AGUA MALA
6ABX14

Broadcast Sequence 6.13
Season 6 Air Date: 02/21/99

Consulting Producer: Daniel Sackheim
Edited by
Lynne Willingham, A.C.E.and Heather MacDougall
Written by
David Amann
Directed by
Rob Bowman

Review by LeeRecord
February 25, 1999

Guest Starring Darren McGavin as Arthur Dales, Nichole Pelerine as Sara Shipley, Max Kasch as Max Shipley, Joel McKinnon Miller as Deputy Greer, Valente Rodriguez as Walter Suarez, Diana Maria Riva as Angela Villareal, Jeremy Roberts as George Vincent and Silas Weir Mitchell as Dougie.

"All the nuts roll downhill to Goodland, Florida."

Goodland, Florida is having a nasty hurricane that's driven a sea monster into the plumbing. A marine biologist and her son frantically try to turn a washing machine full of water over onto a floor drain. It's the only fresh water they have -- the only thing that will kill the monster that's about to kill them. Back at Mulder's apartment, the answering machine takes a message from Arthur Dales. He explains the nasty hurricane that's moving in, then he adds that he got a call from a neighbor that set his teeth on edge. Before hanging up he says: "You don't have much time to get to the airport, but if you're the x-files man you say you are, you better get your butt in gear." Needless to say, Mulder wasn't going to pass up this dare. He asks Scully to go monster hunting -- says it's an x-file. Having nothing better to do, she runs off to Florida with him. When they arrive at Dales trailer, they are soaking wet. Scully introduces herself as Agent Dana Scully. Dales isn't too impressed, especially when she says that she doesn't hear a story about a sea monster and automatically assume it's the gospel truth. Dales says to Mulder: "A female agent working on my x-files that doesn't believe in x-files. Why did you bring her here?" Mulder says that she knows about his reputation and his early work on the x-files. And she has a knack of getting to the bottom of things. When Scully sees a trash can full of liquor bottles, she says: "Apparently, so does Mr. Dales." Dales explains how his friend Sara Shipley told him that her husband was grabbed around the neck by something with tentacles while he was in the bathroom. Scully asks if he has any reason to doubt her? Dales says that they were both marine biologist. "At least they were. I fear the worst." Mulder isn't too excited about going out into the wind and rain, but Dales looks at Scully and says that he doesn't see any other choice if anyone wants to get to the bottom of all this. Mulder and Scully prepare to head out to the Shipley's. Dales says to Scully: "Don't sneer at the mysteries of the deep, young lady. The bottom of the ocean is as deep and dark as the imagination."

Mulder and Scully make it to the Shipley residence to find it all boarded up from the inside. Mulder says that it makes you wonder how they got out. They don't find anyone. Mulder spots some clothing near a drain in the laundry room. He finds some gooey slime on the drainpipe behind the washer. Suddenly, the lid on the washer pops up and down. Mulder uses a stick to open the lid. The Shipley's cat jumps out and runs away. Scully wonders how the cat got into the washer. Mulder says that he probably decided to take a dip after he boarded up the windows. Next, they try to pull the boards off the bathroom door. They are interrupted by Deputy Greer who thinks they are looters. Mulder and Scully tell him they are FBI agents. He says: "Don't all the nuts roll downhill to Florida." He holds his gun on them and calls for backup, but no one is available. Even though Scully and Mulder want to show him their badges, he doesn't want to see them. He reads them their rights and places them under arrest. From out of the shadows comes the Shipley's cat. It startles the Deputy long enough for Mulder to grab the gun. The deputy says: "Now you're gonna kill me!" Mulder says: "No, I'm not. But I'd like to." Scully shows him her badge, and says that she will wait for them in the car. Mulder tells the Deputy to help him finish what he interrupted -- getting into the bathroom.

Mulder gets in the car and tells Scully that there wasn't anything in the bathroom except more slimy stuff and a lot of water on the floor. He thinks they were running all the taps for some reason. Scully says that they have to hurry to the airport if they want to get out of there. He asks if she's not just a little curious about what happened to the people? She says that she is suspicious of Dales' story. And that his imagination has been fueled by nothing more than a highball. After a short, friendly argument about monsters from the deep and where life started, Mulder lays their decision to leave in her hands by saying: "Well, we should at least tell him that we're giving up. Shouldn't we?" Inside the Shipley's house, Deputy Greer does some last minute poking around. The drain in the washer room begins to bubble up. He manages to get the cover off of it so he can find out what's in there. He reaches in and pulls out the Shipley boy's football shirt. "Sea monsters... FBI agents. I'm the one who could use a drink!" Out on the highway, Mulder and Scully are stopped by the police. They are told that there is no way they can get to the airport. The road is washed out and the hurricane is on top of them. Scully says that they are FBI agents and have to get to where they are going. The cop says: "Don't all the nuts roll downhill to Florida." (Must be a local saying.) Mulder thanks the trooper for his help then spins the car around and heads off into the storm. Meanwhile, Deputy Greer, whose call is Car 54, is told by HQ to park his vehicle and find shelter. The hurricane has arrived and there be flooding. He stops at the Breakers Condo where it looks like some folks are stranded without power. HQ says that they won't be able to give him backup or assistance. "10-4" He hammers on doors and tells anyone that can hear him to call 911. He finds a door open. When he searches the apartment, he finds a victim sitting on the porcelain throne and covered with monster slime. The Deputy gets a little to close, though. A tentacle zips out and grabs him around the throat.

