Series creator Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz pen the first episode back for The X-Files after its month away, and it starts with a gut punch. Mulder (David Duchovny) us dead, and he’s buried.
Deadalive first aired on 1 April, 2001, and it plunges us right back into the mythology of the series, as three months after Mulder has been buried, a body is recovered from the ocean, it’s Billy Miles (Zachary Ansley), that old familiar face. But before an autopsy can be conducted, it’s revealed that somehow, his body is still, improbably, alive, even as it is decaying, despite being hooked up to the best of modern medicine.
Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) have Mulder’s body exhumed, and find he’s in a similar condition. Scully (Gillian Anderson) barely leaves his side, even as she and the others try to puzzle out how he’s still alive. Things get more complicated when Billy sloughs his skin, in a very familiar manner, and seems to be restored to perfect health, though he may no longer be himself…
He is/was an abductee, and the aliens may have found a new form of instant colonization. Something that Absalom (Judson Scott), the leader of the UFO cult has been trying to convince Doggett of. He’s been healing the returned abductees so that they don’t turn, but it was too late for Billy.
Things get even more complicated when Krycek (Nicholas Lea) shows up with the promise of a vaccine for Mulder (and to remind us that he has Skinner under his thumb with his infection), but only if Skinner ensures that Scully’s pregnancy comes to term.
Doggett confronts Krycek, and loses the vaccine, but he tells Skinner he made the right decision in not dealing with the traitor.
Scully is finally able to figure out what caused Miles’ change, and how to stop it in Mulder… who, though he looks pretty crappy at episode’s end, is back!
Three Words was also written by Carter and Spotnitz and was first broadcast on 8 April, 2001. Mulder is almost ready to go back to work but Kersh (James Pickens Jr.) is maneuvering him to a desk job and away from the X-files (he tried to oust Doggett in the previous episode – he’s intent on shutting down that office once and for all), but everything gets upset by the death of a census worker on the White House grounds, after attempting to reach the president.
Absalom escapes prison and takes Doggett hostage, intent on getting into the census files himself, but these people aren’t to be trusted.
Mulder attacks the case from the other end, diving into evidence that could see him fired, but discovers an encrypted hard drive, which Doggett’s old friend, Rohrer (Adam Baldwin) provides the password for It’s three words, three very familiar words… Fight The Future. But maybe Rohrer is using Doggett to set up Mulder once and for all, and eliminate him as a problem, and Mulder and Scully could be walking into a trap.
What side will Doggett end up on? And will he and Mulder be able to work together? Let alone tolerate or trust one another? As the episode ends we get a look at something strange on the back of Rohrer’s neck, which looks like another mystery that could be coming their way. Next week the investigations continue, because the truth is out there…