Over the course of nine seasons and 2 feature films, The X-Files transcended its cult status, becoming a phenomenon and cultural touchstone. With a new series on the way, special agent Rick Shingler has accepted the assignment to rewatch the entire series from the beginning and provide detailed reports about his findings. Come with us now, as we explore the mysteries of the complete X-Files. The X-Files entered its fourth season in the fall of 1996 as a genuine hit show. The feature film was in the early stages of development, the ratings were the highest of any season to date, and the critics were largely positive. With the fourth episode this season, the show was moved from the historically tragic Friday night time slot to a somewhat better Sunday night slot. Moreover, the episode entitled “Leonard Betts” was chosen to be the show airing directly after that year’s Super Bowl broadcast, ensuring an abnormally large audience. While the benchmark of this season’s story arc will involve Scully and repercussions she suffers from her abduction a couple of seasons earlier, the more interesting arc this season (for me, at least) involves the mysterious Cigarette Smoking Man (aka CSM, aka Cancer Man). Some time is spent during this season exploring his motivations as well as his weaknesses, simultaneously demystifying him and further vilifying him. This is a bad man, but not one that is as entirely above human emotional needs as he would seem to convey. You could almost put the Stones’ “Sympathy for the Devil” on repeat play for much of this season. S4E1 “Herrenvolk” (w: Chris Carter/d: R.W. Goodwin) This episode continues from the cliffhanger ending of the third season’s finale. While not the jaw-dropper of previous seasons’ finales, the third season ended on a questioning note, explaining very little despite posing many questions. This episode, while offering some new insights of previous mysteries, serves just as well to introduce still more new and curious concepts. Carter used this storyline as an opportunity to reintroduce Mulder’s sister Samantha, albeit in an indirect way. One key character is eliminated from the lineup, making way for a new one. The episode’s title translates from the German as “Master Race.” The tagline at the end of the opening credits for this episode is changed to “Everything Dies,” a sentiment uttered in the episode by the alien bounty hunter before being reversed and stated as “Not everything dies, Agent Mulder” by his new informant at the end. A telephone line repairman is stung by a bee while up on a pole in rural Alberta, Canada. As five identical Children of the Corn look on, he convulses after the sting and falls to his death. Meanwhile, back in the US, Mulder and Scully have located Jeremiah Smith and are preparing to question him when the bounty hunter arrives with his alien-killing stiletto. Mulder and Smith run into a large industrial building, but the bounty hunter pursues them, shoving Scully aside. After a chase, Mulder and Smith are able to slip away in a boat on the other side of the building, leaving Scully behind. The bounty hunter captures her and demands to know where Mulder has taken Smith, but she doesn’t know. On the boat, Mulder tries to convince Smith to come back with him to heal his mother from her coma, but Smith has something else in mind. Wanting to help Mulder see the bigger picture surrounding their circumstances (and promising him information about his sister Samantha), he convinces the agent to join him on a road trip to Canada. Back at the hospital, CSM sits with Mulder’s mother (even holding her hand while watching over her in her coma; what’s up with that?) when the First Elder from the Syndicate visits. He shows him the photos taken of CSM and Teena Mulder at the summer house, pointing out that they have a leak in their security. They hatch a plan to smoke out the leak. Scully, meanwhile, has been sitting in her car this whole time with the Alien Bounty Hunter waiting for some clue about Mulder’s whereabouts. When he does call to tell her where he is, the Bounty Hunter hops out of the car without so much as a “have a nice day” to pursue them. Scully heads back to Washington to try to decipher the information that the various Jeremiah Smiths had been compiling from the Social Security office records. She arranges a meeting with X who gives her the freebie that the list has to do with Smallpox inoculations and that he thinks Mulder’s mother might be in danger. In Canada, Mulder and Smith find the body of the telephone pole worker from the beginning of the episode. He is pock-marked with strange blisters. Smith leads Mulder further toward a sort of