5X01 . Unusual Suspects

5X02 . Redux

5X03 . Redux II

5X04 . Detour

Definitely a bit weird, but again, way up there with the Shipper content! Particularly noted is how Mulder and Scully spent the night together in the forest. Their conversation was completely casual, and only a few words pertained at all to the case of the thing in the forest.

Scully: "Mulder, you need to keep warm. Your body's still in shock."
Mulder: "I was told once that the best way to regenerate body heat was to crawl naked into a sleeping bag with somebody else who's already naked." (He moves closer to Scully.)
Scully: "Well, maybe if it rains sleeping bags, you'll get lucky."

The most hilarious line in the entire episode was when Scully pulled Mulder into her lap to keep him warm, he said, "I don't wanna wrestle." This had me ROTFLOL for the longest time, and I still chuckle at it. But how close -- and comfortable -- they were, and of course, we had Scully *singing* to Mulder ... these are aspects of an intimate relationship that only could have come from years of trust and friendship.

Interesting how Scully was packing Mulder's hotel stuff for him. I mean, I know he wasn't there until later, but still ... it looked like something she'd done for him before. What does that tell you about how close they are?

5X05 . Christmas Carol

5X06 . Post-Modern Prometheus

5X07 . Emily

5X08 . Kitsunegari

Pusher returns.

A few objective remarks before I delve into this episode: I could very much tell that the writers were trying duplicate the Shippiness that came so naturally in "Pusher" but something fell short. I'm not sure exactly what it was, but it just didn't seem as natural. Don't get me wrong! The Shippiness in "Kitsunegari" was good, but somehow, something was missing ...

Naturally, Mulder and Scully head the investigation to find Modell. Right off the bat, after they get through the formalities of informing their squad, Scully expresses her concern. "Mulder ... what if Modell plans to pick up where he left off? Where does that leave you? You were his prime target. Should you even be heading this investigation?" She remembers all too well what Modell tried to force Mulder to do last time. And it could lead to bad things if he truly was picking up where he left off.

Mulder definitely feels as though he's being turned upon, especially Skinner and Scully. After Mulder "lets" Pusher go and they have that talk with Linda Bowman, Mulder is convinced that it was she -- not Modell -- who killed Nathan Bowman. Disobeying Skinner's orders to go home, he goes to the correctional facility to talk with Modell's therapist -- who conveniently gets a phone call and electrocutes herself just as she was about to verify that Linda Bowman had indeed visited Modell in prison. With this lead, tries calling the safe house where Linda is, and with no answer there, calls Scully.

When he gets to the safehouse, Modell is in the hospital after he tricks Skinner into shooting him. Mulder's theory is that he purposely got himself shot to protect Linda and decides to pursue this lead by going to the hospital. Scully tries to stop him, saying that he must still be under Pusher's influence. Mulder, annoyed and fed up with people telling him the validity of his thoughts, says to her, "Okay, look, you do me a favor, Scully. You give me a call when you think I've come to my senses, all right?"

When he gets to the hospital, he finds Modell out of surgery and unconscious. A nurse comes in to change his bandages, but it's in fact Linda who is now implementing her own ability to push her will onto others. There, she eases Modell out of his pain and to die. By the time Mulder returns, the nurses are pronouncing Modell dead, but he finds the fake ID card Linda used with an address on it.

At the location, he sees Scully who appears to be under Linda Bowman's control. She aims her gun at Mulder, then at her own head and shoots. She falls to the ground and Mulder is quickly by her side. Behind him, he hears footsteps and sees Linda. He pulls a gun on her, threatening to kill her.

Linda points her gun at him, tentatively. She tells him that he was right about Linda. At this point, Mulder is extremely angry for having seen Scully shoot herself and becomes frantic as Linda talks about herself in the third person. She identifies herself as Scully, but Mulder doesn't believe her. He still sees Linda. He is trusting what he sees.

Then we see something moving behind Mulder. "Linda" fires her gun, and the figure falls to the ground. Mulder looks back up, and sees that it was Scully -- and that it was Linda who had shot herself earlier.

