15 July 2008

Season 9: John Doe (9X07)

Written by: Vince Gilligan
Directed by: Michelle MacLaren

Doggett awakens inside an abandoned warehouse only to discover a crack addict in the process of removing one of his shoes. Doggett chases the man outside, where the man summons two Mexican police officers and claims he was the victim of a mugging. The policemen hit Doggett with their nightsticks and demand a passport. Doggett suddenly realises he does not know his own name.

Doggett is transported to jail where he strikes up a conversation with a fellow prisoner, a large man named Domingo. A short time later, Domingo's cohort, Nestor, shows up at the jail with a quantity of cash - money used to bribe the police officers and win Domingo's freedom. Domingo then offers to use his money to win Doggett's release, with the proviso Doggett return the favor by performing a job for him.

But once Doggett wins his freedom, he refuses to perform Domingo's task. Domingo pulls out a gun, but Doggett quickly overpowers him and takes away the weapon. Doggett then returns to the abandoned warehouse in hopes of finding clues to his identity. There, he encounters the crackhead. Doggett retrieves his stolen shoe, then demands to know what else the crackhead removed from his person. The crackhead produces a tiny silver skull.

Unfortunately, Doggett has no memory of the strange clue. With nowhere else to turn, Doggett approaches Domingo, who reveals that he smuggles illegal immigrants into the United States for profit. Domingo then fronts Doggett some spending money so he can rent a room.

Later, Doggett sees a caballero inside a cantina and a hint of recognition passes over him. But the caballero assures Doggett the two have not met. Doggett then make his way to his hotel room, where he discovers two mysterious crescent moon shapes on his temples. He also discovers a marine corps tattoo on his shoulder. Meanwhile, back at the FBI, Skinner and Scully examine a video grab from a security camera positioned at the Mexican border. It shows Doggett crossing the border bridge on foot at night. But Kersh disbands the task force hunting for Doggett, as he believes the photo is proof that Doggett entered Mexico on his own and was not abducted. It is then revealed that Doggett was investigating the disappearance of a banker named Hollis Rice.

In an FBI field office in Texas, Reyes interviews Mr. Molina, a drug trafficker with whom Doggett most likely interviewed around the time of his disappearance. But Molina and his lawyer refuse to cooperate with the investigation. Back in Mexico, Doggett phones a Marines public affairs office hoping his tattoo will shed some light on his true identity. But before the marine sergeant who takes his call can be of help, Doggett notices some Mexican policemen nearby. He quickly flees the area.

Meanwhile, Nestor approaches the Caballero and questions him about 'the American' in Domingo's company. It becomes apparent that the Caballero knows Doggett is an FBI agent and is somehow involved in Doggett' predicament. The Caballero tells Nestor it would be of no concern to him if Nestor wants to kill Doggett. Scully, meanwhile, receives word of Doggett's call to the Marines. She then arranges to have the call traced.

Inside a garage, Doggett sets about performing some repair work on an old bus used by Domingo and his smuggling operation. Nestor enters the garage and draws the gun. Thinking quickly, Doggett twists a jack level holding the bus off the ground, dropping the vehicle over him and blocking Nestor's line of fire... and dropping the bus's wheel onto Nestor's foot. Nestor screams in pain. Though he was almost crushed, Doggett extricates himself and gets the jump on Nestor. Doggett surprises Domingo and demands to know what he knows. Domingo tells him that he's a 'desaparecido', or one of the disappeared ones. The drug cartel Doggett had been investigating owns the town. Most people snooping around wind up dead, but those who make more trouble dead end up walking around with their memories snatched away. Doggett experiences several flashbacks involving his son, Luke.

Domingo tells the Caballero about his conversation with Doggett. The Caballero grows suspicious, believing Domingo may have said too much. He decides to find out for himself. He then sinks his thumbnails into Domingo's temples (explaining the crescent marks on Doggett) and proceeds to 'download' his memory. Meanwhile, Reyes tracks Doggett to the garage and tells him that she is his partner. Suddenly, three Mexican police cars pull up in front of the garage and several shotgun-toting officers disembark. As the agents prepare to do battle with the policemen, Doggett's memory - and his memories of what happened to Luke - return. The mental anguish leaves Doggett in a near catatonic state.

Eventually, Doggett manages to pull himself together. He climbs into the driver's seat and puts the bus in motion. But he soon loses control and the vehicle rolls over on its side. The corrupt Mexican policeman come forward, about to finish the job. But suddenly, Skinner appears at the scene, accompanied by a group of Federales. Later, Doggett confronts the Caballero. The Caballero is surprised that Doggett wanted his memory back, as there is so much pain inside him. But Doggett responds that his pain is his own.

