Sun. Nov 11, 2001

The X-Files - 'Without'

By Tom Janulewicz
Master of Puppets
posted: 09:20 am ET
13 November 2000

What's Ahead for the X-Files?

The X-Files - 'Without' (spoilers)

The X-Files - 'Within' (season premiere)

The X-Files Archive

The X-Files (official)

The search for Mulder continues, hampered by human (Kersh) and alien (the Bounty Hunter) interference

The search for Mulder continues, hampered by human (Kersh) and alien (the Bounty Hunter) interference.

(Originally aired on November 12, 2000.)

Written by Chris Carter

Directed by Kim Manners

Chivalry Isn't Dead
DOGGETT: A cop sees things. A man drops five stories, dusts his head off and goes back to work. An old lady gets shot point blank in a Chinese restaurant, plucks the slug out of her egg foo young.

SKINNER: I don't like pointing guns at pregnant women any more than I like them pointing guns at me.

KERSH: This reads like a piece of potboil science fiction.DOGGETT: You mean it reads like an X-File. But that's what you intended, wasn'tit, Sir?


Mitch Pileggi - Assistant Director Walter Skinner

James Pickens, Jr. - Deputy Director Alvin Kersh

Brian Thompson - Alien Bounty Hunter

Jeff Gulka - Gibson Praise

Christine Firkins - Thea


Scully speaks: "We live in a darkness of our own making, blind to a habitant world all but unseen by us. A world of beings traveling through time and space, imaginable to us only as flights of fancy.

"Who are these beings we dare to imagine but fear to accept? What dark work goes on inside their impossible machines, cloaked from us by invisible forces? If they know our secrets, why can't we know theirs?"

During Scully's voice over, a flying saucer hovers over the desert. A shaft of light shines down from the ship to the ground below. The light goes out, and the ship disappears, leaving no witnesses to its ever having been there. (more spoilers)


Regardless of whether it's aliens, flukemen, or pizza delivering vampires, The X-Files is all about phenomena that don't stand in the face of "rational" explanations. It took her a long time, but like Mulder before her, Scully eventually came to accept that there are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in her philosophy.

Ultimately, however, acceptance of the inexplicable is the easy part, For all that the series bombards viewers with the idea that "The Truth is Out There," the truth is not an end in itself. It is the response to that revelation of truth that shapes the characters.

After all, if the phenomena don't stand up to rational explanations, then how can anyone hope to address or redress those phenomena through normal channels? Once you know what's Out There, the question becomes: how far are you willing to go?

Mulder's commitment knows almost no limits. The closest he comes to moderation is his occasional willingness to put Scully's life, well-being and safety ahead of his crusade. Short of that, anything goes. Witness the fact that his obsession led to his abduction.

This, then, is what Scully has become. She is not merely a true believer in little green men; she is a crusader, willing to do whatever it takes to realize the objective of her obsessive quest.

This also explains why it took Scully so long to become a true believer. She held on to her skepticism far beyond the point where she could possibly justify it because she wasn't ready to make the commitment to obsession that her acceptance required.

Obsession is about being a lone voice crying out in the real or imagined wilderness. Mulder raised his voice against the powers and interests within and without the FBI. In this episode, Scully's search for Mulder dead ends with her literally crying out for her friend and partner in the desert.

The men in her life recognize what she has become. Skinner tells her that her search for Mulder has gone too far. He recognizes that she has reached the point where nothing - not even the life of her unborn child - is too high a price to pay to succeed in her quest.

Doggett recognizes that Scully means precisely what she says when she tells him she will do "whatever it takes" to find Mulder.

This, then, could become the source of the greatest tension between them. No matter what level of skepticism he brings to the X-Files, Doggett starts out as someone who plays by the rules. Scully's barely cordial relationship with official channels - to say nothing of people like Kersh who embody those channels - is certain to ruffle his feathers.


What do the aliens want with Mulder?

Is Skinner still in charge of the X-Files, or does Kersh plan to take them over again?


Riddle me this, riddle me that, who's afraid of the big, black bat? Scully and Doggett learn that their new working relationship is going to take plenty of 'Patience.'

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