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Recap / The X-Files S08 E12 "Medusa"

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Season 8, Episode 12:

"This is an image taken from a stereo microscope of what's called a medusa."
Written by Frank Spotnitz
Directed by Richard Compton

"You've got a dead man who's got over one third of his body tissue completely eaten away, and until we figure out how and why, that tunnel cannot be reopened."
Dana Scully

Doggett investigates mysterious deaths in the Boston subway while Scully tries to persuade the transport authorities not to let the passengers back in before the danger is resolved.


  • Bittersweet Ending: More sweet than bitter. Agent Doggett manages to destroy the deadly medusa entirely, saving countless lives. Unfortunately people are still dead, and Karras won't face justice for his cover ups and endangering passengers because there isn't enough concrete evidence left over.
  • Hazardous Water: The sea water in the tunnel has deadly medusa which eats flesh off the skin set off by sweat.
  • Heroic Self-Deprecation and Humble Hero: After everyone else on the investigation team lists off all their credentials, when asked his Doggett merely replies that he is a good shot. He continues along this line to Scully when they are talking away from the others, that he doesn't have the experience she has to go in while she remains on the surface, and she reassures him that he'll have backup and that he is needed down there.
  • Karma Houdini: Karras, unfortunately.
  • Nerves of Steel: Doggett displays his Marine Corps training through the episode, even while potentially infected with a bioweapon. He keeps on going and maintains a cool, level head and ends up saving the day.
  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Karras more obsessed with the trains running on time than the potential pathogen that could infect countless people if not dealt with.
  • Weaksauce Weakness: Electricity destroys all of the medusa.
  • Zombie Infectee: The Lieutenant is infected and knows it but hides it from Doggett until it spreads and Doggett spots it glowing on him.

"These guys were just doing their job - keeping the trains running."