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|The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati||Credits||Gallery|
An unconscious Mulder's dreams lead him astray from the X-Files, but Scully stays the course in her search to find him.
Teena Mulder and The Smoking Man visit Mulder, who is paralyzed in a hospital. After administering a drug that cures his paralysis, The Smoking Man reveals himself to be Mulder's father and takes him from the hospital. Meanwhile Kritschgau visits Scully and claims that Mulder's contact with the shard of an alien spaceship has reawakened the extraterrestrial black oil with which he was infected three years previously; because he is infected with the virus, Mulder is proof of alien life. Skinner, who has been looking for Mulder, tells Scully that Mulder's mother signed him out of the hospital. The Smoking Man takes Mulder to an unfamiliar neighborhood; inside a new home, he finds his former informant Deep Throat. Deep Throat claims to have faked his own death to escape the burden he was under by being a part of the Syndicate, and he suggests Mulder can now do the same. Mulder meets Fowley, and the two become intimate.
On the hospital security tapes, Scully sees Mulder's mother talking to The Smoking Man but is unable to contact her. Scully receives a package containing a book on Native American beliefs, which describes how one man will prevent the impending apocalypse. Again visiting Kritschgau, she notices he has a stolen copy of her information on the alien spaceship. After he admits hacking her computer, she deletes the files from his laptop.
Mulder is reunited with his sister Samantha in his new life. He marries Fowley and they have children. The years pass quickly; he grows older and Fowley dies. Mulder is revealed to be dreaming everything: in reality he is in a government facility being tended to by doctors while The Smoking Man and Fowley watch. The Smoking Man is preparing to have portions of Mulder's cranial tissue—which have been infected and activated because of the alien virus—implanted into himself. During the operation, The Smoking Man admits that he believes that Mulder has become an alien-human hybrid, and that by taking Mulder's genetic material he alone will survive the coming alien onslaught.
Mulder becomes an old man in his dream, accompanied by an ageless Smoking Man who tells him that Fowley, Deep Throat, Samantha and Scully have all died. The Smoking Man looks out the window, revealing an alien holocaust. Back in reality, Alex Krycek kills Kritschgau, burns his papers, and steals his laptop. Scully, having earlier been visited by the spirit of Albert Hosteen who convinces her to pray, awakens in her apartment to discover that someone has slipped a security card under her door. Using it, she enters the facility where Mulder is being held. In Mulder's dream, Scully meets him at his bedside and convinces him to break with his imaginary life. In reality, Scully finds Mulder and the two escape the facility. A week later Scully meets Mulder at his apartment and tells him that Fowley was found murdered. Mulder confides that, during his ordeal, Scully served as his "touchstone".
- Phenytoin - Scully mentions that Mulder has been injected with phenytoin. Phenytoin is the generic form of the drug Dilantin. The most common use of this medication is the prevention of convulsions in seizure disorders such as epilepsy.
- Mulder's dream sequences - The idea behind Mulder's dream sequences were largely borrowed from the last 30 minutes of the 1988 film The Last Temptation of Christ (based on the Nikos Kazantzakis book of the same name). In the movie, we see Christ saved from the cross at the last minute and allowed to have a normal life. He gets married, has kids, and leads a long, normal life. As Jesus is dying of old age, he is visited by his supposedly-dead best friend Judas, who calls Jesus a traitor and shows him that Jerusalem is burning because Jesus did not die for our sins. Jesus then snaps back to reality where he is indeed dying on the cross. The episode is similar, with Mulder 'saved' by the Cigarette Smoking Man and allowed to have a normal life where he marries and has children. When he is about to die of old age, he is visited by his supposedly dead best friend Scully who calls him a traitor and shows him that the world is being destroyed by aliens because he did not complete his quest, then he snaps back to reality where he wakes on a cross shaped table with his arms spread and a "halo" bolted into his forehead as something of a "thorny crown."
- The theme for the first two episodes of season 7 is faith and fate. Both of these themes will be explored constantly throughout the season.
- This episode marks the last appearance of Mimi Rogers and John Finn as Diana Fowley and Michael Kritschgau, respectively.
