16 July 2008

Season 9: Provenance (9X10)

Written by: Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz
Directed by: Kim Manners

At the U.S./Canadian border in North Dakota, two night patrol agents spot a motorcyclist attempting an illegal border crossing. The agents give chase until the cyclist runs out of road and soars over a rocky ravine, his motorcycle bursting into flames. Amidst the cyclists belongings are rubbings of symbols taken from an alien spacecraft.

Later, Kersh and Follmer question Scully about the rubbings, but she refuses to cooperate until they reveal more about who or what is under investigation. She then makes her way to the X Files office, where she digs out a file containing the rubbing taken from the alien ship discovered in western Africa. She asks Reyes and Doggett for their help in solving the puzzle.

Doggett goes to the Canadian border, but discovers that the FBI cannot locate the cyclist's body. In another wooded area nearby, the cyclist heals his injuries using an alien artefact. Meanwhile, Scully meets with Reyes to discuss the alien rubbings, which seem to contain text from the Bible, the Koran and scripture from around the world, although the spacecraft predates all of those by millions of years. Scully suspects the writings contain secrets about baby William.

Skinner refuses to provide Doggett with information pertaining to the investigation, so he sneaks into Skinner's office and steals a file and the alien rubbings. Meanwhile, an excavation team in Canada works on unearthing a buried spaceship. Doggett makes his way to Reyes' apartment and shows her the information stolen from Skinner's office. It turns out that the cyclist is Special Agent Robert Comer. Doggett and Reyes contact Scully and ask her to meet with them to discuss the findings.

It turns out that Comer infiltrated a UFO-worshiping religious cult based in North Dakota. The cult fled to Canada for reasons unknown to the agents. The FBI then concluded that Comer - turned to the dark side - and became just as crazy as the UFO worshipers he was investigating. Reyes then reveals that the rubbings Comer had in his possession do not match those of the craft found in Africa, so a second spacecraft must have been unearthed. When Scully returns home, she discovers her mother on the floor, her face bloodied. Mrs Scully warns that someone is trying to kill the baby. Scully draws her weapon and races into the nursery. Comer overpowers Scully, throws her out of the nursery and slams the door shut. He then picks up a pillow and starts to put it over the baby. Scully bursts open the door and opens fire, shooting Comer three times.

Doggett and Reyes race to Scully's apartment, where Comer lays dying. Despite Scully's objections, Doggett calls for an ambulance. Before Comer loses consciousness, Comer tells her that baby William must die. Later, Scully finds the alien artefact amidst Comer's possessions.

In Calgary, a woman in an overcoat reads about Comer's shooting in a newspaper. She relays the news to the excavation area, where a Lone Man tells her, "there's only one thing to do." Back at the FBI, Kersh and Follmer meet with Scully, Doggett and Skinner. Follmer explains that Comer was dispatched to infiltrate the cult based on a series of threats made on Mulder's life. The FBI intercepted a message that Mulder was already dead.

Back at home, Scully enters her bedroom when she hears a strange sound. She notices the top drawer of her dresser bouncing violently. Scully opens the drawer, releasing the alien artefact, which flies across the room and into the nursery. It stops just above baby William's face and he plucks it out of the air. Just as quickly, Scully snatches it back.

Scully packs a small suitcase and Reyes and Doggett follow her out of the apartment. On the street, Doggett spots the Overcoat Woman (from the excavation) sitting in an SUV. Reyes and Scully drive off, but Doggett remains behind. When Doggett approaches the SUV, the engine roars to life and heads toward him. Doggett draws his gun and fires a shot, but is run down.

Meanwhile, Scully and Reyes meet up with the Lone Gunmen, who promise to care for baby William. But as the Gunmen drive away, the Overcoat Woman pulls out a gun, and Langly loses control and crashes. When Scully and Reyes return to the apartment, they learn about Doggett. Scully realizes her baby is in jeopardy and heads off. Meanwhile, the Overcoat Woman places a gun to Byers' head, demanding the baby.

Deputy Director Kersh: Have a seat, please, Agent Scully...
Scully: May I ask what this is about?
Deputy Director Kersh: You can take a seat, please.
Assistant Director Follmer: Deputy Director Kersh has called you here today to ask you a few questions, Agent Scully. All right, just a few... routine questions.
Deputy Director Kersh: Do you know what this is? (He holds up an evidence bag containing the charred remains of an artefact rubbing)
Scully: Should I?
Assistant Director Follmer: It's a simple question, Agent Scully. Do you know what this is?
Scully: I'm not sure.
Deputy Director Kersh: But you've seen it before.
Scully: Am I under suspicion here?
Assistant Director Follmer: Assistant Director Skinner led us to believe that you'd be able to identify this piece of evidence.
Scully: And why is that?
Assistant Director Follmer: Well, you once worked on the X-Files.
Scully: Well, if this is an X-File then why don't you ask somebody who's working on the X-Files?
Assistant Director Follmer: Because we're asking you.
Scully: Where did you get these?
Deputy Director Kersh: They were found during an illegal border crossing in North Dakota. Canada to the US.
Scully: An illegal border crossing by whom?
Assistant Director Follmer: As I said, we're asking the questions here today, Agent Scully.
Deputy Director Kersh: What AD Follmer is saying is; your co-operation is important to this investigation, Agent Scully.
Scully: I'd like to co-operate. I'd be happy to co-operate. I just wish that you would tell me who or what you are investigating.

