Episode by David Annam
Summary by Kristin Mackenzie
Internal dating: Goodland, Florida No time/date stamp - but hurricane season for the eastern coast of the US is roughly June- November, and if they've gotten to L in the alphabetical naming system, it's probably September or later. Which year? If we're jumping back several months and this is set in late 1998, then Mulder and Scully aren't on the X-Files. It's not clearly said that they are, but it's implied, since they don't have to fight to get this case. So is it 1999? The only other clue comes from "The Unnatural", when Mulder is surprised to hear that Dales has moved to Florida. In "Agua Mala", he already knows this fact, suggesting that "Agua Mala" takes place after "The Unnatural" - in (presumably) late 1999.
With hurricane Leroy raging outside, Sarah Shipley and her son, Evan, are struggling to pour water into an overflowing drainage sewer in their house by tipping over the washing machine. Evan is concerned about his dad, but Sarah tells him to get behind the washing machine and push. He tries, but is unable to move the washing machine. As he pushes, he is attacked from below by some kind tentacled creature, which wraps itself around his neck and pulls him down. Sarah screams, but is shortly attacked by the same creature.
Credits roll: The Truth is Out There.
Inside Mulder's darkened apartment, we hear his answering machine pick up a call. It's Arthur Dales (the man from Travelers who opened the X- Files), who asks Mulder to come to Florida to investigate a distress call he received from a neighbor. He mentions the inclement weather, but says that if Mulder is half the X-Files man he says he is, he'll get down there anyway.
Tierra Nueva Trailer Park
There's a knock at the door - Dales opens it to see Mulder and Scully, wearing heavy raincoats but still drenched. He seems to feel that they could have arrived a little sooner, regardless of the hurricane, and once he lets them in, he tells them that they'll want to get right back out there.
Scully: Out where?
Dales: (to Mulder) Did you tell her what I told you?
Mulder: (crossing to Dales) Yes, but she's not the type that's easily persuaded.
Dales: Is that so?
Scully: What he means is that I don't hear a story about a sea monster and automatically assume it's the Lord's gospel truth.
Dales wants to know why Mulder brought her along; he apparently thinks Scully is useless. Mulder replies that Scully is familiar with the background of the X-Files, and that she's good at getting to the bottom of things.
Scully is as unimpressed with Dales as he is with her, but she says that she listened to the message that Dales left on Mulder's machine.
Dales indicates that the Shipleys were good friends of his; Sarah called him in a panic, saying that her husband, Jack, had been grabbed by something in the bathroom. She said that it had tentacles wrapped around Jack's neck, choking him. Dales fears the worst - especially now that Sarah and Evan are missing now, too. He called local law enforcement, but terms them "about as helpful as a fart in a windstorm." His bad hip prevents him from investigating, but he goads Mulder into heading out to have a look with a skeptical Scully in tow.
"Don't sneer at the mysteries of the deep, young lady," he tells Scully. "The bottom of the ocean is as deep and dark as the imagination."
Shipley Residence 9:14 PM
The lid flies open and the Shipley's cat jumps out and scurries for cover.
Mulder and Scully turn, looking around at the rest of the house. They see a family picture, and come across a boarded-up interior door that, they speculate, must lead to the bathroom.
As they're trying to pry open the bathroom door, they're stopped by Deputy Greer, who comes in through the front door. He tells them to put their hands up and turn around. Mulder says that they're FBI, to which Greer replies, "Don't all the nuts roll downhill to Florida." He calls in the situation on his radio, saying that he's got two suspects in a B&E (breaking and entering), possible foul play, and then begins to read Mulder and Scully their rights.
Mulder interrupts, saying that Arthur Dales asked them to come over here. He asks Greer if he knows Arthur Dales. Greer says that he does; Dales called into the station, "drunk as a skunk."
"Why else would we be here?" Mulder asks, reasoning with him. Greer replies that they could be part of the Manson family for all he knows.
The Shipley's cat suddenly jumps up out of nowhere, distracting Greer long enough for Mulder to get the gun away from him.
"Now you're gonna kill me," Greer whines.
"No, I'm not," Mulder says bitterly. "But I'd like to."
Scully pulls out her badge, holds it up and gives Greer a big smile. Greer has to acknowledge that they're FBI, then; he says they can go.
Scully goes out to the car. Mulder gives Greer back his gun, but makes him help pry the boards off of the bathroom door. A few minutes later, in the car, Mulder tells Scully that there was no one in there, just more slime in the bathtub and three inches of water on the floor.
Scully is nonplussed. She's been on her cell phone, and she tells Mulder that they're closing the airport, and she thinks they should get out of here while they still can. She's convinced that Dales' story about sea monsters is "fueled by more than the imagination," and is "no deeper than the bottom of a bottle."
Mulder: Don't dismiss him so easily. He discovered the X-Files forty years ago. He's seen things that I've only read about.
Scully: Because sea monsters can only be read about, Mulder. Because they don't exist.
Mulder: (in a pseudo-creepy voice) If the sea is where life began, where our ancestors first walked ashore, who's to say what new life may be developing in its uncharted depths?
