13 June 2008

Season 8: Alone (8X19)

Written by: Frank Spotnitz
Directed by: Frank Spotnitz

In a small house in Ellicot, NY, Gary Sacks tends to his ailing father, Arlen. Gary goes into the kitchen, and Arlen panics when he sees something on the ceiling. Gary hears the heart monitor flatline in the other room and sees that his father has disappeared from his wheelchair. Gary looks for him and hears a hissing sound. Suddenly, a huge reptilian face lunges at him, and he is sprayed with venom.

At the FBI, Scully cleans out her desk in preparation for maternity leave. She finds memorabilia from past cases, and gives Doggett an Apollo 11 key chain that was given to her by Mulder (in 4X17 Tempus Fugit). The medallion symbolizes teamwork and partnership, and she thanks Doggett for his help over the past year. She exits the office. Moments later, Agent Leyla Harrison enters, having been assigned to partner with Doggett on the X-files during Scully's leave. Harrison, a fan of Mulder and Scully's work, is excited about being on an actual X-file and accompanies Doggett in examining the crime scene at the Sacks' home. There are some remnants of slime in the home and near where Arlen's body was found. Based on her study of Mulder and Scully's past cases, Harrison immediately jumps to otherworldly conclusions about the nature of the slime. Doggett shoots down her theories.

Doggett wanders alone toward a deserted mansion near the crime scene, and after entering, finds a book on the Sixth Extinction on a desk. He hears a noise and pulls out his gun, only to find Agent Harrison. He tells her that it is here and orders her to wait outside. Gunshots ring outside, and he looks for Agent Harrison, but she has disappeared. He goes into the nearby woods and accidentally falls through a trap door on the ground. He finds himself in some sort of underground wine cellar.

Mulder assists Scully in going to her Lamaze class. She admits to feeling like she has deserted her work. Mulder assures her that Doggett can take care of himself. Skinner, meanwhile, leads a pack of agents to search for Doggett. Scully is worried, and expresses a desire to go back to work to help the search. She performs an autopsy on Arlen Sacks' body and discovers that the slime on his body is actually venom that has been excreted by a reptile. Mulder tries to convince her to stop working as he steps in to conduct his own investigation.

In the underground lair, Doggett is wondering what to make of an amber-colored shell of a dog when he sees something quickly move past him. A giant, snake-like creature attacks him and sprays venom in his eyes. With his sight impaired, Doggett shoots blindly at the creature, and it manages to get away. Harrison hears his gunshots and finds Doggett. Her eyes are also affected, but she brings him to the sickly body of Gary Sacks.

Mulder arrives at the crime scene where Skinner is redirecting the search farther away. Mulder, no longer an FBI agent, takes off into the woods on his own and comes upon the mansion. He sees something in the brush and picks it up, but is startled by Herman Stites who claims to own the property. Mulder asks him if he has seen a reptile and the man bristles at any accusations. Mulder walks away and misses Doggett, who has climbed up to a grating and is calling out to Stites from below. I need a hand, he begs Stites, who ignores the plea. Stites steps on Doggett's outstretched hand, and the agent falls back down in the cellar. Doggett and Harrison hear Stites seal the trap door closed. They then realize that Gary Sacks' body is gone.

Scully calls Mulder to tell him that Skinner is angry that he is tampering with a federal investigation. Mulder believes that it may be a man and not a reptile that they are looking for. He found the Apollo medallion and believes that Doggett is probably still nearby and that Stites is somehow involved. Doggett and Harrison blindly walk through the tunnel in the cellar. She fears that she is afflicted with the same thing as Sacks, because she has become completely blind. The creature appears once again and Doggett wildly shoots at it, but it gets away. Harrison finds Sacks' body. It has deteriorated even more.

Mulder sits in his car near the mansion, waiting. Scully discovers that the venom hardens the body's skin to form a shell. Then, its organs liquefy. She tells Mulder that Stites had been working on creating a new species of reptile. Mulder takes off after something moving in the woods. He watches as a human-sized reptile climbs up the house and into the window of the mansion. As Mulder bangs on the front door, he does not see the creature morph into Stites. Mulder confronts Stites, and Stites brings him into the underground wine cellar. There, Mulder sees Doggett and Harrison, who senses that Stites is really the creature. Suddenly, Stites disappears and the creature crawls along the ceiling. Without an issued gun, Mulder orders a blinded Doggett to shoot at the monster, but Doggett can't see what he's shooting at. Mulder demands that Doggett aim for the sound of his own voice. Although Doggett is hesitant about firing towards Mulder, he shoots and hits the creature. It transforms into Herman Stites, who lies there dead.

At the hospital, a healed Doggett checks in on Harrison. She will not return to the X-files. Mulder hands Doggett the Apollo medallion, but he asks that they give it to Agent Harrison. Mulder and Scully visit with Harrison, who asks them about a past investigation. As they reminisce with the agent, Doggett walks away down the long hallway, heading back to work - alone.

Agent Leyla Harrison was named for X-Files fan Leyla Harrison, whose life was tragically cut short in February 2001 when she lost her battle with skin cancer.

Much like a real fan of the show, Leyla is full of information about the X-Files and makes references to several cases including ''Squeeze''/''Tooms'' (the liver eating mutant), ''The Beginning'' (an alien who sheds its skin), and ''Detour'' (the subterranean men). In the end she asks Mulder about how he saved Scully from the spaceship, referring to the feature movie ''Fight the Future''.

When Scully is cleaning out her desk, the penny & dime was from "Dreamland I & II", the dog tag was from her dog she got in "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose".

