October 13, 2018

The X-Files 8.15, Deadalive: Return to Me

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:20 pm by Jenn

Someone’s about to become a fifth wheel, and his name is Doggett

Summary: Mulder is being buried in Raleigh, for some reason, and all the usual suspects are in attendance (including Maggie, which is nice). Scully is sad but at least her hair looks great. She points out to Skinner that Mulder was the last living member of his family, but the real tragedy was that after all the searching he did for the truth, he never found it. She’s having a hard time believing that they’re at his grave. Skinner says he’s having a hard time believing that Mulder’s the last.

Three months later, Kersh summons Doggett and Skinner to his office to tell them they’re being praised for their work finding Mulder. (They didn’t really find him, but okay.) Doggett’s even being promoted, which means he gets to leave the X-Files. Doggett appreciates the support, but he’s not sure he wants to leave the X-Files. Kersh advises him to take the opportunity.

Scully’s now visibly pregnant, and Doggett has nicknamed the baby J. Edgar. He tells her he’s not leaving the X-Files. She thinks he would be crazy to give up a chance to advance his career, but Doggett knows Kersh’s real motives: Scully goes on maternity leave in a few weeks, and if Doggett is out of the X-Files, Kersh will shut it down. Scully assures him that he doesn’t owe her anything. Doggett says that, despite the fact that they’ve completed their mission to find Mulder, the case isn’t closed. Scully, like Kersh, thinks he should leave while he can.

In the ocean off the coast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, a fishing boat spots a man’s body in the water. It’s taken to a morgue in Wilmington, and the medical examiner notes some cuts and scars, but nothing else remarkable. His assistant sees the man’s mouth moving, as if he’s trying to speak. The police call Skinner, who in turn calls Doggett to let him know that the body is Billy Miles’. But he’s not just a body anymore – he’s alive.

The two head to North Carolina, deciding not to say anything to Scully just yet. Skinner wants to dig up Mulder’s body and make sure he’s not still alive, too. Doggett thinks this is insane – his body was too far gone to still be alive, and that was three months ago. But Billy may have been in the water for months, and he’s still alive, so Skinner thinks there’s a chance here.

They exhume Mulder’s body and take it to a coroner’s office, where the coroner has failed to follow Skinner’s orders to keep things quiet. Doggett tells the gathered crowd that they’re not opening a casket in a room full of people. The medical examiner tells Skinner not to get his hopes up; this isn’t a situation where they open the casket and a mummy pops out. But at least Mulder’s still inside the casket, so this isn’t a situation where they open it and he’s missing.

Scully meets up with Skinner and Doggett the Naval Hospital in Annapolis, demanding to see Mulder. He’s been upgraded from dead to alive, though he’s hooked up to a bunch of machines and isn’t awake. Doggett doesn’t want Scully to see him like this, but it’s not like Scully’s going to come all this way and not go sit at the bedside of the love of her life.

Doggett goes to the office to see Kersh, who’s annoyed that Doggett and Skinner went behind his back. He hopes that Doggett takes his promotion offer seriously. He also hopes that Doggett drops this whole Mulder thing: “If it looks bad, it’s bad for the FBI.” He shouldn’t go digging for more answers. Scully, meanwhile, is looking for answers about Billy, who’s in about the same shape as Mulder, though with more scarring on his body. He has a seizure while she’s with him, and she thinks there’s something wrong with one of the machines he’s attached to.

At FBI headquarters, Skinner collapses in a hallway, then starts writhing in pain. He heads for an elevator and comes face to face with Krycek. Skinner tells him to go to Hell. He starts writhing again, thanks to the pain-causing device Krycek’s holding. Skinner figures that out and decides they should have a talk after all.

They go to Mulder’s office, where Krycek says he wants to give Skinner the chance to save Mulder’s life. Skinner says no, which Krycek notes is pretty bold of a guy who can be in excruciating pain in seconds, thanks to Krycek. Skinner relents, so Krycek tells him he has a vaccine that will fight the alien virus Mulder has. Skinner tries to grab the pain-causing technology from Krycek, whose reflexes are better.

Billy wakes up, and despite his months in the water and the fact that he was declared dead just hours ago, he’s well enough to get up and walk around. He finds a shower and washes off all the gross skin covering him. Meanwhile, Doggett finds Scully sitting by Mulder’s dead and expresses concern that the situation is bad for her. She shouldn’t let herself believe that his chances of survival are good. Scully angrily tells him that whether or not the truth is painful, it needs to come out.

