7×22 – REQUIEM

by foxestacado


Recap by Crass

Ooh, right from the start we’re back in dark downtown Bellefleur Oregon, where the men are aliens and the pine trees just don’t care. There’s a siren wailing in the night, and it belongs to a police vehicle that’s really hammering it down a country road through the pine forest. Apparently there’s a fire and a downed aircraft. Well, we’re watching The X-Files so downed aircraft more often than not means UFO or some kind of UFO involvement. I stop to wonder sometimes how the UFO pilots keep their licences; they constantly seem to be having mid-air collisions of one sort or another. I suppose another way of looking at it is that they are negligent about the use of their cloaking devices, hence the number of fighter jets and domestic aircraft that come to grief after contact. Sorry dude, we just didn’t see you lurking there, picking up those abductees! Put your flashers on or something, for the love of Mike? Who is Mike anyway? I’ve always wondered. All units have a 10-13. Drink.

It’s our old friend from Pilot, Detective Miles, and he’s coming right at Ray. Well, perhaps it would be a good idea to slow down just a little, particularly considering there’s a fire and you don’t appear to have a fire hose. Det. Miles tells Ray he has to wait for back-up before he heads out. How long do you think he’ll have to wait? In a place as small as Bellefleur, perhaps Det. Miles means himself. There’s no reply from Deputy Ray, and the radio suddenly bursts into loud static. In The X-Files universe, this is always A Bad Sign, not just an indication of shitty reception. Demonstrating A Very Bad Sign, the car then loses all power, and coasts down the road, resisting Det. Miles’ attempt to slow it down or steer it. Power brakes and steering are a great idea until they fail, aren’t they? I once owned a 1966 Ford Falcon that did not possess these modern conveniences – driving to the shops was better than an hour at the gym, let me tell you. Anyhoo, I bet there’s aliens involved. That’s who I blame when the car won’t work. Unable to halt the car’s momentum, Det. Miles crashes right into another police car just sitting in the road. To be fair, he did tell Deputy Ray he was coming right at him. Det. Miles hauls himself out of the car, scattering little bits of safety glass all over the road, and looks over at the conflagration happening in the woods. He’s injured his head, and he puts his hand up to see how badly, then he looks at his watch, and the hands are spinning backwards. Uh-oh. Aliens, I bet you anything.

All of a sudden, he realises that he should check the other car. Deputy Ray is still in the car, groaning. In a move that would exacerbate the injuries of someone with broken ribs, Det. Miles grabs Ray by the shoulder and pulls him back so the light shines on his face. Oh no! It’s an Extremely Bad Sign! Ray’s eyes are all puffy and red, an indication that he has been exposed to toxic green blood! For sure his blood is all thick and sludgy. Someone needs to get him into an ice bath, stat! Unfortunately, Dana “I’m a Medical Doctor” Scully, the only physician who could be considered an expert in this malady, is nowhere around. Det. Miles steps back in horror, and straight into a puddle of bubbling green, acidic ooze. That’s the end of that pair of shoes. He turns around and…what the? It’s Deputy Ray! But isn’t he in the car in dire need of a bucket-load of Visine? Det. Miles appears puzzled and fearful and…

CREDITS – Doo DOO doo doo doo DOO etc etc.

Now we’re in an office, and an accountant type is adding things up on his little adding machine. I have one of those at work. I too use it for adding. He is adding up Lariat car rentals, and whistles at the sum, then hands the papers to someone we can’t see until the camera swings around, and shows us Mulder (Yay!), with a semi-cocky look on his face. He is looking mighty fiiiinnne. Mulder asks, “Is that a lot?” The accountant must be some kind of auditor, and he tells Mulder that by FBI standards, these numbers are out of control. I bet Mulder hears that sort of thing a lot. Mulder says, with a straight face, “We could start sharing rooms.” Oh, Mulder, you dog! I bet you already do! Auditor type says, “You’re under evaluation. There has to be a point where we say no.” Mulder then tries to justify himself, saying that: “What we do can’t be compared to other departments in the Bureau.” True dat. Auditor Guy says, “Right. This business with aliens.” Who’s in business with the aliens? I thought they all died at El Rico. Mulder says that there’s more to it than that, and he’s right. Why there’s flukemen, vampires, werewolves, voodoo, mutants, clones, evil children, chupacabras, ghosts, time-travel…eh, it is all a bit weird. I can just imagine what my boss would say if I told him I wanted to go on a monitoring trip to Boulia to check out the Min Min lights. First he’d think I was making an XF joke, and he’d laugh, then when he realised I was serious, I’d be talking to the EAP so fast it would make your head spin. Auditor Guy makes Mulder admit that aliens are his real focus. He goes on to imply that Mulder has been using government resources to investigate his sister’s abduction and the conspiracy around it and says that both of those issues have now been resolved. Mulder’s like, “No, it hasn’t.” Auditor Guy’s like, “Yes, it has.” The scene concludes with Auditor Guy saying that Mulder has nothing left to investigate in the X-Files.

