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.


November 10, 2018

The X-Files 8.19, Alone: You Got Me on My Knees, Leyla

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

Mommy and Daddy are fighting

Summary: It’s just after 11 p.m. in Ellicott, New York, and a man named Gary has just returned home after doing something for his elderly, ill father. Gary doesn’t get why he has to check locks for some guy named Stites. Gary’s father, Arlen, says he doesn’t need to know the reason. Gary leaves the room to make dinner.

Arlen’s blood pressure rises as he sees that a window in their house is open. He thinks that Gary didn’t do his job after all. Arlen stops breathing, and Gary doesn’t hear the beeping of his blood-pressure monitor from the kitchen. He also doesn’t hear when something swoops into the room to attack Arlen. When Gary returns, Arlen is gone, and the creature that attacked him is ready for another victim.

In D.C., Scully cleans out her desk, finding the fused coins and Queequeg’s dog tag. She’s starting her maternity leave, which means Doggett’s left to run the X-Files division by himself. Scully gives him the Apollo 11 keychain Mulder once gave her, saying it symbolizes teamwork and partnership. “It means no one gets there alone,” she says. After the craziness of the past year, she wants Doggett to know that she wouldn’t be here without him. Doggett starts to get the impression that Scully’s leave isn’t just temporary.

He stares at Mulder’s “I want to believe” poster for a few moments, then quickly gets a new case. Leyla Harrison knows about the events in Ellicott, and since the local police can’t figure out what happened, Leyla thinks the case should be an X-File. Too bad no one told Doggett that Leyla is his new partner.

The two go to Ellicott and check out the house, even though Arlen’s body was found in the woods. Leyla explains that Arlen was the caretaker for a house on the property, though he himself needed a caretaker because he was confined to a wheelchair for the past few months. Gary is missing and is the main suspect in his father’s murder.

Doggett doesn’t get why Gary dump Arlen’s body in the woods and flee after killing him in a way that covers up a murder. That suggests premeditation, while dumping the body suggests panic over an accidental death. Leyla takes notes while Doggett finds some kind of slime in the room. She thinks she was right to classify the case as an X-File.

After giving the slime to the local police, the agents go to the woods. Leyla reveals that this is her first case in the field. Doggett tells her she’s being used; Kersh is trying to saddle him with someone inexperienced because he hates the X-Files. Leyla’s very familiar with the division, though; she used to work in accounting, processing Mulder and Scully’s travel expenses. That poor woman. She admits that she might not be qualified, but she’s well-informed. And really, I think her eagerness should count for something.

Doggett finds more slime in the spot where Arlen’s body was found. Leyla thinks it could be bile from a creature like Tooms or an alien that’s shed its skin. Doggett just gives her a look that means, “You are talking too much about crazy things. Please stop.” As she takes a sample of the slime to be analyzed, Doggett heads into the woods by himself.

Back in D.C., Scully and Mulder are going to a birthing class!!! Sorry, I’m okay. Scully’s feeling down about all the changes in her life. She feels like she’s a deserter for leaving the X-Files. Mulder tells her she’s paid her dues and deserves a break. He guesses that she’s also worried about Doggett and assures her that he can take care of himself.

Doggett goes to the house Arlen was the caretaker for, in which the creature that killed him seems to be squatting. Doggett senses its presence and draws his gun, but instead encounters Leyla. He sends her outside to guard the front door while he tries to force the creature outside. She’s so inexperienced that he has to tell her to take the safety off so she can actually use her weapon.

Outside, Leyla hears a skittering sound that would have sent me back to D.C. on the first available flight. The creature attacks her from above, and Doggett hears gunshots. When he gets outside, Leyla’s gone. Good job, Doggett – two hours on the case with your new partner and you’ve already lost her. When he goes looking for her, he falls through a trapdoor hidden under some leaves.

Skinner leads a search party in Ellicott, confirming for Scully over the phone that Doggett has vanished. He tells her to stay in D.C. instead of coming to look for her partner. She knows that Skinner’s doing everything he can, but she’s worried it’s not enough. Meanwhile, Doggett finds himself underground in a cave that’s been conveniently wired for electricity but not outfitted for cell service.

Scully takes herself off maternity leave so she can autopsy Arlen’s body. Mulder tracks her down in the morgue so they can revisit their old working relationship where she finds something weird on a body and he tries to explain it. She tells him that Arlen wasn’t murdered – he was blinded by some kind of substance that contains venom. Mulder says that, according to Skinner, Doggett and Leyla found the same substance. He urges Scully to let someone else continue the investigation.

Doggett comes across part of a…bear? A bear skull? I don’t know. He hears skittering in the cave and gets attacked by the creature. It sprays him with slime, causing his eyesight to turn blurry. Leyla, whose sight has also gone blurry, finds Doggett and leads him to Gary’s body. She tries to think of a past X-File that might apply here, but Doggett would rather focus on their current circumstances. He thinks someone or something sets traps to gather food for the creature. The two can see sunlight coming through a well-like hole in the ceiling, but their blurry sight makes it hard to figure out how high up it is.

Mulder goes to Ellicott and meets up with Skinner, who’s like, “I’m going to pretend you weren’t fired and we’re just working this case like we used to.” They’ve found Doggett’s car at a convenience store half an hour away, so the search is moving out there. Mulder knows better and wants to join the search in the woods.

As Doggett climbs up to the hole in the ceiling, Mulder approaches Stites’ house. Stites himself comes to greet him, and the two chat just feet away from where Doggett is climbing up toward the trapdoor. Stites tells Mulder, who’s using Kersh’s name, that he’s a biologist and doubts that an animal is responsible for Gary’s disappearance. Mulder agrees – he thinks a man is using reptile venom to blind people.

Doggett finally reaches the top, but Stites is there waiting for him. He steps on Doggett’s hand, making him let go and fall back into the cave. Doggett yells up at Stites, who really doesn’t care that he’s a federal agent. Doggett guesses that he’s Stites, and judging from his books and papers in the house, he’s a scientist.

Leyla suggests that there’s a symbiotic relationship between Stites and the creature, which would make sense for an X-File. Doggett tells her that Mulder and Scully aren’t there to save them, so speculation won’t help. Doggett decides to go look for another way out. He leaves Leyla behind to shoot the creature if it approaches. Yes, arm the woman with poor vision. Before Doggett can leave, Leyla realizes that Gary is gone – the creature must have taken him away.

Mulder’s staking out the house, eating sunflower seeds, when Scully calls to let him know that Stites complained about him to Skinner. She thinks a reptile is responsible for the attacks; it’s the only thing that makes sense. Mulder disagrees – he found his regifted Apollo 11 medallion on Stites’ lawn, which means Doggett must be nearby.

A lab tech tells Scully that the slime from Arlen’s eyes contains digestive enzymes that break down tissue and liquefy bodies. Basically, the creature sprays the victims, then waits until they turn into tasty drinks. Scully can’t think of a species that can do everything this creature can, or “at least not yet.”

Doggett and Leyla wander blindly through the cave as her vision worsens, making her worry that she’ll end up like Gary. The creature reappears and Doggett shoots at it. Leyla finds Gary again, this time apparently having been the creature’s snack. Scully calls Mulder back to tell him he was right about Stites. He was working on a new species of reptile, so he may have genetically altered the creature that’s now killing people.

Mulder sees the creature in Stites’ yard and hangs up on Scully to go chase it. He loses it when it scales (heh, scales) the wall of Stites’ house. Mulder bangs on the door and yells for Stites, who doesn’t answer…because he’s the creature. Once he morphs back into his human form (and puts some clothes on), Mulder accuses him of protecting the creature. He thinks Stites didn’t mean for it to get out and attack everyone. But he also thinks Stites knows where Doggett and Leyla are.

Stites takes Mulder into the cave to get Doggett and Leyla, but Leyla somehow knows that Stites is the creature. Stites vanishes before they can do anything. Mulder wants to take Doggett’s gun, since he himself is unarmed, but the creature is approaching and will attack before he can get close enough to Doggett. This means Doggett will have to shoot the creature, despite not being able to see it crawling over their heads.

Mulder tells Doggett to aim for the sound of his voice. Though Doggett protests, he does it, shooting the creature just as it drops down to attack Mulder. The creature turns back into Stites when it dies, which means Leyla just solved her first X-File.

Sometime later, Mulder and Scully go see Doggett at the hospital, and he cutely gets excited when he thinks they’re there for Scully to have the baby. Doggett’s eyesight has been restored, and Leyla’s on her way to full health. She’s decided not to continue in the X-Files, which is too bad, because she currently has a 100 percent success rate and should ride that as long as she can.

Mulder thinks Doggett should have the Apollo 11 keychain, but Doggett wants to give it to Leyla. She’s thrilled. She also has a question: When Mulder went to Antarctica to save Scully, and they saw the spaceship, how did they get back home? Scully notes that they never confirmed that it was a spaceship. She and Mulder squabble over that and never answer the question. Doggett watches the three of them together, then leaves, alone again.

Thoughts: Remember when this was The Mulder and Scully Show? I miss that.

Leyla’s more interesting than Reyes. Too bad Reyes is the one we have to see more of.

Good casting on Stites. He totally looks like a guy who would do weird experiments and turn himself into a killer lizard. (No offense to the actor, of course.)

November 3, 2018

The X-Files 8.18, Vienen: Oil as Black as Oil Executives’ Hearts

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:13 pm by Jenn

This is no time to comment on the cleanliness of the rig, Doggett

Summary: 158 miles off the coast of Texas, in the Gulf of Mexico, the Galpex-Orpheus Platform is full of oil workers taking some downtime from their job. They eat dinner together, watch a hockey game on TV, and, in some cases, give each other significant looks. One man leaves the festivities to find a communications officer alone in a workroom. He doesn’t want to extend a dinner invitation, though – he wants to stab him.

A worker named Bo Taylor goes looking for the officer, Ed, but instead finds the stabber, Simon, destroying all the equipment. Taylor turns over Ed’s body and sees our old buddy the black oil running under Ed’s skin. “Now you’ve gone and done it,” Taylor says to Simon, which is a weird thing to say to a guy you’ve just caught committing murder. Simon tries to run, but Taylor tackles him. His eyes glow yellow, and the rest of his body follows suit. Simon is more scared than impressed with this light show.