- The tagline for this episode is "Amor Fati"
- Amor fati is a Latin phrase that means "love of fate" or "love of one's fate". It is used to describe an attitude in which one sees everything that happens in one's life, including suffering and loss, as good. That is, one feels that everything that happens is destiny's way of reaching its ultimate purpose, and so should be considered good. Moreover, it is characterized by an acceptance of the events that occur in one's life.
- This episode has a deleted scene that can be viewed with the episode on the Season 7 DVD Box Set. The scene shows Scully talking with a seriously hurt Walter Skinner after Krycek escapes the FBI building. Skinner then warns Scully that "they" will do anything to have what Mulder has now. It is of note that the physical condition of Skinner in this deleted scene does not match his physical condition in the previous aired scene were Scully enters his office only to see Krycek running away.
Mulder: Scully, what are you doing here? Actually, I was just getting dressed to come see you but I... I couldn't find a tie to go with my victory cap.
Scully: Mulder, no work. You have to go back to bed.
Mulder: Oh, wait. Tie goes to the runner. Scully, I, um... I was coming down... to work to tell you that Albert Hosteen is dead. He died last night in New Mexico. He'd been in a coma for two weeks. There was... no way he could have been in your apartment.
Scully: He was there - we... we prayed together. Mulder, I don't believe that. I... I don't believe it. It's impossible.
Mulder: Is it any more impossible than what you saw in Africa or what you saw in me?
Scully: I don't know what to believe any more. Mulder, I was so determined to find a cure to save you that I could deny what it was that I saw and now I don't even know... I don't know... I don't know what the truth is... I don't know who to listen to. I don't know who to trust. Diana Fowley was found murdered this morning. I never trusted her... but she helped save your life just as much as I did. She gave me that book. It was her key that led me to you. I'm sorry... I'm so sorry. I know she was your friend.
Mulder: Scully, I was like you once - I didn't know who to trust. Then I... I chose another path... another life, another fate, where I found my sister. The end of my world was unrecognizable and upside down. There was one thing that remained the same. You... were my friend, and you told me the truth. Even when the world was falling apart, you were my constant... my touchstone.
Scully: And you are mine.
Michael Kritschgau to Scully: "Two years ago your partner was infected with a virus he claimed was alien. A virus reactivated in him by exposure to a source of energy also alien. Agent Mulder is living proof of what he tried so long to substantiate: the existence of alien life."
Cigarette Smoking Man: Extraordinary men are always most tempted by the most ordinary things.
- When Mulder is laying on top of the operating table he is strapped down to it. When Scully comes, he goes to hug her and is no longer strapped down.
- At the beginning of the episode when the Cigarette Smoking Man is in Mulder's hospital room he says, "I'm showing you how to take the road not taken". "The road not taken" is an allusion to the poem of the same name by Robert Frost.
After leaving the hospital with the Cigarette Smoking Man, Mulder dreams of a family on the beach. He wakes up to the Cigarette Smoking Man's voice saying, "the child is the father of man." This is a Wordsworth quote. Wordsworth is associated with Romanticism, which is attributed with a radical rethinking of children and childhood. The Romantics thought that childhood is the happiest and purest time in a human's life, the only moment in our lives when we are free from the corruptions of adulthood. "The child is the father of man," as well as the greater Romantic perspective, are major themes in this episode. These themes are central to Mulder's dreams (of growing old and jaded, interacting with his "inner child," Fowley's insistence on a child, etc.) as well as to what transpires in this episode between Mulder and the Cigarette Smoking Man.
- William B. Davis as Cigarette Smoking Man
- Nicholas Lea as Alex Krycek
- Mitch Pileggi as Assistant Director Walter Skinner
Special Guest Starring
- Jerry Hardin as Deep Throat
- Martin Grey as Special Agent Flagler
- Rebecca Toolan as Teena Mulder
- Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman as Albert Hosteen
- John Finn as Michael Kritschgau
- Brian George as Project Doctor
- Warren Sweeney as Dr. Geoff Harriman
- Fritz Greve as Bearded Man
- Anthony Anselmi as Paramedic
- Arlene Pileggi as Arlene
- Megan Leitch as Samantha Mulder
- Henry Schwartz as Toddler
- Andrew Carvano and Steven Carvano as Dream Boy
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