Back in DC, Mulder and Scully meet with Skinner, discussing the case. It turns out that both Linda Bowman and Modell both had the same temporal lobe tumor -- they were fraternal twins. All she wanted was revenge for what they did to Modell.

The entire time, Mulder sits there, not saying anything. Scully delivers the report, and only when Skinner asks him if he has anything to add does he say, "No, I think that about covers it." As M & S go to leave, Skinner calls Mulder back for a moment.

Skinner: "I just want to say you did a good job."
Mulder: "How's that?"
Skinner: "Nobody could have figured this out but you. You knew it was Linda Bowman and not Modell. You were way ahead of me."
Mulder: "I almost killed my partner."
Skinner: "Mulder, despite that, you prevailed. You won her game."
Mulder: "Then how come I feel like I lost?"
Just like in Pusher, Mulder's highly concerned over the fact that he came very close to shooting Scully. It's pretty much all he's thinking about in the debriefing with Skinner, and even though Skinner congratulated him on figuring out what really was going on, Mulder didn't feel like he'd won at all. He'd let Linda get to him, inside his head, and almost let her trick him into hurting, or, most likely, killing one of the people he most cares about. That's where he feels like he lost, because even though he didn't do it, he intended to pull that trigger. He'd truly believed that it was Linda he was seeing, not Scully, and he wanted nothing more than to have his revenge for making Scully shoot herself.
5X09 . Schizogeny

5X10 . Chinga

Another great episode, though it was a *bit* on the creepy side. Nonetheless, there were some GREAT Shipper implications here.

Scully goes on vacation to the New England coast, in agreement with Mulder to not have contact with one another until Monday. But what do we see happen as Scully's pumping gas for her little convertible car? A phone call from Mulder. Certainly it wasn't something she was expecting because she had to open the trunk and dig into her luggage to retrieve her cell phone.

Mulder could NOT sit still. He seemed very anxious to be talking to her, despite their agreement. He tries to act very professional by bringing up an X-File he dug up, but that lasts only a few seconds. In the brief exchange about statistics of decapitation and what-not with Scully's convertible, we get the first impression that Mulder cannot stand to be without Scully in his presence, or at least in verbal contact.

Need more evidence?

When Scully calls him back later after seeing what happened at the supermarket, what do we see Mulder doing? Working? Nope. He's watching a video, which sounds suspiciously like porn, but he declares that it's "World's Deadliest Swarms," which is confirmed when we get a brief look at the screen just before he turns it off. Hmm.

Anyway! He offers an explanation to the mysterious occurrences in the supermarket, and it is of little surprise that it's of supernatural nature: witchcraft. But notice how Scully doesn't discount it like she normally would. Normally, she would dismiss it on the basis of scientific possibility, but this time, she dismisses it on the basis of lack of evidence! She says, "I don't see any evidence that warrants that kind of suspicion." Wow, what a difference. Does this mean she believes in witchcraft?

In that same scene, Mulder then suggests that maybe she doesn't know what to look for in witchcraft. But indeed, she does, and she goes off on a long list of possible signs of witchcraft, leaving Mulder struck dumb and obviously pleasantly surprised -- which leads him to suddenly blurt out, "Scully? ... Marry me." How much of that he truly meant from the heart, I don't think we'll ever know. But Scully's response, saying she was hoping for something more productive, didn't seem to have much effect on him.

Next, let's have a look at how Mulder behaves when he next calls Scully. He's at home, apparently not doing very much, bouncing his basketball very loudly as he speaks to her. He explains that it's construction work outside, and breaks to yell for them to stop for while. He tosses his basketball away (which sounds like it crashes into something, breaking it) and resumes his conversation. A very boyish type of behavior right here, indicating that he is very bored and having to resort to childish games to keep himself amused. Mulder seems unable to do anything productive without Scully! He makes the excuse for calling by bringing up a possible, far-fetched scientific/medical explanation for the occurrences in Maine. It's an old disease that hasn't been diagnosed since the Middle Ages, which pretty much eliminates its probability for being this case's cause. Nonetheless, this is yet another indication that Mulder just needed to talk to Scully because he obviously misses her, and calls her under the pretense of bringing new information, despite the fact that he probably knows very well that it is highly unlikely.