Now we’re in a penal colony in Forj Sidi Toui, Tunisia. I smell conspirators! There seems to be some sort of prison riot in progress as we see sweaty, smelly men shouting and trying to reach through the bars as a woman (wearing pantyhose for goodness’ sake) walks calmly down the corridor between the cells. It’s the Queen of the Beehive, Marita Covarrubias. She’s looking a little less put together than usual, and tells someone in a nasal voice, “Your release has been arranged.” Cool, it’s everyone’s favourite one-armed quadruple agent, Alex Krycek. Instead of falling to his knees and moaning thankyou, thankyou, thankyou, he says: “Last time I saw you I left you for dead.” I wouldn’t be reminding her of that right now, if I were you, Ratboy. At least wait until you’re outside.

Chuggachuggachugga back to the FBI. Auditor Guy says, “I see the money bleed out, but it doesn’t seem to make the results of your work any better.” Harsh. Scully’s now getting a good hard auditing and she doesn’t appear to be enjoying it one bit. She sounds like she’s trying to keep herself awake and is mostly losing the battle, then she busts out some metaphysical shit about opening doors which lead to other doors. Scully, Scully, Scully, Mulder is beginning to rub off on you. If only Chris Carter had filmed that. For a bit of a change, Scully is on the receiving side of hard-core scepticism and she looks a bit rattled. She then starts to get annoyed, and tells Auditor Guy that she was abducted and subjected to tests that gave her cancer and left her barren. She says every word like it is a knife being inserted between his ribs. Auditor Guy says, “But you don’t believe in aliens,” and Scully answers, “I’ve seen things that I cannot deny.” But Scully, you do deny them – what about that giant spaceship in Antarctica? You denied that. What haven’t you denied?

Showertime in Tunisia. Ratboy is enjoying that shower a lot – it’s probably just as well we can’t see his bottom half. He’s showering in front of Marita and asks her who sent her. She tells him it was The Smoking Man and he’s dying (the Smoking Man, I mean).

Back to the FBI. Mulder enters the office to find Auditor Guy still there. Mulder thought Auditor Guy was finished, but AG tells Mulder that he handed in his report and was asked to go over a few things again. I hate when that happens, no wonder Auditor Guy seems snippy. He and Mulder get snippy with each other, AG boiling down Mulder’s work to recording bizarre facts about bizarre cases and he tells Mulder he could do that on the Internet without leaving the office. Mulder has to make a visible effort to stay polite and professional, and tells AG he couldn’t do his job from an office. AG counters with the fact that outer space exploration is now done from an office, as it’s too expensive to send men into space. Where’s the nice, non-gender-specific term? Would it perhaps be cheaper to send women, or (God forbid) people? Gah. Mulder say’s he’s not looking in outer space. That’s only because he’s been unable to commandeer the Space Shuttle and put it on his expense account. AG then says to Mulder that he should narrow his search for aliens to ‘wherever they are’. Oh, that was easy. Run out and do that, Mulder. Apparently, it’s just a matter of reducing your vision. Ooh, does that mean Mulder will say goodbye to the contacts and start wearing the Season One glasses again? Be still, my beating heart! Look out, Mulder’s giving AG the look he normally reserves for Tom Colton – here be dragons!

Oregon Forest, boo-boop-be-doo. A little blue hatchback pulls up between two police cars and two young guys get out. They ask Det. Miles if he’s all right, and he tells them it was a small accident and asks them what they are doing out there. They tell him they heard that a UFO had collided with a jet plane and it’s clear they’ve come out for a gawk. Det. Miles asserts that the military found their plane three miles away and there’s no evidence of any other crash. The short dork says that they heard that there was a fire burning at the 20-mile mark, Det. Miles denies it. All I know is, his pants must be on fire because there was a HUGE CONFLAGRATION in the first scene. He tells the boys to go home as he heads back to his car.

Lush Basement Office. Scully is staring at the I Want to Believe poster and we hear Mulder saying, “I think I’m in big trouble.” Scully looks around all – so what’s new? With a double Eyebrow, no less. Scully asks how many times before they’ve tried to shut down the X-Files, but Mulder admits he assaulted the auditor. Why didn’t we see that? I enjoy Mulder’s bursts of police brutality, which probably says more than it should about my character. Scully asks if he hurt the auditor, and Mulder replies, “I reduced his vision a little bit,” while putting a hand up to his forehead. Is he implying he head-butted him? Ouch. Just as the conversation is getting interesting, the phone rings and it’s Billy Miles, Mr Comatose from the Pilot episode. Continuity, you are that much more precious for your scarcity. Mulder has Billy on speakerphone so he can talk to the both of them at once. Right there, is a huge change for Mulder. In the earlier seasons he’d have taken that phone call secretly, and Scully would have had to figure out where he was from a trail of breadcrumbs and cryptic clues, arriving just in time to save his life. Instead, she’s in on the phone call right from the start. Billy tells them that the abductions are happening again, but not to him this time. Det. Miles walks in the door, and Billy puts the phone down without saying goodbye. Scully’s all Mmmm and Mulder says, “More alien abductions Scully.” Scully walks around him and says, “I don’t know how we can possibly justify the expense,” very sarcastically, and Mulder says, “We’ll probably turn up nothing,” to which Scully replies, “Let’s go waste some money,” which makes him smile. He loves it when she teases and they are SO DOING IT! Also, Scully’s no longer just enabling Mulder – I think that counts as encouragement.

