December 8, 2018

The X-Files 9.2, Nothing Important Happened Today II: The Third Man

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:11 pm by Jenn

“True Detective” season 4?

Summary: A man goes through a bunch of scans to gain access to a secret lair. He’s supposed to deliver a message to a Dr. Nordlinger, but he wants to sidestep proper procedure to get confirmation that Nordlinger receives the message. Nordlinger himself emerges from a lab and takes the note, which tells him there’s an emergency and he needs to return to the operations base. Nordlinger tries to keep his cool as he assures the message deliver, whom he calls Captain, that he’s returning to base. But really, the captain is returning them to base, because he’s in charge of steering the ship they’re on.

Follmer is still looking for Doggett at the water plant, and Doggett’s still underwater, being pulled down by Shannon. Follmer leaves without noticing either of them. Once Doggett loses consciousness, Shannon kisses him. Or maybe she’s giving him mouth-to-mouth, but since he’s still underwater, that’s not going to do much good.

Follmer returns to his office and summons Reyes and Skinner so he can lecture them about their investigation. He tells them that Doggett is nowhere to be found. He’s giving them a chance to put a positive spin on the mess Doggett’s made. Reyes says that they were following up on a lead that they think will take them to a bigger conspiracy. The investigation is totally legitimate. Follmer warns that Reyes will lose her job if she keeps chasing shadows and conspiracies.

Reyes asks how he knows there isn’t one. Follmer says that she’s just engaging in a witch hunt, and taking on the whole FBI is a horrible idea. Unless she distances herself from Doggett, the only person who will be exposed is Reyes. Instead, Reyes announces that she’s distancing herself from Follmer and his political games. He tells her she’s making a big mistake. “I seem to make one every time I walk in your door,” she replies.

Doggett wakes up in his bed, coughing from all the water he breathed in. He’s shocked to see Shannon in his bedroom. She says she had to hold him underwater so no one would know what he was starting to figure out. She reveals that she’s a super-soldier from the program Knowle told him about. Shannon has no weaknesses, doesn’t need to sleep, and can breathe underwater. She saved Doggett’s life.

Doggett asks how Shannon knows what he and Knowle talked about. She says that she and Knowle are the Adam and Eve of the super-soldier program. That means Knowle is still alive, since super-soldiers can’t be killed. Shannon and Knowle are almost completely alike, except Shannon hates being a super-soldier. She wants Doggett’s help to stop the program from expanding. He needs to expose Wormus and the water-plant guy’s deaths so everyone will know what’s in the water supply.

The ship is now in Baltimore, and the captain is ready to leave, even though the crew is under orders to stay put. The captain says they can’t risk not making contact now. Skinner goes to Scully’s place to ask why he’s supposed to just let Mulder disappear and not follow up. Scully tells him that something happened with William that she can’t explain. Skinner says she’s made a big mistake by letting Doggett and Reyes pull her into their investigation. But Scully is desperate for answers. Skinner urges her to get in touch with Mulder and let him know what’s going on. She says it’s too dangerous to bring him back into the fold.

The captain tries to call Wormus, who, of course, doesn’t answer his phone. He returns to the ship, where his second-in-command has been replaced…by Knowle. Reyes and Doggett call Scully to tell her they may have some answers about William. When she goes to meet them at Doggett’s place, Shannon is there. She explains that an additive called chloramine is being put in the water. Scully says it’s just like chlorine, so there’s no danger there. Shannon says the molecular makeup has been altered, so yeah, it actually is dangerous.

She continues that the chloramine is being used to create mutated offspring that will grow up to be super-soldiers. Shannon’s the prototype, and considering how powerful she is, the generations coming after her must be even more awesome. She thinks William is a super-soldier. Scully doesn’t buy that Shannon is trustworthy, so Shannon shows her the standard mutation that all super-soldiers have, a bulge in their necks.

Knowle takes a peek at some of the ship’s logs, telling the captain he just wants to be prepared in case something happens to the captain. He asks what the ship’s mission is. The captain doesn’t know; he and his crew don’t ask questions. Suddenly an alarm goes off and everyone runs out to the deck. Divers jump into the water and pull out the body of the officer Knowle replaced.

