July 8, 2017

The X-Files 5.14, The Red and the Black: Resist or Serve

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , at 1:01 pm by Jenn

Whoever’s responsible for this shot: Excellent work

Summary: Someone types a letter to his son as a boy trudges through snow. The letter is about magic and weapons and getting rid of monsters. The writer hopes he and his son will one day be able to reconcile. The boy accepts the letter and some money, then heads off to mail the letter to the FBI. A helicopter flies over a dam in Pennsylvania, where a bunch of people are dead on the bridge from “Patient X.” Mulder is on the scene as workers take away all the bodies (or at least the ones that aren’t burned to ashes). He thinks he sees Scully in a body bag, but when Skinner joins him, he reveals that Scully’s still alive.

Jeffrey Spender arrives and asks Mulder if his mother was there. Mulder and Scully can’t give him an answer. Meanwhile, Marita is also in some trouble; the Well-Manicured Man is overseeing her treatment at a hospital, but the black oil has already gone to work on her. In better medical news, Scully is awake and only has minor injuries from whatever happened at the bridge. Unfortunately, she doesn’t remember what that was. She sees news footage of the scene and realizes that everyone else on the bridge was burned alive. She doesn’t even remember why she was on the bridge.

Spender comes to the hospital to tell Mulder that Cassandra wasn’t among the victims. He doesn’t know how she got to the bridge, and he’d like to know why she and Scully were both there. Mulder is sure that Cassandra will be found, but Spender wants Mulder to stay out of it.

WMM has Krycek chained up on a Russian ship, where they talk about how Marita took Dmitri. WMM thinks Krycek was smart to infect Dmitri so he could in turn infect anyone who tried to find out what he knew about Kazakhstan. Now Dmitri’s dead, so his secret are safe. Krycek is the only person left who knows what Dmitri saw, but WMM isn’t interested in making a deal. He thinks Krycek only infected Dmitri because he knew he could cure him. The Russians must have a cure for the black oil, which means the colonists can keep up whatever they’re doing. Krycek denies that there’s a cure, and he’s not going to help Marita anyway. WMM says Krycek needs to be able to save himself, too. A UFO crash-lands on what we’ll later learn is a military base in West Virginia. Someone’s dead, but someone with a sewn-up face has survived.

Back at the hospital, Scully looks through photos from the bridge, but they don’t jog her memory. Mulder tells her that the other survivors don’t remember what happened either. He reveals that they found implants in some of the other would-be abductees, which he thinks is the reason everyone was led to the bridge. Scully doesn’t know why she was a target, or why she survived. Mulder’s more interested in finding out who created the implants and why one was put in Scully’s neck. Was she just being monitored, or is it a means of destruction?

Mulder thinks the truth he’s been looking for so long is in Scully. She reminds him that he’s always been looking for answers about Samantha’s abduction, and though she didn’t believe him, she followed his journey. He relied on his memories because they were all he had to guide him. Whether or not Mulder still trusts him, they’ve led the two of them here. Now Scully doesn’t have memories, and she can’t follow Mulder again. Mulder thinks he can find a way to give Scully back her memories and prove that he’s believed the wrong thing for so long. Scully isn’t sure that’s what he really wants.

The Syndicate passes around pictures of the survivor in West Virginia, thinking he was responsible for the deaths on the bridge. They label him a resistance fighter opposing the alien colonists. WMM is sure this is what Krycek has been trying to keep secret – a war has started. He claims that Krycek gave him the cure for the black oil, which is now being administered to Marita. This means “resistance is possible,” with the weapons and magic they now possess. If not, they can align with the resistance. The Elder disagrees – they need to turn in the resistance fighter. WMM wants to see if the cure works first.

Mulder takes Scully to see Dr. Werber so he can try to hypnotize her and help her recover her memories. He regresses her to the bridge, which he calls “the night place,” and she sees a bunch of lights in the sky. The lights all fly away, and then Scully sees everyone get set on fire. She’s distressed, and Mulder takes her hand. Scully says the fire-starters have no faces, no eyes, and they’re coming towards the group. More lights arrive, and it’s now clear that they’re shining from the bottom of a UFO. The UFO fires on the fire-starters, then hovers right over the people on the bridge. A beam comes down and pulls Cassandra up to the UFO.

Scully’s upset, so Werber stops the session and brings her back to reality. She confirms that Mulder stayed with her the whole time. Then he gets up and walks out. The two go see Skinner after he watches the tape of the session, and Mulder says everything lines up with other stories of regression. He’s sure that Scully witnessed something major, but he still thinks his memories of Samantha’s abduction are false. Skinner needs facts to work with while he heads up the investigation into what happened on the bridge. Mulder announces that the situation was staged to cover up some sort of classified military operation.

Skinner asks what happened to Cassandra, if everything else was staged. Mulder thinks she was taken aboard a military aircraft as part of the ploy. Skinner says he’s doubted Mulder a number of times, only to be proven wrong, but now he doubts Mulder only because aliens actually seem more reasonable than what Mulder thinks happened. Marita still has oil in her system, so the Elder doesn’t think the cure worked. WMM thinks they need more time, and can’t hand over the alien rebel yet. The Elder tells him he’s already done it.

Scully finds Spender in her and Mulder’s office, and he asks why she went to see Cassandra. He shows her a video of himself at 11 years old, undergoing regression hypnosis. He sees flashing lights in the sky, then watches Cassandra being beamed up. He admits to Scully that the story is a lie, just something he thought happened because Cassandra told him about it so many times. It wasn’t the truth, just a substitute. The truth is that Spender’s father left the family, and Cassandra lost it.

