"Tempus Fugit" Plot Summary:
Scully's birthday party is interrupted by the sister of Max Fenig - the alien abductee from "Fallen Angel." She tells the agents that Fenig was killed in an airplane crash. Mulder concludes from the logs that the plane was forced out of the sky, and discovers a nine minute discrepancy between the time of the crash and the time at which the dead passengers' watches stopped.
Scully finds evidence that the passengers were exposed to radiation. Mulder believes Fenig was abducted from the aircraft, but agents claim to have found Fenig's body. An Air Force Reserve air traffic controller whose partner dies under mysterious circumstances admits that he communicated with the plane just before it crashed, and that his commanding officers ordered him to lie to investigators. He explains that they saw an unexplained blip on the radar just before the crash, which Mulder hypothesizes was a UFO shot down by the government into a nearby lake. When Mulder goes diving for evidence, he finds the body of an alien and an intense light...
I'm always disappointed when we actually see an alien in an X Files episode. It's much more interesting to think that we have no idea what our government is hiding than to learn that, in fact, it's contact with aliens.
The government bad guys in this episode were almost ludicrously nasty - spraying acid on the faces of dead people, lying to and killing Air Force officers...I always want to find out that they're trying to cover their own incompetence, not an actual alien presence.
This is another two-parter where Mulder and Scully go off in different directions physically as well as ideologically. Scully spends a lot of time in bars, and a lot of time with Agent Pendrell (conveniently shot in this episode, so he's no longer likely to come between the big two). Mulder does most of the really interesting investigative work, and, as usual, is on a much hotter trail than Scully.
This wasn't a two-parter which left me panting for the next week's episode, the way "Tunguska" did. The possibility for tie-ins to Samantha's disappearance are intriguing, but the conspiracy doesn't seem to be deepening here in any unexpected ways. One of my favorite things about X Files is that I can rarely figure out where they're going to go next; even when I don't like the way the plot thickens, I rarely guess it before it happens. This time the trail seems to lead in rather obvious directions.
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