David Duchuvny returned for this one, getting his name and face listed first in the opening credits, and he has one scene where he actually has any lines at all.
The Case: Mulder Shot A Legendary Creature!
The Rest: Scully more or less sits this one out, having Doggett team with Skinner to follow a lead on where Mulder went. Apparently, Mulder was in some somewhat rural town in Pennsylvania tracking down a local legend, a somewhat ancient-looking Native American man who can eat illnesses. Mulder had shot the thing in the cold open when, before it was revealed what the thing actually was, it looked like the guy was threatening a woman. Doggett and Mulder both separately look into the legend and realize the same thing without ever meeting: the man is suffering, and the locals won’t let him leave or die or anything, so while Mulder did shoot the guy, he did it as a mercy killing that didn’t take.
Much of the issue here is what Doggett will say in his report. See, Mulder didn’t really write a report on this one that accurately represented what happened, and Scully signed off on it, so she can’t be trusted either. Doggett works with Skinner and (briefly) the Lone Gunmen, but when he finds the illness-eating guy, he decides to take the fellow far away, an act that gets him shot by the local sheriff, but then he wakes up because the illness-eater ate his death and then died, leading Doggett to have to wonder what exactly he was going to put into his own report.
He ends up basically, by taking Skinner’s advice, doing the same thing Mulder did with his own report.
I’m mostly sitting here and wondering how different this show would have been if Doggett had been the lead from the beginning. He just doesn’t vibe as well as I would like as well as the fact that he seems as likely to team up with Skinner as Scully, plus I’m not sure what his purpose for finding Mulder is right now, it just makes the show feel…weird. And not in the way I want The X-Files to be weird.
Up next, Boston’s Big Dig was probably worse than you thought.