26 September 2007

Season 8: Within (8X01)

Written by: Chris Carter
Directed by: Kim Manners

Scully is released from hospital and returns to work, keeping her pregnancy secret. Only to discover other agents going over the X-files basement office. Assistant Director Skinner explains that newly promoted Deputy Director Kersh has ordered a man hunt for Mulder.

Kersh has assigned agent John Doggett to the case and expects Scully and AD Skinner to co-operate with the investigation, warning that any mention of an alien connection will result in their dismissal. AD Skinner and Scully comply but secretly begin their own investigation in to Mulder's disappearance. Scully is suspicious of Agent Doggett, especially when she discovers that her phone is being tapped and later when her computer is stolen.

Investigating at Mulder's apartment she discovers his computer missing as well, more bizarrely her building superintendent claims to have seen Mulder. Meanwhile AD Skinner enlists the help of the Lone Gunman in tracking the movements of the UFO after Mulder's abduction.

When Mulder is again spotted, this time at the FBI, Doggett tells Scully that he believes that Mulder is dying from the affects of his unusual brain activity problem the year before and wants to save the X-files from being uncovered as a failure. So he staged his disappearance and is destroying all the evidence. AD Skinner disputes this, having been a witness to his abduction. The Lone Gunman discover that the UFO is in the Arizona Desert, probably preparing to abduct another victim. And Scully thinks she knows who.

This episode marks the first major change to the opening credits since the show first started with new images, updated photos for David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson and the addition of Robert Patrick to the main cast.

Agent John Doggett is named after sports commentator Vin Scully's co-commentator, Jerry Doggett. Vin Scully is the man after whom Dana Scully is named.

Dedication: In Memoriam - Jim Engh 1961-2000. Jim Engh was a member of the production crew who was electrocuted while filming a scene from a scaffold for this episode. Six other crew members were injured in the accident.

The titles of this two part season premiere 'Within' and 'Without' is from a line by Deep Throat in the season 3 premiere 'The Blessing Way'. When Mulder talks to him in the dream state, Deep Throat says "Go back. Do not look into the abyss or let the abyss look into you. Awaken the sleep of reason and fight the monsters within and without." And yet it seems odd they titled them this way round, since in the opening episode, the characters are 'without' Mulder, Scully is without someone she cares about so much, and Skinner and Scully must go without their belief in what happened to Mulder, as in not revealing it to anyone. In the second episode, they have an alien 'within', who could be anyone and there is much distrust of who it could be.

When Scully points out the location of the last time they saw Gibson Praise, she points to the (real) Palo Verde Nuclear Plant, which is west of Phoenix. In 'The Beginning' the plant shown was the (fictional) Rolling Hills Nuclear Plant, 60 miles east of Phoenix.

(Scully finds four agents rifling through the desk and file cabinets of her office)
Scully: What is this?! Excuse me. Can somebody please tell me what's going on here?
Agent TDB: We're collecting material.
Scully: For?
Agent TDB: For anything that might be pertinent to the manhunt.
Scully: What manhunt? Manhunt for who?
Agent TDB: You're kidding, right?
Scully: Look, there's nothing. If you're looking for Mulder, you're wasting your time. Are you listening to me?
Agent TDB: I'm not the man to talk to.
Scully: Well, then whose stupid idea is this?

Deputy Director Kersh: AD Skinner, Agent Scully. Thanks for getting right over. I don't want to lose any time. We have one of our own missing and the only acceptable outcome is that we find him safe and alive. I'm sure the two of you agree.
Skinner: That goes without saying, sir.
Deputy Director Kersh: Good. This comes at a stressful time, with my new appointment. But I'm thankful for your co-operation in the hunt for Mulder.
Scully: Our co-operation? With due respect, there aren't two people better qualified to be directing this action, sir.
Deputy Director Kersh: Right now, you and AD Skinner are the two primary witnesses to Mulder's disappearance. I want your statement taken ASAP.
Scully: You make us out to be suspects, sir.
Skinner: Taken by who?
Deputy Director Kersh: My task force leader on this, Special Agent John Doggett. He's waiting to hear from you now. One more thing. Anything leaves this building about aliens or alien abductions or any other nonsense that might cast the Bureau in a ridiculous light — hey, you can forget about looking for Agent Mulder. You'll both be looking for new jobs. That's all.

