The X-Files (2000) – All Things, and Brand X

Gillian Anderson writes and directs the first episode up this week (it’s also the first episode directed by a woman, that’s a little sad), All Things, which first aired on 9 April, 2000. So she pulls a triple threat in this story, because she’s not only behind the camera, but Scully is almost in every shot of the episode.

While Mulder (David Duchovny) is running down a lead on crop circles (which makes his appearance scarce, as he was working on prep for his next big episode), Scully finds herself troubled by a series of coincidences that make her reconsider her path in life, or where the events of each decision she has made has led her.

One of the coincidences brings her back into the life of a former lover, Daniel Waterston (Nicholas Surovy), who has been hospitalised. This leads her to confront her past, and his, while also being guided by suggestion and possibility, that opens her up to a number of things.

It’s a pensive, poignant episode, it also infers in the episode’s teaser, that Mudler and Scully are secretly sleeping together. It is only hinted at, but it no doubt sent the fans into a tizzy when they saw it.

I like how Anderson delivers her story, and makes you wonder if things can happen for a reason, or that people come into your life with a purpose. It’s thoughtful, and lets Scully really have a moment on screen that she hasn’t had before. And I love how she handles the Waterston situation in the end.

Brand X brings us a monster of the week episode, though the monster is mainly human, and an evil corporation. Written by Steve Maeda and Greg Walker, this was first broadcast on 16 April, 2000.

Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) calls in Mulder and Scully to help with an investigation after a witness was going to turn state’s witness on a tobacco company (Morley) ends up dead, bizarrely. As the pair investigate the company, that is so wrapped up in legalese that the investigators can’t get a straight answer from anyone, Scully discovers some strange things in an autopsy, and Mulder thinks a strain of tobacco beetles may be responsible.

Somehow, second hand smoke from one smoker is infecting and killing people. It seems this smoker, Ashman (Tobin Bell), was one of a test group for Morley with an enhanced, enriched, cigarette. He’s been getting them from Morley directly, and the nicotine may be the only thing keeping him alive.

But what happens when Mulder becomes infected? We’ve seen what happens to those that are, they die horribly… can Scully find a way to remove all the larva from Mulder’s lungs? She’d better because there’s more to come because the truth is out there!

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