“The X-Files” is returning to FOX on January 24, 2016. Join Mieke Zamora-Mackay as she recaps each season for this popular TV show in preparation for the arrival of “The X-Files” Season 10. After a bout of some serious jetlag and a nasty cold, Mieke is back to recap super eventful season two.
At the beginning of season two, the X-Files have been shut down and Mulder is put on grunt work duty, while Scully is reassigned to the FBI Academy as an instructor. A distinct characteristic of this season is the “absence” of Scully through the first quarter of the season. She really isn’t absent, as she is seen through the episodes lying in a hospital bed, straddling the fence between the physical and the netherworld. The story arc surrounding this period was created to manage Gillian Anderson’s maternity leave. Credit goes to the creators of “The X-Files” for going this route, because the story arc they produced deepened the mytharc and fully invested all the characters in the pursuit of the truth about the existence of aliens. The complexity of the government and certain shadow organizations involvement in the cover-up is further explored, as well.
We are introduced to more recurring characters such as Agent Alex Krycek, X, and the Alien Bounty Hunter. Just like the Cigarette Smoking Man (“CSM”), Director Skinner, and the Lone Gunmen, these new characters find almost permanent status within the canon of “The X-Files”.
In “Little Green Men” (S2: E1), as the X-files had been shut down, Mulder is led to the S. E. T. I. Observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico by a highly placed political ally. While there he experiences an incident that could provide him with recorded proof of alien communications with Earth. He is “rescued” by Scully, but much to his dismay, his recorded proof has been erased. Scully then returns to her post at the FBI Academy, while Mulder is relegated to listening to surveillance tapes of banal, non-paranormal matters. Mulder is soon assigned a new partner, Agent Alex Krycek, who quickly tries to assure Mulder that he is on “his” side. Also introduced is X, a dark covert informant that steps in to help Mulder on his quest.
A former FBI agent and escaped mental patient, “Duane Barry” (S2: E5), holds several persons hostage in a travel agency. By playing into Barry’s claims that he is a repeat alien abductee, Mulder and Krycek, manage to negotiate the release of Barry’s hostages. Barry manages to escape and, in turn, abducts Scully from her apartment. In “Asencion” (S2:E6), Barry hopes to offer Scully up to the aliens to avoid being abducted once again. He brings her to the mountaintop where he was first taken. Krycek is revealed to be working for CSM and thwarts Mulder’s attempt to save Scully.
Scully remains missing for sometime, as Mulder tries to continue his work while relentlessly attempting to find her. Scully inexplicably appears at a hospital in “One Breath” (S2:E8), and lingers in a coma while Mulder desperately to search for answers about his partner. We meet Scully’s sister, Melissa, who is a stark contrast from the hard science-bound Dana.
As Scully floats between life and death, Mulder grows frustrated and attempts to resign from the bureau. Skinner refuses to accept this, and relates his own experience with the paranormal as a soldier in Vietnam. Skinner decides to re-open the X-Files. At the end of the episode, Scully wakes and tells Mulder that she could hear him while she was in her coma.
Scully soon returns to active duty alongside Mulder to work on the newly re-opened X-Files. In “Colony” (S2: E16), one of the major plot themes in the mytharc is introduced: the colonizing alien race. A doctor is murdered with a stiletto-type weapon by a shape shifter. Mulder and Scully soon learn that there are other doctors being murdered in the same way. After further investigation, they learn that the doctors are all identical to one another – clones. Scully discovers where the clones are being made, while Mulder is summoned back home by his father as his sister, Samantha, has returned.
Samantha informs Mulder that the clones were progeny of aliens who sought to establish a colony here on Earth back in the 1940s. The murderer was also an alien; a bounty hunter sent to destroy the clones, who are considered to be a tainted race. She too is in danger as she has knowledge of the creation of the clones. As the Mulder family reunion is ongoing, Scully is once again kidnapped by the murder, now disguised as Fox.
