The X-Files

Season 2 Episode 22

F. Emasculata

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Apr 28, 1995 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (11)

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out of 10
337 votes
  • A deadly disease spreads and Mulder and Scully must hurry to contain it.

    I really liked this episode how a disease broke out and when into the deep stages it spits something out onto another person infecting them with the disease.At a prison the first person was infected and it spread when the prisoner escaped and Mulder tried to catch up to him because he could spread it also Scully stays at the prison to try and find out what was going on and she was nearly infected.When the Cancer man turned up Mulder tells him he can't keep the truth from the public for long but he manages to because the last person who was infected gets shot holding a boy hostage and the disease is covered up but caused lots of deaths and Mulder believes people should know so they are prepared in case it happens again.
  • F. Emasculata

    F. Emasculata was a superb episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was good, the character development and plot progression were great and there was a lot of mystery and intrigue. I liked how the story played out and the ending was surprising and very fitting. I certainly look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!
  • Mulder and Scully investigate a new virus

    I think I cringed more in this episode of the X-Files than any other episode to date. Despite how disgusting it was, it was enjoyable from start to finish and focused on what is my favorite trait of Mulder and Scully's: the unending quest for the truth. Whether they're focusing on aliens, viruses or just government conspiracies, overall, the show feels as if it's at its best when the focus is on Mulder trying to discover the truth in a world that is determined whole-heartedly to hide it.

    I've done my fair share of whining about the show's tendency to focus too much on stand-alone plots, but this was a pretty great example of a stand-alone episode giving us something meaningful to care about. The main plot is that a virus outbreak occurs at a prison after a prisoner receives a strange package (it looks like a hunk of ham or something). The prisoner believes it to be a sick joke, but soon enough, he has strange boils and pustules on his face that explode a giant glob of gunk before they die. The virus slowly spreads, and the situation worsens after two prisoners escape who may be infected. Mulder and Scully believe they're being called in to catch the two prisoners, but they slowly learn that the virus is out. Therefore, Mulder teams up with the U.S Marshall to catch the prisoners while Scully stays behind to solve the mystery of the outbreak.

    By the time we get to the end of the episode, the two plots have been resolved, but at the same time, it feels like nothing has been solved. They catch the prisoners and prevent an outbreak, but the origin and cause of the outbreak remains unsolved. Mulder wants to go to the media about the fact that the package originated from a pharmaceutical company, but those responsible covered their tracks well. We also get the return of the man who smokes copious amounts of cigarettes, and although his return is lackluster and short-lived, it lets us know how screwed up the government is in this show. Part of me can't wait to see Mulder finally uncover EVERYthing. Part of me also can't wait to see how much more involved Skinner gets with Mulder and Scully. He's one of those bureaucratic annoying bosses who sometimes does the right thing and he's taken a huge step up this season.

    I really liked this episode and thought it was intriguing and a good indication of just how alone Mulder and Scully are in their search for the truth.
  • Big Spots

    “F. Emasculata” is a really crap episode about biological warfare, some cosmetic company harvest some juice from a bug and then it causes him to die, so they use it as a weapon. But some how some prison guy gets infected and goes on the run with his mate. He gets giant boils all over him that pop on people, which spreads infection. The writer must have a phobia of squeezing his spots. The government try to cover it up, while Mulder fights for truth and Skully is in quarantine. A boring episode, which isn’t really supernatural at all, just a government cover up. Avoid.
  • The pus episode!

    One of the most purely enjoyable episodes from the second season, "F. Emasculata" gets everything right from the get-go. Always fondly remembered as being one of the show's more disgusting excursions, it does boast some very simple but highly effective pulsating bladder effects – usually on people's faces – that every now and then erupt with pus. Delightful. Marry that up with a manhunt story as Mulder chases after 2 escaped lifer convicts who might be infected with this contagion and you have "Panic in the Streets" from an X File point of view. But of course there's a bit more to it than that and I think we can detect the hand of Chris Carter in this. Not content with being a simple race against time story, Carter ups the ante by inserting a whole subtext of governmental involvement and cover-up. Nowhere is this better crystallised in probably the episode's best scene, a midnight encounter for Mulder with Skinner in his office and with the Cigarette Smoking Man in attendance. Everything is steeped in shadow in this scene, most notably Skinner's involvement in the case, and of course William B. Davis clearly relishes his chance to be insidiously evil by being so relatively normal. It also clearly illustrates Mulder's all consuming need to expose the truth, and his frustration is all too clear when he finds himself unable to do so. Duchovny gives a strong committed performance here that generates a lot of empathy. So while Mulder does the legwork and proves his investigative worth on the manhunt, Scully has the less glamorous task of being holed up in a prison that is the source point for a highly infectious killer disease. Unabashed by this, she nevertheless spends most of her time being a complete nuisance and ferreting around for some answers. Medical doctor she may be, but Scully does alarm us several times in this scenario by simply not wearing her surgical mask enough. Naturally being a lead in the show, it's highly unlikely that she'll get sprayed with pus, though she still must undergo the less than pleasant task of having a bug strapped to her arm for half an hour. It's a measure of Gillian Anderson's enormous ability as an actress that the scene where Scully discovers that she hasn't been infected and her subsequent relief doesn't need any dialogue. Anderson communicates Scully's feelings with just one telling roll of her eyes. The episode is well paced and well plotted, leading to a tense standoff in a bus station. And typically for this show the loose ends left dangling at the conclusion are done so deliberately. Skinner's warning to the agents that this is just the start of bigger things is suitably ominous, but to tell the truth, these 2 risk their lives week in week out, one can only wonder how things could get any more perilous for them. Still, coming 22 episodes into what has been a consistently excellent season, "F. Emasculata" demonstrates the suppleness and high level of quality of the show to a most satisfying degree.

