November 17, 2018

The X-Files 8.20, Essence: No, We Still Don’t Know Who the Baby’s Father Is

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:14 pm by Jenn

If your life was in danger, you’d want these people helping you, right? Too bad, you only get Reyes

Summary: Ugh, this is one of those episodes that starts with a dumb Mulder voice-over. He talks about conception and biology and technology. Is fertilization still a miracle when humans manipulate the process? Also, how did Scully get pregnant? Was it God, or Mulder’s sperm? (Or, you know, aliens?)

Maggie’s throwing Scully a baby shower, and she wishes Scully would tell everyone the baby’s sex so she could know what color scheme to use. Maggie guesses it’s a boy, and Scully decides to humor her by telling her she’s right. The first guest to arrive is Lizzy Gill, who’s come early to help Maggie set things up. She’s a baby nurse, but she’s never met Scully, so that’s kind of weird.

Once all the guests have arrived, Scully opens presents while Lizzy takes on hosting duties. Maggie really wants Scully to hire her to help out once the baby’s born. This is probably a bad idea, since Lizzy sneaks into Scully’s bathroom and replaces some pills from the medicine cabinet.

At Zeus Genetics, Dr. Lev is working, surrounded by some ugly jarred babies. Billy Miles shows up to look at the ugly babies and confirm that Lev has been successful up till now. But he’s going to need to take an early retirement, by which I mean he’s going to die, and Billy’s going to torch his lab to destroy all his hard work.

Doggett does manly things at home, like clean his gun and watch NASCAR. Maybe he’s overcompensating because he’s mad that he didn’t get invited to the baby shower. Mulder comes by and shows Doggett a news report about the fire at Zeus. It’s being ruled as arson, so Mulder easily guesses that it’s part of a cover-up. Time for the guys to work together again!

They go to the FBI’s analysis center, where an agent named Crane is assisting with a search of everything recovered from Zeus. Crane agrees that there’s a cover-up of some sort, but it’s not anything the FBI should be involved in, and definitely not anything Mulder needs to be involved in. Mulder, however, has learned that Lev is MIA, which has to be significant. He reports that Lev and Parenti, Scully’s OB, were Zeus’ co-founders.

Doggett thinks Mulder thinks that Parenti burned down Zeus, which means they’ll need to track him down and question him. They break into his office, which they think is closed for the weekend, but isn’t. Parenti’s doing a procedure on a patient and isn’t pleased that the guys have interrupted. Doggett asks if the procedure has anything to do with the room he’s found that’s full of ugly jarred babies.

Parenti plays the “my colleague just died and a bunch of my life’s work was destroyed” card, which I guess is supposed to give him a pass from explaining all the jarred babies. Mulder thinks his work trying to prevent birth defects is really connected to alien embryos. Parenti notes that Scully’s baby is totally healthy, so what does that say for his experiments? Mulder isn’t so sure that Scully’s baby is totally healthy.

Scully takes one of the pills Lizzy replaced as Lizzy says goodbye. She must have called for a ride already, because it’s waiting for her when she exits the building. That guy should work for Uber in 15 years. Well, maybe not, since he’s Duffy Haskell, whcih can’t be good. Lizzy tells him that she thinks Scully trusts her. Duffy’s glad, saying they’re “almost at the end.”

Mulder and Doggett go back to the analysis center, since some teeth have been found that may be Lev’s. Some other unidentifiable biological material was also found, though Doggett is quick to point out that “unidentifiable” doesn’t necessarily mean “alien.” Mulder says they’ll just have to ask Parenti about it. But they’re probably too late, since Billy arrives while Parenti is packing up his ugly-jarred-baby lab and tells him the office is now closed.

By the time Mulder and Doggett get back to Parenti’s, it appears to be empty. Doggett is stunned to find Parenti’s head in one of the jars. Mulder runs into Billy, who throws him through a glass wall. Doggett threatens to shoot before he sees the telltale bumps on Billy’s neck that indicate that he’s no longer human. The two face off, but Doggett’s gun is no match for alien DNA, so Billy escapes.

