05 June 2008

Season 8: Three Words (8X18)

Written by: Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz
Directed by: Tony Wharmby

Federal census worker Howard Salt hops over the fence at the White House, and a squadron of Secret Service agents ambushes him. "The aliens are taking over the United States!" he exclaims. Suddenly a gunshot goes off, and the agents realize Salt has accidentally shot himself. Before succumbing to death, he hands one agent a CD-ROM with the words "Fight the Future" written on it.

In his hospital room, Mulder puts his hand on his face and chest scars, seeing flashbacks of the alien torture he endured. Scully interrupts these visions when she tells him that he is completely healthy and miraculously healed of whatever brain disorder he may have suffered. She takes him back to his apartment, which is still intact. "I don't know if you'll ever understand what it was like," a visibly moved Scully acknowledges. Mulder, however, is still unsettled, not knowing how he fits in his newly restored life.

Skinner and Doggett are summoned to Kersh's office to be briefed about Mulder's reinstatement to the X-files. Because of Doggett's success rate of arrests, Kersh is prepared to deny Mulder's application. He orders the two to tell Mulder that he is off the X-files. Doggett resists and Kersh threatens to shut down the X-files altogether. Skinner and Scully come to Mulder's apartment to bring him the bad news. Mulder first learns of Agent Doggett's assignment to the X-files and realizes that they have all become pawns in some larger conspiracy. He gets up to get dressed, telling Scully and Skinner, "For the first time, I feel like getting back to work."

At a Federal Correction Facility in West Virginia, a trusty brings Absalom a book entitled "The Coming Apocalypse." Inside is a newspaper clipping about Howard Salt being killed when he jumped the White House gate. Later, as the prisoners work on a roadside gang, Absalom breaks away and escapes into the woods. That night, Doggett returns home to find Absalom waiting for him. Absalom checks the back of the agent's neck for traces of reptilian-looking alien vertebrae. "You're going to spread the word," he tells Doggett before kidnapping him. From the FBI, Scully tries unsuccessfully to reach Doggett while Skinner briefs his task force on the hunt for Absalom. Skinner tells the agents that the man's claims of alien invasion are to be taken seriously. He shows them a photo of the words "Fight the Future" scrawled on Absalom's cell wall.

Scully and Skinner find Mulder in the X-files office. He has picked out Howard Salt's face in an Absalom cult photo and informs them that Salt was a multiple abductee. Mulder is convinced that the man was killed for what he knew. Mulder and Scully sneak into the FBI Evidence Room to discover Howard Salt's laptop computer has its entire memory filled with an encrypted program. Mulder removes the hard drive.

With a gun taped to the small of his back, Doggett enters the Federal Statistics Center. Absalom's hand is on the trigger. When passing the security guard, Doggett notices the x-ray scanner and warns Absalom that they will be stopped. Absalom pushes Doggett on, saying that he is looking for proof that aliens are "already here, among us." Security guards quickly surround them, and Doggett is shocked when they shoot Absalom, nearly missing Doggett's head. Later, when Doggett briefs Skinner on the previous events, Mulder bursts into the office. Doggett is about to introduce himself when Mulder attacks him. He blames Doggett for getting Absalom killed, suspecting that he is part of the conspiracy to hide the truth.

At Scully's apartment, the Lone Gunmen tap into Salt's hard drive and unearth file directories from the Statistics Center. Fifteen minutes after Salt's death, computer firewalls had gone up around the facility. Mulder is convinced that he is onto something in those files. However, even if they were to uncover a password, the firewalls would block them from opening the files. The pass code can only be used in the secured facility itself. Much to the consternation of Mulder, the Gunmen agree with Scully that they have hit a dead end. Meanwhile, Doggett secretly meets with his informant Knowle Rohrer (last seen in Season 8 ''Per Manum'') to ask why Absalom was shot in cold blood. Doggett suspects that he was merely used to get the man killed. Rohrer tells him that there are three words he should know.

Doggett meets Scully outside Mulder's apartment, asking her to give Mulder information he has recently learned. Salt was carrying a diskette that he wanted to give to the President. The password on it contains three words: Fight the Future. Scully goes back into Mulder's apartment but is hesitant to tell him what Doggett told her. She fears that he will get in over his head. Skinner rushes to Doggett's house that night with urgent news about Mulder having some kind of password to access names tracked by the government. When Doggett admits to giving Scully the password, Skinner begins to question whose side Doggett is on. He is even more concerned because he can't contact either Scully or Mulder. "You're gonna have to trust me on this," Doggett tells the Assistant Director and sets out after them alone.