ranch where he sees girls working in the fields who look exactly like his sister did on the day she was abducted. Smith explains that the girls and boys (the identical ones who were watching while the telephone pole guy died earlier in the episode) are mute worker drones, cloned specifically for the tending and care of these fields. The Bounty Hunter arrives and chases them again, but Mulder, Smith, and one of the Samantha clones are able to get away when he chases them into a giant bee apiary and part of the hive falls on him. While Skinner arranges a heavy guard presence around Teena Mulder’s hospital room, Scully examines a sample taken from her own Smallpox scar (as well as agent Pendrell’s, who I’m sure was more than willing to offer Scully any sample she might possibly ask for). What she finds amounts to a sort of genetic cataloging system, but she can’t explain the how or why of such a thing. The Bounty Hunter, despite his multiple bee stings, catches up to Mulder and his strange entourage when he stops to call Scully. Mulder is forced to return to his mother’s side empty-handed. The Syndicate, having determined X to be their leak, shoot him in the hallway outside of Mulder’s apartment. His dying act is to scrawl the letters “SRSG” on the floor with his own blood. Upon retrospect, it would have been funnier if he had put “SRSLY?” instead, but I don’t thing Carter was going for laughs here. The bloody message leads Mulder to the office of the Special Representative of the Secretary General of the UN. Mulder visits the office, and is told by someone named Marita Covarrubias that the fields he described have all been abandoned, before she hands him photographic evidence of the clone children tending the crops. Back at the hospital, CSM convinces the alien Bounty Hunter to use his powers for good for once by reviving the still-comatose Teena Mulder. While considerably less explosive than previous season openers, this one served its purpose of introducing the bees, which will become an important element of the series. More importantly, it becomes quite clear that CSM has decidedly human feelings when it comes to Mulder’s mother. His argument to ensure the bounty hunter’s healing her was flimsy and clearly an act of desperation on his part. What sort of history could the two of them have with each other that he would drop his carefully cultivated façade so easily? Incidentally, if you spent that last scene with Mulder and his potentially new informant scratching your head because Marita Covarrubias looks so damn familiar, that’s probably because you’ve been watching The Walking Dead, fanboy. She’s Andrea. S4E2 “Home” (w: Glen Morgan & James Wong/d: Kim Manners) After the untimely cancellation of their show Space: Above and Beyond, Morgan and Wong return to the writers’ room with a decidedly icky little piece of wickedness. The episode bears the distinction of being the first episode of the X-Files to bear the viewer discretion title card at the beginning and is the only episode in nine seasons to broadcast with a TV-MA rating. The Fox Network aired it during the initial broadcast then never reran the episode. Morgan and Wong set out to shock, and they certainly succeeded. Kim Manners directed the episode as if it was a classic horror movie, fully embracing the script’s violence. In Home, Pennsylvania, the three Peacock brothers live on the family farm just like the rest of their family going back to the time of the Civil War. They live without electricity, running water, or any modern conveniences. Their family has propagated through decades of inbreeding, giving the brothers multiple abnormalities which combine with their lack of socialization and survivalistic existence to make them animalistic in their behavior. The episode opens with a birth inside the Peacock home. The baby’s cries alone make it clear that this is no sacred miracle. The brothers cut the umbilical cord and carry the infant out into the rain-swept night, its guttural mewling audible through the rumbles of thunder. In the adjacent field, they bury the baby while one of the brothers wails his anguish. Some days later, local children are playing baseball on the field, being careful not to cross the fence onto the Peacock property when the boy at bat discovers the bloody body. Mulder and Scully join local Sheriff Andy Taylor (and his deputy Barney, no less) to investigate. Mulder immediately notices the Peacock brothers watching them from their porch. During the infant’s autopsy, Scully determines that while the baby was buried alive, its multiple birth defects would have greatly lessened its survival possibilities anyway. Clearly, smart