Marita and Ratboy are now in the Watergate Apartments in Washington DC. Marita is back to looking elegant and glam, and Krycek is back in the Black Jacket of Betrayal. They knock at a door, and a nurse opens it and says, “Hi, he’s anxious to see you.” Ratboy seems shocked to see CSM in a wheelchair with a tracheal tube in his neck. Geez, he’s let himself go since the beginning of Season 7. I’m guessing a combination of emphsema and lung cancer – he looks all blue about the lips and bruised around his eyes. He tells Ratboy he heard about his incarceration and Ratboy accuses him of having him thrown in that hellhole. CSM counters by saying that Ratboy was trying to sell something that was his. He’s one old dude you don’t want to double-cross if you can avoid it. He tells Ratboy they need to put the past behind them as they have a singular opportunity now. An alien ship has collided with a military aircraft in Oregon and Ol’ Smokey wants to get the band back together to play those Alien Abduction Blues. Nursie lights up a cigarette and hands it to Ol’ Smokey who grosses out everyone present by taking a drag through his tracheal tube. Nasty – isn’t that how you got that whosamajig in the first place? Marita asks how he knows someone hasn’t already recovered it and he replies that it’s not quite so easy.

Oregon woods, night-time. The subtitles for the hearing impaired tell me there’s an electrical crackling sound. That can’t be good with all that dry underbrush around. It’s the two dorks from before whose names are Gary and Richie and contrary to all good sense, but in keeping with X-Files clichés, they are in the dark forest with flashlights. Dudes, take it from me: it’s an Very Extremely Bad Sign to be in the forest with only a flashlight between you and the unknown, at least on this show. One of the dorks walks into something that picks him up and jerks him around, just like that effect in Rush. His dorktastic friend has some sort of Geiger counter, so he must be the dominant geek. I’m also basing this on the fact that he did all of the talking before to Det. Miles. He swings his flashlight around until he finds a spot where the flashlight appears to be reflecting off the air, like water. He calls out to his friend Gary, but Gary is nowhere to be seen. Instead, all we can see is a bright light shining from behind the trees. That’s very common on The X-Files and is usually A Bad Sign when it’s not just being a fake-out. He calls out again, but has to drop his flashlight when it becomes red-hot and it begins to burn on the forest floor. He should run his hand under some cold water right away or he will get some nasty blisters. Meanwhile, his Geiger counter is going way off the chart, and he loses his nerve and runs away, leaving his flashlight burning. Literally.

A car pulls up to an official-looking building, and we are shown a Lariat bumper sticker. Oh, my budget! It hurts! It’s Moose and Squirrel, out in the field, looking for aliens and spending up big on Uncle Sam’s dime. Hooligans. It’s Old Home Week as Billy Miles comes out of the building dressed as a cop, so I’m guessing the building is the local PD. Mulder congratulates him on getting his own badge and Billy admits that his Dad got them to fudge the psychiatric evaluation so he could get in. Scully notices a wedding ring and Billy admits sheepishly that he’s actually divorced and living back with his Dad. Sounds like he might have been better off staying in that coma. Either that, or it was a totally non-subtle way of indicating to Scully that he’s single. Cos’ you know, Mulder and Scully just work together. They aren’t married. Even though Scully is Mulder’s one in five billion, his constant, his touchstone, that with which he cannot live without blah blah blah and he makes her ‘fairly happy’ by all accounts. Mulder says to Billy, “You’ve never um…” and I have no idea where he’s going with that, but then he says: “Have you ever been able to get over the abductions?” Billy says that he has, but that everyone else still doesn’t believe it happened to him and that his Dad denies it ever happened. Billy goes on to tell Moose and Squirrel about the crash and that the military has recovered their jet, but that the other aircraft has not been found. Scully asks why not, and Billy tells her that because it’s their county, the Bellefleur Sheriff’s Department is in charge of coordinating efforts and that Det. Miles has not been very helpful, even though there’s a deputy missing. What? Wouldn’t the FAA be involved, at the very least? Bounding to conclusions, as is his wont, Mulder tells Billy that if they find the UFO, Det. Miles won’t be able to deny the truth. And here’s the man himself, pulling up in a battered police car. The door is in such bad shape it won’t open from the inside and Det. Miles has to put his hand outside the door to lift the handle. Man, that must be inconvenient when it’s raining. He looks less than enthused to recognise Our Heroes and immediately debunks the whole UFO theory. Scully gives him a look that screams – Just Let Me Do My Job and Stop Horning in On the Debunking, but I bet she only really debunks Mulder in bed now because he enjoys it.

