7×01 – THE SIXTH EXTINCTION
Recap by Bolissa
So, the 7th Season kicks off with Mulder in pretty bad shape. Like that’s new, right? But this time it’s pretty bad. He’s in the hospital and his Mysterious Brain Disease is getting worse. Scully’s still in Africa, playing with a machete but she makes a new friend. Which is good because Creepy Dr. Barnes shows up and he’s craaaazzzyyyy. Kritschgau’s back, all bitter and pissy. Skinner’s desperate and confused. Diana Fowley makes a half-assed love confession to manipulate Mulder into overlooking her betrayal. And then Scully proves once again why she is the only one that without which, Mulder couldn’t live. Without. Which with. Whatever.
Previously on The X-Files: There was an alien spacecraft on a beach in Africa. Pieces of it broke off and were spinning or flying all over the place. Some biologists were involved, one of them really creepy. Krycek was running around collecting tapes of Mulder & Scully’s conversations, although nobody really knows why. Skinner was basically helpless. Poor Albert Hosteen was dying of cancer. The spacecraft artifacts had some American Indian writings all over it and the rubbings of such made Mulder’s brain go crazy. Scully ran off to Africa to find a cure, leaving Mulder in the clutches of Diana Fowley.
So, let’s get this show on the road!
Leo Carrillo State Beach, California. Oops, sorry. Ivory Coast, West Africa. Scully’s voice over kicks it in full gear. It’s addressed to Mulder, which supports my journal theory. I like the idea that Scully would write down stuff in her journal that she’d never have the guts to say to his face. Like her voice overs from Memento Mori. Scully’s sitting in her tent, going over rubbings from the spacecraft and oh, my God! Scully’s glasses! I’ve missed you. Remember when Scully used to be a nerd? Good times. “I came in search of something I did not believe existed. I’ve stayed on now, in spite of myself. In spite of everything I’ve ever held to be true.” Scully is willing to throw her beliefs out the window in order to save Mulder. It’s a major crossroad for her.
“I will continue here as long as I can … as long as you are beset by the haunting illness which I saw consume your beautiful mind. What is this discovery I’ve made? How can I reconcile what I see with what I know? I feel this was meant not for me to find but for you… to make sense of — make the connections which can’t be ignored … connections which, for me, deny all logic and reason.” Huh. Has Scully been sitting in on 1013 production meetings?
“What is this source of power I hold in my hand — this rubbing — a simple impression taken from the surface of the craft? I watched this rubbing take its undeniable hold on you, saw you succumb to its spiralling effect. Now I must work to uncover what your illness prevents you from finding. In the source of every illness lies its cure.” Let’s hope this is true for the mytharc.
A large bug lands on one of the rubbings. Instead of running from the tent screaming, as I would’ve done, Scully gets up to turn down the lamp. I’m going to assume it’s a locust, based on the whole Biblical plague thing they’ve got going on in this episode. As she turns off the lamp, she sees a semi-naked African tribesman in the reflection of the glass. He’s standing behind her, but when she turns around he’s disappeared. Spooky. A lot more bugs have come to join the party. Scully grabs a machete and leaves the tent to investigate. A machete? Dude, Scully. Where’s your gun? Aren’t you more properly equipped to use your fire-arm than a large knife? Scully’s boobs look like they’re going to burst out of her white tank top. I think the reappearance of Diana has motivated them to put up a fight. Anyways, she doesn’t see anybody around. She goes back into the tent and there are locusts everywhere. Including some really lame CGI’d ones. As Scully approaches the lamp, the locusts swarm and she starts waving her arms and screaming. Thatta girl. The lamp falls to the floor.
Old Credits. Did you guys know about paranormal activity and that the government denies knowledge? Just checking.
Georgetown Memorial Hospital. The doctor and Skinner are watching Mulder on the observation monitors. Mulder’s just lying on the floor of a padded room and he’s still got that hospital gown on. No straight jacket, though. That’s a good sign, I guess. Mulder’s apparently had a haircut while in the hospital. Mulder’s hair in Season 7 was such a downgrade from Season 6. It makes me sad. The doctor tells Skinner that there’s activity in Mulder’s “temporal lobe” they’ve never seen before. Mulder can’t sleep, his body won’t shut down, etc. Sometimes this causes episodes of aggro, even against himself. The doctor then says that Mulder’s brain is going to die. Skinner does not look happy. A few minutes later, Skinner visits Mulder in his padded cell. “Agent Mulder, can you hear me? Do you know who I am?” Mulder just sits and drools. “It’s Skinner, Walter Skinner. The Skinman. Skinbone. The Skinster. Any of those ringing a bell?” Heh.