Spender calls Werber’s process “having a dream and then pretending it’s real.” Scully, however, thinks her story is real. Spender notes that Mulder could have planted ideas in her head, and Scully could have made herself believe that one of his abduction tales really happened to her. “Don’t let yourself be used,” Spender warns.

Mulder comes home to a note that says, “Things are looking up.” Suddenly he’s attacked by Krycek, who says he’s not there to kill Mulder, but to help him. He tells Mulder to pay attention because there’s a war coming, and everyone on Earth is in danger. The site in Kazakhstan, Skyland Mountain, and the bridge are all “alien lighthouses where the colonization will begin.” The war will be a battle between Heaven and Earth. Everyone will have to resist or serve.

Mulder laughs off Krycek and his claims that he wants to help. Krycek says someone sent him to enlist Mulder because he knows they can resist. The incinerations were attempts to rebel, and one of the rebels is in captivity. “If he dies,” Krycek warns, “so does the resistance.” He wishes Mulder good luck in Russian, then leaves. Meanwhile, the Bounty Hunter (hey, buddy! Long time, no see!) sneaks onto a military base.

Scully comes to Mulder’s apartment to tell him that she may have been wrong about her memories. Mulder shows her the note, which has the name of an Air Force base written on the back. Since the base holds hazardous materials, the agents have some trouble being allowed in. Mulder sends the soldier delaying them to talk to a superior, apparently planning to just drive in while someone else is leaving – someone Scully recognizes. So Mulder jumps on board the other driver’s truck and leaves Scully behind at the gate.

Scully finds a black-oil victim on the truck, which is being driven by the Bounty Hunter in disguise. The Bounty Hunter checks on his cargo but doesn’t see Mulder. Suddenly the truck is filled with a bright light, and the black-oil victim approaches the Bounty Hunter with his fire-starter. Mulder yells, “NOOOOOO!” really dramatically and pulls his gun. Elsewhere, Marita’s eyes show that she’s been cured. Military personnel collect Mulder from the truck, which is now empty. He’s reunited with Scully and tells her he doesn’t know what happened.

Skinner calls Spender to his office to warn that Mulder has opened an X-file about what happened to Cassandra. Skinner thinks Spender will do fine at the FBI; he also reveals that Spender has a “patron” with a high level of influence who’s in his corner. As he leaves, Spender receives the letter from the beginning of the episode, sent from Canada. The boy goes back to the letter writer with his envelope – Spender has had it returned to sender. (Returned to Spender?) P.S. The letter writer is a not-so-dead-after-all CSM.

Thoughts: Dear everyone in this show: A vaccine and a cure are not the same thing. You can’t call it a vaccine if it’s administered after the infection. It’s a cure.

A fun exchange:

Krycek: “You must be losing it, Mulder. I could beat you with one hand.”
Mulder: “Isn’t that how you like to beat yourself?” [Is this a masturbation joke??]
Krycek: *ready to shoot*
Mulder: “If those are my last words, I can do better.”

New rule: The title of the episode has to be explained in the episode.

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October 22, 2016

The X-Files 4.1, Herrenvolk: Bees in the Trap

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , at 1:36 pm by Jenn

"Would you guys be able to transfer your work skills to tend to another kind of crop? Like, say, pot? I'm asking for a friend"

“Would you guys be able to transfer your work skills to tend to another kind of crop? Like, say, pot? I’m asking for a friend”

Summary: A repairman climbs a telephone pole off a quiet road in Alberta, Canada, and starts to make his repairs. He’s stung by a bee, which he knocks to the ground. Five identical boys approach and stare at the man, who’s starting to get freaked out. He’s also starting to seize. The hook holding him to the pole breaks and the man falls. The boys come closer, stare at him for a few moments, then leave. And I don’t think they’re going to call an ambulance.

We pick up where we left off at the end of “Talitha Cumi,” with the Bounty Hunter advancing on our heroes and Jeremiah Smith. Jeremiah runs, so Mulder runs after him, telling Scully to stay out of the Bounty Hunter’s way; he doesn’t think the Bounty Hunger wants to hurt her. Mulder reminds Scully that her gun won’t work on him. So of course, Scully pulls her gun on him. The Bounty Hunter just knocks her down and follow the men into a building.

There’s a lot of running, and eventually Mulder catches up to the Bounty Hunter but loses him. Jeremiah makes it out a back door and up to the roof, with the Bounty Hunter right behind him. Mulder helps Jeremiah escape, and they lock the Bounty Hunter on the roof. Scully goes to bring the car around, but the Bounty Hunter jumps onto the hood, stopping her. He heads back inside, and the other three disappear. Mulder has hidden himself in a pile of wood chips, and is able to ambush the Bounty Hunter and stab him with the ice pick.

Jeremiah steals a boat and abandons Mulder, warning that there will be more Bounty Hunters coming. Mulder asks Jeremiah to help Teena. Jeremiah lets him on the boat, and they take off without Scully. NICE PARTNER YOU ARE, MULDER. She goes to make sure the Bounty Hunter is really dead. Guess what? He’s not. He demands to know where Mulder and Jeremiah went, but she can’t tell him.

Mulder and Jeremiah disembark somewhere, and Jeremiah tells Mulder that agents will be waiting for them at the hospital, so it won’t be safe. He knows they’re willing to kill Jeremiah to preserve their plan. He tells Mulder that the goal of colonization is hegemony – “a new origin of species.” Mulder wants to take the risk if it means saving Teena, but Jeremiah notes that the agents will kill him before he can help her. Instead, Jeremiah wants to show Mulder the work in progress…and he’ll be able to see Samantha.

