January 27, 2018

The X-Files 6.22, Biogenesis: Outer Space Is Hazardous to Your Health

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

Teeny Scully for scale

Summary: Scully voices over stuff about Earth and life and mass extinctions. Everything gets killed off; species come back; then everything gets killed off again. There have been five extinctions, and I guess humans are due a sixth. We also don’t know where life came from, or whether there’s a reason for our existence. Are we just going to die off again and be forgotten? In the Ivory Coast, some men find something interesting in the ocean as Scully wonders if the mysteries of life will be explained through a sign or a revelation.

The men bring over another man to look at their discovery, a piece of stone with symbolic writing on it. The man takes it to his university and puts it together with a piece he already has. The two pieces stick together and fly across the room, impaling a Bible. When he pulls out the stone, it starts spinning around on his desk. He leaves to make a phone call to the U.S., not looking at the passage in the Bible the stone has pierced: Genesis 1:28, in which God tells Adam and Eve to start making babies.

Three days later, the man arrives at American University in D.C. to meet with a Professor Sandoz. The man is Solomon Merkmallen, because the show thinks it’s funny to make me type “Merkmallen” over and over. Sandoz works with monkeys, so it’s not clear what he can do for Merkmallen and his stone. The stone caused some problems with metal detectors in the airport, and Merkmallen was almost detained. He pulls out the stone and the monkeys go ape. (Sorry. Okay, I’m not.)

Merkmallen tells Sandoz about the two pieces of stone becoming one. Sandoz has a third piece, and Merkmallen wants to see if it fits with his two. When Sandoz asks if Merkmallen has had any luck reading the symbols, Merkmallen realizes he’s not really Sandoz. Sandoz attacks him, and a few minutes later, another professor finds Merkmallen dead in the lab. Sandoz is gone, and the monkeys probably won’t be able to tell this guy what happened.

Skinner presents the case to Mulder and Scully, thinking that Mulder would be interested because he’s familiar with Merkmallen’s work in the field of biology. Merkmallen and Sandoz both believed that life began elsewhere in the universe. Scully’s also familiar with the theory, which posits that life began on another planet and was blasted to Earth.

The agents get a rubbing of the stone, and Mulder says that Sandoz had a third stone, which he wrote about in a science journal (just so Scully knows this isn’t a completely paranormal theory). Sandoz is now missing. Scully thinks this is a matter for the police, but since Skinner wants her and Mulder on it, Mulder’s not going to turn down the case. Scully sarcastically wonders why two men who basically believe that we’re all martians would come to harm.

Mulder’s ears start ringing when he takes another look at the rubbing, and he hears a voice and has a hard time hearing what Scully’s saying to him. They’re in an elevator, and no one else appears to be having the same problem. Scully thinks he’s just ignoring her because he doesn’t want to listen to her ideas, but he tells her he couldn’t hear her. She notes that he’s already won – he exposed the Syndicate’s secrets and found out about their experiments. What else is there for him to find? “My sister,” Mulder replies.

They go to Sandoz’s lab, where the fake Sandoz is hanging around. He’s Dr. Barnes, the head of the department, and is pretending that the real Sandoz killed Markmallen. Mulder has his same ear-ringing, voice-hearing reaction when he looks at the rubbing again. Barnes calls Markmallen and Sandoz “pseudoscientists” and embarrassments to the field. Scully checks on Mulder, who guesses that the rubbing is causing his problems.

The agents split up, then meet back up in their office, along with Chuck Burks, who I previously called Chuck Burk. I apologize, sir. Anyway, Scully has called him in to authenticate the rubbing and give a professional opinion on why it seems to be affecting Mulder. Chuck is fascinated, especially since the rubbing is a fake. It’s written in pre-phonetic Navajo, but none of it makes sense. Scully notes that, since it was found all the way in Africa, the whole thing makes even less sense.

Chuck brings up the magic square, which is connected to the occult. The belief is that God handed down the square to Adam and Eve, then told saints and prophets other important people how they were used to trap and store potential power. Only a person who is named in the square, or a “numerical correlative,” can exercise that power. Barnes has discounted this idea, and has accused Sandoz of fakery in the past. In fact, Barnes has debunked a number of potential religious frauds.

Mulder, for once, is the skeptic here. Scully points out that, if the stone found in the Ivory Coast were part of a magic square, how did it get there? Mulder notes that a piece of rock from Mars was found in Antarctica in 1996. How did that get there? Scully replies that it was from outer space. Mulder’s like, “I think you just answered your own question.” Chuck wonders why someone would use Navajo writing to produce a fake magic square in Africa.

Mulder has another reaction to the rubbing, this one more intense than the previous ones. Scully thinks he needs to get medical attention, ignoring his claims that he’s okay. He thinks he knows what’s really going on, thanks to senses he’s been getting. He’s figured out that Barnes killed Markmallen. Scully notes that they don’t have any evidence, but Mulder thinks he’s connected more dots.

The agents go to Sandoz’s apartment in Maryland, where Mulder finds an airline tag on a suitcase indicating that Sandoz has been flying to Gallup, New Mexico a lot. Scully finds a picture of Sandoz with Albert Hosteen and guesses that Sandoz got Hosteen to write the symbols on the stone for him. Mulder smells something gross and discovers poor Markmallen’s head in the garbage.