Their next phone conversation starts off with a very confusing opening. Mulder calls her cell phone, but is surprised that she answers. When he asks about that, she asks him, "Well, then why'd you call?" Mulder is in his office, still looking VERY bored as he plays with the phone cord. He brings up another medical cause, which might explain the strange behavior, but Scully cuts him off abruptly and immediately asks about objects directing human behavior. Mulder brings up talking dolls, and when he suggests that Scully check the back of the doll for a plastic ring, she hangs up on him.

Their next conversation takes place when Scully returns to D.C. She walks into the office just as Mulder finishes sharpening some pencils and very delicately lines them up at the edge of his desk. She catches him by surprise and he more or less pulls off trying to hide his little pre-occupation thanks to Scully wondering about his "I Want to Believe" poster. She asks him if he'd gotten any work done over the weekend, and Mulder sputters about having gotten an amazing amount of work done "without incessant meddling and questioning." Of course, we all know better -- that in fact got NOTHING done. And to prove it, he gets whacked in the head by a falling pencil. As Scully looks up at the ceiling, she sees it covered with numerous pencils stuck on-end.

The implication here? Mulder cannot even function without Scully. It's a wonder how he got anything done before she joined him on the X-Files. He's become dependent and reliant on their partnership, and the fact that he called her so many times with barely relevant information points out that he indeed missed her and needed to just talk with her.

Mulder is just so cute. =)

5X11 . Kill Switch

5X12 . Bad Blood

This one ranks as one of my favorites, not only because it was just so DAMN funny, but because we get a very in-depth view into Mulder and Scully's minds, and especially of how they perceive each other. Many of the events that occur are described similarly in both points of view, but it's the differences that made for an interesting look into their current relationship.

Following the episode chronologically, let's start with Scully's version of events first. Here, she sees Mulder as being "characteristically exuberant", which is the first of several perceived exaggerations. Of course, we know Mulder isn't quite that exuberant, though sometimes he may be close, and it is true that sometimes he doesn't let anyone else get a word in. But it's interesting that this is one trait that Scully chooses to exaggerate since its one that often contrasts with her duties.

And it is again reinforced when Mulder doesn't get to the fact that there was a human death involved until much later. In her mind, Mulder's zeal for the supernatural is so strong that the fact that there was a human casualty rides second to it. It's as if that's what he mainly cares about, paying little attention to anything else -- like Scully's name. Mulder has to snap is fingers as if trying to remember when being introduced to Sheriff Hartwell.

In contrast, in Mulder's version of events, he portrays himself as being extremely calm, considerate, and respectful. He speaks slowly, gives Scully several opportunities to voice her opinions/disagreements, and Mulder handles them with a very sappy kind of consideration ("Well, that's one theory, and I respect that.") He also opens himself up more to the possibility of being wrong, whereas in Scully's version, he was deadset on the vampire theory. In his own version, he inserts some words of uncertainty. Whether this was in response to Scully's perception of him, or if it truly was how he saw himself, I'm not sure, but we all know he was definitely downplaying himself to some degree.

Also, another major difference was how Scully responded to Sheriff Hartwell. In Mulder's version, Scully came off as having dreamy, love-struck gazes at the Sheriff, even to the point where she absent-mindedly repeats the exact same question Mulder had asked a few seconds before ("No exam's been done?"). And then in Scully's, she had the Sheriff calling her by her first name -- which she then changes (possibly in embarrassment) when Mulder points out that he didn't even know their first names.

I think one of the funniest spots in the episode was when the Sheriff entered in Mulder's version. He looks no different from Scully's ... until he speaks, with huge "buck teeth", according to Mulder, hindering his speech. ("You must be the gov'ment people.")