While Scully gives Shannon an examination to confirm that she’s not human, Reyes tells Doggett that Shannon’s story doesn’t make sense. Why did she have to kill two people to contact Doggett? Doggett has now become the Mulder to Reyes’ Scully, believing the story. But Scully’s still a skeptic, as she’s unable to determine from Shannon’s examination that she’s anything other than human. The bulge in her neck is just a spinal deformity. Doggett thinks Shannon’s the key to the whole case.

Skinner calls Doggett to tell him that Kersh is suspending him. Doggett angrily goes to the office, yelling that Kersh is just making himself look more suspicious by doing this just as Doggett’s about to tie him to the conspiracy. Follmer joins them, backing up Kersh’s decision. Doggett’s like, “Cool, more conspirators! This is awesome!” Follmer tells him that with all this paranoia, he’s sounding a lot like Mulder. Doggett says he answers to Skinner, not Kersh or Follmer, so he’s not accepting his suspension.

Reyes looks up Shannon in the DOJ’s employee database, where she’s listed as a special investigator. The Lone Gunmen surprise her in her office to show her how they’ve hacked the EPA’s phone system. Someone’s been trying to call Wormus, even though his death has been on the front page of the newspaper. They intercept a call coming in right then, and get the message from the captain that they’re in port and one of his men is dead. The captain wants Wormus to call the FBI, just like they talked about, and expose the conspiracy. The Lone Gunmen aren’t the only ones listening, though – so is Knowle.

Reyes goes to Follmer and asks for Shannon’s case files. She wants to show Follmer that he’s on the wrong side of this fight. She thinks the DOJ is setting Doggett up. Follmer agrees with her that Doggett is generally a good person and thinks he’s doing the right thing. Reyes asks him to do the same.

She then finds Doggett and Scully to warn them that Shannon is lying. Both of the men she killed were whistleblowers who wanted to expose the program, just as Shannon claimed she wanted. Reyes thinks she killed them to silence them, and is using Doggett to lead her to a third man. She knows that the captain was in touch with Wormus and the water guy about the secret lab on his ship. Doggett notes that Shannon is the only sure part of this conspiracy, but Scully wants answers from the lab.

The captain takes a hostage in the lab, where some sort of fertility stuff is going on, and demands all the data Nordlinger has compiled. Meanwhile, Scully, Doggett, and Reyes arrive at the ship, having arranged to meet with the captain. Instead, they’re met by Knowle. Doggett tells the women to run while he pulls his gun on Knowle. Of course, super-soldiers can’t be stopped by bullets, so it’s a waste of ammo. There’s a fight, and Knowle easily wins. But just as he’s about to crush Doggett’s skull, Shannon arrives and decapitates Knowle.

She’s disappointed that Doggett didn’t trust her, but before that conversation can continue, a hand reaches through her body, pulls out her heart, and throws her in the water. Doggett catches up with Scully and Reyes, and they search the ship but don’t see anyone. The women find the captain, but he won’t be much help to them, considering his head is no longer attached to his body. Doggett comes across a bomb and realizes that the crew has arranged to destroy the ship.

He goes looking for the women, who have found the lab and realized that it’s being used to manipulate ova. There’s less than a minute left before the bomb detonates, but Scully wants to search the names of the test subjects and see if she’s one of them. Doggett tells her that they need to leave now if she ever wants to see William again. They’ll find another way to get answers. The three agents make it off the ship before it explodes, of course.

48 hours later, Doggett has completed a report about the investigation. It talks about a conspiracy in the government, mentioning the super-soldiers but not Kersh. Doggett was unable to find anything tying him to the investigation, though he’s sure Kersh is involved somehow. He just has one question: Why did Kersh secretly send him Wormus’ obituary? Kersh won’t confirm that he did it, but Doggett thinks he’s the only one with a reason. Does Kersh want him fired or killed?

Kersh asks if Doggett’s familiar with King George III, the king of England when America declared independence. In his diary, on July 4th, 1776, he wrote, “Nothing important happened today.” Kersh’s point is that even kings can miss the start of revolutions if they’re not paying attention. Doggett asks if this means Kersh was actually trying to help him.

Kersh wonders if Doggett would believe him if he said that he warned Mulder that he needed to disappear to keep himself safe. Would Doggett believe that Kersh was under the same threat from the same people? Doggett realizes that Scully believed the threat and made Mulder leave.