Chuggachuggachugga and we’re out in the forest again. Moose and Squirrel pull up in the EXACT SAME SPOT that Mulder painted the orange X in the very first episode – ah, the memories – and Det. Miles says it was already there in case they were wondering about it. Scully admits that Mulder put the paint there seven years ago. What a vandal! Shouldn’t Billy and Det. Miles fine him or something? Perhaps the statute of limitations has run out. Mulder babbles on about anomalous electrical disturbance blee, missing time blah, car losing power yada yada yada. Oh, who really cares what he says. He’s wearing a blue shirt with the sleeves rolled up and I think I’m going to have to go and get a paper towel to wipe up the drool. Scully is looking very tall in this scene, so Gilly must be standing on a box. She looks at least 5’10” and we know that’s not the truth. Mulder’s doing some crime scene investigation and finds a burnt patch in the asphalt past the skid marks. However, Scully finds something that interests the Bellefleur PD a bit more – shell casings from a .38. Det. Miles asks Scully what he was shooting at, and Mulder comes up behind and says, “Probably nothing. Nothing’s all you seem to find out here.” Way to keep the locals on side, Mulder, you snarky bastard. Mulder and Det. Miles then wander off, probably to see whose dick is bigger or who can piss the furthest, while Billy and Scully get on with the actual police work. While they’re collecting the evidence, Scully takes the opportunity to ask Billy about Deputy Ray. She asks if he was a good cop, and Billy says he was. She then says, “Married, single?” Boy Scully, are you bored with Mulder already? I’ll have him if you’re finished. Billy tells Scully that Ray was married with a new baby and Scully gives him a look of solidarity in Putting Up with Arseholes as Det. Miles calls him over to the police car. Moose and Squirrel leave the scene as Billy hands the evidence bag to his Dad, saying, “You know, they only want to solve this.” Which is almost exactly what Scully said to Mulder in the Pilot episode. Woo, Continuity! Det. Miles then tells Billy to get in the car and goes around to the boot to put the evidence away. He opens it, and we get a shot from inside the boot, over the dead body of the real Detective Miles, the same set-up as when the Schwarzenalien was revealed in Colony. Crap. Now I guess I’ll have to refer to him as Not-Det. Miles, which is more typing.

Mulder and Scully are knocking at the door of a bungalow-style house with all sorts of cutesy garden signs. If I lived there, I’d be begging the aliens to take me for a good probing. One of the signs says – The Hoeses. A woman opens the door, and OMG! It’s Theresa Nemman! Or Theresa Hoese, I suppose now. She takes a moment to recognise them, but as she does, her baby cries out and she is distracted and invites them in as she goes to tend to the baby. The next shot is in Theresa’s living room, and she’s holding the baby and apologising for losing it when she realised who they were. Scully asks if there’s anything she can tell them that might help them find her husband. Mulder pipes up to say that they had no idea she was his wife. Theresa then goes on to tell them that she and Ray had a deep connection because he was also an alien abductee. The actress still has the same stop-start line delivery that annoyed so many in the Pilot, but her hair is much, much better. She tells Mulder and Scully that Ray’s experiences were a lot more terrifying than hers. She says that she has extensive medical records and photos of Ray’s scars, and offers to get the files for them. She gets straight up and just hands her fussy baby to Scully, who at first looks a little uncomfortable, but finally gets him settled by distracting him with a Big Bird toy and singing to him while Mulder watches on. I have to stop to say that Duchovny does an amazing job in this scene – you can see Mulder’s heart in his eyes; his wish that he and Scully could have children and his guilt over her barrenness.

8.07pm and we’re in a non-descript motel watching Mulder examine the photographic evidence of Deputy Ray’s abduction experiences. He’s wearing a black T-shirt and jeans. There’s a knock at the door and he calls out, “Who is it?” Scully answers, “It’s me.” Drink. He opens the door and she’s visibly shaking – he asks her what’s wrong and she says she doesn’t know. She comes in and sits on his bed while Mulder kneels in front of her and she tells him she was starting to get ready for bed when she began to feel dizzy and get chills. Again, an indication of just how far their relationship has come. When she was dying of cancer in Season 4, she was fine. Now, she’s a bit dizzy and has chills and she runs straight to Mulder to tell him all about it. And damn! That black T-shirt suits him. He asks her if she wants him to call a doctor, as he’s pulling back the bedcovers. She says no to the doctor, instead she climbs on into Mulder’s bed, as he tucks her in, saying she just wants to get warm. I have to mention, that chequered pattern on the bedclothes is just hideous. You may wish to avert your eyes. But then you’d miss this – Mulder climbs up onto the bed behind her in a spooning position and puts his arm around her and she thanks him. He’s really snuggled into her shoulder and neck and it seems as though he is sniffing her. It’s quite intimate, even though they’re both fully clothed with the bedding between them. I have to recap this conversation in its entirety.