At this, Mulder leaps up and starts choking Skinner. The doctor starts freaking out. Mulder then slams Skinner to the ground. Skinner tells Mulder that he doesn’t want to hurt him. Skinner’s nose is bleeding. Mulder’s all sweaty and grunting. The hospital staff pry Mulder off of Skinner and throw him against the wall. I think I read some fanfic like this once. As Skinner leaves the cell, Mulder starts screaming. I think Mulder might need that straight jacket, yo. Out in the hall, Skinner takes off his glasses to wipe them or something. Maybe Mulder dripped sweat on them. He notices that his shirt pocket is ripped. He pulls out a small, torn piece of hospital gown with “Help Me” witten in blood. I think it’s written in blood. I doubt the staff have given Mulder a pen. That’s a big No-No in psych wards. Couldn’t Mulder have just handed Skinner that piece of hospital gown? Did he really need to attack him to get that message across? He can scream and he can write words in blood, but he can’t talk? OK, whatever.
Ivory Coast. An African woman arrives in a jeep and after some conversation with her driver as he points to Scully’s tent, she gets out and runs towards the tent. She’s really tall. And pretty. As she enters the tent, she looks around at all the dead locusts. “My God. What happened here?” Scully’s packing clothes or something in her duffel bag. Her hair is wet and she probably just had a shower. She turns around and stares at the pretty African lady. Scully’s body language is screaming Eyebrow. The African lady is all, “I’ve been told that you speaka of the English. Do you understand the words that are coming out of my mouth?!” Scully snootily snits “What do you want?” Now there’s no need for rudeness, Miss Scully.
Sometimes I wonder about her intuition. She’ll gladly go to an upstairs bedroom with a creepy Amish gender-bending freak but she’s rude and mistrusting of the pretty African lady who’s giving off harmless vibes. Instead of reminding Scully of her manners, she apologizes, introduces herself as Amina Ngebe and tells her that she’s come to see Scully’s discovery. “I asked that no one be told about it … nor that I’m here,” Scully snits. I’m pretty sure you’re trackable Scully. There’s airline records, your passport, etc. Even that chip in your neck is probably a tracking device.
Anyways, Amina assures Scully that it is still a secret but it’s well-known among the locals thanks to “the African internet”[/Dr. Merkmallen]. Amina tells Scully that she worked with Dr. Merkmallen at the University and she’s a biologist too. Scully tells her about the semi-naked vanishing tribesman and the locust. Amina tells Scully not to tell the men who are helping her because they’re animists who’d believe that it was a sign from God to stop working on the spacecraft. As if on cue, one of the men out in the water starts screaming for help. Amina and Scully run out to the beach. The guy is covered in boils and it’s really gross. He’s taken away to the hospital. Amina tells her that it was another warning. Scully looks disturbed.
GMH. Skinner sneaks into Mulder’s hospital room. He’s now in restraints. “Agent Mulder, I want to help you. I don’t know what to do. I don’t have much time.” Mulder taps the bed with his right hand, his index and middle finger bound together with some string. Skinner asks him if he can write and he nods. Skinner gives Mulder a pen (Oh no!) and holds out his hand for him to write on. Mulder writes out “KR…”
Ivory Coast. It’s now nighttime and Scully’s lying in her cot, staring up at the ceiling. Amina is sleeping next to her. Not like that, you pervs! Amina’s got her own cot. Scully’s v.o. journal entry is going strong. “I feel you slipping away from me with every minute I fail here. What are the elusive meanings I cannot see that are hidden here? If I could understand it, know how it affected you, learn how to use its power to save you. And to maybe save my reproductive organs so that we may be able to have a miraculous love child.”
