The X-Files (2001) – Empedocles, and Vienen

While Scully (Gillian Anderson) ends up in the hospital with a complication surrounding her pregnancy, Agent Reyes (Annabeth Gish) approaches Mulder (David Duchovny) with a case that may tie back to Doggett (Robert Patrick).

Empedocles was written by Greg Walker, and first aired on 22 April, 2001.

When an office worker, Jeb (Jay Underwood) is fired from his job and consequently witnesses a police chase ending in tragedy, he returns to the office to seek vengeance and goes on the run, committing a series of crimes and murders. Reyes learns that the man killed in the police chase was a suspect who was investigated in the murder of Doggett’s son, and fears there may be a connection to this new series of murders, spurred on by visions she is having. Visions she is convinced Doggett had as well, though he now denies them.

Doggett is less than impressed when he learns Mulder is involved in a case that ties to him, and the two confront one another, even as Reyes tries to convince Doggett to be a little more open-minded.

Not exactly working together, the group works to track down Jeb, and perhaps the thing using him to commit evil. Or is he just a man who was pushed too far?

Doggett may not be sure he believes, and the pain around his son’s death proves hard to confront, but perhaps there is a truth about evil hidden there.

This is very much a character driven episode, and it’s interesting to see all four agents on screen, though Scully spends almost all of it in the hospital, or making quips with Mulder on the couch about the pizza guy (I so love their relationship!).

Vienen is an important episode. Written by Steven Maeda and first airing on 29 April, 2001, it pairs Mulder and Doggett on an investigation together, despite the fact that Mulder isn’t supposed to be involved with the X-files, and brings back the black oil.

When an oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico is having problems, and an irradiated body washes ashore, Mulder suspects something insidious going on, and perhaps big oil is hiding it in the name of profit, but despite lobbying for the case, Kersh (James Pickens Jr.) assigns Doggett.

But Mulder disobeys orders, and gets out there first, causing serious problems and conflict when Doggett arrives on site.

Doggett doesn’t buy into the alien invasion, virus in the oil, or much of what Mulder is telling him, but as he investigates he finds something he can’t explain, and someone destroys the communication equipment preventing an evacuation.

What is really going on? Can the pair trust one another?

In the end, Mulder and Doggett work together (somewhat) but it is Mulder who pays the price for the investigation. He’s violated his assignment, and Kersh uses the opportunity to drum him out of the bureau. He’s done. He’s out. But…

the truth is (still) out there…

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