by Michelle Erica Green

Mulder's Life or Scully's Feelings? Everyone Chooses to Save the Latter

"DeadAlive" Plot Summary:

After a traditional Christian service about the Resurrection and the Life, Mulder is buried in the family plot in North Carolina. Three months later, Billy Miles comes back to life after being found dead in the ocean, inspiring Skinner to have Mulder's body exhumed. Though he and Doggett agree Scully should not be told lest the news should raise her hopes and jeopardize her health, she rushes to the hospital when they find Mulder clinging to life, though his body is decomposing. Using the nanobots in Skinner's body to torture him, Krycek reveals to Skinner that Mulder has been given a virus that will reincarnate him as an alien -- which is what has happened to the dazed, passive Billy. Meanwhile, Kersh offers Doggett a promotion that will take him off the X-Files.

Though Krycek has a vaccine which can cure Mulder, the rogue agent demands that Skinner terminate Scully's pregnancy as the price for Mulder's life. Skinner refuses, terminating Mulder's life support to eradicate the possibility; Doggett assaults Krycek unsuccessfully in the parking lot, costing them any chance of getting the vaccine. Still skeptical about the claims of extraterrestrial involvement, Doggett visits Absalom in prison, listening incredulously as the religious fanatic insists he saved dead humans from becoming reanimated participants in an alien invasion. Doggett insists that his skepticism is only to protect Scully, but she insists that he's betraying the X-Files, even as Doggett fights Kersh to remain on the job searching for the truth about what happened to Mulder. But Doggett knows enough to leave Scully and Mulder alone when the latter finally wakes and jokes to his tearful partner, "Who are you?"


Manly Men Doggett and Skinner do their damndest to keep Scully in the dark to protect her delicate condition. And it's probably a good thing, because Scully has lost her brain since she became pregnant. Instead of sticking around to examine Billy Miles herself, instead of sending Doggett back to the parking lot to get a sample of Krycek's vaccine after Krycek crushes the bottle, instead of chasing Krycek herself or trying to get details out of Skinner or taking any sort of active role prior to her decision to try to cure Mulder, she spends most of the episode stroking her stomach and weeping.

Given a choice between Mulder and her baby, I don't particularly trust Scully to save Mulder. It's obvious that both Doggett and Skinner are willing to sacrifice him for Scully and her spawn, which seems less like an act of love than a desperate attempt to possess her. Apart from the issue of whether Scully would choose Mulder or the child, there's the infuriating fact that they don't even let her make the choice. She's a pregnant woman, not a fragile flower that needs protection from the light. The way the writers have constructed her this season is intolerable, and no amount of emoting from Gillian Anderson can save the character.

When Mulder opens his eyes and asks Scully who she is, it's like a kick in the guts -- not because we really think he doesn't love her anymore, but because we can see the twinkle in his eye before she can. Thus we get a painful reminder that the trademark humor that has been missing all season will disappear forever when David Duchovny leaves the show in a few weeks. Despite this coming calamity, it's impossible to share Scully's grief during the opening because we've seen Mulder "dead" one too many times; that avenue of emotional manipulation is closed. And who cares about a baby that's being posited as more important than the show's central character? There's nothing left for the writers to do except to end this series now, before it becomes completely unwatchable.

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