The X-Files

Season 1 Episode 8


Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 05, 1993 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
644 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When an Arctic research team mysteriously kills each other and themselves only days after drilling deeper into the ice than ever before, Mulder and Scully accompany a team of doctors and scientists to investigate. They discover an organism which infects living creatures and amplifies the host's feeling of anger and paranoia, and the new team starts to deteriorate as they wonder who among them are killers.moreless

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  • Before anyone passes judgement, may I remind you we are in the arctic.

    I adore movies and TV shows that make most of a plot in one single setting. "Ice" is just another example of that. The acting carries this episode, fueled by the classic X-Files theme of mistrust. This A "cult classic" with an epic opening scene.
  • Its a classix X-Files

    Its a cklassic episode. No conspiracy, but we get Xander Berkeley, and Mulder and Scully turning on eachother. Alien lifeform in the ice.
  • Who did it first, who did it best, or who cares?

    Yes, this is a ripoff or homage to The Thing. The question is whether you let that weaken the episode for you. I'm glad I didn't, because I quickly found I prefer this to The Thing; it's smarter, more concise, and it's got Agent Scully, who I'm liking more and more.

    That who-did-it-first reservation is a learned (not innate) bit of self-consciousness. I don't like it, but it's a reservation all the same. So that's why I give this an 8.5 and not a 9. It's a great episode anyway.moreless
  • Lucky They Didn't Get Sued

    It's only the 8th episode, and the writers were already so out of original ideas that they had to rip-off "The Thing"? This is an episode so terrible and unoriginal that I have little else to say about it. Both Mulder and Scully act so out-of-character that it's painful to watch, and there's really nothing good to experience in this 45 minute waste of time.

    THIS EPISODE WANTS US TO BELIEVE IN: Ancient parasites alive in arctic ice that makes people homicidal.


    Sadly, the idea of the ancient parasites isn't too bad or unbelievable in itself. But by out-and-out ripping off several well-known movies from start-to-finish, the creators opened a whole 'nother can of worms. Shameful!

  • Parasitic worms

    This is the best episode of the season which shows Mulder and Scully going to Alaska to investigate a missing team that mysteriously vanished and it turns out that they have been infected by some kind of worm that makes you angry and want to attack people and two worms are in a human and they are both fighting they both die which is why all the team died.Mulder and Scully go with two other people and when the pilot is bitten by a dog that has the worm he gets it and it kills him and everyone thinks Mulder has it.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (8)

    • Principal setting: Icy Cape, Alaska.

    • Continuity: When Scully is tossing the clips outside, you can see Dr. Da Silva's sleeves are bunched up. When the shot changes back, her sleeves are down.

    • Prop goof: In this episode, Mulder is carrying around a Glock 19. When the caged dog startles him and he raises his weapon, there is the sound of a hammer being cocked. However, the Glock has an internal hammer, so the only way to cock it is by pulling the trigger or racking the slide.

    • Plot hole: If the parasite stimulates the production of a violence hormone, why was the infected member of the team able to act so calm until the point when the others discovered that person was infected?

    • Geographical Error: In the opening scene, the arctic station is given as being "...250 miles north of the Arctic Circle." Later, when Mulder shows Scully the base's location on a map, he points to a location on the Seward Peninsula.

      The Seward Peninsula is the location of the city of Nome. Its northernmost point is well below the Arctic Circle.

    • Plot Hole: When the team tries to restrain Bear, they notice a rather large knot moving under his skin. This is supposed to be the parasite. Later on, we find out that the parasite is actually rather small and could never cause a lump that large.

    • Revealing Mistakes: At the end of the episode the agents and Dr. Hodge are supposed to be cold in the freezing temperatures of Alaska, and acting like it's freezing. But we don't see their breath on camera when it should be highly noticeable.

    • Continuity: Richter's message in the teaser is slightly different from when Scully and Mulder watch it later in his office.

  • QUOTES (17)

    • Mulder: It's still there, Scully. 200,000 years down in the ice.
      Scully: Leave it there.

    • Scully: Come take a look at this. The larvae from two different worms killed each other. An individual worm will not tolerate another invading it's host. It does to the invader what it did to humans. It makes them kill.
      Hodge: It doesn't make sense for a species to kill its own, it needs another to procreate.
      Dasilva: Worms are hermaphroditic. It can reproduce itself.

    • Scully: Mulder, if we don't kill it now, we run the risk of becoming Richter and Campbell with guns to our heads.
      Mulder: But if we do kill it now, we may never know how to stop it or anything like it in the future.

