Breaking Bad’s Biggest X-Files Allusion Yet

Breaking Bad creator Vince Gilligan got his start on The X-Files, and Walter White et al. have made some X-Files allusions in the past. But last night’s “Hazard Pay” contained the clearest X-Files reference yet. [Mild spoilers from here on out.]

The four amigos decide on a traveling meth lab for the next phase of their business, with the plan to set up temporary labs in houses that are being fumigated under big stripey tents. Like this:

Photo: AMC

Or if you’re an X-Files fan, like this:

Photo: FOX

That’s from season five’s “Post-Modern Prometheus,” one of the great TV episodes of all time. In it, a lovable, disfigured rapist known as the Great Mutato uses pesticide tents when he anesthetizes women and impregnates them (while listening to Cher). It really is a great episode! And given the themes of last night’s BB, sort of relevant, too: Do monstrous fathers create mutant sons? What can we learn about a society based on what it hides in plain sight? What are the myths we built for ourselves and our communities that keep us afraid, keep us safe, or keep us in line?

Also if you can watch a bug scuttle across a TV screen and not think of the X-Files episode “War of the Coprophages,” well, that just means you’ve never seen “War of the Coprophages.”

Breaking Bad’s Biggest X-Files Allusion Yet