The X-Files #175: Two Fathers

"A man should never live long enough to see his children, or his work, destroyed."
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: Spender's mother is back and she's a successful alien-human hybrid. The alien rebel crap hits the fan.

REVIEW: The Conspiracy is hitting full force! Looks like the turning point I've been waiting for; how long before our two leads are once again with the X-Files? A lot of Two Fathers is a recap/confirmation of the mytharc episodes that have come before. The Syndicate itself still seems to work under the impression that the aliens want to use humanity as a slave race, in spite of what the movie told us, but the returned Cassandra Spender has changed her hippie story about the aliens and now claims they want to wipe us out. Maybe they're both right. Some will be slaves, some will be food. And it's now clear that the human-alien hybrid program is about more than creating a new race that can survive, even fight, the black oil virus - it's also about CHANGING already living people. A green-blooded humanity (who loves green Jell-O, nice gag) would be more than immune; it would have the strength and power to fight the Gray exterminators. Presumably. As far as the "faceless" rebels go, Cassandra calls them another "race", they have the green blood of the Bounty Hunter and his alien-human hybrid ilk (alien-human, not the same as human-alien, it's confusing), and are shape-shifters, though loath to open up facial orifices by doing so and prefer wearing life-like masks (a sort of emulsion?). What ISN'T clear is that if the Syndicate is really working to backstab the aliens, why are the rebels causing them problems? And if Cassandra is the key to their success, why burn her and her creator? Some of this we'll find out in the next installment, but even with all the explanations and confirmations, it's hard to keep the various agendas straight.

At the center of all this is Jeffrey Spender who, after keeping time at the X-Files office, finally demands to know the truth. About his mom's abduction, at least. Doesn't look like he's done much over the past few months. An insolent son, the Cigarette-Smoking Man slaps him around a little bit, but seems to regret it. You catch more flies with honey. And so he brings Spender a little more into the fold and gives him an alien assassination mission that reveals some truth. Spender botches it and Krycek must complete it, as well as drop some more truth bombs on Spender. In a deleted scene, Krycek asks the CSM to be his eventual replacement, but Cancerman says he's already chosen a successor. Having seen this sequence changes how we might perceive Krycek's "loose lips" in the later instance. Everything he reveals about the CSM's involvement in the experiments conducted on Cassandra widens the wedge between father and son. Surely, it's not a case of "not knowing when to shut his mouth", but a practiced art for the born betrayer? Whether Krycek will get closer to the CSM's position is up in the air, because Cancerman turns to - reveal! - Agent Fowley, who you'll remember, was Mulder's original partner on the X-files, and apparently a CSM stooge all this time. Regardless, Spender rejects his father and may join forces with our heroes.

He's got some reparations to make, seeing as he gets Mulder and Scully on forced administrative leave. But then, these guys are at the end of their collective rope when it comes to humiliating assignments. Mulder is openly blowing off work and Scully is advocating taking files out of FBI archives and visiting Cassandra under Spender's radar. This, more than anything, points to a change of direction for the season.

More hints that Mulder is also the son of the Cigarette-Smoking Man are dropped when the CSM negatively compares Spender to Mulder. Feel like the link between the two agents is more than just the office they've successively held.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - Despite the title, more about sons than fathers - Spender, Mulder, Krycek - it could give the leads a more active role, but definitely advances the mytharc substantially.



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