Doggett takes Mulder to Scully’s place so she can stitch up the cuts he got from the glass (which are way too minor and too few for what just happened, but whatever). They tell her they saw Billy; Doggett thinks he was super-strong because he was on drugs, but Mulder knows better. He thinks Doggett should know better, too, since Doggett runs the X-Files. Doggett points out that Billy bled red blood, not green. Mulder says they’re dealing with something new, then.

He reminds Doggett that Billy underwent procedures, shed his skin, and is now supposedly in perfect health. Doggett notes that the same thing happened to Mulder. Mulder corrects that it didn’t happen – Scully stopped it. Scully just wants to know what Billy, Mulder, and Doggett were doing in Parenti’s office. Mulder tells her that he just needs to make sure the baby’s going to be okay. Scully trusts her new doctor and is sure herself.

Lizzy interrupts with some dry cleaning, and Scully tells the guys that Maggie asked her to help out. Mulder says he’s trying to do the same thing. He just doesn’t want any surprises when the baby’s born. In the bedroom, Lizzy calls Duffy to tell him that Mulder and Doggett are there, “asking the right questions.” Duffy tells her to keep a cool head. Then he gets ambushed and gets his own head cut off…by Billy.

The head isn’t found for almost 24 hours, when Doggett meets Skinner at the scene of the decapitation, a warehouse/medical facility. The coroner says the method of decapitation “defies logic.” Just like so many things on this show, coroner. Skinner’s like, “I’m not saying they make alien babies, here but I’m not saying they don’t make alien babies here.” Lev and Parenti have records there, showing that they and Duffy were monitoring Scully’s pregnancy.

Mulder joins the two agents, apparently having been called by Skinner. Instead of talking about Duffy’s death and his connection to Lev and Parenti, and what that means for Scully, Skinner wants to discuss the question the audience also wants answered: Who is the father of Scully’s baby? Mulder jokes that there’s a pool at the FBI. It sounds like Skinner thought Mulder was the father, then changed his mind when he found out Mulder was digging around.

Mulder says the father is irrelevant at this point: Scully was declared barren, and now she’s days away from having a baby. Skinner says that means they need to move fast to get some answers. Mulder calls Scully, who’s in the shower and asks Lizzy to get it. Lizzy doesn’t respond, so Scully answers (and we all get rewarded with a “Scully, it’s me”). Mulder asks her to meet him and Skinner so they can talk about a possible interference in her pregnancy.

Scully hears noises in the bathroom and catches Lizzy replacing more of her pills. She smartly rushes to the hospital to make sure she hasn’t taken any medication she shouldn’t. Her doctor assures her that everything’s fine – she was just taking vitamin supplements. There’s absolutely nothing to worry about. I don’t know about you guys, but I believe her!

Maggie feels horrible for putting Scully in this situation. She’s worried about Scully, who keeps everything inside. Skinner comes to the hospital and tells Mulder that, while they won’t be able to hold Lizzy on any crimes, Doggett has been talking to her, and Mulder should hear what she has to say.

Lizzy tells Mulder, Doggett, and Skinner that she’s spent the past few years working as a research scientist, trying to create human clones. She didn’t have much success, but the project was well-funded by the government. Those sponsors are all dead now. The project used DNA that the government has had since 1947, and was able to create alien babies. They implanted alien embryos in human mothers, and though the babies never lived more than a couple days, the scientists were able to collect tissues and stem cells to use in further experiments.

Mulder asks about those experiments, and though Lizzy isn’t familiar with them, she knows they were for good purposes. She promises that she was trying to protect Scully, not harm her or the baby. Mulder doesn’t believe her and demands to know what’s wrong with the baby. Lizzy says again that there’s nothing wrong with the baby. It’s special and perfect, the kind of baby a scientist could only dream of creating in a lab.

Mulder storms out, and Doggett tries to follow him but gets stopped by Crane. The FBI has gotten a call from Billy, who wants to turn himself in. While the two head over to get him, Mulder goes to Scully’s and tells her to pack a bag. He thinks she’s in danger, though he’s not sure who the threat is. Scully refuses to leave, saying she can’t live as “the object of some unending X-File.” Mulder promises that he’s going to make sure she and the baby are okay, but he can’t do it here.