money was on the Peacocks for this crime, but if it’s only the boys living there, where’d the baby come from? Fearing that they have a woman held captive in the house, they go to investigate. Inside, they find pools of dried blood, bloody shears, and a shovel on the kitchen table. All the while, they are being watched by someone hiding silently under the bed. It’s enough evidence for the Sheriff to issue an arrest warrant for the boys. That night, the Peacocks visit the sheriff’s house and brutally beat Sheriff Taylor and his wife to death. Deputy Barney and the agents descend on the Peacock house, but Barney is decapitated by a crude booby trap as he kicks in the front door. Mulder and Scully distract the brothers by opening their pig pen and make their way inside, where they find Mrs. Peacock, the boys’ mother, living under the bed as a quadruple amputee where she has been attempting to “keep it in the family” with the boys ever since the car accident that killed their father years ago. As the boys reenter the house, Mulder and Scully defend themselves by killing two of the brothers, but in the confusion, one of them is able to escape with his mom. They are last seen on a backroad somewhere in rural Pennsylvania on their way to start a new life together. Mom is in the trunk. It’s too bad this aired in October. They really missed an opportunity for a themed Mother’s Day episode, don’t you think? One interesting bit about this episode is Mulder’s fondness for small-town life. This will be reflected in some other episodes (“Arcadia” springs to mind) and particularly in the franchise’s second feature film when we catch up with the agents in their semi-retirement. Other than that, what more is to be said about this episode? It’s disturbing and graphic and violent and truly a powerful hour of television that bears repeat viewing. S4E3 “Teliko” (w: Howard Gordon/d: James Charleston) For this episode, the opening tag line of “The Truth is Out There” was replaced with the words “DECEIVE INVEIGLE OBFUSCATE.” These words are used three times in the context of the episode. This one also marks the return of the United Nations worker Marita Covarrubias, who has apparently become Mulder’s go-to for information now that the masking taped “X” on his window isn’t getting results. On a trans-Atlantic flight from Burkina Faso in Africa to Philadelphia, an African man is attacked in the airliner’s bathroom. When his body is found by a flight attendant, all of the pigment has seemingly been removed from his skin, hair, and eyes. Several months later, Scully is requested to help the CDC to investigate a rash of kidnappings in Philadelphia. One of the kidnapped men has turned up, but is suffering a lack of pigmentation. The CDC fears some sort of unknown contagion, so Skinner sends them his best medically-trained investigator to look into it. Mulder joins the investigation, taking a stem found in the body to Agent Pendrell for examination. After toying with Pendrell a bit about Scully’s lovelife (it’s mean of Mulder, to be sure, but Pendrell does present himself to be an incredibly easy target), he is able to identify the plant as a rare West African flower. Mulder brazenly approaches his shiny new information reservoir, Marita Covarrubias, outside of the UN building. Is it just me, or does he seem to have selective amnesia about the fates of the last two men who secretly provided him with information? Anyway, she is able to provide him with information about the incident on the plane several months ago. Meanwhile, another young black man is attacked by Samuel Aboah, an immigrant who is seeking citizenship. Aboah was the one who attacked the man on the plane. He is suffering some sort of condition which causes his pigmentation to degrade. His attacks upon the other men are a means to restore his own body’s pigment. Coordinating with a social worker, Mulder and Scully track down Aboah by comparing the flight’s manifest with those applying for citizenship. Upon his capture, Scully runs some tests while Mulder visits the Burkina Faso embassy to confront a diplomat about the lack of investigation of the murder on the airline. The diplomat tells Mulder of the Teliko, West African spirits of the air, believed to be able to fit into indescribably tight spaces and suck the life and color from their victims. Scully’s PET scan of Aboah reveals that he lacks a pituitary gland and that some sort of long, tube-like object is lodged in his esophagus. Aboah hides in the drawer of a food cart and escapes from the hospital. He immediately seeks out and attacks the social worker who helped Mulder and Scully find him. Before he can finish with his