May 13, 2017

The X-Files 5.6, Christmas Carol: Only This Show Could Make Christmas Depressing

Posted in TV tagged , , , at 1:03 pm by Jenn

She’s so cute! (Don’t get too attached)

Summary: A pregnant woman on a Naval base in San Diego is decorating her house for Christmas. She’s Tara, wife of Scully’s brother Bill Jr. Scully and Maggie arrive for a visit, and Scully realizes that the house has the exact same layout as one her family lived in when they were in San Diego. As the family starts to get settled in, Scully answers a phone call from a woman calling her Dana. “She needs your help. Go to her,” she says. Scully immediately calls the FBI to get the call traced.

Bill Jr. drives Scully to the location where the call was placed, but local law enforcement has beaten them there. An officer refutes Scully’s claim that she got a call for help 20 minutes ago, since he’s been there 30 minutes and is sure no one made a phone call from the house – the only adult woman in the house is Roberta Sim, who committed suicide around three hours ago. As the officers on the scene start talking about how Scully’s crazy for thinking a dead woman called her, Scully tells her brother that the caller sounded like a different dead woman: Melissa.

The phone is off the hook, and the police confirm that phone records show a call made from the house to Bill Jr.’s, but it had to have been a mistake. Other than the mysterious phone call, the cop doesn’t think this case involve anything other than a suicide. Now he just needs to talk to Roberta’s husband and daughter. Merry Christmas, Sims!

Scully heads back to Bill Jr.’s for dinner, but she can’t get in the holiday spirit. She calls Mulder (for his ten seconds of screentime in this episode) but can’t bring herself to say anything. Talk at dinner turns to babies, and how having a child makes Tara feel like life really means something now. While they’re washing dishes, Maggie notices that something’s off with Scully; she doesn’t seem as happy for her brother and sister-in-law as she claims to be. Scully admits that, as a result of her abduction, she can’t have a baby. She’s just now realizing how much she wanted a child.

That night, Scully dreams of herself as a child, fighting with her brother. She’s hidden a rabbit from him, but when she goes to see it, she finds it dead, crawling with maggots. (Thanks, show.) Melissa is watching from the staircase, and she looks just like Roberta’s daughter. Scully wakes up to another phone call, this time on her cell phone. The caller again says, “She needs your help. Go to her.”

Scully goes back to the Sims’ house and tells Roberta’s husband, Marshall, that she got another call from the house. He tells her that’s not possible and he’d really like her to leave him alone. There are two men there wearing suits, and they’re having a “meeting.” As Scully leaves, the Sims’ daughter watches from her bedroom window.

Scully goes to the police station to talk to the officer, Kresge, who reluctantly agrees to let her look at the information collected about Roberta’s case. She learns that the police were called to the house two weeks earlier for a domestic dispute. Roberta’s bloodwork shows high levels of a migraine medication in her system; Kresge thinks she took a bunch to anesthetize herself before she committed suicide. Scully finds a picture of Roberta’s daughter in her purse and asks to borrow it.

Back at Bill Jr.’s, Scully looks through a photo album and compares the picture of Roberta’s daughter to one of Melissa as a child. They look exactly alike. Scully looks up the girl’s birth records and learns that her name is Emily, and the Sims are her adoptive parents. She calls the FBI again, asking a buddy to pull Melissa’s case files. She falls asleep at the desk and has another dream: She’s approaching the front of a church to see a body at a funeral. Inside the coffin, which is filled with water and blood, is a dead woman who opens her eyes.

Scully skips family time in the morning and heads back to the police station to ask Kresge to have Roberta’s body autopsied. She thinks Roberta was murdered by her husband. Kresge says Marshall has an alibi; he was at a doctor’s office with Emily. Scully finds it strange that the cuts on Roberta’s wrist don’t show any hesitation, a rarity for a person who kills herself. Also, how did Marshall call for help if the phone was off the hook for hours before he came home?

The autopsy is approved, and Scully performs it herself. She doesn’t find any of the migraine pills in Roberta’s stomach, so she figures the teeny needle puncture on her foot was an injection site for the medication found in her system. She thinks Roberta’s killer used the medication to anesthetize her so she wouldn’t fight back when she was murdered. This should be enough to open an investigation.

Marshall isn’t happy that the police are back to interfere in his life. When an officer finds a syringe in the trash, Marshall says it’s Emily’s; she has a severe form of anemia and needs regular injections. When Scully gets back to Bill Jr.’s, Melissa’s files are there, and she’s able to compare Melissa and Emily’s DNA. Maggie chastises her daughter for staying out all day and only getting home at 2:00 in the morning. Scully informs her that Emily’s DNA shows that she’s Melissa’s daughter.

Maggie denies that Melissa had a child and didn’t say anything. Scully reminds her that Melissa took off four years ago and wasn’t seen for months. She could have easily had a child and given her for adoption without anyone knowing. Maggie says that she had the experiences Scully’s going through now after her father died. She thinks Scully’s just struggling with her grief over her sister.

