The X-Files (1998) – The Beginning, and Drive

The X-Files have been re-opened following the events of the movie, Fight The Future, and with the production moving from Vancouver to Los Angeles, there’s a change in the look of the show. The season six opener was written by series creator, Chris Carter, and launched on 8 November, 1998.

Sure, the files have been re-opened, but after their report from the events in the Antarctic, Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) are under review, and being transferred off the X-Files, and given a now AD, Kersh (James Pickens jr.), and Mulder’s life’s work has been given over to Agent Spender (Chris Owens), and Diana Fowley (Mimi Rogers) – who originally discovered the Files with Mulder.

In Arizona, it seems someone has been infected with the alien virus that we saw in the film, and a vicious E.B.E. is loose, and hiding in the heat of a nuclear power plant. Mulder is determined to follow-up the lead anyway, despite Spender’s and Fowley’s best attempts to waylay his actions.

Things turn the agent’s way when Gibson Praise (Jeff Gulka) the young boy who can hear thoughts, ends up in their car, having been used by The Syndicate to track down the creature, which in the final moments of the episode goes through a stunning transformation to tie it in with familiar E.B.E. territory.

While Scully runs tests, and discovers a connection between the virus, Gibson, a recovered claw from the creature and humanity, Mulder has to wonder if Fowley can be trusted, and CSM (William B. Davis) congratulates his son, Spender, on his handling of Mulder, and keeping the agent away from The X-Files.

But we know that can’t last, because, the truth is out there…

Drive features a script by Vince Gilligan who went on to create Breaking Bad, which starred Bryan Cranston, who is, lin fact, the guest star of this episode that debuted on 15 November, 1998.

With Kersh giving Mulder and Scully assignments that are no big than ‘big piles of manure,’ they find themselves against the Bureau’s wishes in a case that ties into the DOD, and an installation they have which has driven a man, Mr. Crumb (Cranston) and his wife to the point of madness.

They are driven by a piercing sound in their head to continually head west in an attempt to alleviate the noise, Crumb is stopped way too soon, and his wife’s head literally pulls a scanners and explodes. When Crumb escapes an ambulance, followed by an interested Mulder, the pair end up in a car together, heading for California, while Scully begins an investigation into what caused the violent deaths.

Her search leads to her discovery of government involvement, something that Crumb, a racist and anti-semite has been trying to convince Mulder of in his ‘Fox News’ way.

It’s a tense, sharp episode that uses the change in shooting locations extremely well, while also establishing the fact that no one is going to like AD Kersh, and surmounting the obstacle he presents is going to be very sweet indeed as the search for the truth continues…

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