Scully: You know what? Maybe you are a member of the Manson family.
Scully insists that they've done their duty and there's nothing more they can do. Mulder concedes this, but says they should at least tell Dales that they're giving up.
Cut to Greer, still inside the Shipley's house, muttering, "Sea monsters . . . FBI agents . . . I'm the one who could use a drink." He pulls open the drainage sewer in the floor and pulls out a blue football-type jersey. It's number 13, and reads "Shipley." It was the jersey Evan was wearing in the first scene.
Cut back to Mulder and Scully in the car. They're stopped at a police roadblock and told they will have to turn around because the road ahead is completely washed out. The policeman also says that there's no way they will get out of the airport tonight, and insists that they drive to the first safe place that they can find. Scully is adamant that they must get where they're going, and tells the officer that they are FBI agents.
"Don't all the nuts roll downhill to Florida," he replies.
Scully offers to show him her badge, but Mulder rolls up the window and turns the car around, making the tires squeal and throw gravel. Scully protests, but Mulder just says, grimly, "I was just one howdy- do over the line."
Cut to Greer, pulling up in front of a condominium complex in his truck. The radio dispatcher tells him that all units are being called in because of dangerous weather, but he says that he just wants to check out this complex, which appears to be without power, and make sure everyone's all right.
As he gets out of the car, we see that the Shipley's cat hitched a ride underneath it.
Greer goes in and begins banging on doors, calling for anyone who needs help to come outside. No one responds. He reaches one door that is hanging open, and goes inside. Crossing to the bathroom, he discovers the form of a man apparently turned to jelly seated on the toilet. Looking closer, Greer can see a creature moving within the man's tissue - it appears to be a large worm of some kind. Suddenly a translucent, bluish tentacle snaps out and grabs Greer around the neck, choking him.
We go back to Mulder and Scully, still in the car. Scully is on her cell phone speaking with the sheriff's office, and tells them that she and Mulder are driving on Nance road. A pause, and then she says, "No, it isn't very smart, is it?"
She tells Mulder that the person on the phone will guide them to the nearest emergency shelter, but just then, the cell phone goes dead.
Mulder: You know, someday we're going to look back on this and laugh. We'll just think of it as man pitted against the forces of nature. Think of it as a test of our mettle.
Scully: I don't need my mettle tested.
They argue briefly about whether or not stopping makes them an easier target for flying tree branches. Then the flashing lights of a police vehicle come into view in front of a condominium complex, and Mulder pulls off, intending to ask the officer for directions.
As they get out of the car, Scully recognizes the truck as Deputy Greer's. "Mulder, isn't that --?"
"Forrest Gump," Mulder says derisively.
They go into the complex and discover the same open door that Greer did. Inside the apartment, they find Greer on the floor with strange welts on his throat, gasping for breath and unable to speak or respond to them.
Scully says that he needs a tracheotomy, and soon, or he's going to die. Mulder leaves her briefly, and goes into the bathroom, where the man on the toilet has now apparently dissolved into a heap of clear bluish goo. There's a watch in the toilet, which Mulder pulls out, mumbling, "I've heard of passing the time, but -- ouch."
Scully, meanwhile, is preparing to perform a tracheotomy on Greer with a pocket knife and the outside casing of a ballpoint pen. She does it, and Mulder observes that it looks like Greer has been attacked or stung, and he thinks whatever did it came through the plumbing. It's in this building, he says.
Scully calls for a med-evac unit, using the deputy's police radio, telling them that she has a deputy down.
Cut to Dales, listening to Scully's phone conversation over the police scanner. He seems surprised and delighted to realize that it's Scully, but snorts when she terms Greer's apparent infection/attack as "unknown."
Back to Mulder in the complex hallway. He bumps into a man carrying a TV and other household items, and asks if he needs help. Just then another man comes out of a doorway and wants to know if Mulder and the other man are the doctors.
"Do you need medical help?" Mulder asks.
The man - Walter Suarez - says that they haven't been able to evacuate because they don't have a car. His wife is a week past her due date.
Mulder asks Suarez if he knows the man with the TV. Suarez doesn't. The man is a looter, who sheepishly promises Mulder that he will put everything back.
Mulder goes with Suarez and meets Angela, who is not, after all, Suarez's wife. She is tense and sarcastic, and says that her name is not Suarez, but Villareal. Mulder tells them that they both need to come downstairs with him, because there's something dangerous in the plumbing. When asked, Suarez mentions another tenant, George Vincent, who hasn't evacuated - Suarez asked him for help, but he "never listens to no one."
Mulder goes to see George Vincent, who threatens him with harm if he doesn't go away. Vincent says that he's armed and prepared to defend himself against Cubans and anything else Mulder can name.
"All the nuts roll down to Florida," Mulder mumbles, walking away.
Cut to Scully, Suarez and Villareal. Scully says that Greer's condition is worsening, and that he's been infected with an unknown organism, possibly water-borne. Suarez asks where Harry, the landlord, is. He was apparently crippled and had no car. Harry, apparently, was the jellified man that Greer discovered on the toilet.