In D.C., Doggett finds Mulder looking through files in his office, or I guess his ex-office. He’s brought the Galpex-Orpheus death to Doggett’s attention, but Doggett doesn’t think it’s an X-File. The death they’re discussing is Simon’s, not Ed’s, though Ed is missing. Simon’s body washed ashore covered in flash burns. Doggett thinks they were caused by an explosion on the platform, which was also the cause of Ed’s disappearance. But Mulder thinks Simon’s cause of death is consistent with burns caused by black oil.

Doggett’s done his homework and knows about the whole Piper Maru thing. Of course, he thinks it’s ridiculous. Mulder taunts that Doggett must have done something pretty bad to get stuck in the X-Files. When the phone rings, Mulder makes a show of picking it up, only to hand it to Doggett. It’s Scully, who’s waiting for her partner to join her and Kersh in a meeting. There’s an executive there from the oil company; Mulder called to tell him they were taking the case.

Mulder and Doggett both go to the meeting, where Skinner is also present, which means everyone’s reuniting! Yay! The oil executive, Martin Ortega, doesn’t want the FBI to investigate the explosion, since they’ll bring attention to an oil province that Mexico might want to fight for if they learn about it. Simon was from Mexico, and since he was killed while working for a U.S. enterprise, Mexico might use his death to try to get first rights to drilling the province.

Kersh tries to dismiss Mulder, who argues that Scully can’t go out to the oil rig to investigate, since she’s pregnant and delicate and might get oil on her shoes, or something. Of course, Kersh is sending Doggett instead. He heads to the rig with Yuri Volkoff, the new communications specialist. The worker who greets them is confused, since they were told only one agent was coming. To probably no one’s surprise, Mulder has beaten Doggett to the rig.

Taylor ignores the tension between the agents as he tells them how easy it is for some men on the rig to snap after a few weeks in isolation. The Mexican workers are usually stable, but Simon clearly wasn’t. He has no explanation for why Ed was on the drilling floor, since he was a communications chief. He says no one knew Ed was even gone until the shift change. As the agents leave to go yell at each other, Taylor’s eyes turn black.

Doggett threatens to call Kersh and report Mulder’s presence on the rig. Mulder notes that the radio’s broken, but…how did the crew get word out that Simon was dead and Ed was missing? There has to be some way to communicate with the mainland. Whatever. Mulder doesn’t think Doggett will tattle on him. They’re in the same boat, paddling in the same direction. Doggett corrects that they’re going in his direction.

Mulder notes that Doggett doesn’t have anything to report back to Kersh, so he’ll need Mulder’s help. He thinks Taylor knows exactly what happened, and he’s not the only one. Doggett thinks Mulder “could find a conspiracy at a church picnic.” Someone below them is listening to this manly stand-off through a grate.

In D.C., Scully calls Skinner to the morgue where she’s done Simon’s autopsy (even though the body was supposed to be sent to Mexico intact). She found black oil in Simon’s brain. Skinner panics, thinking she’s touched it, but Scully says the alien virus in the oil is dead. Her first instinct was to believe that the radiation that killed Simon also killed the virus, but since the virus has radioactive properties, that doesn’t make sense. Skinner wants to send word to Doggett, but Scully thinks they need to tell Kersh to get the rig evacuated. Skinner disagrees – of the two dozen men on the rig, why was Simon the only one infected?

Taylor checks in on Yuri, who says their communications gear is working, but it’s receiving some sort of high-frequency signal. He wants to try that time-tested technology trick that always seems to work: turning it off and turning it on again. Taylor stops him, first verbally, then physically. Black oil seeps out of his eyes, nose, and mouth, finding a new host in Yuri’s body.

Scully is able to get through to the now-infected Yuri to relay a message to Doggett. Mulder makes his presence known, asking Scully not to tell Kersh what he’s up to. Scully agrees, telling Mulder about the dead virus in Simon’s brain. Everyone on the rig could be at risk, including Mulder and Doggett. Mulder wants to call for a quarantine, but Scully tells him to evacuate. Mulder points out that that could infect people on shore. Scully should be able to use Simon’s body to figure out what kills the virus. If she can’t, she’ll need to tell her child that Mulder “went down swinging.”

Scully asks to talk to Doggett, but Mulder hangs up just as Doggett arrives. He demands to know what Scully told Mulder about the investigation. Mulder tells him he’s free to take charge, as he’s so eager to, but he might not like what that means. They wind up calling a quarantine for a possible contagion. Mulder tells Saksa, who’s in charge of the crew, that they’re missing a deck hand named Diego. Saksa doesn’t know where he is, but he must still be on the rig.

Ortega goes to the morgue so Scully can show him exactly what the crew might be facing on the rig. Ortega doesn’t support the quarantine, since no one’s showing any signs of being sick, and also, they’ll lose money by shutting down, which you know is more important to him than anyone’s health. He wants to rotate the crew off the rig and bring in new men.

Mulder goes looking for Diego, though Doggett thinks it’s a waste of time. Mulder reminds him that Taylor said the Mexican workers were reliable; now one is dead and one’s missing. Doggett thinks Diego might want to pick up where Simon left off and try to sabotage the operation to protect Mexican oil interests. He still hasn’t gotten Mulder to tell him what he thinks is going on. If the crew is hiding something, Doggett should be informed.

Mulder says he didn’t come to the rig just to one-up Doggett (though by saying “just,” he basically admits that that was part of his motivation). Since he knows what the black oil can do, he can keep an eye out for the signs that someone’s infected. Doggett smears some oil on his fingers and asks when it’s going to kick in. He doesn’t buy that regular oil, which most of the world uses, contains a virus.

Mulder realizes that the crew got infected because they were pumping oil from the new province. Billions of barrels of that oil is going to go out to the rest of the planet and spread the infection. Diego could be hiding because he knows what’s really going on. An alarm goes off in the radio room, which is now on fire. Mulder puts it out while Doggett goes…somewhere. I don’t know. He doesn’t get very far before the eavesdropper from the grate (Diego, obviously) knocks him out.

Kersh visits Scully at the morgue, catching her as she’s about to continue examining Simon’s body. Skinner’s also there, so Kersh knows he’s being kept in the dark about something. He wants to know who gave the order to shut down the rig. Skinner says it was him. Kersh wants to lift the quarantine as soon as radio contact is reestablished. Scully thinks that’s a mistake, but Kersh says it would be a mistake not to follow his orders, and Skinner and Scully are running out of mistakes they can get away with. If Kersh didn’t know better, he’d think Mulder was involved in this stunt.

The fire is out, and Mulder finds the remains of the Molotov cocktail used to set it. He radios Doggett, who’s just now regaining consciousness in Diego’s lair. He cuts Doggett to make sure his blood is red, not black. He tells Doggett in Spanish (which Doggett only speaks a little of) that “they” killed Simon and want to kill him, too. He started the fire so they couldn’t use the radio. “Vienen,” Diego says – they’re coming. “They” are “the flying ships.”

Scully studies Simon’s blood and sees massive amounts of T-cells, which mean he was able to fight all sorts of viruses. He’s from an indigenous Mexican culture that has an undiluted gene pool. Long story short, Simon was immune to the alien virus. The infected crew members couldn’t control him, so they irradiated him. Scully thinks Simon must have known something that made him a threat. Skinner points out that even if they did know, sending word to Doggett and Mulder – assuming they had time to warn them – would put them in danger, too.

Doggett offers to help Diego get back to his family if Diego will help him. Diego says he trusts no one. Mulder would like this guy. Doggett promises to help Diego, who lets him go. But he runs into Taylor, who strangles Doggett when he won’t say where Diego is. Taylor starts to infect Doggett, but Mulder shows up and knocks him out before Doggett becomes the next black-oil host.

As they head to the communications room to try to get the radio working, the crew members gather outside their door, their eyes turning black. Mulder tries to barricade the door while Doggett fixes the radio. Mulder adds some ambiance by putting on “Flight of the Valkyries.” Doggett manages to connect to Scully, who reports that helicopters are coming to evacuate everyone. Mulder tells her not to let the choppers land on the platform.

Doggett tells Scully that he, Mulder, and Diego are all fine, though Diego might be mentally unstable since he thinks flying saucers are coming for him. The connection is lost, though, so he can’t be sure if Scully heard him. Mulder wrecks the radio, not wanting the crew members to be able to communicate (possibly with their mother ship, as Doggett suspects). The crew members have stopped banging on the door, so Mulder guesses that something’s up.

He heads up the rig while Doggett goes to get Diego, but it’s too late – he’s been burned to death like Simon. As the first chopper approaches, Mulder realizes that the crew let them go because they’ve rigged the platform to explode and kill them. The agents outrun the explosion, like this is some Michael Bay movie, catching a glimpse of the crew as they head up to meet the helicopter. Since it can’t land, the men have to jump into the ocean. They do so just as fireballs go up behind them (again, like a Michael Bay movie).

Back in D.C., Doggett is summoned to Kersh’s office to face the music. Galpex-Orpheus lost the right to drill in the province, so they’re not happy with the FBI. Mulder thinks Doggett should do everything possible to make sure the oil stays where it is. He’s taken the blame for the whole fiasco and is being fired. This means Kersh is happy, because he got rid of Mulder and has a place to put the blame. Doggett has now seen for himself what the black oil does, and he can continue Mulder’s work on the X-Files. He really is in charge now.

Thoughts: Ortega is played by Miguel Sandoval. Taylor is played by M.C. Gainey.

Gillian Anderson might as well have sat out half the season with David Duchovny, for all they let her do in these episodes. Though admittedly, they couldn’t have had her go on the rig and then jump off at the end.

I don’t know what it is, but Robert Patrick looks particularly handsome in this episode. His scenes with Duchovny are like a who’s-more-handsome contest.

October 27, 2018

The X-Files 8.17, Empedocles: O Say, Can You See?

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:15 pm by Jenn

Happy Halloween!

Summary: A man named Jeb is getting unexpectedly laid off in New Orleans. He does a walk of shame through the office, leaving the building just as police are chasing a car past. The fleeing car crashes, and multiple vehicles catch on fire. So I guess Jeb’s day isn’t so bad now. The fleeing driver emerges from his car, covered in flames but appearing not to feel anything. He walks right through Jeb and disappears. Jeb is unharmed, but his eyes glow orange for a few moments. So maybe Jeb’s day really is bad. He goes back to his office, heads straight for the boss who fired him, and shoots him.