Doggett and Follmer end up on an elevator together, and Follmer says that Kersh has Doggett where he wants him. Follmer claims to be “a friend to the X-Files.” It’s somewhat comforting to have Doggett there. Reyes gets on the elevator as Follmer gets off, and Doggett tells him he knows where to reach the two of them. Somewhere underwater, Shannon opens her eyes…but it’s just a dream Scully’s having. She checks on William, who’s in his bassinet, under a mobile that again begins to move when she’s not looking.

Thoughts: Reyes keeps calling Scully “Dana.” It’s weird.

Imagine if a higher-up at your company said you were suspended, and you basically said, “I don’t have to listen to you; you’re not my real dad.” Now imagine that the higher-up was possibly part of a dangerous conspiracy that knew you were trying to expose it. What I’m saying is that Doggett has more guts than I thought.

Apparently Lucy Lawless was originally going to be a recurring character in the ninth season, but she had a high-risk pregnancy and had to bow out. It’s fine; they have plenty of characters.

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December 1, 2018

The X-Files 9.1, Nothing Important Happened Today: Water, Water Everywhere, and Who Knows What the Government Put in It?

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 1:07 pm by Jenn

When Xenas attack

Summary: A man at a Baltimore bar scoops some ice out of his drink with his hand and drops the cubes on the floor, then licks his fingers. Season 9 is starting on a classy note. He approaches a woman and starts talking about how the government added stuff to the water that makes him want to avoid ice. The woman invites him to go out and “get some air.”

The man drives her home in his convertible, and as they approach a drawbridge, she puts her hand on his leg. Instead of…doing the thing he thought she was going to do and starting season 9 on a REALLY classy note, she forces his foot down on the accelerator. They speed through the gates on the bridge and plunge into the water below. The man struggles to get out of his seatbelt, but the woman grabs his ankle to keep him underwater.

New credits! Do not like.

48 hours after the opening scenes, Scully’s tending to a very unhappy William while an unseen Mulder takes a shower. There’s a bunch of luggage in the living room. Doggett wakes up for work as Reyes gets a call from Brad Follmer, an FBI agent who was surprised to hear that she’s in D.C. She reluctantly agrees to stop by his office. Doggett grabs a quick breakfast, ignoring a news report about the death of the man from the bar, Carl Wormus, and employee at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Follmer is watching the same report in his office when Reyes arrives, trying to avoid talking to him by leaving him a note. As soon as they’re in his office, he kisses her. She reminds him that they’re at work, though he points out that when they worked together in New York, she never had a problem with that. Follmer is now the assistant director, and he wants to show Reyes some security tapes. One shows her arriving at the building to meet with Doggett. Since Doggett’s part of the internal investigation into Kersh’s activities, Reyes could be in some trouble.

Doggett and Kersh run into each other in an elevator and sneer at each other for a little while. Kersh figures that if Doggett can’t turn up anything negative about him, no one can. Doggett finds Reyes in the X-Files office and complains that he has a tough job in having to investigate Kersh. Reyes tells him the job might be harder than he thinks. One of the security tapes Follmer gave her, which should show the car chase Doggett and Skinner had with Knowle, shows…nothing. According to the evidence, there was no activity in the parking garage, and no witnesses will be able to argue otherwise.

Doggett goes to Mulder’s apartment, which is completely empty. Meanwhile, the woman who killed Wormus resurfaces (literally) in a water reclamation plant. A worker spots her walking around naked as he starts to make a call to a Naval ship. Doggett next goes to Scully’s, upset that she hasn’t answered his calls. He thought she had fled town liked Mulder clearly has. Scully confirms that he’s gone.

The plant worker follows the woman’s wet footprints, and when he finds her, it’s safe to say he’s probably going to suffer the same fate as Wormus. At the FBI building, Doggett and Reyes meet with Skinner; none of the three of them knows where Mulder went. Reyes tells Doggett that there’s yet another complication. Skinner tells Doggett that he needs to drop the Kersh investigation. Doggett guesses that Skinner is afraid of whoever’s behind this conspiracy. Alternately, he’s afraid of the real tape turning up and showing that Skinner killed Krycek.