The agents meet with Skinner again to tell him that they think Barnes, not Sandoz, is the killer. He tried to frame Sandoz and is trying to hide something else. Scully reports that parts of Markmallen’s body are missing – parts that could be tested to detect radiation. The stone contains cosmic galactic radiation, radiation found only in places outside our solar system. Mulder’s being space-poisoned!

His ears ringing again, Mulder asks Skinner if someone else is working the case. He says he can hear it in his head. Scully takes him out of the room to tell him he’s losing it, but Mulder insists that Skinner is holding something back and spying on them. Scully promises to find the stone, but Mulder needs to take care of himself. Skinner watches them leave, then retrieves a tape from a surveillance camera in his office. He gives the tape to Krycek, who leaves without a word. He doesn’t even say “thank you”! This is why people don’t like you, Krycek!

Scully heads to a hospital in Gallup and finds another rubbing in Hosteen’s room. Genesis 1:28 is written out on the back. Scully learns from a nurse that Hosteen is dying of cancer. Back in D.C., Mulder searches Barnes’ office but has to hide when Barnes returns. Barnes seems to sense that something’s off. He goes to the monkey lab, which is also Mulder’s next search location. Mulder’s ears start ringing. Barnes leaves, and as Mulder follows, the ringing gets louder. He’s unable to make it up the stairs.

As Hosteen is returned to his room, Scully spots the real Sandoz lurking around. She chases him through the hospital, eventually cornering him in a stairwell. Meanwhile, Krycek finds Mulder suffering at American but, again, leaves without a word. He meets with Barnes, telling him they’re “destined to be great friends.” He gives Barnes the surveillance tape.

Scully takes Sandoz to Hosteen’s room, and Sandoz reveals that Hosteen confirmed the importance of the stone for him. He couldn’t read Sandoz’s piece, but when Markmallen contacted Sandoz about his two pieces, they had something to go on. The translation of the symbols is Genesis 1:28. Sandoz believes that this means the scripture verse came from aliens. Hosteen was working on another section of the stone when he got sick. This one seems to just contain random letters, though. Sandoz pulls out the piece, which starts spinning like the first two did.

Scully calls Mulder, who’s sick in bed and won’t tell Scully who answered his phone. She tells him about the scripture, and Mulder says it must mean that aliens placed us on Earth. This explains all the mysteries of the world – it’s all from the aliens. Scully refuses to believe this, so Mulder tells her to prove him wrong. He hangs up and hands the phone back to his caretaker, Fowley. Fowley then calls someone to say that Mulder called her in distress, and she’s staying with him until she finds out what’s wrong. Somehow, this involves taking off her clothes. Meanwhile, CSM attends a meeting (but doesn’t take off his clothes).

Another Scully voiceover! This one is about the Big Bang, matter, and gas. Are we only meant to be on Earth to multiply, then die? “If there is a beginning, must there be an end?” Scully and Sandoz accompany Hosteen to his reservation, where his tribe begins a healing ceremony. Scully wonders if we’ll go extinct, or if the fire of life inside us will go on. Who tends those flames? Can they be rekindled?

Sandoz invites Scully to sit in on the healing ceremony, but Scully doesn’t think it’s appropriate, since she doesn’t share the Navajos’ faith. Sandoz tells her that the doctors say they’ve done all they can for Hosteen, which Scully believes. Skinner calls to tell her that Mulder’s been admitted to a hospital in Georgetown in bad shape. She needs to come home ASAP. Scully promises to keep Sandoz’s location a secret for now.

At Georgetown, Scully is stunned to learn that Mulder’s in a special psychiatric unit. She can tell that there’s something else Skinner hasn’t told her. Fowley tells Scully that Mulder was asking for her the night before. Now, though, he’s violent and agitated, despite the drugs he’s been given. He’s also displaying abnormal brain activity. His doctor doesn’t want Scully to see him, saying Mulder’s dangerous, but Scully doesn’t think he’ll hurt her.

Fowley asks what Mulder and Scully were investigating, and how it could be connected to Mulder’s condition. Skinner insists that the case is about a fraud, and that Scully has proof. She’s confused, since she never sent Skinner a report on the fakery. She’d also like to know why Fowley was with Mulder the night before. Fowley says that Mulder called her from the stairwell at American, and told her that she was the only one who would believe him about the stone. Scully accuses both Fowley and Skinner of lying, then leaves.

In Gallup, the healing ceremony continues. Sandoz suddenly leaves. Scully searches her and Mulder’s office and finds a surveillance camera in a smoke detector. As she’s about to remove it, the phone rings. It’s Sandoz, who has realized that the random letters on the fourth stone correspond to genes – every chromosome of humans’ genetic makeup. He just wishes they could find more pieces.

Some horses near Sandoz start getting agitated, and Scully hears a loud bang through the phone. Krycek has arrived in Gallup and removed Sandoz from the equation. 36 hours later, Scully’s in the Ivory Coast, looking for more pieces of the stone. One of the men who found the first one show her where it was in the sand. She digs a little and finds something much bigger buried there: a giant FREAKING SPACESHIP. To be continued!

Thoughts: Man, according to this show, everything related to aliens causes cancer.

The sight of Scully on the beach in a jacket and long skirt probably isn’t supposed to be as funny as it is.

Does anyone else think all the stuff about Genesis 1:28 and multiplying is foreshadowing for the end of season 7?

Speaking of which, season 6 is done, and it’s on to season 7! Just one more season until Duchovny ditches!

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