victim, he is interrupted and legs it. The agents follow him to a construction site, where they split up to look for him. Mulder finds him first, but he shoots him with a dart from his blow gun he stores in his throat, paralyzing Mulder just like he had all of his victims before. Scully follows Aboah through the ducts in the building, finding the paralyzed Mulder in the process. She shoots Aboah, stopping him before he can attack them. Scully observes in her field journal at the end of the episode that while science has the potential to explain every unexplainable thing eventually, it is human nature to “deceive, inveigle, and obfuscate” the truths we fail to understand. One can’t help but feel like this episode should be better than it is. It’s an interesting premise, with a tangibly cinematic visual hook. Its themes of xenophobia and racial identity have potential for a fascinating conversation. It dips into African folklore for its subject matter, which is intriguingly unexplored territory for this show. Sure, the villainous mutant turns out to be something of a variation on Eugene Victor Tooms from the first season, but the take is just unique enough to beg forgiveness for its contrivance. The problem with it is just simply that it. Is. So. Damn. Slow. The story moves along at a snail’s pace. I have no problem with Scully talking science for half the episode. I’m nerdy like that. It just needs to be balanced by some sort of dynamic movement. Scully’s slow-motion crawling chase of Aboah through the ducts made it seem like everyone on the set was hung over from a weekend bender or something. I sat on my couch watching, feeling like Mulder with the paralyzing toxin in his system. Yawn. S4E4 “Unruhe” (w: Vince Gilligan/d: Rob Bowman) This one is pure X-Files meat and potatoes. A creepy serial killer with minor psychic abilities, unknown even to him? Cool. The title of the episode is the German word for “anxiety” or “unrest.” Vince Gilligan has said that much of the inspiration for this episode stemmed from a Time Life series of books about serial killers he had read as a child (hey, I remember those!). Interestingly (but probably totally unrelated), there was a mass-murderer in New Jersey in the late 40s named Howard Unruh, who shot and killed thirteen of his neighbors while walking down his Camden, NJ street one morning. Lacking any meaningful connection there, Gilligan certainly drew inspiration from the story of Ted Serios (Mulder even mentions him in the episode), known for his so-called “thoughtographs” or psychically-projected photographic images. A woman has her passport photo taken just before she is drugged and abducted by a hooded assailant in the alley behind the pharmacy. When the pharmacist develops the photo, he finds a distorted photo of the woman screaming with strange imagery in the background. When Mulder and Scully arrive on the scene, Mulder immediately jumps on the idea of psychic photography. He even goes so far as to demonstrate with an instant camera at the woman’s apartment, photographing his gloved hand yet producing the same image as that in the passport photo. The first woman is found wandering along a road. She has suffered a poorly-done lobotomy at the hands of her kidnapper before her release. Another woman is abducted and wakes up strapped to a dentist chair. The kidnapper mutters in German and brandishes an icepick at her. Mulder takes one of the photos back to DC to have in analyzed and finds an image of someone with very long legs hidden in the background. He calls Scully to tell her about this puzzling clue just as she is preparing to question the foreman of a construction company whose projects corresponded with both crime scenes. The foreman, Gerry Schnauz, greets her wearing painter’s stilts. Scully makes the connection with Mulder’s tip immediately and Schnauz attempts to run. He doesn’t get far, though. Scully takes him into custody. Schnauz, it turns out, has a criminal record. As a young man, he had beaten his father to death with an axe handle because of something dad had done to his sister. When asked about the second kidnapped woman, Schnauz tells them that she is “safe from the howlers”. She is found, also lobotomized, wandering in the woods. Schnauz manages to escape custody and subdues Scully, taking her back to his dentist chair. While Mulder frantically searches for her, she confronts Schnauz, answering his German muttering with German language she learned in college. This shakes Schnauz, and he starts to photograph Scully, only to turn the camera on himself (is this the proto-selfie?). The image he sees on the photograph sends him into a frenzy, and he