Dr. Stites had been reading ''The Sixth Extinction: Patterns of Life and the Future of Mankind'' by Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin. The title of the book provides a reference to the title of the first episode of the seventh season.

Doggett: Agent Scully. Can I take your coat?
Scully: I'm not staying, Agent Doggett. My doctor told me to take my maternity leave, in fact, she insisted on it.
Doggett: That's not bad, Agent Scully, you could use some time for yourself. What is it?
Scully: It's a medallion commemorating the Apollo 11 space flight. I'd like to give this to you, Agent Doggett.
Doggett: Thanks. Because?
Scully: Agent Mulder gave it to me a few years back. It symbolises teamwork, partnership... it means no one gets there alone. And after this past year and... everything that we've been through, I just... I wouldn't be here without you. (She hugs Doggett)
Doggett: Agent Scully, this pregnancy leave, it is just a leave right? I mean, you are coming back eventually? (She smiles and leaves the office. Doggett looks around the office shaking his head, he smiles as he hears the sound of woman's shoes in the hallway) You're not gone five minutes, Agent Scully and I already I'm starting to feel like a stranger in my own off ..." (It isn't Scully standing in the doorway)
Agent Harrison: I'm sorry?
Doggett: Can I help you?
Agent Harrison: I'm here to help you, actually. I'm Leyla Harrison. I've been looking forward to meeting you.
Doggett: Uh huh.
Agent Harrison: I've got a case here, an X-File, I think. At least the local PD can't explain it. A murder last night in upstate New York. I booked us on a flight to Buffalo Niagara. Here's the crime report.
Doggett: I'm sorry, Miss Harrison, who are you?
Agent Harrison: Oh gosh, they didn't tell you? This is so embarrassing — I'm... I'm your new partner.

Agent Harrison: I gave the slime to the Buffalo PD. I told them we wanted to see the results right away.
Doggett: How much field experience do you have, Agent Harrison?
Agent Harrison: Um, actually this is my first time in the field.
Doggett: Let me guess, Deputy Director Kersh handed you this job, filling in for Agent Scully.
Agent Harrison: Yes. Yes he did.
Doggett: I don't know how to tell you this, Agent Harrison, but you're being used. Deputy Director Kersh is no friend to the X-Files.
Agent Harrison: I don't think you understand something, Agent Doggett. I begged for this assignment.
Doggett: You begged for it?
Agent Harrison: I was in accounting. I processed Agents Mulder and Scully's travel expenses.
Doggett: Then you are qualified.
Agent Harrison: Maybe I'm not. But I know the X-Files, Agent Doggett, inside and out. Other people don't even want to admit these questions exist, but you face them every day. I am just so excited to be a part of this. Aren't you? Mr Sacks' body was found here, but they found no foot prints leading to it. Oh my god. There's more of it.
Doggett: Looks like it.
Agent Harrison: You know what that could be? It could be bile.
Doggett: Bile?
Agent Harrison: From a liver-eating mutant. Mulder and Scully chased one into an escalator once. It died, but there was...
Doggett: This is not a liver-eating mutant, Agent Harrison.
Agent Harrison: It could be an alien who send its skin. According to Agent Mulder's case reports they leave behind a mucous-like residue when they... You don't think it's that either. I'll take a sample of this, have it sent to the lab for comparison.
Doggett: That's good thinking, Agent Harrison.

Mulder: Seems like old times. You in scrubs, slicing and dicing.
Scully: What are you doing here, Mulder?
Mulder: Actually, I wandered away from my tour. A better question is; what are you doing here?
Scully: I found something that may prove helpful in locating Agent Doggett. This is Arlen Sacks, the murder victim Doggett was investigating. This old man was not murdered, Mulder. He died of heart failure, evidently after he was blinded by a chemical substance of some kind. The orbits have residual traces of a slimy substance, known as hydrolytic enzymes.
Mulder: Venom. Produced by reptiles.
Scully: How'd you know that?
Mulder: Before Agent Doggett and his partner went missing, they send in samples to be analysed — hydrolytic enzymes. Skinner told me.
Scully: I also found some bacteria in the venom, which I'm going to do a culture on.
Mulder: Let someone else do it. There are other concerns right now.
Scully: I know. But this is an X-File, Mulder and you are out of the Bureau. And now If I go home, where is Skinner going to find someone qualified to look into this?
Mulder: I know where he could find somebody.

Agent Harrison: This means... I can't tell you what this means to me. Can I ask you something?
Mulder: Sure.
Agent Harrison: When you went to Antarctica, to save Agent Scully from being taken by that spaceship, and you ran out of gas in your snowcat, how did you get back?
Scully: Um, well first of all it was never... actually proven that it was a spaceship.
Mulder: It wasn't?
Scully: Well, no, what...
Mulder: Proven?
Scully: What happened was that we fell off of something that...
Mulder: Something?
Scully: ...rose out of the ice.
Mulder: Well, what do you think that was?
Scully: Well, I don't know what it was, but we never, we didn't actually see...
Mulder: Was it a spaceship?
Scully: ...a spaceship.
Mulder: I can't believe you're saying it's not a spaceship, when you saw it.
Scully: Ah, I mean, it could have been a spaceship. Mulder, but you don't...
Mulder: Of course it was a spaceship.
Scully: Look, we don't know that it was, but you don't have a picture of it or anything.
Mulder: You know it was a spaceship, you saw it!
Scully: No, I did, no no no no no. Remember, I was unconscious. And when I woke up there was no spaceship.
Mulder: You saw the spaceship.
Scully: No no no.

Episode Number: 180
Season Number: 8
First Aired: Sunday, May 6, 2001
Production Code: 8X19

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