What bothers me a little is the fact that in BOTH versions, Scully was seen as having an attraction to the Sheriff, which probably means there is some truth to it. (D'oh ...) Also interesting to note was that in both versions, Scully seemed very much to enjoy being right, and especially enjoyed the fact that the Sheriff agreed with her, without any question. Mulder KNOWS she likes to be right, and Scully ... well, she might have just been flattering herself. ;)

One thing to notice in Mulder's version was that as he was explaining his theory on vampires to the Sheriff, Scully seemed to be very bored, wanting him to end his endless rant sometime soon. In this, we get to see how Mulder perceives Scully: impatient and not wanting to hear him out. This is most likely an exaggeration on his part, largely because of how their professional relationship works. Mulder tosses out a few theories and Scully jumps to the scientific mode to discount and disprove them. Then, it's natural for Mulder to feel that she lacks patience and open-mindedness.

And one more point I'd like to bring up is Scully's reaction to Mulder wanting her to do another autopsy. (Again, this is in Mulder's point of view.) She goes off on a screeching rant about having been on her feet all day doing the first autopsy, sacrificing meals and comfort, all for Mulder's benefit. "I do it all for you, Mulder!" In her own version, she gives him little grief about it, but it was the complete opposite in Mulder's. Does Mulder, then, think that Scully does everything for him? That she has no personal interest in these cases except to fulfill his investigative needs? It's very narcissistic of him, but that's the impression that I get.

5X13 . Travelers

5X14 . Patient X

5X15 . The Red and the Black

5X16 . Mind's Eye

5X17 . All Souls

5X18 . Pine Bluff Variant

5X19 . Folie a Deux

For an episode that was very strongly based on solving a case, it had an amazing chemistry that mixed in just the right kind and just the right amounts of Shippiness that made this one worth watching several times over.

The basic premise for this episode was that some sort of monster has been roaming around the country to cities where the company he works for has offices. In each, there were incidents in which a worker terrorized the office, claiming to be the only one who can see the monster and has taken matters into his own hands to make everyone else see it.

Mulder heads out to Chicago to investigate what appears to be a precursor to another similar incident. He insists that Scully stay behind in DC because he doesn't think this is legitimate enough of a case for them both to go. But as he delves deeper into this case, he sees indications of this resembling earlier X-File cases, which he calls Scully to look up. Then, he says, "Scully, at the risk of you telling me, 'I told you so,' I think it’s time for you to get down here and help me."

But when she does arrive, it's at the VinylRight office where there's apparently a hostage situation with Mulder inside. The agents who've surrounded the building are desperate to get a handle on the situation quickly and want to call Mulder on his cell phone, but Scully quickly disagrees, stating that it could put Mulder in danger if he isn't already. Eventually, they don't have any other choice, but Gary Lambert, who is holding people hostage answers and lets them know that he wants to be put on TV. To keep the hostages safe, Scully tells them to give him what he wants.

So they set up a fake news crew and a cameraman inside the building, which gives the FBI a clue to what's going on and how to approach a rescue attempt. From outside, Scully watches on a monitor as they "set up" inside, and Gary has his gun trained on Mulder and points out that it is he who will be the first casualty if he doesn't get what he wants. Scully can do nothing but watch as things unfold.

When the "broadcast" gets underway, Gary aims to shoot his boss, Greg Pincus, who he believes is a monster and has turned a number of his co-workers into his zombie slaves. However, Mulder stands in the way of Gary's rifle, calmly telling him to put the gun down. This only makes Gary angrier, and we see Scully growing more and more worried about Mulder. Finally, an entry team makes its move through the back wall and shoots Gary down -- but not before Mulder catches a glimpse of the moster Gary has been claiming inhabits the body of his boss.

Gary dies after being shot, and everyone assumes the case is over. Everyone except Mulder, of course. Without creating the appearance of being on to him, Mulder questions Greg Pincus a bit before they return to DC. There, Scully is surprised Mulder hasn't taken the day off, and finds out that he's begun to give credence to Gary's claims. Scully quickly rejects these theories, saying that Gary "was mentally ill. This monster was a sick fantasy … a product of his dementia." Mulder looks at her for a moment. "I saw it too. Does that make me disturbed? Demented? Does that make me sick too?"