CSM visits Teena in the hospital, getting confirmation that Mulder won’t be coming. He also learns that pictures were taken of him and Teena at the Mulders’ house, which means the Syndicate could have a security leak. They want to plant some information and see where it goes to determine the source of the leak. The false information will be that Teena’s in danger.

In the morning Mulder calls (“Scully, it’s me”) to check on her and warn that people will try to use her to find him. She tries to tell him something, but he’s too busy babbling about his trip to Alberta to let her tell him that the Bounty Hunter has taken her hostage. As the Bounty Hunter leaves her, Scully tells Mulder that he’s alive and coming for him.

Not long after, Mulder and Jeremiah run out of gas and have to walk the rest of the way to their destination. In D.C., Skinner calls Scully in to his office after hearing that she and Mulder have gotten in trouble yet again. Skinner wants to know more about Jeremiah Smith – specifically, how there are so many of them who all look alike, and why they’re all missing. Pendrell joins them to reveal that all of the men’s hard drives contain tons of encrypted data. Scully asks for a copy of a portion of the data, having an idea of who might be able to help her figure out what it means.

In Alberta, Mulder and Jeremiah come across the repairman’s body, which has been there for 24 hours. Mulder figures that Jeremiah knows what killed the man. The bees crawling all over him are probably a good indication. Mulder and Jeremiah make it to a farm, where Jeremiah says plants are being grown for pollen. There are kids working there, and one of them looks like Samantha.

Mulder approaches the girl, who doesn’t seem to recognize him. Jeremiah explains that she won’t talk to him because she doesn’t have any language – “she’s a drone.” Mulder, Jeremiah, the Samantha drone, and a boy head to a house as Jeremiah explains that the kids are part of an “agrarian workforce.” There are no parents because the kids all take care of themselves. Oh, also, all the boys look alike, and all the girls look like Samantha. It’s clone headquarters!

Scully puts an X on Mulder’s window in D.C., then spends the day trying to decrypt the Jeremiahs’ data. Mr. X eventually arrives and tells Scully that he has information about Teena that Mulder needs to hear. He won’t give the news to Scully. Scully asks about the data, which all begins with the letters SEP. Mr. X confirms that it’s from the Smallpox Eradication Program. “Don’t unlock doors you’re not prepared to go through,” he cautions her. He tells her to leave the data alone and protect Teena.

Mulder wants to take one of the Samantha drones with him, but Jeremiah says she’s not really his sister. He demands that Jeremiah explain everything to him. Before he can, the Bounty Hunter shows up. The Samantha drone leads Mulder and Jeremiah to an apiary so Mulder can hide from the Bounty Hunter. Mulder douses himself in gas (which I guess repels bees?), and the three prepare to hang out with the bees for a while, quickly realizing that they’ve trapped themselves.

The Bounty Hunter heads into the apiary, finding only the gas can. Mulder, Jeremiah, and the Samantha drone have hidden themselves behind a wall of…honeycomb? Sure, honeycomb. They push it over on the Bounty Hunter and escape while he’s distracted by the swarms of bees. In D.C., Scully takes the SEP confirmation to Pendrell, adding that the other letters in the data refer to protein amino acid sequence codes. The records have to do with inoculations. Scully thinks the final pieces of data are inventory codes referring to those who received inoculations.

Scully takes her findings to Skinner and a group of other agents, telling them she had a biopsy taken from her smallpox-vaccination scar. The results include a unique protein that she thinks is a kind of tag. When anyone over the past 50 years received an inoculation, he or she may have also received one of these tags. Scully knows she sounds Mulder-ish, but she did a biopsy on Pendrell as well, and found a different protein. She thinks a government agency is cataloging everyone. She also thinks Jeremiah can give them details.

Skinner pulls Scully out of the meeting to tell her she sounds a little wacky. Scully notes that she’s using science to prove her theories, which is what she was assigned to do in the X-Files in the first place. Mulder calls from a pay phone and asks Scully to meet him at the hospital where Teena’s being treated. He’s bringing Jeremiah and a special guest with him. Scully promises that he’ll be protected when he arrives, since so many people want to talk to Jeremiah.

But there’s no protection for Mulder before that, as the beestung Bounty Hunter finds him and crashes his car into the phone booth. Mulder begs to be allowed to take Samantha with him, but the Bounty Hunter taunts that he’s only been shown pieces of the whole project. Jeremiah’s “inconsequential” and a traitor. Mulder offers to trade his life for Teena’s, but the Bounty Hunter won’t make the deal – after all, sooner or later, everything dies. Jeremiah runs off, struggling to escape, as the Bounty Hunter approaches Samantha.

Scully and Skinner head to Rhode Island, waiting five hours for Mulder to join them. He finally arrives, alone and in shock. “She’ll never know,” he tells Scully, referring to his mother. Back in D.C., Mr. X returns to Mulder’s apartment, summoned by another X in the window. No one’s there, so he leaves, but there’s an assassin waiting for him in the elevator.

In Rhode Island, Mulder laments that he wasn’t able to bring Jeremiah to save Teena. He tells Scully about seeing the Samantha drone, and says he’s seen too many things not to believe. Scully thinks they should cling to the hope they’ve found; it’s a good place to start. “Nothing happens in contradiction to nature,” she says. “Only in contradiction to what we know of it.”

Scully tells him that they have a mutual acquaintance who knows the truth and can help them. Too bad that mutual acquaintance is now bleeding to death in Mulder’s apartment, where he’s dragged himself to write SRSG in his own blood. And that’s the end of Mr. X.