Doggett and Crane lead a team into Parenti’s office to capture Billy, but he’s no longer there. Doggett calls Mulder to tell him. The lights go out in Scully’s apartment, and Mulder decides they need to leave without getting any of Scully’s things. They exit just seconds before Billy shows up. Mulder’s car is wedged into a parking spot between two other cars, so they can’t make a fast escape. But as Billy’s approaching the car, another comes along and flattens him. It’s driven by Krycek, and he’s there to help…allegedly.

Without any choice in the matter, Mulder and Scully join Krycek, speeding off as Billy collects himself from the pavement. They go to the FBI building, where Doggett protests that they shouldn’t be looking for help from someone who left him for dead. Mulder and Skinner ignore him, since Krycek has answers. He knows that other alien replicants are coming and will be almost impossible to stop. They want to wipe out any threats so they can come back in the future and take over the planet.

Doggett’s still skeptical, of course, but Krycek reminds him of what Billy did to Parenti and Lev. The replicants don’t answer to anyone; they only operate on their biological imperative to secure their survival. Scully guesses that they’re after the baby, which is a pretty safe bet. But Krycek says they didn’t even know about the baby. He’s not sure how they found out how special it is.

Scully disagrees – the baby is normal. Krycek says it’s a miracle, conceived by a barren mother. The replicants are afraid of what that could mean. The baby could turn out to be bigger than them – “more human than human.” Mulder thinks this means there’s a higher power. Doggett still thinks Krycek is a liar, but Krycek says they can’t afford to risk the fact that he’s right. There’s no hospital safe enough for Scully right now. He can’t even be sure they’ll make it out of the FBI building.

Mulder has an idea and tells Doggett to call Reyes. Skinner tells Krycek he doesn’t get to come along on the road trip, since they still can’t trust him. Doggett goes down to the parking garage to meet Reyes, then tells Skinner over the phone that he can bring Scully down. But then he spots Billy in the garage and tells Skinner and Mulder to keep her inside. They’re almost out of the elevator and have to rush back in as Billy approaches.

He takes the stairs up as Mulder, Scully, and Skinner return to the spot where they left Krycek. “Hey, look who’s back!” he says, all pleased with himself. Mulder’s so desperate to protect Scully that he hands her off to Krycek, then leads Billy on a wild goose chase while Scully and Krycek sneak down to the garage. Scully goes off with Reyes with a “drive safely” from Krycek.

Mulder and Skinner lead Billy to the roof, then trick him into attacking Skinner while he’s standing at the ledge, so Mulder can tackle Billy and make him fall off the roof. He lands in the back of a garbage truck, which…compacts him? I think? It looks like they orchestrated the whole thing with help from Crane, who then gives Scully and Reyes the all clear to drive off to safety. Or maybe not, since Crane has alien bumps on the back of his neck. To be continued…

Thoughts: Lizzy is played by Frances Fisher.

I can’t believe I’m about to watch an entire season of this show that won’t feature Mulder looking hot in a black T-shirt. Thanks a lot, Duchovny.

If I ever have a baby, I want Krycek in charge of driving me to the hospital. I feel like he and Mulder would have similar temperaments, but Mulder would get pulled over for speeding, while Krycek would be able to evade the police.

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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.”

June 30, 2018

The X-Files 7.22, Requiem: Take Me Back to the Start

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

Like I was going to use any other picture here

Summary: There’s a fire burning in Bellefleur, Oregon, the aftermath of a plane crash. Detective Miles is on his way to the scene when his radio and clock start going crazy. His car stops on its own and he’s hit by one of his deputies, Ray Hoese. While Miles’ watch spins, he checks on Ray, who’s not in good shape. There’s alien acid on the ground. Suddenly Ray appears behind Miles, but most fans of the show know that, because of the alien acid, this is probably the Bounty Hunter.

