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Recap / The X-Files S04 E08 "Tunguska"

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Season 4, Episode 08:

"Listen to me: whatever's in that rock, it appears to be lethal."
Written by Frank Spotnitz & Chris Carter
Directed by Kim Manners

Marita: The diplomatic pouch traveled an apex route to the Russian province of Krasnoyarsk.
Mulder: Krasnoyarsk?
Marita: The point of entry was the city of Norilsk.
Mulder: That's just north of Tunguska.

Mulder and Krycek travel to Russia to investigate Russian experiments with the black oil.


  • Big Bad Friend: CSM rather insincerely presents himself as this to Skinner. Skinner's well past the point where he thinks CSM is anyone to be trusted.
  • Butt-Monkey: Justified given the things he's done in previous episodes, but Krycek does spend the episode getting beaten up and thrown about by pretty much everyone around him.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Early on, Krycek (who else?) betrays a domestic terrorist group had he joined by selling them out to Mulder.
  • Creepy Cockroach: Mulder finds a live cockroach in the "food" he and Krycek are given at the prison camp.
  • Enemy Mine: Krycek joins forces with Mulder and Scully.
  • Distressed Dude: Mulder, being experimented on with the black oil along with other prisoners.
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  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: The camp commandant wears glasses, and observes the horrific experiments without a trace of sympathy.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Skinner displays this to Krycek.
  • Hauled Before A Senate Subcommittee: Agent Scully spends much of the episode grilled by a Senate committee about the death of a diplomat connected with the black oil pouch.
  • Humiliation Conga: Poor Krycek has a hard (if well-deserved) time in this episode, which he spends at the unkind mercy of the good guys.
  • Idiot Ball: A good part of the plot for this arc depends on a customs official being stupid enough not only to open a bomb-shaped container but also, after he's warned the thing's a biohazard, to remove the contents and drop them.
  • The Mole: Krycek turns out to be working with the guards at the Gulag in Tunguska.
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  • Myth Arc
  • Retired Monster: Vassily Peskow is forced out of retirement to destroy everything connected with the black oil and its vaccine.
  • Ship Tease: Mulder spends some time, at night, at Marita Covarrubias's apartment, while she wears a beautiful silk robe the whole time.
  • Shirtless Scene: Skinner.
  • The Tunguska Event