The X-Files (2001) – Per Manum, and This Is Not Happening

Series creator Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz pen Per Manum, a tale that puts Gillian Anderson’s Scully front and center, as Doggett (Robert Patrick) brings her a case that seems to match her own abduction experiences exactly, and plays out horrifically for the abductee.

First airing on 18 February, 2001, the episode also featured an appearance by David Duchovny as Mulder, in flashback form, as we learn the ins and outs of Scully’s pregnancy, and also learn that recently, pregnant women, who claim to have had abduction experiences are not only dying, usually during delivery, but are terrified of something incredible wrong with their baby.

As Scully investigates, taking some personal time away from the Bureau to do it, she discovers a conspiracy at work that may have ensnared her as well.

Doggett works to maintain the trust he’s been building with her, and reaches out to some of his former contacts, including Knowle Rohrer (Adam Baldwin), but who’s involved and who isn’t and who can be trusted?

The moments with Mulder are great, as we see the progression of his and Scully’s relationship in a new way. I really liked seeing Mulder back in the series again, popping up just enough in this story to remind you of the chemistry he and Scully have as well as how different the investigations have become with Scully and Doggett running the show.

The pregnancy moments, and the terror that Scully experiences when she makes her discoveries, really resonates. The episode locks into a real fear, and gives it that ole x-files twist to make it even scarier.

This is Not Happening is a mid-season finale that left viewers dangling for its conclusion for an entire month, while The Lone Gunmen launched in the interim. Also written by Carter and Spotnitz this episode first debuted on 25 February, 2001, sees the return of some characters, while adding in some new ones.

When Jeremiah Smith (Roy Thinnes) reappears, and seems to be working with a UFO cult run by a man calling himself Absalom (Judson Scott) helping returned abductees, including Theresa Hoese (Sarah Koskoff, who previously appeared in Pilot, and Requiem). Doggett and Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) bring this info to Scully, because they know this may link directly to Mulder.

Doggett reaches out for some additional help, calling in another agent, who may be able to help with the x-files material, Agent Monica Reyes (Anabeth Gish), who is a little more open-minded about the subject matter, though still tries to tie everything in to the facts.

As a group, they and the Bureau go into the camp in the hopes of finding Mulder, and Scully is able to track down the shape-shifting Smith, who asks Scully not to interfere with his work, that he must not be caught. He’s been healing abductees who have been returned, many of whom near the point of death.

And they’ve just discovered another body, but it may be too late. Mulder has been returned, but he’s dead.

Scully cries out in anguish as we are delivered a To Be Continued…

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