The X-Files (1997) – Gethsemane, and Redux

‘Believe the lie’

Series creator Chris Carter delivers a season finale that left me as shaken as when I first saw it. Gethsemane first aired on 18 May, 1997, and brings the faiths and beliefs of Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) to the fore.

Mulder heads into the Yukon Territory where what appears to be an alien body has been discovered frozen in the deep ice. The FBI agent is convinced that this is the evidence he has been searching for, his proof that alien life does exist, and it is here.

Meanwhile Scully’s cancer has become more aggressive, and her immediate family continues to worry over her, even as events lead her to a government employee, Kritschgau (John Finn) who can address all of the suppositions about the mythology arc that we and the agents have encountered since the beginning of the series. The plan to use the suggestion of alien life as a cover for more insidious things that the government is doing to its people, to foster just enough belief, to encourage the lie.

In fact, it’s possible that these people gave Scully her cancer to make Mulder believe, and perhaps get him to comment publicly on the existence of Extraterrestrial Biological Entities, which could allow them more cover to continue their work.

Or is all of this just a new wrinkle in what we’ve already seen, Kritschgau could be seeing everything from a different point of view, and both he and Mulder are working the facts for their own beliefs. But, for the moment, Kritschgau’s seems to be ringing true, and the ending of the episode sees Scully making a horrible admission in front of the board of agents and directors she is addressing… Mulder is dead, having taken his own life.


Obviously, Mulder can’t be dead. But viewers had to wait almost six months before they could even hope to find out what was going on. Redux opens the fifth season of the series, and was also written by Carter. It debuted on 2 November, 1997.

The credits tell is ‘All lies lead to the truth.’ And that is what we can hope for, as the mystery becomes more and more complex. We learn that the body in Mulder’s apartment isn’t Mulder, but in fact a government agent who was spying on him, and Mulder has killed.

Scully perpetuates the lie that Milder is dead so that her partner can use the agent’s id to infiltrate the DoD and the Pentagon in search of answers, and possibly a cure for Scully’s cancer. The narrative moves back and forth between the two characters with accompanying voice-overs while both of them work towards their goal of discovering the truth.

Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) is thrown under suspicion again, and we aren’t quite sure who to trust even as Mulder searches out Scully’s file, and finds more ‘alien?’ corpses, and a number of pregnant women (possibly abductees) undergoing a strange procedure in a far corner of the building.

CSM (William B. Davis) shows up to interact with the Syndicate, furious that Mulder was under surveillance with out his knowledge, and there’s an intriguing scene where he goes to Mulder’s apartment, under the impression the agent is dead, and his reactions are… suggestive?

Mulder recovers what he thinks is the cure, but it ends up being de-ionised water, and while he reels from that discover, Scully collapses in her meeting, bringing the episode to a close.

What happens next? We’re starting to get into episodes that I don’t know as well as the first few seasons so this is going to be really fun for me, because it will all seem fresh, and somewhere amongst what is to come… the truth is out there.

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