified lie."
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Max Fenig.
  • Downer Ending: Max is abducted and his body is found miles away, though the latter detail is later revealed to be a lie eventually, and the Syndicate is increasing the pressure it is putting on Mulder and the X-Files unit.
  • Flashback: Very brief — Deep Throat gives Mulder a tip.
  • Hero Insurance: How come Mulder is not prosecuted? Mulder is arrested by the Air Force, repeatedly, and faced an inquiry back at headquarters for his interfering with "the recovery of a downed Libyan fighter jet". As for why he didn't get punished, it's heavily implied that his informant Deep Throat is very high-ranking and countermanded the recommendations of the committee, otherwise he would have been.
  • Infrared Xray Camera: One alien is seen through a heat-source sensing device.
  • Invisible Monster: The alien is depicted as something like an energy creature.
  • Mysterious Informant: Deep Throat.
  • Myth Arc: This episode doesn't directly tie into the overarcing storyline, but it does introduce Max Fenig, who will reappear in Season Four, demonstrates the lengths to which the Government Conspiracy will go to cover up extraterrestrial life, and shows that Deep Throat might not be as benevolent towards Mulder and Scully as he appears.
  • Neurodiversity Is Supernatural: Mulder thinks that Max's epilepsy is caused by aliens.
  • Red Shirts: A lot of military personnel get barbecued this episode.
  • Sarcasm Mode: The Air Force radar technician can't resist doing this when her superiors make her call the various UFOs "meteors."
    "Well, sir, the meteor seems to be hovering over a small town in eastern Wisconsin."
  • Table Space: The professional responsibility hearing with Section Chief McGrath.
  • Title Drop: See the page quote.
  • Underside Ride: Mulder does this to get inside the Air Force's quarantine zone.
  • Visible Invisibility: Aliens, shown as distortion of the background or rushing camera.

"Always keep your friends close, Mr. McGrath... but keep your enemies closer."