The X-Files (2002) – William, and Release

David Duchovny returns this week, behind the camera to direct an episode that he thought up alongside Frank Spotnitz and series creator Chris Carter, who also penned the teleplay. It first aired on 28 April, 2002, and puts Scully’s (Gillian Anderson) baby, William front and center, and gives us the heartbreaking ending first… she gives him up for adoption to keep him safe.

When a strangely burnt and disfigured man, calling himself Miller (Chris Owens) breaks into the X-Files office, Doggett (Robert Patrick) stops him, and soon there is evidence, including DNA, to suggest that this man may be Mulder.

All of this seems to be orchestrated to allow Miller/Mulder? to get close to baby William, and some files that Scully has tucked away in her apartment, safeguarding them.

But who is he really? What is his plans for William? And if he’s not Mulder, does he know where he is?

It’s a bit of a mystery, but episode-wise, it feels more like a character piece, and it ends up putting Scully through the wringer, forcing her to make what must be one of the hardest decisions she’s ever had to make.

All in the hopes of keeping William safe.

There are story threads that are tied up in this episode, but it feels a little quiet, as if we’re taking a quick respite, and a very deep breath before jumping into the final episodes of the season (and at the time, the series).

With three episodes to go, things are going to start ramping up!

Release was written by David Amann from a story he developed with John Shiban, and first aired on 5 May, 2002.

This one is all about giving some resolution to Doggett and his ex-wife Barb (Barbara Patrick, Robert Patrick’s real life wife), for the murder of his son, Luke. When a tip on a murder brings an incredibly gifted cadet, Rudolph Hayes (Jared Poe) into the X-files circle, Doggett asks for some insight on the murder of his son.

As threads are tied together, and evidence, circumstantial at best, is drawn together, things look to incriminate Nicholas Rigali (Sal Landi), a mobster, but there’s also the possibility that Hayes could have been involved.

Who to believe? What is being covered up? And how does it all tie in with Assistant Director Brad Follmer (Cary Elwes)?

Not really a supernatural tale, but Hayes seems to be in line with Millennium’s Frank Black, and would no doubt be headhunted by the organization. That is, if he’s telling the truth. The reveals about his own character put some serious holes in his theory.

Still, there is a release to be had for Doggett, and it ties up his emotional arc quite nicely, as we dive into the last two episodes of season nine next time, because the truth is (still) out there.

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