Doggett finds Scully outside the Statistics Center and orders her to leave. "I may have set you up," he pleads. He runs inside to get Mulder out. The Gunmen, meanwhile, have bypassed the security system to allow Mulder access to the building undetected. They lead him into the databank and Mulder types the words "Fight the Future" in the computer. Doggett bangs on the glass door, but Mulder ignores him. "Your life's in danger!" Doggett yells and blows out the window with his gun. Doubting Doggett's intentions, Mulder says that he believes the government is using the census to protect aliens in hiding. Armed military troops storm the building, and Mulder accuses Doggett of setting him up. Doggett tries to convince him that really they have both been set up and are in danger. The Gunmen direct Mulder and Doggett toward an air duct in the ceiling, and they escape.

Doggett again covertly meets with Rohrer and accuses the informant of manipulating him. "You need me worse than you know," Rohrer says emphatically. He tells Doggett that the truth lies in the X-files. An angry Doggett walks away. When Rohrer leans over to the water fountain, enlarged alien vertebrae pop up under the skin on his neck.

The title of this episode refers to the three words "Fight the Future".

When Doggett and Absalom are about to pass through the X-Ray scanner, and Doggett show's his badge to the guard, it's upside-down.

''Remember boys, this is America. Just because you get more votes, doesn't mean you win.''

Reference to the fact that George W. Bush became president of the United States of America despite Al Gore getting more votes than him.

Scully: Whatever neurological disorder you were suffering from, it's no longer detectable. After a course of transfusions and antivirals it has rid your body of the virus that was invading it. The scars on your face on your hands, on your feet, on your chest, they seem to be repairing themselves. Mulder, you are in perfect health.
Mulder: Wow.
Dr Lim: How do you feel, Agent Mulder?
Mulder: Like Austin Powers.

Scully: Must feel good to be home.
Mulder: Mmm. Something looks different.
Scully: It's clean.
Mulder: Ah... that's it. Missing a molly.
Scully: Yeah. She wasn't as lucky as you. Mulder... I don't know if you'll ever understand what it was like. First learning of your abduction... and then searching for you and finding you dead. And now to have you back again.
Mulder: Well, you act like you're surprised.
Scully: I prayed a lot. And my prayers have been answered.
Mulder: In more ways than one. (He indicates her stomach)
Scully: Yeah.
Mulder: I'm happy for you. I think I know... how much that means to you.
Scully: Mulder...
Mulder: I'm sorry. I don't mean to be cold or ungrateful. I just... I have no idea where I fit in. Right now. I just... I'm having a little trouble... processing... everything.

Skinner: Reinstatement?
Deputy Director Kersh: To the X-Files.
Doggett: I thought Mulder just went home.
Deputy Director Kersh: Well, somebody's very anxious for him to get back to work. I wanted you both to see this before I deny the application.
Skinner: What is it?
Deputy Director Kersh: It's a review of the success rate of your X-Files since Agent Doggett joined the team. Damn impressive, John.
Doggett: Impressive, sir? The only thing impressive about my work on the X-Files is that I even know what's going on half the time.
Deputy Director Kersh: From this report, you and Agent Scully have had more arrests on percentage than she and Mulder over seven years. Take a look.
Skinner: Well, that's not very fair to Agent Mulder. So many of his cases involve —
Deputy Director Kersh: Aliens? There lies the problem. The FBI isn't a place for personal crusades. I'm asking you both to make that understood... on my behalf.
Doggett: Well, you can't ask me to tell Mulder he's off the X-Files. It's his unit. He created it.
Deputy Director Kersh: I'm not asking you, John.
Doggett: You sent me to find Mulder. I found him. Don't charge me with driving a stake through his heart.
Deputy Director Kersh: Maybe you'd rather I close the X-Files. Then we'd both be getting what we want.
Skinner: Let's go, Agent Doggett. Now.