I notice that the dead bugs are still everywhere. Why haven’t they cleaned them out? That should’ve been priority #1, as far as I’m concerned. A jeep pulls up outside, with its high beams on. Scully grabs her trusty machete. Seriously, Scully? Where’s your fucking gun? Sigh. Why am I letting this bother me? Moving on.
Scully approaches the jeep and asks the driver what’s what. The driver, let’s call him Mufasa, starts rambling excitedly and takes out this enormous flashlight, classic X-Files style. He tries to get Scully to walk over to the water with him. She’s like, “I don’t speak African.” Then somebody interrupts, “Perhaps you need an interpreter.” Ah, look kids. It’s Creepy Dr. Barnes. Except he’s a little less creepy and a lot more unhinged. He’s Crazy Dr. Barnes. Scully looks kind of scared, as one would, and raises the ole machete at CDB. “Are you going to hack me up in front of my driver? Word is you’re under suspicion already.”
Suspicion of what? Extremely long journal entries? Leaving her gun home in Washington? Abandoning Mulder to Diana?
Scully tells Amina that CDB killed Dr. Merkmallen. CDB denies this. He tells them that he knows how important this discovery is because of its “extraterrestrial origins.” Scully tells him that he doesn’t even believe in that crap. “Nor do you,” CDB says. How does he know what Scully does or does not believe? He doesn’t even know her. CDB tells them that he can help them interpret the writings. At this, Mufasa starts calling them over to the water, which has turned into blood. Aren’t these plagues a little out of order? You’d think God or the aliens would know that the water-turning-into-blood came first. Ahead of locusts and boils. But, whatever. Chris Carter wrote this, so I really shouldn’t be expecting the plot line to move forward in a logical manner. Scully spots the semi-naked tribesman again, standing on a cliff. Let’s call him Rafiki. He then disappears. Spooooooooky.
G Street, Washington. This is a crappy section of DC, yo. Skinner’s walking through a run-down apartment complex and he’s got “Kritschgau” written on his hand. With all the abnormal brain function going on in Mulder’s head, it’s good to know that he can still spell a name like that correctly. Especially since the person is someone he hasn’t seen or spoken to in two years. Skinner knocks on KR’s door. KR opens it and is like, “Dude. It’s 6am.” If someone knocked on my door at 6am, I wouldn’t even have answered it. But judging by the time it took for KR to open the door, I’d say he was already up. Skinner tells KR that Mulder’s in “serious condition” and he wants to talk to KR. KR’s like, “No.” He starts to shut the door, but Skinner slams his foot into it. KR starts bitching, “You know, I had a job … with a government pension coming and two years ago, Fox Mulder asked me to do him a favor — blow the whistle on Uncle Sam’s UFO propaganda mill. And all it got me was this swanky address.”
Dude, worse things could’ve happened to you. At least you didn’t have to undergo the Crispification that Spender did. ["Yeah, but now Spender's finger lickin' good! Going to hell now. Quit blocking the gate, Fowley!" - raceguy]
Skinner says that Mulder doesn’t have much time. KR tells Skinner that he ain’t no doctor. I personally don’t get how, through Skinner’s words, he would immediately jump to the conclusion that Mulder’s situation was medical. He could’ve been in prison or something, waiting to be sentenced to death after sitting through a fake trial put on by the army and his FORMER employer.
GMH. Mulder’s still in his bed, restrained and doped up. He’s basically just lying there and drooling. There’s a monitor in the room, tracking Mulder’s brain activity. KR wants to know if Mulder recognizes him but Skinner’s got no idea. As Skinner speaks to Mulder, the monitor registers activity but he doesn’t move at all. Skinner and KR chat about the treatment Mulder’s being given. KR starts to ask something, and Mulder’s brain monitor buzzes before he can finish the question. Same thing happens again. KR tells Skinner that Mulder anticipated the questions. Skinner tells KR that Mulder “claimed to be hearing voices.”
Some time later, Skinner and KR wheel Mulder into a med room. Skinner doesn’t want to be held responsible for anything happening to Mulder. KR’s like, “You’re the one who came for me, so you better be ready to handle the responsibility in case this all goes horribly wrong.” KR grabs a syringe and informs Skinner that he will be injecting Mulder with Phenytoin. Skinner is not pleased by this turn of events. He thinks they should consult the doctors first. KR thinks Skinner’s being a pussy. Mulder? Still sitting and drooling. KR tells Skinner that he’s seen this before in a study done by “the CIA” of an ESP-like condition called “remote viewing.” Skinner then injects Mulder with the syringe, which was really full. Mulder closes his eyes and swallows, becoming more aware. In a raspy voice, Mulder tells Skinner and KR that “they’re coming.”
