November 10, 2018

The X-Files 8.19, Alone: You Got Me on My Knees, Leyla

Posted in TV tagged , at 1:19 pm by Jenn

Mommy and Daddy are fighting

Summary: It’s just after 11 p.m. in Ellicott, New York, and a man named Gary has just returned home after doing something for his elderly, ill father. Gary doesn’t get why he has to check locks for some guy named Stites. Gary’s father, Arlen, says he doesn’t need to know the reason. Gary leaves the room to make dinner.

Arlen’s blood pressure rises as he sees that a window in their house is open. He thinks that Gary didn’t do his job after all. Arlen stops breathing, and Gary doesn’t hear the beeping of his blood-pressure monitor from the kitchen. He also doesn’t hear when something swoops into the room to attack Arlen. When Gary returns, Arlen is gone, and the creature that attacked him is ready for another victim.

In D.C., Scully cleans out her desk, finding the fused coins and Queequeg’s dog tag. She’s starting her maternity leave, which means Doggett’s left to run the X-Files division by himself. Scully gives him the Apollo 11 keychain Mulder once gave her, saying it symbolizes teamwork and partnership. “It means no one gets there alone,” she says. After the craziness of the past year, she wants Doggett to know that she wouldn’t be here without him. Doggett starts to get the impression that Scully’s leave isn’t just temporary.

He stares at Mulder’s “I want to believe” poster for a few moments, then quickly gets a new case. Leyla Harrison knows about the events in Ellicott, and since the local police can’t figure out what happened, Leyla thinks the case should be an X-File. Too bad no one told Doggett that Leyla is his new partner.

The two go to Ellicott and check out the house, even though Arlen’s body was found in the woods. Leyla explains that Arlen was the caretaker for a house on the property, though he himself needed a caretaker because he was confined to a wheelchair for the past few months. Gary is missing and is the main suspect in his father’s murder.

Doggett doesn’t get why Gary dump Arlen’s body in the woods and flee after killing him in a way that covers up a murder. That suggests premeditation, while dumping the body suggests panic over an accidental death. Leyla takes notes while Doggett finds some kind of slime in the room. She thinks she was right to classify the case as an X-File.

After giving the slime to the local police, the agents go to the woods. Leyla reveals that this is her first case in the field. Doggett tells her she’s being used; Kersh is trying to saddle him with someone inexperienced because he hates the X-Files. Leyla’s very familiar with the division, though; she used to work in accounting, processing Mulder and Scully’s travel expenses. That poor woman. She admits that she might not be qualified, but she’s well-informed. And really, I think her eagerness should count for something.

Doggett finds more slime in the spot where Arlen’s body was found. Leyla thinks it could be bile from a creature like Tooms or an alien that’s shed its skin. Doggett just gives her a look that means, “You are talking too much about crazy things. Please stop.” As she takes a sample of the slime to be analyzed, Doggett heads into the woods by himself.

Back in D.C., Scully and Mulder are going to a birthing class!!! Sorry, I’m okay. Scully’s feeling down about all the changes in her life. She feels like she’s a deserter for leaving the X-Files. Mulder tells her she’s paid her dues and deserves a break. He guesses that she’s also worried about Doggett and assures her that he can take care of himself.

Doggett goes to the house Arlen was the caretaker for, in which the creature that killed him seems to be squatting. Doggett senses its presence and draws his gun, but instead encounters Leyla. He sends her outside to guard the front door while he tries to force the creature outside. She’s so inexperienced that he has to tell her to take the safety off so she can actually use her weapon.

Outside, Leyla hears a skittering sound that would have sent me back to D.C. on the first available flight. The creature attacks her from above, and Doggett hears gunshots. When he gets outside, Leyla’s gone. Good job, Doggett – two hours on the case with your new partner and you’ve already lost her. When he goes looking for her, he falls through a trapdoor hidden under some leaves.

Skinner leads a search party in Ellicott, confirming for Scully over the phone that Doggett has vanished. He tells her to stay in D.C. instead of coming to look for her partner. She knows that Skinner’s doing everything he can, but she’s worried it’s not enough. Meanwhile, Doggett finds himself underground in a cave that’s been conveniently wired for electricity but not outfitted for cell service.

Scully takes herself off maternity leave so she can autopsy Arlen’s body. Mulder tracks her down in the morgue so they can revisit their old working relationship where she finds something weird on a body and he tries to explain it. She tells him that Arlen wasn’t murdered – he was blinded by some kind of substance that contains venom. Mulder says that, according to Skinner, Doggett and Leyla found the same substance. He urges Scully to let someone else continue the investigation.

