The More The X-Files Change, The More They Stay The Same
Conspiracies, spacecraft, and assassinations, oh my!
Fox Mulder's sister disappeared when he was 12, leading to his obsession with aliens, Mulder himself tells us via voice-over. That's how he ended up at the FBI, where he investigated all sorts of weird cases known as the X-Files. In 1993, the FBI brought Agent/Dr. Dana Scully in to debunk his crazier notions and pose for snuggly pictures, but he just became more of a believer. In 2002, Mulder and Scully's unit was closed by the FBI. Then, the VOing Mulder starts running down stats on U.S. alien craft sightings, Roswell, etc. (you know all this). So, are alien spaceships landing on earth? Are we truly alone, or are we being lied to? As Mulder asks this, we see a flying saucer-looking thing crash-land, and a tiny sad alien hand slide down its window. Awww!(?) And then we're in the same credits you remember from a thousand years ago. Mulder and Scully look like such kids in their ID photos! Awww the second.
Take A Right At Thor's Hammer
Alert Type: Old-timey alien investigation alert.
Issue: It's 1947, and an alien craft has crashed in the High Desert of northwestern New Mexico. The military, a menacing black-suited guy, and a fresh-faced young doctor, are ON IT.
Complicating Factors: One of the alien craft's inhabitants survived the crash...
...only to be gunned down by the black suit and grunts.
Resolution: The doctor, aghast at this seemingly pointless loss of life, picks up the corpse and carries it from the scene of death, proclaiming that he's a "man of medicine" (and is therefore not okay with the slaying of an unarmed alien).
Spoiler: That dead alien, and everything he brought, is gonna cause a lot of trouble.
Hello From The Other Side
The fucking FLAWLESS Dana Scully is scrubbing in for surgery at Our Lady of Sorrows hospital in D.C. She's told she has a phone call from now Assistant Director of the FBI Skinner, who is apparently interrupting the doctor's work to use her as her former partner's receptionist. Or so she implies when she calls Mulder, who's sitting at home, unshaven and feeling sorry for himself.
It appears that an online-only conspiracy-driven commentator who appears to be a hybrid of Art Bell and Bill O'Reilly (but with a much, much better wig than either) wants to meet them in his bulletproof limo. Let's go!
Soup To Nuts
Name: Tad O'Malley. Age: Mid-40s. Occupation: Incomprehensibly rich (off a web show? Okay) anti-government etc. pundit. Goal: Unmask the elites who seek to oppress us, avoid surveillance/assassination, day-drink, get in Scully's pants. Sample Dialogue: "I am prepared to blow open maybe the most evil conspiracy the world has ever known."
That Quote"I only want to believe. Actual proof has been strangely hard to come by."- Fox Mulder, to Tad O'Malley -
Baby Mama Drama
Who called the meeting? Tad.
What's it about? Tad wants Mulder and Scully to meet Sveta in her oddly grannylike farmhouse within driving distance of D.C. According to her account (especially after some leading nods from Tad), Sveta was repeatedly abducted by aliens who impregnated her then took the fetuses. Through her navel. See, she's got "the classic scoop mark scars!"
How'd it go? The baby stuff is weird, sure, but Sveta really seemed to lose Scully when she asserted that she had alien DNA, then admitted that she'd never had a doctor confirm that. Sorry, Sveta, you're hot but until the lab results come back you're just another crazy person on the bus.
Don't Play A Player
Back at Lady of Sorrows, Scully is testing Sveta's DNA. Sveta, who says she is also "kind of a mind reader," starts to do a cold reading/some exposition on Dana. Blah blah Dana and Fox were a couple, they have a kid, they broke up, etc. Scully's barely putting up with this, but she's hanging in...until Sveta says, "You don't know what it's like to be abducted." Scully's not having it, and does this almost imperceptible move forward with her face. It's half hidden warning growl, half call on bullshit. It's marvelous.
And Now, A Word From Our Sponsor
No, not the AVNs, and not ALF: ARVs are Alien Replica Vehicles, and, boy, do we have a doozy. After a hooded ride in a luxury helicopter with a cheesy talking head, you'll arrive at an undisclosed location containing a gorgeous ARV we cobbled together with tech discovered nearly 70 years ago but hidden from us by government fat cats. You think your Prius is great? This thing runs on zero-point energy -- that means "no fuel, no flame, no combustion," just free energy. As you can imagine, the oil companies are not down with that (which is why similar efforts have been destroyed, their labs "burned to the ground").
Other features include not just rising by 6-7 feet, but a "gravity warp drive" that makes it completely disappear. The latter is powered by "element 150," which was pulled from those alien ruins from 1947. So, it's the future, but powered by the past. Get your ARV on today!
Love, Hate & Everything In Between
I'm All Ears
Tad stops by the hospital with some lame excuse, but mainly so he can hit on Scully. While he's there, we learn Dana's specialty: she assists surgeons who treat children born with Microtia, a disorder in which babies are born without their external ears. This, Tad says, makes them look like aliens. 1) That's REAL NICE TAD and 2) jeez, dude, not everything is about aliens. Relax.
