May 4, 2019

The X-Files 10.2, Founder’s Mutation: “A Mother Never Forgets”

Posted in TV tagged at 1:40 pm by Jenn

ANOTHER “X-Men” spin-off??

Summary: A scientist named Dr. Sanjay shows up for work at a place called Nugenics looking a little worse for wear. He hears a high-pitched sound that no one else in the building seems to hear. In a meeting, his team learns that the Founder isn’t pleased with their work. As his colleagues argue about the Founder, Augustus Goldman, and whether he really cares about their work, Sanjay hears more noises. His co-workers’ voices slow down and get distorted. It’s as if every noise in the room is amplified.

Eventually, Sanjay yells out, “Can’t anyone hear that?” His co-workers look at him like he’s nuts. He goes to an office, ignoring his co-workers while he does something with their data. As a security guard drills into his locked door, Sanjay, hearing the high-pitched noise again, writes something on his hand, then sticks a letter opener in his ear. It’s gross, and now he’s dead.

Now that the X-Files division has been reopened, Mulder and Scully are on the case! Scully thinks Sanjay had a psychotic break that led to his suicide. Mulder wonders why he would go to the most secure room in the building, full of isolated servers. Mulder thinks he was trying to access data that could only be accessed in that room.

Mulder tries to look at a hard drive, but a guy named Lindquist tells him it’s classified. The agents have security clearance to be in the room, but not to look at the server, which belongs to the Department of Defense. Mulder asks to talk to Goldman, but Lindquist stonewalls again. In fact, he can’t even confirm that he knows where Goldman is. Scully sees some security cameras and asks Lindquist if she can view their tapes. While Lindquist is distracted, Mulder steals Sanjay’s phone.

As they leave, Scully sees the phone and chastises Mulder for searching it without a warrant. Mulder doesn’t think he needs a warrant since Sanjay is the victim, not a suspect. Scully disagrees that there’s a victim here – Sanjay killed himself. As they pass a shady-looking janitor, Mulder sees that Sanjay had a lot of conversations with someone named Gupta. Scully somehow knows that the name Gupta means “secret.”

Mulder meets Gupta at the Corner Pocket Bar in D.C., trying to ignore some government-looking guys. Mulder asks to talk somewhere more private, promising that Gupta can trust him. Well, if he says you can, then obviously you can! They go to a storeroom, but it becomes clear that Gupta didn’t understand the nature of this meeting, because he tries to undo Mulder’s pants.

Mulder resists, so Gupta tells him he’s repressed. He himself finally let go of that self-loathing and feels free. Mulder needs to do the same. “The truth is in here,” Gupta says, pointing at Mulder’s heart. “Yeah, I’ve heard something like that,” Mulder replies. He informs Gupta that Sanjay is dead.

Scully does Sanjay’s autopsy, noticing the writing on his hand. Back at the bar, Gupta tells Mulder that Sanjay was distant over the past few weeks. He was upset because his kids were dying, though Mulder’s pretty sure that Sanjay didn’t have any children. Gupta says he lived two lives in two places.

Scully summons Mulder to the morgue and shows him the writing on Sanjay’s hand: “Founder’s mutation.” There’s nothing abnormal in her autopsy findings, but Mulder sees that the letter opener veers off at an angle, as if Sanjay was reaching for something specific. Scully brings up what Sanjay yelled at the meeting before he died about hearing something. Mulder wonders if he could have thought he was hearing something that wasn’t really a sound.

He wants to look for more clues, thinking Sanjay didn’t really live in the apartment they’ve already searched. So the agents head to Dupont Circle, discussing how Sanjay felt he had to keep his “lifestyle preferences” a secret in 2016. Mulder thinks that being gay wasn’t Sanjay’s only secret. Scully almost hits a teenager with her car, and somehow, Mulder doesn’t comment on it or use it as an excuse to let him drive.

The agents go to Sanjay’s house, where someone appears to be lurking. Scully finds photos of kids affected by horrible physical abnormalities. The police arrive, possibly summoned by a silent alarm the agents triggered, but they keep searching anyway. Mulder hears the same high-pitched tone Sanjay did; it’s so painful that it almost puts him on the ground. Voices get distorted, but Mulder can make out people saying “help me” and “find her.”

The agents meet with Skinner, taking him some files from the apartment, which the DOD again claims are classified. A guy named Murphy is there to guard them. Mulder thinks the kids from the photos are connected to Sanjay’s suicide. Since the DOD won’t let the FBI look at the files, Skinner considers the investigation over. Murphy warns the agents to keep anything they’ve seen quiet. “I’m familiar with Edward Snowden,” Mulder replies.

