July 14, 2018

The X-Files 8.2, Without: Trust No One, Indeed

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:01 pm by Jenn

“I gotta work on my tortured-loner look”

Summary: Scully voices over stuff about darkness and the stuff we don’t see and secrets. There’s a UFO. Okay, show, let’s get on with it. We pick up with the end of “Within,” and Doggett finding Gibson with Mulder, or at least someone who looks like Mulder. Doggett orders him to let Gibson go, and as soon as Mulder does, Gibson runs off. Doggett asks Mulder if he’s armed, but Mulder just stands and stares at him. When Doggett tells him to get on the ground, Mulder slowly backs up to the edge of the cliff they’re on and lets himself fall off. He looks dead for a minute, but he’s not. By the time Scully and Skinner reach Doggett and the other agents, Mulder’s gone.

Since Mulder just fell off a cliff, then ran away like nothing happened, Scully knows they’re really dealing with the Bounty Hunter. Doggett wonders who the Bounty Hunter wants a bounty for. Scully says it’s Gibson and explains how he’s part alien. Doggett notes that Scully’s theory sounds a lot like something Mulder would believe. She invites him to come up with a better idea. Skinner notes that, with the Bounty Hunter in play, it’ll be hard to know if the people they’re working with are really the people they appear to be. Scully thinks Mulder would find this all amusing.

Doggett heads back to Gibson’s school, but the boy hasn’t returned there. He decides they need to search again. The Bounty Hunter is also there, and he turns himself into a teacher to fool Doggett. Scully and Skinner arrive and wonder how Doggett knew to look for Gibson at the school. They figure since Gibson can read thoughts, he’s three steps ahead of them and won’t be returning to the school. They spot a girl taking a bike and leaving the school grounds. Scully follows her as Skinner talks to the teacher the Bounty Hunter is pretending to be.

Somehow Scully manages to keep up with the girl on the bike for a while, but she eventually loses her. Scully realizes the desert ground she’s standing on is actually the roof of an underground bunker. She goes inside and finds the girl and Gibson. Gibson’s worried that Scully will lead the aliens to her, but she insists that she can protect him. The girl, Thea, is worried, and Scully says she has a right to be – now they can’t be sure who to trust.

Gibson has injured his leg, so Scully tends to him the best she can, but she’ll have to go get a car to get him out of town. Gibson reminds her that she promised to take care of him in the past, but that didn’t turn out so great for him. Back at the school, Doggett gets a call from Kersh, who’d love to know how it’s possible that Doggett found Mulder, then lost him in the middle of the desert. I think Doggett would like to know that, too.

Skinner realizes that Kersh was spying on him and Scully, which is how Doggett knew where to look for Gibson. He’s just a pawn. Doggett is a good agent – he’s even been talked about as a potential future director – but he’s being set up to fail. The only way he can find Mulder is to listen to Scully and accept the truth. But even then, he’ll lose, because he can’t file a report mentioning aliens or the Bounty Hunter. Kersh doesn’t want Doggett to succeed.

Doggett realizes Scully is MIA and tells his agents to get in touch with her. The Bounty Hunter turns into her inside the school just as the real Scully returns outside. She, Skinner, and Doggett head inside to nab the Bounty Hunter, but he realizes he’s been found out. He strangles another agent and makes a break for it. Scully thinks she’s tracked down her twin, but it’s just her reflection in a mirror. The strangled agent is the only one who saw the fake Scully. The real one figures that the Bounty Hunter is now posing as someone else. Thea catches on and realizes that the Bounty Hunter has turned into a teacher again.

Apparently Scully’s dreams about Mulder undergoing alien testing are contagious, since he has one in his underground hideout. Scully starts to head back there, but Skinner spots her and stops her. She thinks he’s the Bounty Hunter and pulls her gun on him. They have a standoff for a little while, but Skinner backs down first, knowing he can prove who he is. After all, he knows Scully’s secret. When he mentions her pregnancy, she knows he’s the real Skinner.