Out in the hallway, Diana is berating the nurse for not noticing that Mulder was AWOL. Diana is pissed, blah blah. Diana and the nurse walk into Mulder’s hospital room, to find him in bed and Skinner standing next to him. Skinner tells them that he found Mulder down the hall. Diana looks suspicious. Skinner orders Diana out of the room, after reminding her that he’s her boss. I assist Skinner by kicking Diana out of the room with my steel-toed boot. Once she’s gone, Mulder tells Skinner that “she knows.” Skinner’s shocked that he can read Diana’s mind. Skinner wills himself to not think about his late night Male Connection Hotline phone calls. Mulder tells Skinner that they need to act fast. Skinner wants to get the doctor. “No doctors. Get me Scully.”
Yes! He needs the one person that without which he cannot live without which with! Take a note here recap readers: Mulder asks for Scully. ["Scully, not Fowley. Not Fowley at all." - raceguy]
Skinner tells Mulder that he has no idea where she is. “Look … I know you’ve been compromised. I know Krycek is threatening your life … Blackmailing you. You don’t think I can trust you but it’s not you that I need.” Mulder tells Skinner that he needs KR to prove that what’s causing his condition is alien. KR looks like he thinks Mulder really does belong in the psych ward. I hope Scully’s working on that cure.
Ivory Coast. Scully’s in her tent, putting her rubbings together on the floor like a puzzle. This makes me wonder how long Scully’s been in Africa. It sure would take a while to get all those rubbings. Scully’s journal v.o. is in full effect: “The work here is painstaking — a slow and tedious piecing together. It appears to be a craft, its skin covered in the intricate symbols you and I both saw but which I now understand are part of a complex communication. [CDB] has broken some of the symbols into letters using an ancient Navajo alphabet and, though it has helped to uncover some of what’s here, it has also made for greater confusion.”
Led to greater confusion? Like Seasons 8 & 9, perhaps?
“On the top surface of the craft I’m finding words describing human genetics.” Scully translates some symbols into four nucleotides: CYTOSINE, GUANINE, ADEMINE and THYMINE. Either Scully or the aliens spelled that wrong, because it’s AdeNine. You know what? I’m just going to blame Chris Carter. “Efforts to read the bottom of the craft have been harder.” Damn! I bet the bottom had all the cheat codes for the new Zelda game! ["Or what William is, where he came from, and why he's important to the mythology." - raceguy]
“Our workers were scared away by phenomena I admit I can’t explain — a sea of blood, a swarm of insects. But what little we have found has been staggering — passages from the Christian Bible,” (Is there a Bible that’s not Christian?) “from pagan religions, from Ancient Sumeria … science and mysticism conjoined. But more than words, they are somehow imbued with power. I’ve ignored warnings to quit this work, remaining committed to finding answers, afraid only that our secret here won’t last and that I might be too late.”
Outside the tent, Amina gives CDB the stank-eye before running into the tent with some papers. She joins Scully on the floor with some rubbings she had translated. They’re from the Koran, foretelling the “day of final judgment.” Scully tells Amina that she discovered the 24 pairs of chromosomes, ["Again with the sciency nitpicking, aren't there only 23 pairs?" - raceguy] “a complete human genome. I mean, it’s like … it’s the most beautiful, intricate work of art.”
Scully is in awe, yo. Amina thinks that it’s God’s Word. At this, CDB enters the tent and puts a sack underneath a table. He starts yapping that there is no God, only aliens. “What’s out there on the water … is only what we call ‘God’ … What we call ‘creation’ – the spark that ignited the fire that cooked the old primordial soup.”