Some number-crunchers total up all the money Mulder’s spent in expenses (rental cars, motel rooms, etc.) on his cases. He suggests that he and Scully share a motel room to save money. One of the number-cruncher thinks chasing aliens is a waste of time and resources, especially since Mulder hasn’t come to any conclusions. And since Samantha has been declared dead, there’s nothing left to investigate. Somewhere else on the planet, Marita goes to a prison to inform Krycek that he’s being released, though she wishes he weren’t.

The number-cruncher addresses Scully’s expense reports with the same criticisms he had for Mulder. Should the government really be footing the bill for the agents to investigate a conspiracy involving aliens enslaving humans? Scully won’t say for certain whether she does or doesn’t believe in aliens, but she admits that she’s seen things she can’t deny. Krycek takes a shower as Marita looks on, because…well, do you blame her? She tells him CSM sent her to get him, and that CSM is dying.

The number-cruncher tells Mulder this evaluation is about money, not the weirdness of his cases. Thanks to the Internet, the agents should be able to do their research from their offices, not on the road. It’s been seven years; the agents should be able to narrow down where the aliens are. It’s about reducing their vision.

In Bellefleur, two teen boys ask Miles about the plane crash. Miles tells them it was a Navy fighter, and definitely not anything extraterrestrial or supernatural. The fire’s out, and there’s nothing to see. The boys are skeptical. Back in D.C., Mulder tells Scully that he and the number-cruncher got into a tussle. He gets a call from Billy Miles, who tells the agents that the disappearances he experienced seven years ago are happening again – but not to him this time. Scully agrees to take a trip to Oregon – the site of her and Mulder’s first X-File together – and waste some more of the FBI’s money.

Marita takes Krycek to D.C., where CSM is holed up at the Watergate. Krycek is angry that CSM had him thrown in prison, but CSM is no less angry that Krycek tried to sell something that was CSM’s. He wants a truce, since they “have a singular opportunity now.” The crash in Oregon was between a military plane and an alien ship, just like Roswell. Now they can rebuild their project. CSM smokes through a hole in his neck, which I really didn’t need to see. Marita asks how he knows that someone hasn’t already covered what CSM wants from the wreckage.

The two teens, Gary and Richie, search the crash site (somehow they got hold of a radiation detector), and Gary has a shaking experience like he’s in the cave in “Rush”. Richie’s flashlight catches fire and he runs away. The next morning, the agents meet up with Billy, who’s now a deputy, thanks to his father’s help. He’s gotten past his abductions, but others haven’t, and Miles denies that they ever happened. He’s sticking to the story about a Navy plane crash. Ray is missing, and Miles hasn’t helped with the search. Mulder thinks Miles will have to admit the truth when they find a UFO.

Miles arrives, confused as to why the agents are in Oregon, since the FAA is now saying there was no crash in the woods. He takes the agents out to the site, and Mulder sees the X he painted on the road seven years ago. Scully finds three bullet shells that seem to be from Ray’s gun. Mulder says he must have shot at nothing, since there’s nothing to find. Scully quietly asks Billy if Ray was a good deputy. Billy says he was; he’s married and just became a father. After the agents leave the site, Miles tosses the shells in his trunk…which already holds Ray’s body.

Mulder and Scully go to Ray’s house and learn that his wife is Theresa Nemman. She tells them that Ray is also an abductee, though he hasn’t told many people. She has medical records showing that he underwent a lot of tests when he was abducted. While she goes to get them, Scully plays with the baby. Mulder enjoys the sight, even knowing that, thanks to the aliens’ tests, Scully will never get to play with a baby of her own.

That night, Scully comes to Mulder’s motel room (“it’s me”), feeling sick. He tucks her into his bed and spoons her, allegedly to warm her up. He thinks she should go home, since this case will just keep reminding her of her own abduction experiences, and the fact that they’ve left her unable to have a baby. Mulder continues that the number-cruncher might have been right about the costs of their jobs. The personal costs might not make it worth it. They should have lives that focus on something other than chasing monsters. Scully stays put, though, so I’m not sure she agrees.