Scully has a dream about sneaking down early on Christmas morning to look at her presents with Melissa when they were preteens. Maggie catches them but lets Scully open a present – the cross necklace she still wears. Maggie says it’s a reminder that God will always be with Scully and always watch over her. When Scully looks up at her mother, she sees her own adult face instead.

Kresge stops by in the morning to tell Scully that Marshall has made a number of $30,000 bank deposits in the past 18 months. They were made out to Roberta, and the last one was deposited yesterday. They’re from a pharmaceutical firm in Chula Vista. Scully and Kresge head over there and speak to a doctor named Calderon, who says that Emily is a subject in one of the facility’s drug trials. The money is compensation for her participation, as well as a kind of peace offering to Roberta, who was never convinced that the drug trials were the right thing for her daughter.

Calderon reveals that he prescribed the migraine medication found in Roberta’s system, but it was for Marshall. The police quickly arrest Marshall for killing his wife. Scully makes arrangements for Emily to be taken by Social Services, and as she’s saying goodbye, Emily takes a liking to Scully’s cross necklace. Scully takes it off and puts it around the girl’s neck.

Scully goes home for a family gathering, but she’s still not in the mood for holiday cheer. Bill Jr. thinks her theory that Melissa called her from beyond the grave to send her in their niece’s direction sounds like something Mulder would come up with. Scully says it doesn’t matter where the call came from – Emily needs her help. Bill Jr. thinks she’s trying to fill some sort of void inside herself.

Scully gets another phone call, but this one is from Kresge, telling her that Marshall confessed to killing Roberta. Scully wonders why the witnesses at the doctor’s office said he was there the whole time. Scully goes to the county lockup, arriving just as the two men in suits from the Sims’ house are leaving. She’s told that they’re Marshall’s lawyers. Unfortunately, Marshall won’t be able to confirm or deny that, as he’s dead, having hanged himself in his cell.

Back at Bill Jr.’s, Scully tells her brother about the new developments in the case. He wonders if Emily’s parents were murdered because of something that has to do with her. He shows her a picture of Melissa from a few weeks before Emily was born, and Melissa definitely doesn’t look pregnant. Scully is still sure that Emily is Melissa’s daughter. Bill Jr. thinks she’s coming up with a wacky scenario to deal with her disappointment that she can’t have a baby of her own.

A woman named Susan arrives to talk to Scully about her desire to adopt Emily. Her application has been rejected, since she’s single and has never been married or had a long-term relationship. Plus, she’s in a high-stress job and doesn’t seem willing to make sacrifices there to become a parent. Scully admits that, since her cancer diagnosis, she’s been questioning her priorities.

Scully continues that she’s always kept a distance from people, even as a child, and now regrets not making more emotional attachments because she was afraid to lose people to death. Susan reminds her that Emily has major health problems; her illness is incurable and requires constant care. Adopting Emily would mean Scully has to relive her own health struggles, only this time through a small child. Susan agrees to review Scully’s application again, though.

That night, Scully dreams of herself and Melissa as adults, talking on a Christmas just before Scully went to Quantico. Scully’s worried that their father thinks she’s making a mistake leaving med school for the FBI. Melissa advises Scully to follow her heart and let it take her where she’s supposed to go. Scully doesn’t believe in fate; she thinks people have to choose their own paths. Melissa says that Scully doesn’t know how her life will change once she meets people in the FBI. She also doesn’t know how she’ll change other people’s lives.

Tara wakes Scully up on Christmas morning so the family can open presents together. They’re interrupted by an FBI courier who I hope got triple overtime for having to work on a holiday. His package contains more of Emily’s tests, and though they show that Melissa wasn’t her mother, Emily’s DNA showed similarities with someone else in their system. Merry Christmas, Scully: You’re Emily’s mother. To be continued!

Thoughts: The preteen version of Scully is played by Gillian Anderson’s sister, Zoe.

I assume they named the family Sim after Alastair Sim, who starred in A Christmas Carol?

Scully, trying to find support for her theory, says that Melissa could have used a surrogate to have Emily. And then…placed her for adoption? Come, on Scully.

What do you think Mulder did while Scully was out of town? He can barely function on his own even when she’s around to keep an eye on him. It must have been a disaster.

May 14, 2016

The X-Files 3.2, Paper Clip: Let’s Make a Deal

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

"That's not the Uber I ordered..."

“That’s not the Uber I ordered…”

Summary: Hosteen is voicing over again, this time about animals being symbolic to the Navajo. Mulder’s recovery reminded them of the Gila monster, which healed a man by putting his parts back together. Lightning and thunder brought him back to life. After Mulder was better, the Navajo learned from other tribes that something big had happened. He tells the story of White Buffalo Woman, who taught Native Americans how to live virtuously and pray. Then she turned into a white buffalo and returned to the heavens. The day Mulder was healed, a white buffalo was born, an omen that big changes are coming.

