Director: Rob Bowman
Scully is called to see Assistant Director Skinner, he tells her that the Washington Police have official closed the investigation in to her sister Melissa's murder due to lack of new leads. But he tells Scully that he will continue to pursue the case. In the X-files basement office Mulder informs Scully that a salvage ship called the Piper Maru, has returned with all but one of it's crew members suffering from radiation poisoning. He shows her evidence that the Piper Maru was anchored in the same position that the Talapus brought back salvaged UFO debris from.
Mulder and Scully examine the Piper Maru, they find a thin black oil covering the ship's diving unit and video footage of the dive shows a World War Two plane at the bottom of the sea. Scully also notices the name of a submarine Zeus Faber written on the ships chart and goes to interview it's Commander Johansen. Back in Washington, Skinner is warned not to continue the investigation into Scully's sisters death by members of the intelligence community.
Mulder goes in search of the remaining Piper Maru crew member and finds him suffering from radiation poisoning, he is covered in the same black oil as the diving unit and has no memory since the dive. His wife is also missing, Mulder traces her to a salvage firm and follows the trail to Hong Kong, where he finds Krycek selling secrets from the Dat tape he took off Skinner. As Mulder prepares to bring Krycek back to the US, Skinner is gunned down.
This episode's title and the name of the ship featured are named after Gillian Anderson's daughter, Piper Maru Anderson, who was born during season 2.'Maru' was particularly fitting as it is the Japanese word for 'ship', but no, Gillian didn't name her daughter after a boat; it also means 'flower' in Polynesian.
For this episode, Gillian Anderson received her first Best Actress Emmy Award nomination.
The deep-sea diver Gauthier is named after the shows effects supervisor, Dave Gauthier.
(Mulder & Scully discussing the details of a new case that Mulder believes may have something to do with the remains of a UFO)
Mulder: I checked. It's thousands of miles away from any test sites. (Scully smiles, then laughs) What?
Scully: I'm just constantly amazed by you. You're working down here in the basement, sifting through files and transmissions that any other agent would just throw away in the garbage.
Mulder: Well that's why I'm in the basement Scully.
Scully: You're in the basement because they're afraid of you, of your relentlessness and because they know that they could drop you in the middle of the desert, and tell you the truth is out there, and you would ask them for a shovel.
Mulder: Is that what you think of me?
Scully: Well, maybe not a shovel. Maybe a backhoe.
Mulder: Well that's good because there's some garbage in San Diego I want you to help me dig through.
(Mulder, Scully and Morgan looking at something underwater through a videotape)
Morgan: What the hell is that?
Mulder: Looks like the fuselage of a plane.
Scully: It's a North American P-51 Mustang.
Morgan: Yeah it sure is.
Mulder: I just got very turned on.
Episode Number: 64
Season Num: 3
First Aired: Friday February 9, 1996
Prod Code: 3X15