In “End Game” (S2:E17), with the help of Skinner, Samantha and Fox hatch a plan to eliminate the alien bounty hunter and rescue Scully during the hostage exchange on a local bridge. During the struggle, the alien bounty hunter takes Samantha and they disappear into the river below. Believing that he had lost Samantha once again, Mulder is led by his father to a lab in Maryland. There he learns that Samantha herself is a clone, and in fact, not the sister he lost so many years ago. He becomes enraged when he realizes that had been duped into protecting the clones from the alien bounty hunter. As he leaves the lab, he is knocked unconscious by the alien bounty hunter, who then proceeds to kill the Samantha clones.
Mulder is led by X to the USS Allegiance, a nuclear submarine that is believed to hold the remains of the alien bounty hunter’s aircraft. While attempting to fight off the bounty hunter, Mulder is exposed to his toxic blood and becomes unconscious. Mulder is rescued and brought to a military medical facility at the brink of death, but saved by Scully’s intervention. Upon Mulder’s recovery, he declares to Scully, that even though they seem to be unsuccessful he is encouraged to keep looking.
At the end of the season, in “Anasazi” (S2: E25), a train box car is found buried under ground near a Navajo Indian reservation. A corpse of an alien-like figure is found inside it. Meanwhile, a hacker breaks into the Department of Defense’s database and downloads files relating to extra-terrestrial life onto a digital tape. With The Lone Gunmen’s help, the hacker gives the tape to Mulder. The files are encrypted in what Scully believes to be based on the Navajo language. The Syndicate, a shadow group of powerful individuals, has learned of the breach and calls in CSM to take care of the situation. The Syndicate seems to have brokered a deal with the colonizing aliens.
As the episode progresses, Mulder becomes more frustrated and belligerent. His aberrant behavior causes concern to all those around him. We learn that Fox’s father, Bill, is somehow involved with the Syndicate when CSM comes to visit him. Bill then summons Fox back to Martha’s Vineyard, and appears troubled and willing to confers something to his son. However, Krycek murders Bill before he can tell his Fox about anything. Mulder finds his father just before he utters his dying words, “Forgive me.”
Mulder returns to Scully and tells her what’s happened. As she knows that he would be the prime subject in his father’s death, Scully lulls Mulder into resting in her apartment as she takes his gun to be tested while he sleeps. It is later learned that the water supply in Mulder’s apartment was contaminated with a drug that was changing his behavior. He was being set up. At the opportune moment when Mulder was about to kill Krycek, Scully shoots him instead and takes him to New Mexico to meet the Navajo-speaking code breaker.
The code breaker tells him of the buried train car. Mulder is brought to the area where the train car was found, but before he enters it, he receives a phone call from CSM. With his location being discovered, Mulder goes into the train car, where he finds the piled up bodies of other alien-like creatures. When CSM and his team of soldiers arrive at the scene, Mulder cannot be found. CSM, doubtful that Mulder’s managed to escape, orders the men to burn the box car.
Aside from the eventful mytharc episodes, two other episodes were most memorable to me were in this season. “Humbug” (S2:20) involved mysterious murders at a commune populated by circus side show acts. I continue to be intrigued the “carnie” life and this episode was right up my alley. The other was “Our Town” (S2:E24), which involved the unintended consequence of cannibalism within a small poultry-farming town. The thought of contracting Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease was enough for me to want to avoid eating meat altogether after watching that episode the first time.
Hands down, this was the season that catapulted “The X-Files” into the position it holds as one of the best television shows of all time. So much happened that moved the mytharc forward, and most of the Monster of the Week episodes were so engaging. As I watched the season again, it became evident to me that the show’s creators had no fear of beating their characters up over and over. Mulder believed he had found his sister again, only to find out that he was being used. Now his father is dead. If Scully’s abduction and near-death experience wasn’t enough, she got mangled up throughout the season as she was repeatedly kidnapped by one villain or the other. Despite the continued frustration they faced, they remain resilient in their quest to find the truth. Even if it seemed that everyone around them is willing to “Deny everything.”