Doggett: Weren't you his partner? Mulder?
Scully: Yes.
Doggett: I guess nobody's beyond suspicion on this thing.
Scully: Why are they talking to you?
Doggett: Me? I knew Mulder back a bit. They're developing a working profile — character background.
Scully: I'd say they have all the character profile they need on him.
Doggett: Certainly his reputation. I doubt we agents ever really truly know each other even our partners. Not at the end of the day. Their real lives, their friends, girlfriends, deeply personal things, issues.
Scully: I think I know Mulder as much as anybody.
Doggett: Yeah, probably so. I always took the rumours with a grain of salt.
Scully: What rumours are those?
Doggett: Well, you know. Well, that, from the beginning he never felt a real trust with you, that you were ambitious.
Scully: Where'd that come from?
Doggett: There are women here at the Bureau that he could confide in. I don't know if you knew that or not.
Scully: No. When was this?
Doggett: I don't know, it's just talk. So, what do you think happened? To Mulder? What's your theory?
Scully: What's my theory? My theory is you don't know Mulder at all. You never did. 'John Doggett'. Kersh's task force leader. You might have just introduced yourself.
Doggett: Well, I was getting around to it.
(Scully stands up, throws her water in Doggett's face and leaves)
Scully: Nice to meet you, Agent Doggett.

Frohike: It took some serious voodoo.
Langly: Major satellite hacking.
Byers: But we got your data.
Skinner: What am I looking at?
Byers: You're seeing real-time images right off the JPL Topex Poseidon.
Frohike: We're wired right into the dish.
Byers: We're not able to find raw data with UFO activity on it.
Frohike: But... Langly was able to hack into the data storage here and pull up something just as tasty.
Byers: You're looking at UFO activity in the Pacific Northwest just prior to Mulder's abduction.
Langly: All these markers correspond with reported alien abductions. It's a regular shopping spree.
Skinner: So Mulder's abduction...
Frohike: Was a UFO whistle stop on the way to the next pickup.
Skinner: Where? Where's the UFO activity after Mulder's abduction?
Byers: Like we said, we can't tell. Not from the data we're pulling down.
Skinner: Look, if we can figure out where that ship was going, where it was going to be, we've got a chance to find Mulder.

Scully: What do you want to get on me, Agent Doggett? What is it you hope to find?
Doggett: I'm just trying to find Mulder.
Scully: You wouldn't know where to look.
Doggett: It's in the desk, middle drawer. I know the answer, Agent Scully.
Scully: I don't even know the question.
Doggett: What happened to Mulder? I know what you're going to say or not because you think I'm the big bad wolf. Do you really believe it?
Scully: You think by talking in circles, I'm just going to get dizzy and blurt it out — this so-called answer?
Doggett: That he was abducted by aliens?
Scully: You said it. I didn't.
Doggett: I guess I just find it hard to swallow that a scientist, a serious person, could buy that. Ever see an alien, Agent Scully?
Scully: You want me to go on record? I will go on record to say this: that I have seen things that I cannot explain. I have observed phenomena that I cannot deny. And that as a scientist and a serious person it is a badge of honour not to dismiss these things because someone thinks they're BS.
Doggett: So you think he was abducted? I'm just trying to find him.
Scully: Then what are you doing here?
Doggett: Trying to figure these out. I found them in his desk there. Car rental receipts on Agent Mulder's Visa. Four consecutive weekends in May. Same mileage each trip — 370 miles, 375 miles... where was he going?
Scully: I don't know.
Doggett: Like I said, maybe you really didn't know your partner.

Scully: That's it. It just came to me.
Skinner: What?
Scully: What you saw, why they took Mulder, why they're in Arizona now — it all makes sense. Why do people refuse to believe in aliens and UFOs after all these years of sightings and eyewitness accounts? Why?
Frohike: Because there's no real proof.
Scully: Because, maybe, if there are aliens they're simply going around and they're... and they're removing all of the evidence before it becomes proof. This isn't Mulder who's going around and collecting this stuff. It's them.
Skinner: Then why Arizona?
Scully: Because they are looking to find that which is not in my computer or Mulder's computer or in the files that were removed from the FBI. They are looking to find the whereabouts of good, hard proof. That in this case exists in a person, in a boy named Gibson Praise.

Episode Number: 162
Season Number: 8
First Aired: Sunday, November 5, 2000
Production Code: 8X01

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