A few hours later, multiple people are dead in the office, and local detective Franklin Potter has called the FBI. But it’s not Mulder, Scully, or even Doggett who arrives to take the case – it’s Reyes. Potter thinks the killings may have been Satanic ritual murders. Some people thought Jeb had a “dark side.” Reyes acknowledges that being fired could have pushed Jeb over the edge. But the only “dark” thing she finds in Jeb’s desk is Marilyn Manson CDs.

Reyes starts to leave, thinking there’s nothing for her to contribute here, but she pauses when she sees flames on the body of one of Jeb’s victims. She looks under the sheet covering the body and finds it charred, like it was in the fire outside the building. She gets distracted by Potter, and when she looks back at the body, it’s back to normal.

Mulder stops by Scully’s apartment, and after some banter about a pizza deliveryman, he hides a present behind a pillow on her couch. No, wait, they’re still talking about the pizza guy. Scully finds the present, and Mulder tells her it’s a family keepsake he found in his mother’s things. Then the pizza guy arrives, and Mulder “pretends” to be jealous. As he pays for the pizza, Scully gasps in pain, because no pregnant woman on a TV show is able to have an uneventful pregnancy.

Mulder rushes Scully to the hospital, where Doggett meets up with them, having heard about the emergency from Scully’s landlord while he was dropping something off. How did Doggett get to the hospital before an ambulance? The ambulance service should look into that. A nurse first thinks Doggett is the baby’s father, and before Mulder has to either confirm or deny that it’s him, he gets a call from Reyes asking for his help with her case. He tries to pass her along to Doggett, but Reyes says she can’t call him – the case involves him.

In Lavonia, Georgia, Jeb and his gun are hiding out in a motel. He’s ready to shoot himself and end it all, but he has to drop the gun when it starts heating up. Cracks form in the skin of his face, showing fire underneath. This is appropriate for Halloween, since he looks like a jack o’lantern.

Reyes comes to D.C. and meets Mulder, commenting that he’s taller than she thought. She explains that she was there when his “body” was found. She tells Mulder that her case involves Doggett – specifically, the death of his son, Luke. He died in 1997, at the age of seven. Reyes was the lead investigator and worked on the case with Doggett, who was then with the NYPD. They never caught the killer. Reyes struggled with her emotions through the whole case, but knows that it was even harder for Doggett. She doesn’t want to put him through that again, but she’d like to reopen the case.

Reyes continues that when they found Luke’s body, she had a vision of it being burned, the same as what she saw in the office in New Orleans. Doggett saw the same thing but has since convinced himself that nothing happened. Reyes thinks the vision she had in New Orleans means Jeb’s murders are connected to Luke’s death. There has to be a reason she’s had the vision again.

Doggett’s still at the hospital with Scully, but when he enters her room to check on her, he has a vision of himself in a field. There are men running around, and the air is full of smoke. Doggett comes back to reality when a nurse kicks him out since he’s not Scully’s immediate family. (Hey, where’s Maggie? Shouldn’t she be here with her daughter?)

Someone calls Doggett to let him know that Mulder’s looking into his past, and he angrily confronts Mulder, ordering him to stay out of his life. Mulder explains that Reyes asked him to look into Doggett’s file. Doggett doesn’t like the idea of her looking into his past any better. Mulder mentions the name Bob Harvey, a suspect in Luke’s murder who was dismissed after Reyes and Doggett questioned him. Guess who died in the car crash in New Orleans? Bob.

Reyes brings up her vision, but Doggett says he doesn’t care about that, or whether there’s a connection between the murders in New Orleans and Luke’s death. He wants Reyes and Mulder to leave it alone. Of course, neither of them is going to do that. Reyes goes to Jeb’s sister Katha’s house, where Jeb lived for a little while before moving to New Orleans. Katha doesn’t think her brother is capable of murder. She’s never heard of Bob, but Reyes isn’t surprised.

Jeb is now in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and picks this horrible moment to call Katha. She keeps a poker face as he insists that he didn’t murder anyone. After Katha hangs up on him, a woman with a flat tire asks Jeb for help. Doggett goes back to the hospital, where Scully’s stable, and asks what made her go from skeptic to believer. She says she realized she was afraid to believe. Doggett has another vision of himself in the field, looking at Reyes with a group of men. He comes back when Scully asks his reason for his question.

Mulder sets up camp in his old office, looking at old cases involving visions like Reyes’. Others have had images of death associated with crimes like the ones Reyes has investigated. But there’s no pattern, so that’s not helpful. Reyes disagrees, still sure that there’s a reason for everything that’s happened. She thinks Bob is the key. Mulder says it’s just a coincidence, which might be the least Mulder-ish thing he’s ever said.

Reyes says that sometimes we just don’t understand patterns we see. Mulder says that she should apply to work on the X-Files. He thinks his time would be better spent with Scully. Reyes hopes Scully comes back to work soon, since someone in the X-Files division needs to have an open mind.

The woman with the flat tire no longer has to worry about her car, because it looks like Jeb killed her. He looks at his reflection in her back window and sees flames behind him. Then he steals her van and heads off to continue his tour of the American South. Sometime later, Doggett comes to Spartanburg, having been summoned by Mulder and Reyes. They’ve found the body of the woman with the flat tire, and Reyes thinks she’s connected to Jeb. She wants to know if Doggett sees what she sees.

What Doggett first sees is a scene from his vision, of Reyes standing with a group of men. They’re looking at the woman’s body, which Reyes has seen as burned. Doggett says he doesn’t see the same thing, but Reyes thinks he’s in denial. Maybe they’re dealing with “a thread of evil, connecting through time, through men, through opportunity, connecting back” to Doggett. In other parts of the world, people see evil in death the way some see God in a rose. “I saw Elvis in a potato chip once,” Mulder says. Thanks for your contribution, Mulder. He accepts that if Doggett doesn’t see what Reyes sees, that’s that.

Mulder returns to D.C., where Scully tells him that her placenta started to tear away from her uterine wall, but she’ll be okay. He put his hand on her stomach to feel the baby kicking, then tells Scully what he’s been up to. He laughs when Scully says she likes Reyes, since the two women are nothing alike. Scully notes that she and Mulder are nothing alike, either. She continues that Doggett has never talked to her about Luke, so she doesn’t know anything about the case, but she hopes Mulder can help him. Doggett is worth the effort.

Jeb surprises Katha by showing up at her house. He insists again that he didn’t kill anyone. She sees blood on his face, and he says he doesn’t know how it got there. He begs his sister for help. In D.C., Doggett makes some calls about Jeb, telling Reyes he’s looking into the case after all. Reyes says he’s looking into it the wrong way. He mocks that they just have to read some tea leaves to solve the case. He’s doing the work; why isn’t Reyes satisfied? She tells him she needs him to be honest about what he saw in Spartanburg, and about his feelings.

Doggett argues that feelings don’t solve crimes, so what’s the point? But Reyes isn’t talking about the job. She wants to know what he’s afraid of. He tells her that he needs to believe that he did everything he could to find Luke – everything he could to save him. If Doggett can’t believe that, then the possibilities the other agents are talking about mean he didn’t do everything he could have.

Katha calls Reyes to report that Jeb is at her house. Doggett wants to tag along with Reyes, sure that Jeb is somehow connected to Luke. Jeb has no idea about Katha’s call, but he catches on when she tries to get her daughter, Mia, to leave the room because Reyes has arrived. This backfires, and Jeb pulls his gun and takes Mia hostage. This leads to a stand-off with Doggett, and Mia being used as a human shield/bargaining chip.

Doggett backs off, but Reyes has found another way into the house, and is able to sneak up behind Jeb and shoot him. Katha isn’t happy, even though her daughter is unharmed and was going to be traumatized anyway. Jeb is taken to the same hospital where Scully’s being treated, and Reyes tells Doggett that their work stops here. Maybe saving Mia was the point of all this. Maybe her visions were leading her to save Mia, since they couldn’t save Luke.

Doggett goes to see Scully again, and he has another vision from the field. Only this time, instead of the woman with the flat tire, the body everyone’s standing around is Luke’s – and he’s burned. Mulder brings Doggett back to reality, and they discuss the possibility of a connection between Jeb and Luke. Mulder saw truly evil people when he first started working in the violent-crimes division, and he was never satisfied with scientific explanations.

He accepts that everyone is capable of doing horrible things, but most people can hold back their urges. Some people, however, give in, opening themselves to becoming evil. If that’s true, Doggett says, that means Jeb might be truly evil. Mulder says they might never know. It could be random and meaningless. If not, Doggett’s seeing something that Mulder doesn’t.

Katha’s sitting with Jeb, under Reyes’ watchful eye, when he flatlines. The doctor does, like, the bare minimum to try to save him, but he’s gone. Katha blames Reyes, which makes sense. Then whatever possessed Jeb passes into Katha, and she grabs a fire extinguisher as a weapon to use to kill Reyes. Doggett arrives in time to stop her from finishing Reyes off. He thinks it’s all over, but Reyes knows better.

Mulder takes Scully home after her stint in the hospital, ordering her a new pizza. There’s more pizza-man banter and teasing. It’s cute, I guess. Scully finally gets to open her present, a doll that no child should ever be forced to play with. She likes it, but prefers the other gift Mulder gave her: courage to believe. She hopes she can pass that one along to her baby. Doggett’s still at the hospital, looking in on Katha, who I guess is still possessed. Sorry, not everyone gets a happy ending this time.

Thoughts: Somehow, the least realistic part of this episode is that Jeb left his office without a box full of his belongings.

Also, maybe the real catalyst that made him evil was being named Jeb?

The best way to convince your sister of your innocence is probably not to take her kid hostage. But then again, none of my brothers has ever been the subject of an FBI manhunt, so what do I know?

Once again, I’ve already used a recap title that would be perfect here: “Do You See What I See?”

October 20, 2018

The X-Files 8.16, Three Words: A Conspiracy? On This Show? Are You Sure?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , at 1:18 pm by Jenn

When Mulder’s playing computer games, it’s impossible to get him to go do something else

Summary: There’s a small crowd of tourists outside the White House at 6:44 p.m. A man climbs the fence and takes off running across the lawn. Of course, Secret Service agents stop him and get him on the ground as he says he needs to tell the president something about aliens. The man insists that aliens are taking over the U.S. One of the agents says that the man has a weapon, so Salt gets shot. Before he dies, he hands one of the agents a CD labeled “fight the future.”