He thinks this has gone too far, but she says it hasn’t gone far enough. She needs to leave without letting Doggett find out. Skinner reminds her that she promised Mulder wouldn’t let him ruin his career over this pursuit for the truth. But what about Scully? She has more at stake now than Skinner ever has. Scully emotionally says that she can’t take the chance that she’ll never see Mulder again. Gibson is their last chance, and if they don’t get back to him, they may lose that chance. Thea watches them drive off.

Gibson’s not in the bunker anymore, but since he was trying to make an escape on an injured leg, he hasn’t gotten very far. He tells Scully that Mulder is nearby. Scully thinks Gibson’s just delirious from a fever, but he tells her she’s close to finding her partner. She sends Skinner to the hospital with the boy while she stays behind to look for Mulder. Sometime later, Gibson wakes up in the hospital, agitated. Skinner tries to calm him as Thea appears.

In the desert, Scully calls for her partner/boyfriend/baby daddy but gets no response. She sees a light in the sky and thinks it’s from a UFO. It’s not – it’s just Doggett’s helicopter. She accuses him of following her, but he says he’s just going where the action is. Scully notes that the fact that the action is wherever she is should mean something. The two fight for a little while about the truth and their theories about what’s going on. Doggett wonders what Scully would do if she found Mulder out there. She says she’d do whatever it took. To do…what? I don’t know.

Doggett’s annoyed that Scully didn’t tell him where Gibson was. He knows that Skinner took the boy to the hospital. Scully asks how he knows that. Doggett says the only thing he knows about the case is that Mulder is going to look for Gibson. When Mulder turns up, Doggett will grab him. Scully realizes that Doggett had his agents follow Skinner, but how can he know for sure that they’re all his guys? They fly off to the hospital, not seeing a nearby UFO, which holds Mulder, positioned for testing just like he is in Scully and Gibson’s dreams.

At the hospital, the agents assigned to keep Gibson safe insist that they’ve been successful. Scully asks if Doggett believes that. They go to Gibson’s room, but it’s empty. The only way Gibson and Skinner could have left the room without agents seeing them is through the ceiling. Scully tracks them down, and Skinner confirms that they escaped through the ceiling. He didn’t know if he could trust Doggett’s agents, so they moved to another room. But just then, Doggett finds someone hiding in the ceiling – someone who looks just like Skinner.

Gibson is able to signal to Scully that her Skinner is a fake. The Bounty Hunter tosses her around, which can’t be good for the baby. She’s able to grab her gun and shoot him, which makes him bleed green, then melt into a puddle of goo. Scully collapses and cries. Doggett comforts her, but it’s just not the same as it would be if he were Mulder.

Everyone returns to D.C., where Doggett shows Kersh pictures that should prove that all this crazy stuff actually happened. But Kersh is the new Skinner, which means he doesn’t believe Doggett’s report. Doggett knows Kersh was setting him up to look crazy, but Kersh tells him to go look for more answers.

Instead, Doggett visits Scully in the hospital and does Mulder’s usual end-of-episode case wrap-up. Skinner is okay, and Gibson is safe. And if this weren’t enough of an indication that Doggett is the new Mulder, he tells her he’s now officially part of the X-Files. He promises his new partner that he’ll find Mulder. Well, he’d better hurry, because it’s time for Mulder to undergo more tests.

Thoughts: I wish we’d gotten a whole episode of Gibson at the school. What a smart idea to stash a mind-reader at a school where he doesn’t speak the language – he can still communicate with people.

Scully and Skinner need a code word so they always know they’re talking to each other, not an imposter. Of course, if Mulder were there, he’d call it a safe word.

Why is it that the Bounty Hunter needs his special alien ice pick to kill, but he could be brought down by a regular old bullet? Did I miss something? Don’t email me; I don’t care. He’s dead.

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