“It’s not worth it, Scully.”


“I want you to go home.”

“Mulder, I’m gonna be fine.”

“No, no, I’ve been thinking about it. Looking at you today holding that baby and knowing everything that’s been taken away from you – a chance for motherhood and your health – and that made me think that maybe they’re right.”

“Who’s right?”

“The FBI. Maybe what they say is true, but for all the wrong reasons. It’s the personal costs that are too high. There’s so much more you need to do with your life. There’s so much more than this.”

Then he just reaches up and caresses her face really lightly. I think I just got something in my eye. I’ll be OK in a minute, I’m sure.

“There has to be an end, Scully.” He kisses her gently on the cheek.

Sounds to me like Mulder had decided that it was time for both of them to get out of the car. Makes you wonder what would be different if he hadn’t been abducted – remember that Scully’s already pregnant, even thought neither of them know it yet. Season 8 Mulder was so angry after his return from the dead that it just fuelled his fight against the conspiracy. If they’d left him alone, perhaps he would have just let it all go, thinking that his work was done. Sometimes the alien/shadow government conspiracy just doesn’t think things through. Shouldn’t have booked Mulder on that Princess cruise. Gilly does a great job of showing Scully’s ambivalence – on the one hand, she’s happy that Mulder wants something approaching a normal life, even if it’s only for her, and on the other, she fell in love with his drive and it’s her quest as much as his. A dilemma, to be sure.

Outside, in a darkened car, Ratboy is on the phone to CSM, bitching about not being able to find the UFO. CSM’s getting unpleasant medical things done to him – serves him right. CSM is a bit put out when Ratboy tells him that Moose and Squirrel are there looking for the UFO, but Ratboy says that they’re actually looking for a missing Deputy. He is well informed. CSM busts out with one of his patented non-answers: “Well, they’re looking for the right thing, but in the wrong place.” Whatever. Ratboy bitches some more, making the point that CSM sent him to look for a ship. CSM seems angered by Ratboy’s unaccustomed denseness and snaps out, “Find the deputy, find the ship.” Well, why didn’t you just say that in the first place, instead of being so darn obscure? It must be habit, so that even if your phone is tapped, no one knows what the hell it is you’re talking about.

Knock, knock, knock. Theresa runs down the stairs in her night attire, asking who is knocking at her door. All she can see is a cop-shaped shadow through the curtain. She says, “Ray?” questioningly, but why would he be knocking on the door of his own house? Maybe the aliens were playing a game of keep-away with his keys. She opens the door, and it looks like Ray, so she hugs him and tells him she was worried. She finally twigs that there’s something wrong when Ray won’t talk to her. He’s not her husband. D’oh! She turns and runs up the stairs, with Not-Ray behind her. She’s lying in wait at the top of the stairs and she stabs Not-Ray with a pair of scissors. Bad mistake. He’s oozing green blood and she’s clutching at her eyes. She tries to crawl away from him to get to her baby who must have been woken by the ruckus and is screaming, but Not-Ray just picks her up bodily and takes her away.

Morning, and Mulder and Scully pull up to the Hoese’s Casa de Kitsch to find an ambulance and a police car convention. Billy tells them that Theresa’s been taken. An ambo is taking Theresa’s baby out of the house. Poor little tyke must have screamed himself hoarse. Mulder and Scully go straight upstairs and find a green burn on the carpet, the same as Mulder found on the road. They’ll have to replace that carpet, but seeing that it’s pink, no great loss. Scully agrees with Mulder (!) and I’m getting whiplash from recapping Season 3 to Season 7. How things have changed! Mulder leaves the room, no doubt to search for mysterious goo in other places, and Billy asks Scully what it is. Scully tells him: “It’s a biological toxin, emitted as a gas through the bloodstream.” Billy’s all Wha??? So Scully goes on: “From what is arguably an alien.” Then, suddenly, all of this agreeing with Mulder gets to her in a big way and she stumbles, dizzy.

EEEEWWWW GROSS!!!! Close-up of CSM puffing his cigarette through his tracheal tube. Shouldn’t his nurse be objecting to this blatant disregard for his health? Her name is Greta, so maybe she’s the daughter of one of the eeevvvviiilllll Nazi scientists and therefore genetically eeevvvviiillllll herself and doesn’t care. Marita’s sitting on the couch looking squicked, like any normal person would. She asks why CSM’s brought Krycek back from Tunisia just to mess with him. Haven’t you heard Marita? CSM’s totally EEEVVVVIIILLLL!!!!! CSM has great faith that Alex will find the ship, but he can’t tell him too much or Ratboy might be tempted to sell the information. You don’t say. CSM tells Marita that the ship won’t be there forever because it’s rebuilding itself. He also says that to possess it is to hold the answer to all things, yada yada yada. Nooooo, don’t bring in a new Key to the X-Files this late in the season! Argh! He tells Marita there’s no God, only an alien intelligence greater than ours. OK, I’ll buy that. Perhaps we should ask them to explain the mytharc to us, maybe as a Powerpoint presentation with diagrams. Or we could ask ejluther. I’m good, either way. Marita asks CSM, “They’re coming here, aren’t they?” and he answers, “They’re only coming back.” Marita looks totally scared.