A month later, Mulder meets with a woman named Marita Covarrubias at the UN building in New York. Marita is the special assistant to the Special Representative to the Secretary General (who in some circles might be referred to as the SRSG). Mulder sent him some material, but he can’t get a meeting in return.

Marita tells Mulder that the farm in Alberta has been abandoned, and no beehives were found. The plants being grown were ginseng. Marita asks why the farm is so important to Mulder. He tells her he’s suffered some losses recently and was hoping to get…he trails off. He looks at a picture of the drones on the farm as Marita tells him, “Not everything dies.”

Teena’s still in the hospital, and not conscious to receive her newest visitor, the Bounty Hunter. CSM is also there, and he tells the Bounty Hunter that they have to remove an “unnecessary obstacle” to continue the project. The obstacle isn’t Teena, though – it’s Mulder. If Teena died, Mulder would have nothing less to lose, which would make him even more dangerous than he already is. That’s why the Bounty Hunter has been called in – not to kill Teena but to heal her.

Thoughts: This show and freaking bees.

How many swear words do you think Scully used when she eventually confronted Mulder for ditching her to run off with Jeremiah?

I’ll miss you, Mr. X. You were much more interesting than Deep Throat.

October 15, 2016

The X-Files 3.24, Talitha Cumi: Stop Using Your Alien Powers for Good!

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:55 pm by Jenn

Awww, they have matching coats!

Awww, they have matching coats!

Summary: A man at a busy fast-food restaurant in Arlington, Virginia, is ranting about being mistreated by someone. He pulls a gun and takes everyone hostage (though he’s kind enough to let the children go). An employee calls the police as another customer approaches the first man and calmly tries to talk him down. “They made me do it,” the first man says. The second man calms him enough to take the gun.

Outside, the world’s fastest sniper team gets ready to take out the possible shooter. He sees a couple of customers trying to leave and shoots them, but the snipers shoot him as well. The calm man assures the hostage-taker that he’s not going to die, then puts a hand on his wound, clearing up the blood.

By the time Mulder and Scully arrive on the scene, the medics are there and confused that they didn’t actually need to come – no one’s hurt. All the witnesses are also confused. One of the men who was shot has a mark on his shirt from the bullet and blood, but he’s totally fine. He tells Scully that the calm man healed him. Mulder sits with the shooter, Galen Muntz, who says that God took pity on him and forgave him, sparing his life. He thinks the calm man was God’s vessel to heal him. However, the calm man is now gone, so the agents can’t talk to him.

Up in Rhode Island, Teena Mulder has gone to her family’s old home to see an old friend: CSM. He wants her to try to remember something. Someone takes pictures from a distance as the two fight. Back in Virginia, the agents learn that the calm man said his name was Jeremiah Smith, but the address he gave the police was for a P.O. box. A police officer says he seemed to vanish in an instant.

Skinner calls Mulder at the restaurant to tell him that Teena’s been admitted to a hospital in Rhode Island. Mulder rushes up there to find his mother unconscious after a stroke. Scully tries to assure her partner that Teena could make a full recovery. When she wakes up, she can’t speak, but she writes her son a note: PALM. Teena’s soon taken to another facility, and Scully again assures Mulder that she’s getting good care.

Mulder wonders if there’s a connection between his mother’s illness and the incident in Virginia – Jeremiah used the palm of his hand to heal people. Scully thinks it’s just a coincidence. Instead of staying near his mother, Mulder decides to return to D.C. and find out who Jeremiah is. He reviews footage shot by a local news crew and sees the moment Jeremiah disappears while speaking to a detective. He’s replaced by someone wearing the same clothes.

A bunch of men in suits head to the Social Security Administration, where Jeremiah’s working. CSM is among the men, smoking even though this is a GOVERNMENT BUILDING, SIR. Jeremiah tries to leave, but the men grab him and leave. He’s taken Hannibal Lechter-style to a prison cell.

Mulder returns to Rhode Island, where Mr. X joins him at the family home. He reveals that CSM was there with Teena, showing Mulder pictures of their fight. Mr. X figures that Mulder knew they knew each other, and why they were there. He’s the one who called an ambulance for Teena, but he doesn’t know what she and CSM were fighting about. He thinks CSM was looking for. Mulder says that his mother hasn’t been to the house since she divorced his father. Mr. X thinks the thing CSM wants is very old.

Jeremiah shows up at FBI headquarters, telling Scully he wants to turn himself in. He tells her, Skinner, and some other agents that he doesn’t remember anything that happened at the restaurant. He hasn’t done anything wrong, so they have to let him leave.

In Rhode Island, Mulder searches the house but can’t find anything that fits with the word “palm.” He pulls out Teena’s note and rearranges the letters to come up with the word “lamp.” There are plenty in the house to choose from, but the second one he checks contains what looks like a retractable ice pick.

CSM visits Jeremiah’s cell to slam him for helping people instead of working toward his “greater purpose.” His actions could have huge consequences. Jeremiah says that CSM’s actions take away people’s freedom. People believe in authority and science, so they don’t need other explanations. They need to keep this up if the “project” is going to be successful. And CSM thinks it will be, since the date has been set.

Jeremiah turns into Bill, questioning how many people have to die so CSM will be successful. CSM says he’s not impressed with Jeremiah’s miracles or trickery. He’ll get justice. Bill/Jeremiah asks where that will come from. “By those who possess the tool of your destruction,” CSM replies.

Mulder’s back at FBI headquarters, demanding that Skinner help him look into CSM’s background. Skinner can’t help, and it doesn’t really matter, since Mulder can go to Jeremiah for answers without going through CSM. Mulder and Scully go to the SSA to talk to Jeremiah, who pulls the same trick as before, disappearing and leaving behind someone wearing his clothes. That man easily leaves the building without anyone noticing.

