20 June 2008

Season 8: Existence (8X21)

Written by: Chris Carter
Directed by: Kim Manners

A pathologist is called in late at night to examine the gnarled body of Billy Miles (crushed in the garbage truck in 8X20). The doctor pulls from the remains a piece of metallic vertebrae and, thinking it is most likely trash, places it on a nearby lab tray. He leaves the office with plans to continue the autopsy in the morning. The metal magically spins on the tray and reproduces itself, progressively growing larger.

At the FBI, Mulder produces a video grab of a healthy and re-formed Billy Miles walking out of the morgue the previous night. Krycek explains to Skinner and Doggett that Billy is a human replacement -- a new kind of alien created to repopulate the planet. Although Billy may not find the hiding Scully, Krycek warns that others like him will.

Agent Crane interrupts to tell Doggett that Knowle Rohrer is in the building to see him. Rohrer fabricates a story to Doggett that his investigation is military in nature and stemmed from a plan to create a super soldier. He explains that Billy is a prototype who is now after Scully because she was abducted by the military and impregnated with such a prototype.

The chip in her neck was used to monitor her. When Rohrer asks where Scully is, Doggett claims ignorance. Meanwhile, Billy Miles enters the FBI hallway, unnoticed by everyone but Krycek. When Krycek bolts out of Skinner's office, Skinner follows him into an elevator to flee Billy. As the doors shut out Billy, his hand penetrates the metal and goes straight into the elevator chamber. Billy swings his arm and cuts into the top of Skinner's head, which knocks out the A.D. While Skinner later recuperates in the hospital with a concussion, Doggett tells Mulder that his informant Rohrer tipped him off that this would happen. Doggett is concerned that his knowledge of Scully's whereabouts may eventually catch up with him.

Scully and Reyes drive through the night into Democrat Hot Springs, Georgia. Although it was once the city where Doggett was born, it is now a deserted ghost town. They set up camp in an abandoned house of worship that has no running water. That evening, Reyes goes outside to have a nerve-settling cigarette, when a light in the sky catches her eye. While too low and bright to be a star, it is unidentifiable. She ignores it and goes back inside.

Seeing the newly cleaned building, Scully thanks Reyes for her kindness and tells the agent that she reminds her of her late sister, Melissa. Reyes sees someone lurking outside and draws her gun. A truck driven by a female game warden comes barreling toward her. The agents explain that Scully's life is in danger and that they are in hiding. The warden kindly gives them her first aid kit and a camp stove before leaving. Reyes admits to Scully that her vibrations are inclining that something feels off about the abandoned place.

When she goes outside to get more water, she again sees the light in the distant sky. While she is watching it, Billy Miles appears and throws her against a wall. Before he can attack her, a gunshot blows a hole through his chest. The game warden stands aside, her rifle still smoking. Reyes sees the alien vertebrae on Billy's neck, and she and the warden carry his limp body to show Scully that he's dead. Scully, still worried that he can never be killed, announces that she is going into labor.

Sitting in the FBI garage, Doggett asks Mulder when his quest is going to end. Mulder responds that perhaps it never will. They see Krycek pulling into the garage. His passenger is the ubiquitous Knowle Rohrer. Doggett follows Rohrer into the FBI building, finding him surreptitiously meeting with Agent Crane. Hiding from them, he meets up with Skinner, and they call Mulder with news about Crane. Mulder, still in the garage watching Krycek, says that Krycek, Rohrer and Crane are all in it together, fooling the agents into believing that they are protecting Scully.

Mulder tells Doggett to get out of there and asks him to reveal where Reyes took Scully. Suddenly, the car window smashes and Krycek holds Mulder at gunpoint. Krycek says that he tried to stop the aliens but it is now too late. Although he has protected Mulder's life in the past, Krycek explains that he is forced to kill him now because the conspiracy goes deep into the FBI. Krycek cocks his gun trigger and aims at Mulder, but Skinner shoots him in the arm. Krycek pleads with the A.D. to kill Mulder, insisting that he can save more lives that way. Skinner listens, but then shoots Krycek squarely between the eyes, killing him.

Mulder takes off to the airport in pursuit of Scully. Upstairs in the building, Doggett pulls his gun on Rohrer and Crane, and they chase him. Doggett runs into Skinner, and the two break for their car. They run over Crane, but he is still alive, hanging onto the side of the vehicle. Crane smashes through the window, while Rohrer follows in another car. Skinner sideswipes a concrete pole, ridding him of Crane. When Crane gets up, Rohrer's car hits him and swerves out of control. Rohrer crashes into a wall, and his car explodes.

