"Three Words"
by Michelle Erica Green

Dogged Setup

"Three Words" Plot Summary:

After a census worker is shot while racing towards the White House trying to give the President a computer disc labeled "FIGHT THE FUTURE," Absalom reads the obituary and escapes from prison. He breaks into the home of Agent Doggett, who has just been ordered by Kersh to inform Mulder that the latter has been removed from the X-Files. Mulder tries to convince Scully that Doggett is trying to hide the truth rather than uncover it -- Mulder recognizes a link between Absalom, the dead census worker, and the alien coverup conspiracy, which Scully and Skinner both missed. She helps him steal the dead census worker's computer files from storage, though both Scully and the Lone Gunmen try to convince him not to try to decrypt it. Meanwhile Absalom takes Doggett hostage to break into a secret government facility, but the escaped prisoner is shot to death before he can tell Doggett what's in the records that's so important.

Mulder blames Doggett for Absalom's death and assaults him in Skinner's office. Doggett gets information from his secret source, an agent named Noah, but because he knows Mulder won't listen to him, he tells Scully that the password to hack into the secret census data is "FIGHT THE FUTURE." Armed with this knowledge, Scully helps Mulder break into the same facility where Absalom was shot, but Doggett realizes he's been set up to direct them there when Skinner turns up with the same information. Doggett sends Scully from the site and tries to warn Mulder, who is highly skeptical, but when the Lone Gunmen warn him of approaching armed troops, both agents decide to escape first and hammer out their differences later. Doggett demands to know why Noah set him up. Noah says he's just trying to lead his old friend in the right direction to find the truth, because this is just the tip of the iceberg.


Mulder has two absolutely priceless moments in this episode. The first is when he tells Frohicke he'd be a lot happier to see him if Frohicke would take his hands off Mulder's ass. The second is when Scully and the Lone Gunmen all try to convince Mulder to give up his search for the truth, and Mulder informs them that having the most votes doesn't necessarily mean you win the election. I'm glad Mulder got in a zinger at that moment, because Scully's pregnancy has obviously turned her brian to chickensh*t, and having their own show has made the Lone Gunmen get soft.

I mean, really. Mulder comes back from the dead, and everyone -- EVERYONE -- wants him to give up The X-Files. OK, Scully and Skinner are cranky that Kersh has plans to remove Mulder officially from his old job, but they're sure not doing much to help him find the truth. Skinner does his best, but as usual he's two steps behind, and Scully doesn't bother to keep him apprised of their actions even when he could really help, like breaking into the warehouse to steal the census worker's hard drive. Scully sniffles about how terrible her life has been and acts as if she's just trying to make sure she doesn't lose Mulder so soon after getting him back. But although she calls his recovery a miracle, she seems perfectly content to leave it at that; her investigative instincts are reduced to trying to talk Mulder out of asking questions and reluctantly protecting him when he decides to do so anyway. Still, when Doggett tells her to save her own butt and drive away while he saves Mulder, she goes. Maybe this is a touching sign that she has begun to trust Doggett, but I'm more inclined to believe it's that baby comes first with her now.

And Mulder instinctively seems to know this, though he's sure reinforcing the situation by not even giving his partner a hug when she tearfully tells him about her living hell during his absence. He may need time to process, but can't he show a little appreciation, concern, genuine pleasure about her pregnancy? Even if he suspects he's not the father, despite the Lone Gunmen's suspicions to the contrary? OK, well, considering that she only searched for him on weeks when there weren't human bats and subway slime to investigate, I guess I can't fault him for apathy. Besides, Mulder's back on crusade, and in truth, that's the way I like him. Sure I'd like him to be concerned for Scully too. But it seems we have to choose between 'shipper heaven and The X-Files, since that's what Chris Carter seems determined to do. We all know what the "three words" of the title should be, but instead we get a plug for the old movie conspiracy arc. Like Mulder, if the contest is between love and the fate of the world, I'd rather look for the truth.

Doggett (who misses a great chance to say "Joachim! I shall avenge you!" in Ricardo Montalban's accent) has even worse taste in friends than Marita Covarrubias. This Noah is a less-attractive Krycek wannabe who tries to sound like X, and has now twice set Doggett up in a situation that could have gotten Scully killed. (Have I mentioned how utterly annoying it is that apparently Skinner AND Doggett are in love with Saint Scully now? It's sort of a relief that Mulder seems to be over her.) As silly as Scully looks asking Mulder not to pursue the truth behind what happened to him, Doggett looks ten times stupider for not paying attention to the evidence before his eyes -- he has seen men brought back from the dead twice in two weeks! This series is way past having outlived its usefulness. It's time to wrap up the only stories that still matter -- the Mulder/Scully love story, and the salvation of the planet -- and let everyone go on with their lives.

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