Back in Mulder’s apartment, Scully and Skinner are still facing off. He insists that he’s trying to help her, but he’s not about to put down his weapon. Fortunately, Mulder arrives to serve as Scully’s backup. Skinner finally gives up his gun, and Scully explains that she was warned that someone she trusted would try to kill her. Skinner shows them the recording, which Mulder says CSM killed Bill over. Mulder says, “I was a dead man. Now I’m back,” which would be a great tagline for a probably bad movie.

Mulder explains what’s on the cassette, then tries to make Skinner give it to Scully. Skinner points out that it’s the only leverage they have against the conspirators, so they need to protect it. Mulder backs down and takes Scully away to search out more truths. She tells him that she assured Teena that he would be okay, even though she had no proof she was right. She just knew. Meanwhile, Maggie arrives at the hospital where she thinks Scully has been brought in. She’s shocked to hear that Melissa’s the daughter who was shot. She’s in an induced coma, and the doctors can’t do anything more for her except monitor her.

Scully and Mulder take the picture of Bill and the conspirators to the Lone Gunmen. Byers brings up Operation Paper Clip, a World War II agreement with Nazi war criminals that gave America access to their scientific knowledge. Langly IDs a man in the picture as one of those war criminals, Victor Klemper. He experimented on Jewish people, and some of his tests led to space travel. Byers notes that the picture was taken in 1973, but Operation Paper Clip was supposed to have ended in the 1950s, which means there’s yet another secret the American government has been keeping. Langly reports that Klemper is alive and still living in the U.S.

Frohike arrives, happy to see Mulder alive. He gives Scully the news that Melissa’s in the hospital, and she immediately realizes that her sister’s shooting was meant for her. Mulder talks her into staying away from the hospital. CSM and his Syndicate have realized their mistake (well, Krycek’s mistake), and WMM wants to know who will fix it. He warns that Scully believes that Mulder is still alive. CSM is sure he’s not, and still has his buddies snowed that he has the cassette. They question that, asking to see the tape. CSM claims it’s someplace safe, but he’ll bring it to them tomorrow.

Mulder and Scully find Klemper in a greenhouse, and after some blathering about history, he’s all, “We did good work! So what if innocent people died?” Mulder thinks Klemper knows why Bill was killed. Klemper replies that it was probably in their best interest. Mulder shows him the picture, but Klemper hesitates to reveal any more truths. The only help he’ll give is asking if Scully knows the formula for Napier’s Constant, then revealing that the photo was taken outside the Strughold Mining Company in West Virginia. They’re on their own for the rest.

As soon as the agents leave, Klemper calls WMM to tell him that Mulder visited, but Klemper didn’t tell him anything. Now the Syndicate knows that Mulder is alive. Maggie spots a man in a suit outside Melissa’s hospital room, then gets a visit from Hosteen. Scully sent him to comfort Maggie in her place. Maggie allows him to pray for her daughter, who she thinks is getting better. Mulder and Scully head to the now-abandoned Strughold facility, which holds a bunch of doors that can only be opened by keypad codes. Napier’s Constant, 27828, opens one of the doors. Before Mulder goes through it, Scully wants him to think about the possibility that they might discover something bad about Bill.

Skinner summons CSM to the FBI building to report that he may have found the tape. However, it could have fallen into other hands. CSM isn’t interested in making a deal. He gets more and more frustrated as Skinner stays calm, saying they’ll talk again. Skinner, basically: “I know you do bad things.” CSM, basically: “Then maybe I’ll do bad things to you.” Mulder and Scully go underground, finding a tunnel full of file cabinets. The files all seem to be medical, and are helpfully stored in alphabetical order. In each one, Scully finds a birth certificate, smallpox vaccination certificate, and old tissue collection cassette.

Mulder asks what year Scully was born, then looks up her file. The tissue sample is recent, judging from the plastic container used. Mulder then looks for Samantha’s file, discovering that the label with her name has been placed over a label with his name – the file was originally his. The lights suddenly go out, and Mulder runs out of the tunnel to the front of the building. The windows are full of lights. In the tunnel, Scully sees something alien-like skittering around. As she runs away from it, Mulder runs out the back of the building in time to see a large spacecraft flying over it. Scully sees another alien in the tunnel, standing in front of more light.

Cars approach the building, so Mulder goes back in to retrieve Scully. He dodges bullets on his way back to the tunnel and reunites with his partner. She’s found a way out, and they’re able to escape the building undetected. In the morning, Skinner meets them at a diner in Craiger, Maryland, and tells them he has a plan to protect them: He’ll turn over the tape and get them reinstated at the FBI. Mulder refuses to give up the cassette even if it means saving his own life. He thinks the tape holds an explanation for the records they found.