Mulder and Scully continue driving in the storm. Even they realize that they need to find shelter. Mulder says that they will look back on this, someday, and think about the time they tested their mettle against the forces of nature. Scully says that she doesn't need her mettle tested. Mulder spots the Deputy's truck parked at the condo. He says that it looks like their old friend, Forrest Gump. With nothing more than emergency lighting and their 500 watt flashlights, they venture inside. They find the Deputy choking on the floor. He has some very ugly looking marks on his throat where the monster got him. Scully looks for something to make a tracheotomy device to help him breathe. Mulder sees the slime on the toilet, but no victim. All that is left of him is his watch. Mulder pulls it from the bowl and says: "I've heard of passing time... Ouch." As Scully works on the Deputy, Mulder says that whatever got him came through the sewage system. He goes to warn others in the building. Scully uses the Deputy's radio to call for a medevac. She tells them that there is a Deputy down, and he needs to get to a hospital. Meanwhile, Arthur Dales is monitoring the conversation with his ham gear. He hears Scully say that the Deputy needs immediate medical attention. He was attacked by something as of yet unidentified. Dales mumbles: "Unidentified? My ass."

While searching for others, Mulder comes across a looter. He asks if he needs any help? Just then, Walter Suarez appears. He asks if Mulder and the looter are the doctors he called for? Mulder says, no, and asks what's wrong? Walter says that they don't have a car, the power is out, the phone is dead and his wife is a week overdue [to give birth]. He also says that he never saw the guy holding a TV set. Mulder tells the looter to put back the TV and everything in his pockets. The looter says that he will. (What a maroon.) Walter takes Mulder to meet his domineering woman, Angela Villareal. He calls her his wife but she insists that they aren't married. He tells everyone that because it makes him feel macho. Angela is a piece of work. All she does is complain and insist that she needs to empty her bladder every five seconds. Now Mulder tells her there is danger in the plumbing. Walter tells Mulder that there is one other person in the condo, George Vincent. He's a loner, militia type who tells everyone to go away, including Mulder. After a snappish conversation with George, Mulder says: "All the nuts roll down to Florida."

Mulder tells Scully that they have to get out of there. She says there's no way out. All the roads are impassible and no emergency vehicles are running, besides, the Deputy can't be moved. Mulder asks: "You mean we're stuck here?" Scully says: "It looks that way. At least until the weather breaks." George overhears their conversation. He jams a clip into his gun then paces around the room babbling about federal agents and jack-booted fascist bent on trampling the rights of the common man. "Who needs them?" He chambers a round and prepares for the invasion. Meanwhile, Scully says that the wounds on the Deputy are bites or stings. There is something under the skin. She pulls a parasite type worm from his neck and puts it into a jar of water. To her, it's just another parasite that the storm blew in. The happy campers put the Deputy into a tub of ice-water to lower his 106 temperature. While they are busy, the looter swipes the Deputy's watch. Suddenly, there's a lot of shooting and screaming coming from George's apartment. Mulder runs to see what's going on. After the shooting subsides, George opens the door holding a pump-action gun. Mulder tells him to put it down. George says: "It's gonna take a whole lot more than this to kill whatever it is I just saw." The gang gathers in George's apartment as he explains that it came from the ceiling. Scully says that all that happened was a sewage pipe burst. Mulder says that it looks like whatever it was ripped right through the pipe. He says that it must still be in the building in the outflow system. Walter says that it might just flow back out. George tells Walter: "Or, maybe it'll come up through the can and grab you by the nugs." Mulder says: "Somebody already has him by the nugs." Scully tells everyone that there is no evidence that the thing has killed anybody. When asked about the Deputy, she says that he will probably survive if he remains in the tub. Everyone will be safe if they just remain calm. Angela says: "Remain calm? I have to pee so bad my back teeth are swimming." (At this point I wish she would do so, and get done in by the monster. I know, I have no compassion.) Meanwhile, the looter is using a cake of soap to try and get the Deputy's wedding ring off his finger. He pulls so hard that he and the soap go flying. When he pulls the shower curtain, a box of Epsom Salt is knocked into the water. The gang returns just as the looter is leaving the bathroom. He says that the Deputy is okay. Angela says that she's going to use the toilet. Walter is concerned about the monster so Scully gives her a bucket to use. While she is in the bathroom, Scully says that there is nothing that has convinced her that anything is in the sewer system. Angela comes out of the bathroom screaming that she saw it. "It's in the tub with the Deputy. It has giant arms like an octopus!" When they rush in to check, all they find is the Deputy's clothes. He is gone! Mulder says that he thinks he knows why nobody has seen the monster. It's because it is water, taking shape only when it's ready to attack like it did when the hurricane backed seawater into the plumbing. "Virtually unseeable until then." Scully holds up the jar with the parasite in it and says: "Mulder, if that were true then this wouldn't be visible, would it? I mean, what this is showing us is that water actually attempts to kill it." Mulder theorizes that the water may only be slowing down it's reproductive cycle. The reason the bodies disappeared is because the creature used the water in their bodies to reproduce. Walter asks about the Deputy: "You mean he turned into one of those things?" Mulder says: "We gotta get out a here."