Skinner says his real fear is that Doggett will push things too far and bring danger on Scully, Mulder, and William. Doggett interprets this as meaning that if he doesn’t drop the investigation, he’s on his own. Skinner doesn’t respond, so Doggett figures that’s his answer. But just as he’s leaving, Reyes tells him he’s not alone.

Reyes meets Follmer at a bar, where he asks why she’s risking her career to join Doggett’s investigation. She tells him there’s no investigation anymore. Follmer’s surprised that Doggett would give it up so quickly. Reyes says this means she has to go back to New Orleans. The X-Files division is getting dropped along with the investigation. This was Reyes’ dream assignment, and she was happy to be in D.C., so she’s disappointed. I think Follmer wants to give her a memorable goodbye present.

Doggett goes back to Scully’s apartment and asks for her help. She tells him she doesn’t know how to find Mulder (and if she did, she most likely wouldn’t tell Doggett). Doggett asks why Scully all of a sudden thinks she can’t trust him. She begs him to drop it, but Doggett wants to bring the people who tried to kill all of them to justice. He wants to know what she and Mulder are keeping from him. How long can she hide the truth?

Doggett continues that Knowle told him William was the result of a government experiment to create super-soldiers. Scully insists that the baby is totally fine, so there’s no need to go down that road. Doggett hopes she’s right, and doesn’t want to pretend things are fine when they’re not. Scully asks him to leave and never come back. He leaves, but we all know he’ll be back.

He goes home and calls a bunch of his old Marine buddies to ask them for info about Knowle. The last person on the list, Shannon McMahon, is the woman from the bar…and she’s now in the FBI building, passing Reyes as she gets off an elevator. At home, Scully and the baby both nap, the star mobile over William’s bassinet slowly turning in a circle.

In the X-Files office, Reyes breaks a pencil point and goes looking for a new one. There are a bunch stuck in the ceiling, of course. She hears a noise and goes to investigate, seeing the elevator doors as they close behind whoever dropped off an envelope with Wormus’ obituary inside. Scully wakes up to William crying and the mobile turning over his bassinet. Suddenly she’s not so sure about her insistence that the baby is normal.

She calls the X-Files office and tells Doggett that he should probably keep investigating after all. He tells her they never dropped the investigation, and now they have a body to examine. So Scully ends her maternity leave after less than a week and meets Doggett and Reyes at the morgue to discuss Wormus’ death. Skinner somehow gets word and calls Doggett to tell him that the FBI has turned against him, since he’s investigating Kersh. He needs to watch his back. Scully doesn’t see the point in autopsying Wormus’ body, but Doggett disagrees.

He summons the Lone Gunmen to his place; they’re blue because they’re poor and unemployed (I guess this was after their spin-off was canceled?). Langly is literally blue but won’t explain why. The guys hack Wormus’ files but don’t see anything strange, other than Wormus’ obsession with water. At the same time, Scully tells Reyes that water was exactly what killed Wormus – he drowned, that’s all. Reyes is impressed that Scully’s able to do her job in the midst of all the insanity in her life.

Reyes continues that she knows Scully’s afraid that something’s wrong with William. Scully says she can’t let her fears get the better of her, like Wormus’ fears got the better of him. Reyes offers to listen if Scully ever wants to talk. Just then, Scully notices fingerprints on Wormus’ ankle, making her and Reyes think someone may have held him underwater.

Follmer tells Kersh that Doggett has gotten hold of Wormus’ body and is clearly looking into something. He thinks Doggett should be punished for taking things too far. Kersh appreciates Follmer’s disclosure and gives him permission to…well, punish Doggett, I guess. But Follmer says there’s a conflict and can’t do it himself. Kersh doesn’t see why not, since Follmer doesn’t have any personal vendetta against Doggett.

Shannon goes to Scully’s apartment, where Maggie’s looking after William. Shannon lies that she’s one of Scully’s co-workers and would like to leave a note. Maggie would prefer if Shannon just left her name so Maggie can tell Scully to call her. Instead, Shannon just leaves. She goes to the morgue and follows Scully and Reyes as they’re leaving the morgue. Reyes remembers her from the elevator and gets suspicious but warns Scully not to show that they’ve seen Shannon.