Skinner wonders what Mulder’s hoping to find. Mulder replies that he wants to know why Bill was killed, what happened to Samantha, and why Scully was targeted. Scully, however, is on Skinner’s side – she would rather be safe and see Melissa than get answers that only Mulder wants. Since Skinner hasn’t been able to copy the tape, they’ll have to hand over the only version they have. Skinner promises to turn state’s evidence if his deal isn’t honored. Mulder lets Scully have the final vote in the matter. She tells Skinner to make the deal but not hand over the tape until Mulder okays it.

The agents leave the diner together as Hosteen voices over that he prayed for Melissa for two days. She improved, but Hosteen learned that the white buffalo calf stopped nursing. Then the mother buffalo died. Hosteen knows that sometimes, one creature must be sacrificed so another can live. Skinner arrives at the hospital with a message from Scully so her mother knows she’s all right. The man in the suit is still outside Melissa’s room, and Skinner decides to find out why. He chases him to a stairwell, where he and the man engage in some hand-to-hand combat. Krycek joins in, beats on Skinner a little, and steals the cassette.

Krycek and his criminal buddies then stop at a convenience store in D.C. to get some drinks. Krycek’s left alone in the car, growing suspicious when the other guys stop to look at him from the store’s doorway. He notices that the dashboard clock is flashing 12:00. Unlike on a VCR, where this meant that you didn’t know how to set the clock, Krycek realizes that this means his life is in danger. He takes off running as the car explodes. His buddies should be a lot more worried about how they’re going to explain this to CSM.

Mulder and Scully return to Klemper’s greenhouse, but instead encounter WMM. Klemper’s dead, and Mulder knows it wasn’t due to a bad heart. He recognizes WMM from the photo. WMM tells them about the spacecraft found in New Mexico in 1947 and the body retrieved from it. Mulder puts together his talk of Joseph Mengele with his mention that Klemper made flower hybrids to figure out that Klemper was trying to create a human-alien hybrid. The bodies in the boxcar in the desert were his failed human test subjects.

Scully denies that the technology was available; DNA wasn’t even identified until 1944. WMM says that Bill was in charge of collecting genetic data on Americans in case they needed to be identified in the event of nuclear holocaust. Mulder realizes that, due to the DNA samples collected from people who received smallpox vaccinations, Klemper had access to every person’s record from 1950 forward. Scully thinks WMM is just making stuff up, but WMM says he has no reason to lie. Scully, basically: “Whatever, Nazi.” Mulder notes that Scully’s file was in the mine – the records are of abductees.

Mulder asks WMM why Samantha was taken. WMM explains that Bill threatened to expose the project, so Samantha was taken as insurance. Mulder wants to know why he wasn’t taken. WMM can’t say, but he warns that Mulder’s still in danger for threatening to expose the project: “You have become your father.” Mulder wonders why WMM has told him all this. WMM replies that Mulder wanted to know it, didn’t he? He says there’s still more – more than Mulder will ever know.

Krycek calls CSM to report that he’s alive and has the cassette, but CSM will never find him. CSM reports to the Syndicate that Krycek is dead and the cassette was destroyed in the car explosion. He’s still going to meet with the FBI, even though there’s no deal to make. Mulder goes back to his mother’s house to find out if Bill ever asked her if she had a favorite child. Teena says she couldn’t choose – it was Bill’s choice. She always hated him for it, and still does, even after his death.

CSM meets Skinner in his office, hiding his amusement when Skinner bluffs that he has the cassette. Skinner promises to hand it over after Mulder and Scully are reinstated. CSM knows Skinner can’t make the deal, so he suggests a few ways Skinner’s life might end. Skinner calls in Hosteen and announces that there’s a new deal: If anything happens to Mulder or Scully, Hosteen will reveal everything on the tape, which he’s memorized. (He’s also, in the Navajo storytelling tradition, told it to 20 more Navajo.) “Welcome to the wonderful world of high technology,” Skinner gloats.

But we don’t get a happy ending: Scully finally made it to Melissa, but the damage from her shooting was too extensive and Melissa didn’t survive surgery. Scully laments that her sister died for her. She now agrees with Mulder that there’s no justice, though Mulder thinks they’re dealing with something bigger: fate. They’ve both been reinstated at the FBI, and though they’ve both suffered recent losses, they want to go back to work. Mulder thinks they can still find truth through the X-Files. Scully tells him she’s heard the truth – now she wants answers.

Thoughts: I guess I should call CSM and his buddies the Consortium, but apparently the Syndicate is used a lot. Also, it’s just easier to type.

I tried to look up Napier’s Constant, but I found a bunch of math and it made my head hurt and I had to take a nap.

For the record, Samantha’s tissue cassette is plastic, which means the sample was taken more recently. Make if that what you will.

