"I only know what you tell me."
REVIEW: Duchovny guest-stars again (Mulder in flashbacks), and we discover something important about Mulder and Scully's relationship, and this seems an important part of the hybrid alien mytharc... but it doesn't make any damn sense!!! Frustrating! There's a lot of emotion, what it says about the original duo is actually quite sweet, and the paranoia is cranked up to eleven. Why couldn't it have been a better episode? Thing is, it FEELS like it is, but the more you think about it, the more it falls apart. (Plus, those nasty musical stings that have been overplaying the suspense lately.)
I do like the idea that Scully asked Mulder to be a sperm donor when it looked like there was a procedure to get her pregnant post-cancer/barrenness. Though it's one of the most intimate things two people can do, it's still done within the platonic confines of their friendship, and the actors play the unusual situation well. But here's the thing. The procedure "didn't take", and so Scully's pregnancy remains a mystery and must, like the other women in the episode, have been caused by Conspiracy doctors later. So the whole subplot about Mulder donating sperm, something not at all hinted at in Season 7 (or before), is pointless. It's still not supposed to be Mulder's baby! But the production can't win here, because if the subplot HAD explained Scully's pregnancy, it would have felt much like the revelations from The Gift, as a strange justification for last season's cliffhanger (or in that case, the season opener) revelations, as opposed to a pay-off.
As for the Conspiracy surrounding the hybrid babies, it's an effective plot engine. Scully is presented with women whose experience mirrors her own - abductees who have been given cancer, been cured, become barren, been impregnated - and if she doesn't want to end up LIKE those women (dead or have her baby switched), she has to find a doctor she can trust. But it seems that all the doctors everywhere are part of the Conspiracy! It's a little hard to take, even if a CIA spook is behind it all. As the audience, we know more than Scully, Doggett or Skinner. We see her fertility doctor examine the first woman's alien fetus. Doggett at the end says two things that are completely contradictory, in fact. Either Scully let her imagination get the better of her and she exaggerated the whole experience (which is possible from the onscreen evidence EXCEPT that we do see alien babies), or his CIA friend (Adam Baldwin in a new recurring role) saved her life. Both can't be true, and Doggett should know that. And what exactly is preventing Scully from getting another ultrasound, or even performing one on herself since she's a medical doctor? It's inside her, it can't just be left as a mystery! Dumb! Don't get me started with the birth defect clinic that has an illuminated wall of countless women's stillborn babies! What?!
REWATCHABILITY: Medium but feels like Medium-High - Things of import are revealed, but the characters have all left their brains at the door, and the retcon coasts on Duchovny's welcome appearance, hiding its pointlessness.