Reyes is preparing for Scully's birth when she notices the alien vertebrae on the game warden's neck. She throws boiling water on the warden, screaming Who are you? Suddenly, a number of cars pull up to the abandoned town and a perfectly healthy Billy Miles gets up off the ground. This baby will be born, the replicant game warden says. Scully screams in pain, watching as a crowd of aliens walk into the building and surround her.

This is my baby! Please don't let them take it, she pleads to Reyes. The aliens watch silently as Scully gives birth with Reyes' assistance. Mulder flies overhead in a helicopter and the aliens pull away in their cars. He lands, and runs toward the building, calling out for Scully. Reyes orders him to take Scully to the hospital.

The Gunmen depart, and Scully shows Mulder the baby, whom she named William, after Mulder's father. Although the baby is completely human, they comment that he is still a miracle. Mulder believes that the aliens did not take him because they thought he would be otherwise. I think we feared the possibility, he tells Scully. The truth we both know. And as he cradles their son, he leans in and kisses her.

Notes:
This episode marks the time that Mulder and Scully finally become a couple.

This episode marks the death of recurring villain Alex Krycek, although he appears in a hallucination during the finale.

This episode was not supposed to end with a passionate or more-than-friendly kiss between Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, however David Duchovny and the episode's director, Kim Manners, told Chris Carter that they felt this kiss was absolutely necessary, so the episode uses that. It subsequently is used to (more or less) justify that Mulder is in fact the father of William.

After taping the last scene of the episode, the one in Scully's apartment, David and Gillian stayed on the set crying for 5 minutes. It was their way of saying goodbye to the relationship that they built, as characters and actors.

Quotes:
Mulder: This is a video grab from a DC morgue. It's Billy Miles.
Skinner: How can that be?
Doggett: It can't be. It's impossible.
Mulder: Yeah. It can't be, but it is. Walking out of the morgue looking like a new man.
Doggett: His body was taken to the morgue in a little box, for god's sake.
Krycek: Like I told you. You can't stop him.
Skinner: Yeah, you know, you keep saying that, Krycek. So why don't you explain it to us, because I'm having a little bit of a hard time understanding it myself. Billy Miles was scraped out of the back of a garbage truck. I saw him go in, I saw him come out.
Krycek: Well, I don't know if I can explain it in any technical sense, but... that's Billy Miles, without a doubt.
Skinner: You're sitting there for one reason, Krycek. Because you can explain it.
Krycek: I told you — he's a human replacement. Some new kind of alien... created to aid in the repopulation of the planet.
Mulder: Which Scully is a threat to.
Krycek: If she has that baby.
Doggett: Well, I don't care who he is, or what you think he's made of, there's no way he's going to find her. No way.
Krycek: Well maybe he's not, but there are others out there just like him. And it's only a matter of time before they will.

Doggett: It's not like you, Knowle coming to see me when you make me work so hard to see you.
Knowle Rohrer: This couldn't wait, John. It's about this thing you're pursuing.
Doggett: This thing?
Knowle Rohrer: This man you're after. I think you know what I'm talking about.
Doggett: I think I'm confused, Knowle — if it's a man or if it's a thing.
Knowle Rohrer: It's military, John. It goes all the way to the top. I can't overstate the sensitivity. Let me say there was a rumoured program out of the cold war. A plan to create a super soldier.
Doggett: Well, this kid I'm talking about was pretty damn super. Got right up out of a gut bucket and hit the ground running. Kid wasn't exactly what I'd call military material. In fact, they say he was an alien abductee.
Knowle Rohrer: You got it half right, John.
Doggett: Which half?
Knowle Rohrer: What you're chasing... is a prototype.
Doggett: Uh huh. And this so called prototype... what is he after?
Knowle Rohrer: Oh, I think you know that, too, John. He's after your partner, Scully. You may not be aware that she was part of a program herself. Six years ago, Agent Scully was taken in a military operation staged as an abduction. They put a chip in the back of her neck to monitor her. It was also used to make her pregnant with the first organic version of that same super soldier.
Doggett: Huh. What do you want from me?
Knowle Rohrer: Help us catch him so we can put him down... before he finds her.
Doggett: You assume I know where she is.
Knowle Rohrer: Who does? Your superior? Whoever knows, his life's in danger, too. I want you to know.

