The X-Files

Season 4 Episode 9

Terma (2)

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Dec 01, 1996 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
264 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

While imprisoned in Russia and infected with the Black Cancer, Mulder learns that Krycek is working with the men responsible and everything has been a setup from the start, while Scully and Skinner are called to a suspicious Senate hearing where the only question is the whereabouts of Agent Mulder.moreless

Who was the Episode MVP ?

No results found.
No results found.
No results found.
  • Terma

    Terma was a superbly entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of action, drama and intrigue. The story was well written, it played out nicely and the characters had some great development. It was awesome watching Mulder uncover more of the Truth as Scully and Skinner defended him to the best of their ability. Krycek played an interesting role in the events of this episode. I liked how every thing played out. I certainly look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!moreless
  • "These guys, they make it all up as they go along."--Alex Krycek. (I'm beginning to think so too Ratboy)

    After the intense setup of "Tunguska", "Terma" was a bit of a letdown. Following a fast-paced first act in which Indiana Mulder escapes from a Russian gulag, hijacks a truck, and wrecks it, he miraculously smuggles himself back to Washington. I actually wondered if we'd dropped a reel of film somewhere when Mulder walked into the courtroom. The last act of "Terma" felt rushed: the dizzying travel from Florida to New York City to North Dakota to Canada and back to DC in the space of a few minutes gave me motion sickness. And how is one old Russian man in black able to go wherever he wishes, even into the heart of the Well- Manicured Man's stronghold?

    The now-revealed background of Ratboy, and his fate, are the most shocking revelations I've seen all year on The X-Files. I've seen some comments on the "violence" of the first half of this story, where everyone short of Dana Scully takes a punch at Alex Krycek. I thought it was a hilarious self-parody, and closer to the "violence" of the Three Stooges than to Clint Eastwood. Unfortunately, Krycek's ultimate fate at the hands of the one-armed men turned this comic relief on its head. I was horrified at Ratboy's impromptu. Applause to Nic Lea for a fine and harrowing performance that had me wondering from moment to moment just how deep Krycek's plans were laid. Right now I would be more afraid of Krycek than the Cigarette-Smoking Man, if I were Mulder.

    The scenes with Mulder and Krycek in the gulag were as stark and bleak as anything out of Solzhenitsyn, and the scene where Mulder is reduced to one of a long gray line of men was rendered almost in black and white, a high-contrast take on a twentieth century hell. The show is always a study in stark opposites: the contrast between Scully's clean, brightly lit cell and Mulder's medieval dungeon, the gritty realism of Mulder digging under a fence with his fingernails versus the ultra-sterile environment of the exobiology lab.

    The first half-hour of "Tunguska" was tense, well- paced, and pretty conventional. But the last half hour of "Terma" was an expressionistic montage of quick cuts, circling cameras, allusion and self-reference. No one who missed "Piper Maru" or "Apocrypha" will understand the significance of an oilwell head or a refinery. So much of what the audience understands must come from a special language developed over seventy episodes, that newcomers, and many long-time viewers, will be left bewildered.moreless
  • Pretty intense episode

    Poor Mulder. What happened to him in this episode will finally make him realize that Krycek is definitely not to be trusted? I hope so. He sure was lucky to get away alive... after what he had done.

    In the meantime, Scully is struggling to buy more time. I just loved it when she is held in contempt for not telling where Mulder was. And one of the best scenes in the season is when Mulder appears like a hero and then hugs Scully with such desperation and eagerness that states the wonderful relationship that was in its early stages and became a very important part in the development of the show.

    Black cancer storyline is still there, not solved; Cancer Man is doing what he does best and there are more questions than answers.moreless
  • meah!

    i have to say this hasnt been my favorite story line of the series, so the second part of it was gonna get on my nevres a bit. so anyways, old russian men, one arm bandits, mulders amazing escape, and a whole load more of stuff goes on. this episode has lots of arm-less fun- sorry bout that i was in a cheesy mood.but anyhow.. it picks up from last episode - tungunska. and yeah.. i thought it was a just another above average episode, and i know lots of fans will probably disagree, but this just want the episode for me.moreless
  • Mulder escapes the prison camp while Scully tries to defend her friend

    I agree with a couple of the people below me who said in their reviews that the second part of these two part episodes are lackluster compared to the first part. I suppose, in some cases, it's inevitable that the second part won't live up to the part before it.. there are plenty of exceptions, but this isn't one of them. For one, we're given a lot of questions but not a whole lot of answers, a problem that plagues a lot of the myth episodes of X-Files. I find that type of story the most interesting yet they're the most problematic at the same time. If there was a way to give us some answers without revealing the whole thing, it would be great.