Mulder is still in the hospital, having flashes of memory of the experiments the aliens did on him. Scully and a doctor arrive with the news that he’s completely cured of the alien virus. His scars are even repairing themselves. Mulder says he feels like Austin Powers, though he doesn’t elaborate on that.

Scully takes him home, because apparently someone kept paying his rent even after he was thought to be dead. Scully tells him how much she’s been through: learning that he was taken, finding him “dead,” and now getting him back. Her prayers have been answered. Mulder notes that she also got her prayers about getting pregnant answered. He’s happy for her but isn’t sure where he fits in. He’s still processing everything that happened.

In Perkey, West Virginia, a prisoner gives Absalom a book called The Coming Apocalypse. Inside is a news article about the man on the White House lawn. His name was Howard Salt, and he was working on the U.S. census. Kersh is watching a news report about Salt when Doggett and Skinner come to his office. He says they never expected Salt to behave like he did, but then again, people aren’t always what they seem.

Kersh tells Skinner and Doggett that Scully submitted an application on Mulder’s behalf, wanting him to be reinstated to the X-Files. He may be having trouble processing things, but he wants to get back to work. Kersh doesn’t have that same desire. Doggett and Scully have been more successful in solving cases over the past few months than Mulder and Scully were in seven years. Skinner defends Mulder, but Kersh isn’t about to give him any credit for taking on “personal crusades.”

He wants Skinner and Doggett to back him in his decision to keep Mulder off the X-Files. Doggett reminds Kersh that he did his job, which was finding Mulder. Kersh can’t now ask Doggett to take him off of his pet project. Kersh threatens to close the X-Files, but Doggett doesn’t like that idea either. Skinner ends the meeting before Doggett can fight any more.

Skinner goes to Mulder’s to give him the news, though Mulder doesn’t think the decision to keep him off of the X-Files is really Kersh’s. Skinner says he wants to punish Mulder, though in the process, he’s also punishing Scully and Skinner. Scully asks if they’re going to just sit back and let the FBI get what they want. Mulder reminds her that she’s having a baby in a few months, which means she’ll be a little too busy to fight the FBI.

Skinner wants to keep the X-Files open with Doggett in charge. This is the first Mulder has heard Doggett’s name or known that Scully was working with a partner other than himself. He wonders if Doggett is involved in this push to get Mulder out of the X-Files. Scully says Doggett’s a good guy. Mulder decides he really is ready to go back to work.

Some inmates from Absalom’s prison work on a road crew in West Virginia, and for some reason, someone thought it was a good idea to give them shovels. Absalom finds a piece of wood with a nail in it and slips it up his sleeve. On the way back to their prison vans, Absalom overpowers a guard and runs off. The prisoners cheer him on as he manages to outrun a prison van (sure) and lose it by running past a passing train (sure, sure).

Absalom surprises Doggett in his home, I guess having stopped somewhere along the way to look up his address (sure, sure, sure). He has a gun (we’ll just pretend it’s Doggett’s), and subdues Doggett so he can check him for alien implants and make sure he’s still human. Once he has, he shows Doggett an article about Salt and says he was killed for what he knew. Absalom thinks he’ll be killed, too. He only has one chance to save himself.

Absalom wants to take a road trip with Doggett and spread the word that the alien invasion has begun. Some people have been taken away to serve gods unknown to humans. Absalom’s preachings are parables and secrets that have been kept from the world. Doggett’s phone rings, but Absalom won’t let him answer.

Scully’s calling Doggett from a task-force meeting run by Skinner to educate some agents about Absalom. He wrote “fight the future” on the wall of his cell before he escaped the road crew. Though no one’s ever been able to prove that Absalom healed returned abductees, there’s evidence that they were tortured. They need to find Absalom and bring him in so the FBI can get some answers. Skinner doesn’t want to be in charge of this case, since it’s clearly and X-File, but Scully will have to find Doggett before Skinner can hand off the responsibility. (I don’t know why Scully can’t run the investigation while Skinner looks for Doggett, but whatever.)

They both get delayed when Mulder shows up in his office, ready to work. He recognizes Salt from a picture of Absalom’s returned-abductee friends, and he agrees with Absalom that Salt was killed because he knew something. Scully says that Mulder makes this sound like there’s a conspiracy. Scully…what show do you think you’re on? Mulder notes the coincidence of the FBI trying to shut down the X-Files just as there are questions that need to be answered.

Back at Casa Doggett, Absalom is taping a weapon to Doggett’s back so they can put some sort of plan into action. He declares that they’re going to become “overnight sensations.” Meanwhile, Mulder and Scully go to the FBI’s evidence room to look through Salt’s personal effects. Scully’s concerned that Mulder’s willing to take such a big risk – this could get him fired – on the off chance that he’ll find something. Scully, again…what show do you think you’re on? She doesn’t get how Mulder thinks Absalom and Salt can have any answers when there’s no way they’re credible. Mulder’s like, “Hi, have you heard of the X-Files?”

As he starts up Salt’s laptop, Scully tries again to convince him that he’s risking too much – the X-Files and his own freedom. Mulder figures prison would be better than a spaceship where he has to undergo horrible experiments. Scully starts to ditch him, but she comes back when Mulder finds a huge, encrypted file on the computer. She decides to join in the fun and take the hard drive with Mulder.

Doggett and Absalom go to the Federal Statistics Center in Crystal City, Virginia, and it becomes clear that Absalom kidnapped Doggett because he needed an FBI agent to help him get into the building. Security scans show the gun taped to Doggett’s back, but not until the men are already inside the building. Absalom wants to get to some data before he has Doggett call the FBI and tell them what they’re up to. He thinks the proof of the alien invasion is in the census data.

Security guards swarm the men, and even though Absalom warns that he has a weapon, one of the guards shoots him. R.I.P., Absalom, assuming he can be killed. Doggett ends up in Skinner’s office, where he meets Mulder for the first time. Mulder doesn’t give him a warm welcome, since he thinks Doggett is part of the conspiracy to bury the truth. He thinks Doggett got Absalom killed.

Mulder goes to see the Lone Gunmen, who are happy to see him. They’d like to know about his involvement in Scully’s pregnancy, but she doesn’t want to talk about that. She’d much rather discuss the data on Salt’s computer, which he downloaded the day he died. It’s data from the Census Bureau, of course, but firewalls went up on everything at the facility 15 minutes after Salt was shot. Mulder sees this as confirmation that he’s right about the data being important to this conspiracy.

Unfortunately, the encryption is too complicated even for Langly, so they’ll need a password to get to it. That is, unless Mulder’s willing to break into the Federal Statistics Center. He guesses that Scully told the Gunmen to back her up in convincing Mulder not to keep taking risks to pursue the conspiracy. Of course, that’s not going to work.

Doggett has a clandestine meeting with Knowle so he can ask who’s responsible for the conspiracy. Knowle doesn’t care how long he and Doggett have been friends – he’s not getting involved. Doggett says he’s been accused of taking part in the conspiracy. He thinks he’s being used and doesn’t know it. Knowle still won’t help, other than to tell Doggett that there are three words that are key to this investigation.

Doggett next goes to Mulder’s building and intercepts Scully as she’s arriving. He knows he won’t be able to talk to Mulder, so he relays a message for Scully to pass along. He knows about the CD Salt had on him, and he knows the password needed to decrypt Salt’s data. It’s three words: fight the future.

Scully goes up to see Mulder, though she’s hesitant to give him Doggett’s information. She eventually does, and Skinner goes to Doggett’s to tell him what was in the data. It’s the names of people who have a certain genetic profile. Scully’s worried that Mulder’s going to use this information to do something dangerous. Doggett admits that he gave Scully the password, but he won’t tell Skinner how he got it. Skinner wonders whose side Doggett is on. Doggett says he’s starting to wonder the same thing.

Skinner can’t reach Scully, which is weird because…didn’t she just call him to tell him about the data? Doggett heads off, not wanting to give Skinner any information about his plans. He says Skinner will just have to trust him. Doggett returns to the Federal Statistics Center, running into Scully and telling her she needs to leave. He’s afraid he may have accidentally set her up to be the conspiracy’s next victim.

Mulder’s inside with with Lone Gunmen for an Ocean’s 11-esque job, complete with cutting security feeds, opening locked doors, and dangling on cables. Mulder sneaks around the building, looking for a data bank, while Doggett sneaks around looking for him. Mulder finds the data bank and starts emailing files, ignoring Doggett when he finds him and warns him to get out. Doggett shoots through a glass door to get access to the room Mulder’s in, but Mulder still thinks Doggett is part of the conspiracy and again refuses to listen to him.

Mulder states his theory: People with a certain genetic profile are targets for abduction and replacement with alien facsimiles. He’s sending the info out to the press, starting with The Washington Post. He invites Doggett to shoot him if he really wants to stop Mulder. Outside, Scully calls Byers to warn that people are coming and the guys need to get Mulder out of there. Mulder thinks Doggett set him up, but Doggett points out that he wouldn’t be trying to get Mulder to leave if that were the case.

Langly tells Mulder that the data is trapped, so he can’t upload it or transmit it. Men are now swarming the building, and the agents are trapped. The Lone Gunmen come up with a plan and send the men into the ceiling so they can escape the building without being seen.

The next day (I guess), Doggett meets with Knowle again, allowing him two minutes to explain himself before Doggett exposes him as a liar. Skinner is nearby, ready to get Knowle blacklisted. Knowle says he told Doggett what he could; he’s not responsible for what Doggett did next. If Doggett exposes him, he won’t have a source anymore. He’s just on the tip of an iceberg.

Doggett doesn’t appreciate being used to get Mulder killed, but Knowle says that wasn’t the point. The truth is right in front of him, in the X-Files. Knowle is trying to point him in the right direction. Doggett leaves, dissatisfied by unable to do anything else. Knowle watches, pleased, with the kind of bulge in his neck that Absalom would be interested in knowing about.

Thoughts: So I guess Mulder and Scully aren’t discussing her pregnancy, the details of the conception, how he might be the baby’s father, etc.? What an elephant to always have in the room.

I’m surprised Kersh didn’t have Mulder barred from the building. Or can anyone with a badge just waltz in, whether or not they’re still employed there?