After Murphy leaves, naïvely thinking the agents will listen to him, Skinner asks Mulder for his opinion. He thinks the DOD is using the kids for experiments with genetic modifications. Scully isn’t sure, but she’s like to pursue that angle. Skinner offers, without really offering, to let their incident report get lost in the shuffle so they have time to investigate.

The agents are back in their basement office, except only Mulder’s name is on the door, boo! Scully asks what happened to Mulder in the house that put him on his knees. He tells her about the noise and the words “find her.” Scully tells him she didn’t hear anything. They look at the security footage from Nugenics, and the sight of some birds gives Mulder an idea. Vibrations can make worms come up from underground. He thinks they need Goldman to help them answer some questions.

Scully’s worried that Mulder will suffer the same fate as Sanjay. This could be dangerous. “When has that ever stopped us before?” Mulder asks. Scully has an idea of how to find Goldman. She connects with a colleague at Our Lady of Sorrows, Sister Mary, who confirms that Goldman has helped with funding. Specifically, he’s donated money for a program for pregnant women.

Scully asks for a meeting with Goldman, pretending they want to warn him about an upcoming government investigation. Sister Mary is reluctant to connect the agents to Goldman, but she agrees to give him a message. Mulder says to ask him about talking about the Founder’s mutation.

As Sister Mary leaves to make the call, a young pregnant woman named Agnes gets the agents’ attention. She tells the agents she doesn’t belong there; she doesn’t care what she signed. She no longer cares if her baby is sick – she’s changed her mind about giving him up. Agnes says that all the other pregnant women in the room have the same story. When she spots Sister Mary returning, Agnes panics and tells the agents she was just kidding around. Mulder gives her his card in case she wants to talk.

Sister Mary tells the agents that Goldman has agreed to meet with them. Mulder asks about the women in the room, and why they were chosen for the program. Sister Mary says they’re homeless and “damaged,” mainly by men. (No offense to Mulder.) As the agents leave, Mulder tells Scully that the whole thing is “insidious.” Goldman could be using the women as incubators for kids who will be experimented on.

Scully accuses Mulder of believing this all along but not saying it straight out. Does he think this is what happened to her all those years ago, when she got pregnant? Was she just an incubator? “You’re never ‘just’ anything to me,” he assures her. She asks if he ever thinks about William. He says he does, but he’s had to put it behind him. Scully laments having to miss all 15 years of her son’s life. She admits that sometimes she hates herself for not having the courage to keep him.

Mulder says that Scully did what she felt was necessary to keep William safe. She asks if Mulder thinks he was an experiment. Mulder doesn’t know. Scully worries that William’s fighting for his life like the kids on Sanjay’s wall. Mulder tells her the just have to pull the thread of the investigation and see what unravels.

Scully imagines herself walking William to school on his first day. The most important thing she wants him to remember is that she loves him. She takes him inside, and at the end of the day, she watches him run off to play with friends. Scully smiles and touches her cross necklace, but a wind blows in and changes her mood. She finds William on a stretcher, about to be loaded into an ambulance after breaking his arm.

The scene fades, and Scully’s now in a house, hearing William calling to her from behind a closed door. His face has changed, as if he’s becoming an alien, and he’s scared. In reality, Scully looks at a baby picture of her son, possibly the only picture she has left of him.

The agents meet with Goldman, who says “Founder’s mutation” is meaningless to him. He claims that his work is intended to save children. He walks the agents past some of his patients, who have what he claims are genetic abnormalities and cancers. They’re getting treatment without having to pay.

One of the kids, Adam, has an oversized bald head and only one eye. Scully chats with him, and he says he has no parents and has been there “forever.” Scully asks why the kids are all kept in sealed rooms, since they’re not contagious. Goldman says they want to eliminate environmental factors that could affect their treatment. He’s looking for the key to all these abnormalities. Scully asks if alien DNA is somehow involved, and if that’s why the DOD is part of this. “I was told you were the rational one,” Goldman says with surprise.

There’s a scuffle down the hall as one of the patients, a teen named Molly, fights an orderly. Goldman sends the agents away with his assistant, Sarah, as he goes to subdue Molly. Mulder gets a text telling him something’s happened to Agnes. The agents go to a tunnel, where Agnes has been found dead, supposedly the victim of a hit-and-run. There’s no sign that she’s still pregnant.

Scully autopsies Agnes and determines that she probably was killed in a hit-and-run. The baby was taken, most likely to “get rid of evidence.” She thinks Agnes left the hospital to talk to them. Mulder asks if the baby could still be alive. Scully says if Agnes didn’t survive, the baby probably didn’t. But if the baby wasn’t human, Mulder thinks it could have. Maybe the Syndicate is still working on creating human/alien hybrids.

