| Stampede! Wake up Earl! Wake up! Get outta the way! Stampede!
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'A Little Paranoia Among the Friends is the eighth episode of Tremors: The Series.
In Universe perspective
From the Survival Journal of Burt Gummer
But Twitch had tasked us to a 100-percent certifiable nuthouse of a town. Egged on by a radio talk-show host named Cecil Carr, Toluca's citizens all believed that their missing loved ones had been abducted by aliens, not eaten by a Graboid. To talk to these aliens, Carr had even built a device called an "Intergalactic Communicator," a.k.a. an IGC, out in the desert.
The Tolucans promptly decided that Tyler and I were federal agents trying to cover up the aliens for the government. I've never been so insulted in all my life.
That night, someone hurled a rock bearing a death threat through our hotel-room window. The next day, Deputy Sheriff Garcia himself sabotaged the Graboid-monitoring geophone network that we'd painstakingly installed the previous day.
Tyler and I pursued the hunt anyway. Sure enough, we encountered a Graboid near the IGC. But it acted crazy too, ignoring my standard lures. Instead, it went after Deputy Garcia, who was changing the IGC's battery. After Garcia refused to heed our warnings, the Graboid attacked — and bit Garcia in half.
Naturally, the deranged Tolucans accused us of murdering Garcia to create more false evidence for the government cover-up. We had no equipment and were facing a Graboid as bonkers as the people it was eating; I was ready to withdraw to saner ground.
Then Tyler and I noticed that every victim had vanished near the IGC. The Graboid must have learned to associate the device's low-frequency vibrations with human presence. The creature fed there — and only there — which explained why it had ignored my lures. I was certain that if we turned off the IGC my standard hunting tactics would work.
But some civic-minded Tolucan had slashed the tires of my power wagon. By the time we reached the IGC's location, the device was gone. Carr had moved his Graboid homing beacon, and no one would tell us where he'd gone.
In response, Tyler initiated a disturbingly brilliant psychological op. He "confessed" that we were government agents engaged in a cover-up: The Graboid was a murderous space alien, and we had to stop it. Why that "fact" made the Graboid more believable to them I can't understand, but it worked. The Tolucans revealed that Carr had moved the IGC to an old meteor crater to await the abductees' return. In other words, Carr and the fools with him were in terrible danger.
At the crater, Carr wouldn't let us approach the IGC, let alone turn it off. That's when the worm grabbed my leg. In a moment I'll curse forevermore, I dropped my Barrett 50 before I had a chance to fire its inaugural shot.
Tyler picked up my weapon and took down the Graboid. Cecil and the others thanked us "G-Men" for telling them the "truth," and that was that.
Don't get me wrong. I'm glad Tyler acted quickly; he probably saved my life. It's just that, after all my long months of waiting for the Barrett's maiden voyage ... I can't believe she sailed first with Tyler.
Burt and Tyler are sent to a town to investigate Graboid related disappearances of the locals. But when they attempt to warn the residents, they are met with skepticism. As the town is built on a sheet of bedrock the Graboid cannot enter the town itself and are making their kills outside the town limits. A local radio show host called Cecil Carr insists that the disappearances are alien abductions and has constructed a radio transmitter to communicate with the aliens that took the missing people.
Cecil makes the town paranoid of Burt and someone tosses a rock through their hotel window. The sheriff disbelieves them after learning they used fake names at the hotel and that Graboids aren't there. They set a trap near the transmitter, but the Graboid doesn't go for it. To make matters worse, the geophones goes dead. The Graboid goes past and they go to check on the geophones. Unfortunately they are all out of commission. They return to the IGC to look for the Graboid. The Sheriff arrives ahead of them to replace the batteries in the dish. Burt drives by to try saving him but the Graboid manages to eat the sheriff.
They take the remains of the sheriff's body to the restaurant and encounter Cecil. However, when they show the residents the remains, they are once again easily swayed by the closed-minded Cecil to believe Burt and Tyler are murders. Burt and Tyler leave the body and return to the hotel to pack. Tyler tries to convince Burt to continue when he realizes the IGC is responsible for the Graboid killings. Unfortunately, someone slashes Burt's tires. Burt marches into the restaurant to yell at Cecil, but Tyler explains that IGC is how the people are being taken. However, Cecil's idiotic beliefs once agian sway the people in the restaurant (prompting Burt to REALLY want to shoot him). Burt decides to replace his tires and head out to kill the Graboid.
Cecil relocates the transmitter to a hidden location, having falsely claimed that he has received a message that the missing people will be returned tonight. Tired of the residents not believing the truth, Tyler decides to lie and use the paranoid beliefs of the close-minded people to his advantage by lying that Graboids are aliens and that they are agents (much to Burt's increasing anger) to have them reveal the location. Burt reluctantly calls Rosilita for help getting a thermo reading on the Graboid from his bunker. Elsewhere, Cecil leads a small group of people in a prayer as Burt arrives. Burt calls Rosilita and gets an amateur vector sighting of the beast. However, the Graboid surfaces just as Burt gets the proper location. Burt is unable to get to his gun and Tyler is forced to use it instead. The Graboid is successfully killed. In town the next day, Burt and Tyler are celebrated as heroes, but are still thought of as government agents, (Much to Burt great annoyance after losing his gun's maiden voyage to Tyler and having to call himself an agent himself).