X-Files Wiki
The X-Files: Fight the Future   Credits   Background Information   Gallery   Transcript    

The X-Files: Fight the Future is a 1998 science fiction thriller film directed by Rob Bowman. Written by Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz, it is the first feature film installment of the The X-Files franchise.

Taking place between the fifth season finale and sixth season premiere, the film follows Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, who have been removed from the X-Files, as they investigate the bombing of a building and a government conspiracy to hide the truth behind alien colonization of earth.


Mulder and Scully uncover a government conspiracy attempting to hide the truth about an alien colonization of Earth.


35,000 B.C.

Primitive covered in black oil

A caveman is alarmingly covered in a black oily substance.

As the wind howls around them, two cavemen follow a set of strange tracks across a vast snowy plain in prehistoric North Texas. Entering a cave, they are attacked by the long-clawed alien that left the tracks. Although one of the men is killed, the other manages to injure the creature with a bone weapon. A thick, black substance pours out of the alien as it lies dormant on a rock. The remaining man touches the substance with a wooden torch and soon discovers that he is covered in it. As the substance begins to move over him, he grunts and roars in intense agony.


Fight the future Cave Stevie

Stevie Richardson explores the cave.

Thousands of years later, a boy named Stevie Richardson who is digging holes with his friends, falls into the same underground cave. His three friends gather round the pit, gazing down at Stevie with concern. The boy is soon back on his feet exploring the cave where he finds human bones, including a skull with a hole at the back. A puddle of the black substance that killed the caveman crawls up from under his feet and infects Stevie in the same manner. In an attempt to find help, Stevie's friends run to the nearby residential area in Blackwood County.

Later that day, two fire engines from the County Fire Department arrive at the scene. Fire Captain Miles Cooles exits one of the vehicles and runs towards the cave. He sends two firefighters, Danny and T.C., into the pit and reports the location of the rescue situation to officers in Dallas. After Cooles loses contact with his two dispatched firefighters, however, he orders two other officers, Glenn and Sal, to enter the cave.

Later, a helicopter from Dallas arrives at the scene and HAZMAT suited men in white exit the aircraft, carrying a bubble litter. A doctor named Ben Bronschweig also exits the craft and clears the area of several curious civilians clustered nearby. Cooles informs Doctor Bronschweig of the situation as they walk towards the cave. They watch while the HAZMAT team carries Stevie to the helicopter inside the bubble litter. Bronschweig seems extremely concerned, as the boy's paralyzed body passes him, but Cooles' only concern is for his officers in the pit. As the helicopter takes flight with Stevie aboard, a fleet of unmarked, white Freightliner trucks arrive and surround the fire engines. Cooles is puzzled at their arrival as Bronschweig walks away. The doctor phones his employer and tells him that an impossible scenario, the like of which they have never planned for, is imminent.


A helicopter transports Special Agent in Charge Darius Michaud to the roof of the Federal Building, where many FBI agents are positioned. Michaud meets with another FBI agent, who reports that, even though the building has been evacuated and searched, no trace of an explosive device has been found. Although the agents have already sent dogs to search through the building, Michaud tells the man to send the dogs again and walks away. The wearisome FBI agent reluctantly tells the other officers to begin again. Michaud walks to the edge of the roof and watches another FBI agent on top of an adjacent building.

Fox Mulder's practical joke on Dana Scully

Mulder creeps up behind Scully as they are speaking on the phone.

There, Special Agent Dana Scully calls her partner Fox Mulder, informing him of her location and launching into a lengthy diatribe in which she criticizes his hunch that the building where she is contains the bomb, even though the FBI are answering a bomb threat that was called in to the Federal Building across the street. Moments after she ends her long tirade, he sneaks up on her and uses the element of surprise to intentionally startle her, as a practical joke. He then verbosely supports his decision to act on his hunch. Believing he is bored with their assignment, Scully reminds him that the X-Files have been closed and that there is new procedure and protocol for them to follow. Scully seemingly tricks Mulder into thinking that the door to enter the building from the roof is locked but, upon discovering her cunning, he claims to have always known the door had been open.

Inside the building, the agents continue their jesting and Mulder shows her an emotionless expression that he describes as the face he makes when he is panicking. They playfully argue whether he made that expression when Scully had pretended the door was locked and, on Scully's instruction, Mulder heads away to buy drinks for them both. He passes a Black-Haired Man on the way into a vending room where he finds the bomb within a drinks dispenser. Also discovering that the door to the vending room is locked, he contacts Scully and apprehensively alerts her to the situation. She is initially skeptical that he is in serious danger, instead believing that he is trying to trick her, but then confirms for herself that he is indeed in jeopardy, when she sees that the keyhole to the vending room door has been soldered over.

