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Recap / The X-Files S08 E04 "Roadrunners"

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Season 8, Episode 04:

"I think that they put this thing inside of you."
Written by Vince Gilligan
Directed by Rod Hardy

"I get the distinct impression that somebody doesn't want me to leave."
Dana Scully

A police department in Utah finds a dead body with unexplainable qualities and contact the FBI for help. Scully doesn't tell Doggett about it and decides to go on her own, brushing it off as a simple consultation. Of course, it isn't. She gets lost in a tiny town a few miles away from her destination, and the citizens seem to not want her to leave - because, as it turns out, they are all part of a strange religious cult and need a new host for the slug parasite they worship.


  • Banging for Help: As she can't shout out, Scully starts a fire by knocking a lamp over with her feet to attract Doggett's attention.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Doggett pulls this off when Scully is Bound and Gagged.
  • Body Horror: When the parasite is inserted inside a person, bulges at the spinal area can be seen on the skin.
  • Bound and Gagged: Scully to prevent her calling for Doggett.
  • The Bus Came Back: The mysterious Danny at the FBI makes another "appearance", this time revealed to be an associate of Doggett's as well, who calls him for help on the case.
  • Chained to a Bed: Scully is tied to a bed after having the parasite inserted into her.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In the previous episode, Doggett told Scully that he knows when someone is lying. While he does think of leaving after questioning two inhabitants of the town, he doubts what they said, just enough for him to go back and find Scully, saving her life.
  • Creepy Gas-Station Attendant: The gas station attendant Scully runs into as she first enters the town.
  • Damsel in Distress: Scully, after getting mobbed by the cult and Chained to a Bed.
  • Decapitated Army: All the fight goes out of the murderous town the moment Doggett kills their "God".
  • For Your Own Good: As they infect Scully with the parasite, the cult tries to convince her that this is really a great honor for her.
  • Hyper-Competent Sidekick: Doggett to Scully in this episode.
  • Idiot Ball: Scully giving up her only gun and means of self defense in a creepy town to a dying man infected with an unknown, deadly parasite. It comes back to bite her not long after.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Had Doggett not gotten a bad vibe about the town's people he wouldn't have come back and they would have gotten away with what they did to Scully.
  • Pillow Pistol: Scully is so unsettled by the town, she sleeps with a pistol by her hand.
  • Town with a Dark Secret: The town in this episode seems friendly at first... until they try to insert a parasitic slug into your spine.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Doggett gives an understated one to Scully at the end, all because she tried to solve the case alone. Just look at the end quote.

Scully: I... I left you out of this case, and that was a mistake on my part. It was almost a fatal mistake.
Doggett: It was. You screwed up.
Scully: And I won't do it again.
Doggett: I appreciate it.