Scully’s leaving Hoese’s Casa de Kitsch. Mulder’s already in the car, but he’s watching our little bushwalking friend, Richie, who’s twitching in a crowd that’s gathered, drawn to the police cars like blow-flies to a barbeque. I think I’ll call him Twitchy Richie from now on. Mulder knows how to spot suspicious behaviour. Now Mulder’s on the move, ignoring Scully who’s calling his name. Mini-ditch, but he knows she’ll just follow him – he’s on the hunt. Twitchy Richie tries to surreptitiously wander away, but only succeeds in appearing more guilty of something. Mulder accosts him just as Billy Miles walks up and says he knows him. Twitchy Richie can’t hold it in any longer, and blurts out to Billy that ‘They’ took Gary. He gets a bit hysterical, and Mulder tries to calm him down. Hey, Mulder, I think you were the one who upset him in the first place. Twitchy Richie says: “They’re out there. I don’t care what your Dad says, Billy.” They must be with The Truth then. Richie then tells Billy that Not-Det. Miles was out there too and that he knows. Billy looks perturbed by this and rushes off, as Twitchy Richie starts crying. Mulder and Scully both look away, as if they are embarrassed. Hold it together, Twitchy Richie! Be a man!

Woods – Twitchy Richie is giving Mulder and Scully a guided tour of Spooky Woods, all excited and telling the about how his flashlight beam hit a spot in space that bent the light. At least they’re listening to him, yo. That must be a new experience for Twitchy Ritchie. Scully gives him a Sceptical Look. Hoorah! Her first real one this episode! TR tells them about Gary disappearing, and his hot flashlight (that sounds kinda dirrrty). Mulder follows Twitchy Richie who’s trying to find the spot where his flashlight was burning the underbrush, while Scully, less impressed with his hijinks, decides to look around a bit on her own. Oh no! She’s walked straight into that speeded-up film effect that made Gary disappear. Scully can’t be abducted again, she just can’t! Meanwhile, Twitchy Richie and Mulder find TR’s melted flashlight and Mulder looks around for Scully, wanting to show it to her, but he can’t see her, so he calls out her name. He starts to look for her, speeding up as his worry grows, then rushing over to her as he sees her lying on the ground, out of it. She opens her eyes, and Mulder asks her if she wants some water. TR asks what happened to her and Mulder looks at him like – I just got here stupid! And tells TR to get Scully some water. From the non-existent packs they were carrying. Or maybe he’s going to drain it out of the radiator of the rental car. Mulder picks Scully up and cradles her in his lap as she tells him she just hit the ground. She asks him why this is happening to her. Umm, aren’t you the Medical Doctor, Scully? Mulder just comforts her and gently smooths her hair off her face. Aww, it’s so sweet. He’s so worried and trying not to upset her by showing it. So he starts babbling about the abductions, that people are being taken and not returned and that they’ve got to warn Billy Miles.

Speak of the Devil, Billy’s entering his house and goes for his gun as he hears a noise, calling for his Dad. Not-Det. Miles appears, and Billy draws down on him. Billy isn’t stupid; he suspects that his Dad is an alien replacement and he won’t put the gun down. Not-Det. Miles keeps on coming, seemingly unafraid of the gun and trying to get Billy to put it down. Billy tells Not-Det Miles that he doesn’t know who he is, but that he’s not going to take Billy. Not-Det. Miles says, “I’m your father. Are you gonna shoot your father?” Billy’s crying by this point, and asks, “If you’re my father, why won’t you believe me?” Good point. Not-Det. Miles says: “I believe you Billy. I just want it all to go away.” He walks up and takes the gun from Billy, who sits on the couch and covers his eyes. The camera then shows us Not-Det. Miles, who looks to the left and morphs into the Mighty Morphin’ Bounty Hunter as a car pulls up outside. Oh no! Poor Billy!

Of course, it’s Our Heroes. I’m surprised that Mulder hasn’t insisted on taking Scully straight to the ER, but she’s a feisty woman and probably convinced him that stopping off to warn Billy wouldn’t take very long and they could go after that. If Mulder was lucky. They walk up to the open door and call for Billy. Getting no answer, they pull their weapons and walk in. This house has antlers on the wall. Antlers! Everyone except Scully has appalling taste in interior decoration on this show. Billy is nowhere to be found and Moose and Squirrel do that unspoken communication thing.