Fox Mulder and Dana Scully survey bomb damage

Mulder and Scully look at the damage caused by the bomb placed inside a Dallas skyscraper.

Thanks to her efforts, Mulder is released from the sealed room by their fellow FBI agents and the building is evacuated. However, SAC Michaud, apparently intent on defusing the bomb, remains inside the vending room, where he sits, looking at the bomb without taking action, as Mulder senses, now outside, that something is dreadfully wrong. He turns back to the building but ultimately complies with Scully's anxious urges for them to flee before it is too late. The bomb detonates as Scully, Mulder and another agent start to rush away from the building in a car. The explosion of the bomb causes major devastation to the building. While Mulder and Scully gaze up at the wreckage after exiting their car, Mulder tries to make light of the situation by telling Scully — with darkest irony — that next time will be her turn to buy them both drinks but his comment is not met with laughter from Scully, who instead continues to look up at the devastation as Mulder wanders away.


In Washington, D.C.'s J. Edgar Hoover Building, Scully is attending an OPR hearing, presided over by Assistant Director Jana Cassidy. Mulder enters, late for the meeting, as AD Cassidy begins to cite a list of individuals who – the FBI have discovered – were in the bombed building, upon its destruction; the list not only includes SAC Michaud but also three firemen and a young boy. Even though Mulder interrupts the Assistant Director by questioning the list (because he and Scully have been told that the building had been clear), AD Cassidy asks him to leave the room until Scully has been debriefed. Mulder eventually complies with the request.

Assistant Director Walter Skinner finds him in a corridor outside the room, where Mulder argues that he himself should be assigned OPR's blame for the blast – claiming that he breached protocol – even though Skinner says Scully is taking the blame and defending Mulder. She exits the OPR room and, advising Skinner that the OPR panelists wish to speak with him, Skinner leaves the two agents. The duo calmly but passionately discuss the likely imminent end of their partnership, with Scully mentioning that OPR is reassigning her and that she would be uninterested in a transfer to an FBI field office, after having experienced the things she has. Mulder correctly deduces from her latter pronouncement that she instead intends to quit the FBI. Scully asks Mulder if he wouldn't consider the same action. Skinner calls Mulder back to the OPR review room and, as he returns there, Scully hands him his FBI jacket, wishing him good luck.

Kurtzweil Mulder Fight the Future

Doctor Alvin Kurtzweil reveals surprising information about the bodies found in the building.

A drunken Mulder is later seen at Casey’s Bar & Grill where he notices an elderly man observing him from the other end of the counter. When the barmaid takes an interest in Mulder's occupation, he begins deriding his own work and the humiliation he endures at the FBI due to his convictions regarding aliens. The puzzled barmaid decides he's had enough to drink. She asks him to pay and they part company. Mulder sees that the elderly man is no longer at the end of the bar and goes in search of a place to relieve himself. He finds the bathroom door bearing a makeshift "out of order" sign, and the ladies' room is already occupied. Mulder goes to a back alley to urinate and is approached by the elderly man, Doctor Alvin Kurtzweil, who claims to be an old friend of his father and to have followed Mulder's career for years. He informs the agent that the firemen and child found in the Dallas building after the explosion were already dead and that the bomb was meant to destroy evidence about how they died. Mulder refuses to believe him at first, but then heads to Scully's apartment and asks her to accompany him to the morgue to investigate.


Fight the future Moon helicopters Texas

The Cigarette Smoking Man arrives at the North Texas site.

Two helicopters land by night at the Blackwood County site. Complex structures have been erected around the pit where Doctor Bronschweig and his colleagues are working. The black oil found in the pit is being sucked up through pipes and stored into tanker trucks. The Cigarette Smoking Man steps down from one of the helicopters and follows Doctor Bronschweig into the pit wearing a protective suit; they approach the body of one of the victims who is kept in a refrigerated bubble litter. The Smoking Man observes that the man is still alive to which the doctor responds he is, biologically, but will never recover, his now translucent body having been taken over by an alien being growing inside of him, the cold temperature only slowing the gestation process down. The Cigarette-Smoking Man asks the doctor to try their weak vaccine on the victim, and if it should prove unsuccessful, to burn the body as they did with the others.

4:04 AM

Agents Mulder and Scully arrive at the morgue where Stevie Richardson and the firemen's bodies are kept. A soldier is present to guard the entrance, but Mulder manages to convince the young man to let them through. Scully is shocked at what she is seeing when she gets to examine one of the firemen's translucent body, declaring nobody could explain what caused the man's death. Mulder asks Scully to perform an autopsy while he seeks out Doctor Kurtzweil for more information.