Scully: Mulder, I know you know this, but if anything leaves this room you could be in violation of the law.
Mulder: Really? When I was dead I was hoping maybe they changed the rules.
Scully: Mulder, just being here could be used by Kersh as cause for dismissal.
Mulder: Then why don't you shut the door so he doesn't find out.
Scully: I just don't know what you're hoping to find in Howard Salt's personal effects.
Mulder: Neither do I, really. But maybe it's like Howard Salt's picture. I'll know it when I see it.
Scully: So you'll risk the consequences even though there may be nothing here?
Mulder: You don't get it, do you, Scully? The man shot at the White House, the prison escapee, there's something bubbling to the surface here. I want to know what it is.
Scully: Mulder, you've been through an ordeal that defies all logical explanation. How can you think that these two men have the answers when they defy all standard of credibility?
Mulder: Since when has an X-File not defied a certain standard of credibility? At least that's the way it used to work. Look, Scully, I need to make sense of what happened to me. So that I can stop it. Because if I can't stop it, it could happen to anyone. It could happen to you. And who's to say it's going to stop there?
Scully: Mulder, if you go down, the X-Files will go down, too. I mean, theoretically, they could put you in prison for what you're doing here.
Mulder: Yeah, well, compared to where I just was, prison would be a Princess cruise. Ho. Hey. What the hell is this? The entire hard drive is taken up with this. Ten gigabytes of memory.
Scully: It's been encrypted.
Mulder: Mm. (He closes the laptop and removes the hard drive)
Scully: What are you doing?
Mulder: I'm going to book myself on that Princess cruise.
Scully: I'll book it for you.

Mulder: Is this John Doggett? You Agent Doggett? (Doggett stands up and offers Mulder his hand, Mulder pushes him back down) I hope you're not commending him as a hero for what he did...
Skinner: Agent Mulder, back off.
Mulder: ...in this thing, 'cause he's not.
Skinner: Back off! I'm not about to referee a boxing match.
Doggett: Just what's the problem here?
Mulder: The problem? You occupy an office that used to be devoted to finding the truth and now you're busy burying it. That's the problem.
Doggett: Whoa, you must've got your wires crossed somewhere, Agent Mulder.
Mulder: You got that man killed.
Doggett: I got him killed?
Mulder: Because of what he knew. What he was going to expose.
Doggett: You see this, Agent Mulder?
Mulder: I see you sitting there, Agent Doggett. That's good enough for me.
Skinner: You've got to understand what he's been through. I mean, now he's back and you're... (He leaves)

Knowle Rohrer: Your name came up today, John. Folks are all worked up. They say you dodged a bullet.
Doggett: You can't dodge what you don't see coming, Knowle, that's for sure.
Knowle Rohrer: That should tell you something about who you're dealing with.
Doggett: Who am I dealing with? NSA? Secret Service? Military? Who?
Knowle Rohrer: You know better than that, John.
Doggett: They shot the man in cold blood. Didn't even stop to ask him his name.
Knowle Rohrer: The way I hear it he made it too easy. Taking a federal agent hostage in a government facility.
Doggett: They'd have shot him anyway.
Knowle Rohrer: Without a doubt.
Doggett: Why?
Knowle Rohrer: You and I have been friends a long time, John. I tell you things. But this is a whole other level.
Doggett: Don't give me that doublespeak crap, Knowle. I'm being accused.
Knowle Rohrer: Accused? Of what?
Doggett: Of being used to get that man killed.
Knowle Rohrer: Well, that's insane.
Doggett: Oh, is it? Maybe I am being used, and I just don't know it. That's what I want to know from you.
Knowle Rohrer: I can't tell you that, John. But I can tell you something. One thing you already know. These men are very good shots.
Doggett: What don't I know?
Knowle Rohrer: Three words.

Doggett: Agent Scully, I'm sorry to surprise you. I don't mean to.
Scully: What are you doing here at is hour? You're freezing cold.
Doggett: I got something for Agent Mulder, only I can't go up there. I don't know him, and I know he doesn't trust me, so I'm going to ask you to get it to him.
Scully: What do you have to give him?
Doggett: Information, about this escaped convict who took me hostage. One of his disciples was the man shot on the White House lawn.
Scully: Oh, yeah, Agent Mulder knows that already.
Doggett: What he doesn't know is that man had a computer diskette that he was trying to get to the President.
Scully: Who gave you this information?
Doggett: I can't tell you that, but what I can tell you is... is this diskette was labelled with a pass code.
Scully: You have this, this password?
Doggett: It's three words: 'Fight the Future'.

Episode Number: 177
Season Number: 8
First Aired: Sunday, April 8, 2001
Production Code: 8X18

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