May 7, 2016

The X-Files 3.1, The Blessing Way: In Space, No One Can Hear You Blather

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , , , , , at 1:20 pm by Jenn

I've seen pretentious college plays just like this

I’ve seen pretentious college plays just like this

Summary: As the fire burns in the boxcar in the New Mexico desert, Hosteen voices over that there’s an old Navajo saying about how something only lives as long as the last person who remembers it. That means trusting memory over history. “History serves only those who seek to control it,” and we should beware people who want to put out the flame of memory: “Their false memory is written in the blood of those who may remember, and of those who seek the truth.”

CSM sends his minions into the Hosteens’ house to hold them at gunpoint while he demands to know where Mulder is. Hosteen says he’s out of luck. Later, Scully arrives, after the others have left, and Hosteen and Eric (who’s been beaten up) send her to the smoldering boxcar. She yells Mulder’s name, but there’s no response.

Scully leaves the reservation, followed by a helicopter that stops her on the road. CSM’s minions detain her and ask for the M.J. documents. She lets them take the files, but they want a digital recording, too, which Scully says Mulder has. When she returns to FBI headquarters, she’s suspended for insubordination. She turns in her badge and gun but won’t answer any more questions. As far as she knows, Mulder is dead.

Skinner pretends this has been difficult for him, too. Scully’s upset that the people who killed Bill and probably killed Mulder are going to get away with it. Skinner argues that the FBI is just following protocol. Scully goes straight to Mulder’s desk and retrieves a cassette case hidden there. It’s supposed to contain the digital recording, but the box is empty.

In New York, a group of shady men meets to discuss whether their 40 years of secret-keeping have been disturbed. CSM arrives to announce that they’re still in control, though there’s still a problem that needs to be handled. Mulder’s dead, and no one will ever find his body. The stolen files have been recovered, and anyone working on their super-top-secret projects can keep working.

Scully goes to her mother’s house for comfort, worrying that she’s made a mistake and her father would be ashamed of her. Hosteen voices over that some boys came by to tell Eric that they saw buzzards in the quarry near the boxcar. Hosteen says that either means something has died or that death is close. A group goes out to look, finding Mulder buried under a pile of rocks, still alive thanks to being underground.

Mulder is taken to a hogan and people are summoned for a ceremony called the Blessing Way Chant. Hosteen says this is the only way Mulder’s life can be saved. Meanwhile, a drunk Frohike visits Scully to pay his respects. He thinks Scully will continue Mulder’s work, but she doesn’t think she can do so once she’s pushed out of her job. Frohike shows her a news article about the Thinker’s “execution-style” murder. Scully notes that he was killed after Mulder disappeared.

In the hogan, the ceremony is underway, though Hosteen worries that Mulder’s body will give up before they can heal him. Mulder’s…spirit, I guess, floats in space, surrounded by men in shadows. Deep Throat appears and says some flowery stuff about truth, then tells Mulder not to look into the abyss. We see a smoke bomb being dropped into the boxcar sometime in the past, and the aliens inside running for cover.

Next up at Mulder’s space funeral: Bill, who’s unhappy that he had to lie to his son for so long. Now his lies have put Mulder’s life at risk. Mulder is the memory, and it lives in him, so if he dies, the truth will, too. Mulder asks if Samantha is there. Bill says no, then continues that Mulder needs to keep seeking the truth.

Scully goes back to FBI headquarters, entering with a tour group instead of through the employees’ entrance. A security guard thinks she’s set off the metal detector because of something like a shirt pin, not for any sketchy reasons. Scully meets with Skinner, telling him that she thinks the Thinker’s death is connected to Mulder’s disappearance. She’d like to find out if the ballistics match the bullet that killed Bill. If so, Mulder didn’t kill his father.

Skinner says that the police who investigated the Thinker’s murder would have said something if their tests had turned up anything the FBI needed to know. Scully says she’s trying to cooperate with the investigation, but Skinner thinks she’s trying to earn her way back from suspension. He’s unhappy that he’s supposed to find the cassette, wondering if it was worth Mulder’s life. If Scully really wants to help with the investigation, she’ll find the recording.

After Scully leaves the office, CSM enters from the next room and asks if Skinner talked to Scully about the tape. Skinner says Scully claims not to have it. CSM says that’s “unfortunate.” As Scully leaves the building, she decides to go back through the metal detector to see why she set it off. When the security guard runs a wand over her, it goes off at the back off her neck.

Scully runs to a bureau doctor and gets an x-ray that shows something small in her neck. There’s also a small scar over the area. The doctor thinks she was probably hit with buckshot in the line of duty and didn’t realize it. After three days of unconsciousness, Mulder wakes up and starts to recover his strength.

The doctor removes what looks like a computer chip from Scully’s neck. She takes it to her sister, Melissa, who thinks she’s repressed the memory of where it came from. Melissa suggests that Scully see someone who could help her remember, but Scully refuses. Melissa’s upset that her sister never sees the world any way but scientifically. Her grief keeps her from accessing her true feelings. Melissa asks Scully to do this for her.