Krycek is in Oregon and hasn’t turned up any evidence of a UFO. He tells CSM that Mulder and Scully are there looking for Ray, and will probably find the ship before Krycek does. CSM thinks if Krycek finds Ray, he’ll find the UFO. Theresa wakes to a knock at her door and thinks her husband has come home. She guesses that he went missing because he was abducted again. She quickly realizes that Ray isn’t really Ray, but she’s ready with an alien ice pick. Unfortunately, the alien acid burns her eyes, and the Bounty Hunter is able to overpower her.

The next morning, the agents come to the Hoeses’ house, where Billy tells them he’s sure Theresa was abducted. They see a burn mark in the carpet, something they’ve both seen before – the remnants of the alien acid. Scully gets dizzy but wants to keep working. In D.C., CSM dismisses his aide, Greta, and tells Marita that he’s sure Krycek will find the UFO. It’s rebuilding itself after the crash, so time is running out.

CSM can’t give Krycek any help, since Krycek will want to sell the information he finds. That information is “the answer to all things – every possible imaginable question.” Not God, as Marita guesses; God is just alien intelligence that humans can’t understand. Marita asks if the aliens are coming. CSM says they’re coming back.

Mulder spots Richie in the crowd gathered outside the Hoeses’ house and thinks he knows something. Richie tells the agents and Billy that Gary was taken, and he knows Miles knows what’s going on. He takes the agents to the woods, where Scully has the same shaking experience Gary did. The guys don’t see, since they’re somewhere else, finding Richie’s flashlight. When Mulder makes to to where Scully’s been knocked to the ground, he tells her they need to warn Billy that these abductions are different from the ones seven years ago. These victims aren’t coming back.

Billy goes looking for his father at home, believing he’s the Bounty Hunter (in which case your gun wouldn’t do you any good, Billy). If Miles is really Miles, he should believe Billy about his abductions. Miles says he believes him; he just wants it all to go away. He calms Billy and takes his gun…then morphs into the Bounty Hunter. Mulder and Scully arrive moments later and find the house empty.

Two days later, the agents are back in D.C., and Mulder’s ready to hear their punishment for going to Oregon. Skinner’s in the clear, but he can’t do much for Mulder. He lets Marita and Krycek into the office, holding Mulder back when he tries to attack Krycek. Marita announces that CSM is dying and wants them to revive the conspiracy. They know there’s a UFO in Oregon; it’s just cloaked. The Bounty Hunter is getting rid of anyone who underwent testing so he can cover everything up. Krycek wants to give Mulder the chance to find proof (and, in the process, damn CSM’s soul).

Scully arrives just then, so Mulder has to bring her into the fold. He calls in the Lone Gunmen to confirm that there’s a cloaked UFO in the woods. Marita and Krycek repeat CSM’s warning that it’s rebuilding itself, so time is running out. Mulder tells Scully he’s not letting her go back to Oregon with him: “It has to end sometime. That sometime is now.” Since previous abductees are being taken, Scully’s at risk, and Mulder doesn’t want to lose her. She hugs him and tells him she won’t let him go alone.

So Mulder goes back to Oregon with Skinner at his side, while Scully looks at Billy’s medical records in D.C. She tells the Lone Gunmen that all the abductees have experienced strange brain activity, just like what Mulder experienced earlier in the year. She remembers being knocked down in the woods and thinks the abducting force was rejecting her. Mulder’s the one who’s really in danger. Suddenly she collapses.

In the woods, Mulder and Skinner set up some laser beams in an attempt to unclock the cloaked UFO. Mulder sticks his hand in the space where the beams stop and experiences the shaking. Skinner goes looking for him, but the field has now cloaked Mulder as well. He sees all the abductees standing together and goes to join them. They’re under the UFO, as if they’re waiting for it to beam them on board. The Bounty Hunter arrives, and he and Mulder stare each other down.

The UFO sheds its cloaking, and Skinner is able to see it fly away. He guesses that Mulder’s on board. In D.C., Krycek and Marita go back to CSM, who guesses that they failed. He knows his time is up. Krycek is ready to send the Devil back to Hell, ignoring CSM’s warning that he’ll be dooming all of mankind. Krycek ignores him and pushes him down a flight of stairs.