redoubles his determination to lobotomize Scully and save her from the howlers. Mulder, using a clue from a photobooth photo featuring a screaming Scully, taken at the approximate time of her abduction by Schnauz, finds a mobile home near the cemetery where the rest of the Schnauz family is buried. He bursts in just in time to shoot Schnauz and save Scully. Schnauz’ selfie is on the floor beside him, showing Schnauz himself lying dead on the floor of the mobile home. As I said, total meat and potatoes. But this meat was a perfectly seasoned medium-rare and the potatoes were loaded with butter and parsley, with just a hint of parmesan. After the jarring “Home” and last week’s somewhat lackluster “Teliko,” a violently demented serial stalker was just the palate cleanser we viewers were hungry for. And the thought-projected pictures? Something of a sideways tangent to the overall story. But then, while it’s entirely possible to enjoy a steak dinner without a glass of red wine, it’s just more complete with that goblet of grape, ya dig? Hmm. It seems I need a snack. S4E5 “The Field Where I Died” (w: Howard Gordon & James Wong/d: Rob Bowman) This episode was something of a vanity project, written by Gordon and Wong as a showcase for their Space: Above and Beyond actress (and Gordon’s eventual fiancé) Kristen Cloke. Her performance chews the scenery a bit, but the various personalities she adopts are believable and each is distinct from the others. The idea of dissociative disorder as a window to past lives is sort of fascinating, to be honest. A compound in Tennessee is raided based on a tip from someone identifying him (her?) –self as Sydney. Once inside, the cult leader cannot be found. That is, until Agent Mulder follows his déjà vu to a Civil War-era bunker in the field behind the building. Inside the bunker, cult leader Ephesian is preparing to play “hey, Kool-Aid!” with his six wives, presumably in a suicide pact. During the arrests, Mulder is strangely drawn to one of the wives in particular, by the name of Melissa. At the local field office, Skinner has flown in to oversee the search for the reputed weapons cache, warning his agents that the detainees will be released in twenty-four hours if they can’t find something to incriminate them. Ephesian himself isn’t at all helpful, other than to tell them that there is no one at the compound named Sydney. They move on to question the wives. Melissa, during interrogation, suddenly shifts personalities and becomes Sydney. Sydney seems to believe that Harry Truman is the current president. Scully assumes Multiple Personality Disorder, but Mulder has already jumped to past life regression. They take her back to the compound to see if she can help them locate the weapons, but she adopts yet another personality, this time of a Civil War-era woman. Turning to Mulder, she recognizes him as a soldier she watched die in this very field after a battle. Mulder arranges for Melissa to undergo deep regression hypnosis (it’s sort of his go-to, am I right?), during which she tells Mulder that they had met over the course of their past lives, but always as little more than passing strangers. Mulder, never one to pass up a deep-regression hypnosis session, goes under himself, seemingly confirming her claims, and recalling a past life where he was a Jewish mother whose son was his sister Samantha’s past life. Going back further, he claims to remember being a Civil War soldier named Sullivan Biddle. Further, Melissa was a woman of the same era named Sarah Kavanaugh. Scully goes to the public records office to study survey maps of the compound, but is drawn by curiosity to look up the two names. She finds pictures of both Biddle and Kavanaugh. The authorities continue to search the compound, even though all of their detainees have now been released for lack of evidence. Seeing the net tightening, Ephesian directs his entire congregation to drink the punch (Kool-Aid Man says, “Oh, noooo!”). Sydney surfaces to prevent Melissa from drinking, but Ephesian forces her hand. When the agents enter the main meeting hall, they find all of the members of Ephesian’s cult dead from ingesting poison. What makes this episode tick is the scene-stealing performance of its guest star. Apparently the original cut of the episode ran eighteen minutes too long and included two more distinct personalities from Cloke as well as more of Lily, the little girl personality who appears briefly during an interview with Scully. It’s scenery-chewing, to be sure, but still plays as something of a tour de force for this actor. The dynamic between Mulder and Scully seems to be much cooler than in previous seasons, which