So Scully goes to see Dr. Mark Pomerantz, a psychiatrist who wants to hypnotize her so she can access her memories. She remembers being afraid that she would die, but Pomerantz thinks someone took care of her. Scully recalls lights and loud sounds, but not the details of whatever procedure she underwent. Her captors seemed concerned about her well-being.

Pomerantz wonders if someone from the FBI was there. “I had to trust them,” Scully says. She couldn’t resist them. Pomerantz accidentally brings Scully out of her hypnotic state, and she decides it’s not working. She heads home, spotting Skinner leaving her building.

On the reservation, Hosteen tells Mulder that he’s okay to leave, but he can’t bathe or change clothes for a few days. Mulder jokes that his social life will be affected. He asked for sunflower seeds while he was sick, so someone has brought him some. Hosteen tells him that he was dreaming, but also visiting the origins of the reservation. He wipes out a sand drawing and declares the ceremony over.

Scully calls Skinner to ask why he went by her place, but he denies being there. That’s because CSM is in his office. Mulder voices over about being on the bridge between two worlds and seeking truth. Now he’s back, but he’s afraid he’s too late. Scully has been dreaming this just before Bill’s funeral in Massachusetts. She tells Teena that she has a strong feeling that Mulder is still alive and will be found.

One of CSM’s buddies is also at the funeral, and he listens in as Scully tells Teena she’ll keep her updated. The man, who is often called the Well-Manicured Man (WMM from here on out), then pulls Scully aside to ask about Mulder. He says he’s part of a “global consortium” that’s very interested in the recording – interested enough to commit murder over it. He’s sure Mulder’s dead, and he wants to warn Scully that her life could soon end, too.

Scully starts to walk away, but WMM continues that she’ll be killed in one of two ways. Either she’ll be killed in her own home with an unregistered weapon that will be left behind, or she’ll be asked to meet with someone she trusts who’s luring her into a trap. She’d be wise to stay somewhere else right now.

Scully wonders why she’s a target. “You want something they don’t – justice,” WMM replies. She wants to know why he’s helping her. He says his colleagues are being impulsive, and her death would draw “unnecessary attention” to the consortium. Scully says he’s really protecting himself. WMM says the consortium predicts the future, “and the best way to predict the future is to invent it.”

Teena comes home from her husband’s funeral to find her not-dead-after-all son in her house. He shows her some pictures of Bill from 1972 and asks who the men are with him. Teena doesn’t remember their names, but one is Deep Throat and one is WMM. Mulder thinks they have something to do with what happened to Samantha.

Scully gets home as Melissa calls to find out what happened with Pomerantz. Scully says something weird happened, then tells Melissa she can come over. As soon as end their conversation, someone else calls, then immediately hangs up. Scully calls Melissa to say she’ll come to Melissa’s instead, but her sister’s already on her way over.

As Scully leaves her building, Skinner arrives and tells her to get in his car. Remembering what WMM said, Scully’s wary about going anywhere with someone she trusts, but she has a gun with her, so she gets in the car. They go to Mulder’s apartment, where Scully pulls her weapon and says she knows what’s going on. She asks who sent Skinner after her, but he doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

Melissa arrives at Scully’s apartment, which two men have broken into. She’s immediately shot…by Krycek. He realizes he shot the wrong sister and leaves. At Mulder’s, Skinner tells Scully he’s not going to kill her – he wants to give her the recording. He took it from Mulder’s desk before she could. They hear someone outside the door, and the distraction allows Skinner to pull his own gun for a stand-off with Scully. To be continued (again)…

Thoughts: “Okay, David, in this episode, you’re going to lie around half-naked under tree branches while men chant over you and dead people tell you not to go into the light. Also, sometimes you’re in space. Action!”

Deep Throat, are you getting paid by the word? Just say, “It’s not your time yet.” There’s no need to be so dramatic.

Skinner needs some sort of code to use with Mulder and Scully that means, “I’m going to say I’m not helping you, but I really am.”

January 3, 2016

The X-Files 2.8, One Breath: The Right Thing

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , at 1:23 pm by Jenn

Can't regift this!

Can’t regift this!

Summary: Maggie Scully tells Mulder a story about a time when Scully was a child, playing in the woods with her brothers. They had BB guns and were only supposed to shoot at cans, but the boys started shooting at a snake instead. Scully joined in but stopped when she realized they’d actually hurt the snake. She felt guilty for taking something that wasn’t hers to take. Even though she was afraid of snakes, she picked it up to try to save it.

Mulder tells Maggie that she can’t give up – it’s too soon. Maggie says that she knows now how Scully felt that day. By the way they’re picking up a headstone for Scully’s grave. WAY TO HOLD OUT HOPE THAT SHE’S NOT DEAD, GUYS. Later, Mulder gets a call and rushes to Georgetown Medical Center, where – guess what – Scully’s not dead. She’s unconscious and doesn’t look great, but still, not dead. I hope you guys saved your receipt for that headstone!