They decide to use the Deputy's Prowler to escape the creature. Mulder notices that the looter has slipped away while they were talking. He runs for the front of the building to check on the truck. The looter has taken it. They are stranded! Scully yells: "Mulder, if we're going to leave, we should leave now." Mulder hears a noise. He looks up to see a large tentacle on top of the lighting panel. It crashes through and wraps itself around his neck. Mulder comes down the hall toward the group. He's holding his neck. When George sees that he has been attacked by the monster, he slams the door and locks it. Scully says that he can't lock him outside. She's a medical doctor and she might be able to help him. George points his gun at her to keep her from opening the door. Angela says that it's good she's a doctor, because her water just broke. While Scully attends to Angela, Mulder sees more creatures in the light panels. He runs to get out of the building, but falls near the wind blown doors. As Scully works hard to deliver the baby, she and Mulder both come to the same conclusion at the same time. He sees the Shipley's cat outside, and it dawns on him that it survived because of the fresh water in the washer and the rain outside. (That condo must be near the Shipley house. Talk about back tracking!) Scully watches a creature in a light fixture as she reaches for Angela's baby. She reaches for some fresh water in a bucket and says: "It's the water." Then she goes back for the baby. The baby is born just as the creature grabs George around the neck and lifts him off the floor. Scully yells for Walter to grab George's gun and shoot at the sprinkler. He points and unloads on the sprinkler valve.

The next day, Arthur Dales looks at the marks on Mulder's neck. He says: "Yes. Eww, God. That's terrible." They both have a chuckle. Scully comes in and says: "It's official. Ten pounds and ten ounces of piss and vinegar. El nino grande-- Leroy Walter Villareal Suarez, Jr." Mulder says: "Oh, no." Scully says: "Oh, yes." Dales says that it's amazing that she could come down there in the face of a hurricane, chasing a sea monster, and end up bringing a new life into the world. "And then slaying the monster and save this one's life as he was quite literally circling down the drain." Mulder says: "She didn't save my life, really..." Dales interrupts: "Oh, yes, she did. Oh, yes. With a gun to her head, no less." Scully says that he wouldn't have known to go out into the rain if she hadn't pointed out that it was the fresh water that killed the organism. Mulder says that it was because of the Shipley's cat that survived in the washer that he knew about the fresh water. As Mulder goes on, Dales says: "If Agent Scully hadn't been there with you, I shudder to think what would have happened to you. I'd say you owe her your life. It takes a big man to admit this, but if I had had someone as savvy as her by my side all those years ago in the x-files, I might not have retired." Mulder and Scully smile as they listen to Dales making Scully a hero. Dales knows that she has that extra something that makes their partnership very special. He suggests that they have a toast, then asks: "So, what'll it be? Oh, uh... anyone for water?" Mulder and Scully yell in unison:
"NO!"


Critique
** (of five) I could use a bunch of $5 words to describe what I thought of this episode, but in honor of the recently deceased film critic, Gene Siskel, I will just say that "Agua Mala" is stupid. Two stars means that it's worth a look, and that's all. The special effects are extremely well done. The hurricane rain and wind are quite believable. The water creatures are very creepy. The editing is top notch. And Mark Snow's score is up to snuff. But none of that can help a story about a bunch of goofy people you don't give a damn about. The monster can have them all. Mulder and Scully act like they've been working together too long. They argue more than ever, and Mulder just smiles with nothing much to say in his defense. Arthur Dales doesn't help the situation, either. Neither of them do much to try and figure out what is going on. Instead of working together to solve the creature problem, they are each preoccupied with different buffoons they came across. And how did I guess that a little fresh water can kill the thing? Maybe I have seen too many sci-fi movies. The way this story unfolds, hot coffee could just as well be the answer. I expected a lot more from Darren McGavin. They don't seem to use him for much. I don't know if he is in ill health and unable to do much, but if they use him again, I would like to see him put on some clothes and get into the action with Scully and Mulder. Gillian Anderson looks so cute and sexy when she's soaking wet. It's time for a cold, fresh-water shower!

TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX TELEVISION