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Paper Clip

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"Paper Clip" is the second episode of the third season of The X-Files.

SynopsisEdit

After Mulder and Scully are reunited, they investigate a photograph that seems to connect Mulder's father to experiments that were conducted after World War II but used scientific knowledge from Nazi Germany.

SummaryEdit

Continuing from the previous episode, "The Blessing Way", Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) hold each other at gunpoint. Fox Mulder (David Duchovny), the person lingering outside the apartment, bursts in and forces Skinner to put his gun down. He also demands that Skinner surrender a digital tape containing secret government files. Skinner insists on keeping the tape, saying it is their only leverage in exposing the conspiracy.

Mulder Langly Scully Paper Clip

Mulder and Scully go to the Lone Gunmen for help.

The agents visit The Lone Gunmen, showing them a photo featuring Bill Mulder, The Smoking Man, Deep Throat, and other members of the Syndicate. The Lone Gunmen also recognize Victor Klemper, a notorious Nazi scientist who was brought to the United States under Operation Paperclip. Melvin Frohike informs Scully of her sister Melissa's condition. Mulder persuades Scully not to visit Melissa at the hospital, since she could be targeted there.

Meanwhile, the Syndicate meets. Furious that an innocent person was murdered, the Syndicate demands that Smoking Man produce the digital tape. The Smoking Man promises to do so the following day. Meanwhile, Mulder and Scully visit Klemper, who says that the photo was taken at the Strughold Mining Company in West Virginia. After the agents leave, Klemper calls the Well Manicured Man and informs him that Mulder is alive. The news causes the Syndicate to further mistrust the Smoking Man.

At the hospital, Albert Hosteen visits Melissa while a suited man loiters nearby.

Mulder and Scully arrive at the mining site and using the code for Napier's constant, told to them by Klemper, are able to unlock one of the reinforced doors they find inside.
Mulder Alien Ship Strughold Mine Paper Clip

Mulder sees an alien ship flying over the mines.

Skinner meets with the Cigarette Smoking Man, telling him that he may have found the digital tape. The Cigarette Smoking Man is extremely agitated at this, insisting that he will not make a deal with Skinner, and tacitly threatening his life. Mulder and Scully find a large complex of filing cabinets containing smallpox vaccination records and tissue samples. Mulder finds his sister's file and finds that it was originally meant for him. Hearing noise, Mulder heads outside where he witnesses a UFO flying overhead. Small beings run past Scully. Cars full of armed soldiers arrive, and the agents are forced to flee.

Mulder and Scully meet with Skinner at a diner in rural Maryland. Skinner wants to turn over the digital tape in exchange for their reinstatement and safety. After initially objecting, Mulder agrees to let Skinner turn the digital tape over. Skinner heads to see Melissa in the hospital and is told by Albert of the mysterious blue-suited man outside. Skinner chases the man to a stairwell where he is attacked by Alex Krycek and Luis Cardinal, who steal the digital tape and flee. Krycek narrowly escapes an attempt on his life when the car he is in explodes after the other two men leave the car.

Mulder and Scully return to Klemper's greenhouse, finding the Well Manicured Man there. He admits to knowing Mulder's father and states that during the Cold War Mulder's father helped gather genetic data for post-apocalyptic identification—data Klemper used to work on alien-human hybrids. When Mulder's father learned of this, he threatened to expose them, so Samantha was taken to ensure his silence.

Krycek phones the Cigarette Smoking Man, telling him that he has the tape.
Albert Hosteen Walter Skinner Office Paper Clip

Albert Hosteen and Walter Skinner confront the Cigarette-Smoking Man.

The Cigarette Smoking Man lies to the rest of the Syndicate, telling them that Scully's would-be assassin was killed in a car explosion that destroyed the tape too. Mulder confronts his mother, who tells him that his father chose that Samantha be taken.

At FBI headquarters, Skinner once again meets with the Cigarette Smoking Man about the tape. The Smoking Man calls Skinner's bluff, knowing he no longer has the tape, but Skinner reveals that Albert and twenty other Navajos have memorized the content of the tape and are ready to reveal it if Mulder or Scully are harmed.

Mulder meets with Scully at the hospital, who reveals that her sister died a few hours before. Mulder tells Scully that he believes that the truth is still in the X-Files. Scully tells him that she's heard the truth, and now what she wants are the answers.

ReferencesEdit

Native American; Nazi; World War II; West Virginia; Roswell; smallpox; Samantha Mulder; Navajo

Background InformationEdit

ProductionEdit

  • The voice-over at the start of this episode was drawn from stories that Navajo medicine men shared with Chris Carter. The idea of a white buffalo being a harbinger of change was influenced by Carter reading about Native Americans beliefs that a white buffalo calf birth was an omen.
  • The scene in which Krycek flees from the imminent car bomb was hampered by difficulties with the pyrotechnics. Krycek actor Nicholas Lea was among a group that repeatedly rehearsed the scene but found that the pyrotechnics were not working. Although this caused him to become more nervous while filming the scene, the crew finally managed to make the explosion work and, according to Lea, he got about thirty or forty feet away from the rigged detonation before the concussive pressure of the blast almost pushed him to the ground.

ContinuityEdit

  • In contrast to the birthdate listed on Samantha Mulder's biography (referenced in the episode "Conduit"), Samantha's birthdate is noted as being on November 21, 1965 on her medical file in this episode. Her middle name is also noted as "Ann" on the file, which contradicts her biography as well.
  • Mulder and Scully are directed to the "Strughold" Mining Facility by Victor Klemper, where they discover evidence of government experiments on the public. It is unclear whether this facility is connected to Conrad Strughold, who is depicted as the leader of the Syndicate in The X-Files: Fight the Future. Also, Dr. Hubertus Strughold was a Nazi medical researcher who emigrated to the U.S. as part of Operation Paperclip; his experiments were similar to those described by Victor Klemper in this episode.

Cast and CharactersEdit

CastEdit

Starring

Also Starring

Guest Starring

Co-Starring

Uncredited

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