CSM returns to Jeremiah’s cell so they can babble some more about miracles and what people believe. CSM says people fear God without believing in Him. If they can appease people’s consciences, they can rule them. Jeremiah turns into Deep Throat and mocks CSM for a minute, then turns back into himself. He announces that CSM is dying of lung cancer, but CSM accuses him of lying.

The man who left the SSA appears at Jeremiah’s prison with a new face and his own retractable ice pick. It’s our old buddy the Bounty Hunter! He’s led to Jeremiah’s cell, but it’s empty. Meanwhile, Mulder visits his mother, who isn’t doing so well. After crying for a few minutes, Mulder leaves the room and sees CSM in the hallway. Mulder attacks him, pulling his gun. CSM says he met with Teena at her request because she had questions about Samantha’s whereabouts. But the person with that information has disappeared.

Scully works late at FBI headquarters, looking up information on every Jeremiah Smith who works for the SSA. There are six of them, and they all look exactly alike. Mr. X meets up with Mulder, asking for the ice pick, but Mulder won’t hand it over. He knows it’s the only way to kill “them.” Mr. X warns that Mulder will be killed for the ice pick, even if it means he becomes a martyr. Mulder knows they’re facing colonization, and the date has been set.

Mr. X again demands the ice pick, and Mulder again refuses to give it over. The two men fight and end up pulling guns on each other. Mulder notes that Mr. X will never get the ice pick if he shoots Mulder. Mr. X is considering doing it anyway, since Mulder’s squandered everything Mr. X has done for him. But it doesn’t really matter, since one way or another, Mulder’s a dead man walking.

Scully gets a visit at home from Jeremiah, or at least someone who looks like him. She’s smart enough to make him follow some instructions that ensure she’s not putting herself in danger. Jeremiah wants to hand over some information about an “elaborate plan” and Samantha. Scully wonders why Jeremiah didn’t tell her this before. He says they’ve never talked – the person she talked to before was an imposter.

Mulder calls (“Scully, it’s me”) and Scully tells him Jeremiah’s there. Mulder tells her to meet him at a construction site; her apartment isn’t safe. When Scully and Jeremiah arrive, Mulder separates them, pulling out the ice pick. Jeremiah promises to explain everything, but first Mulder wants him to go see Teena. Before they can go anywhere, the Bounty Hunter arrives, ready to use his ice pick on Jeremiah. To be continued…

Thoughts: David Duchovny co-wrote this episode.

The SSA looks like a horrible place to work. It’s just a big room full of people working on computers. There aren’t even any cubicle walls. I’d go crazy there.

And just like that, I’m done with season 3. Only seven more seasons to go!

March 5, 2016

The X-Files 2.17, End Game: Samantha or Shamantha?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:24 pm by Jenn

The only time Gillian Anderson will ever be taller than David Duchovny

The only time Gillian Anderson will ever be taller than David Duchovny

Summary: In the Beaufort Sea, 87 miles from Alaska, the USS Allegiance has found something on its radar. It’s emitting radio signals, but nothing they can understand. They’re instructed to fire on command. Before they can, a loud noise sounds throughout the submarine and the power goes out. A commander decides they should surface, but they’re under 32 feet of ice, so that’s not really an option.

We head back to where we left off in the last episode, with Scully at a Maryland motel, on the phone with one Mulder while another stands in her room. She hangs up on the caller, telling in-person Mulder that it was a wrong number. Then she grabs her gun and makes him face the wall. Mulder plays innocent, then punches her and demands to know where the real Mulder is. This is, of course, the Bounty Hunter.

The real Mulder makes it to the motel with Samantha, but Scully and the Bounty Hunter are long gone. Samantha’s sure that she’s alive; the Bounty Hunter took her to get to Samantha. She guesses that the Bounty Hunter got in by disguising himself as Mulder. Fortunately, Samantha knows how to kill him. Unfortunately, exposure to his blood is fatal, so if you’re going to kill him, you better do it right. Mulder wants to find the Bounty Hunter, but Samantha says he’ll find them.

They go to Mulder’s apartment so he can pace and question what’s going on with Samantha. She tells him the doctors are the progeny of two original colonists, and they want to inherit the planet someday. The doctors worked at abortion clinics to get access to fetal tissue; they’ve found a way to combine human and alien DNA. The Bounty Hunter is after them because they’re performing unsanctioned experiments considered a “dilution” of the race.

Mulder isn’t sure he believes the story. Samantha urges him to trust her, seeing as how she’s his sister. Skinner arrives, or at least someone who claims to be Skinner, and Mulder turns out the lights while Samantha grabs an ice pick. She soon determines that he’s the real Skinner, so Mulder fills him in on who Samantha is. Scully calls (“Mulder, it’s me”) and confirms Samantha’s suspicions: She’s been taken so the Bounty Hunter can trade her for Samantha.

Mulder only has an hour to make the swap at a bridge in Bethesda, so he enlists Skinner’s help. Skinner and a sniper hide out, waiting to take out the Bounty Hunter as soon as Scully’s safe. All the parties arrive at the meeting point, and Mulder offers Samantha up for the trade. Scully’s released, and Samantha moves to stab the Bounty Hunter in the back of the neck. He overpowers her as Mulder pulls a gun, telling the Bounty Hunter that he won’t be leaving alive.