The two are told that something’s going on with Billy, and they find him wandering in a hallway, looking…well, not near death, like he was just minutes ago. He claims not to remember much of what happened to him, just being in the water and then on the ship. Doggett explains that he was on a fishing boat, but Scully knows that’s not the ship Billy was talking about. He says they took a lot of people this time, and he knows why: The aliens are here to save them.

Doggett leaves, because even after everything he’s seen an experienced, he still can’t accept all this alien stuff. He asks Scully if it’s really that important whether or not he believes. He’s willing to admit that this is a medical mystery, but that’s it. Scully thinks he’s more than a skeptic – he’s “bullheaded.” He asks if she believes Billy’s story, and she doesn’t answer.

Skinner finds Scully studying scans of Billy’s head, which are all totally normal. Skinner thinks she should see that as encouraging, since it means Mulder could end up fine, too. But Scully knows there should be something off in the tests. Billy literally shed his skin and became a different person. Skinner asks about the possibility of an alien virus, an idea Scully’s willing to entertain if it means helping Mulder. He tells her about the vaccine, adding that it’ll cost them something big.

Doggett goes to Perkey, West Virginia, where Absalom is being held. Doggett wants to know more about the returned abductees Absalom and Jeremiah were retrieving. First Absalom makes Doggett say his name, because Absalom is weird. He sees himself as a prophet and doesn’t get why Doggett would ask for his help if Doggett doesn’t believe in him.

Skinner stops in Mulder’s hospital room, where Krycek is lurking. Skinner’s ready to do whatever’s necessary to get the vaccine. Krycek tells him he just has one job: Don’t let Scully have her baby. That’s too steep a price for Skinner, even if it means saving Mulder. Krycek says it’s about which of them is more willing to make a sacrifice to get what he wants.

Doggett returns to the hospital, passing Krycek and getting a weird feeling about him. While Skinner stares intently at Mulder, Scully tells Doggett that she believes Mulder has a virus that’s keeping him just alive enough to transform him. Doggett has heard the same thing from Absalom, who says that without him, returned abductees get resurrected as aliens. It’s part of the aliens’ plan to take over the world.

Scully thinks this makes sense – Billy’s supposedly malfunctioning machinery showed two heartbeats, but I guess one was just his alien heart coming out. If they don’t do something, Mulder will turn into an alien. She needs doctors to keep him stabilized while she administers the vaccine she asked Skinner to get for her.

Doggett goes to talk to Skinner, who’s locked himself in Mulder’s room. Doggett kicks down the door and catches Skinner disconnecting Mulder from his machines. Skinner admits that he has to kill Mulder in order to save Scully’s baby. Krycek is still in the building, hanging out in the parking garage, and when he sees Doggett looking for him, he ties to run him down. Doggett tries to jump through Krycek’s window, and the two struggle for a while until Krycek throws Doggett off and drives away.

But then Krycek comes back and flashes the vial of vaccine, taunting Doggett. He drops it on the ground, where it shatters. Doggett runs at him, still not getting that he’s no match for Krycek’s car. Krycek gets away for real this time, and Doggett has to tell Skinner that he failed to get the vaccine. He confirms that Skinner was right not to trust Krycek.

Doggett goes to see Scully, who tells him that, by taking Mulder off of his life-support machines, Skinner actually saved him. The machines were incubating the virus, and now, off of them, he may recover with just antivirals. Doggett then goes to the office, where I think Kersh wants an answer about whether he’s taking the new job, but they don’t talk about it directly. Kersh just says that things are about to get crowded in the X-Files office. (Which means Scully probably still won’t get a desk.)

Scully’s by Mulder’s side when he finally wakes up. “Who are you?” he whispers, but he’s just teasing. (Not funny!) He doesn’t remember what happened, but he can tell from her face that it was bad. “Anybody miss me?” he asks. Scully laughs and cries at the same time. Doggett comes by and sees them together, but leaves them alone to have a private reunion.

Thoughts: Everything on this show is about vaccines, isn’t it? And after more than eight years, the writers still don’t understand what a vaccine actually is.

Kersh is basically saying, “We don’t need answers as to why a seemingly dead man is now not dead anymore.” What kind of an FBI agent is he?

I imagine Mulder gets a lot of leverage out of being declared dead. “Mulder, you need to take the garbage out.” “Hey, Scully, remember when you left me in a grave for three months because you thought I was dead?” “…Fine, I’ll do it myself.”

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