Salt wrote his password right on the CD? Wow. Dumb.

I think I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating: Mulder in a leather jacket gets a 10/10 from me.

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.”

October 6, 2018

The X-Files 8.14, This Is Not Happening: The Aliens Giveth and the Aliens Taketh Away

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 1:18 pm by Jenn

Spoiler alert: It’s happening

Summary: It’s almost 1 a.m. in Helena, Montana, and Richie Szalay is chasing what he thinks is a UFO through the desert. He tries to take a picture of the bright light shining down from the sky, but his camera won’t work. “This is not happening!” he yells as the light slowly disappears. A man approaches from the direction of the light, but when Richie calls out to him, the man runs off. Richie chases him, but trips over an unconscious body on the ground. “This is not happening,” he says again.

In D.C., Doggett takes a look at Mulder’s long-unused nameplate while waiting for Scully to meet him in the office. They go up to meet Skinner, who tells them about the incident in Montana. Richie thinks that the man he saw running away from him was an alien. Skinner reminds Scully that she and Mulder met Richie; Skinner thinks Richie’s experience in Helena might have something to do with Mulder. And if that’s not enough, the body Richie came across belongs to Theresa Nemman.

The three agents fly to Helena to see Theresa, who’s not doing well. Her doctor, Desai, has never seen someone who’s been treated so badly. The only words Theresa has spoken since she was brought to the hospital were a request for her baby. Desai thinks she was experimented on. The damage he describes sounds like what Mulder also experienced earlier in the season. Scully asks about little metal implants, but Desai hasn’t seen any of those.

Doggett gets some info that leads the agents to Richie. He explains that he’s in Montana looking into his friend Gary’s disappearance. He had no luck for a long time, but a bunch of UFO sightings in Montana have been reported in the past few weeks. Doggett asks about the man Richie saw, telling him they found shoeprints left behind by his Nikes. He doubts that the aliens would wear shoes like that. Richie’s like, “Do Nike-wearing humans have spaceships?”

Doggett leaves, thinking this is all just a dumb story from a nutbar. Scully asks if he really thinks a human is responsible for Theresa’s condition. He replies that it doesn’t matter – their job is to find Mulder. Scully thinks this is a break in the case, but Doggett says it’s just hope. He wants Scully to admit that, though she badly wants to find Mulder, she’s also afraid to.

Scully has a nightmare about Mulder undergoing experiments on a spaceship, then wakes Skinner up to express her fears that Mulder’s dead. The two stand outside their motel and look up at the stars. Scully says she and Mulder once talked about how starlight is so old that we can see stars that are already dead. Mulder said souls reside up there, in light that never dies. Scully hopes he’s right. Skinner tells her she doesn’t need to prepare herself for the worst. There’s no reason to believe that Mulder won’t come back to them just fine.

Jeremiah Smith goes to Theresa’s hospital, turning himself into Desai to tell a nurse he wants to have Theresa transferred somewhere else. He’s wearing Nikes, so that’s a strike against Doggett. In the morning, Scully learns that Theresa’s gone missing. Doggett calls her and Skinner out to the desert to talk to an agent named Monica Reyes. He thinks her background in religious studies and ritualistic crimes will help their investigation.

Instead of presenting her theory, Reyes asks Scully what she thinks happened. What actually happened is most likely different from what they want to have happened. Scully would rather stick to the facts, which are that Theresa was left there with strange injuries. Reyes doesn’t think those injuries came from ritualistic abuse or cult practices. But since the people who were allegedly abducted were all believers, maybe they all joined a UFO cult.
Doggett thinks this makes sense – Theresa escaped, and the leader came back to get her so she wouldn’t turn him in. If they find the cult leader, they might find Mulder, too. Reyes thinks Theresa’s still alive, though she doesn’t have any proof, just a feeling. Scully walks away, telling Doggett that Reyes hasn’t been any help. For example, she hasn’t explained how Desai, who supposedly requested Theresa’s transfer, could be in two places at once. Doggett tells her that if she suggests this is the work of another alien bounty hunter, they’ll have to part company. “Enjoy your new company,” Scully tells him.

Jeremiah has taken Theresa to what looks like some old Army barracks, but not to kill her – he wants to heal her. They’re with a man named Absalom who’s very grateful for Jeremiah’s healing powers. Scully runs into Reyes at the hospital, looking at Theresa’s medical records. She sees no signs of the implants Scully asked about earlier. Scully wonders why Reyes would ask about a common piece of evidence of alien abduction if she’s not a believer. Reyes says she’s open-minded and doesn’t “not believe.”

She continues that she specializes in satanic-ritual abuse, which makes Scully think they could have some really interesting conversations in the future. Reyes was a black sheep in the New Orleans field office because of her beliefs, or “spiritual notions.” She believes there are energies in the universe that she’s sensitive to. She just gets feelings. Though she doesn’t get any about Mulder, she can feel Scully’s fear, and she thinks Scully should stay open. Fear won’t help her or anyone else.

Reyes drives off somewhere, trying to fight temptation to light up a cigarette from her pack of Morleys. Her car starts acting weird, like Mulder’s has done twice in the past. She sees a light out in the desert and pulls over. Jeremiah and Absalom are also out there, dropping off another returned abductee. She tries to detain them, but they drive off, leaving another body behind.

This time, the returned abductee is dead – it’s Gary. Scully does the autopsy, fighting back tears as she worries that Mulder has suffered the same fate. Richie arrives and identifies the friend he’s spent months looking for. Scully gathers herself, ready to do her job. Meanwhile, Reyes approaches Doggett to offer comfort, knowing he’s hurting for Scully. He can’t believe that she’s able to work through her fears to do her job. Reyes knows he can relate, but Doggett would rather not discuss that. Reyes ignores him to give us a little exposition: Doggett spent three days looking for his missing son, fearing the worst. Doggett says that’s why he can’t stand conversations about spaceships.

Reyes insists that’s what she saw, but that’s not important right now. She’s ID’d Absalom, who used to lead a doomsday cult that thought aliens would take over the world at the turn of the millennium. When they didn’t (possibly because he thought they would come in 2000 instead of 2001), he started dabbling in credit card fraud. Reyes ran a trace on his license plate and knows where to find him.

Absalom and his buddies are having dinner together at his compound when Jeremiah announces that they need to get everyone inside. He knows the FBI is coming, and they need to make sure the agents can’t find “him.” The agents lead a raid on the property, nabbing Absalom and coming across a completely healed Theresa. Jeremiah is nowhere to be seen (but since he can shapeshift, he could easily be hiding in plain sight).

Scully and Doggett question Absalom, threatening to talk to his 46 followers if he doesn’t give them answers. Absalom says he just goes to retrieve the returned abductees when they’re dropped in the desert. He only wants to help them. Doggett asks if he helped Theresa when he left her for dead. Scully notes that the abductees coming back with injuries that aren’t consistent with other narratives about alien abductions. Absalom says he was right about the invasion at the turn of the millennium – that’s when this all started.

Reyes listens from outside the room as Scully tells Absalom that he’s not a credible witness, so he should focus on telling the truth. Absalom insists that he is. He has video cameras around his compound to help the abductees feel safe. Scully asks if any of those cameras have recorded how Theresa was miraculously healed. Absalom says no, Scully emotionally reminds him that she needs truth, then asks if he has video footage of Mulder. Again, he says no. Outside the room, Skinner tells Reyes that he thinks Absalom’s hiding something. She agrees.

Scully goes to her motel room and thinks she sees Mulder, but when Reyes joins her, she doesn’t see anyone. They regroup with Doggett and Skinner to watch some tapes from Absalom’s compound. They can see a body in Absalom’s truck, but they can’t see whose it is. Scully recognizes Jeremiah, who also appears on footage from the compound. Scully puts together that Jeremiah must have healed Theresa. The footage shows Jeremiah turning into Doggett during the raid, even though Doggett never went into the building.

The agents return to the compound to search for Jeremiah. No one will tell Scully where he is, but she singles out a man wearing Nikes and tries to get him to reveal himself. He won’t admit to anything, but Scully’s sure he’s Jeremiah. Reyes leaves the room to take care of something else, and when Scully turns back to the man, he’s shifted into Jeremiah. He warns that if she exposes him, she’ll endanger others. He’s saved abductees all over the country – he’s the only one who can.

Scully asks about Mulder, and Jeremiah says he was at the compound at one point. Before he can give any details, Skinner calls her away. Jeremiah asks Scully to protect him. The agents head to the woods, where they’ve found a body. It’s Mulder, and he’s (allegedly) dead. Scully runs off, insisting that he needs help, and sees a bright light in the sky. A spaceship hovers over the compound, illuminating one of the buildings. Scully runs inside and looks at all the returned abductees, who are screaming in fear of being taken again. But this time, Jeremiah’s the one who vanishes. “This is not happening!” Scully yells when she discovers him missing. To be continued…

Thoughts: Eddie Kaye Thomas, who plays Gary, was also in Scorpion with Robert Patrick. (The three people who watched Scorpion: “Oh, yeah, I remember that.”)

If you drink every time a ford of the word “happen” is spoken in this episode, you’ll be drunk by the halfway point.

This week’s lesson: When planting or retrieving abduction victims’ bodies, use a vehicle that can’t be traced to you.

September 29, 2018

The X-Files 8.13, Per Manum: Alien-Baby Baby Mamas

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:16 pm by Jenn

“Don’t worry, Scully. We’ll get you knocked up. We’ll get you knocked up real good”

Summary: A woman named Kath McCready is in labor and would be totally fine with putting off this whole giving-birth thing until tomorrow. The baby’s heart rate starts going wild, so her obstetrician, Dr. Lev, says it’s time for an emergency C-section. He sends Kath’s husband off to get ready for surgery, then gets to work. Kath thinks something’s wrong, and I’d say it definitely is, since that baby is an alien. (Good luck, friends and family who look at baby pictures and have to pretend that thing is cute.)

Remember how Scully’s pregnant, even though that hasn’t been mentioned for multiple episodes? She’s gotten an ultrasound and is starting to show slightly. When she gets to work, she meets Kath’s husband, Duffy Haskell. He contacted the X-Files eight years ago, before Scully started there, because Kath had been abducted by aliens. Now she’s dead, and Duffy blames “them.”