The two are intercepted by Follmer, who has Polaroids he wants the women to look at. He takes them back to the morgue, but Wormus’ body isn’t there anymore. Follmer guesses that Doggett moved him somewhere. Reyes says he didn’t and asks Scully to back her up. Instead, Scully just says she needs to get home to William. Follmer tells Reyes that he’s on to her and Doggett, and if he goes down, he’ll take Reyes with him.

Reyes accuses Follmer of sending her Wormus’ obituary to set her and Doggett up. Follmer denies this, but Reyes says she’s on to him and doesn’t appreciate him being territorial. She goes to Doggett’s (Frohike likey), and the Lone Gunmen tell her that Wormus was getting encrypted data from a reclamation plant worker named Roland McFarland (wow, horrible name). The Gunmen don’t know what the data was, but they figure Roland’s probably dead now, too.

Doggett and Skinner, who’s suddenly joined the investigation, go to the plant to search Roland’s office. Doggett finds a bunch of files about something called chloramine. They take the files and run just moments before Follmer arrives with his own search team. We kill, like, an entire minute of the episode watching Skinner and Doggett run around the plant.

They get separated, and when Follmer spots Skinner, he thinks Skinner’s there chasing Doggett. They lose him, since he can hold his breath for a really long time and has decided to hide underwater, in the same tank Shannon came out of. Well, now all the files are wet! Great plan, Doggett! But that’s the least of his problems, since Shannon is also in the water, grabbing his ankle and ready to drown him like she drowned Wormus. To be continued…

Thoughts: Follmer is played by Cary Elwes. Shannon is played by Lucy Lawless.

Imagine going through your life with the last name Wormus.

Scully looks way too put-together for someone with a newborn, especially someone taking care of him alone. Her hairs looks better than mine!

November 24, 2018

The X-Files 8.21, Existence: It’s a Boy! And He Doesn’t Have a Tail or Anything!

Posted in TV tagged , , , , , , at 12:56 pm by Jenn

Oh, my heart

Summary: At 4:05 a.m., Dr. James Langenhahn goes to work at the District Pathology Lab, ready to examine a mostly destroyed body. He’s supposed to “establish and confirm the real fact of death,” but considering his assistant has already described the body as looking like hamburger, he’s…yeah, he’s dead. (It’s a pretty solid guess that this is Billy Miles’ body.) Langenhahn finds something in the pile of meat that looks like a metal vertebra. He tells his assistant to include it in his report, then leaves. Once the room is empty, the metal vertebra starts spinning and growing.

Scully and Reyes are on the road to a safe place, and have made it as far as Georgia. Scully notes Reyes’ tension and realizes it’s because she’s concerned for Scully’s impending delivery. The place they’re headed won’t have much to offer in the way of medical care, and Reyes has no experience delivering a baby. Scully points out that she’s never had one before, so they’re in the same boat.

Back in D.C., Mulder shows Skinner and Doggett a surveillance photo from the morgue – Billy walked out looking completely fine. Krycek reminds the agents that he’s unstoppable, even after being reduced to hamburger by the garbage truck. Skinner wants more of an explanation, but Krycek can’t get more detailed than saying he’s a replicant. Doggett doesn’t think Billy will be able to find Scully or the baby, but Krycek thinks another replicant could.

As Doggett gets a visit from Knowle, Scully and Reyes arrive at their destination, Democrat Hot Springs. It’s Doggett’s birthplace, which Scully somehow finds comforting. Reyes picks out an abandoned building for them to take shelter in, a house with “water from the rock, Exodus 7:16” on its window. Ironically, there’s no running water inside. Reyes lights a cigarette – guess she didn’t quit after all – and sees a bright light in the sky.

Knowle tells Doggett that Billy may have come out of a Cold War program to create super-soldiers. Doggett says that while Billy did seem pretty super, he didn’t seem like a soldier. He was a rumored alien abductee. Knowle says he’s halfway to understanding what the agents are after.

Knowle confirms that Billy’s after Scully, who was also part of the program. Her abduction was part of a military operation. The chip was used to both monitor her and make her pregnant with “the first organic version of that same super-soldier.” Knowle wants Doggett’s help to catch Billy so he can be stopped. Doggett pretends not to know where Scully is, but Knowle is sure that someone involved knows – and that person is in danger.

