As Scully investigates the spread of a deadly contagion at a prison, Mulder tracks down two escaped convicts infected with the disease.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Dr. Osbourne
Marshal Tapia
Angelo Garza
Morris Panych ...
Dr. Simon Auerbach
Bus Driver
Kim Kondrashoff ...
Bobby Torrence
Mother at Bus Station
Bill Rowat ...
Dr. Robert Torrence


When a package with infected contents releases the virus on its inmate recipient, a dozen prisoners contract it and Mulder and Scully are mysteriously called in to help. What they find demands that the truth be told to the public, but that's the one thing they cannot do. Written by EJS

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Release Date:

28 April 1995 (USA)  »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The exploding pustules were carefully rigged to burst on command. Makeup supervisor Toby Lindala constructed a hand-held device that connected via tube to the faux sores. When the device was pressed, the pustule would burst. See more »


At one point Dr. Osborne tells Scully: "We finance exploration of new species for the rain forest with potential drug applications." As spoken this line doesn't make sense - it really should be: "We finance exploration of the rain forest for new species with potential drug applications." It's unclear whether the error was the actor's or the screenwriter's. See more »


Mulder: Why weren't we told the truth?
Cigarette Smoking Man: We didn't know the truth. What we knew only would have slowed you down.
Mulder: But innocent people could be infected! What you knew could have prevented that!
Cigarette Smoking Man: How? In 1988 there was an outbreak of hemorrhagic fever in Sacramento, California. The truth would have caused panic. Panic would have caused lives. We controlled the disease by controlling the information.
Mulder: You can't protect the public by lying to them.
Cigarette Smoking Man: It's done everyday.
See more »


References Smokey and the Bandit (1977) See more »


The X-Files
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by John Beal
See more »

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User Reviews

Oh its vile
4 January 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This episode, well, this episode is hard to review. The case its self is quite good, its fast paced, has quite a gripping climax and if you can handle it, will probably maintain your interest for the 42 or so minutes. But, for me who has real problems with anything to do with spots, boils, and, the 'stuff' inside them,,, it was just GROSS. Its by far the most gross episode I've seen and makes the worm scene in Ice, and the Scully neck scene in roadrunners seem lovely! It is just absolutely disgusting right from before the credits begin! If you think that you're fine with all that sort of stuff, then don't get me wrong there's an enjoyable episode here. But for some, and i hate to say it, but maybe for me, its just too gross! You have been warned!

9 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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