The X-Files #176: One Son

"The future is here, and all bets are off."
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: The rebels score a win and kill the Syndicate before Cassandra Spender can be handed over to the aliens. Mulder and Scully are eventually restored to the X-Files.

REVIEW: That the episode starts with a literal clean-up crew (from the CDC) makes perfect sense because the production is kind of going tabula rasa on a big part of its mytharc. After this, the Syndicate is GONE (though Cancerman and Krycek survive), and the colonizing aliens are said to have LOST (well, that's as maybe). What does that mean for the 1973 abductees apparently still held as hostages by the colonizers, including Samantha Mulder? What is the rebels' agenda? They don't seem particularly nice, so they might just want to rule/eat us in the other faction's stead. And just because they've destroyed everything pertaining to making viable hybrids (something the colonizers apparently needed, perhaps to make slaves that wouldn't accidentally get turned into egg whites), doesn't mean the main Grays are out for the count. Skirmishes and side-plans are probably in the offing. Hey, for some reason, people get the urge to rip the rebels' faces off when they come a-calling, so there's a way to identify them.

Times are hard for the (evil) supporting cast as a whole. Marita Covarrubias shows up looking much the worse for wear, not having been seen since she was infected with black oil a good while ago. At least they didn't completely forget about her. And poor Agent Spender, jerk though he was, is shot by his own father for his disloyalty. Pretty tragic, especially from a man who was too sentimental to kill the wife he never loved. But then, anything to do with the original 1973 deal with the aliens is a raw nerve, and the flashback, bad wigs aside, is well used to bookend the Syndicate being ambushed in the present. Fowley survives, but she's been rumbled by Mulder who had always given her the benefit of the doubt, to the point where Scully had to give up on him. Where she goes next can't be too rosy. Oh, and there's Kersh, who appears not to be crooked after all, only severely limited. Things get completely away from him, including 3 or 4 agents.

So a very plotty episode, but a big game changer. It's just that it's a lot more concerned with the supporting cast than it is the leads. They still get up to some action and intimidation, but the big moments mostly play out in their absence. There's an CDC shower scene, if you're interested in that kind of ambiguously awkward 'shipping moment. Otherwise, the big character moment is Mulder trusting Scully about Fowley in a quiet moment, after making a big thing of NOT trusting her "jealousy" earlier.

- Big changes (including a return to some normalcy, if that makes any sense), but it doesn't have the packaged efficiency and elegance of a good stand-alone episode.



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