The X-Files (1995) – Fresh Bones, and Colony

Howard Gordon brings Mulder (David Duchony) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) into the world of voodoo with Fresh Bones, which features some very relevant subject matter.

First airing on 3 February, 1995, Fresh Bones finds the agents travelling to North Carolina at the behest of a marine’s wife, when they refuse to further investigate his death, which she does not believe is accidental.

The pair learn that his assignment was working on a refugee camp of Haitian asylum seekers, and that two powerful men are at war there, Pierre Beauvais (Bruce A. Young) and the camp’s commander, Wharton (Daniel Benzali).

With symbols and signs surrounding them, the both struggle to stay free of the sway of the voodoo religion, but both of them seem to have have visions, and incidents caused by them. Including an encounter with a young boy, Chester Bonaparte (Jamil Walker Smith) who may be more than what he appears to be.

And it’s fun as we start to see some guest stars being recycled, Callum Keith Rennie makes his second appearance in the series, previously appearing in Lazarus, Katya Garden who plays the troubled wife in this episode also appeared in the pilot, and Roger Cross, who played a marine guard working on Purity Control in The Erlenmeyer Flask apparently got reassigned to the camp… and trouble seems to follow him.

I’ve actually grown to enjoy this episode more than I initially did when it first aired, enjoying its take on the subject matter, both the treatment of refugees, and a small exploration of voodoo – a fascinating religion and culture.

Colony moves us solidly into mythology story telling. With a teleplay by series creator Chris Carter, from a story developed with Duchovny, this episode first debuted on 10 February, 1995, and put some more of the mythology players on the board.

Mulder is sent a collection of obituaries but is unable to deduce a connection, until he sees photos… they all look alike. Scully and he head off to investigate, and find themselves mired in conspiracy and paranoia.

It seems there are clones (Dana Gladstone) living in the United States, supposedly created under the codename Gregor, they are all doctors of some sort and seemed to be in strategic positions to cripple the country’s health system.

Now they’re dropping dead. Someone is hunting them, supposedly a Russian spykiller, but referred to a the Bounty Hunter (Brian Thompson). But this being is not all he seems to be, and has the ability to shift his appearance to resemble anyone.

And the clones (as well as the Bounty Hunter), when shot, or wounded, don’t bleed, but instead seem to emit a retrovirus which causes the blood to thicken and coagulate until it’s almost a solid.

This ties into the show’s open, which sees Mulder recovered from somewhere very cold, and the doctors thinking he’s suffering from hypothermia.

We’re left to wonder how that ties into the story, but the narrative isn’t done throwing punches yet. It seems the alien (?) clones have someone working with them on their plan of colonisation, someone with connections to the Mulder family, eliciting a family get together with Fox, his father, William (Peter Donat) and his estranged wife, Teena (Rebecca Toolan) – Mulder’s abducted sister, Samantha (Megan Leitch).

As our stalwart agents run down leads, they are separated, working on the same case from two ends, and we are left with what seems to be the two reuniting, until Scully’s phone rings, and it’s Mulder.

We are hit with a To Be Continued, and left to wonder what it all means. I’ll have to wait until next week to find out, but I will, because the truth is out there…

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