'John Doe' is generally the name given to someone with amnesia, as well as 'Jane Doe' for females, simply as something to call them until their real identities are discovered.

This is only the second X-Files episode to be directed by a woman, co-executive producer Michele MacLaren. Gillian Anderson made her writing/directing debut with ''All Things'' in Season 7.

Doggett's wife is played by Robert Patrick's real wife, Barbara Patrick.

Doggett: Where are we? What's the name of this place?
Domingo Salmeron: What, the jail?
Doggett: The town? Tell me the name of the town. Tell me where I am.
Domingo Salmeron: San Gradura.
Doggett: Mexico?
Domingo Salmeron: Man, if you can't remember, you must have had one fine good time getting here. What's your name? Damn, you don't know that either, huh? Call you 'One Shoe'. (to other prisoners) Señor Un Zapato, huh? (to Doggett) One Shoe, what do you know?
Doggett: I know I'm getting the hell out of here.
Domingo Salmeron: You got money to bribe the police? That's what it takes.
Doggett: I just need to get to a phone and call the US Embassy.
Domingo Salmeron: Yeah, they can get you home, I guess. Where is home? You know what I think, One Shoe? Maybe getting home is not in your best interest.
Doggett: How's that?
Domingo Salmeron: This isn't Tijuana or Cabo. We don't see Americans in this town unless they're on the run from something, somebody. This town... people like you come here to disappear.
Doggett: People like me? You don't know me.
Domingo Salmeron: Hey, you don't know you.

Deputy Director Kersh: AD Skinner, Agent Scully. What's this I'm hearing about Mexico?
Scully: Well, this came in last night from US Customs. It's a blow-up from a security camera at the border crossing in Laredo, Texas. It was taken at 12:50am on the morning of the fourth.
Deputy Director Kersh: We're sure this is Doggett?
Skinner: It's been scanned to Agent Reyes. She also believes it is him.
Deputy Director Kersh: I'd say this reshapes the investigation.
Skinner: It's our first solid lead. Now with your permission, I'd like to contact our Legat's office and extend our task force south of the border.
Deputy Director Kersh: I'm not extending the task force. I'm disbanding it.
Scully: Excuse me?
Deputy Director Kersh: I see no other choice. For the past twelve days I've had 40 agents working overtime scouring the entire State of Texas, in what appears to be a waste of effort. I can't move them lock, stock and barrel into Mexico, not on the strength of this. Turn it over to the Mexican Federal Police. Doggett's in their jurisdiction, not ours.
Scully: Sir, he could be injured.
Deputy Director Kersh: Whether you believe it or not I want to find him as badly as you do. But the FBI's resources are already taxed by National Security concerns. There are political realities I have to account for.
Skinner: Sir, Agent Reyes is still in San Antonio. She was raised in Mexico. She could offer the Federal Police some onsite help.
Deputy Director Kersh: She can help them all she wants. But from this side of the border.

Scully: Monica.
Reyes: Dana.
Scully: Surprise, surprise.
Reyes: How did you escape Kersh's cost-cutting regimen? Did you see? He shut us down.
Scully: Well, actually he doesn't know that I'm here. Nor does he know that Skinner is headed to Mexico to consult with the Federal Police. Perfect timing, I hope. Look what just got handed to me. This says that someone in Mexico is trying to track down a former Marine matching Doggett's description. It says that he was in an accident and possibly suffering from amnesia.
Reyes: Wait... Detective Ladatel?
Scully: Yeah, that's who placed the call. Does that sound familiar to you?
Reyes: Ladatel is a Mexican telephone calling card.
Scully: We'll trace the call.

Reyes: They're telling us to come out.
Doggett: Sure, they want us to make it easy for them. Cartel owns the cops in this town. They're going to kill us.
Reyes: They're going to try.
Doggett: Take cover. It won't be long before they get tired of waiting. So, we're partners, huh? How long we been working together?
Reyes: Not long. But we've known each other for years. They're giving us one minute.
Doggett: What's the name of my son? Think it's weird. It's the only thing I can remember is I have a son. I can see his face, but I can't remember his name.
Reyes: Luke.
Doggett: Luke. How old is Luke? I can't even remember that. Oh god. Oh god, no. He's dead. He was murdered. Is that right? Is that right? He was kidnapped. He was just a little boy. He was... Oh!
Reyes: The FBI got involved. I was assigned to the case. That's when you and I met.
Doggett: Oh god!
Reyes: Oh god, John, they're smoking us out. John, I need you here. I need you to focus here, John. John! JOHN! If we're going to die here you're going to die on your feet! You hear me? Do you hear me?
Doggett: Get in the bus. Hang on!

Episode Number: 189
Season Number: 9
First Aired: Sunday, January 13, 2002
Production Code: 9X07

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