Instead of trying to fully explain this week's episode (a task on par with
untying the Gordian Knot), I'm going to wait for next week's conclusion
the detailed plot of this very juicy two-episode conspiracy arc. So now
that I've got a little breathing room, I figured this would be a good time
to help less-obsessed x-files fans understand just what's going on.
Hopefully this little synopsis of characters and places will fill in the
gaps and allow you to enjoy next weeks's conclusion for all the glory it
will likely convey.
Here's a couple things seen in "Patient X" that relate directly to past events:
The Chip: Scully, along with all those
now-burned-to-death alien abductees, has a subcutaneous chip planted at the
base of her neck. The chip appeared after her abduction, and throughout the
seasons she has come in contact with other abductees who also have a
collection of very expensive homing devices. Ironically, removal of the
chip leads to death; Scully's cancer was attributed to the extraction of
her chip, and when it was reinserted, her previously grave cancer went into
full remission (this prompted the biggest smile Mulder has ever delivered).
It now seems that the chip is causing great distress again for those in
possesion of the Pentium III are now awakened by a tingle, hear wind chimes
(at least Scully did) and find themselves drawn to remote, wilderness
outposts where they are promptly burned by eyeless alien assassins. I think
I'll pass on the subcutaneous addition.
Skyland Mountain, Virginia: Had Gillian Anderson not
become pregnant at the end of season one, the intricacies of the mythology
may have never been developed to the extent we're witnessing. To
incorporate her pregnancy, the writers created her abduction through the
tremendous three-episode arc of "Duane Barry,"
"Ascension" and "One Breath"
("One Breath" is my favorite episode ever). Scully's abduction occurred at
Skyland Mountain, which makes the revisiting of the site, seen in this
episode, particularly interesting.
Duane Barry: A former FBI agent who was abducted one
too many times, Duane Barry is the reason for most of Scully's problems
over the last season and a half. In the course of two episodes ("Duane Barry"
and "Ascension") this guy managed to take hostages at a travel
agency in Richmond, Virginia, break out of a mental hospital, kidnap Scully
and then promptly die under very suspicious circumstances. He used Scully
as a decoy -- the aliens took her instead of him. Apparently, Mulder made
headlines for his work on the case as Casandra -- Patient X -- said she
originally found the strength to confront her own abductions after hearing
about the Dwayne Barry situation. On a sidenote: the next time a former
law-enforcement officer comes up to you, sweating and spouting about
himself in the third person, make sure you run far, far away less you want
a subcutaneous chip at the nape of your neck.
Dr. Max Verber: That guy you saw who at first glance
looks like Cancer Man is actually far more important in Mulder's life
(well, sorta). The story goes that five years ago, Mulder subjected himself
to deep hypnosis therapy under the supervision of Dr. Verber. The treatment
was a way for Mulder to understand the disappearance of his sister,
Samantha, and the ultimate result was Mulder's fervent belief that his
sister was abducted by aliens. Along with this belief came his dedication
to the X-files. Apparently, the realizations he faced at the beginning of
this season in "Redux"/"Redux II" have caused him to do a 180. His fervent
beliefs now focus on the conspiracy, not the existence of extraterrestrials
(and it appears he'll soon have to reevaluate once again).
Black Oil (aka "Black Cancer"): In the middle of last
season Mulder and Scully intercepted a funky rock that contained a new form
of alien life -- a gooey black oil. This little bugger seeps below the
skin, creeps into the eyeballs and causes its host to lapse into a coma. In
the depths of the former Soviet Union, Mulder, accompanied by Rat Boy (Alex
Krycek), stumbles upon a fishy Russian gulag where scientists just happen
to be experimenting with the Black Oil ("Tunguska").
They're in search of an antidote, and lucky for Mulder, they seem to have
found something that works well enough to keep an American FBI agent alive.
It's through this whole Black Oil mess we learn of the
Soviet/Russian/Whatever they are now equivalent to the Syndicate. Turns out
the conspiracy is national, not worldwide, and once again the U.S. and the
Soviets are at odds.
Alex Krycek: Krycek has made a career of being a
smarmy guy who continually gets the crap kicked out of him by Mulder.
Krycek originally worked for the Syndicate, but after botching an
assassination attempt on Scully (her sister Melissa was killed by mistake)
the Syndicate unsuccessfully tried to off this little bastard. But like all
rodents, he found a way to live. Krycek may have also been responsible for
the murder of Mulder's dad -- which makes Mulder's repeated beatings
acceptable. Rat Boy now sports a prosthetic arm thanks to a little incident
in the depths of a Siberian forest.
And finally, we come to that angry little UN assistant herself...
Marita Covarrubias (where do they get these names?):
Marita, aka UNBlonde, follows in a very dead tradition of Mulder
informants. The torch began with Deep Throat, but he died, then it went to
X, and he died, now Marita has it, but who knows what she's up to. Based on
her alliance with the Syndicate, her shmecking with Krycek (what was up
with that?) and the apparent orchestration of a double-cross against the
conspiracy, it appears a lot has been left in the dark regarding the
bottle-blonde lady with the lisp.
So there's a refresher on who's involved and what they're doing. This
appears to be one of the most complicated storylines in series history, so
if you're lost, don't be afraid to speak up -- I'll be happy to try to fit
the pieces together for you. But then again, it could all change next week
Red and the Black"
Note: This review originally appeared at Ontap.com. It's reprinted here for archival purposes.