Doggett explains that Duffy wrote Mulder some letters about the abduction years ago. Now Kath has had an alien baby, and Duffy thinks that’s why she was killed. She was abducted multiple times and underwent procedures. The results were exactly like what Scully’s gone through. And like Scully, Kath was supposedly unable to have a baby, at least until the aliens implanted her with an alien embryo. Duffy thinks all the doctors Kath saw were in on the conspiracy. They killed her and stole her alien child.

Scully accepts Duffy’s supposed proof, an ultrasound, and sends him away. Then she jabs at Doggett for bringing her a case that sounds insane. Doggett knows Scully’s history from the X-Files and says he thought she’d be interested in the case because Kath’s history is just like hers. Well, except for the pregnancy part. Scully coolly tells him to stay out of her personal history, whether or not it’s documented in the X-Files.

Flashback! Some unspecified time ago, Scully and Mulder meet up in an elevator after she has a doctor’s appointment. She admits that the aliens’ tests left her unable to conceive a baby. She’s struggling to accept that she’ll never have a child. Mulder makes his own confession: He knew she couldn’t conceive. Her ova were taken during an experiment, and he had them sent to a lab for testing. They’re not viable, so even if Scully were able to get them back and try in vitro fertilization, she still wouldn’t be able to have a baby.

Back in the present, Doggett catches up to Scully and asks what she wants to do about Duffy. She says there’s no need to do anything. She goes to Zeus Genetics in Germantown, Maryland, and takes a look around when no one greets her in the lobby. She hears a woman named Mary Hendershot crying and yelling as Dr. Lev tries to calm her. Before he can see her, Scully hides…in a storage room full of fetuses. Lev finds her there, and Scully pretends she came to the office with Mary.

Scully heads home without getting busted further and calls her doctor, James Parenti. As she waits for him to come to the phone, she compares her ultrasound to Kath’s. She tells Parenti that she’s scared and wants him to compare them as well. He’s not in his office, but he’ll look at them as soon as he can. And the reason he’s not in his office is because he’s in the fetus storage room at Zeus, looking at Kath’s alien baby.

Flashback! Scully has taken the ova to Parenti, who disagrees with Mulder about their viability and thinks she can get pregnant. In fact, they can start trying right away, as soon as they get a father. Parenti suggests an anonymous donor, but Scully has a much less anonymous man in mind. She’ll just have to figure out how to ask him to make a baby with her.

In the present, Parenti tells Scully that her and Kath’s ultrasounds look fine. He tells her it’s normal to be worried, but right now her only concern needs to be telling the FBI about her pregnancy. At the office, Doggett gets a call from Parenti’s office about the ultrasound, which is a real jerk move, Parenti. Doggett was doing a background check on Kath and Duffy, even though Scully thinks they should drop the case. He thinks she was at Parenti’s to investigate as well, even as she says there’s nothing left to do.

Doggett accuses Scully of keeping secrets and lying, which makes it hard for him to do his job. Scully says Parenti is her doctor; she wasn’t at his office on business. Doggett is satisfied with that and turns his attention back to Kath and Duffy, calling Duffy a piece of work. Turns out he’s the president of Ohio’s MUFON and has written some not-so-nice letters. For example, he wrote Lev to threaten to hurt him if anything happened to Kath. Mulder was so concerned about the letters that he passed them along to Skinner.

Duffy insists again that Lev killed Kath and stole the baby. Doggett says that he can’t find any confirmation that Kath and Duffy were married (not sure what that has to do with anything, but okay), and no history of foul play on Lev’s part. He’s an expert in the field of birth defects, and his peers respect him. Duffy, however, has made threats that have put him in the FBI’s radar. So which of these two men is the one the agents need to be concerned about?

Duffy tells the agents that Lev and his colleagues have taken everything from him. He thinks there are other women out there who have been through the same things as Kath. As soon as he leaves, he calls Lev to tell him that the FBI is trying to poke holes in his story, just as Lev suspected. They’re at risk to lose Mary, so they need to let her go. Ooh, conspirators!

Flashback! Scully has asked Mulder to be her baby daddy, and amazingly, he’s had to take some time to think it over instead of immediately saying yes and/or proposing marriage. He wants to make sure that having a baby together won’t come between them. Scully thinks that means he’s saying no, but he’s saying yes. They’re going to do this in a lab, though, and not the old-fashioned, naked, sexy way. How disappointing. In the present, Mary comes to Scully’s apartment and warns that their unborn babies are both in danger.

Scully, Skinner, and Doggett meet up at a diner so Scully can announce that she needs a leave of absence. She won’t tell Doggett why. He’s thrilled to be woken up in the middle of the night to be told he’s on his own with the X-Files now. After he leaves, Skinner urges Scully to tell Doggett the truth, but she says she can’t. She follows Doggett out and insists she’s not doing anything behind his back. He reminds her that she’s supposed to be watching his back. She promises that if she were putting him at risk, she would let him know. Scully heads off with Mary, which just makes Doggett more suspicious.

The women go to Walden-Freedman Army Research Hospital to tell their stories to a team of doctors headed by a Dr. Miryum. Mary doesn’t have medical records with her since she can’t trust her doctors. She was friends with Kath and thinks the doctors killed her because she saw too much. Since Mary’s 40 weeks along, Miryum thinks they should induce labor and deliver right away so they can get some answers. An agent named Farah brings Doggett some information he found while running Duffy and Kath’s background checks. Duffy’s fingerprints match those of a David Haskell, who supposedly died in 1970 and was buried in an honor-guard cemetery.

At Walden-Freedman, the doctors induce Mary, who confesses to Scully that she’s afraid of what’s inside her. She realized early on that her boyfriend couldn’t have fathered her baby, and it must have been the result of an abduction. She’s unsure of what kind of baby she’ll be having. Miryum gives Scully an ultrasound and pronounces her baby healthy. She offers to do an amniocentesis to find out the baby’s sex.

Doggett meets up with a guy named Knowle Rohrer, who was supposed to find out if Duffy and David are the same person. Knowle says he could have been a CIA agent who had his death faked, but that doesn’t explain why he went to see Scully and Doggett about his wife’s alien abduction. Doggett thinks it’s tied to the alien conspiracy, which Knowle denies exists. (Hmm, sounds like something that someone who’s part of an alien conspiracy would say.)

Left alone in her exam room, Scully finds a VHS tape (kids, ask your parents) labeled “Nancy Boxwell, 11-23-00.” She goes to Mary’s room and tells her they have to leave. Meanwhile, Doggett goes to Skinner and asks how to get in touch with Scully. He thinks Duffy has misled all of them. His plan the whole time was to get Scully to go wherever she is. Skinner says she’s safe, but since Scully’s at a hospital, and doctors have been killing women, and doctors work in hospitals…well, Skinner can connect the dots, right?

Skinner calls the hospital while Mary and Scully sneak out. They run into Knowle, who says he’s a friend of Doggett’s and will take them someplace safe. Scully, like an idiot, doesn’t question it. They’re supposedly going to another hospital so Mary can have her baby in safety. They have to hide from some MPs, and of course Mary’s now in active labor, so this is a bad situation all around. Scully orders Knowle and his colleague to stop the car so Mary can have the baby.

But Knowle keeps Scully away, telling her it’s for her own safety. He sedates her while his colleague delivers the baby as what looks like an MP watches from afar. When Scully wakes up, she’s back at Walden-Freedman with Doggett by her bed. He now knows she’s pregnant and assures her that she and the baby are both fine. So are Mary and her son, who’s human. Scully thinks there was a baby swap as part of a cover-up.

Doggett says that the doctors’ official ruling is that Scully got worked up over her fears for her baby and overreacted to Mary’s situation. Scully says that Miryum lied to her – she showed Scully a tape of another woman’s ultrasound to make her think her baby was normal and human. Doggett says they just taped Scully’s procedure over someone else’s. (Still not a great practice by that hospital, but at least better than what Scully thinks happened.) He sent Knowle and his colleague to help Scully and Mary, so whatever they did was on his orders.

Scully refuses to believe this: The whole thing was a cover-up, and Scully and Mary are pawns. Doggett’s just glad Scully’s okay, though he’s annoyed that she never told him she was pregnant. She admits that she was afraid the FBI would use it against her and take her off the X-Files, which means she wouldn’t be able to keep looking for Mulder. Doggett reminds her that he promised he would help with the search, and he’s still going to.

One last flashback! Scully comes home from her last attempt at in vitro with the news that it didn’t succeed. Mulder gives her a comforting hug and a kiss on the forehead, and tells her to never give up on a miracle. In the present, Scully puts her hand on her stomach. So the mystery remains unsolved: Is the baby Mulder’s or an alien’s? (Or some third option presented in season 11 that I don’t want to even entertain?)

Thoughts: Knowle is played by Adam Baldwin. Kath is played by Megan Follows.

Knowle Rohrer might be the worst name I’ve ever heard. Top five, at least.

Scully’s hair is so big in this episode, I guess because it’s full of secrets.

When Duffy leaves to get scrubbed for the C-section, he tells Kath, “Don’t wait for me.” Yeah, here’s a guy who understands how emergency C-sections work.

The recap title comes from what David Duchovny called Gillian Anderson while presenting her with an award: his “alien-baby baby mama.”

September 22, 2018

The X-Files 8.12, Medusa: As If Public Transportation Weren’t Awful Enough

Posted in TV tagged , at 1:29 pm by Jenn

I’m sure Sephora has something that will help that feel better

Summary: The Clay Street subway station in Boston is quiet and mostly empty, except for a couple of people waiting for a train. One of them, an undercover cop, reports a possible 1013 (thanks, Chris Carter), a man who might be about to jump on the platform. When the train (which is being called an M here instead of a T, so the show could use M trains in L.A. for filming) arrives, the reporter, Officer Philbrick, gets on. He thinks he’s alone, but his 1013 is following him.

As he approaches Philbrick, the train screeches to a stop. Philbrick drops his gun and tries to grab for it as the 1013 closes in. There’s screaming. Sometime later, the regular commuters get on the train, and a woman sees Philbrick’s dead body, the skin on his face half missing and showing his skeleton underneath. I hope her boss lets her take the day off to recover from this trauma.

Scully and Doggett go to the Transit Operations Center and meet Karras, the deputy chief of the transit police, and a lieutenant named Bianco. Scully wants to examine the body, but Karras is more interested in getting the trains back on schedule. They’ve had to shut down the system for hours, and Karras wants things back to normal by 4 p.m., four hours from now. Scully says their priority is finding out why Philbrick is dead.

