- “I found something I thought I'd lost... Faith to keep looking”
- — Fox Mulder
Mulder and his sister race to evade the alien bounty hunter and uncover more of the insidious conspiracy. (Part 2 of 2)
The USS Allegiance, an American nuclear submarine, is on a cartography mission in the Beaufort Sea off the coast of Alaska when it comes across a craft below the ice that is emitting a bizarre radio signal. The Allegiance is ordered to fire upon the craft by Pacific Command. However, the craft manages to disable the sub using a high-pitched frequency, stranding it 1,000-feet below the 32-foot thick ice.
Continuing from the cliffhanger ending of "Colony", Scully is beaten and kidnapped by "Mulder", who is really the Alien Bounty Hunter in disguise. When the real Mulder finds the wrecked hotel room, his sister Samantha explains that the Bounty Hunter will set up a hostage exchange to swap Scully for her. She further explains that the Bounty Hunter can only be killed by piercing the base of his neck, and that his toxic alien blood is deadly to humans. Finally, Samantha reveals that the Gregors are the progeny of two original aliens, and worked at abortion clinics to gain access to fetal tissue. Their objective was to set up a colony of extraterrestrial beings on Earth, an effort that has gone as far back as the 1940s. However, because the Gregors' experiments were considered to have tainted their alien race, the Bounty Hunter was sent to kill them.
Walter Skinner meets Mulder and Samantha at Mulder's apartment, telling them that the remaining Gregors are missing. Mulder receives a call from a captive Scully, who tells him that the Bounty Hunter seeks an exchange for 'another woman, whom Mulder knows' (Samantha). Mulder asks Skinner to trust and help him with the exchange. Mulder and Samantha are sent to a bridge near Bethesda, while Skinner hides nearby with a sharpshooter. After the exchange takes place, Samantha attacks the Bounty Hunter. During the struggle, the sharpshooter fires upon the Bounty Hunter, and both he and Samantha fall into a river.
Later, an anguished Mulder tearfully apologizes to his father, Bill, for losing her again. His father leaves him a note from Samantha, which provides Mulder with the address of a Rockville, Maryland clinic where they can meet if separated as well as an access card. Mulder hopes that she is alive, but soon gets a call from Scully reporting that Samantha's body has been found. After Scully ends the call, she discovers Samantha's body dissolving into a green liquid.
Meanwhile, upon entering the clinic, Mulder finds multiple clones of Samantha working on fetuses in labs similar to that of the Gregors. They reveal that they manipulated Mulder by sending one of their own to pose as "Samantha" in an effort to have him protect her original clone. They also claim to know the real Samantha's location. Mulder, realizing he has been duped, initially refuses to help and attempts to leave, but is knocked unconscious by the arriving Bounty Hunter, who proceeds to kill the Samantha clones and burn down the clinic. When no trace of the clones are found, Mulder meets with X at the Kennedy Center, demanding to know the Bounty Hunter's location. X says that the Bounty Hunter's craft below the Beaufort Sea has been found, and that a naval fleet has been sent to destroy it. Mulder heads there, and e-mails Scully to tell her not to follow him.
Scully goes to Skinner for help, but he refuses. Scully also summons X to Mulder's apartment with the window "X." When he arrives at the door to find Scully instead of Mulder, he claims mistaken identity and leaves without helping her. On his way out, X is confronted by Skinner in an elevator. After the two men get into a vicious physical altercation, X divulges Mulder's whereabouts in the form of GPS coordinates for a location in Alaska, which Skinner provides to Scully.
Mulder finds the stranded Allegiance, with its sail broken through a patch of shallow ice. Inside, he finds that the sub's crew all dead. He comes across the apparent sole survivor, whom Mulder correctly guesses is the disguised Bounty Hunter. Mulder handcuffs himself to the man and the two get into a struggle. Mulder manages to grab his gun and fire it, but fails to hit the base of the neck and is exposed to the toxic green blood. The Bounty Hunter claims that Samantha is still alive before dumping Mulder off the sail and submerging the Allegiance; Mulder is nearly cut in half with the sub's diving plane in the process. Mulder is discovered and rushed to the field hospital seen at the beginning of "Colony", where Scully, having learned that the alien blood contains a retrovirus that dies in cold temperatures, convinces the doctors to keep him in an ice tub, saving his life.
As Mulder's condition improves, Scully writes a field report crediting science with detecting the retrovirus and saving Mulder's life. She contends that the retrovirus is of a mysterious origin, and reports that neither the Bounty Hunter nor the Allegiance have been found. When Mulder regains consciousness, he tells Scully that his experiences did not give him the answers he had been searching for, but that they have given him renewed "faith to keep looking."
"She's alive. Can you die now?" - Alien Bounty Hunter to Fox Mulder
X: "I've killed men for far less."
Skinner: "You pull that trigger and you'll be killing two men." - after the fight in the elevator
- This is the first episode written by Frank Spotnitz. He would later become a collaborator on nearly all subsequent mythology episodes, and a co-writer on the two X-Files feature films, Fight the Future and I Want to Believe.
- Spotnitz had contributed to the plot of "Colony" by introducing the idea of an adult Samantha; however, in this episode Chris Carter established that Samantha was merely a clone, with the reasoning that simply having Samantha come back was "straight science fiction," whereas he saw The X-Files as a show that happened to incorporate elements of science fiction.
- The grunt that Scully utters after being thrown through the table was insisted on by Standards and Practices, to make clear to viewers that she was still alive. Frank Spotnitz thought of this as "arcane, bizarre logic that you have to deal with when you're putting a show on network television."
- X actor Steven Williams, having a background in stunt and fight choreography, worked with Mitch Pileggi to design the fight between X and Skinner in the elevator. When director Rob Bowman was dissatisfied with the first take of Skinner slamming X against the wall, on the second take Pileggi did it with so much force he broke the back of the elevator scenery.
Cast and Characters
- Garry Davey (Captain) previously played Hunter in The X-Files episode "Eve" and Dr. Keats in "Roland".
- Steven Williams as X
- Peter Donat as William Mulder
- Brian Thompson as a Alien Bounty Hunter
- Megan Leitch as Samantha Mulder
- Colin Cunningham as Lieutenant Terry Wilmer
- Mitch Pileggi as Assistant Director Walter Skinner
- Garry Davey as Captain
- Andrew Johnston as Special Agent Barrett Weiss
- Allan Lysell as a Abel Gardener
- J.B. Bivens as a Sharpshooter
- Oliver Becker as 2nd Doctor
- Beatrice Zeilinger as a Paramedic
- Bonnie Hay as Field Doctor