May 26, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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The X-Files “Ascension”

Mulder tries to rescue Scully. He fails.

Here it is:  the episode that temporarily shuffled Gillian Anderson off the show.

She’ll be back in two episodes and end up sticking around a lot longer than her co-star.

The Case:  Scully!  Kidnapped!

The Rest:  I remember this one a bit, mostly because it was an episode where the big shock–Scully disappears!–isn’t exactly a surprise to anyone who’d been paying attention.  I knew even then that Gillian Anderson would be going on maternity leave.  There was no way Mulder was going to get to her in time to save her from Duane Barry, the abductee who loved to shout his own name.  Heck, the episode even managed to show something that may or may not be happening to Scully in some sort of alien experiment that actually showed Anderson’s pregnant belly.

Bottom line:  no matter what, I knew then and now that Mulder would fail.

However, what I forgot was that Scully disappears around the halfway point of the episode.  It’s arguably more about expanding the conspiracy than temporarily writing Scully off the show.

Krycek?  Surprise surprise.  He’s working for the Smoking Man.  The guy who is still sitting in on meetings.  Krycek delays Mulder’s ability to get to Scully, kills Duane and one other guy (probably), and openly talks about killing Mulder off, but the Smoking Man thinks that might be more dangerous.  Because, you know, Mulder’s famous or something.

Skinner?  Smoking Man more or less says he does not work for Skinner and even hints Skinner does not work for the conspiracy.

And sure, Mama Scully seemed to have some prophetic dreams about her daughter, but the thing I wanted to know most was how Duane even found Scully.  And, to be fair, while the episode never really answers that very question that I raised over the previous episode’s write-up, Mulder does wonder how Duane even found Scully, and his conclusion was either because she had the implant or else someone gave Duane her address.

There’s an awful lot of “they” and “them” sort of talk in an episode like this, and the closest the episode comes to saying who is basically just saying the military might be behind all this.  Oh, and Duane briefly spots some unnamed guys in suits hanging around outside a window that conveniently walk off before Mulder can turn around and look.

However, this is another episode where Skinner is something of an ally even as Mulder seems to be pushing the guy because the emphasis is Skinner really can’t do much of anything…except reopen the X-Files now that Krycek has run away, the Smoking Man is obviously not an underling of Skinner’s, and Scully is still missing.

Which means next time, a Scully-free episode with some vampires.