The Bounty Hunter now wants to know where “she” is. Mulder demands that he let Samantha go. No one moves, so the sniper shoots the Bounty Hunter, who falls into the water with Samantha. And that’s why you don’t do a hostage exchange on the bridge. A search team looks all night, but Samantha doesn’t resurface. Scully wishes that Mulder had told her on the phone that Samantha was the person the Bounty Hunter was looking for. All he says is that the Bounty Hunter is an alien, and now he has to tell his father what happened.

Bill arrives in D.C. and Mulder tells her that Samantha’s gone again. Bill’s mad that Mulder authorized a swap, allowing the Bounty Hunter to take his sister. Mulder gets emotional, because his sister’s gone and his father’s a jerk and he just needs a hug. Bill gives him an envelope Samantha left for him at the house; it holds an address and an access card. Mulder goes to the address and finds a women’s clinic. But moments later, Scully calls (“Mulder, it’s me”) to tell him that Samantha’s body has been found.

After determining that the Bounty Hunter hasn’t been found, Mulder hangs up. Too bad he didn’t stay on the line – Scully’s about to see Samantha’s face being eaten away by green goo. Mulder sneaks into the clinic and finds…Samantha. She guesses that “she” is dead, then takes him to a room containing the same kind of containers Prince was working with in the warehouse. There’s another Samantha clone there (a Shamantha, if you will), and the clones know the Bounty Hunter’s on his way to kill them.

Mulder meets the original Shamantha, who tells him he has no choice but to save them. Mulder disagrees – he can choose to leave. “We know where your sister is,” the original Shamantha says. How else would the clones know so much about Samantha? An alarm sounds, indicating that the Bounty Hunter has arrived. Mulder quickly encounters him and gets knocked out. Somehow, the clinic catches fire, and Mulder has to be rescued by firefighters. He’s told that there’s no one else in the building.

At FBI headquarters, Scully types a report, even though the episode’s only halfway over. The Bounty Hunter is at large, and Agent Weiss’ body is being studied for a possible contagion. Scully thinks the thickening of his blood was an immunological response. A doctor tells her that lowering the temperature by just five degrees renders the virus dormant. Scully remembers that the body of the Samantha clone started to corrode after being pulled from the icy river.

Mr. X is taking in an opera at the Kennedy Center in D.C. when Mulder summons him for a meeting. Mr. X refuses to help: “The fat lady is singing.” Besides, he thinks everyone’s dead. Mulder thinks the Bounty Hunter is still alive. Mr. X tells him that the USS Allegiance has found him, and an attack fleet is ensuring that he’s contained. He doesn’t think Mulder can win this battle.

Scully goes to Mulder’s apartment (awww, she even says “Mulder, it’s me” when she knocks on the door) and finds a couple days’ worth of newspapers outside. She lets herself in and checks out his email, finding a message from the man himself. It informs her that he’s off on a mission he didn’t tell her about because it could jeopardize her career. She said a line has to be drawn, so he’s drawing it for her.

Scully goes to Skinner and tells him off the record that Mulder’s gone rogue. She asks him to try to reach Mulder through “unofficial channels.” Skinner refuses – they need to stay loyal to the FBI, unlike Mulder. Scully argues that Mulder saved her life, so she has to do the same for him. He points out that if Mulder wanted that, he would have told Scully how to find him.

Back at Mulder’s apartment, where his masking-tape X is still in the window, Scully waits for contact. Mr. X finally arrives, but he refuses to help her. As he leaves the building, he runs into Skinner, who already knows who he is. Skinner attacks Mr. X, ready to fight for information. Mr. X is also ready to fight, so if you want to see two middle-aged men beat each other up in an elevator, this is the place. Mr. X ends things by pulling his gun. Skinner tells him he’ll be killing two men if he pulls the trigger.

Skinner wins the battle, telling Scully that Mulder went to Alaska and chartered an ATV. Scully asks how he got the information. “Unofficial channels,” Skinner replies. In Alaska, Mulder finds the Bounty Hunter’s icy hiding place, and there’s definitely someone else alive in there. There’s lots of running through the submarine until Mulder comes across a young lieutenant named Terry Wilmer.

Wilmer tells him they spent a few days under the ice until they found a place to surface. Then a man arrived and killed everyone else. Wilmer only survived by playing dead. As the power in the sub comes back up, Mulder demands to know where Samantha is. He’s already correctly determined that Wilmer is really the Bounty Hunter.

Mulder again asks where Samantha is. The Bounty Hunter wonders if he’s really willing to die for the answer. Of course, Mulder is, so he keeps asking. The Bounty Hunter says she’s alive, but Mulder soon won’t be. Mulder manages to get his gun back and shoot the Bounty Hunter, but not in the neck. This means exposure to the Bounty Hunter’s toxic blood. The Bounty Hunter banishes Mulder from the sub, leaving him out on the ice while he powers up and goes back underwater.

Now we’re back where “Colony” started, with Scully telling Mulder’s doctors not to warm him up. His heart is failing not because of hypothermia but because his blood is thickening. Scully’s insistent enough to convince the lead doctor to let her take over. And since this is only the second season of the show, she’s able to save her partner.

Scully sits with Mulder at the hospital while a voiceover tells us what she puts in her case report. The Bounty Hunter has disappeared, along with the sub. Scully’s willing to admit that something supernatural could have happened. Unexplained phenomena have strengthened her faith, and haven’t turned her away from science. After all, science saved Mulder.

Mulder wakes up with Scully by his side and tells her he has “a bad case of freezer burn.” He’s sorry for not taking her along on his mission, but not that sorry, since she could have been in danger. He didn’t find what he was looking for, but he found something he thought he’d lost – “faith to keep looking.”

