In Pennsylvania a postal worker, Edward Funsch, loses his job and soon starts seeing messages in digital displays telling him to kill. Elsewhere a man in an elevator is getting similar messages in the LCD display. Mulder is sent to investigate with the assistance of the local sheriff (literally the first person in law enforcement to believe Mulder and his crazy theories) and Mulder realises that electronic devices are destroyed at each crime scene. A woman slaughters her mechanic (as instructed by another electrical device) and is then instructed to kill Mulder by her microwave. Scully performs an autopsy on the murderers and discovers LSD like symptoms. Mulder calls on the Lone Gunmen to help with his investigation and they discover a pesticide that may be causing the spate of violence. Funsch still tormented by the digital displays commanding he kills heads to a clock tower with a rifle and Mulder is called on to save the day before spotting a message of his own in an electronic display…
There is a lot going on this episode. Perhaps too much. It seems a lot of people had an idea that was incorporated in to the story (a first writing credit for Darin Morgan, much better to come from him) and it feels a little over stuffed.
As with the best episodes there is an eerie realism about the story at the core. Should we be paranoid about the various pesticides that are released in to the very air we breathe? Thankfully I can say my toaster has never told me to kill anyone so we’re safe for now.
We get a second appearance from the Lone Gunmen (who I still love) and it’s great to see them be used again. Luckily we will be seeing a lot more of them. There’s still not much Mulder and Scully interaction so far this season (because Gillian Anderson is pregnant at this point which is fairly clear from the fact she’s usually filmed from the shoulders up). It’s a bit of a slow start to the season but we’ve got some good stuff coming up in just a few episodes.