"Colony" is the sixteenth episode of the second season of The X-Files. It was written by lead star David Duchovny and series creator Chris Carter, with Carter also doing the teleplay. Premiering on the Fox network on January 20, 1995, the episode helped explore the series' mythology arc.
Colony is the first of a two-part episode, with the plot progressing in the next episode, End Game.
After three identical men are killed and their obituaries are e-mailed to Mulder, a mysterious CIA agent informs him and Scully that the killer is an Alien Bounty Hunter sent to destroy the start of a colony of clones. Meanwhile, Mulder is distracted when his sister, Samantha, suddenly returns.
A Mulder voiceover: speaking of his sister, the vague memories of his sister's abduction, his fragile faith, and his belief that the aliens are among us are and starting to colonize....
Mulder is being frantically wheeled into a hospital in a state of severe hypothermia and panicking doctors. They place him into a tub of warm water to raise his temperature. Scully bursts through the door and desperately tries to tell the doctors that the cold is the only thing keeping him alive and that warming Mulder up will kill him.
Two weeks prior, in the Arctic, a boat sees a UFO hovering for long periods, then accelerating suddenly and crashing in the water a short distance away. They embark toward the crash site.
At an abortion clinic in Scranton, Pennsylvania, what appears to be a regular doctor who sees a TV news report on the boat hauling a rescued "fighter pilot" from the sea. When he sees the man, he becomes hysterical and runs out of the room. He bursts through a set of double doors, and runs right into the same man. A tall, menacing figure, who grabs the doctor and asks where "he" is. The doctor says he "doesn't know," and the man shoves him to the floor, takes a spike weapon from his pocket and plants it into the base of the doctor's neck. The doctor's neck oozes green blood, and the man starts a fire and walks out of the building.
In the X-Files office, and Mulder alerts Scully to an email he received this morning: three obituaries for three separate doctors, Dr. Landon Prince, Dr. Harvey William Buchanon and Dr. Dale Gayhart, all working in abortion clinics. They all look totally identical. Scully wonders if they're triplets, and Mulder says there is no blood connection, and he can't even find any records on them at all.
Mulder then questions an officer in Scranton, who says Dr. Prince performed legal clinical abortions and went about his work quietly and that none of his family have come forward. The officer informs Mulder and Scully that they have arrested a Reverend Calvin Sistrunk, who has apparently threatened the doctors beforehand. The officer shows them a clipping an advertisement inquiring about the whereabouts of Dr.Prince that Sistrunk was carrying. It is determined that in all three cases no body has been found.
Sistrunk is then brought in and shows no sympathy for Dr. Prince. Sistrunk knows nothing about the other murders and claims he found the clipping in the local newspaper. Mulder and Scully then arrive at the newspaper office, and they ask about the ad and apparently the man who placed it left no details. Scully asks Mulder why they are pursuing a case that is going nowhere and says that it makes no sense. Mulder says it sounds just like an X-File and says if they were being set up, they would have more information. Mulder suspects that there are more of these identical men and finds a pattern in the location of the murders.
Mulder then asks about the phone number in the ad, and the attendant courtly tells him that the bill needs to be paid. Mulder does so and dials the number. Scully says 24 people have responded and the man has been seen in Syracuse. Mulder observes that location is consistent with the northward progression of the killings.
FBI Special Agent Barrett Weiss answers a phone call from Mulder who asks him to find and protect a Dr. Aaron Baker. Weiss says he'll help and contact him with an address as soon as he can. Weiss arrives at the house of Baker, but before he knocks on the door, he hears voices inside, so he peeks through the window. He sees Dr. Baker seemingly having an argument with someone. Weiss decides instead to go around toward the back of the house. Inside the house, it is the killer that is arguing with Dr. Baker and he insists their plans will not succeed. He then kills Dr. Baker with the spike, in the same way he did Dr. Prince.
Weiss then bursts through the back door and the demands that the man drop his weapon. The killer simply stares back. Weiss looks down and sees the body of Dr. Baker as a bubbling puddle . The killer advances on Weiss who shoots him 3 times in the chest. The man is unfazed and starts bleeding bubbling green blood. Weiss cries out in anguish, grabbing his eyes.