Two days later, and we’re at the J. Edgar Hoover building in DC. Skinner walks into the Lush Basement Office, and finds Mulder leaning way back in his office chair and throwing a basketball into the air. As you do at work. At least as Mulder does at work. Mulder asks the Skinman what the punishment will be this time (and another thousand slash BDSM fanfics are born, probably involving the basketball in some way). Mulder speculates: “Thumb screws, or 40 lashes.” Come on! Now you’re just asking for it, Mulder! Keep this up and it’ll be some sort of three-way involving Krycek, a can-opener and a purple Barney plushie, with long descriptions of how gorgeously chocolate-brown Walter’s eyes are when he takes off his glasses. Really. The Skinman looks embarrassed, and Mulder addresses him as Walter, and channels Jed Clampett, asking him to ‘sit a spell’, as it might be the last time he gets to come down to the X-Files office. Skinman says: “You went to Oregon.” Mulder answers: “Guilty as charged.” Geez, he’s begging for it. Then Mulder apologises to the Skinman for any trouble he’s caused him, but Skinman shrugs it off. Mulder just can’t help being a smart-arse. “Stick to a budget and you’re making a contribution. But push the limits of your profession and they say you’re out of control.” The Skinman brings him back down to earth by pointing out some hard facts. “You could bring home a flying saucer and have an alien shake hands with the President. What it comes down to, Agent Mulder is…they don’t like ya.” Mulder seems unsurprised by this revelation, saying that they didn’t bring home a flying saucer or an alien. Skinman walks into the office, and Krycek and Marita walk right in behind him. Yikes! Has the Skinman gone bad? Mulder’s out from behind his desk like lightning, ready to start punching on Ratboy. Skinner holds him back (oh, goodie, more ho-yay!) and tells him he should listen to what Ratboy and the Queen of Beehives have to say. I have to make an aside here and say here how much I appreciate Nic Lea’s performance of Krycek. He makes a real effort to play Krycek differently after the amputation, and always walks and stands in such a way to protect the side where his arm is missing. He never drops it. I can’t understand why Nic Lea didn’t have a bigger career – he’s very good-looking (even though Duchovny is more my type) and a great actor. It’s baffling and unfair. As are so many things about the entertainment industry.

Ratboy gives Mulder some cryptic clues, and Mulder invites him to step outside, but Marita grows weary of the testosterone trio and drops the bombshell that Cancerman is dying. She and Krycek tell Mulder about the UFO in Oregon and that Cancerman wants to rebuild the conspiracy, but that it won’t be there forever and the Schwarzenalien is mopping up the evidence, which means taking former abductees. Mulder asks Ratboy why he’s telling him all this, and Ratboy answers that he wants to ‘damn the soul of that cigarette-smoking son of a bitch.’ Ratboy knows how to hold a grudge. Of course, Scully picks right now to turn up. She seems rather put out by the meeting to which she hasn’t been invited and gives Marita the stank-eye.

The camera pans over the remains of a large fast-food dinner and YAY! It’s The Lone Gunmen! They’ve been brought in to try and track the UFO. They techno-babble for a while, as Scully looks on, sceptically. Skinner asks them to put it in English, and essentially, it’s that you’d never know it was a UFO. Which I guess would be the point of a cloaking device, duh. Ratboy loses patience and says that it’s not going to be there forever, and Marita backs him up, saying that it’s rebuilding itself. I wish I had a car that could do that – it would be cool, and would save a lot of money. Mulder looks undecided, looks at Scully and she turns and walks out into the hall. Wow, her heels are super-high. Her toes must be killing her. Mulder follows her, and she confronts him, saying, “Mulder, if any of this is true…” Mulder cuts her off: “If it is or if it isn’t, I want you to forget about it.” Mulder’s not going to let her go back out there because he thinks that she’s in danger of being abducted again and not returned. He straight out tells her: “I’m not going to risk…losing you.” The little break in that sentence speaks volumes, volumes I tell ya! Seeing the truth in his eyes, Scully steps forward and puts her arms around his neck, hugging him, and telling him that she won’t let him go alone.

Dark, back in the woods, and Skinman gets out of the driver’s seat of a Chevrolet Malibu. At least it makes a change from all the Tauruses (Taurii?). He bitches about it feeling like a snipe hunt. We discover that of all the incredible things Mulder does believe in, snipe isn’t one of them. Mulder pulls some equipment out of the boot and they set off into the forest, Skinner telling Mulder his ‘ass is on the line here too’. Sigh. I can hear the typing from here.

Meanwhile, Scully’s back in DC, staring aghast at some evidence. She’s looking at the medical records of all the people abducted in Bellefleur with TLG, and it appears that they all suffered from anomalous brain activity, electroencephalitic trauma, exactly like Mulder did, earlier that year. Dun dun DUNNNNN! Now Scully says there was something out there in that field, something that threw her back like an undersized fish at the Barramundi Fish-off. Frohike catches on first – oh no! It’s Mulder who’s in danger of being taken! Scully gives Frohike a sort of pleading look, then faints, TLG lowering her gently to the carpet. Wow. Who gets to tell Mulder this?