Mulder leaves, getting impatient with the elevator and deciding to take the stairs. Seconds later, Billy arrives via elevator and ready to do some murdering. Krycek’s Spidey sense tells him something’s wrong, so he leaves Skinner’s office just seconds before Billy arrives. Skinner goes after him, but Krycek deliberately fails to hold the elevator for him. Skinner makes it through the doors just in time…but so does Billy’s hand. It smacks Skinner in the face, then stays put, unaffected, as the elevator starts going down.

Skinner ends up in the hospital with a concussion and Mulder by his side. Doggett comes by and tells Mulder that an old friend gave him some information about Billy and the super-soldier program. Mulder demands to know who Doggett’s source is, since he appears to be making stuff up. Doggett doesn’t think it matters – Knowle says Scully’s in danger, and he has the same goal as the agents, to stop Billy.

Mulder makes sure that Doggett didn’t tell Knowle where Scully is. Doggett’s starting to think that being the only one who knows is going to come back to harm him. Mulder doesn’t want to know, but Doggett’s afraid for Scully’s fate if something happens to him. Mulder decides that they should go on the only lead they have and talk to Knowle about any possible ways to stop Billy.

In Democrat Springs, Reyes has fixed up a little temporary home for her and Scully. She wishes they had whale songs to set the mood. She makes some whale sounds, reminding Scully of her sister. Reyes spots someone outside the house and goes out to investigate. Just as she’s decided there’s nothing there, a truck speeds up. The driver is a game warden who gets her to put her gun down and show some ID.

Once the two women have agreed they’re no harm to each other, Reyes brings the game warden (who never gets a name, but I’ll call her Martha, since that was her portrayer’s role on True Blood) into her and Scully’s house. Martha can’t believe that Scully plans to deliver the baby there. Reyes argues that Scully’s a doctor, but Martha doesn’t think that’s any match for the circumstances. Scully makes it clear that she’s so desperate, she doesn’t have a choice. Martha softens and offers up some supplies to help out.

Mulder and Doggett have no luck trying to get in touch with Knowle back in D.C. Doggett wonders how long Mulder can keep up with trying to fight threats. He’s given up almost a decade of his life to this. Mulder admits that it might never end. They see Krycek arriving in the parking garage of the FBI building, and realize that Knowle is in his car with him.

Reyes tells Scully that she looks beautiful even with everything she’s dealing with. This is not the time to hit on her, Monica! Scully asks if she’s feeling any vibes like she usually does. Reyes says that things feel a little off. She goes out to get more water from a pump and sees the light in the sky again. Her vibes have clearly abandoned her, because she doesn’t notice Billy until he’s right on top of her. She aims her gun at him, but it’s Martha who ends up shooting him.

The women think Billy’s dead and assure Scully that everything’s okay. Scully’s like, “You don’t really get how this all works, do you?” Martha says she’ll have to report the incident, but Scully tells her that’ll have to wait – she just had a contraction. That baby must be Mulder’s, because it already has horrible timing.

Mulder and Doggett split up, Mulder to keep an eye on Krycek and Doggett to follow Knowle as he goes somewhere inside the building. It turns out he’s there to see Crane and discuss how Doggett doesn’t expect anything but needs to be eliminated. Doggett leaves without being noticed and runs to Skinner’s office to make a phone call. Skinner himself is there, not letting a little concussion stop him from…whatever these guys are doing.

Doggett calls Mulder, who’s still in the car, and tells him that Knowle came to talk to Crane. Mulder thinks Krycek, Knowle, and Crane are all working together. They tricked the agents into chasing Billy and thinking they could protect Scully. Since Doggett called Reyes from a phone in the building, the three conspirators probably know where she is.

Mulder tells Doggett to tell him where Scully is. Doggett hesitates, thinking they can take out the conspirators and put an end to the threat. Mulder thinks they might be replicants, which leaves the agents at a big disadvantage. Doggett finally tells Mulder that Scully’s in Democrat Hot Springs. But before Mulder can get on the road, Krycek punches through his car window (always so dramatic) and forces him out of the car.

Krycek holds a gun on his old enemy and says it doesn’t seem fair that it comes down to this. He claims that he’s the one who kept Mulder alive for years. They wanted the same thing. Mulder disagrees – he wanted to stop the conspiracy, while Krycek wanted to save himself. Krycek admits that he tried to kill Scully’s baby to stop the replicants, but it’s too late. Mulder wouldn’t let it go, so Krycek has to finish him off. He can’t know how deep this goes.