Mulder and Scully now arrive at the house and are greeted in the street by Agent Weiss. He informs them that the house is empty and there's 2-weeks of mail in the mailbox. Mulder says he's going to look around. Weiss goes to his car, opens the trunk, revealing the disrobed body of Agent Weiss. The killer's face reverts to his former image and he calmly strolls down the street.
In A.D. Skinner's office, he demands to know what Mulder was doing in Syracuse, why it was not authorized and why there is no paperwork. Mulder says to Skinner he thought they had an understanding about the X-Files as regards to the unusual cases he works on. Skinner furiously tells him that his higher-ups aren't so understanding especially when one of their agents is found dead, to Mulder's surprise. He tells Mulder in no uncertain terms that his investigation is terminated and wants a full report in the morning.
In his office, Mulder receives a phone call from Scully where he tells her the latest information and wishes he knew what was happening. Scully is shocked to hear of Agent Weiss's death and tells Mulder to check his email because she's been sent an image of another identical doctor, Dr. James Dickins, who's right there in Washington.
Arriving at Scully's apartment, Mulder is approached by an Agent Ambrose Chapel, working for the CIA. He says he needs to speak about the case Mulder is working on and says he has a story to tell. Ambrose tells Mulder and Scully that they've known about the identical men for a decade. The Soviets have been working on the genetics of identical twins and isolated the specific DNA material in order to reproduce it. Scully asks if the men are clones and Ambrose says "By all outward appearances." The program code-name was "Gregor," the name given to every clone, and that the first one came in the 1970s. Since then, they've managed to bring a cadre of clones into the country and have infiltrated the medical industry for the purpose of sabotage of the medical system and contamination of the blood supply in the event of war. Ambrose continues, saying that in a secret agreement, someone has authorized the systematic termination of the clones, by a supposed Russian spy killer, in exchange for the science that created it. Ambrose believes that it is the Gregors that have been contacting Mulder based on his reputation and that he may protect them and bring the truth to light. Mulder wants to know how Ambrose knows they've been contacted, and Ambrose shows them the newspaper ad that he placed. Ambrose says that they are dealing with government-authorized murder, and if they get to the Gregors, maybe the truth can be heard at last.
In Germantown, Maryland at night, a Gregor clone is inside a rundown warehouse. He is in a laboratory with glass tanks filled with a green fluid and monitoring equipment. He takes one last look at the tanks and leaves, getting into a waiting SUV being driven by a young woman. They pull up outside an apartment block and enter. Moments later, Mulder and Scully park in the street and then knock on the door. The woman leaves the room before Dr. Dickins answers the door. Mulder says he believes he's been trying to contact them, but before he can respond, Chapel appears behind them and the doctor with a look of terror runs away and dives right through his 4th floor apartment window to the ground. Mulder looks out the window as Scully says she'll call the Paramedics, but the man gets up and runs away. The woman says hidden. Mulder and Chapel give chase through the streets. Mulder closes in just as Dickins reaches a busy street where Mulder gets hit by a car and is winded. Scully checks on him, but Mulder tells her to stay with Dickins and don't lose him.
Dickins runs into an alley, cornered. Dickins desperately looks for an escape, trying to climb a fire escape ladder, but Chapel grabs him by the ankle. Chapel's face is now the spy killer. Scully arrives, gun drawn and once again we see Chapel who claims that Dickins blindsided him and went up the fire escape. He tells Scully he's going to try and get on the roof and runs off. Scully's incredulous because the fire escape ladder is still up, out of reach. She checks the scene, finding nothing, but steps in some green goo next to a trash dumpster. She quickly dismisses it and runs off to rejoin Mulder. After she leaves, the green fluid bubbles away.
The next day, Scully enters Mulder's office to check on his condition. He darkly asserts that he should have used the crosswalk. He tells Scully that if Chapel's story is true, a massive conspiracy can be brought to public eye. Scully says that this whole case is unbelievable, as is Chapel's story. Mulder says he did a check on Chapel and he is a 17-year veteran with an exemplary record. Scully simply asks why such an experienced agent would need their help and how could he let the doctor escape so easily. She then says that Dickins wasn't running from them; he was running from Chapel. Scully then suggests Chapel killed Agent Weiss and Mulder angrily asks Scully if that's what he should tell Skinner. Scully then says Mulder will chase a case until insanity and the line must be drawn. Mulder simply says that she should step away and that everyone draws their own lines. After a short, tense silence, Scully shows Mulder a pair of shoes she has only had one week, yet she stepped in a pool of green liquid last night that ate right through the sole. "Maybe I'm being paranoid, but it was in the exact same spot where Chapel said the Doctor escaped," she says coldly. Mulder suggests she send it to the lab and also review the autopsy on the Agent Weiss as no clear cause of death was able to be established.
