"Dreamland II" is the fifth episode of the sixth season of The X-Files. It premiered on the Fox network on December 6, 1998. The episode was written by Vince Gilligan, John Shiban and Frank Spotnitz, and was directed by Michael Watkins.
Scully desperately tries to reverse the personality switch between Mulder and Morris Fletcher before it's too late.
Morris Fletcher narrates Mulder's life. How he lost his sister. How he worked hard and became a great FBI agent. How his obsession over his lost sister led him to piss away his brilliant career by looking into the X-Files for answers to her disappearance. Above all though, how Fletcher is going to turn that all around now that he has taken over Mulder's life.
As Fletcher's body with Mulder's mind is dragged away by the soldiers, Scully begins to question if it isn't Mulder in Fletcher's body somehow. Fletcher in Mulder's body steps up to Scully and apologizes for telling Kersh but she feigns acceptance of it.
“I’ve been telling you for years you should play more by the book, haven’t I?”
Mulder is placed in the brig and encounters the pilot in Lana Chee's body.
Scully informs Fletcher that she has received a two-week suspension. He sets up a dinner date with her at Mulder's apartment.
Mulder struggles to sleep with Lana Chee talking like a fighter jockey in the next cell. Military police show up and
take Mulder to a meeting with General Wegman and the two Men in Black, Grodin and Smoodge. They have realized that the flight data recorder he was turning over to the FBI was from a scraped plane and that the whole thing was a Fletcher scam on the FBI. Mulder bluffs his way through the meeting, claiming that the real black box is safe and that he didn't let them in on the scheme because he didn't know if he could trust them.
Fletcher prepares for the dinner he is making for Scully only to find out that Mulder's bedroom is filled with junk.
“This guy hasn’t been laid in ten years.”
Mulder returns “home” to find all Fletcher's stuff out on the lawn, two angry children leaving in the mini-van, and a car with two Men in Black watching the house. He goes inside and tells Joanne Fletcher that he is Agent Fox Mulder but she figures it must be a mid-life crisis of some sort, despite him pointing out the car spying on the house.
Fletcher gives Scully a tour of the new improved apartment, including the bedroom. He gets her to sit down next to him on the four poster bed, which turns out to be a waterbed... With a full-length mirror above it...
Fletcher returns with his champagne and two glasses. Scully asks him if he knows what would be really fun while holding out handcuffs. Fletcher buys her act and handcuffs himself to a chest of drawers. Turning he finds himself face to face with Scully's sidearm. She announces that he IS Morris Fletcher and demands to know any way to restore Mulder to his body. Mulder's source calls again and she forces Fletcher to take the call and set up a meeting.
Mulder asks his “wife” if there's a place they can go with a lot of people there in tiny Rachel, Nevada.
Mulder and Fletcher turn up at the same place (Little A’le Inn, bar/hotel) in Rachel, Nevada. Mulder is at the bar with Fletcher's wife trying not to look like he is avoiding the Men in Black. Fletcher is greatly amused as he meets the source, General Wegman, as Mulder. Wegman admits to sabotaging the UFO, he tried to merely disable the stealth module so that Mulder could see it. He gives Fletcher the flight data recorder in a paper bag.
Mulder slips out and talks with Scully in the car. Joanne Fletcher sees him there and cries at the sight of Morris Fletcher with another woman.
Fletcher almost goes to comfort her but in the end merely goes into the bathroom. Jeff Smoodge arrives and
asks Joanne Fletcher if she has seen Morris Fletcher. Joanne Fletcher throws wine in Mulder's face when he returns, forcing him to retreat into the restroom. Mulder and Fletcher argue there about the flight data recorder and what to do with it given that Smoodge is waiting outside. When General Wegman gets up to leave, he notices Smoodge as well and hides in the bathroom. Mulder and Fletcher peek over the stall door at the general.
General Wegman exits and orders Smoodge and the others to follow him. They detain Mulder who claims to only have beer in the paper bag; this is true. Smoodge and the others have been misdirected from Fletcher who leaves with Scully thanks to the general's aid.
Fletcher and Scully show up with the data recorder at the Lone Gunmen's residence. Fletcher in Mulder's body has a great deal of fun with the guys as he mocks their existence as people who perpetuate the lies that he and the other Men in Black and government spooks cook up. Scully convinces them to study the data on the black box and that it is indeed not Mulder.