Thoughts: I don’t buy Scully cowering in the car while Mulder faces off with the Bounty Hunter. But I guess there wasn’t really anything for her to do.

They need a way to ID a person and make sure he or she isn’t the Bounty Hunter. Like how they splash people with holy water in Supernatural to make sure they’re not demons.

Mulder: “How was the opera?” Mr. X: “Wonderful. I’ve never slept better.” Which I guess means he went to the opera reluctantly, which means he probably went on a date. Awww, is Mr. X married?

For more Mitch Pileggi/Steven Williams fighting, watch the Supernatural episode “And Then There Were None.”

February 27, 2016

The X-Files 2.16, Colony: Clone Wars

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:40 pm by Jenn

"Hello are you a ufo" works for this picture, too

“Hello are you a ufo” works for this picture, too

Summary: Mulder voices over that his sister disappeared when he was 12, and he’s always believed aliens took her. His search for the truth has meant he’s had to sacrifice relationships and career growth. Mulder is taken to the hospital with a body temperature of 86 degrees. He voices over that he’s willing to die because what happened to him justifies everything he’s worked for. He’s still sure that there are aliens among us. Scully questions Mulder’s doctor, announcing that he shouldn’t be warmed up – the cold is what’s keeping him alive.

We rewind two weeks and jump on the Alta, a research vessel in the Arctic Circle’s Beaufort Sea. The crew has spotted something in the sky. It zooms over them and crashes. Two days later, doctors at a Scranton hospital watch a news report on the crash. A Russian man believed to be a fighter pilot was extracted from the crash and taken to a military hospital for treatment for exposure to the icy water.

One of the doctors sees the face of the pilot and runs off…right into the pilot himself. The pilot demands to know where “he” is. The doctor’s cluelessness gets him stabbed in the back of the neck with something that looks like an ice pick. Something green bubbles out of the wound. The “pilot” then destroys the hospital’s electrical grid and walks out as the place catches on fire. And since I’m not going to keep calling him the pilot, just know that this is the Alien Bounty Hunter, and we will be seeing a lot more of him.

In D.C., Mulder tells Scully that someone emailed him three obituaries last night. All of them are of doctors, one being Landon Prince, the Scranton doc whose death we just saw. All work at abortion clinics and died in fires that were purposely set. Scully thinks they’re dealing with a militant pro-life group. But why would someone want Mulder to know about their deaths? Maybe because all three doctors look exactly the same. Mulder has already investigated to see if they were triplets, but they don’t have any blood connections. They also don’t have any records of any kind.

The agents go to Scranton and talk to a police officer who has arrested Reverend Calvin Sistrunk, a known harasser of abortion doctors. When he was arrested, he had a newspaper ad on him asking if anyone knows Prince (or one of his lookalikes). Mulder mentions that Prince’s remains haven’t been found, just like with the other two doctors. Wait, so he might not be dead? Then why was there an obituary? What kind of cops does Scranton employ?

Sistrunk is brought in so Mulder can interrogate him about the other two murders. Sistrunk says no. He got the ad from a paper in Binghamton, New York. The agents head there next to ask about the person who placed the ad. He paid in cash, and he wasn’t Sistrunk. He also asked to run the ad a second week but never paid the second fee. Scully tells Mulder that she has a bad feeling about the case. None of it makes sense. Mulder’s like, “Yeah, that’s why it’s an X-file.”

Mulder thinks they’re dealing with a pattern. The first two murders were in New Jersey and New York; now Prince has died in Scranton, and a man is looking for his lookalike in Binghamton. He’s moving north. Mulder agrees to pay the bill for the ad, since it’ll give them access to a voice-mail system set up by the ad-placer. The first message is from someone who claims he saw the Prince lookalike in Syracuse.

The agents call the FBI field office in Syracuse and ask Agent Barry Weiss to keep an eye on a doctor named Aaron Baker. When Weiss gets to Baker’s house, he sees the man fighting with someone unseen. It’s the Bounty Hunter, and he wants Baker to know that his plan won’t succeed. Weiss looks for a back entrance to the house, bursting in just after the Bounty Hunter ices Baker. He’s pretty surprised to see Baker’s body dissolving into green froth.

Weiss shoots the Bounty Hunter, whose body leaks the same green stuff. Weiss’ own body doesn’t like being exposed to the substance. As the agents arrive, Weiss – or at least someone who looks like him – approaches from the yard and says Baker isn’t home. He tosses the real Weiss’ car keys in his trunk, with his body, transforming back into the Bounty Hunter.

Skinner summons Mulder back to D.C. to yell at him for pursuing an investigation that was never authorized. Weiss has been found at the house Mulder sent him to. Mulder protests that he saw Weiss at the house, but Skinner doesn’t care. The investigation is over. In his office, Mulder gets a “Mulder, it’s me” call from Scully, who has gotten an email letting her know there’s another Prince lookalike. This one’s name is James Dickens, and he’s in D.C.

Mulder goes to Scully’s apartment to pick her up, but before he can go inside, he’s intercepted by a CIA agent named Ambrose Chapel. Chapel reveals that he’s also looking into the doctors’ deaths. He tells the agents that during the Cold War, Soviet scientists isolated twins’ DNA and reproduced it. In other words, the doctors are clones. They’re also all named Gregor, which must be pretty confusing (though all the Eves were named Eve, so…).

The Gregors all took positions at hospitals so they could wreak havoc (via blood supplies and medications) if war broke out. Scully wants to know why nothing’s been done if the CIA has been investigating for a year. Chapel says a spy-killer has been trying to take the Gregors out. He thinks the Gregors have been trying to contact the FBI for protection. Chapel reveals that he placed the ad so he could get to the Gregors first and try to get information out of them. Mulder tells him that they know where one might be.

