Directed by: Chris Carter
Thrown out of his dingy by a ferocious storm in the Sargasso Sea, Mulder is fished out the ocean by hostile sailors. When he regains his wits, he realizes he's boarded the "Queen Anne", an English luxury liner that disappeared in the 1930s during World War II.
Brought before the ship's captain Yip Harburgh, Mulder tries to explain that the war is over and that the boat has been caught in some kind of time warp called the Devil's Triangle for the past 50 years. But he captain and crew have very different feelings, as the reality of the moment tells us that the liner has been captured by Nazi soldiers. The Nazis believe that the boat is carrying "Thor's Hammer", which they assume to be an atom bomb. When Mulder accidentally reveals that "Thor's Hammer" is the scientist who can make an atom bomb, the Nazis steer a path for Germany, hoping to use the atom bomb technology to win the war.
The atom bomb scientist on board is traveling with a woman who looks identical to Scully. Mulder enlists the aid of the Scully look-alike, telling her she must turn the ship around and save the future. If she doesn't, the Germans will win the war, and ultimately, Mulder and Scully will not exist. The Scully look-alike is confused, but Mulder is in a hurry, he's got to get back to his own history. Realizing he may never get another chance, he gives the Scully look-alike a deep kiss, for which she repays him with a "special" kiss of her own - a right hook to his chin. Mulder jumps overboard.
Meantime, the Lone Gunmen approach Scully at FBI headquarters and inform her of Mulder's disappearance. She enlists the help of Skinner to get information from the Navy's satellite tracking system to find the missing ship.
Racing to the spot where Mulder disappeared, the Gunmen and Scully find the ship and rescue Mulder. At the hospital, the Lone Gunmen, Scully and Skinner visit Mulder. He tries to explain all that happened, but they downplay it as a dream. They all wish him a speedy recovery and leave. It is then that Mulder feels a bruise on his face given to him by one of the Nazis. And he realizes it wasn't a dream after all.
A strange tagline change this time: 'Die Wahrheit Ist Irgendwo Da Draußen', German for 'The Truth Is Somewhere Out There'.
Taking advantage of the recent move to Los Angeles, many of the ship scenes were filmed on the Queen Mary, a luxury liner built in the 1930s that was (and still is) a tourist attraction in Long Beach Harbor.
This is one of Gillian Anderson's favorite episodes.
Every time Scully gets in and out of the elevator, there is a cleverly disguised cut because the elevator is actually stationary. However, in the scene where Scully isn't getting reception on her cellphone, every time the elevator rises to a new floor, the crew had to very very quickly switch the set, the extras, the props, and everything. According to Chris Carter, this led to funny shots where sometimes the doors would open too early and reveal crew members scurrying about with pictures in their hands and such.
Chris Carter was inspired by an MTV video of the band ''Semisonic'' for the split-screen shot of character walking through the split screen (where past Scully and present Scully cross paths).
Although this episode is well-known for being a series of four one-offs, Chris Carter says in the episode's commentary track that there are actually 34+ cuts used in the episode, hidden in pans or darkness.
This episode was aired in letterbox format, the same height-to-width ratio used for big-screen motion pictures, to get more action into each frame.
Many of the costumes used in this episode were ex-Titanic costumes from the Fox wardrobe department.
The first four acts of this episode are each comprised of one very long, continuous shot (called a one-off) and the fifth is split between two series of one-offs, employing a split-screen. Such long one-offs are very dfficult, considering an entire set must be constructed, all the lines must be said correctly, and the camera movements must be continuous (and usually handheld). Some cuts are hidden in whip-pans and when the screen goes dark. These are some of the best, and longest one offs on television - from one commercial break to the next. Chris Carter intended this as an homage to the Hitchcock thriller ''Rope'', which used a similar technique.
In this episode we see the first of 4 on-screen kisses between Mulder & Scully in 9 years, although it is Scully's past life.
Toward the end of the whole sequence with Scully in the beginning trying to find information on where Mulder is, she is running out of Fowley and Spender's office and going around the corner toward the elevator. She slips and almost falls. It's quite obvious, you can hear her slip and also see Gillian Anderson's arm shoot out to catch herself. She's quite lucky that she didn't fall because if she had, since they filmed the entire episode in real time, they would have had to start back at the very beginning of that scene and done it all over again.
Scully: I want you to do me a favor. It's non-negotiable. If I don't get it, I'll shoot you.
