March 5, 2016

The X-Files 2.17, End Game: Samantha or Shamantha?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:24 pm by Jenn

The only time Gillian Anderson will ever be taller than David Duchovny

The only time Gillian Anderson will ever be taller than David Duchovny

Summary: In the Beaufort Sea, 87 miles from Alaska, the USS Allegiance has found something on its radar. It’s emitting radio signals, but nothing they can understand. They’re instructed to fire on command. Before they can, a loud noise sounds throughout the submarine and the power goes out. A commander decides they should surface, but they’re under 32 feet of ice, so that’s not really an option.

We head back to where we left off in the last episode, with Scully at a Maryland motel, on the phone with one Mulder while another stands in her room. She hangs up on the caller, telling in-person Mulder that it was a wrong number. Then she grabs her gun and makes him face the wall. Mulder plays innocent, then punches her and demands to know where the real Mulder is. This is, of course, the Bounty Hunter.

The real Mulder makes it to the motel with Samantha, but Scully and the Bounty Hunter are long gone. Samantha’s sure that she’s alive; the Bounty Hunter took her to get to Samantha. She guesses that the Bounty Hunter got in by disguising himself as Mulder. Fortunately, Samantha knows how to kill him. Unfortunately, exposure to his blood is fatal, so if you’re going to kill him, you better do it right. Mulder wants to find the Bounty Hunter, but Samantha says he’ll find them.

They go to Mulder’s apartment so he can pace and question what’s going on with Samantha. She tells him the doctors are the progeny of two original colonists, and they want to inherit the planet someday. The doctors worked at abortion clinics to get access to fetal tissue; they’ve found a way to combine human and alien DNA. The Bounty Hunter is after them because they’re performing unsanctioned experiments considered a “dilution” of the race.

Mulder isn’t sure he believes the story. Samantha urges him to trust her, seeing as how she’s his sister. Skinner arrives, or at least someone who claims to be Skinner, and Mulder turns out the lights while Samantha grabs an ice pick. She soon determines that he’s the real Skinner, so Mulder fills him in on who Samantha is. Scully calls (“Mulder, it’s me”) and confirms Samantha’s suspicions: She’s been taken so the Bounty Hunter can trade her for Samantha.

Mulder only has an hour to make the swap at a bridge in Bethesda, so he enlists Skinner’s help. Skinner and a sniper hide out, waiting to take out the Bounty Hunter as soon as Scully’s safe. All the parties arrive at the meeting point, and Mulder offers Samantha up for the trade. Scully’s released, and Samantha moves to stab the Bounty Hunter in the back of the neck. He overpowers her as Mulder pulls a gun, telling the Bounty Hunter that he won’t be leaving alive.

The Bounty Hunter now wants to know where “she” is. Mulder demands that he let Samantha go. No one moves, so the sniper shoots the Bounty Hunter, who falls into the water with Samantha. And that’s why you don’t do a hostage exchange on the bridge. A search team looks all night, but Samantha doesn’t resurface. Scully wishes that Mulder had told her on the phone that Samantha was the person the Bounty Hunter was looking for. All he says is that the Bounty Hunter is an alien, and now he has to tell his father what happened.

Bill arrives in D.C. and Mulder tells her that Samantha’s gone again. Bill’s mad that Mulder authorized a swap, allowing the Bounty Hunter to take his sister. Mulder gets emotional, because his sister’s gone and his father’s a jerk and he just needs a hug. Bill gives him an envelope Samantha left for him at the house; it holds an address and an access card. Mulder goes to the address and finds a women’s clinic. But moments later, Scully calls (“Mulder, it’s me”) to tell him that Samantha’s body has been found.

After determining that the Bounty Hunter hasn’t been found, Mulder hangs up. Too bad he didn’t stay on the line – Scully’s about to see Samantha’s face being eaten away by green goo. Mulder sneaks into the clinic and finds…Samantha. She guesses that “she” is dead, then takes him to a room containing the same kind of containers Prince was working with in the warehouse. There’s another Samantha clone there (a Shamantha, if you will), and the clones know the Bounty Hunter’s on his way to kill them.

Mulder meets the original Shamantha, who tells him he has no choice but to save them. Mulder disagrees – he can choose to leave. “We know where your sister is,” the original Shamantha says. How else would the clones know so much about Samantha? An alarm sounds, indicating that the Bounty Hunter has arrived. Mulder quickly encounters him and gets knocked out. Somehow, the clinic catches fire, and Mulder has to be rescued by firefighters. He’s told that there’s no one else in the building.