Bianco has a theory: The train lost power, and someone killed Philbrick with acid or lye. Scully says his theory isn’t important; they need to find out exactly what the killer did and try to prevent him from hurting anyone else. Bianco says no biological or chemical agents were found. They’re dealing with one single suspect. Doggett points out that that’s just what they’re telling the press; who knows if it’s the truth? Karras repeats that he just wants the FBI to get things ready for reopening by 4 p.m.

Doggett and Scully meet Steven Melnick, the chief structural engineer, and Hellura Lyle, from the CDC. Melnick built the track and is familiar with every inch of the station. Scully’s confused about Lyle’s presence, though, since she was told there were no pathogens in the station. Lyle quips dryly that she must just be there for moral support. Karras says they’re just covering their bases. Scully is there because she’s an expert in “equivocal death.” Melnick laughs at that, since “you’re dead or you’re not, right?” Lyle asks about Doggett, who says he’s there because he’s a good shot.

The ragtag team of heroes suits up in tactical gear, though Scully doesn’t think she needs to venture into the tunnel with them. She wants Doggett to be her eyes and ears while she hangs back and focuses on Philbrick. Doggett agrees, though he’s not sure what he’s supposed to be looking for as Scully’s eyes.

Scully goes to the station’s control center and confirms for Doggett, Melnick, Lyle, and Bianco that the third rail has been shut down, so they can go wherever they need. Thanks to surveillance equipment she gave Doggett, she can see everything the team sees. It’s incredibly hot in the tunnel because the ventilation system has been shut down, so the heroes are immediately uncomfortable. Doggett wonders why the ventilation system was turned off if they’re looking for a person. Bianco asks why, if that’s the case, he brought a weapon along.

The heroes pass by a puddle that I’m sure would look kind of weird if this show used any kind of lighting. Suddenly, Melnick feels something on his neck. He ends up with a burn. He thinks it’s from landfill seepage, and Lyle guesses that the same stuff that dripped on Melnick is in the puddle they walked through. Doggett tells her to get a sample. He thinks Philbrick’s death was from a toxic leak, not homicide. But this means Karras’ insistence that there were no contaminants in the station might be a lie.

Lyle gets a sample from the puddle and somehow transmits it to Scully in the control center. It’s just sea water, though. Scully decides to contact someone to get a molecular analysis. Karras reminds her that she only has four hours. Dude, unless you want all those commuters to die, just let her work. In the tunnel, Bianco and Melnick see someone behind Doggett, but Doggett and Lyle don’t see him. The team keeps moving.

Bianco’s too hot to keep on his bulletproof vest; he figures if the killer wanted him dead, he would have shot already. The team comes across a tunnel from the old subway system, which means they’re now at a fork in the line. Karras says the old line is decommissioned, so there’s no point checking it out. It’ll take them a mile out of their way. The heroes take a quick look around, and though Bianco agrees that it’s a waste of time, Melnick notes that there are a lot of places to hide in there. In fact, someone’s hiding there right now.

Doggett gets knocked out by the unseen attacker, who’s now dead, looking much like Philbrick did. “Would you call that equivocal?” Melnick asks. Lyle takes some photos to send to Scully as Melnick sees something and tries to approach it. Bianco thinks the case is closed, though – the attacker fits the description of the 1013 who’s suspected of killing Philbrick. The 1013 is dead, so their work here is done. Doggett ignores him and approaches the thing Melnick saw. Well, things – three dead bodies.

Doggett examines the corpses, which he thinks were squatters. Scully sees that they have the same tissue degradation as Philbrick and the 1013. They may be dealing with a contagion after all. Doggett summons Lyle over to tell her the CDC may have been wrong, but she sees someone else running through the tunnel. No one else sees anything, and Bianco says again that they need to just leave already. Scully tells Doggett that he needs to keep searching.

Karras tells Scully he’ll get a crew in the tunnel after rush hour, but right now everyone needs to get out. Scully points out that a contagion might mean a spreading infection. Karras reminds her that the only thing they’ve sampled is sea water. The CDC says there’s no contaminant, and he believes them. The three men must have been killed by the 1013. Scully’s like, “So he killed four people, then killed himself the same way? Uh-uh.” She refuses to risk the contagion spreading before she can figure out what it is.

Doggett asks for a ruling, so Scully tells him to leave the bodies and go after the person Lyle saw. Whether he’s killing people or is infected, he’s a threat. Doggett tells the others that “the boss” has given orders, and they’re following them. As they continue their search, Bianco asks Doggett how well he knows Scully. Why send him down to the tunnel instead of going down herself? Doggett has no time for questioning Scully’s judgment, even if it means he and his team members are the ones putting themselves at risk. Who’s really in charge here?

Scully informs Doggett that the team is about 50 yards from where the train stopped. Melnick feels something electrical on his arm and starts yelling – his arm is now covered in wounds, all of them burning. All Scully can prescribe is water. She thinks they’re dealing with a biochemical weapon. “A lot of people might be taking cabs home,” Doggett tells the team.

Scully studies a map of the grid and finds the only place where the man they’re looking for could be hiding. Lyle says Melnick isn’t well enough to go anywhere, so Doggett and Bianco leave the two of them behind for a Hazmat team to come collect for quarantine. Doggett isn’t aware that Bianco has come in contact with the contaminant himself, and his arm is starting to glow.

The Hazmat team collects Melnick and Lyle; she’s fine but he’s getting worse. Scully promises that she’s working on figuring out a treatment. She follows the Hazmat team as they bring out the three dead bodies, but they won’t tell her where they’re going. Karras calmly says that they’ve arranged for whatever happens next. Scully accuses him of knowing the three bodies were down there earlier. She certainly hopes that he didn’t allow the heroes to go into the tunnel knowing they could be at risk for contamination. Karras gives in and lets Scully send the bodies to the CDC.

Doggett and Bianco come across an old stop in the abandoned tunnel but still don’t see whoever it is they’re looking for. Scully’s away from her post, so Doggett can’t get her input. Bianco thinks it’s time to make their own call and stop pretending that Scully knows what she’s doing. Doggett notices Bianco’s infection, which has started spreading to his face. He thinks this is a reason to keep searching the tunnel.

Bianco doesn’t want to stick around when he could be the next to die, but Doggett notes that he doesn’t seem to be reacting to the contaminant the way the others did. Bianco starts to leave, but Doggett and his gun force him to stay. Well, at least until Bianco can catch Doggett off-guard, kick him, and run off. (Doggett’s been knocked out twice now in this episode. I hope he also gets to take some time off of work.)

Scully’s now back on comms, too late to see what happened to Doggett or understand why he’s not answering her. A marine biologist named Kai Bowe arrives with the analysis of the water sample. It contains high levels of calcium, and appears to contain a medusa, a bioluminescent creature. Bowe’s like, “Wherever this thing came from, it’s pretty incredible.” Scully’s like, “It’s killing people, but okay, we’ll go with ‘incredible.’ I mean, sea water that eats off people’s flesh – that’s definitely incredible, in the sense that no one’s going to find it credible.”

Scully continues that something triggers the harmful nature of the creature, since it’s not just killing people on contact. And they’d better figure out that trigger soon, because Doggett, still unconscious from Bianco’s attack, has become infected. Scully’s finally able to rouse him and see that his hands are now glowing. Bianco, who was just there yelling for help, is gone now. Scully announces that she’s sending a Hazmat team for Doggett, but he wants to keep moving. He knows he has the best chance to stop Bianco from continuing the spread of the contagion.

As Bowe calls the CDC for backup in figuring out the medusa’s trigger, Scully tells Karras that they have to block all the exits to try to contain the potential outbreak. Karras says no – there are already passengers in the station, waiting for the trains to start back up. Scully relays this to Doggett, who now has only 20 minutes to find Bianco and/or the man he’s been looking for in the tunnels. Since he hasn’t triggered the medusa by moving around, he figures he can keep moving without doing any more damage.

Doggett comes across Bianco, who’s collapsed in the tunnel. Scully alerts Bowe to some glowing on the ground, and realizes that Karras has left the control center. She tells Doggett to leave, but Doggett won’t abandon Bianco. The two make their way out of the tunnel, which is glowing more and more as the contaminant progresses. They spot someone else – a boy who wants Doggett to follow him somewhere. The fact that he’s not infected makes Scully realize what triggers the infection: sweat.

Sweat acts as a conductive agent, like electricity, that makes the infection worsen. Since the boy is so young that his sweat glands haven’t full developed, he’s basically immune. Of course, since it’s super-hot in the tunnel and Doggett’s been running around down there for four hours, he’s pretty sweaty. The boy leads him to a spot where a big leak has caused all the walls to glow. Doggett thinks this is the source of the contagion, a leak from the bay. The boy can walk through it without being affected. Scully think he’s showing Doggett the way out.

Doggett goes back to get Bianco, and the two follow the boy to the main system, which is glowing from contagion. Even worse, the trains have started up. Like Mulder before him, Doggett has a stupid idea: Use the third rail, his gun, and the contaminant to create an explosive that burns up the organism. He almost gets hit by a train, but since he’s still in a season and a half of the show, he doesn’t. Scully’s worried when she loses communications with her partner, because she’s clearly started caring about him, but he’s okay.

Doggett ends up in the hospital, though the organism is gone, so it’s just a precaution. Scully lets him know he can leave. Melnick and Bianco need some plastic surgery to deal with their wounds, but everyone’s healthy. Doggett complains about Karras’s recklessness, which could have led to hundreds of people getting infected. Scully tells him that since he destroyed the organism, and they have no data on the pathogen, no criminal charges can be filed. Karras will just be credited for doing his job to keep the trains running. Scully, however, knows that Doggett was a hero. Doggett wants her to have the credit, since she figured out what was going on. He was just her eyes and ears. Scully, however, doesn’t seem comfortable letting herself claim the win here.

Thoughts: Karras is played by Ken Jenkins. Lyle is played by Penny Johnson. Melnick is played by Brent Sexton.

I like the concept of this episode, of Doggett teaming up with strangers to go on a hunt. I think it was a good choice to have Scully watching from afar, seeing things the people in the tunnel might not have. Plus, since she’s pregnant, she didn’t have to spend the episode worrying about getting sick.

