22 August 2007

Season 7: The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati (7X04)

Written by: David Duchovny and Chris Carter
Directed by: Michael Watkins

Mulder's mother goes to see a comatosed Mulder in hospital. However the Cigarette Smoking Man injects Mulder with a substance that wakes him from his coma. Scully is approached by Michael Kritschgau who explains that Mulder's illness is due to exposure to the rubbings from the UFO, hat has reactivated the alien virus that he was exposed to in Tunguska.

Assistant Director Walter Skinner calls to tell Scully that Mulder has gone missing from the hospital, but that he can not help her as his position has been compromised. The Cigarette Smoking Man tells Mulder that the only way to survive is to leave the X-files behind and enter a kind of witness protection program.

Scully is visited by Albert Hosteen who warns her that she must save Mulder to save mankind. Scully receives a book on Native American practices which has symbols on the cover that match the symbols from the UFO. The book contains details of a coming mass extinction that can only be stopped by one man.

Scully realises that the Cigarette Smoking Man kidnapped Mulder, believing that his condition is protection against a coming plague. Scully approaches Agent Diana Fowley and pleads with her to help save Mulder, causing her to question the Cigarette Smoking Man's motives towards Mulder.

Kritschgau is killed by Alex Krycek and the evidence about the UFO he stole from Scully is destroyed. Agent Fowley comes through with information that allows Scully to rescue Mulder but Fowley pays with her life.

Notes:
The tagline for this episode is changed to the subtitle: "Amor Fati".

Amor Fati means "Love of Fate". It can be a religious term, having to do with our lives being divinely willed (thus we are supposed to love our lives). A relatively famous phrase, it was written about by Nietzsche ("Amor Fati: let that be my love henceforth").

The idea behind Mulder's dream sequences were largely borrowed from the last 30 minutes of the 1988 film ''The Last Temptation of Christ'' (based on the Nikos Kazantzakis book of the same name). In the movie, we see Christ saved from the cross at the last minute and allowed to have a normal life. He gets married, has kids, and leads a long, normal life. As Jesus is dying of old age, he is visited by his supposedly-dead best friend Judas, who calls Jesus a traitor and shows him that Jerusalem is burning because Jesus did not die for our sins. Jesus then snaps back to reality where he is indeed dying on the cross.
As you can tell, the episode is nearly identical, with Mulder 'saved' by the Cancerman, allowed to have a normal life where he marries and has children, when he is about to die of old age, he is visited by his supposedly-dead best friend Scully who calls him a traitor and shows him that the world is being destroyed by aliens because he did not complete his quest, and he snaps back to reality where he wakes on an X-shaped table.

Scully mentions that Mulder has been injected with phenytoin. Phenytoin is the generic form of the drug Dilantin. The most common use of this medication is the prevention of convulsions in seizure disorders such as epilepsy.

Quotes:
Michael Kritschgau: Sleep is a luxury, Agent Scully. A self-indulgence we have no time for. Nor does Agent Mulder.
Scully: How did you get in here?
Michael Kritschgau: Getting in is easy. It's what you do once you're inside that's key.
Scully: What's that supposed to mean?
Michael Kritschgau: You are the only one with access to Mulder. I need you to use it wisely.
Scully: Like you? Almost killing him by shooting him full of Phenytoin for a few moments of lucidity.
Michael Kritschgau: It's what Agent Mulder wanted. He knows what's wrong. What he wants now is to prove it. It's why he asked for me, not you.
Scully: I don't believe that.
Michael Kritschgau: Two years ago your partner was infected with a virus he claimed was alien. A virus reactivated in him by exposure to a source of energy also alien. Agent Mulder is living proof of what he tried so long to substantiate: the existence of alien life.
Scully: Well, whatever it is, it's killing him. And we have to get it out of him.
Michael Kritschgau: You destroy this and I'll destroy you.
Scully: (answering phone) Scully.
Skinner: Agent Scully, you need to go to the hospital.
Scully: Why? What happened?
Skinner: Mulder's gone. He's disappeared.