    However, I did love everything involving Mulder escaping. This "black cancer" stuff, the alien bacteria (I'm assuming), has been around since Season 3, so we already know how bad it is.. and the fact that the Russians and American scientists are testing innocents with it is crazy. I'm interested to see how the Cancer Man, along with his little friend that has a farm, connects to all of this. So far, we've only been given the most vague of explanations, and it's quite obvious that Mulder's dad, Cancer Man and the other government officials are all involved much deeper than has been explained so far.

    Everything with Scully was less interesting though. We already know that this Senate hearing wants Mulder and showing that same scene two times in two episodes was pointless and a waste of space. In fact, nothing really of note happens when she's by herself. I do like how Krycek is becoming that villain in a TV show that never dies, regardless of what happens to him/her.

    I'm looking forward to the next myth episode and hoping it concludes better than this one.moreless
Jessica Schreier

Jessica Schreier

Dr Bonita Charne-Sayre

Guest Star

Brent Stait

Brent Stait

Timothy Mayhew

Guest Star

Campbell Lane

Campbell Lane

Committee Chairman

Guest Star

Mitch Pileggi

Mitch Pileggi

Assistant Director Walter Skinner

Recurring Role

William B. Davis

William B. Davis

Cigarette Smoking Man

Recurring Role

Malcolm Stewart

Malcolm Stewart

Dr. Sacks

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • At a time span from 32:40 to 32:50, when Scully and Mulder are in the Retirement home, they inspect the bedded patients, the one both Mulder and Scully focus on has those worm like alien viruses on her face. Why do neither of them react?

    • Continuity error: In the teaser for 'Tunguska' Scully says "I respectfully decline to answer that question", but when we catch up to the hearing in this part, she says "I respectfully refuse to answer that question".

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Scully: It is not just Mulder I am protecting sir.
      Skinner: Then what are you doing?
      Scully: We were called before this committee to answer questions about a murder, about an intercepted diplomatic pouch. A pouch that was to be delivered to a prominent Doctor, A woman who is now dead, as is the man who was delivering said pouch. The Contents of which have infected an exo-biologist with a paralyzing toxin... Yet, what are we stuck on here, the whereabouts of Agent Mulder.

    • (Hugging Scully)
      Mulder: It's good to put my arms around you. Both of them.

    • (CSM pulls up in front of a house where the Well-Manicured Man is sitting. He's smoking a cigarette.)
      CSM: That's a nasty habit. It's bad for the health.
      Well-Manicured Man: Health is the least of my concerns at the moment.
      CSM: Yes.
      (CSM takes a cigarette out and lights it up for himself.)
      CSM: According to reports from your personal physician you suffered a serious riding accident here on your property.

    • Mulder: I'm not going to die...
      Prisoner: Why not?
      Mulder: I have to live long enough to kill that man, Krycek.
      (The prisoner passes a crude-looking knife through the hole.) Where did you get this?
      Prisoner: I made it... to kill myself... It took me two weeks... but by then I had lost the desire.
      Mulder: You'd rather suffer the torture?
      Prisoner: It is wonderful... the persistence of life. That rock we found buried so deep in the Earth... that anything could survive down there goes beyond all reason... No. They will have to kill me themselves.

    • Sorenson: Well... uh... what are we talking about...? Little green men?
      Scully: No, sir. Not at all.
      Mulder: Why is this so hard to believe? When the accepted discovery of life off this planet is on the front page of every newspaper around the world? When the most conservative scientists and science journals are calling for the exploration of Mars and Jupiter? With every reason to believe that life and the persistence of it is thriving outside our own terrestrial sphere? If you cannot get past this, then I suggest this whole committee be held in contempt, for ignoring evidence that cannot be refuted.

  • NOTES (4)

    • Due to production time constraints some of the visual effects of the black-oil worms weren't ready until the very last minute so the networks in Canada and in the Midwest, who had to have the episode a couple hours earlier, saw a different version of that particular visual effect in the original broadcast.

    • 'Terma' is Russian for prison or jail, and is also a Latin conjunction of 'death'. It has also been suggested that the title refers to the Tibetan Buddhist term "Tyurma", meaning hidden or buried truth.
      Of course, within in the episode it was the name of a town in North Dakota.

    • Krycek's Russian alias (or perhaps his real name), 'Comrade Arntzen' is named for Val Arntzen, a member of the Set Decorating Department.

    • This episode's tagline changes to 'E Pur Si Muove', Italian for "But It Does Move". Supposedly, this is the phrase Galileo said under his breath after the Church forced him to admit that his theory on the Earth revolving around the sun was incorrect - meaning that no matter what someone makes you say, it doesn't change what you know to be true.


    • Well Manicured Man: But, Senator Sorenson is an honorable man. They are all honorable ...these Honorable men. This comes from the famous speech Mark Anthony held at Caesar's burial in the Roman age. Mark Anthony said: For Brutus is an honorable man. So are they all, all honorable men. In Mark Anthony's speech it is meant to be sarcastic, because he suspects Brutus to be part of the group who murdered Caesar.