4:50 AM

Mulder finds Kurtzweil's apartment building surrounded by police cars and climbs up to discover the man has been falsely accused of selling child pornography as a way to have him arrested and silenced. Kurtzweil is hiding in the back alley behind the building and calls out to Mulder, telling him about a secret government and their plan to experiment with the virus found in Texas. The doctor encourages Mulder to go back to Dallas and investigate.

11:21 AM

Mulder is joined by Scully in Dallas where they get to examine bone fragments found in the pit and kept for further observation at the FBI field office. Scully is astonished after looking at them under a microscope and mentions the tissue samples taken from the fireman she autopsied contained a protein code she'd never seen before. She is worried that what killed the victims could be a serious health threat, considering how fast it acted.


As Doctor Bronschweig's team is ready to pack everything and leave Blackwood County, the scientist descends into the pit to inoculate the infected victim with the Syndicate's vaccine. The man finds the fireman's body torn open. He warns his colleagues about it but a strange sound gets his attention. A slimy figure is observing him from a dark corner, and Bronschweig decides to try inoculating the alien being with the weak vaccine instead. He is unaware of the alien's strength and long claws and is soon attacked by the creature. Bronschweing calls for help, but his colleagues close the pit's entrance and bury the two alive.


When spending time with his family in England, the Well-Manicured Man is called to a meeting of the Syndicate in London.

6:47 PM

Upon arrival, all of the other members are present, and the Well-Manicured Man has to give his apologies for being late, owing to his grandson breaking his leg. The man is then given the new information concerning the black oil; the virus is not an agent that would enslave humans but a colonizing force that feeds on its host and becomes a fully grown alien being. Security camera footage from the morgue revealing Mulder and Scully's visit is also shown to the man.


Mulder and Scully travel to Blackwood County and walk to the desert valley where the bone fragments have been gathered, only to find a brand new playground built on freshly laid turf. The agents find this rather suspicious. Stevie Richardson's friends approach the park on new bicycles and Mulder asks them about what happened and who built the playground. The boys answer they are not supposed to talk about it and are unimpressed with the agents' claim about working for the FBI until Mulder shows them his badge. They then point out where Doctor Bronschweig's team had headed. Mulder and Scully drive until nightfall looking for unmarked tanker trucks when they reach the end of the road. The agents begin to argue when a train passes by, hauling the tanker trucks in question. Mulder and Scully follow the train on a road stretching along the railroad tracks and park when they come to a dead end. Standing on a hilltop, the duo notices a large cornfield and two luminous, white structures built in the middle of the desert.

Cornfields Apiaries Texas

A panoramic view of the Syndicate's infected cornfields and apiaries in Texas.

They come down to explore the strange place and walk through the crops towards the white structures. They find the doors unlocked and enter one of the buildings where the temperature is controlled and much cooler than outside. A low humming can be heard from underneath metal traps built into the floor and ceiling. Mulder tells Scully to run when the traps suddenly open, releasing swarms of bees into the air. The agents soon understand they are dealing with an experiment involving infected bees, as previously seen with related investigations. Mulder and Scully leave the apiary and avoid being stung, but two black helicopters appear in the night sky and start chasing them around the fields. The agents hide under the corn foliage until the helicopters leave the plantation. Mulder and Scully walk back to their car and return to Washington, D.C.


Scully runs to the FBI Headquarters, coming in late for her OPR hearing after which she gives Assistant Director Skinner her letter of resignation and is transferred to Salt Lake City, Utah. She pays Mulder a visit to his apartment to share the news with him. Mulder is stumped and says she can't leave, insisting he needs her on the X-Files. Scully reminds him she was assigned to the X-Files to debunk his work and had hindered him all the way.

Scully down bee sting Fight the Future

Scully lies unconscious on the floor from an infected bee sting.

Mulder replies that even if her strict rationalism was often frustrating, it had kept him honest and that he owes her everything. Scully tears up and kisses Mulder on the forehead. As the agents embrace and are about to kiss, an infected bee stuck in Scully's collar stings her on the neck. Scully goes into shock and loses consciousness. Mulder immediately calls the FBI to announce he has an agent down. An ambulance is sent to get the patient and Mulder informs the paramedics about the bee sting and the possibility of a virus carried by the insect. As he asks to which hospital his partner will be taken, the paramedics close the doors with no response. Mulder runs to the driver who only stares at him and shoots him through the window. Mulder collapses in the street. The real ambulance meant for Scully arrives on the scene and takes Mulder to a nearby hospital. Mulder awakes to The Lone Gunmen staring at him from above his hospital bed. 

Lone Gunmen Fight the Future Hospital

The Lone Gunmen visit Mulder at the hospital.