Scully's dug herself into a hole now. She quickly says no, that what Mulder's experienced was possibly due to the stress of being held hostage. He denies it, sticking to believing what he saw, and asks for Scully to perform the autopsy on the man Gary claimed to be a slave zombie and shot -- to help him see if there is evidence to prove this. But Scully refuses. Mulder gets up to leave, saying, "Then I'll prove it without you."

Ouch! I think Mulder was really hurt when Scully described Gary as sick an demented, because Mulder saw what he claimed to see. And when Scully continued to believe Gary was a madman, Mulder probably felt she might as well have been saying the same thing about him because he so strongly believed Gary might have been right. If there's one thing about their relationship over the past five years, it's that Scully has never outright told Mulder that he was mentally unsound, no matter how crazy their cases have seemed. She's been careful to be respectful of Mulder's theories, even if she disagreed. But in this case, Mulder asks her to do the autopsy, even if what she finds proves nothing. Her refusal to do so feels like a betrayal.

Mulder returns to Illinois to investigate further. Skinner calls Scully in to his office about that, asking for an explanation to Mulder's behavior which the agents there describe as erratic. Without saying much else, Scully says that she'll join him immediately -- but after doing the autopsy on the shooting victim which she'd already been scheduled for.

In Illinois, Mulder's investigation and erratic behavoir leads him to accomodations at a local mental hospital, bed straps and all. Scully comes to visit him later, taking his hand in hers gently. She tells him that her autopsy found that the body appeared to have been dead longer than expected, but that it bore little significance in terms of evidence. Mulder tells her of what he's found -- that the people he claims to be zombies have been bitten or injected in the back of their necks, and says she should check for that on the shooting victim. Scully says that she won't because the case is over. Mulder looks at her and says, "You have to be willing to see it." ... "Scully, you have to believe me. Nobody else on this whole damn planet does or ever will. You’re my one in … five billion." Is that not sweet?

And so Scully returns to Quantico, and finds three small puncture wounds on the back of the victim's neck. She returns to Illinois to see Mulder, but at first is unable to get past the nurse. But suddenly, Scully sees her as a zombie, bursts into Mulder's room to see the monster, and shoots it out the window where it disappears. She stares at Mulder, who only looks back with a very slight expression of satisfaction. She finally found what she needed to believe him.

5X20 . The End

This has to be the best season finale of all the seasons, including Season 6! It was the perfect lead-in into the movie (although only a fraction of the issues brought up in The End were dealt with in the movie.)

And boy, was it Shippy. Enter Diana Fowley, whose appearances that follow in the 6th season induce feelings of hostility in many fans, especially the Shippers. (And she's also gotten a slew of nicknames, most of which I don't think would be appropriate to repeat here.) Apparently, she had some "history" with Mulder -- the Lone Gunmen confirmed this by saying, "She was Mulder's chickadee when he just got out of the Academy." She's been in Europe, working against terrorists, until now when she returned to the States to take a position on this current case.

And thus, we get an extra large helping of Jealous!Scully. Whether or not Scully noticed it right away, we, the viewers, became very well aware of it. In the car ride over to the psychiatric hospital where Gibson Praise (kid chess genius who was almost shot, possibly because he has the ability to read minds) is, Scully makes conversation with Diana, asking why she came back for this case. Diana says, "I requested a reassignment. There were things at home I decided I wanted to get back to." That statement we might have been able to let slide without a second thought, but at that moment we see Diana and Mulder make eye contact via the rearview mirror. It really set of a red flag then, and you really have to wonder what that "something" is she wanted to get back to! And then they look at each other again when Scully notes that Diana started with the Bureau around the same time Mulder started the X-Files. Something fishy?? (At this point, we can assume Scully didn't make any of these connections though.)

