March 16, 2019

The X-Files 9.16, William: Scully’s Choice

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 1:10 pm by Jenn

Even William’s like, “Are you kidding with this, Mom?”

Summary: It’s a beautiful day on a farm in some unidentified location, which flies a flag with a white buffalo on it. A couple named the Van De Kamps is about to get the child they’ve been wanting for a long time. They’re not sure who would hand over a baby to strangers, but they’re glad they’re the strangers the mother chose. Their social worker tells them the mother is a single woman, and it was a hard decision for her to make, but it was for her son’s good. The couple gets their new child, who will later be renamed Jackson, but for now, his name is William.

One week earlier, Scully gets home with William, singing “Joy to the World” to him. Someone is lurking in the shadows on the street, watching her. Doggett’s in his office, doing pushups; he’s trying to make himself seem tough by counting up to 1,493, but he really only does 20. The lurker comes in after Doggett leaves and starts looking through a file cabinet. Doggett realizes he forgot something and goes back to the office, where the lurker beats him up.

Doggett chases the lurker, easily catching up to him despite the pounding he just took. He’s shocked when the lurker turns around. At 2:03 a.m., Scully and Reyes meet up in the office to figure out who the lurker (who’s identified himself as Miller) is. His face is disfigured, so Doggett hasn’t been able to properly ID him, but he says he knows Scully and has information for her about the alien conspiracy.

Scully goes in to talk to Miller, who’s willing to talk to the agents without a lawyer. He told Doggett he got access to the building via a card key Mulder gave him. Miller, whose voice is unrecognizable along with his face, tells Scully he came to find answers about what was done to him. Mulder said the men who hurt him a part of the conspiracy. But Miller won’t say when he spoke to Mulder, because Scully could use that info to find Mulder, and he doesn’t want to be found.

Doggett says Miller was stealing files from the X-Files cabinet when he was caught. Specifically, he was stealing Samantha’s files. Miller knows about her abduction and its part in the conspiracy. Scully isn’t sold on Miller’s knowledge of anything, but he’s not surprised she doesn’t believe him. Scully tells Doggett to send Miller to Quantico so she can examine him physically.

This exam helps Scully determine that Miller’s scarring is from something other than burns or chemicals. He admits that he was injected with something. Doggett pulls Scully and Reyes out of the room to tell them that the ID Miller gave him is fake. Doggett thinks he’s really Mulder. Scully says that’s crazy, but Doggett reminds her that what’s true and what they want to be true aren’t always the same.

Scully remains, as always, skeptical, so she just goes back to her exam. Miller asks her to help him make the people who hurt him pay. He knows she was abducted as well, and also had horrible things done to her. Scully tells him that the agents know he’s lying about his identify, which he confirms, though he won’t say who he really is. He’s worried that the same people after Mulder will kill him if they find out he’s there. Miller wants Scully’s help, but he also thinks he can help her get some answers.

For a second, Scully imagines he’s Mulder, but she tells Doggett and Reyes she’s sure it’s not him. She thinks the blood sample she took from him will confirm that after a DNA test. For now, they need to figure out what Miller wants and determine whether he’s lying. They should take him back to the FBI building.

The agents take Miller back to the X-Files office, asking why he took Samantha’s files. He tells them there’s a new conspiracy and there are aliens in the U.S. government. His disfigurement was a failure in their attempts to turn him into an alien as well. Now he wants to expose their plans to do the same to others. Mulder told Miller there are cases on people like him, but it looks like they’ve been removed from the office.

They’re at Scully’s place, and Scully is willing to hand them over to Miller. She secretly tells Reyes that this will prove that Miller isn’t Mulder. She and Mulder moved the files here for safekeeping, so if Miller were Mulder, he would know that. William starts crying, and Scully discovers Miller trying to comfort him. He says Mulder told him he misses William.

Scully demands to know where Mulder is, but Miller won’t go back on his promise to keep Mulder’s location secret to protect everyone. Miller asks to hold the baby, “for Mulder.” William’s happy again and seems totally fine in Miller’s arms. Scully spends a minute trying to figure out whether or not this is a father/son reunion.