At FBI headquarters, Scully types a report, even though the episode’s only halfway over. The Bounty Hunter is at large, and Agent Weiss’ body is being studied for a possible contagion. Scully thinks the thickening of his blood was an immunological response. A doctor tells her that lowering the temperature by just five degrees renders the virus dormant. Scully remembers that the body of the Samantha clone started to corrode after being pulled from the icy river.

Mr. X is taking in an opera at the Kennedy Center in D.C. when Mulder summons him for a meeting. Mr. X refuses to help: “The fat lady is singing.” Besides, he thinks everyone’s dead. Mulder thinks the Bounty Hunter is still alive. Mr. X tells him that the USS Allegiance has found him, and an attack fleet is ensuring that he’s contained. He doesn’t think Mulder can win this battle.

Scully goes to Mulder’s apartment (awww, she even says “Mulder, it’s me” when she knocks on the door) and finds a couple days’ worth of newspapers outside. She lets herself in and checks out his email, finding a message from the man himself. It informs her that he’s off on a mission he didn’t tell her about because it could jeopardize her career. She said a line has to be drawn, so he’s drawing it for her.

Scully goes to Skinner and tells him off the record that Mulder’s gone rogue. She asks him to try to reach Mulder through “unofficial channels.” Skinner refuses – they need to stay loyal to the FBI, unlike Mulder. Scully argues that Mulder saved her life, so she has to do the same for him. He points out that if Mulder wanted that, he would have told Scully how to find him.

Back at Mulder’s apartment, where his masking-tape X is still in the window, Scully waits for contact. Mr. X finally arrives, but he refuses to help her. As he leaves the building, he runs into Skinner, who already knows who he is. Skinner attacks Mr. X, ready to fight for information. Mr. X is also ready to fight, so if you want to see two middle-aged men beat each other up in an elevator, this is the place. Mr. X ends things by pulling his gun. Skinner tells him he’ll be killing two men if he pulls the trigger.

Skinner wins the battle, telling Scully that Mulder went to Alaska and chartered an ATV. Scully asks how he got the information. “Unofficial channels,” Skinner replies. In Alaska, Mulder finds the Bounty Hunter’s icy hiding place, and there’s definitely someone else alive in there. There’s lots of running through the submarine until Mulder comes across a young lieutenant named Terry Wilmer.

Wilmer tells him they spent a few days under the ice until they found a place to surface. Then a man arrived and killed everyone else. Wilmer only survived by playing dead. As the power in the sub comes back up, Mulder demands to know where Samantha is. He’s already correctly determined that Wilmer is really the Bounty Hunter.

Mulder again asks where Samantha is. The Bounty Hunter wonders if he’s really willing to die for the answer. Of course, Mulder is, so he keeps asking. The Bounty Hunter says she’s alive, but Mulder soon won’t be. Mulder manages to get his gun back and shoot the Bounty Hunter, but not in the neck. This means exposure to the Bounty Hunter’s toxic blood. The Bounty Hunter banishes Mulder from the sub, leaving him out on the ice while he powers up and goes back underwater.

Now we’re back where “Colony” started, with Scully telling Mulder’s doctors not to warm him up. His heart is failing not because of hypothermia but because his blood is thickening. Scully’s insistent enough to convince the lead doctor to let her take over. And since this is only the second season of the show, she’s able to save her partner.

Scully sits with Mulder at the hospital while a voiceover tells us what she puts in her case report. The Bounty Hunter has disappeared, along with the sub. Scully’s willing to admit that something supernatural could have happened. Unexplained phenomena have strengthened her faith, and haven’t turned her away from science. After all, science saved Mulder.

Mulder wakes up with Scully by his side and tells her he has “a bad case of freezer burn.” He’s sorry for not taking her along on his mission, but not that sorry, since she could have been in danger. He didn’t find what he was looking for, but he found something he thought he’d lost – “faith to keep looking.”

Thoughts: I don’t buy Scully cowering in the car while Mulder faces off with the Bounty Hunter. But I guess there wasn’t really anything for her to do.

They need a way to ID a person and make sure he or she isn’t the Bounty Hunter. Like how they splash people with holy water in Supernatural to make sure they’re not demons.

Mulder: “How was the opera?” Mr. X: “Wonderful. I’ve never slept better.” Which I guess means he went to the opera reluctantly, which means he probably went on a date. Awww, is Mr. X married?

For more Mitch Pileggi/Steven Williams fighting, watch the Supernatural episode “And Then There Were None.”

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