Smoking Man: You've been asleep quite a while. I expect it'll be some time before your sleep patterns return to normal. Would you like an explanation?
Mulder: I'm not sure.
Smoking Man: While you were lying unconscious in the hospital this afternoon my doctors worked on you.
Mulder: Why?
Smoking Man: At some point I realised that if the Syndicate didn't kill you the FBI would. If the FBI didn't kill you your own misguided heroism would. There's really no way out for you. There's no way for you to cheat death except by disappearing.
Mulder: A man can't just disappear.
Smoking Man: Oh, we've made entire cultures disappear. Like me, now, you'll... you'll become a man without a name. But even while you miss your former identity, you'll... you'll learn to love life's simpler pleasures.
Mulder: Well, that'll be kind of tough with these (cuffs) on.
Smoking Man: When you no longer want to run, those will come off. How do you feel?
Mulder: I feel better than I did. I've got to tell Scully. I've got to tell her.
Smoking Man: If you do have contact with her you'll put her in danger. You're entering a kind of, uh, witness protection program, for want of a better term. Can I offer you a cigarette?
Mulder: I don't smoke.
Smoking Man: Maybe now you do.

Deep Throat: They can change your name but they can't change the things you love.
(Mulder's refrigerator is filled with bags of sunflower seeds)
Mulder: It can't be. You're dead.
Deep Throat: No. No, just really relaxed.
Mulder: Scully... saw you get shot... on the bridge six years ago. I was sure you were... dead.
Deep Throat: One, uh, well-placed bullet... A punctuation mark in a man's life and you get to start a whole new chapter. I'm fine, son. Aside from a little tennis elbow.
Mulder: I felt responsible for your death.
Deep Throat: Let that go. Clearly, I'm alive.
Mulder: I thought that you died for my quest.
Deep Throat: Yes, along with Scully's sister and the man you thought was your father and Duane Barry and even Scully's mysterious illness and on and on and on. You can let go of all that guilt. I'm here to tell you that you're not the hub of the universe, the cause of life and death. We — you and I — we're... merely puppets in a master plan. No more, no less. You've suffered enough. Now you should enjoy your life. Let me show you something. (He shows Mulder the photos in his wallet) That's my wife and daughters, we live just down the street. I hope... you visit us for dinner.

Scully: Bum a cigarette, Agent Fowley?
Diana Fowley: I don't smoke.
Scully: Really? I could swear I smell cigarette smoke on you.
Diana Fowley: Let's cut the crap, shall we?
Scully: Yes. Let's.


Mulder: Scully, what are you doing here? Actually, I was just getting dressed to come see you but I... I couldn't find a tie to go with my victory cap. (He's wearing a baseball cap over his bandages)
Scully: Mulder, no work. You have to go back to bed.
Mulder: Oh, wait. Tie goes to the runner. Scully, I, um... I was coming down... to work to tell you that Albert Hosteen is dead. He died last night in New Mexico. He'd been in a coma for two weeks. There was... no way he could have been in your apartment.
Scully: He was there — we... we prayed together. Mulder, I don't believe that. I... I don't believe it. It's impossible.
Mulder: Is it any more impossible than what you saw in Africa or what you saw in me?
Scully: I don't know what to believe anymore. Mulder, I was so determined to find a cure to save you that I could deny what it was that I saw and now I don't even know... I don't know... I don't know what the truth is ... I don't know who to listen to. I don't know who to trust. Diana Fowley was found murdered this morning. I never trusted her... but she helped save your life just as much as I did. She gave me that book. It was her key that led me to you. I'm sorry... I'm so sorry. I know she was your friend.
Mulder: Scully, I was like you once — I didn't know who to trust. Then I... I chose another path... another life, another fate, where I found my sister. The end of my world was unrecognisable and upside down. There was one thing that remained the same. You... were my friend, and you told me the truth. Even when the world was falling apart, you were my constant... my touchstone.
Scully: And you are mine.

Highlights from: ''Biogenesis'', ''The Sixth Extinction'' and ''The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati'' trilogy

Episode Number: 141
Season Number: 7
First Aired: Sunday, November 14, 1999
Production Code: 7X04

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