Skinner summons Doggett to his office to await the results of Miller’s DNA test. He points out that Miller and Mulder don’t even have the same body type, so Doggett’s theory is ridiculous. Doggett thinks Miller’s abductors could have done any number of things to him. Skinner makes the same point as Scully, that Mulder would have known the files were at Scully’s, so he wouldn’t pretend he didn’t. Just then, a lab calls to give Skinner the lab results.

At Scully’s, she tells Miller that he put on a good show, but now he’s going to tell her the truth. He knows the circumstances of William’s conception, that he’s part alien and a part of the conspiracy. She begs him to tell her who he is. Just as she thinks she’s about to crack him, Doggett and Reyes interrupt to tell her that Miller’s DNA matches Mulder’s.

As Scully moves from denial to shock, Doggett and Reyes realize that Miller has disappeared. Good job, guys! Good job at being FBI agents! Doggett goes out to the street and sees Miller running away. He loses Miller in an alley but is able to find him hiding behind a Dumpster. Doggett promises that they’re going to protect him, so he can stop running.

Back at Scully’s, the agents give Miller some sleeping pills and put him to bed. They plan to keep him hidden so he’s safe from whoever abducted him. Scully’s back to denial, not sure the DNA test was accurate. Doggett tells her it was a perfect match. Reyes thinks Miller ran because he’s struggling with the way he looks now. Scully doesn’t think the real Mulder would care. Doggett thinks Miller’s ashamed that he couldn’t protect himself.

Miller wakes up sometime later and goes to the nursery, where William’s also awake. Miller pulls out a syringe and fills it, then puts some sort of goo on the baby’s mouth. He gives William an injection, then runs off before Scully can come in to comfort her screaming child. Doggett checks on Miller, who’s back in his bed, pretending he was asleep the whole time.

Scully sees blood and figures out that William was injected, so she rushes him to a hospital. Back at Scully’s, Doggett finds the syringe and threatens to killer Miller, no matter who he really is, if anything happens to William. But William gets a clean bill of health – the doctor at the hospital doesn’t find anything off about him other than an elevated level of iron in his blood. This brings everything together for Scully.

She confronts Miller at the FBI building, telling him that he’s the most vile, hateful kind of person in the world. Miller thinks she believed he was really Mulder, even for a minute, or at least she wanted to believe. Scully thinks he wishes constantly that he had died when he was shot. Miller – or, really, the long-missing Jeffrey Spender – tells her that he has positive feelings about that shooting, because it meant his father couldn’t destroy the one thing Spender loves most: his hatred of his father.

Scully knows that Spender was counting on the DNA test to confirm his story, because he and Mulder share DNA – they have the same biological father. That’s not how DNA works, but okay. Scully confirms that Spender hasn’t actually talked to or seen Mulder recently. He lied to gain the agents’ trusts so he could get access to William.

Scully checked the substance in the syringe, an unknown metal. Spender says it’s a form of magnetite. He calls it a gift. Really, it’s revenge – by injecting William, Spender has protected him from the alien conspiracy, which means CSM’s plans will fail. However, the conspirators will never believe that William is no longer useful to them, so he’s still in danger. Scully thinks she can protect him, but Spender’s face is a reminder of what she’s risking, and what could happen to William.

At William’s crib, Reyes tries to convince Scully that Spender was lying, and she doesn’t have anything to worry about. Scully doesn’t want to wait until it’s too late to find out she was wrong. They don’t have any choice about what William was, or is now, but she can choose to give him a safe life. She doesn’t think she can promise him protection, which is why William winds up with the Van De Kamps, with a brand-new mobile – featuring white buffalo – over his crib. But this time, he can’t move it with his mind.

Thoughts: David Duchovny co-wrote and directed this episode.

There’s a hole in Doggett’s theory: Why would Mulder go to the FBI building and pretend to be someone else? If he was afraid for his life if he went there, he just…wouldn’t go there.

Scully, stop letting strangers into your home, especially when William’s there.

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