The Serpent

// Cursing the Internet since 1998

Kill Switch

Season 5 Episode 11

It’s the second time computers go bad and try to kill people in the X-Files when Scully and Mulder see themselves up against a raging Internet program that controls a DOD satellite which can target anyone and kill them from space with it’s cool particle beam.

Now I’m not sure what Chris Carter’s vision for the future is, but couple this episode with ‘Ghost In The Machine’, this truly becomes the second most cheesiest episode of the X-Files today. Mulder investigates the death of one of Silicon Valley’s best minds, only to learn he was killed by his own software, which just wants to live in it’s own little data centre in the back yard.

Mulder manages to get himself taken hostage by some crazy machine type thing which forces him into a virtual reality world which sees him loose both arms in an attempt by the angry software to learn the location of it’s kill switch. Touching really (it seems the computer not only can create graphics that rival Half Life 3 but also visited a few porn sites to find the hospital nurses!). Still, Scully finds him with the help of the most stereo typical media representation of a female hacker and the Lone Gunmen (who come up against 64-bit encryption!) and all is well.

With the exception that the machine doesn’t die. It manages to procure, park, pay for and build another data centre in a trailer park all without hands. Pretty clever ha? Scully gets herself taken hostage by the hacker only to witness the particle beam in action, but to be fair – she still believes they are mere bombs.

We can see that Chris Carter spent all his money on cool explosion effects, but by sacrificing decent researchers. Contrary to popular belief, in 1998, laptops would have a hard time dialing a modem in a moving car.