Tad and Dana's champagne and limo date is interrupted, however, when Mulder calls to announce that it wasn't aliens who were experimenting on Sveta, it was men. She saw them! "What if everything we've led to believe is a lie," Mulder asks. "What if there is no alien conspiracy?" Well, Mulder, that is how sane people feel all the time, so, yeah.
Anyway, based on seeing that ARV and Sveta's revelation, Mulder's ready to dump everything he's believed for his entire life in favor of this new theory that he just came up with today. Was Mulder always this nuts and I just didn't notice last time because I was a twentysomething dummy? Or has he gotten legitimately more bonkers?
Place Of Interest
Your Tax Dollars At Work
Apparently the federal government has the resources to just leave Mulder's old office as it was! At least, that's what Skinner promised Mulder, saying "no one's been down here, nothing's been touched, not for thirteen years." Guess we're not counting the flies, which, yuck.
Mulder's ranting at Skinner, saying that there's been a conspiracy to use "the past to control the future, it's about fiction masquerading as fact." Yeah, Mulder, that's what all lies are. While Skinner seems ready to beat Mulder's ass (and, to his credit, still looks fit enough to), he admits that "since 9/11 this country has taken a very strange turn." DON'T ENCOURAGE HIM, SKINNER.
When In Doubt Pick C
Scully gets Sveta's test results back, and she doesn't like the look of them. She asks a nurse to send them back for re-testing.
Grumpy Old Men
Who called the meeting? Mulder.
What's it about? The guy in the beard once told Mulder that if he "ever put the pieces together, [Beardo] would confirm."
How'd it go? You'd think that if you were so upset by wrongdoing that you'd act as an investigator's source, you might just spit details out. But then I guess we don't have a show? Anyway, Mulder tells the guy that he now believes that he's been "cleverly manipulated" all along to overlook a venal conspiracy of men against humanity," with all this present-day alien stuff as misdirection.
Beardo, who we come to realize is the fresh-faced young doctor from 1947, says he "didn't know how my work would be used," referring in flashback to human experimentation with/using alien materials.
"You're nearly there," he tells Mulder. "You're close." Maybe he'd be closer if you told him everything instead of speaking in riddles? Just a thought.
In And Out
What's the occasion? Scully tracks Mulder down at Sveta's and tells him he's being nuts. Mulder isn't having it, so Scully stomps off...then returns, when Tad arrives thinking that Mulder had invited her over to, I guess, watch the two men egg each other's crazy on.
What are the refreshments? Bunch of boxed files; bracing smirking from Scully.
Whose big public scene will everyone be talking about tomorrow? Mulder and O'Malley's mansplaining that attracted by the H-bomb, aliens sacrificed themselves on earth to forestall our self-annihilation, will certainly be noted. And that the aliens might have actually hastened our demise, by leaving behind enough good shit that the illuminati or whatever has been harnessing it to take over America, and then the world, will also come up in conversation. Wild-eyed, shouted details like how the banks will go offline, then there'll be an EMP, and finally there will be a hostile action that looks like a terrorist or alien attack, but it's just The Man grinding us under their bootheels will be chuckled over, as will Tad's announcement that he'll be spilling the beans (sans proof, unless we're counting Sveta's tummy tucks?) on his show tomorrow. But what we'll REALLY discuss is how Dana flatly announces to Sveta that she doesn't have any alien DNA, she checked. So, yeeeeeeah.
Wrap It Up
Dana looks longingly at her laptop, as she loiters outside the OR. Is Tad about to bust the conspiracy wide open? Is it going DOWN? To the Internet Search Engine!
Not so much! Instead, Sveta is telling the media that Tad paid her to create stories about alien abductions, all to gain the attention of viewers. "I'm so sorry if I misled anyone," she says.
"They got to her," Mulder mumbles, then heads over to her house. We get another good look at Sveta's design sense as Mulder searches for her. Her decor is that of an elderly farmwife. Someone investigate THAT X-File, please.
Sveta's not the only thing that's hit the fan, as a pack of humvees rolls into the ARV hangar. A bunch of extras from Zero Dark Thirty plant charges on the artisan, alien-inspired craft, and there she (and her makers) blow.
Scully gets out of surgery, seems disconcerted by her rerun test results. She heads back to the laptop to check on Tad, only to find the dreaded 404 error where his show should be.
And, as we all know, any time a website throws a 404, it's the government! At the end of the day, she's headed out to her car, where a message is written on her apparently filthy car window.
She turns around to see Mulder, and tells him that after sequencing Sveta's genome, as well as her own, Sveta's apparently now abnormal DNA "is not alone." They need to find and protect Sveta, she tells Mulder, and "stop these sons of bitches." I had forgotten how much I like righteously angry Scully! For the first time this episode, I feel a stir of excitement.
The duo get a text (welcome to the teens!) from Skinner, saying he needs to see them both ASAP. "Are you ready for this?" asks Mulder, looking happy for once. Scully doesn't, saying, "I don't know if there's a choice."
Then we cut to Sveta, whose car suddenly cuts out on the highway. You know what's next.
And then we see our old pal the Cigarette Smoking Man, now with a tracheostomy stoma! (This is why you don't smoke, kids.)
CSM hangs up his phone, takes an assisted puff, then says, "We have a small problem. They've reopened the X-Files."