January 5, 2019

The X-Files 9.6, Trust No 1: Instead of the Shadow Man, They Should Call Him Sir Veillance

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

Even for the early ’00s, this is laughably outdated

Summary: Ugh, a voiceover. Scully talks about the miracle of William’s birth and how they may never know the truth behind it. If he ever finds his perfect match, he should take a risk and go on adventures with that person to find the truth. Truth doesn’t come from science, but from your own heart. Also, Mulder is Scully’s true love, and she all but admits it. There’s a montage of past Mulder/Scully moments, ending with her kneeling over a body, so I guess we’re supposed to think that Mulder comes back in this episode and dies, but there’s no way that’s going to happen.

A security camera watches Scully as she waits for someone on a train platform. Then at some other point at time, she takes William to the Federal Grounds Internet Café in D.C. She checks her email, receiving a message from trust_no1@mail.com, entitled “Dearest Dana.” (By the way, Scully’s email address is queequeg0925@hotmail.com.) The email writer says he’s lonely and wants to come home to her and William. But can it really be Mulder if he calls her Dana?

Another woman enters with a baby as Scully sends an email back warning that Mulder isn’t safe. She stops writing when she hears the other woman’s baby crying and realizes the woman isn’t in the café anymore. She’s stepped outside to fight with someone. Scully stays with the baby until the woman comes back to get her.

Scully rereads her email before Doggett and Reyes come to see her at her new job. They tell her that someone keeps contacting the FBI insisting on talking to Mulder. He won’t say who he is, and he keeps covering his tracks. Today he admitted that he has information on the super-soldiers and wants to give Mulder their names. This person will only talk to him. Scully says she can’t contact Mulder, and she’s not sure it would be a good idea to do so anyway.

She tries to move on to teaching her class, but Doggett pulls her away to tell her how important the list of super-soldiers’ names could be. If they can track them all down and neutralize them, it could be safe for Mulder to come home. Scully’s worried they’ll just put him in more danger. Doggett asks how long she’s going to refuse to trust him or anyone else. If she keeps this up, Mulder will never be able to come home.

When Scully gets home that night, the woman from Federal Grounds is on her street, again fighting with the man from before. He takes the baby from her as she begs him not to leave. Scully offers to call the police, but though the woman is upset, she’s not upset enough that this looks like a kidnapping. Scully lets the woman, Patti, come to her apartment to use her phone and talk. Patti can tell that Scully’s parenting alone and says that maybe her partner will come back.

In Bethesda, Doggett and Reyes meet up to discuss the source who’s been trying to contact Mulder. He called Doggett’s cell phone, and though Doggett couldn’t trace the call, he was able to find the general area where it was placed. He thinks he’s found the exact building the source called from. Reyes is now on Scully’s side, worrying that they’ll endanger Mulder even more. But when a guy Doggett thinks is the source arrives at the building, he ignores her warnings and goes out to search the guy’s car. Oh, and the guy? The same man Patti was fighting with.

The man is at the building to work and avoid small talk with one of his co-workers. That co-worker (who only ever gets identified as the Shadow Man, so we’ll go with that) is watching surveillance footage of Doggett and Reyes as they search the other man’s car. He may also be the person watching Scully as she waits on the train platform, joined by a man whose face we can’t see.

Early the next morning, after a night on stakeout, Doggett sees the man from the street leaving work and follows him. Patti, who has spent a sleepless night on Scully’s couch, turns off the baby monitor and starts to take William out of his bassinet. Scully wakes up when Doggett calls to tell her the guy they’re tailing has arrived at her building. Scully hears William and senses that something’s wrong. She approaches the room with her gun out and orders Patti to put him down.

As Patti obeys, looking like she didn’t mean any harm, Doggett catches the man from the street trying to pick Scully’s lock. He takes the guy down and confirms that Scully doesn’t know him. (I’m tired of calling him “the man from the street.” The actor’s name is Steven, so I’m calling him that now.) Scully thinks that Patti and Steven staged their argument to con her for some reason. She suspects they’re after William. Patti says she wants to help him, but Steven tells her not to say anything further.

Upset, Patti says that Steven told her Scully could help them. All Steven will tell the agents is, “They’re watching.” He works for the NSA, and if the agents call the police on him, he’ll be detained until another NSA agent can come get him. He and his fellow agents don’t exist as citizens. He only came over to get Patti, who wants help for their daughter, Joy. She thinks both William and Joy are “different.”

Doggett asks how they could know anything about William. Steven says he knows almost everything about Scully, Doggett, and Reyes. He knows that Scully saw the mobile spinning over William’s bassinet, as if he was moving it with his mind. The same thing happened with Joy. Reyes asks how they’re surveilling everyone, wondering if Steven is the person trying to contact Mulder. He says he just looks at what he’s told to look at. But his supervisor has looked into the super-soldier program and crimes committed against innocent people. The supervisor says Mulder’s the only one who can connect all the dots.

The Shadow Man, using a voice modulator, calls to tell Scully that he’s been listening to the whole conversation. He was also watching through the window before she closed her blinds. He warns that something else is coming, and he’d like to talk to Mulder. He knows Scully’s in contact with him, since they’re exchanging emails. Scully refuses to continue talking to the Shadow Man unless they meet in person. He agrees to meet her at the Internet café but tells her not to keep trying to find him.