Scully’s in the hospital, undergoing tests (presumably not the kind the aliens performed on her), when Skinner gets back to D.C. He’s upset that he lost Mulder. Like Scully, Skinner can’t deny what he saw. Scully’s determined to find Mulder – she has to. As Skinner’s about to leave, Scully says she needs to tell him something, and he’ll have to keep it quiet. She can’t believe it or explain it, but she’s pregnant.

Thoughts: If I were Gillian Anderson, I would have been really ticked that David Duchovny made the show move production to California, then bailed.

Even without being Gillian Anderson, I’m ticked that they didn’t bring Krycek back for any of the revival episodes. I mean, they brought back Jeffrey Spender, and no one likes him.

Speaking of Krycek…stairs? That was your big murder plan? How dumb.

Season 7 is a wrap! Get ready for John Doggett!

June 14, 2015

The X-Files 1.1, Pilot: The Truth Is Out There. Maybe. Probably Not

Posted in TV tagged , , at 3:12 pm by Jenn

I just...I love them so much

I just…I love them so much

Summary: “The following story is inspired by actual documented accounts.” Suuuuuuure it is.

A woman in a nightgown runs through a forest at night. The wind kicks up, there’s a bright light, and a man appears. He approaches her as the light grows brighter. Eight to 12 hours later, the woman’s body is discovered in Oregon’s Collum National Forest. The police don’t find any signs of battery or assault, and they can’t figure out her cause of death. All they find are two raised bumps on her back. When she’s turned over, a detective IDs her as Karen Swenson, a former high school classmate of his son’s.

At FBI headquarters in D.C., Agent Dana Scully meets with Section Chief Scott Blevins. Two other men are in the room, one of them smoking a cigarette. Get used to him. Scully explains that she went to medical school but thought she could “distinguish [herself]” at the FBI. She’s asked if she’s familiar with Agent Fox Mulder. She is, but reputation only – that reputation being that he’s “spooky.” Blevins tells her that Mulder’s working on X-Files, cases that involve “unexplained phenomena.” Scully is being reassigned to that section, but is basically being asked to debunk it.

Scully proceeds to Mulder’s office for their historic first meeting (and our first glimpse of Mulder’s “I want to believe” poster). She claims she’s looking forward to working with him. Mulder, however, has already guessed that she’s there to spy on him. He’s read up on her and her undergraduate degree in physics, which won’t exactly apply here. He tells her about Karen Swenson’s death and asks if she can ID the marks on her back. Scully has a few suggestions but is stumped by the substance found on Karen. It’s also been found on other bodies with the same marks.

“Do you believe in the existence of extraterrestrials?” Mulder asks. Scully says no, based on logic. Mulder tells her that Karen’s the fourth person from her graduating class to die mysteriously. Out of logical, scientific explanations, Mulder thinks it makes sense to turn to the supernatural. Scully thinks Karen could have been murdered, and the investigation was botched. “The answers are there. You just have to know where to look,” she says. Mulder’s like, “Yep, that’s my job.”

The two fly to Oregon the next day, as Scully reads about Karen’s autopsy. Unlike the autopsies of her three classmates, hers wasn’t performed by the county medical examiner, Dr. Nemman. The plane experiences some major turbulence and everyone on board freaks out, except Mulder. He just thinks it means they’re in the right place. In the car, Mulder eats sunflower seeds while Scully notes that the case has already been investigated by the FBI. He says the other agents didn’t turn up any evidence.

Mulder’s impressed that Scully has noticed that Karen wasn’t autopsied by Nemman. She wonders if he’s a suspect. Mulder points out that it’s you know, their job to figure that out. He tells her that they’re going to get tissue samples from the other three victims to compare against Karen’s. Suddenly the car radio goes haywire. Mulder pulls over and spraypaints a big X on the pavement. He tells Scully it was “probably nothing.”

As Mulder and Scully arrive at the cemetery to collect samples from the exhumed bodies, Dr. Nemman shows up with a young woman. He makes her stay in the car while he confronts Mulder and Scully for implying that he missed something Karen’s classmates’ examinations. The Nemmans have been out of town, which might explain why he didn’t do Karen’s autopsy. His daughter begs him to let it go.