Oregon woods – Mulder’s setting up some sort of laser light show. Perhaps Skinman doesn’t have Scully’s attention span and he needs something cool to jazz up his presentation. Mulder and the Skinman don’t exactly know how the laser thingy works, but Mulder just can’t help using his pretty, pretty mouth to smart off and snarks: “…budgetarily, I’d say we’re looking pretty good.” You’re looking pretty good in all sorts of ways, Mulder. I’d follow you around too if I got to admire that arse regularly. Mulder takes his little box that goes ‘beep’ and walks through the field of criss-crossing laser lights. Wouldn’t it be cool if he did that thing that Catherine Zeta Jones did in that crappy movie she was in with Sean Codgery? I’m betting with all that yoga, Duchovny would certainly be flexible enough to pull it off. I should write to Chris Carter immediately and suggest it as a scene in XFII. Weird, Mulder looks up and finds a spot where the laser lights just stop. Physics, I hardly knew ye. Of course, being Mulder, he doesn’t tell the Skinman what he’s found, instead he just walks right up to it and sticks his hand in. His hand goes into the sped-up jerking around that happened to Scully earlier, but instead of being freaked, Mulder just looks at it. Back to Skinner, adjusting the equipment (heh, if it wasn’t for the gutter, my mind would be homeless), and calls for Mulder, only to realise that he isn’t there any more. Way to watch his back, Skinman. He walks through the lasers looking for Mulder, but can’t see him anywhere. Uh oh, then we get a shot from the other side of the anomaly, and Mulder’s just standing there, as if he’s in a trance. We can hear Skinner calling for him but it’s distorted, as is his image, like Mulder is underwater. Mulder is looking at the group of abductees, standing together in a bright circle of light. The gang’s all there, Billy Miles, Theresa Hoese, Ray Hoese. Mulder hesitates for a moment, then steps into the circle of light. They welcome him wordlessly. Mulder looks up at the huge spaceship hovering overhead. Scully’s never here to see this shit, never! Mulder looks away from the ship, and sees the Schwarzenalien step into the light and walk up to him. Mulder sort of blinks in fear, but the alien just looks at him and the light gets really intense and bleaches everything out. Cut to Skinner still on the ground, shielding his eyes from the intense white light, but looking nonetheless. The spaceship flies off into the night, taking Mulder with it. Skinner looks anguishes, no doubt already wondering how he’s going to break it to Scully and how he’s going to enjoy his new life without testicles.

Ack! CSM’s looking at himself in a mirror and there’s a knocking at the door. Evil Nurse Greta lets in Krycek and Marita. CSM tells them that they’ve failed, and accuses Ratboy of never meaning to succeed. Krycek just looks at him, although Marita looks a bit scared. CSM says, cryptically, of course, “Anyway, I presume the hour is at hand.” Krycek doesn’t answer him but goes around back of the wheelchair and starts pushing him out. Nurse Greta asks him what he thinks he’s doing, and Krycek answers, “Sending the devil back to hell.” Nurse Greta goes to stop him, but Marita, showing some backbone for a change, stops her. At the top of the stairs, CSM tries to bargain for his life saying: “As you do to Mulder and to me, you do to all of mankind, Alex.” Insinuating of course, that he and Mulder are the only defence for humanity against an alien invasion. With Marita looking over his shoulder, Krycek pushes the wheelchair and CSM down the stairs. Bumpity, bumpity, bumpity, ouch! He lays at the bottom as if dead, and Krycek and Marita just step over the top of him. Cold. They don’t even check whether he’s dead. What sort of an assassin are you, Ratboy? Where’s the quality control?

Cut to – Skinner showing up to Scully’s bedside at the hospital. TLG were obviously taking no chances with Scully and made her go to the hospital whether she liked it or not. She may have Mulder whipped, but Frohike is made of sterner stuff. Skinman’s trying to psyche himself up for this conversation. He asks Scully how she’s feeling. Of course, she tells him she’s feeling fine. It seems that only Mulder gets the truth, she’s still the same with everyone else. Skinner gets very uncomfortable, and can’t seem to start what he needs to say. He can’t meet Scully’s eyes, and she looks away from him too. This is hard! She looks back at him and puts him out of his misery – “I already heard.” GA puts this heartbreaking little catch into her voice and looks on the verge of tears – there’s something in my eye again, dammit! – and Scully reaches out and sort of rubs Skinner’s arm to comfort him. Skinner then blurts out that he lost Mulder and that he’s going to be asked what he saw and that what he saw he can’t deny. He and Scully are both fighting tears now. Scully’s voice breaks as she says: “We will find him. I have to,” and a perfect tear rolls down her cheek. Of course, I was a blubbering mess the first time I watched this episode. There was snot and everything. Skinner can’t take the emotion any more and he turns to leave, but Scully calls him back, as there’s something else she needs to tell him, but that he needs to keep it to himself. He looks stricken – does she need him to clean out Mulder’s porn stash from the office? No – “I’m having a hard time explaining it, or believing it.” She sort of laughs through her tears. “I’m pregnant,” she finally says, looking Skinner right in the eye, who looks like a stunned mullet.

Black screen – was that a season finale cliff-hanger or what?

Recap by Crass