19 July 2008

Season 9: Jump the Shark (9X15)

Written by: Vince Gilligan, John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz
Directed by: Clifford Bole

Morris Fletcher charms a beautiful, silly woman aboard a yacht in the Caribbean, pulling at the knot securing her bikini top. Suddenly, three Bahamian men board Morris' boat, abduct the girl and set fire to the boat. Morris dives into the water moments before a massive explosion destroys the craft. Fluttering down in the debris are schematics for a flying saucer.

The Coast Guard rescues Morris, who requests Reyes and Doggett's presence. Morris claims to have been freelancing for a foreign billionaire, after convincing him that the Air Force lost a UFO over the Bermuda Triangle. In reality, Morris was only interested in cruising the Bahamas. The agents don't believe his story and begin to leave, but when Morris claims to have information about a female super soldier, they grow more interested.

Reyes and Doggett show up at the Lone Gunmen offices with a photograph of Morris' alleged super soldier. The stunned Gunmen immediately identify her as Yves Adele Harlow, a fellow hacker who disappeared a year earlier, and refuse to believe the tale about her being a super soldier. They are outraged when they realize Morris - a scam artist who used them to track down Yves once before - is behind it all. But Reyes and Doggett are less reluctant to dismiss Morris' story.

Meanwhile, Yves enters the office of biology professor Houghton, fires a futuristic-looking pistol at him, then disappears out a window. A college administrator finds Houghton's body, a gaping wound across the middle of Houghton's chest. Yves uses a furnace to incinerate an unidentified human organ vacuum-packed in plastic. Tipped off by Jimmy Bond, the agents speak with the college administrator, John Gillnitz. He explains that Houghton was a marine immunologist experimenting with the remarkable immune system of sharks.

A medical examiner tells Reyes and Doggett that he discovered some type of cartilage grafted into Houghton's body. With Kimmy the Geek's help, the Gunmen locate Yves inside a hotel, apparently stalking a bald man. The Gunmen rush into the man's room, alerting the apparent victim, who rushes outside and escapes. The Gunmen handcuff Yves, only to be told that she's no super soldier, and unless she's allowed to finish what she started, innocent people will die.

The Gunmen realise that Morris is wearing a homing device, which he planned on activating once he found Yves - who he was out to find from the very beginning, at the behest of Yves' father, an international arms dealer and "scum of the earth." Yves explains that the man she killed was a terrorist whose research was funded by her father. Houghton had developed a means of keeping himself alive after having been infected with an engineered virus. Only one other such terrorist remains alive - the bald man Yves tried to kill. Carried within him is a virus-filled vessel which will decay at precisely eight o'clock that evening.

The Gunmen are able to determine where the bald man is headed, but once captured extensive medical testing can find no sign of a virus-carrying vessel within his body. Morris realizes that the bald man is a decoy, leading Yves to conclude that the other man carrying the virus is John Gillnitz, who is about to attend an international bioethics forum at eight o'clock that evening. She, Jimmy and the Gunmen race to the forum with only minutes to spare. Jimmy calls out Gillnitz's name, causing him to leave his seat and make his way to a far exit. The Gunmen and the others give chase. With only a couple of minutes to go before the virus breaks out, the Lone Gunmen corner Gillnitz in a room. Realising that there's not enough time to remove the vessel, they pull the fire alarm, so sealing the room and sacrificing themselves.

The episode ends with Scully, Reyes, Doggett, Skinner, Morris and Kimmer standing in Arlington Cemetery at the funeral of the Lone Gunmen. Scully says that world was a better place for them having been in it.

The phrase Jump the Shark comes from the episode of ''Happy Days'' where Fonzie literally jumped over a shark on water skis which was considered "the end of Happy Days".

This is the last episode written by John Shiban. He wrote 24 of the 202 X Files episodes.

Writer Thomas Schnauz (who gave us ''Lord of the Flies'' and ''Scary Monsters'') portrayed the 'Speaker' in this episode.

Although they are billed in the main opening credits, Gillian Anderson and Mitch Pileggi only make a brief appearance at the end of the episode.

This episode marks the deaths of the three Lone Gunmen, effectively making the cancellation of the ''Lone Gunmen'' spin-off permanent.

This marks the reunion of writers Gilligan, Shiban and Spotnitz, who together have written some of the most memorable X-Files stories and are also co-creators of the short lived Lone Gunmen series. Their first episode was season 4's ''Leonard Betts'', and the trio took a short sabbatical to work on TLG after season 7's ''Theef''.

Morris Fletcher: (voiceover) Once upon a time, there were three... how should I put this... geeks. Three more unlikely heroes... there never were. It wasn't long before their naiveté nearly got them killed. Until they hooked up with an FBI agent... And began publishing a — what shall I call it — 'rag' called 'The Lone Gunman'. From their cramped basement office they pointed fingers at powerful, evil forces... And some not so evil. In their own unique way, the three gunmen were patriots, fighting the good fight. And provided... expertise for their friends at the FBI. For a brief time it looked as if they might actually make a difference in this cold, cruel world. They acquired an intern who believed in their cause. And a powerful, beautiful nemesis... who became an ally. But the world is not kind to idealists... and those who fight the 'Good Fight' don't always win.

