The X-Files (2000) – Closure, and X-Cops

This episode tells us, in its opening credits to “believe to understand” instead of the usual “the truth is out there” as we dive into the conclusion of a two-parter which finally gives some resolution to Mulder (David Duchovny) in regards to his sister’s abduction.

Written by series creator Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz, this episode first debuted on 13 February, 2000. When his sister’s body isn’t among the dead recovered at the Santa’s Village attraction, Mulder finds himself wondering what his dying mother meant to tell him, and ends up working with a possible psychic, Harold Piller (Anthony Heald) who has secrets of his own.

While Scully (Gillian Anderson) does some digging into Mulder’s past to try to ascertain where his belief about Samantha’s abduction arose, Mulder and Piller end up in an abandoned military base which supports the possibility that after her abduction, Samantha was returned to CSM (William B. Davis) who raised her as his own, something her clone (Megan Leitch) had confided to Mulder, alongside his own son.

But then at fourteen, she ran away, ending up in a hospital, and possibly became a walk-in? The episode’s climax gives a satisfying if mysterious resolution to the search, and finally lays the tortured ghost of Mulder’s past to rest, while not interfering with his beliefs.

I like that this episode goes in a completely different direction from the preceding one, which felt more like an investigative thriller, this one ended up being a bit more of a spiritual journey, and like the title implies, delivers closure.

X-Cops is good fun, written by Vince Gilligan, this crossover episode with Fox’s COPS, first aired on 20 February, 2000, and was shot in a handheld documentary style on videotape. Filled with lots of single takes, it was a quickly produced, and insanely enjoyable episode, that is a joy to revisit.

While in Los Angeles during a full moon, investigating what Mulder fist believes to be werewolf attack, the agents stumble upon the COPS television crew following some officers responding to calls of a monster.

As they are followed by cameras, there are conflicting reports of what is actually out there, the only thing that connects them is fear. Mulder believes it may be like a contagion, that whatever it is, assumes the form of what its prey fears most.

So there’s a bit of Blair Witch combined with the voyeurism of COPS, in this faux doc, that has Duchovny almost breaking character a couple of times when almost pushed to laughter by the actors around him. This one is a real joy to watch. And I love how whenever Mulder talks about the paranormal on camera, Scully tries to keep herself separated from him, and identity hidden, until Skinner passes on the line of ‘The FBI has nothing to hide.’

Lots of laughs, an enjoyable episode, and a nice spin on the usual way the story is presented.

The journey through season seven continues next week, because the truth is out there…

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