Reyes: Why? What are you looking for?
Scully: These. (She pulls a file from a filing cabinet and opens it)
Reyes: What are they?
Scully: Rubbings. Taken from the surface structure of a craft.
Doggett: A craft?
Scully: A spacecraft. Agent Doggett, if you can wrap your brain around that. They were found by fishermen off the western coast of Africa. Two years ago, I travelled there to study it and I took these.
Doggett: What does this have to do with Follmer?
Scully: This morning I was called into the Deputy Director's office and I was shown an exact copy of that rubbing. I was asked by senior staff to identify it for them.
Reyes: And where did they get them?
Scully: A guy running the North Dakota border from Canada. Or so they say.
Reyes: What did you tell them about these?
Scully: Nothing.
Reyes: And what aren't you telling us?
Scully: That they're powerful.
Doggett: We're talking about pieces of paper with marks on it.
Scully: They're not just marks, Agent Doggett. It's writing. Words. Powerful words. And if the FBI has them and they're keeping their investigation of them a secret, then they have a sense of their power as well.

Reyes: What I'm reading in your field report on these rubbings, Dana — there's something I didn't understand. You say these were taken off a spacecraft. You determined they were words — writings. You didn't tell us you knew what they said.
Scully: What little I read was through the help of an interpreter.
Reyes: But you interpreted them as text from the Bible, from the Koran... scripture from religions around the world. And science, too. The periodic table of elements.
Scully: Yes.
Reyes: And you wrote in your report they were millions of years old.
Scully: Based on radiometric readings from fossils that were encrusted on the surface of the ship.
Reyes: Agent Scully, I know you've become more open-minded about these things... but do you know what it is you're saying here? If it were true, these symbols wouldn't just be words... they'd be the very word of god on the surface of an alien spacecraft.
Scully: It'd mean that everything mankind believes in... is in question.
Reyes: And you believe this?
Scully: I didn't. I mean, I refused to believe it. But now I think... I think there may be answers there.
Reyes: Answers to what?
Scully: Answers about my son. I know how that sounds. I have no one else to say it to. That I was meant to find these... somehow. These were meant for me.
Reyes: But why would the FBI keep that from you? From us? And what exactly do they want with them?
Scully: Those are questions I can't answer.

Scully: Where did you get those?
Doggett: I got 'em... and the FBI's file on the man who was carrying them. He's one of ours — working deep undercover. Infiltrating a religious group, some kind of whacked-out UFO cult. A case they never told us about.
Scully: Where's this cult supposed to be?
Doggett: North Dakota. And at some point, they up and disappear into Canada. Agent goes right along with them. FBI loses all contact with him.
Scully: What did they think this guy was doing running across the US border carrying these rubbings on him?
Doggett: The FBI thinks he went over to the dark side. Became whacked-out himself. And that's the secret they've been trying to keep from everybody.
Scully: That's it? That's the big secret?
Doggett: That and... they can't seem to find him the best I can figure.
Scully: I was questioned this morning, by the senior staff of the FBI. Not about an FBI agent, but about these rubbings. There's got to be something more. There has to be.
Reyes: There may be, Agent Scully. But I'm not sure even the FBI is aware of it. How could they be without access to your files?
Scully: What are you talking about?
Reyes: The set of rubbings the man smuggled over the border doesn't match the rubbings you took.
Scully: Wait a second. How can that be?
Reyes: It could only be that this whacked UFO cult found a second spacecraft.

Scully: That man — that FBI agent — came here to kill my baby.
Doggett: You got to help this man.
Scully: No, not until he tells me why.
Doggett: He's not going to tell anybody anything unless you get him to a hospital. This man is losing blood fast.
Scully: I am not going to turn him over to the FBI! I am not going to let them cover their tracks on this one! (She grabs Agent Comer's shirt) Why? Why do you want to hurt my son? Agent Doggett, put down the phone! He has to answer me!
Agent Comer: He has to...
Scully: What? Say it!
Agent Comer: Your son...
Scully: Say it!
Agent Comer: ...has to die.
Scully: Why? Who told you that? He's my son! He's my son!

Scully: This is just going to be another interrogation, I prefer to stand.
Deputy Director Kersh: Agent Scully, a man was shot in your apartment. An FBI agent.
Scully: Trying to kill my son.
Deputy Director Kersh: That is not in question here. There'll be an investigation.
Scully: Another secret investigation or one where I'm given advance warning that my family's life is in danger?
Assistant Director Follmer: It would help us to help you if you could tell us anything this man might have communicated to you.
Doggett: I wouldn't tell him anything, not until they explain why all the hush-hush over this case, why the doublespeak — the mincing words from Mr Follmer — 'cause I want answers myself.
Deputy Director Kersh: The man you shot had been undercover, which you've already found out through whatever 'unethical' means. His assignment was to infiltrate a religious cult. A cult led by a former military officer. A very dangerous man by all accounts, and who also believed in very dangerous ideas... about aliens.
Scully: And why wasn't I told? Why not Agent Doggett? Why not Agent Reyes? Why wasn't this an X-File?
Skinner: I asked them to put somebody else on the case because I was afraid after all that you'd been through it just might break you.
Scully: What are you talking about?
Deputy Director Kersh: Agent Comer — our undercover man — was sent to infiltrate the cult... based on a series of... threats.
Scully: What threats? Threats to who? To me, to my child...
Assistant Director Follmer: Threats... on Agent Mulder's life.
Scully: That's what this is about? Then why pull me in here and show me those rubbings? I don't understand.
Assistant Director Follmer: Before losing all contact with our undercover agent, he sent us a communication. A communication we've been trying to confirm that... that Mulder was already dead.

Episode Number: 191
Season Number: 9
First Aired: Sunday, March 3, 2002
Production Code: 9X10

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