Mulder demands answers, but no one can even tell him how Scully arrived at the hospital. He vows to find out what happened. Once Mulder has calmed down, a doctor tells him and Maggie that Scully’s in critical condition, and no one knows how she got to the hospital. Since there’s no recent medical history to go on, the doctor can’t figure out what happened. In addition, Scully’s living will states that she shouldn’t be kept alive in this condition. Mulder was the witness who signed the will.

Another Scully joins the group – Scully’s sister Melissa. She believes she can talk to Scully even in her comatose state. She says that Scully’s trying to decide whether to stay alive or “move on.” Scully’s doing that from a little boat, watching Mulder, Melissa, and a nurse on a dock. Mulder decides that he needs to do something more productive, so he goes home, turns on a black light, and puts an X on his window with masking tape, waiting for Mr. X to get in touch. In the morning, Mulder doesn’t get a message in his morning paper, so he takes the tape off the window.

Back at the hospital, Frohike (wearing a tux – aww) comes to visit Scully. He notices something weird on Scully’s chart and smuggles it out of the hospital (in his pants, which Mulder says must have provided a lot of extra storage space). Langly notes that Mulder’s a little blue and invites him over for a nitpick-a-sci-fi-show-on-the-Internet party that weekend.

Byers sees that there are weird combinations of amino acids in Scully’s blood. He’s sent Scully’s medical information to a hacker named the Thinker, and the Thinker reports that the amino acids appear to be the result of “branched DNA.” Basically, Scully was used for experiments and may have been grafted with something inhuman. Fortunately, the experiment is done. Unfortunately, Byers doesn’t think Scully will survive, and there’s nothing Mulder can do.

From her boat, Scully sees a nurse on the dock. The nurse, Owens, tells her that she’s going to try to help Scully find her way home. Scully can only leave when the time is right. Mulder arrives, noticing a man in a suit standing nearby as Scully has some blood drawn. Another patient codes, briefly distracting Mulder. When he looks back, Scully’s blood is gone, as is the man. Mulder runs after him but can’t catch the guy before he gets on an elevator.

Mulder tracks down the man in a parking garage, where he runs into Mr. X. In a message from someone who is very adamant that Mulder listen, Mr. X orders him to stop investigating what happened to Scully. Mulder tells him to go to Hell, since Mr. X didn’t respond to his summons. Mr. X sings his usual song about how he’s not going to let Mulder get him killed like he did Deep Throat. Mulder doesn’t summon him; Mr. X only comes to Mulder when Mr. X needs him.

He repeats what Byers said: There’s nothing Mulder can do to save his partner. Mr. X used to be like Mulder, but he’s changed. He doesn’t think Mulder has the heart necessary for this. If he doesn’t walk away, he won’t be able to live with himself. Mulder spots the man from before in the garage and chases him into the laundry room. He retrieves the vial of Scully’s blood and asks the man who sent him to get it. The man won’t answer, but he will fight Mulder to get the vial back. This time Mr. X lends a hand, but he kills the man, then tells Mulder he’ll handle things from here.

The doctor wants to talk to Mulder and the Scullys about Scully’s living will again. He doesn’t think Scully will improve, no matter how long she’s been in this condition. Mulder says that they can treat branched DNA; they should study her condition instead of just giving up. Melissa argues that death is natural, but prolonging a life isn’t. Mulder mocks her for being “politically correct.” Melissa replies that she loves Scully, but letting her go is the right thing to do.

Maggie says that Scully has already made the decision for them. Mulder (who she calls Fox) has built a friendship with Scully out of respect. Maggie has already lost her husband, and she obviously doesn’t want to lose her daughter, but she respects Scully’s decisions. She invites him to join her and Melissa for their last moments with Scully as a family. Meanwhile, the rope tying Scully’s boat to the dock breaks and she begins to drift.

CSM takes Skinner a report on Mulder’s recent activities. Skinner’s like, “You can’t smoke in here; there’s a sign.” CSM lights up anyway, like, “Here’s what I think of your sign.” He takes a few puffs and puts on the cigarette, like, what a waste of a butt. Anyway, Mulder comes in after CSM leaves, and Skinner questions him about the death of the man in the laundry room. Mulder claims that he was with Scully at the time and has no idea what’s happening. He mocks that Skinner’s usually the one who answers questions with denial.

Mulder continues that CSM (“Cancer Man”) is responsible for whatever happened to Scully. He’s willing to give up his job and badge if Skinner will give him answers. Skinner reminds him that they work for the government, not the mafia. He liked and respected Scully, but all agents know the possible risks of working for the bureau. Mulder admits that he might not have told Scully all the risks. Skinner replies that that means he’s as much to blame as CSM.