Mulder comes in with the looter, who looks distinctly uncomfortable. Mulder then asks to speak with Scully in the hallway. She follows him out, and he tells her that they need to leave. Scully says they can't, that not even the med-evac units will attempt to drive on the roads right now.
Cut to George Vincent's apartment. He's loading and checking his gun, mumbling about FBI agents and fascists. Above his head, we see a tentacle coil itself into a light fixture.
Cut back to Scully, kneeling over Greer with a bandana wrapped around her nose and mouth. She is apparently attempting some exploratory surgery with the aid of a pair of salad tongs. Greer's temperature is very high - 106 degrees Fahrenheit. She instructs the looter to fill the bathtub with water, and then pulls what appears to be a small tentacle from just under the skin of Greer's neck. They take him and immerse him in the ice water.
Just then, everyone hears gunshots from down the hall. Mulder goes to investigate. George Vincent comes out of his apartment, and everyone goes inside to look. There is now a huge hole in the ceiling. Scully says that it was just a burst pipe, but Mulder replies that it looks as if whatever it was not only ripped through the ceiling, but through the pipe as well. It must still be in the building.
A brief argument ensues, ending with Scully telling everyone to remain calm. If they can last the storm out and remain calm, everyone will be all right.
"Remain calm?" Angela counters. "I gotta pee so bad, my back teeth are swimming!"
Back in the apartment where they left Greer, the looter is pulling the wedding ring off of the deputy's finger. We see a box of Epsom salts on the edge of tub - it is uncertain when the salts were put into the water. He leaves the bathroom just as everyone else comes in. Angela insists she has to use the toilet, but Walter says it's too dangerous. Scully (ever practical) solves the dilemma by getting Angela a bucket. Angela goes into the bathroom to use the bucket.
A few moments later, she emerges, screaming that she saw it, that it had tentacles like an octopus.
Mulder goes into the bathroom and rips the shower curtain aside, only to see that the deputy has disappeared entirely. He tells Scully that he thinks the reason no one has every truly seen the creature is because it doesn't just look like water, it *is* water, and that it only takes form when it means to attack.
Scully refutes this by holding up the jar, filled with water, in which we clearly see the tentacle-thing she took from the deputy's neck. The water, she says, actually appears to be killing it.
Mulder says that he thinks that the water there is just impeding it, that it needs time to complete its reproductive cycle. He thinks that is uses the water content of its victim's bodies to replicate itself.
Mulder insists that they have to leave. Scully tells him that they don't have enough room to transport everyone, but Mulder says that they can take the deputy's truck. He begins counting people, only to realize that the looter is missing. He runs to find him, only to see that both the looter and the deputy's car are gone.
Scully calls to him that if they are going to leave, they need to leave now.
Mulder looks up to the light fixture above him and sees the creature with its translucent tentacles. In an instant, the creature attacks.
When Scully and the others come into the hallway, calling for Mulder, he doesn't respond. Scully sees him on the floor, trying to get up, but he doesn't say anything. A moment later he gets to his feet and runs toward her, showing her the welts on his throat. They are just like Greer's, and they have rendered him unable to speak. He's already laboring to breathe.
George Vincent herds everyone but Mulder back into the apartment and brandishes his gun, threatening to shoot anyone who tries to go out.
Scully protests that it's her partner out there, that he is dying.
Angela Villareal says that Scully couldn't do anything for him anyway.
"I could at least try to keep him breathing," Scully argues, but Vincent won't let her out.
Suddenly, Angela screams that her water has broken. Scully finds herself delivering a baby, which seems to come very quickly. Her bedside manner is less than soothing.
Outside the apartment, we see Mulder running in the hallway. He falls near the outside exit, and sees the Shipley's cat sitting in the rain.
Back inside, Scully is telling Angela to push, that it's coming, that it's almost here. She is speaking both about the baby and about the tentacled creature, which has just coiled itself into the light fixture above. Just as the baby is born, the creature snaps down and coils itself around George Vincent's neck.
Get the gun, Scully screams at Suarez. She has just realized that it's the water - the fresh water - that kills the creature. She tells Suarez to shoot out the sprinklers, which he does.
Cut to Arthur Dales' trailer, after the hurricane. The sun is shining. Inside, Mulder is showing Dales the wounds on his neck.
Dales believes that Scully saved Mulder's life, and tells him so. Scully looks a little sheepish, but ventures that she did call out to Mulder that the fresh water would kill the creature. Mulder says that she didn't save his life, that he realized when he saw the cat in the rain that the fresh water would save him, and he pulled himself outside to safety.
Dales insists that Scully saved Mulder's life, with a gun to her head, no less. "I'd say you owe her your life," he says. "It takes a big man to admit this, but if I had had someone as savvy as her by my side, all those years ago in the X-Files, I might not have retired."
He asks Mulder and Scully if they want drinks. "So . . . what'll it be? Oh, uh, anyone for water?" he asks.
"No!" Mulder and Scully shout, simultaneously.