Doggett: Morris Fletcher?
Morris Fletcher: Finally. What took you so long? You must be Reyes. Enchanté.
Reyes: Yeah. Mr Fletcher we've been told you requested us by name. We're very curious about that.
Morris Fletcher: Well, you two head the FBI's X-Files unit, do you not? I thought you'd appreciate what I have to offer.
Doggett: Which is?
Morris Fletcher: You have no idea who you're sitting here with, do you?
Doggett: A guy who's up fudge creek for violating the federal secrets act. How's that for starters?
Morris Fletcher: Look, I've got top security clearance. I'm supposed to check in every month with my former employer. So I skipped a few phone calls. Big deal. Let me give you a hint. I used to work at Groom Lake, Nevada. Area 51. I was a man in black! The men in black. What, you've never heard of us?
Doggett: I saw the movie.
Morris Fletcher: Yeah, well... there were a lot of technical inaccuracies in that thing. Anyway, I'm ready to make a deal.
Doggett: What deal would that be?
Morris Fletcher: The one that saves my furry pink ass. People are trying to kill me. Did you hear about my boat?
Reyes: Yeah, your female companion told us what she witnessed.
Morris Fletcher: My female...? Oh, you mean they didn't kill...
Reyes: ...Brittany?
Morris Fletcher: Brittany. Well, thank god she's still alive. Look, I need protection. I need to get out of here. You scratch my back, I'll scratch yours. I can give you guys the keys to the kingdom. UFOs, aliens the whole fifty-year cover-up. I was there for all of it.
Reyes: Tell me, Mr Fletcher... these documents of yours... are they indicative of the kind of secrets you can reveal to us?
Morris Fletcher: Honey... they're just the tip of the iceberg.
(Reyes reveals the schematics rescued from the remains of Morris Fletcher's boat)
Reyes: This is the Jupiter 2 from 'Lost In Space'.
Morris Fletcher: Okay, yeah, those are BS... But only those! See, I was freelancing for this foreign billionaire. I told him the air force lost a flying saucer in the Bermuda Triangle and that I could recover it for him. I just wanted to cruise the Bahamas. I never would've given him the real thing. That would be un-American.
Doggett: Coming out.
Morris Fletcher: Well, he found out about it. Now he wants to kill me. I need protection... Super soldiers!
Doggett: What do you know about super soldiers?
Morris Fletcher: A bit. It may be... there's one I can help you lay your hands on.
Doggett: This super soldier... he have a name?
Morris Fletcher: Not 'he'... 'she'.

Kimmy the Geek: This is a computer, Langly. Com-pu-ter. Step away before you embarrass yourself.
Langly: Always a pleasure, Kimmy.
Kimmy the Geek: Yeah, yeah. So, then, how do you wish to partake of my hacking genius?
Frohike: Thanks to Jimmy, we know Yves real name.
Morris Fletcher: Hey, I told you before he did.
Langly: Jimmy also told us what kind of car she's driving. Silver X5 with New York plates.
Kimmy the Geek: Really? Way to go, Special Ed.
Byers: The New Jersey turnpike has video cameras at every tollbooth. Langly hacked the system and spotted her southbound at Newark.
Kimmy the Geek: Somewhat creative.
Langly: We spotted her again going through the Fort McHenry Tunnel. She passed through not 20 minutes ago.
Byers: We're betting she's headed for DC. We're going to try to intercept her with your help.
Frohike: Think you might find a military satellite you could piggyback — give us a bird's-eye view of the beltway?
Kimmy the Geek: Intriguing. Stand aside, ladies.
Frohike: We'll be on the cell.
Morris Fletcher: I got shotgun.
Langly: Dream on. You're staying here.
(Byers pulls Jimmy aside)
Byers: We need somebody we can trust keeping an eye on Fletcher.
Jimmy: I'm on it. (Byers leaves with Frohike and Langly)
Morris Fletcher: So, how'd you like Malta?

Jimmy: Byers! Frohike! Langly! Yves, come here. Guys! Guys!
(John Gillnitz is on the floor having a seizure. His body spasms uncontrollably and pink glowing liquid drips from his mouth and his chest)
Jimmy: Oh, god. No.
Byers: Don't, Jimmy.
Yves: Jimmy, don't. It's airtight. They're already exposed.
No, guys. (He places his hand against the glass. Byers puts his hand against it on his side... Langly places his hand over Byers... Frohike places his hand over Langly's)
Frohike: Buddy, fight the good fight.
Langly: Both of you.
Byers: Never give up.

Kimmy the Geek: Vaya con dios, amigos. (He touches each of the coffins and leaves)
Doggett: Arlington. You must've pulled some big strings to get those guys in here.
Skinner: It's the least I could do.
Reyes: Are we ready?
Doggett: Yeah.
Skinner: Dana...
Scully: I'll catch up. (Skinner leaves with Doggett and Reyes) They meant so much to me. I'm not sure if they ever really knew.
Jimmy: Nobody knew... what heroes they were.
Yves: It's not right. It's not.
Morris Fletcher: No, it's not. Langly said to me; the ones who never give up, they never die. I still don't know what that means.
Scully: It means that like everyone buried here, the world is a better place for them having been in it. It means that they're gone, but they live on through us all.

Episode Number: 197
Season Number: 9
First Aired: Sunday, April 21, 2002
Production Code: 9X15

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