Scully’s dreams have taken her from the boat to a wooden table, where she’s asleep in a white dress. Her father arrives and tells her that when he realized he would never see her again, his life “felt as if it had been the length of one breath, on heartbeat.” It made him realize how much he loved her. He wishes he could trade anything in his life for one more second with Scully. They’ll be together again soon, but not now. Nurse Owens speaks to Scully again, telling her that her time isn’t over.

Melissa tells Mulder that even if he spent the rest of his life hunting down the people responsible for Scully’s condition, it wouldn’t matter. Besides, they’ll get what’s coming to them. A woman approaches and asks Mulder if he has change for the cigarette machine. He doesn’t, but it doesn’t matter – there’s already a pack of Morleys in the bin. Mulder opens the pack and retrieves a Post-It with an address on it.

Mulder finds CSM at that address and finally gets to ask his questions. CSM isn’t threatened, though; he’s watched presidents die. Mulder asks why Scully was harmed instead of him. CSM replies that he likes both Mulder and Scully. He’s “in the game” because he thinks he’s doing the right thing. Mulder wonders who CSM is to decide what’s right. “What are you?” CSM replies. If people knew what he does, “it would all fall apart.”

CSM continues that he told Skinner that Mulder shot the man in the hospital, but he doesn’t believe that. Now that Mulder has come after him, CSM has more respect for him – he’s “becoming a player.” Mulder’s welcome to kill him, but he’ll never know the truth. Mulder can’t bring himself to pull the trigger. CSM promises not to tell anyone about this encounter. Otherwise, rumors might get spread.

Mulder prints out a letter of resignation and starts packing up his office. Skinner comes by, telling Mulder that his basement office is where they used to keep the copy machine. He tears up the resignation letter, refusing to accept this form of self-punishment from Mulder. Mulder announces that he hates who he’s become. He’s already losing enough and doesn’t want to lose more of himself.

Skinner tells Mulder that he enlisted in the Marine Corps on his 18th birthday, believing that going to Vietnam was the right thing. Three months into his tour, Skinner killed a child. He lost his faith in everything – his country, himself – and believed there was no point to anything anymore. Skinner’s platoon was captured, and he had an out-of-body experience. He didn’t recognize himself. Skinner felt at peace, even knowing his life was over.

He was taken to the hospital and woke up two weeks later. He’s afraid to look into what happened, but he knows Mulder isn’t. Skinner reiterates that he refuses to accept Mulder’s resignation. Mulder realizes that Skinner gave him CSM’s address, which means he risked his own life. “Every life, every day, is in danger,” Skinner points out.

Mulder meets with Mr. X, who gives him a plane ticket and the warning that some men are going to search his apartment that night. Mulder needs to be there to defend himself. This is the only way Mulder will be able to stop them. After tonight, Mr. X won’t be in touch for some time. Mulder waits in his apartment, but instead of a group of men, Melissa shows up. Scully’s weakening, so Mulder needs to come see her before she dies.

Mulder declines, and Melissa warns that his retreat further into the darkness isn’t going to help. Mulder snaps at her to stop with the New Age-y stuff. Melissa replies that her positivity doesn’t have to be seen as silly. He needs to just express his feelings – she and Scully both expect more. Even if it doesn’t bring Scully back, at least she’ll know how Mulder feels, and so will he. After Melissa leaves, Mulder sits back down with his gun, waiting for the men.

Later, Mulder makes it to the hospital after all, taking Scully’s hand and telling her that he feels that she doesn’t believe it’s her time. She needs to hold on to her beliefs like she always does. Whether it will bring her back or not, he’s there with her. Mulder spends the night there, returning home to find his apartment trashed. He’s missed his chance at confrontation and answers. Mulder crouches on the floor and cries.

Dream Scully is now on a bed by a lake in the woods. The woods slowly disappear and become a hospital room. She’s awake. As soon as Mulder hears, he returns to the hospital, where Scully admonishes her mother for calling him Fox. Scully doesn’t remember anything after being grabbed by Duane Barry, but Mulder’s not going to fill her in just yet. He wants her to watch a football video and rest.

Scully tells him that she came back through the strength of his beliefs. Mulder gives her back her cross necklace and leaves. Sometime later, Scully asks a nurse if she can talk to Nurse Owens. Guess what? There’s no Nurse Owens! Spooky!

Thoughts: Why would you buy a headstone when you don’t have a body??

I guess Scully’s brothers were too busy to visit their dying sister? Eh, Bill Jr.’s a jerk anyway.

Can someone please get the comatose woman a blanket? She might be cold.

The only thing that would have made the CSM/Skinner smoking scene better is if CSM had used the no-smoking sign to light a match.

Even in 1994, hospitals still had cigarette machines. America is weird.

Skinner’s a much better character when he’s actually helpful. Too bad he never gets much development over the course of the series.

That Nurse Owens thing was a pointless piece of an otherwise excellent episode. She wasn’t even a necessary character.