I think it’s interesting that in earlier seasons, Mulder would have made the call about Scully’s role, but here, she decides where she’s the most useful. And I like that Doggett keeps letting her call the shots throughout the episode. Neither of them has a clue what’s going on, but she’s slightly less clueless, so he lets her take the lead.

September 15, 2018

The X-Files 8.11, The Gift: Surprise! The Gift Is a Bunch of Goo!

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:17 pm by Jenn

If you ask me, this is the real gift

Summary: Someone is driving through the rain at night in Squamash Township, Pennsylvania. Drive, someone, drive! The driver approaches a house, carrying a gun, and passes through a door with a cross-like symbol on it. The people inside the house aren’t happy to see this person. The driver shoots a creature in the house, then gets back in the car. We finally see who it is: Mulder. Yay, he’s back!

Now Doggett’s driving his car somewhere. Drive, Doggett, drive! He has a flashback to Scully talking to Skinner about how Mulder was dying but didn’t tell anyone. Then he has a flashback to asking Scully how far she thinks Mulder would go to get the truth. He promises to find Mulder, no matter what that entails.

It looks like it entails Doggett going to Squamash Township to meet up with Sheriff Kurt Frey. Kurt confirms that Mulder visited last spring to look into the disappearance of a woman named Marie Hangemuhl. Kurt says Marie wasn’t really missing, and Mulder wasn’t really investigating. Marie was in her house the whole time; her sister just got worried and called the authorities.

Kurt doesn’t know why the FBI is involved in a crime that’s not a crime. Why send two agents at two separate times, let alone one? Doggett asks if Mulder had a personal connection to the case, since cell phone records show that he came back a week before he disappeared. This is news to Kurt. The two go to the house Mulder visited in the first scene, which we now know belongs to Paul and Marie Hangemuhl. Paul is annoyed that he has to rehash things; it’s a personal matter, nothing for the FBI to worry about.

Flashback! Mulder questions the Hangemuhls, who insist that Marie’s sister is worried over nothing. However, Marie had told her sister that she was leaving town because she was afraid of something. Mulder thinks the two are covering up their knowledge of something or someone coming to the house. Paul angrily says that they had a fight, but everything’s fine now.

In the present, Doggett goes over Mulder’s visit with the couple. They lie that he never came back (and he definitely didn’t shoot anyone in their house, no, siree!). Doggett notices a dialysis machine, and Paul says that Marie has end-stage kidney failure. Doggett tries to ask about the visitor Mulder thought was coming to the house, but Paul counters by asking if Mulder had mental issues. There’s a local folk legend about a creature in the woods, and Mulder thought it was real. He thought the creature was coming to eat Marie alive.

As they leave, Doggett asks Kurt if the couple owns a gun. He saw three holes in the wall that had been plastered over. Kurt is willing to go back in and ask, but Doggett declines. He goes back to Virginia and searches Mulder’s apartment, taking a moment to feed the fish. He finds Mulder’s gun hidden under the sink. In Pennsylvania, Kurt oversees some digging of an area marked with stones in the shape of the symbol that was on the Hangemuhls’ door. Paul has heard rumors about something and has come by to get confirmation from Kurt.

Doggett takes Mulder’s gun to the FBI’s firearms-toolmarks unit and tells Skinner it was missing three rounds – possibly the three bullets that left holes in the Hangemuhls’ wall. But Mulder never filed a report about discharging the three rounds, or even about his visit to the house. The reports he filed during that time period state that he was in D.C. Skinner defensively asks if Doggett’s calling Mulder a liar. Yeah, I think so, Skinner.

Doggett has found blood on the gun, which is enough to prove that Mulder shot someone. Skinner angrily insists that Mulder didn’t kill someone and run away – he was abducted. He thinks this is about Doggett anyway. He wants to give the FBI an explanation for Mulder’s disappearance so Doggett can get transferred off the X-Files. Doggett says he just wants the truth. Skinner tells him to ask Scully, but Doggett says he can’t. She co-signed Mulder’s false reports, so whatever’s going on, she’s in on it. Skinner doesn’t want Scully’s job to be at risk, but Doggett has another idea.

In Pennsylvania, Kurt, Paul, and some others descend on a cabin and yell for someone to bring out…something. A woman emerges and says the something is dead. (The woman doesn’t get a name, but I’ll call her Sheila, since she’s played by the actress who played David’s mother on Beverly Hills, 90210.) Something human-ish runs into the woods, and the people chase him, letting their hunting dogs lead the way. They capture him in a net and drag it back to their trucks as Sheila begs them to leave him alone.

Doggett and Skinner return to Pennsylvania and go to the sheriff’s station looking for Kurt. He pretends he’s just coming back from a hunting trip. The agents ask about a death certificate he filed for an unidentified transient found in the woods. Doggett asks why no case report was filed. The body was dumped outside a cabin the morning after Mulder came back to Pennsylvania. Since it’s logical to assume that Mulder killed the man, Doggett and Skinner would like to examine the body.

Kurt directs the agents to the grave, where the agents discuss whether Mulder would kill someone, and why the people in town would cover it up. But they’re not going to get any answers from the body, since it’s missing from its grave – which was, of course, the spot marked by the stones. Doggett guesses that Kurt is the graverobber. But there’s also another route out of the grave, which means, as unlikely as it sounds, the unidentified man may have crawled out of his own coffin after being shot three times and buried. Skinner’s also interested in why someone left the stones on top of the grave.

Paul is painting the symbol on his door, possibly in blood, when Kurt comes by to tell him that they need to move quickly. Paul says Marie isn’t ready, but Kurt doesn’t care. Marie doesn’t think she can do this, but Paul says they don’t have any other options. Someone else arrives at the house, hauling the creature in his truck. Marie strips naked and kisses Paul, who promises he’ll be waiting for her when this is over. Kurt lets the creature out of the truck and into the house, where it starts feeding on Marie.

Sometime later, Doggett and Skinner come by and demand that Paul tell them why Mulder came back to town when he did. They ask to see Marie, who’s not downstairs with her husband. Skinner sees some blood on the floor, and Doggett says Paul missed a spot when he was cleaning up. In some cave somewhere, the creature is doing gross things to Marie that involve gross noises.

Doggett imagines Mulder’s visit to the Hangemuhls and his murder of the creature. Paul has told the agents that Marie coughed up the blood on the floor. Since Mulder’s not the type to just randomly kill someone, Doggett thinks he shot the transient to protect Marie. Skinner uses a piece of police technology to show Doggett the remains of the symbol Paul drew on the door in blood.

The agents place an early-’00s video Internet call to the Lone Gunmen. It’s late, so the Gunmen were asleep, and Langly isn’t wearing pants. The guys identify the symbol as a medicine wheel, which is associated with Native American shaman. The circle is the continuum between life and death, and the cross is paths of sorrow and happiness. The Lakota teach that these elements are all one. Only enlightened people can see that.

The Gunmen know of a legend of a soul-eater that eats sick people to consume their illnesses. The townspeople could have placed the symbol on the creature’s grave as a sign of respect, or put it on the door as a summons. Since Marie has a kidney disease, Doggett thinks this all makes sense. He’s now pretty sure there was no transient buried in that grave.

He goes to Sheila’s cabin and asks her about the body she supposedly found in the woods. He thinks she believes the same thing Mulder did, that the creature was a soul-eater, and she put the stones on his grave out of respect. Doggett thinks Mulder wanted to protect Marie, and he needs Sheila’s help to figure everything out. She tells him he has things backwards. Doggett hears a noise further in the cabin and goes to check it out. He finds a hidden door in the floor, leading to an underground cave.

Doggett stupidly goes into the cave alone and finds Marie covered in goo. He carries her out as Sheila looks on. Later, Marie reunites with Paul at the hospital, looking happy and healthy. In fact, her kidneys have completely healed. Skinner tells Doggett that Kurt wants to take his statement, but Doggett knows that Kurt and Paul have been in on the whole thing. He’s changed his theory: Marie wasn’t the person Mulder was trying to protect from the soul-eater.

Doggett returns to the cabin, where Sheila tells him that the soul-eater has a gift. People hate him because they need him. Sheila is just the latest in a long line of people who have taken care of him. Doggett presents his theory that Mulder came to Pennsylvania to save himself, not Marie. In flashback, we see Mulder undergoing the same process Marie did. Doggett says that he had an undiagnosed brain disease, and he was desperate for a cure. Sheila says they all are.

She hated how the soul-eater suffered, but she couldn’t bring herself to kill him. So Mulder came back to do it, wanting to take away the soul-eater’s pain. In flashback, we see Mulder firing the three shots; the soul-eater doesn’t try to run or fight him. Sheila kept the soul-eater with her instead of burying him, and now that the townspeople know he’s back, she knows they’ll come to him for more healing. He’ll keep suffering.

Doggett puts the soul-eater in his car and is about to leave when Kurt arrives with some of his posse. Kurt says the soul-eater belongs to them. Doggett argues that the soul-eater is a person and doesn’t belong to anyone. Neither man will back down, but Doggett thinks he can get away with just walking to the car and driving off. He’s wrong, and Kurt shoots him in the back. Before Kurt can get to the car, the soul-eater somehow disappears. Kurt knows he’ll come back, since he always does.

The men bury Doggett in the woods and leave, I guess not thinking Sheila will tell anyone what happened. Of course, since Doggett still has a season and a half left on the show, it’s no surprise when he wakes up in the cave covered in goo. Sheila is nearby with the soul-eater, who’s now dead. For years, the soul-eater took people’s sickness and became sick himself. Now that he’s taken someone’s death, he’s dead. Doggett freed him.

In D.C., Doggett tries to write a case report, but this is obviously a difficult one to explain. He tells Skinner that, after all this, he’s still no closer to finding Mulder. But Skinner thinks that Doggett now understands Mulder and his motives better. He thinks Doggett should skip this report; it’ll open a can of worms for Scully and harm both their reputations. In this instance, it’s better if Doggett and Skinner keep the truth to themselves. As Skinner leaves, Doggett studies a picture of the symbol, then looks up and briefly sees Mulder in the office with him.

Thoughts: Me, typing “Hangemuhls” over and over: “You’re killing me, writers.”

Who’s been paying rent on Mulder’s apartment? Rent in this area is pretty steep. What a waste of money.

Only one Scully scene? RIP-OFF.

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