is curious. He’s more aloof while she is much more business-like with him than in some instances in the past. Is it because the boss (Skinner) is in town? Or are they on the outs? S4E6 “Sanguinarium” (w: Valerie Mayhew & Vivian Mayhew/d: Kim Manners) This episode was submitted as a spec script by the two sisters listed above. It was their first professionally-developed teleplay, and nearly everyone in the writer’s room had a hand in the doctoring of it. While this would be the only X-Files byline for the Mayhews, they would pen a couple of episodes of Charmed as well as a handful of episodes of other shows. When you’re a plastic surgeon like Dr. Harrison Lloyd, you don’t really get to have an off day. Case in point: entering the wrong procedure room to find the male patient who is slated for a scalp-lift procedure means you probably should have stopped at two glasses of wine last night. Going ahead and performing a liposuction on the scalp patient means you should have had an extra hour of sleep and a second cup of coffee. Losing control of yourself and aggressively stabbing the patient repeatedly with the liposuction tube until he bleeds to death, well, that’s just a really bad day at work. Mulder finds evidence of pentagrams in the operating room, drawing him to suspect witchcraft may have influenced the bewildered Dr. Lloyd’s behavior. While they are investigating Dr. Lloyd, including the medication he was taking, another doctor at the practice, Dr. Ilaqua murders one of his patients by burning a corrective laser through her head. Afterward, he has no recollection of his actions, just like his colleague. Mulder notes that there is a similar pentagram marking on the stomach of the second victim. The staff tells the agents about a similar series of deaths that had occurred ten years earlier at the hospital. All their suspicions seem to point toward one of the nurses, Rebecca Waite. Going to her house, they find evidence of witchcraft, but they determine that much of the evidence they find to have been planted there by someone else from the hospital and that she has been striving to ward against whatever dark magic is in play. Meanwhile, Nurse Waite confronts Dr. Franklin (another doctor from the hospital) in his home. When the agents get there, they try to question Waite, but she begins vomiting straight pins and soon dies from internal hemorrhaging. Back at the hospital, yet another doctor loses control and pours acid over the head of one of his patients. Mulder uses a fancy computer program to determine that Dr. Franklin must have used some sort of impossible plastic surgery to change his face from that of a doctor who was presumed to have died during the last killing spree a decade ago. Trying to enact the last stage of his eternal youth spell, Dr. Franklin peels his face off so that he can apply a new one. In the end, Dr. Franklin escapes with his new face and applies for a job at another hospital. This one relied a bit heavily on the shock value and gore, if you ask me. In the case of “Home”, this was a necessary component of the story. But this could have been a simple discourse on the vanity of our increasingly-narcissistic culture. As such, it probably would have worked better by leaning on the humorous side of this show’s spectrum rather than the grotesque. Mulder’s quiet preoccupation with his own features (particularly his nose) was, for this writer, the high point of this episode. Dr. Franklin’s motivation was unclear, as were his methods. While this isn’t a terrible episode, it certainly isn’t a high point of the season, either. S4E7 “Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man” (w: Glen Morgan/d: James Wong) For the first time on the X-Files, Morgan and Wong broaden their storytelling partnership to the respective roles of writer and director, rather than co-writers. It became something of a break for Duchovny and Anderson, whose only call sheet for this episode was some light voiceover work. Jerry Hardin was able to return to his role of Deep Throat, which was a welcome surprise. Some archival footage from the Pilot episode was Gillian Anderson’s sole on-screen appearance. Chris Owen has his first appearance on the show, serving this time as the young Cancer Man. This actor will turn up later in the series in a pivotal role, but that’s for another day. With this episode, James Wong earned the X-Files their first Emmy nomination for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series (alas, NYPD Blue won the category that year). Cancer Man sets up his sniper rifle and surveillance equipment across the street from the offices of the Lone Gunmen. He listens in on a