Doggett comes across part of a…bear? A bear skull? I don’t know. He hears skittering in the cave and gets attacked by the creature. It sprays him with slime, causing his eyesight to turn blurry. Leyla, whose sight has also gone blurry, finds Doggett and leads him to Gary’s body. She tries to think of a past X-File that might apply here, but Doggett would rather focus on their current circumstances. He thinks someone or something sets traps to gather food for the creature. The two can see sunlight coming through a well-like hole in the ceiling, but their blurry sight makes it hard to figure out how high up it is.

Mulder goes to Ellicott and meets up with Skinner, who’s like, “I’m going to pretend you weren’t fired and we’re just working this case like we used to.” They’ve found Doggett’s car at a convenience store half an hour away, so the search is moving out there. Mulder knows better and wants to join the search in the woods.

As Doggett climbs up to the hole in the ceiling, Mulder approaches Stites’ house. Stites himself comes to greet him, and the two chat just feet away from where Doggett is climbing up toward the trapdoor. Stites tells Mulder, who’s using Kersh’s name, that he’s a biologist and doubts that an animal is responsible for Gary’s disappearance. Mulder agrees – he thinks a man is using reptile venom to blind people.

Doggett finally reaches the top, but Stites is there waiting for him. He steps on Doggett’s hand, making him let go and fall back into the cave. Doggett yells up at Stites, who really doesn’t care that he’s a federal agent. Doggett guesses that he’s Stites, and judging from his books and papers in the house, he’s a scientist.

Leyla suggests that there’s a symbiotic relationship between Stites and the creature, which would make sense for an X-File. Doggett tells her that Mulder and Scully aren’t there to save them, so speculation won’t help. Doggett decides to go look for another way out. He leaves Leyla behind to shoot the creature if it approaches. Yes, arm the woman with poor vision. Before Doggett can leave, Leyla realizes that Gary is gone – the creature must have taken him away.

Mulder’s staking out the house, eating sunflower seeds, when Scully calls to let him know that Stites complained about him to Skinner. She thinks a reptile is responsible for the attacks; it’s the only thing that makes sense. Mulder disagrees – he found his regifted Apollo 11 medallion on Stites’ lawn, which means Doggett must be nearby.

A lab tech tells Scully that the slime from Arlen’s eyes contains digestive enzymes that break down tissue and liquefy bodies. Basically, the creature sprays the victims, then waits until they turn into tasty drinks. Scully can’t think of a species that can do everything this creature can, or “at least not yet.”

Doggett and Leyla wander blindly through the cave as her vision worsens, making her worry that she’ll end up like Gary. The creature reappears and Doggett shoots at it. Leyla finds Gary again, this time apparently having been the creature’s snack. Scully calls Mulder back to tell him he was right about Stites. He was working on a new species of reptile, so he may have genetically altered the creature that’s now killing people.

Mulder sees the creature in Stites’ yard and hangs up on Scully to go chase it. He loses it when it scales (heh, scales) the wall of Stites’ house. Mulder bangs on the door and yells for Stites, who doesn’t answer…because he’s the creature. Once he morphs back into his human form (and puts some clothes on), Mulder accuses him of protecting the creature. He thinks Stites didn’t mean for it to get out and attack everyone. But he also thinks Stites knows where Doggett and Leyla are.

Stites takes Mulder into the cave to get Doggett and Leyla, but Leyla somehow knows that Stites is the creature. Stites vanishes before they can do anything. Mulder wants to take Doggett’s gun, since he himself is unarmed, but the creature is approaching and will attack before he can get close enough to Doggett. This means Doggett will have to shoot the creature, despite not being able to see it crawling over their heads.

Mulder tells Doggett to aim for the sound of his voice. Though Doggett protests, he does it, shooting the creature just as it drops down to attack Mulder. The creature turns back into Stites when it dies, which means Leyla just solved her first X-File.

Sometime later, Mulder and Scully go see Doggett at the hospital, and he cutely gets excited when he thinks they’re there for Scully to have the baby. Doggett’s eyesight has been restored, and Leyla’s on her way to full health. She’s decided not to continue in the X-Files, which is too bad, because she currently has a 100 percent success rate and should ride that as long as she can.

Mulder thinks Doggett should have the Apollo 11 keychain, but Doggett wants to give it to Leyla. She’s thrilled. She also has a question: When Mulder went to Antarctica to save Scully, and they saw the spaceship, how did they get back home? Scully notes that they never confirmed that it was a spaceship. She and Mulder squabble over that and never answer the question. Doggett watches the three of them together, then leaves, alone again.

Thoughts: Remember when this was The Mulder and Scully Show? I miss that.

Leyla’s more interesting than Reyes. Too bad Reyes is the one we have to see more of.

Good casting on Stites. He totally looks like a guy who would do weird experiments and turn himself into a killer lizard. (No offense to the actor, of course.)

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