Mulder: Hey. You know, how is it that this friend of yours is so desperate for your help? And then when we want to reach him, all of a sudden he's unreachable, nowhere to be found?
Doggett: I don't know, maybe he got wind. Maybe he got spooked. But I'm beginning to think it doesn't make a damn bit of difference.
Mulder: You told me that he told you he knew how to stop Billy Miles. Are you telling me now that you think he's a liar?
Doggett: He is or he isn't. What the hell difference does it really make?
Mulder: It doesn't make any difference at all. Unless you want to protect Scully and that baby.
Doggett: And then what? How long can you keep this up? How long until the next Billy Miles rears his head? The next threat? The next phantom? You ever stop to ask yourself? All the sacrifice, the blood spilled — you've given nearly a decade of your life. Where the hell is it all going to end?
Mulder: I don't know. Maybe it doesn't. Start the car.
Doggett: What?
Mulder: Alex Krycek just pulled in.
(Doggett starts the engine and follows Krycek's car through the garage. Krycek parks and Doggett stops nearby)
Doggett: What the hell is he doing here? How did he get security clearance?
Mulder: You recognise his passenger?
Doggett: Yeah. It's Knowle Rohrer.

Krycek: Get out of the car. Doesn't seem fair now. Doesn't seem right. Coming down to this.
Mulder: What do you know about fair or right, Krycek? You're a coward.
Krycek: I could've killed you so many times, Mulder. You've got to know that. I'm the one that kept you alive. Praying you'd win somehow.
Mulder: Then there really is no god.
Krycek: You think I'm bad. That I'm a killer. We wanted the same thing, brother. That's what you don't understand.
Mulder: I wanted to stop them. All you wanted was to save your own ass.
Krycek: No. I tried to stop them. Tried to kill... Scully's baby to stop them. It's too late. The tragedy's that you — you wouldn't let it go. That's why I have to do this. 'Cause you know how deep it goes. Right into the FBI.
Mulder: You want to kill me, Alex, kill me. Like you killed my father. Just don't insult me trying to make me understand.
(Krycek's finger slowly tightens on the trigger. A gun is fired, Krycek gasps in pain and falls. There is a bullet wound in his right arm. He looks up and sees Skinner, gun in hand. Krycek reaches down to pick up his dropped gun, screams in pain and falls to the ground again as Skinner shoots him in the arm again)
Krycek: It's going to take more bullets than you can... ever fire to win this game. But one bullet... and I can give you a thousand lives. Shoot Mulder.
(Skinner fires again and Krycek falls to the ground, a bullet hole between his eyes)
Mulder: I'm going to go to the airport. I need that location from Agent Doggett. Skinner, are you with me?
Skinner: You just go. I'll get him.

Deputy Director Kersh: I'm to take this story seriously? These incidents at the FBI. This account of Agent Scully's birth. I'm to submit this report as quality investigative work? As representative of actual fact?
Doggett: I signed the report there, sir.
Deputy Director Kersh: Yeah, I see it, John. And I see her signature here, too. On an X-File. I'd like to know when you assigned yourself, Agent Reyes.
Agent Reyes: Agent Doggett assigned me, sir.
Deputy Director Kersh: Agent Doggett cannot just assume the authority of this office.
Doggett: I assume it, because this office is under investigation. For the late night meeting between you, Agent Crane, and an intelligence operative named Knowle Rohrer.
Agent Reyes: Both men were presumed dead, but are now missing. In actual fact.
Deputy Director Kersh: You investigate what I tell you.
Doggett: And you put me on the X-Files. That's what I'm investigating.

Mulder: How's everybody doing?
Scully: We're doing just fine. (She gets up and carries the baby to Mulder)
Mulder: Hey, now. What are you going to call him?
Scully: William. After your father.
Mulder: Well, I don't know. He's... he's got your colouring and your eyes. But he looks suspiciously like Assistant Director Skinner.
Scully: I don't understand, Mulder — they came to take him from us — why they didn't.
Mulder: I don't quite understand that either. Except that maybe he isn't what they thought he was. That doesn't make him any less of a miracle though, does it?
Scully: From the moment I became pregnant, I feared the truth... about how... and why. And I know that you feared it, too.
Mulder: I think what we feared were the possibilities. The truth we both know.
Scully: Which is what?
(Still holding the baby between them, Mulder leans down and kisses Scully)

Episode Number: 182
Season Number: 8
First Aired: Sunday, May 20, 2001
Production Code: 8X21

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