Scully notes that this means changing the genetic makeup of an entire population. It’s a step toward evolution. Mulder says that every species has a founder’s mutation. Scully remembers reading a study about Y chromosomes in white European men being traced back to just three people from the Bronze Age.

Mulder has learned that Goldman’s wife, Jackie, was committed 17 years ago after being convicted of murdering her baby. That baby’s body was also never found. So the agents now have a new person to question. They meet with Jackie at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital, but Jackie isn’t very talkative. She does throw an apple at a cat, though.

When Scully asks if they can ask questions, Jackie says she won’t talk about her husband – he’s the one keeping her there. Mulder asks if she misses her daughter. Jackie says she does…and her name was Molly. She remembers feeling that there was something odd about her daughter, but she didn’t know for sure what it was until the girl was two. She flashes back to finding Molly in the family’s pool, breathing underwater.

Jackie thinks Goldman experiments on the embryo, and since she was pregnant again at the time, she wanted to get away from him. In a flashback, Goldman catches Jackie trying to leave and assures her that she and Molly are both safe. Jackie pulls a knife on him and demands Molly. They fight and she slices Goldman’s arm, then runs off. She tells the agents that since Goldman worked for the government, she knew she couldn’t trust anyone to help her. She tried to run away, but she hit an animal in the road and crashed her car.

In flashback, Jackie crawls out of the wreckage and hears a high-pitched sound. “He was talking to me in the only way that he knew how,” she tells the agents. To make it stop, she stabbed herself in the stomach. But instead of trying to kill her unborn child, she was trying to let him out. When Jackie woke up in the hospital after passing out from blood loss, she was accused of killing her baby. She thinks about him every day. Scully can relate: “A mother never forgets.”

As the agents leave, Scully tells Mulder that she believes Jackie’s story. Mulder thinks the baby – now a teenager – is trying to communicate with him the way it did with Jackie. He stops a passing janitor and confirms that he works for a subcontractor, not for the hospital. The company, A-I Janitorial, also services Nugenics. Mulder goes back to the security footage and sees the shady-looking janitor just outside Sanjay’s office when he died. The janitor, Kyle Gilligan, also worked at St. Elizabeth’s last month.

The agents go to Kyle’s house, where his mother prevents them from questioning him. She claims he’s “simple” and doesn’t respond well to stressful situations. Mulder accuses her of finding Kyle after Jackie’s accident and taking him to raise herself. Mrs. Gilligan yells for the agents to leave as a huge flock of birds gathers in the yard. She whispers that bad things happen when the birds gather.

Mulder hears the tone, this time painful enough to leave him rolling around on the ground. Scully runs around the property, looking for Kyle, who’s in a stable. Mrs. Gilligan begs the agents not to take him away; he was just trying to protect her, and he doesn’t know what he’s doing. In the car, Mulder asks why Kyle killed Sanjay. Kyle says he didn’t – Sanjay was trying to help him. Mulder asks why he gets in people’s heads.

Kyle says he just wants to find his sister. He visited Jackie at St. Elizabeth’s last month, and she told him to find Molly. I guess Mulder wasn’t paying attention when they were with Goldman, but Scully was, because she knows where they can find Kyle’s. They take Kyle to Goldman (horrible idea! Worst idea ever!) for some bloodwork, and he asks what Kyle plans to do once he finds Molly. Kyle says he doesn’t know.

Goldman says he’ll let the siblings meet, but he takes Kyle to see another girl instead. Kyle quickly realizes she’s an impostor, then finds the real Molly. She communicates with him telepathically, saying she didn’t know she had a brother. They put their hands on either side of Molly’s windows, and the electrical charge between them shatters glass around them and leads to high-pitched tones.

The agents are thrown around as Kyle makes his father’s eyes and mouth bleed. Sometime later, the FBI and DOD come to the hospital, but the DOD takes over the scene. Mulder passed out and doesn’t know where Kyle and Molly went. But Mulder has a vial of Kyle’s blood, so there may be a way to track him.

Mulder imagines watching 2001 with William and talking to him about knowledge and early man. They make a model rocketship together and quote JFK’s speech about how we choose to do things like go to space because they’re difficult. William declares that he’ll go to space someday. Like Scully, Mulder hears William calling from his room, but when Mulder gets there, William’s being beamed up by aliens. The real Mulder sits in his kitchen, looking at the same baby picture Scully looked at earlier.

Thoughts: Goldman is played by Doug Savant. Agnes is played by Kacey Rohl, who was also in Hannibal with Gillian Anderson.

Just what every woman wants to hear from a nun – that she’s “damaged.”

Please enjoy this outtake of the actress playing Jackie throwing her apple in the completely wrong direction.

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