While the body of Ray Soames, the third victim, is exhumed, Mulder and Scully exposit that he actually admitted to killing the first two victims, but there was no evidence against him. Plus, he was previously treated for schizophrenia. He died after escaping from a psychiatric hospital, and his cause of death was listed as exposure, even though he was only outside for seven hours, and it was July. As Ray’s coffin is extracted, the machinery pulling it up drops it, and the coffin tumbles down a hill, cracking open. Inside is a corpse, but it’s not of someone of Ray’s build.

Mulder and Scully examine the corpse, which Scully quickly determines isn’t human. She thinks it’s a chimp or orangutan. Mulder’s like, “Those are types of aliens, right?” He admits to having the same doubts as Scully – he’s not crazy. Scully continues her examination, typing up her notes later on at a motel. She studies a gray object she found in the corpse’s nose. Mulder stops by to check on her progress and invite her on a run. She says she’s not losing any sleep over the object, which seems to be a lie.

The next day, Mulder and Scully visit the hospital where Ray was treated before his death. His doctor says he couldn’t grasp reality, and had some sort of post-traumatic stress. Some other patients with the same problems were his classmates. Two of those classmates, Billy Miles and Peggy O’Dell, are still in the hospital, having been in treatment for about four years. Scully wants to talk to them, but Billy’s in a persistent vegetative state and can’t talk.

The doctor explains that Billy and Peggy were both admitted after a car accident. Peggy is confined to a wheelchair but is verbal. However, she throws a fit when Mulder asks her doctor if they can examine her. While helping to restrain her, Mulder sees two marks on her back. Scully accuses Mulder of setting her up – she thinks he knew Peggy would have the marks. She asks what he really thinks is going on. Mulder says he believes the classmates were all abducted. Scully says there’s nothing to support that theory. He replies that she’s only looking for scientific support.

Scully continues that Karen was found in a forest not far from her home, so something may have been going on there. She and Mulder trek out there, and Scully collects a sample (if that’s what you call stuffing a handful of ash in her pocket). She and Mulder get separated, and when she goes looking for him, she sees a light like the one that appeared when Karen died. Just like with Karen, a man appears, but it’s the detective from the scene of Karen’s death. He tells Mulder and Scully that they’re on private property and forces them to leave. As they do, they see that the light is coming from the detective’s truck.

Scully shows Mulder the ash and wonders if the classmates were in a cult. She thinks the detective might know something. They drive back to the motel in the rain, and Mulder notices the hands on his watch spinning around. There’s a flash of light, and then the car loses power. He checks his watch, noticing that they lost nine minutes after the flash. This makes him cheer. They’re right by the X he made on the pavement. Scully tries to remind him that time can’t just disappear. Suddenly the car regains power.

Scully types up a report on her hilariously ’90s computer, stopping when the power at the motel goes out. She goes to take a shower instead, but as she’s undressing, she notices something on her back. She rushes to Mulder’s room and asks him to take a look at what she thinks are the same marks found on the bodies. He assures her that they’re just mosquito bites. Scully’s so relieved that she hugs him.

After she’s calmed down a little, Mulder tells her about his sister’s disappearance when they were children. When he joined the FBI, he read all the unexplained cases he could find, fascinated by them. He’s been trying to get access to classified government information, but someone has been keeping him from it. Mulder’s only been able to continue his work because he’s made connections in Congress.

He admits that he’s not sure if he can trust Scully, since she was sent to spy on him, but she assures him that she’s on his side. They both want answers. Mulder tells Scully that he’s undergone regression hypnosis, and has been taken back to the night of his sister’s disappearance. He remembers a bright light and the inability to get to his sister. He’s sure the government knows what really happened. Mulder’s closer than he’s ever been to the truth. Just then, someone calls to inform him that Peggy is dead.