Mmmm. Primordial soup. I had some for dinner last night. And it was good. ["You've GOT to give me the recipe. Mine turns out tasting like a mix between shaving cream and mouthwash." - raceguy]
Amina thinks that CDB’s gone mad from the sun. CDB says that he’s “perfecty sane.” I beg to differ. And his lips are really white. They’re freaking me out. Scully thinks CDB needs to lie down and rest. CDB grabs her machete. See, Scully?! See?! GET YOUR GUN, WOMAN! CDB’s all “You think you’re going to take the credit? This is my discovery.”
Scully tells him that “I’m only here to help my friend. Well, I guess you could call him that. I mean, of course he is my friend. He’s my best friend. But that word doesn’t really come close to describing our relationship. I really have no idea how to describe it. I mean, I like him. Actually, I might be in love with him. Which is why I’m over here suffering in this African heat, living in a fucking tent with dead bugs and a crazy biologist. Plus, I’m having these visions of a half-naked shaman who keeps disappearing. I guess I should be thankful that he’s at least partially covered because I don’t think I could handle that right now. But anyways, I couldn’t care less about winning the D.C. Science Fair. I just want to find a way to save my partner/best friend/future lover from dying.” I added that last part.
CDB takes the machete and stands guard at the tent entrance, telling them that nobody’s gonna leave the tent before he does. Scully and Amina look kind of nervous.
GMH. Skinner and KR have set up some small computer/TV monitors at the foot of Mulder’s bed. On the monitors, several pictures zoom by. Including one of a UFO. KR explains to Mulder that this is “like a card trick. You tap the monitor where the saucer image appears when it appears or when you think it does.” Mulder attempts to make a joke. “Who ya gonna call?” Oh, dear. Are there ghosts in the room? Is Mulder seeing Walk Ins? That was one lame joke, my friend. So I guess that’s proof he’s back to normal. Mulder’s first attempt at tapping the monitors when the UFO pops up isn’t so good. “But I see them in my head.” Skinner wants to try it again, but faster this time. KR puts it at full speed and Mulder begins tapping the monitors so fast, he’s tapping before the UFO even appears on screen. KR is amazed.
Ivory Coast. CDB has finally fallen asleep. But then that sack under the table starts moving and he wakes up. It was filled with dead fish and now they’re alive. As he’s picking up the fish and basically celebrating the fact that the ship brought them back to life, Scully takes a chair and bashes CDB in the head. Again, Scully. A gun would’ve been useful in this type of situation. She and Amina run for the jeep and take off. They’re going for the police. While driving, Scully sees Rafiki in the road and yells for Amina to stop. Once they’ve stopped, Rafiki has disappeared again. Don’t you hate it when that happens? Scully looks around and suddenly Rafiki is sitting where Amina was. “Some truths are not for you,” he says. He reaches out and touches her forehead, just over the spot where her cancerous tumor once dwelt. She goes kind of rigid and suddenly it’s Amina tapping Scully. She jumps, visibly shaken.
Duuude, was Scully just cured there? Of her infertility? I mean, Rafiki is clearly a spirit guide. Just like Hosteen. Whoops, that comes later. Anyways, moving on. Amina tells Scully that it’s a sign to give up. Scully wants to go back. Amina doesn’t want to go back to the beach. She tells her that she’s going home. But how does she get those rubbings? She’s got all those rubbings down in the X-Files office, as we saw in “Provenance.” She doesn’t go back to the beach to retrieve them? Continuity is a harsh mistress. OK, well maybe Amina mailed them to her.
GMH. Mulder’s gone back to the drooling and blank stares. Skinner and KR are attempting to break him out of the ward. They bicker about KR’s intentions. KR wants to pump Mulder full of Phenytoin again. Skinner doesn’t think that’s a good idea and says that this has gone too far. KR asks “How far should it go?! How far would Mulder go?!” Well, he’d drill holes in his head. So I’d say pretty far. Then Diana appears in the room with the doctor. She’s demanding to know what’s going on. She tells KR to back away. She spots the syringe and the Phenytoin. Skinner tries to explain what’s what, but nobody’s paying attention to him. Diana orders KR to stand against the wall. The doctor wants to know how much Phenytoin Mulder was given, and then Mulder goes into seizure. They all hold onto him.
Ivory Coast. Mufasa comes to tell CDB that the jeep was taken. Then CDB kills him with Scully’s trusty machete. Why? Who knows? He’s crazy. At least he apologized beforehand.
