"Brand X" is the eighteenth episode of the of The X-Files. It first aired on the Fox network on April 16, 2000. The episode was written by Greg Walker and Steven Maeda, and was directed by Kim Manners.
An insider holds the secret to the tobacco industry's latest deadly development.
The tobacco company Morley creates a form of super tobacco, which in turn is inhabited by a form of super tobacco beetle, which survive the cigarette processing and whose eggs are contained in the smoke of these killer cigarettes, presumably called Brand X. They were tested on a range of subjects by Doctors Peter Voss and James Scobie, the latter of whom is the first victim of these deadly super beetles. Of the four test subjects for this testing, Darryl Weaver is the only surviving participant.
Prior to Dr. Scobie's death, he and Darryl Weaver had “an arrangement” of an unlimited cigarette supply in exchange for keeping quiet about the testing. After Dr. Scobie's death, Weaver goes to Dr. Voss, presuming that the arrangement “slides on over to [Dr. Voss],” who hurriedly gives Weaver two cartons of these lethal Brand X cigarettes. A chain of victims succumb to the eggs in the toxic smoke, all of whom are covered in these super tobacco beetles. While interviewing Weaver, Special Agent Fox Mulder is exposed to the Brand X smoke, later coughing up blood and needing his lungs invasively cleared.
Dr. Voss, who had until now been hiding behind his legal adviser, has a change of heart upon hearing of Mulder's condition and tells Assistant Director Walter Skinner of the aforementioned testing. Skinner goes to Weaver's apartment after getting his name from Dr. Voss and finds a man tied to a chair with a gag in his mouth. When Skinner removes the gauze wrapper around the man's mouth, the man chokes and beetles begin crawling from his mouth. At the hospital, Mulder is in grave danger due to the hatching of the beetle eggs in his lungs, and Special Agent Dana Scully attempts to find a way to save him, because he is “too weak for thoracic surgery.”
Meanwhile, Darryl Weaver attempts to browbeat Skinner, threatening to light one of the toxic cigarettes. As Weaver attempts to leave the building, Skinner shoots Weaver's shoulder and the pane of glass behind him, leaving him injured and covered in glass. He drops his cigarette to the floor and Skinner dramatically snuffs it out with his shoe. Back at the hospital, Scully realizes that nicotine might save Mulder's life. She is correct in her solution, noting that Weaver's nicotine tolerance didn't allow the tobacco beetles to develop in his lungs.
Cast and Characters
- Richard Cox (Daniel Brimley) previously played Alistair Pepper in the Millennium episode "Powers, Principalities, Thrones and Dominions".
- Dennis Boutsikaris as Dr. Peter Voss
- Richard Cox as Daniel Brimley
- Tobin Bell as Darryl Weaver
- Mike Hungerford as Thomas Gastall
- Shannon O'Hurley as Anne Voss
- Arthur Rosenberg as Lead Counsel
- Ron Marasco as Doctor
- Pat Destro as Joan Scobie
- Caryn West as Dr. Libby Nance
- Rick Deats as Dr. James Scobie
- David Sawyer as Security Officer
- Greg Poland as Second Windbreaker Man
- Matthew T. Wilson as Manager