Mulder would rather have Krycek kill him than insult him by trying to make him understand the conspiracy. Krycek starts to pull the trigger, but he’s shot first, but Skinner. Looks like Krycek isn’t a replicant or super-soldier, since two bullets pretty much incapacitate him. He warns that it’ll take a lot more than bullets to take down the replicants. But if Skinner fires just one more, Krycek will give him what he needs to save thousands. All Skinner has to do is shoot Mulder. Instead, he shoots Krycek, probably killing him (but on this show, who knows?).

Skinner stays behind while Mulder heads to the airport to fly to Georgia. He’ll have to hurry if he wants to see the birth of the baby, since Scully’s contractions are already two minutes apart. Reyes has a vision, I think (it’s hard to tell), of the baby. Back in D.C., Doggett comes face to face with Knowle and Crane, who ignore him when he threatens to shoot him. They chase him as he finds Skinner and runs off with him.

I guess Reyes’ vision made her think she can’t trust Martha, so she breaks something over her head and holds a gun on her. Martha declares that the baby will be born as a bunch of cars pull up to the house. Billy gathers himself from the dirt outside, back to normal again.

Doggett and Skinner jump in a car and use it to run over Crane. It doesn’t do much good, as he jumps on top of it and swings himself around to punch through the window. As Billy and his replicant friends enter the house in Georgia, Reyes tries to convince Scully that everything’s going to be okay. Scully begs her not to let the replicants take the baby.

We go back and forth between Scully’s delivery and a car chase between Knowle, Skinner, and Doggett. Skinner finally gets rid of Crane by driving his side of the car into a cement column. Knowle ends up crashing, but if he’s a super-soldier, that’s not going to stop him for long. As the replicants stare at the two women, Reyes delivers Scully’s baby.

Mulder also likes to make a memorable entrance, so he gets a helicopter to take him to the house. The replicants are leaving, and he fears that one of them has Scully stashed in a car. Reyes assures him that she’s still safe, though she needs to go to the hospital. I hope Mulder asked the helicopter pilot to wait.

Sometime later, Doggett and Reyes turn in a report about the replicants and Scully’s delivery, but Kersh isn’t happy with it. He doesn’t get why Reyes thinks she was on this case, as if that’s his biggest issue here. But Doggett thinks he had the authority to bring Reyes on board since the office is now under investigation – he knows that Kersh was part of Knowle and Crane’s late-night meeting. Since Knowle and Crane are now missing, Kersh is the only person who can provide answers. Kersh booms that Doggett investigates what Kersh tells him. Doggett says he’s just doing his job, investigating X-Files.

Mulder lets himself into Scully’s apartment (looks like he has his own set of keys) just as the Lone Gunmen are leaving after dropping off some gifts. They’re the Three Wise Men here, you see. They don’t get how Mulder found Scully, since Doggett was never able to give him her exact location. “There was a light. I followed it,” Mulder explains. So the baby is Jesus, I guess.

Mulder happily checks in on Scully and the baby…who looks totally normal and human. Scully has finally picked a name for her son – William, after Mulder’s father (also her father, but she doesn’t mention that). Mulder jokes that the baby looks like Skinner. Scully doesn’t understand why the replicants left the baby alone. Mulder says he must not have been what they were looking for. But he still thinks the baby is a miracle.

Scully says she feared the truth the second she found out she was pregnant. She still doesn’t know how she got pregnant. Mulder says they both feared the possibilities and the truth. But now they know it. Scully asks what the truth is, but instead of answering, Mulder kisses her. And she kisses back! They’re totally making out! They stand there with the baby – their baby – for their last happy moment together until the end of next season.

Thoughts: Martha is played by Dale Dickey, who was in some True Blood episodes with Robert Patrick.

Whose pretty face will I miss more, Mulder’s or Krycek’s? I can’t decide.

I have very little use for Skinner, but he looks really menacing and awesome when he shows up to save Mulder from Krycek. It would have been more satisfying if Mulder had killed Krycek, though, since Krycek killed his father.

Time for season 9! Say goodbye to Duchovny for a few weeks!

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.

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 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.
UFO
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.