Diana’s Half-Assed Bedside Confessional. She tells Mulder that she knows what’s happening to him. “I’ve been sitting back and watching.” Yeah, that’s right. Sitting around and doing nothing. And where’s Scully? On the other side of the world DOING SOMETHING. Diana tells Mulder that she knows he can read her mind, that he knows she has loyalties to CSM but she has her reasons. What are those reasons? We’ll never know. Because Diana was one of the most poorly-written characters in television history. She tells Mulder that she loves him and she won’t let him die. That he doesn’t have to prove the alien stuff, he needs to let go. “Now we can be together.” What the hell made her think he was even interested in her? She had to stun gun his ass just because he was rejecting her so aggressively. Then she tells him to give up his quest and settle down with her, basically. And I guess we’ll see what that looks like later, but I’m getting ahead of myself. She kisses his head and walks away. Blech. Mulder turns his head and watches her leave, wondering where the hell Scully is.
FBI. Scully’s back and Diana better run! She knows how to wield a machete! Scully looks a tad disheveled. Everyone in the hallway stares at her funny. I don’t think any of them have seen Agent Scully looking so out of sorts. She walks right past Arlene and into Skinner’s office. She demands to know where Mulder is and wants to know if he’s still at GMH. Skinner tells her that she can’t get to Mulder. Scully has been on a plane for 22 hours, dammit! She’s tired and hungry and desperate to see Mulder! Skinner tells her that he takes full responsibility for screwing with Mulder but he doesn’t actually come out and say what he did. He only tells her that he got KR involved. Skinner then tells Scully that the doctors said that Mulder was dying. “He’s not dying. He’s more alive than he’s ever been. He’s more alive than his body can withstand and what’s causing it may be extraterrestrial in origin,” Scully whisper-cries. Skinner tells her that there’s nothing they can do about it. She has no response to this. Skinner tells her that she won’t be allowed to see Mulder. “Maybe as his partner… but not as his doctor.” Scully then walks out, leaving a trail of giant eyebrows behind.
Ivory Coast. CDB’s working on some papers when he hears a rumbling noise. Mufasa’s corpse is missing from the tent. CDB is amazed and runs around all “He’s alive!” He takes a lamp and goes to look outside. There’s footprints out to the water. He starts to follow them but then turns to see Zombie!Mufasa wielding Scully’s machete. Goodbye, CDB.
GMH. Mulder’s lying in bed. He can hear multiple voices overlapping one another in the hallway. In a second or two, one voice above all the others comes through loud and clear. All the feels. “Please. I need to see him. I’m begging you, please,” Scully tells the doctor. She walks in Mulder’s room and stands over his bed. She looks rough. “Mulder, it’s me. I know that you can hear me. If you can just give me some sign.” He doesn’t give her a sign. Even though a few minutes ago he could turn his head and watch The Fowl One walk out the door. “I want you to know where I’ve been … what I found. I think that, if you know, that you could find a way to hold on. I need you to hold on. I found a key … the key … to every question that has ever been asked. It’s a puzzle … but the pieces are there for us to put together and I know that they can save you if you can just hold on.” Scully holds his hand and cries. “Mulder … please. Hold on.”
Mulder can read her mind, yo. Inside Scully’s head: “I love you, Mulder. I can’t live without you. Why can’t anything go right for us? When are we gonna cut through all this bullshit and get it on? I think an African shaman healed my reproductive organs. So, we should talk about that later. Maybe over a candlelit dinner and some red wine. Oh, and Diana better not have been hanging around here the entire time I was gone.”
I find the difference between Diana’s bedside conversation and Scully’s really interesting. Mulder could read both their minds and their feelings. Diana is only interested in her own agenda and wants Mulder to give up. She has also betrayed him, probably over a very long period of time. She does tell Mulder outright that she loves him, but it’s selfish and manipulative. Scully is purely unselfish and no amount of dishonesty can be found in her. She wants Mulder to hold on because she has found the truth that they’ve been searching for. Scully does indeed love Mulder, but she doesn’t have to say it. Moving on…
Ivory Coast. Amina arrives at the beach with the police. They find CDB’s dead body. Amina looks out to the water and the spacecraft is gone. Dun dun DUN!
Recap by Bolissa