|Original Airdate:||April 15, 1994|
|Written by:||Chris Carter|
|Directed by:||Joe Napolitano|
The agents become trapped in a forest where thirty loggers strangely disappeared, with the same fate eerily approaching them.
FBI Special Agents Scully and Mulder are called in to investigate the disappearance of a logging crew. They travel to the remote logging area in Washington with a U.S. Forest Ranger and a representative of the logging company. On the journey they fall foul or an eco-terrorist's caltrop and have to abandon the car and travel on foot to the cabin. On arrival none of the loggers are in sight, an investigation of the camp finds all the vehicles sabotaged.
Scully, Mulder and the ranger travel to the woods and find a cocoon of some sort, on further investigation they find a body inside. On returning to the camp they find the logging company representative has caught one of the eco-terrorists who tells them all that some strange bugs have taken the other loggers. These green bugs only come out at night so the group decide to stay inside with the lights on. The green bugs cover the house but do not attack when covered in light.
The next day the logging representative decides to make a break, returning to the car but he doesn't make it in time for night fall and the bugs swarm. Back at the cabin the generator is running low on fuel the eco-terrorist says he knows of a car close by so they all spend a night hoping the fuel will last till day break. The generator splutters to a stop as the sun rises.
All four make a break for the car, they make it but again the swarm comes, the eco-terrorist leaves the car to try and make it on foot only to be overcome by the swarm. Mulder, Scully and the ranger are overwhelmed and wrapped in a cocoon. However a bio-hazard team arrive to rescue the three survivors. It appears the bugs have been released from the core of a tree during the logging.
At the end, the three are confined to a secure quarantine facility in Washington, in order to regain their strength. When Mulder asks the head doctor what will happen if they fail to contain the insects, the doctor replies "That is not an option Mr. Mulder."
- In the writing of this episode, Chris Carter was influenced by his interest in tree-ring dating, which he had first studied in a course he had taken at college.
- Much of the episode was filmed in a forest near Vancouver, where production was made more difficult by heavy rains and was frequently delayed. Chris Carter found filming there "miserable", recalling that the actors were usually soaking wet. One redeemable factor was that Jason Beghe, a childhood friend of Mulder actor David Duchovny, had been cast as Ranger Larry Moore. Beghe, who had encouraged Duchovny to pursue acting and had once worked with him as a bartender, was on hand (at Duchovny's suggestion), which helped lighten the mood around the set by making the task of filming the episode something of a reunion and thus less of an ordeal for the cast. Nevertheless, various inserts and pick-up shots had to be added later to compensate for the unrelenting weather.
- Most of the green mite effects were digitally created and added in post-production, synchronized to the movements of the actors.
- Although Chris Carter had not written the episode as a conscious attempt to push a message about conservation, it was nevertheless honored at the Environmental Media Awards, where it won the "TV Drama" award in 1994.
Olympia National Forest; Washington; loggers; eco-terrorism; insects; generator; cabin; tire spikes; quarantine; United States Forest Service; pesticide; Ranger; dendrochronology; High Containment Facility; Winthrop