  • Disgusting and scary

    Again. Mulder and Scully are victims of the secrets the FBI is trying to keep to prevent panic.
    I really hated the fact that once again our favorite duo is played for a fool when investigating a case that had no head and end up doing the FBI's dirty job.
    The whole case was disgusting and sometimes scary specially when we are led to believe that Scully might be infected. It was awkward to see her working on her own while Mulder was running around looking for evidence.
    Too bad this time Skinner was too involved, and the end scene when all truth comes out about the package and mistake, was really frustrating.
  • Exploding boils!

    I gave this episode a higher rating because of the cringe worthiness of the episode. My god, when one of those boils exploded I almost felt like I was gonna get all that pus on me. It really added to the excitement level with the amount of times you would cringe when a character got too close to an infected person.

    Mulder and Scully are sent to investigate happenings at a prison where inmates are dying from an unknown disease. Two inmates escape after the contamination, splitting Mulder and Scully. Scully stays at the prison and Mulder joins the manhunt.

    We learn that the contamination was orchestrated by a pharmaceutical company, and the cover up goes right through the FBI leading to another Mulder and Skinner meltdown.

    Very exciting all the way to the end.
  • Muddled

    I'm not sure the writers knew where they were going with this episode as it is a mess. First, it was a bit ridiculous that the infected meat would be sent by overnight mail. Second, what was the purpose in exposing all of the inmates? To prove that they would all die horribly once the big zit on their faces popped? Okaaayyy...
    Third, it is not credible that the G-men are all running around in full biohazard suits while Scully only occasionally wears a small paper mask and yet she does not become infected. Finally, the conspiracy stuff seemed contrived and "tacked on," possibly added as an attempt to salvage some meaning to this muddled mess.
  • To what lengths

    ... will a cosmetics company go to protect their backs? Apparently, very very long lengths. There are two things that stand out in my mind about this episode. First, it was really gruesomely graphic. Almost unnecessarily so. Did Chris Carter make the express decision to make everyone squeamish and slightly nauseated with the sight of those pulsing boils? Gross. I don't mean to vent, but I don't understand why some filmmakers aim to gross people out - why make your audience look away from the tv to save their stomach? Anyway. The second thing that stuck out in my mind: this is the first in a series of episodes where the two agents spend the majority of the episode apart from each other, pursuing separate paths to the same goal. I wonder what the reason for that direction choice was? Is it a device in order to wrap up a complex plot with forking paths in a more expedient way? It seems nonsensical to me, with a show where a very big selling point is the chemistry between the two stars, to then write a series of scripts that proceed to split the stars up and have them communicate by phone almost exclusively throughout the episode. Hm.
  • The one with the puss

    An effective and gross episode that could have been better.
    Can I just begin with ew? Puss! That was damn gross. So was the teaser, the episode is mostly about a virus spreading through nation and the government started it.

    So, an escaped prisoner started to virus, he took it out of jail and people around him soon got infected. It also almost infected our precious Scully and that was pretty much the best of the episode.

    The episode was mostly a little too slow for my likings, and the government was able to erase all the truth around it. Mulder and Scully wanted to prove what happened but all the bodies got burned up and the people infected were all eliminated.

    Also one of the best parts were Mulder and Skinner’s scene, he told Mulder to watch his back as a friend. Mulder has no idea what he is dealing with.

    The episode was one of the grossest so far, specially the scenes that a puss came out of the woods, I mean. Ew! The episode worked itself out, though I think they could have made it grosses and better.
  • Mulder and Scully are given a case but aren't given all the details, and whind up in the middle of a medical cover-up/quarentine. A prison has been infected with an unknown agent that is highly contageous. A pair of inmates escape, brining the disease to

    This episode was pivotal to the series, and also seemd to foreshadow some of the events to follow in later episodes and seasons. It's among the earlier episodes that follow massive government cover-ups, denying knowledge, and the agents facing a moral dilema. All of these occured, and it seems at this point in the series that things are about to get rough with the government. It was well written, and although the show was left to the confines of a prison for the most part, showed a decent skill with the directing as well. It seems hard to read Skinner all the time, almost as if his personality changes from circumstance to circumstance; he seemed to display this with Mulder. AD Skinner was more on the opposing side, acting as a barrier between the agents and the Conspiracy. He's comments at the end of the episode were pretty foreboding, telling Mulder and Scully that this was only the beginning in terms of the Conspiracies activities.