In the morgue, Scully and Mulder are examining the body and all the tests are clean, apart from the bloodwork, which showed polycythemia, an excessive production of red blood cells. According the doctors who conducted the autopsy, the blood "curdled like jelly as if something caused the blood to thicken or clot prior to death." Scully speculates the use of a coagulating agent but this would have shown up in the toxicological tests. Mulder then says that Chapel mentioned that the Gregor clones were intending to contaminate the blood supply and one of those could have been used to kill the field agent. Scully has no idea, and all she can do is inspect Dr. Dickins' bag, which was recovered from his apartment. Then, Mulder is summoned by A.D. Skinner. Scully tells him Skinner will want to know why he hasn't filed his report. Mulder says he'll tell him the truth, that he was hit by a car.
Mulder arrives in Skinner's office, apologizing for his late report. Skinner says that's not why he asked for Mulder. He tells Mulder that his family has been trying to reach him urgently. Mulder leaves and calls his father. However, his mother answers. Mulder is surprised and she tells him she will put him on to his dad. His dad picks up and tells Mulder that he received a very strange phone call and that he should come home as soon as possible. Mulder promises he will. After Scully tells him she has found an address from Dr. Dickins' bag, he abruptly leaves, saying he has to go home.
Scully drives to the address. It is the same warehouse where Dr. Dickins was in the lab. She enters, gun drawn. She again steps into the green liquid. She peeks around a corner into the heart of the warehouse, seeing Chapel, smashing the canisters full of fluid and squashing on the strange biological contents, which ooze green liquid. Chapel raises his head, alerted to Scully's presence and pursues her. By the time he exits the warehouse, Scully is already pulling away in her car. Back at Scully's apartment, she calls Mulder, leaving a message on his answering machine telling him that she is worried that she is in danger and that she has been followed. She also informs him that she has some very important information about the case.
Mulder pulls up at his family home in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. He runs up the steps towards the house and finds his father at the door. He tells Mulder that his mother needs some time and after a tight handshake, he tells Mulder that she asked him to come. Mulder's dad said it's a hard time for them all and that certainty becomes a comfort and it allows us to move on. Mulder glances through the window and sees his tearful mother and a young lady. Mulder's dad says they've buried their memories so deep after everything they've lost. Mulder asks who his mother is talking to. His dad simply says, "Your sister." A shocked Mulder runs into the sitting room and sees the young lady for himself. She simply greets him with "Fox," and a shell-shocked Mulder can simply stare. Although not recognized as such by Mulder, it is the woman from Dr. Dickins' apartment.
It is early morning and Mulder is tucking his worn out mother into bed. She says after so many sleepless nights now she can barely stay awake. Mulder tells her to get some sleep and closes the curtains. His mother asks if it is really Samantha. Mulder says he doesn't see who else it can be. Mulder steps out onto the porch and joins his sister. She asks him is it too late for a game of Stratego, which is the board game they were playing at the moment of her abduction. Mulder replies that it's 22 years too late. He asks her to start from the beginning. She says she was 9 or 10 when she was "returned" and she had no memory, but was placed with a family who raised her. She knew they weren't his parents but couldn't remember her parents, or Mulder. She then says she started having problems a few years ago, a problem which diagnosed as free-floating anxiety. Nothing worked for her until she had regression hypnotherapy. Suddenly, she remembered everything: the abductions, the tests. She seems genuine.
She then tells Mulder that she is in danger. She and her father, Dr. Dickins are being hunted by a man. She then says they are visitors here - aliens. A bounty hunter has been sent to kill them all and she tells Mulder that he's met him and that his lies have hurt many. He won't stop until they're all dead and he will come for her soon. The next morning, Scully leaves her apartment in a tracksuit and the phone rings just as she leaves. It's Mulder. He tells her that Agent Chapel cannot be trusted and to call her soon. Samantha tells him that Scully won't recognize the bounty hunter as he can disguise himself ... as anyone. She says a normal person cannot recognize him, but she can. Scully is jogging through town and gets on a bus. She calls Mulder and again reaches his answering machine. She leaves a message saying she doesn't think she's been followed and that she'll be staying at the Vacation Village in Germantown. Unbeknownst to her, the bounty hunter is just a few seats away and heard her conversation.
