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Recap / The X-Files S02 E23 "Soft Light"

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Season 2, Episode 23:

Soft Light

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thexfilessoftlight_2.png
"My shadow isn't mine. It's... it's like a black hole. It splits molecules into component atoms, it unzips electrons from their orbits, reduces matter into pure energy."
Written by Vince Gilligan
Directed by James Contner

Mulder: Look here, there are hardly any shadows cast.
Scully: What do you mean?
Mulder: The lighting in here is diffused. It's soft light. What if that was what Banton was looking for?
Scully: Looking for his shadow?
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A series of mysterious disappearences leads to a man (Tony Shalhoub) whose shadow vaporizes people.


Tropes:

  • Apologetic Attacker: The one and only time Banton uses his shadow to actively kill someone he apologizes beforehand.
  • Applied Phlebotinum
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Mr X gets his way and begins to subject Doctor Banton to horrific experimentation for probably the rest of his life, however short or long it proves.
  • Captured Super-Entity: Banton is held in a government's science centre with sensors attached to his head and flashing light is casting shadows on a photoelectric panel.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Newirth is an executive from Morley Tobacco: the Cancerman smokes Morleys.
    • Scully checks the heating vent for any sign of Eugene Victor Tooms.
  • Doom Magnet: Poor Banton just can't stop people from walking into his shadow.
  • Downer Ending: Poor Banton is subjected to a Fate Worse than Death.
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  • Exact Words: X tells Mulder that he didn't kill Banton. Though it would have been kinder if he had.
  • Faking the Dead: It's made to look like Banton was vaporized in the machine.
  • Freak Lab Accident: One of these makes Banton's shadow into a black hole.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: The Richmond PD is none too happy about Ryan calling in Mulder and Scully as a favor.
  • Magical Particle Accelerator: The source of Banton's condition.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Mr X uses Mulder to find and acquire Doctor Banton.
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: A very dramatic example.
  • My Little Panzer: Discussed. Mulder compares leaving Banton in the hands of the local PD to giving "the A-bomb to the Boy Scouts".
  • Single Tear: A Single Tear falls down Banton's cheek at the end of the episode.
  • Spontaneous Human Combustion: Mulder thinks this is what happened to Newirth.
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  • Title Drop: Multiple times. Banton wants to be kept in soft light because then he has little to no shadow.

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