    • Mulder: We're all wired and hypersensitive, it'll be good to get a fresh start in the morning.
      Scully: Mulder, I don't want to waste a second trying to find a way to kill this thing.
      Mulder: I don't know if we should kill it. This area of the ice sheet was formed over a meteor crater. The worm lived in ammonia. It survived sub-zero temperatures. Theorists in alternative life-designs believe in ammonia-supported life systems on planets with freezing temperatures.
      Scully: No.
      Mulder: The meteor that crashed here a quarter of a million years ago may have carried that type of life to earth.

    • Murphy: Hypothalmus... what was that again?
      Scully: It's a gland that secretes hormones although I don't know why a parasite would want to attach to it.
      Hodge: Hypothalmus releases acetlycholine, which produces violent, aggresive behavior. That might be a connection. Everybody that's been infected certainly seems to act aggresively. Maybe the worm feeds on the acetlycholine which floods our capacity to control violent behavior.
      Scully: Well, a parasite shouldn't want to kill it's host.
      Hodge: It doesn't kill you until it's extracted. Then it releases a poison.

    • Mulder: This is Agent Mulder, we have a serious biological hazard. Request air pick-up and quarantine procedures, over. Come in, Doolittle Airfield.
      Radio: We copy, Agent Mulder. This area is under a heavy storm and no aircraft can get out for the next day. Maybe the military base in Kotzebue can set up a quarantine. Advise immediate evacuation, the arctic storm is bearing in your direction, over.
      Mulder: We were told we would have three clear days of weather, over.
      Radio: Welcome to the top of the world, Agent Mulder. Over.

    • Murphy: Maybe the organism in the ice core somehow got into the men.
      Dasilva: Come on, nothing can survive in sub-zero temperatures for a quarter of a million years.
      Mulder: Unless that's how it lives.

    • Murphy: Alright, this is the Icy Cape area. It approximates the depth of the ice sheet to be about 3,000 meters thick.
      Mulder: I also found this data and if I'm reading it correctly, the team actually found the ice sheet to be twice that depth.
      Murphy: That's very good. The numbers indicate the topography to be concave. Looks like they were drilling inside a meteor crater.

    • Bear: You folks the ones going up to Icy Cape?
      Mulder: Yeah.
      Bear: Then I'm the one flying you. My name's Bear. The plane's across the way, provisions are loaded. Grab your gear.
      Hodge: Oh, could we see some credentials?
      Bear: Credentials. The only credentials that I have is that I'm the only pilot willing to fly you up there. You don't like those credentials... walk.

    • Hodge: Can I see some identification?
      Mulder: What for?
      Hodge: I just want to make sure we are who we say we are. That's me.
      Murphy: That's you. It's me.
      Hodge: It's you.
      Mulder: It's me!

    • (The men start to strip for a physical exam)
      Mulder: Before anyone passes judgment, may I remind you, we are in the Arctic.

    • Mulder: San Diego? Do you get much of a chance to study ice down there?
      Dr. Murphy: Just what's around the keg.

    • Mulder: The National Weather Service reports a three day window to get in and out before the next Arctic storm. Bring your mittens!

    • Hodge: Alright, parasitic diagnostic procedure requires that each of us provide a blood and a stool sample.
      Bear: A stool sample?
      Murphy: Well, this kind of travel always makes that kind of tough... for me.
      Mulder: Okay, anyone got the morning sports section handy?
      Bear: I ain't dropping my cargo for no one.

    • Scully: What happened up there?
      Mulder: So far, nobody's been able to reach the compound because of bad weather. Obviously, they think we're either brilliant or expendable because we've pulled the assignment.

    • Mulder: Now, I don't trust them. I want to trust you.

    • Mulder: Scully! For God sakes, it's me!
      Scully: Mulder... you may not be who you are.

  • NOTES (4)

    • The character of Campbell was named after John W. Campbell, Jr. who was the author of the sci-fi classic Who Goes There? on which the plot of this episode is loosely based. The story was adapted for the films The Thing From Another World (1951) and The Thing (1982).

    • The character of Richter is played by Ken Kirzinger, the stunt coordinator during the early seasons of the show.

    • Previous episodes had gone slightly over budget, so Fox asked the producers to create an episode that was set in a confined space so only one set had to be built.

    • The dog in the episode is the father of David Duchovny's dog Blue.


    • Literary Reference: Othello

      The words "we are not who we are" may have be inspired by Shakespeare's Othello.

    • Episode Plot: Hidden creature in arctic base

      The plot of this episode is an homage to the John Carpenter movie The Thing (1982) which in turn was inspired by the classic science fiction film The Thing From Another World (1951). Several features of the episode follow the 1982 movie including the mistrust and paranoia of people at the base, the locking up infection suspects, the attempts (by visual exam and blood work) to somehow prove who is who, or in this case who is not who he is.