Scully returns to the warehouse and inspects the destroyed equipment, including a pouch containing what seems to be a small alien. She looks around and sees yet another Gregor clone. He runs off, but Scully catches up with him and holds him at gunpoint. He says she won't shoot him and she insists he put his hands up the wall but the clone says she can't harm him. He opens a secret door and 3 more identical clones emerge. The first doctor says these 4 are the last and unless protects them, they're already dead. At Scully's orders, each man is driven off by the police with the instructions that they be held in maximum security and protected around the clock. When the Police Chief asks who they are, Scully simply says that when she knows, she'll tell him. Each man is driven off, however, the bounty hunter is observing the whole operation from the roof of a nearby building.
Mulder calls Vacation Village, and asks for Scully. The clerk says nobody has checked-in under that name. Mulder tells the man that when she does check in, that she must call Mulder. The clerk says he will, and goes to write the name down but his pencil snaps and forgets the name almost right away. Scully then enters and asks for a room.
At the maximum security compound, we see each doctor safely held in cells. The Police Chief enters, relieves the guards and locks the door behind him. He walks towards the first cell and straight away the doctor realizes what is going on. The familiar sound of the spike is heard.
11:21pm: Mulder knocks on Scully's door and she lets him in while her phone rings. When she answers it, Mulder is on the other end of the line. Shock and terror is etched across Scully's face.
To be continued. (End Game)
Scranton; Pennsylvania; Woman's Care Family Services & Clinic; Landon Prince; Alaska; Dale Gayhart; New York City; Harvey William Buchanon; Tea Neck; New Jersey; Arson; Abortion Clinic; Syracuse; Aaron Baker; James Dickens; Cold War; Gregor Series; Maryland; Central Intelligence Agency; Martha's Vineyard; West Tisbury; Massachusetts; William Mulder; Samantha Mulder; Stratego; Alien Bounty Hunter; Alien; Vacation Village Motor Lodge; Virginia; Clone
- The name of the CIA agent in this episode, “Ambrose Chapel”, is a reference to the 1956 Hitchcock classic, The Man Who Knew Too Much. In that movie, James Stewart is searching for his kidnapped son and incorrectly assumes that a name found in a note, "Ambrose Chapel", is the name of a man who can help him but it is actually the name of a church in London where the kidnappers are holding his son.
Cast and Characters
- This is the first episode to feature the fan favorite, the Alien Alien Bounty Hunter. Peter Donat also makes his series debut as William Mulder.
- Tom Butler (Agent Ambrose Chapel) previously played Benjamin Drake in The X-Files episode "Ghost in the Machine".
- Andrew Johnston (Special Agent Barrett Weiss) previously played Lt. Colonel Robert Budahas in The X-Files episode "Deep Throat".
- James Leard (Sergeant Al Dixon) previously played Captain Roy Lacerio in The X-Files episode "The Erlenmeyer Flask".
- Peter Donat as William Mulder (First appearance)
- Brian Thompson as a Alien Bounty Hunter (First appearance)
- Dana Gladstone as Dr. Landon Prince/Dale Gayhart/Harvey William Buchanon/Aaron Baker/James Dickens
- Megan Leitch as Samantha Mulder
- Tom Butler as CIA Agent Ambrose Chapel
- Mitch Pileggi as Assistant Director Walter Skinner
- Tim Henry as a Federal Marshal
- Andrew Johnston as Special Agent Barrett Weiss
- Rebecca Toolan as Teena Mulder (First appearance)
- Ken Roberts as Motel Proprietor
- Michael Rogers as 1st Crewman
- Oliver Becker as 2nd Doctor
- James Leard as Sergeant Al Dixon
- Linden Banks as Reverend Calvin Sistrunk
- Bonnie Hay as Field Doctor
- Kim Restell as a Newspaper Clerk
- Richard Sargent as Captain
- David L. Gordon as a FBI Agent