First aired: 03/10/95
Written by: Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa
Directed by: Rob Bowman
Very cool episode!
Soldiers abandon a US Navy destroyer, afraid of something that was happening to other men on board. Eighteen hours later, they are found in a lifeboat apparently aged.
Mulder explains to Scully that the destroyer had been missing for 42 hours and the survivors have been the only ones found. However, only one survivor is still alive: Lt. Richard Harper. Scully sees that the lieutenant is supposed to be 28 but looks 90.
Mulder tells her that many ships have disappeared between 1949 and 1963 in the same area along the 65th parallel. He describes his idea as a wrinkle in time. He cites the Philadelphia Project, a secret project trying to manipulate wormholes on Earth and that the military probably never stopped working on it.
Mulder and Scully leave for Norway. They talk to a captain, Trondheim, who takes them to the destroyer. They find the vessel in a state of corrosion as if 20 or 30 years had passed but they see a sign that labels the boat new as of 1991.
They find bodies that look like they had been mummified. Trondheim's mate takes the boat and leaves him, his right hand mate, Mulder, and Scully on the boat.
The engine and radio both have been corroded. Mulder believes that they are seeing the speeding up of time resulting from the military experiments. They hear a yell and find the other soldier dead with a fractured skull. Mulder finds a very old man hiding. It is the captain of the ship, Barclay. However, Barclay, although only 35 years old, is so feeble that they believe that he could not have killed the soldier. They capture a man who is about to kill Trondheim. They see that he hasn't aged a bit. Trondheim recognizes the man as Olaffson, a whaling pirate. Later they learn from Scully that Barclay is dead.
Mulder, Scully, and Trondheim tie Olaffson so they can take a rest. They awaken 30 years older.
Scully believes that the process may be related to free radicals -- reactive chemicals containing extra electrons that attack DNA and proteins, causing the body to age. She thinks the ship may be drifting toward a meteor at the ocean's floor that is acting like a giant battery that is causing them to age rapidly.
They soon find out that the problem is a contamination of the water and that the only safe water is in the sewage system, and is what is keeping Olaffson alive. Scully realizes that they all have high concentrations of salt in their systems and Mulder is the worst off as he had been seasick and thus dehydrated.
Trondheim does not want to help Mulder and locks himself in with the remaining good water. However, his drowns when the ship's hull collapses slightly.
Scully races around the ship trying to find any source of liquid and combines it all in a jar (it includes water from a snow globe and anchovie juice). She implores Mulder to drink it but he insists she does as she is a woman and retains water more and therefore is more likely to survive. However, with the same collapse of the hull, the jar crashes on the floor.
Mulder loses consciousness and Scully writes everything down in her notebook. She awakens in a hospital, Navy SEALs having found them. The doctor tells her that they were able to save them thanks to her notes.
Scully -- "Feeling any better?"
Mulder -- "Uhhh ... You're lucky you inherited your father's legs."
Scully -- "What?"
Mulder -- "His sea legs."
Scully -- "Oh."
Trondheim -- "The water isn't helping him."
Scully -- "Then maybe we should double his rations."
Trondheim -- "What for? A lake full of water isn't going to bring him back."
Scully -- "We don't know that for sure. Not yet."
Trondheim -- "Look at him! We've wasted too much water on him as it is."
Scully -- "Who are you to decide?"
Trondheim -- "You don't have to be a doctor to see that he isn't gonna make it. But you and me, Scully ... you and me ...
we better start looking out for ourselves."
Scully -- "Trondheim's locked himself in the sewage hold. He's backflushed all the water and he's keeping it for himself. I looked everywhere and this is all I could find. (she places a capped jar half full of yellowish liquid on the table) It's sardine juice, half a dozen lemons and uh, the water from a snow globe. (Mulder licks his lips) It's not Evian, but ..."
Mulder -- "You go ahead and drink it."
Scully -- "No, Mulder!"
Mulder -- "It's the only logical choice, Scully. You're a woman. Your life expectancy is greater, and your body retains more
water in fatty tissues."
Scully -- "That's more reason for you to drink it."
Mulder -- "You have a much greater chance of surviving until help comes."
Scully -- "Don't do this, Mulder."
Mulder -- "Don't be so stubborn, Scully. You know I'm right."
Scully -- "Well, there isn't much liquid to make a difference anyway."
Mulder -- "There might be."
Mulder -- "I always thought when I got older I'd maybe take a cruise somewhere. This isn't exactly what I had in mind. The
service on this ship is terrible, Scully. It's not fair. It's not our time. We still have work to do."
Scully -- "Mulder ... When they found me, after the doctors and even my family had given up, I experienced something that I
never told you about. Even now it's hard to find the words. But there's one thing I'm certain of. As certain as I am of this life, we have nothing to fear when it's over."
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