In the next scene, at the hospital, the three of them meet Gibson Praise -- who proves to be quite blunt in his words. When Mulder comes right out and guesses that Gibson can read people's minds, Gibson suddenly says:

Gibson: I know what's on your mind. I know you're thinking about one of the girls you brought.
Mulder: Oh?
Gibson: One of them's thinking about you.
(Scully suddenly looks uncomfortable, but Diana looks like she really wants to know.)
Diana: Which one?
(Gibson looks at Mulder carefully.)
Gibson: He doesn't want me to say.
All of a sudden, this takes a new turn. So Mulder was thinking about one of them -- though the writers did a good job at keeping exactly WHO a mystery. Even Scully and Diana's reactions both seems to indicate the possiblity of one of them being rightfully acccused. And the fact that Mulder didn't want Gibson to reveal who it was that was at the moment thinking about Mulder proves that, whoever it was, he both (a) didn't want that person to know and (b) wanted to protect the other.

Then later, outside in the hall, after Mulder and Scully debate the possibility of what Mulder is suggesting, Diana comes out to offer her opinion that maybe whoever wants Gibson dead may be trying to keep some very important secrets (and we learn later in Season Six how she knows that to be true!). Mulder agrees, and lays the job of having Gibson tested in Diana's hands because she "knows what to do" and he walks off. As the two women watch him leave, Scully asks her, "So you two know each other?" Diana says, very matter-of-factly, "It was a long time ago."

Ding-ding-ding! Off goes another alarm, and this time Scully is very much aware of the connection.

Later, as Scully is walking Gibson back to his room after doing some tests, Gibson says, "You're wondering, aren't you?"
Scully is caught a little off guard. "About what? About you?"
"About that other girl." Scully looks up to see Diana Fowley stepping out into the hallway. "She's wondering about you, too," Gibson says.

Later, Scully takes the brain scans of Gibson to the Lone Gunmen. But before they get started on examining the scans on the viewer, Scully turns the light off and asks, rather suddenly, "But first, I want you guys to tell me who Diana Fowley is." Notice, she didn't make it a question, a request. It almost come off as a demand.

Byers: Diana Fowley? Geez, we haven't heard that name in a while.
Scully: Then you know her?
Byers: Well ... yeah. (very matter-of-factly)
Frohike: She was Mulder's chickadee when he just got out of the Academy. Good-looking.
Scully: Well, she claims to have worked closely with him for a while.
Langly: She was there when he discovered the X-Files. She has some kind of background in para-science.
Byers: She got a legat appointment a while back in Berlin. I always wondered why they split up.
(Scully is suddenly very uncomfortable. She gaves them a tight smile and goes to turn the light back on. She changes the subject very abruptly again.)
Scully: Well, why don't you boys see what you can find?
And more of the truth is uncovered! Scully now knows that Diana and Mulder did indeed have a history together. With this now confirmed, she has some just cause to be Jealous!Scully as we get to see later on in the episode, especially in the next scene.

Back at the hospital, Mulder comes into the observation room where Diana is watching Gibson. They talk a little bit about him, then she turns their attention to slightly more personal matters. She tells him that she sensed he could have used someone with similar background (namely, her), and Mulder picks up that she is referring to Scully. Mulder stands up for Scully well, and says to Diana, "I've done okay without you." Now, Diana grabs Mulder's hand, and says, "Hey. I'm on your side."

At this very moment, we see Scully approaching the room from the hallway outside. She looks up through the window, stops for a very brief second, and keeps on walking. She stops a few steps past the door, collects herself, and walks back the way she came. As she does, we see what she had seen: Diana Fowley and Fox Mulder, standing face to face, holding hands.