Scully gets ready to leave, asking Reyes to babysit. Doggett doesn’t like the idea of Scully going to meet the Shadow Man alone, but she reminds him that he told her she has to trust someone. She waits on the bus bench outside the café, confirming for the Shadow Man when he calls that she has a gun just in case. He tells her to follow his instructions exactly and not talk to anyone else about it. If she doesn’t do what he says, she should be prepared to use her gun in self-defense.

The Shadow Man sends Scully to a car and tells her to drive. He’s not too concerned with traffic safety. He sends her to an alley to switch cars and tells her to head west on the interstate. It’s dark when Scully finally reaches her unknown destination and is told to open her trunk and change clothes. Scully says she’s in the middle of nowhere, but the Shadow Man says that doesn’t exist anymore. As she’s finishing changing clothes, he appears in person and blows up the car.

The Shadow Man checks out Scully’s watch; when she complains that this has gone on too long, he reminds her that this is all about seeing Mulder again. She wonders how he knew her clothing size. The Shadow Man tells her he knows everything about her from childhood to adulthood – her ATM PIN, her college boyfriend’s name, her real hair color (which…is red, since she had red hair as a kid, but whatever), etc. He even knows that she and Mulder slept together. “I was as surprised as you are,” he says.

Scully wants to know what gives the Shadow Man the right or authority to spy on her. He tells her he’s the future, and he’s risking his life meeting with her. But he needs to tell Mulder what he knows, or there won’t be a future. He sends Scully to another car and tells her to get in touch with Mulder in the next 24 hours, or Scully will never hear from the Shadow Man again.

Doggett bugs Scully at work again the next day, telling her he’s worried about what he’s gotten her involved in. He’s been thinking about why the Shadow Man needs Scully to contact Mulder for him. Obviously, he’s using Scully because he knows Mulder will do whatever she wants. Scully reminds Doggett that the Shadow Man contacted him first. He only contacted Scully after Patti started talking. Doggett suggests that Patti and Steven are working with the Shadow Man.

Scully believes that Patti is as scared for Joy as Scully is for William. Patti and Steven don’t even necessarily trust the Shadow Man. Doggett doesn’t know why the Shadow Man thinks Scully can ensure a safe way home for Mulder. She admits that she and Mulder prearranged that stuff when he left, and she’s put the wheels in motion. He’ll be arriving via train at midnight. Doggett tells Scully she can’t be the one to meet Mulder when he arrives, no matter how badly she wants to see him. Scully says it’s too late, and she’s sticking to her and Mulder’s plan. At 10:48 that night, she goes to the train station, under the Shadow Man’s surveillance.

Meanwhile, Doggett goes to an FBI lab to meet up with an agent named Edie Boal. He wants her to get forensic information from Scully’s clothes, which the Shadow Man handled. As Reyes keeps an eye on Scully at the station, Steven spraypaints a camera to cut off one of the Shadow Man’s surveillance tools.

20 minutes to midnight, Doggett gets impatient in his office. The train platform starts filling up as a train approaches. As things go slow-motion, Steven pulls out a gun and points it at Scully. Reyes sees and warns her, but Steven isn’t aiming at Scully after all. He yells for her to run as the Shadow Man nears with his own gun drawn. Reyes pushes Scully down to the ground as the Shadow Man shoots Steven, then turns on the women.

Before they can reach for their own weapons, Doggett appears and shoots the Shadow Man. He falls off the platform and gets run over by the train. Scully and Reyes yell for the station manager to get the train to stop, but he orders the conductor to keep moving. Wave goodbye to Mulder as he rides by. And also wave goodbye to Steven, because he’s dead.

When the sheriff’s department arrives to investigate, the Shadow Man’s body is gone. Patti tells Scully that she and Steven had nothing to do with the Shadow Man’s game. Scully already knows. Doggett confirms for Scully and Reyes that the Shadow Man is missing, and the DNA found on the clothes can’t be tested. Doggett thinks he’s a super-soldier.

Scully immediately says that they need to warn Mulder. She tells the station manager that they need to get a message to the conductor. She thinks the Shadow Man got on the train and is going after Mulder. Just then, a message comes over the manager’s walkie-talkie reporting a jumper on the train, about to jump into a quarry.

The agents speed to the quarry, splitting up for some reason so Doggett and Reyes are on foot and Scully’s in a car. Doggett yells to a man in the quarry, thinking he’s Mulder, but the man keeps running. Scully comes across the Shadow Man and tries to run from him, but she’s in a quarry, so she can’t really get away. She pulls her gun, as if a bullet will stop a super-soldier. He tells her that either Mulder or William has to die. Scully demands to know what’s wrong with William. Before he can respond, the Shadow Man starts convulsing. His skin turns gray and he flies into a wall of the quarry, as if he’s being pulled in by a giant magnet.

We’re left with just an episode-ending voiceover as Scully emails Mulder. She thinks he jumped off the train because he knows about the super-soldiers. She hopes whatever iron compound is in the quarry is the key to destroying all the super-soldiers. She’s determined to see Mulder again and regain the comfort and safety they only enjoyed for a short time. She signs the email “Dana,” which is just…weird.

Thoughts: The Shadow Man is played by Terry O’Quinn, in his third role on the show. Patti is played by Allison Smith. Boal is played by Kathryn Joosten.

Ten begrudging cool points to whoever named a D.C. coffee shop Federal Grounds.

Trivia: Scully was afraid of clowns as a kid.

Are we not allowed to see Scully or Reyes shoot people? Why does Doggett always end up saving them?

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