Mulder meets with General Wegman about the craft. Wegman believes that now that Fletcher knows who he is, when they restore things Fletcher will turn him in. Even if he didn't, the other Men in Black would figure it out eventually. Mulder asks Wegman why he sabotaged the craft and learns that a curious Wegman really wanted to know the truth himself. He hoped that Mulder could explain to him if aliens actually exist; apparently the military is just given the crafts, they have no idea where they are from or how they work.
Two guys and a girl arrive at some mailbox which is supposed to be a reference point for a good place to watch for UFOs. While one of the guys continues spouting about UFOs, the other guy and the girl make out. A ripple speeds across the land. The guy and the girl horrifically merge into one phased being.
Mulder and Scully meet and discuss the results of the Lone Gunmen's deciphering of the data. She tells Mulder that the Gunmen don't think the event can be undone. Upon learning about Scully losing her job at the bureau, he tries to cheer her up. She looks at him trapped in Morris Fletcher's body and says:
“I’d kiss you if you weren’t so damn ugly.”
The man who saw his friends phase together runs into the road and stops the incoming vehicle. Howard Grodin goes with him to see the phased couple. When they arrive, they find them completely unharmed and acting as if nothing had happened. Grodin believes the man about something having been wrong before.
Scully driving with the noxious Fletcher orders him to stop at the gas station they are passing by. The burned out gas station is undamaged and the attendant is alive again, oblivious to his death and the destruction of the place.
Grodin gathers up Lana Chee and the pilot; he seems to have figured it all out.
Scully and Fletcher show up at Fletcher's home, seeing Mulder standing by the moving truck. The shrill Joanne Fletcher berates Mulder about Scully but he insists that Fletcher, points to his body, is her husband. Fletcher goes to help her move a chair and confesses that Mulder is telling the truth. He tells her enough of their past to convince her he is Morris Fletcher. Jeff Smoodge and a group of troops appear at the Fletcher home and detain Mulder, Fletcher, and Scully with the
black box in their car. However, as they drive along the highway, Grodin's checkpoint stops them. Grodin explains that he is restoring everything and that he got the pilot and the old Hopi woman to switch back. The warp is snapping back like a rubber band and repairing the natural order of the universe. They just have to be in its path when it happens.
The land shimmers as the shockwave passes through them. It reverses the events of the last several days.
Mulder and Fletcher are restored as they return to the moment when Fletcher's troops pulled them over on that lonely highway. This time no ship passes overhead and the pair of FBI agents leave uneventfully.
Scully calls Mulder and explains that they managed to go on their trip to Nevada without Kersh finding out. She studies the penny merged with a dime in her desk drawer. He returns to his apartment, and seeing in disbelief that the cleaned up apartment is his, he checks the door to see "42" and that it is, in fact, his apartment...
- During the teaser, Morris Fletcher narrates a brief introduction to Fox Mulder. He also does this for The Lone Gunmen in "Jump the Shark", also the second episode of a double episode story arc.
- The Fletchers live in Rachel, Nevada.
- Fox Mulder's apartment - His bedroom is introduced in this episode. Fletcher finds it filled with boxes (some spilling out porno-magazines into the living room). Fletcher cleans and redesigns Mulder's bedroom, including a large bed with mirrors on the ceiling.
Scully to Mulder in Fletcher's body: "I'd kiss you if you weren't so damn ugly"
- An Area 51 employee uses the popular Star Trek misquote, "Beam me up, Scotty" when talking about warp fields.
- Scully says that she would kiss Mulder (as Fletcher) if he weren't so damn ugly, a reference to Planet of the Apes.
- Mulder calls the old Native American woman, the body swapped pilot, the call sign "Maverick", also used in the film Top Gun.
- Mulder's apartment number is '42', a possible reference to the answer given by Deep Thought to the question of life, the universe and everything in Douglas Adam's book The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
- Characters affected by the wave "snapping back" do not recall any experiences from during the wave, however it is shown that characters not within range of the wave continue to recall as normal. Yet, at the end of the show, everyone in the world (at the very least, A.D. Kersh) seems to have snapped back as if the episode never happened, despite physical manifestations having been left behind. (Edit/Explanation: The warp can only effect what happens within its sphere of influence, but it effects all the consequences that stem from what happened. It's a reset button, but can only reset what's plugged in. Because Mulder/Morris were in the right place at the right time, everything they did (within that sphere) reverted to normal. Physical ramifications are different, but interactions with other people and experiences had cannot be retained after time itself was reset.)
- Howard identifies Lana Chee as a Hopi who lives on the nearby Moapa Reservation. The Moapa Reservation is inhabited by the Moapa Paiute tribe, not the Hopi, who actually have their own reservation in northeastern Arizona.
