The conspiracy works to protect itself in this episode, the third part of the season finale/opener that rocked many of us on our heels. Written by series creator Chris Carter, Redux II first aired on 9 November, 1997.
While Scully’s (Gillian Anderson) cancer begins to appear to be terminal (or is it?), Mulder’s (David Duchovny) continued existence is revealed to Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) and the FBI, leading to questions about the identity of the body in Mulder’s apartment – something that Mulder is called in on for for the review board, that was first interrogating Scully.
CSM (William B. Davis) works to tempt Mulder to work with him, by revealing that there is a microchip in the container he stole from the Pentagon, and not just a vial of de-ionised water, and also shows him someone who may be his sister (Megan Leitch).
As the story plays out,Scully wrestles with her faith, and her belief that Skinner betrayed them, while her family wants to keep Mulder at arm’s length, as they’ve already lost one family member to his quest for what he believes is the truth.
In his conversations with CSM, the Cigarette Smoking Man suggests that Kritschgau (John Finn) was the one lying to Mulder, spinning out official falsehoods to hide the true conspiracy within. But what will happen when Mulder confronts the board at the end of the episode? And is CSM dead (of course not) after the Syndicate begins cleaning up loose ends of the conspiracy within and without the government.
An incredible episode, and it’s no wonder that the next story is a little lighter considering everything we and they have just been through.
Unusual Suspects, written by Vince Gilligan, has an original airdate of 16 November, 1997, and takes back to 1989 and gives us a Lone Gunmen-centric episode that shows how they first came together, and first met Mulder. Very funny, the episode let the three supporting characters, Frohike (Tom Braidwood), Byers (Bruce Harwood) and Langley (Dean Haglund) shine while Duchovny’s Mulder played a supporting role, while he and Anderson were still out shooting the first feature film that would debut between seasons five and six.
The episode also features a bit of a crossover, including the character of John Munch, Richard Belzer’s character from Homicide: Life on the Streets as well as an appearance by Steven Williams’ X.
Byers is working for the FCC, while Frohike and Langley are hawking their cable boxes at a convention, when each of them encounters Susanne Modeski (Signey Coleman), who comes to them for help, and through the course of the episode, the trio are drawn together as Modeski reveals the true nature of the government, and that she is being hunted by it for trying to tell the truth about an engineered biological event that they plan to release on the public.
Mulder pops in and out of the story, hunting for her, and the three Gunmen have the windows of their perception blown wide open with the revelations she provides them. Shaking their faith in the nature of the world, and how they interact with it… something they will do for Mulder at the end of the episode.
And it seems that X is the one who comes up with the name for the Gunmen’s paper, though I’m sure he didn’t realise it. He did spare their lives, as well as Mulder’s, however.
It’s a lot of fun watching the band get together for the first time.
There are a lot more eccentric and fun episodes coming up in this season, as well as some frightening moments. Join me next time when I continue my quest, because, even now, the truth is out there…