That must have been like being stabbed in the chest. Scully goes back to the garage to sit in her car, and while she keeps a fairly composed exterior, it is plain and clear from her the way she moves that she's feeling hurt. Perhaps even betrayed. I mean, up to this point, her feelings for Mulder could easily be argued one way or another, but with Diana Fowley entering the picture, she can't help but feel some sense of rivalry. Over the past 5 years, Scully played a major part in Mulder's life -- whether you want to argue that it's more than just their partnership, it doesn't matter. It's a relationship of friendship, partnership, and mutual trust that she's gotten used to, and even very comfortable with. And now all of a sudden, so much of Mulder's attention is now on Diana, Scully doesn't know what to do. She doesn't know how to handle it. So the safest thing there is for her is to fall back on their professional relationship. There, at least, she has some control.

So, she calls Mulder via cell phone, stretching the truth a little that she's on her way to work. There's something she discovered in Gibson's test results he needs to see right away.

Back at the FBI, in Skinner's office, all that is put aside. Something bigger is at hand. Scully's tests reveal something unprecedented in the boy -- certain neural processes that have been medically unheard of. Their discussions there and Mulder's conversation with the gunman lead up to conclusions that Gibson Praise may the the missing link between aliens and life today, as we know it.

Later, Scully is sitting in Gibson's room, watching him watch TV. She interrupts him to ask him about his ability to read minds. This leads to Gibson making generalizations about people: one being that people tend to think one thing but say something else all together. They put on fake exteriors to look good in the eyes of the people they're trying to impress. Then there are others who just don't care what other people think. "Like you," he says to Scully. "Except for her. The other one." And at that moment, Diana Fowley knocks and walks in.

It was a bit confusing trying figure out what Gibson was trying to say, but here's what I think. Thanks to Gibson, we have a unique way of getting into Scully's head here. Usually Scully does what she needs to, for her job, for Mulder, whatever. Her actions are for herself, and not for the purpose to impressing anyone. And this we've seen to be true. Scully isn't afraid of saying what's on her mind and she doesn't hold back. But again, thanks to Diana Fowley, things are different. Scully does care what she thinks of her. To what extent, though, we can't be sure.

In the next scenes, the gunman is shot dead in his cell, and Diana Fowley is shot through the window of the hotel room, despite warning from Gibson. I don't intend to be mean, but every time I see her get shot, I can't help but think how stupid she is. I mean, okay, it might have been reflex for her to stand in shock when Gibson said the gunman was aiming at her, but I would think her training and years of being the FBI would have taught her how to react and not put herself in the line of fire. Duh ...

Anyway, in the next scene, presumably early the next morning, Mulder and Scully arrive at the hotel scene in time to see Diana being wheeled out. She's not dead, though, but she's barely alive. Mulder's face obviously shows concern as he takes her hand as she's being taken to the ambulance. Skinner then shows what else he's found: the wrapping to a Morely cigarette pack.

While we see Gibson being handed over from the CSM to Well-Manicured Man, Mulder makes his threat to Agent Spender, assuming he has been working with the CSM.

In the next scene, Scully is talking quietly on the phone with Skinner, and we see that it is in Mulder's apartment (I think?), and Mulder is lying on his couch, presumably asleep. Scully finishes the conversation with Skinner and hangs up. The first thing Mulder asks is, "How's Diana?" Barely hanging on. Then he asks about what Skinner had to say. Scully breaks him the bad news: the Attorney General did not take their evidence and case well, and is working to shut down the X-Files and reassign them both.

The following sequence of events lead up to what may be the most depressing scene ever in the series. We see the CSM standing in Mulder and Scully's office, surverying the area. He goes to the file cabinet, and removes the file on Samantha T. Mulder. Upstairs, he runs into Spender, and upon questioning, he reveals that he is Spender's father. Then, the fire alarm goes off.

Mulder and Scully arrive. Mulder, obviously very distraught, goes to the elevator hoping it would take him to office, but he sees a number of firemen with a lot of equipment to unload. He takes the stairs instead, down to the basement.

And he sees that his office is destroyed. Everything. Hardly a thing is left unburned, and Mulder stands there stunned, angry, disbelieving. Scully follows in behind him, and she, too, cannot believe what she sees. After taking it in, she looks to Mulder, whose face is still registering shock. She moves closer to him, takes his shoulders in her hands, and she leans her head on his chest in comfort.