- The slip up takes place during the scene after the information leak was notified of the switch between Mulder and Fletcher at the Little A'Le Inn Bar. When Mulder/Fletcher enters his office, the leak says "we shouldn't be seen together." In this scene, over the informants left shoulder, it is possible to see the sound guy for about two full seconds (27:20).
- When recounting to Mulder in the holding cells the events of the UFO malfunction that caused he and Mulder to switch bodies with Morris Fletcher and Lana Chee, respectively, Robert McDonough says his callsign is "Maverick" and refers to the other crew member as a RIO- Radar Intercept Officer. A RIO is a role exclusive to either the F-4 Phantom or the F-14 Tomcat which was flown by Lt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell in the movie Top Gun. However, it was establish McDonough was an Air Force pilot, so RIO is not the preferred nomenclature. He should have referred to his crew member as either a WSO (pronounced "whizzo") for Weapon Systems Officer or GIB (pronounced "gibb") for Guy In Back.
Other Episode Notes
- This is one of several episodes to use the name John Gillnitz.
- One of the signature backstage moments of the entire 6th season occurred during a particularly bleak morning at the distant Lancaster location during the filming of the two-parter. David Duchovny emerged from his trailer and said, "When is this show moving back to Los Angeles?". Within days, dozens of X-Files insiders were wearing T-shirts emblazoned with exactly the same question.
- The character of Morris Fletcher would later appear in numerous episodes of "The Lone Gunmen", the season 6 X-Files episode "Three of a Kind" and the season 9 episode "Jump the Shark".
- The man-in-black Morris Fletcher is named after Michael McKean's son, Fletcher McKean.
- As noted, Dreamland is the nickname for Area 51, the Air Force base near Groom Lake, Nevada which is reputed to be the US Government's base for conducting experiments with alien technology. "Dreamland" actually stands for "Data Repository Establishment and Management Land".
- A scene of the episode takes place in a bar called the "Little A'Lie'Inn". In Rachel, Nevada there is actually a restaurant/bar/motel called "Little A'Le'Inn", complete with UFO and time capsule just off a road called "The Extraterrestrial Highway"
- The cover story on The Lone Gunmen newspaper that Morris/Mulder reads is titled "Monica - Minx Or Mandroid," which is yet another humorous reference to the Clinton/Lewinksy scandal of the 1990s.
- The "mandroid army' scoffed at by Fletcher is a sly flashback to the season 3 episode "Jose Chung's From Outer Space".
- This is the first episode that we see Mulder's bedroom. The question where Mulder slept was discussed rather vividly in the past on the Internet.
- Scully says to Mulder-in-Morris's-body, "I'd kiss you if you weren't so damn ugly" which is what Zira (Kim Hunter) said to Charlton Heston at the end of Planet of the Apes.
- Fletcher comments that Saddam Hussein is really a dinner theater actor named 'John Gillnitz'. The name is a combination of the writers names: John Shiban, Vince Gilligan & Frank Spotnitz.
- The fused penny/dime is seen in the season 8 episode Alone when Scully is cleaning out her desk.
- Mulder is made late for work (repeatedly) in Monday when his waterbed bursts. He expresses bewilderment about it, not remembering when he had purchased a waterbed.
- As he is leaving the Lone Gunmen's place, Morris/Mulder contemptuously tells Frohike to "Back off, Sneezy." This is, of course, a reference to the diminutive character from the Disney Snow White story, whom Frohike does actually resemble.
Special Guest Starring
- John Mahon as General Edward Wegman
- Michael Buchman Silver as Howard Grodin
- Scott Allan Campbell as Jeff Smoodge
- Julia Vera as Lana Chee
- Andrew Sikking as Soldier
- Chris Ufland as Sam
- Tom Braidwood as Melvin Frohike
- Dean Haglund as Richard Langly
- Bruce Harwood as John Fitzgerald Byers
- Nora Dunn as Joanne Fletcher
- Dara Hollingworth as Christine Fletcher
- Tyler Binkley as Terry Fletcher
- Mike Rad as Randy
- Lisa Joann Thompson as Kelly
- Christopher Stapleton as Captain Robert McDonough
- Jeffrey T. Unterkofler as First Air Policeman
- James Yaker as Cashier
- Nick Lashaway as Young Fox Mulder
- Ashlyn Rose as Young Samantha Mulder
- Bonnie McNeill as Young Teena Mulder