Spender: You okay, Agent Scully?
Scully: No, I'm not. I'm a gun ready to go off so don't test me, Spender. Don't even think about trying to weasel me.
Spender: What is it that you need?
Scully: Navy AWACS SLAR 100 K swath. South-southeast of Bermuda. I am looking for a boat, maybe a ship. 1939 luxury liner.
Scully: Don't ask too many questions. I don't care what you do or who you do or who you have to grease, I need that information and I need it now. Are we clear on that?
Scully: And, Agent Spender, if you're not back in a hurry I am going to hunt you down, and so help me God... (she clenches her hand in a fist).
Mulder: Tell me I'm wrong. Tell me that you haven't been able toget accurate compass readings. That navigation's been a real bitch.It's because you've been caught in something called "The Devil's Triangle."I can show you on the chart here. It goes fromBermuda down to Puerto Rico and back up to Florida. The Queen Anneis stuck here on the Eastern edge of it. You've been caught in some kind of time warp. In some kind of limbo dimension and now you've popped out the other side into 1998.
Sailor 1: 1998?!
Sailor 2: This man is mad.
Sailor 3: Let him tell it to the fishes.
1939 Scully: I suggest you get your Nazi paws off me before you get one in the kisser.
Mulder: Scully, it's me, Mulder.
1939 Scully: Oh, you speak English, do you? Well, how'd you like to see the stars on the American flag? (holds her fist in front of his face)
Mulder: I'm not a Nazi.
1939 Scully: Oh, sure. You just look like one, right?
Skinner: You're out of line, Scully.
Scully: No, sir, you're out of line. I'm sorry, but I'm coming to you for help and I've got nowhere else to go. I would hope that after everything that we have been through that you would at least have the courtesy and the decency and not to mention the respect to listen to what I have to say. Now, all I need is information. You don't have to do anything else. Look, sir, if you know anybody at the Office of Naval Intelligence it would be of great help.
Skinner: I could lose my job, my pension, I could even be subject to legal action. Use your head, Scully. It'll save your ass.
Scully: Save your own ass, sir. You'll save your head along with it.
1939 Cigarette Smoking Man: Frag ihn, wie viele personen er sterben lasst. (Ask him how many people he will let die?)
1939 Spender: How many lives are you willing to sacrifice?
1939 Spender: Then you have the answer. Er weigert sich ihn zu nennen. (He hesitates to name him.)
1939 Cigarette Smoking Man: Schiess nochmal. (Shoot again.)
1939 Scully: Stop! This man has no answers. You're killing innocent people to learn that he knows nothing!
1939 Spender: Shut up. Shut up and move away.
1939 Scully: Listen to me, you little weasel...
1939 Cigarette Smoking Man: Wir haben unseren naechstenpassagier, eine dame. Richte die waffe auf sie. Schiess sie... Wenn er die frage nicht beantwortet. (We have our next passenger, a lady. Aim the weapon at her. Kill her, if he does not answer the question.)
(1939 Spender aims gun at 1939 Scully's head.)
1939 Spender: (to Mulder) Answer the question.
Mulder: I'll answer the question.
1939 Cigarette Smoking Man: Beantworte die frage. (Answer the question.)
(Mulder points down to the first man killed.)
Mulder: That man is the scientist.
Mulder: You saved the world, Scully.
Scully: Yeah... You're right. I did.
Frohike: What kind of drugs is he on?
Langly: I want some.
Mulder: No, no, no.... The Queen Anne... I found it. You were there with Thor's Hammer. I told you you had to turn the ship around and then I jumped overboard.
Scully: Yeah, I bet you did. The boat that you were on was busted into a million pieces. And as for the Queen Anne it was nothing more than a ghost ship.
Mulder: No, no, no. You and I were on that ship, Scully. In 1939.
Skinner: Get some rest, Mulder, 'cause when you get out of here I'm going to kick your butt but good.
(Skinner and the Gunmen leave the room.)
Mulder: I would've never seen you again. But you believed me.
Scully: In your dreams. Mulder, I want you to close your eyes and I want you to think to yourself "there's no place like home."
Mulder: Mmm. Hey, Scully.
Scully: Yes? (Long pause. They look deeply at one another.)
Mulder: I love you.
Scully: Oh, brother...
Highlights from ''Triangle''
Season Number 6
First Aired: Sunday, November 22, 1998
Production Code: 6X03