The agents investigate the mystery surrounding a sunken World War II aircraft.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
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Robert Clothier ...
Commander Christopher Johansen
Jo Bates ...
Jeraldine Kallenchuk
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Morris Panych ...
Stephen E. Miller ...
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Gauthier
Paul Batten ...
Dr. Seizer
Russell Ferrier ...
Medic
Lenno Britos ...
Kimberly Unger ...
Joan Gauthier
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Waitress
Joel Silverstone ...
Engineer #1
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Storyline

Scully and Mulder investigate the case of the crew of a French salvage ship who are all, with one exception, suffering from severe radiation burns. Mulder is particularly interested in the case as the ship was working at the coordinates he believes is the site of a UFO crash. Evidence at the home of the one salvager who escaped the radiation burns leads Mulder to Hong Kong where he meets Krycek, who he believes killed his father. It's also obvious that the entity, black oil, is transferring itself from one person to another. Meanwhile, Scully is upset to learn that the police will shut down the investigation into the murder of her sister Melissa. Assistant Director Skinner assures her he will pursue the matter but he is warned off by representatives of the intelligence community. Written by garykmcd

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9 February 1996 (USA)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The teaser was filmed in a water tank using a replica P-51 Mustang plane designed by the art director. See more »

Goofs

In the beginning, when they are using the crane to lower the dive suit into the water, there is a brief view of the land mass behind the ship; the ship is supposedly to be in deep water. See more »

Quotes

Jeraldine Kallenchuk: You're violating my civil rights!
Fox Mulder: You gave up your civil rights when you committed treason.
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Connections

Referenced in AVP: Alien vs. Predator (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

The X-Files
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by John Beal
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What Lies Below
9 March 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A crew of French divers find a sunken World War Two P-51 fighter, like a cracker-jack box with a hidden surprise inside: In this case, a new form for Mulder's Aliens. Not a Gray-Skinned Bug-Eyed creature, but in fact intelligent, radioactive OIL: The BLACK Oil.

From Tunguska to Terma and beyond, this stuff becomes a major irritant in the side of one Fox Mulder. The Viral Nature of it is not explored in this introductory episode, just the fact that it can jump from person to person, and pretty much roast anybody it wants without harming its host organism: Which at first is the remaining/surviving French Diver, then his Wife (Kimberly Unger who had Blonde hair in S1E9 "Fallen Angel) - To Alex Krycek: Who claims he is a "New Man" after being infected by it.

As the Black Oil uses each host, Mulder thinks he is using Alex Krycek, who in turn thinks he is using the French Salvage company (Krycek was the one who sold the company the location of the P-51) but in reality who is using who? Mulder thinks he can use Krycek to get his Digital Tape of Secrets from "Anasazi" back - But Krycek thinks he can use Mulder for whatever schemes he has in mind. As we explore the ulterior motives of each character in this little drama, we neglect the Black Oil - What does it want? In the scope of these two introductory episodes, this particular batch of Black Oil has only one thing in mind. But to find out, we have to go full circle.

While Mulder chases Krycek/Oil to Hong Kong then back to DC, Skully tries to chase down information: Which will in fact bring her face to face with he who killed her sister Melissa- And Tries to kill Skinner. But what she learns in the interim relates directly to Mulder's quest.


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