The men tell Mulder the bullet only grazed his brow, but that it was a close call. They further explain the call for Scully was intercepted and someone else was sent to take her infected body. Melvin Frohike shows Mulder the dead africanized honey bee they picked up in the corridor outside his apartment. Mulder tries to get up, but Skinner enters the room and tells him to lie down. Mulder refuses to stand still and asks for Byers' clothes while the man puts on the hospital gown and pretends to be Mulder. Mulder leaves the room followed by Richard Langly and Frohike, passing off as Byers, fooling the guard the Syndicate had placed in the hall to keep an eye on the agent.

Meanwhile, Alvin Kurtzweil is found by the Well-Manicured Man who executes him and hides his body in the trunk of his car. As Mulder comes looking for the doctor, he is met by the Syndicate member who orders him to join him in the car. They are driven around Washington while the Well-Manicured Man reveals details about the mutated virus, the Syndicate's motivation to pursue hybridization experiments and survival to colonization. The man knows he is acting against Syndicate orders, but entrusts Mulder with a vial of the weak vaccine, giving him Scully's exact location and telling him he must get to her within 96 hours or it will be too late. The Well-Manicured Man tells the driver to pull over in a back alley only to shoot him and tells Mulder to leave the car which explodes soon after.


Mulder makes his way to the location indicated by the Well-Manicured Man in Antarctica using an all-terrain vehicle that runs out of gas in the middle of a snowy plain. Mulder notices he is not far from the given location, but sees nothing but snow. He starts walking until a stream of vapour gushes from what appears to be a vent leading to a buried structure.

Mulder Vent Fight the Future Antarctica

Mulder enters a mysterious structure under the snow through a vent.

Mulder descends through the vent and finds a gigantic, stunningly complex installation exhibiting intricate piping and alien technology. Dozens of infected men and women stand frozen in cryopods, some of them hosting a fully formed alien being showing through their torso. Mulder also finds an empty bubble litter and realizes it recently contained Scully's body since her button shirt, blazer and golden cross necklace have been left on it. Meanwhile, the Cigarette-Smoking Man also arrives in an all-terrain vehicle and sees Mulder's ATV left in the middle of the plain; the man automatically guesses stubborn Mulder has found the place. Mulder starts looking at every cryopod until he finds his partner. Breaking the icy pod with a metal tank taken from the bubble litter, he inoculates Scully with the weak vaccine. An organic-looking tube inserted into her mouth suddenly dries up and Scully starts coughing and complaining about the cold. Mulder extirpates her body from the pod and wraps her up in his coat.

Snow Antarctica Fight the Future

The vaccine has a contaminating effect on the whole cryopod system because the Syndicate team working in an adjacent station notices changes on their monitors. "Mulder has the vaccine," whispers the Smoking Man, and calls for evacuation. The temperature rises and the cryopods' ice begins to melt, allowing the aliens to break free. Mulder and a weak Scully crawl up through the vent with an alien following closely behind. A gush of vapour brings the alien down and the agents start running on the plain as the buried structure begins to shake. Scully momentarily passes out and Mulder looks at what is actually an alien ship emerging from the snow and flying away into the sky.


After recovering from her ordeal, Agent Scully hands in a report on the recent events and is called to another OPR hearing. Assistant Director Cassidy is confused by what she has read, unable to take Scully's report seriously, and demands concrete evidence to justify the story. Scully walks up to her superior, handing her the encapsulated honey bee collected by the Lone Gunmen on the night she was stung. "I don't believe the FBI currently has an investigative unit qualified to pursue the evidence in hand," she stresses, and walks out of the room.

[While the hearing proceeds, the cornfield in north Texas is being destroyed and tanker trucks leave the area.]

Scully takes a break outside where she finds Mulder sitting on a bench reading the newspaper. "There's an interesting work of fiction on page 24, " he says, pointing to a reassuring, made up explanation for the black oil incident that took place in Texas. A frustrated Mulder tells Scully she was right to want to quit, that she should go be a doctor and get as far as she can from him and his hollow cause. Scully stands firm and responds she will work by his side, because if she quits, they win.


The Cigarette-Smoking Man steps down from a helicopter and strolls along a new cornfield planted in the middle of the Tunisian desert. He is led to fellow Syndicate member Conrad Strughold and tells him he got a telegram he needs to see: "X-FILES RE-OPENED. STOP. PLEASE ADVISE. STOP."


1998; Alien Cryogenic Storage; Blackwood County; Blackwood County Rural/Metro Fire Department; Dallas; Danny; Howard Dimsdale; Distant past; Glenn; Sal; T.C.; Texas; Montgomery County, Maryland; Bethesda Naval Hospital



External links[]

Episode Navigation[]