In Germantown, Maryland, Dickens leaves a warehouse where it looks like he’s running secret tests. Scully, Mulder, and Chapel find him at home, and as soon as he sees Chapel, he jumps out a window. Even though he was a few stories up, he’s able to run off. Mulder and Chapel run after him as Chapel’s…wife? girlfriend? roommate? looks on impassively. The agents split up, and Mulder ends up running into traffic and getting hit by a car. Scully gets to him and he sends her off on Dickens’ trail while he tries to get his breath back.

Chapel tracks Dickens to an alley, doing that villain thing where he just walks normally while Dickens tries to escape. As Scully searches for the two men, we see that Chapel is actually the Bounty Hunter. He’s changed back into Chapel when Scully gets to him, and he tells her that Dickens got away by climbing a fire escape. He doesn’t mention the puddle of green goo nearby.

The agents return to the FBI building, disagreeing over whether to continue the investigation. Scully doesn’t trust Chapel, and she reminds Mulder that his motto is “trust no one.” Mulder says he’d rather trust everyone; he looked at Chapel history, and he’s completely legit. Scully thinks Chapel let Dickens get away. She reminds Mulder that Dickens ran from Chapel, not them. Maybe Chapel killed Weiss in Syracuse.

Scully continues that Mulder is always willing to follow a case even if it means sacrificing his sanity. She has to draw the line somewhere. An agent has already died because of their investigation. Mulder replies that they all know the risks, so Scully can accept them or not: “We all draw our own lines.” Scully shows him the spots on her shoes that came into contact with the green goo – they’ve been eaten away. Mulder tells her that Weiss’ cause of death can’t be established. Scully’s interested again.

Scully looks over Weiss’ autopsy report, spotting a note that his blood was “curdled like jelly.” Aaaaaaand I’m not eating jelly ever again. That means Weiss may have been given something that made his blood clot or thicken before his death. Mulder points out that the Gregors placed themselves at hospitals in case they needed to contaminate blood supplies. Scully thinks they could find answers in Dickens’ doctor’s bag, which she took from his apartment.

Skinner summons Mulder, but not to yell at him this time – Mulder’s father has been trying to reach him. There’s some sort of Mulder family emergency. Mulder calls home and learns that Bill Mulder got a strange phone call that afternoon. He won’t say anything over the phone; he just wants Mulder to come home.

Scully goes to the address on Dickens’ bag, which is for the warehouse. There’s dried green goo on the ground. Chapel is there, destroying stuff that looks like it was used for testing…something. Scully barely manages to run off without him seeing her. She calls Mulder (“Mulder, it’s me,” of course) from home to tell him she might be in danger. Mulder’s up in Martha’s Vineyard, where his father greets him outside the house. Mulder looks through the window to see his mother, Teena, talking to a woman. Bill tells his son that the woman is Samantha. She’s also the woman from Dickens’ apartment.

The newly reunited Mulder family stays up late together, trying to accept that Samantha is really Samantha. Mulder finally gets some alone time with his sister, who asks if it’s too late for a game of Stratego. She tells him she was returned with no memories of her abduction or her previous life. She was placed with another family, and though she didn’t remember the Mulders, she always felt out of place. A few years ago, she developed anxiety and underwent regression hypnotherapy. Suddenly, she could remember her abductions and the tests she underwent.

Samantha tells Mulder she’s in danger from the man hunting her “father and the other doctors.” One of the Gregors was her adoptive father. She warns Mulder that the Bounty Hunter’s lies destroy lives. She thinks he’ll be coming for her soon. Mulder tries to call Scully but just misses her. He leaves a message on her machine warning her not to trust Chapel. Samantha tells Mulder that the Bounty Hunter can make himself look like anyone, but she can recognize him.

In D.C., Scully gets on a bus, paying close attention to the people around her. She tries to call Mulder (another “Mulder, it’s me”), leaving a message that she’ll be staying at a motel in Germantown for a while. By the time he gets to her, she should have some important information about the case. The Bounty Hunter is on the bus and appreciates overhearing this.

But instead of a motel, Scully goes back to the warehouse, where she finds what looks like a fetus. And it’s moving! Eeeeeee! Someone’s watching, and Scully sees a Gregor in a lab coat trying to run out of the building. He’s not scared of her gun, saying that she can’t harm them. The remaining Gregors are all at the warehouse, and they need Scully’s protection. She gets them taken someplace safe, unaware that the Bounty Hunter is watching.

Mulder gets Scully’s message and tries to reach her at the motel she said she was going to. The desk clerk starts to take down a message telling Scully to call Mulder, but he quickly forgets who the message is for. Scully arrives moments later and books a room, again just missing a call from Mulder. The Gregors are all placed in a federal lockup facility in Tileton, Virginia (which doesn’t exist, by the way), and a man with an icepick is easily able to get access. At the motel, Scully wakes up to Mulder at her door…and Mulder on the phone. To be continued!

Thoughts: David Duchovny co-wrote this episode.

The actor playing Sistrunk looks so much like Anthony Stewart Head that I almost did a double take.

Honestly, I’m surprised Mulder doesn’t run into traffic more often.

Why didn’t Mulder and Scully look into Dickens’ female companion? Why didn’t Scully at least secure her at the apartment? Why didn’t she say anything when she heard Mulder’s name? (I mean, I know the answer to that, but still.) Didn’t Mulder recognize Samantha as the woman at the apartment? I guess he’s too stunned to think about her return logically.

Scully in running leggings, a hoodie, and a fanny pack is adorable.