The scene of the crime is a highway, where Peggy ran into traffic and was hit by a truck. Definitely odd circumstances for someone who supposedly needed a wheelchair to get around. Scully notices that Peggy’s watch stopped at 9:03, the same time her and Mulder’s car lost power. Before she can tell him, Mulder informs her that the autopsy bay was trashed and the corpse from Ray’s coffin was stolen. The agents go back to the motel and find it on fire, which means all their pictures, x-rays, and notes are gone. Suddenly, Nemman’s daughter, Theresa, arrives and begs for protection.

At a diner, Theresa tells Mulder and Scully that in the four years since she graduated, she’s woken up in the forest multiple times with no memory of going there. The same thing happened to her friends, and she’s scared that she’ll end up dead like them. Mulder realizes that Theresa was the one who called to tell him Peggy was dead. Scully guesses that Nemman knows what’s been going on. Theresa says he told her to keep quiet, promising that he could protect her, but she doesn’t think he can. She reveals that she has the same marks as the others.

Scully assures Theresa that she’s not going to die. Theresa’s body objects, and her nose suddenly starts bleeding. Just then, Nemman and the detective, whose name is Miles, arrive to take Theresa. Mulder realizes that the detective is Billy Miles’ father. Scully thinks Miles and Nemman destroyed their evidence and took the corpse in some sort of conspiracy. Mulder wonders what’s in the graves of the other two victims. They go to the cemetery, but the graves are empty.

Mulder announces that he thinks Billy’s responsible for everything. Scully reminds him that Billy’s comatose. Mulder points out that Peggy was in a wheelchair but ran onto the highway. He says that everything that’s happened fits with a case of alien abduction. When time stopped on the road, something took control, leading to Peggy’s death. Scully reveals that Peggy’s watch stopped at 9:03. Mulder thinks the classmates were led to the forest by some force that performed tests on them. Now Billy’s in control. Scully just laughs, because what else can you do?

The agents go back to the hospital, where Billy appears to still be comatose. But Scully finds dirt on his feet, indicating that he went to the forest. She takes a sample, telling Mulder that she’s sure it’s the same as the ash she took from the woods. She’s now sure that Mulder’s right about Billy being a killer, but he reminds her that she needs to get more evidence. They head back to the forest to get another sample of ash.

Detective Miles shows up as well, so the agents run to avoid him. Mulder hears screaming, but Miles stops him from going toward them. Mulder begs him to stop Billy from killing Theresa. Miles runs over to find a conscious Billy with an unconscious Theresa in the middle of swirling wind. Billy picks up Theresa and holds her up, seemingly as an offering to the approaching light. Mulder sees marks on Billy’s back. When the light vanishes, everyone is still present. The marks are gone from Billy’s back. Scully doesn’t know what happened; all she saw was the light. Mulder just tells her it was “incredible.”

At FBI headquarters, Billy gives a statement about how everything started. He and his classmates were celebrating their graduation in the forest when the light appeared. They were taken away for testing. Billy was ordered to collect his classmates for other testing sessions, and something was implanted in his head. But the tests didn’t work, and Billy’s afraid the light will come back. Mulder and Scully listen to the testimony, but the Cigarette Smoking Man leaves.

Blevins asks Scully about her case report, which doesn’t include any logical explanation for what happened. The FBI isn’t sure how to proceed with this sort of situation. Scully hands over the object she took from Ray, which survived because she kept it on her. The material it’s made of was tested and deemed unidentifiable. Blevins asks Scully what Mulder thinks. She replies that Mulder believes humans aren’t alone.

That night, Scully tries to sleep but can’t. Mulder calls to tell her that the paperwork they filed in Oregon is gone, so there’s no case against Billy. Meanwhile, the Cigarette Smoking Man (CSM from here on out) places the object Scully extracted from Ray in a container with other objects. The objects are held in a box, just one in a Pentagon storeroom full of boxes.

Thoughts: I’m super-pumped about recapping this show! More than I should be! Someone give me a tranquilizer!

I’d like to point out that Gillian Anderson was only 24 when the X-Files pilot was filmed, and FOX objected to her casting because she didn’t have a lot of experience. It’s been 23 years, and Anderson is a beloved actress with an Emmy for this show. Don’t you ever hate being wrong, FOX?

Note to actors playing characters who are supposed to be dead: Don’t move.