meeting between Frohike, Byars, Mulder, and Scully (Langley’s voice is not heard). Frohike claims to have pieced together their nemesis’ history, based on a questionably-reliable magazine source. CSM settles in to listen as Frohike regales them with his findings. In flashback, we find young Cancer Man as a soldier at Fort Bragg. His bunk-mate, Bill Mulder, is telling him about his son saying his first word (JFK) when he is summoned to a meeting with a General and several other men. These men are presumably the Syndicate of their day. They engage him in a top secret mission to assassinate President John F Kennedy. He takes the assignment, and helps to frame Lee Harvey Oswald for the shooting as well. After Oswald is arrested at the movie theater, CSM lights his first cigarette from a pack given him by Oswald himself earlier that day. Five years later, he has a meeting with several men, including J. Edgar Hoover, during which it is decided that Martin Luther King, Jr. needs to be eliminated because of what they perceive as his Communist-leaning political views. As a sign of his personal respect for Dr. King, he volunteers to do the task himself. At his apartment, he has completed a manuscript for a crime thriller called Take a Chance: A Jack Colquitt Adventure, but receives a harshly-worded rejection letter from the publisher he had submitted it to. Jumping ahead to 1991, CSM is briefing his team on everything from their determination that the Buffalo Bills never win a Super Bowl to the resignation of Gorbachev. When a member of his team mentions the waves being created by the young agent Fox Mulder and how he’s convinced the powers at the FBI to let him reopen the X-Files, CSM tells him that he’ll be the one handling Mulder. It’s Christmas, and he returns to his apartment at the end of the day to begin writing a new Jack Colquitt adventure. He is interrupted by a phone call from Deep Throat. They meet at the site of a new UFO crash. An E.B.E. has been recovered from the wreckage and is being held alive in confinement. After reminiscing about how much of history the two of them have influenced, CSM flips a coin to discern which of them is going to carry out the act of killing the alien. Deep Throat loses the toss, and reluctantly shoots it. A few months later, CSM joins the meeting between Director Blevins and Scully, as she is assigned to work with and possibly debunk Fox Mulder’s work on the X-Files. In another office, he listens on his surveillance equipment as Scully meets Mulder for the first time. Jumping ahead to 1996, CSM receives a letter from the publisher of a magazine called Roman a Clef that offers to serialize his latest Jack Colquitt adventure. On the day of the magazine’s release, he types up a letter of resignation for his superiors (presumably the men of the Syndicate) and rushes out to the newsstand. Disappointed with the fact that his story was altered for publication, he tears up the letter and goes back to work. In the present, Frohike tells Mulder and the rest that he’s going to try to follow up and determine the veracity of these tales he’s been spinning and exits the office. Looking through the scope of the sniper rifle at Frohike, CSM quotes the closing line of this novel, “I can kill you anytime I want. But not today…” Believe it or not, there was a time when we could speculate freely about things without getting chewed out by some blogger in Nebraska for missing a detail. This was a time long before there was even a conceived need for something like Snopes.com. We conspiracy theorists were free to sit around and wax paranoid without any danger of some chump with a smart phone saying, “nuh-uh, losers”. Every theory that had the merest ring of truth had the potential to become gospel. At least until a better theory came along. We had the X-Files and Oliver Stone and Bloom County and Tom Robbins novels and everything was so much less cynical and narcissistic. Sure, Gen X had its issues (we still do), but at least we wanted to believe stuff. The thing that truly made this episode work was its rampant speculation. Sure, Frohike has no by no means verified any of the allegations he’s drawn together. He admits it freely. There is no sure means of knowing whether any of these stories actually happened or if they are deeply underground, half-truthful urban legends which have sprung up around this anonymous operative who has been moving through the intelligence community for over three decades. See larger image The X-Files: Season 4 New From: $17.69 USD In Stock Share this:TweetShare on TumblrLike this:Like Loading... Related Leave a Reply Cancel ReplyYou must be logged in to post a comment.