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The X-Files Newbie Recap: “The Blessing Way” and “Paper Clip”

"This is where you pucker up and kiss my ass."

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Head back to earlier X-Files newbie recaps if you’re behind!

Hello peeps! Slightly late to the party this week, but behold the wall of text that awaits thee.

Some initial thoughts before we muck in: Tbh, while these episodes were good, neither impressed me quite as much as “Anasazi.” “The Blessing Way” in particular was a bit morto in parts and the ET moments in “Paper Clip” didn’t feel as arresting as they should have. That said, there were individual highlights—in addition to beloved Skinner’s magnificent takedown of the CSM, the best one has to be Krycek nearly getting incinerated by his own murderous colleagues. Sucks for you, bruh. Take your stupid 90s haircut and utterly wasted life and go disappear into a VAT of liquor. Please and thanks.

The Blessing Way

I said it on Twitter, and I’ll say it again here: there was approximately zero need for Mulder to have a vision quest. I’m guessing his little escapade up in the clouds chatting to the shiny spirits of Deep Throat and his father was meant to reflect Scully’s brief trip into the great unknown last season, but at least she didn’t have to appropriate Native American culture to do it. Argh.

Anyway, we open with a token moment of dickishness from the CSM. He and his cronies burst into Albert’s house and proceed to beat up him and his family, demanding to know where Mulder and/or the incriminating files are. By the time Scully arrives the next day, they’re all in pretty bloodied shape. She heads down to the boxcar and finds it still smouldering but with no sign of Mulder. Feeling a touch defeated, she’s on her way back home when she’s stopped by a military helicopter. Armed soldiers search her car and continue to be dickish.

They take some paper files but she says she doesn’t have the digital copy—Mulder did, and so far as she knows he’s now dead. Things do not improve for our Dana when she gets back to DC. She’s summoned to a fitness to practice inquiry which decides to suspend her and revoke her badge and gun. She and Skinner exchange looks which scream how much they’re done with society and then she gets a little surly—he follows her out, pledging that the men responsible for what happened to Mulder and his father will be found and dealt with, to which she swiftly retorts “with all due respect sir, I think you overestimate your position in the chain of command.” Fuckin’ flawless. There is definitely a .gif apt for this moment, but I can’t find the one I’m looking for right now so have my live-tweet instead.

Skinner, to his eternal credit, looks genuinely stunned. Beloved bald love of mine, you are fabulous, but Scully speaks the truth.

Scully goes home to her mum. She breaks down and says she thinks she’s made a horrible mistake, and that her father would be ashamed of her. Ach, this is so sad. Even when attempting to declassify what may be the most horrific cover-up in American history, all Dana worries about is that her dad would be ashamed. Fear not, my love. Your moral courage is unassailable and I’m pretty sure that’s the main thing he’d be thinking of and admiring in this situation.

Later on, she gets a visit from Frohike. He’s heard the news about Mulder and offers condolences, describing him as a “redwood among mere sprouts.” He also informs her that the hacker who stole the files has been found dead in Trenton; murdered execution-style the day after Mulder went missing. This momentarily galvanises Scully and she goes back to Skinner to ask him to intervene. She makes the point that if they can match the ballistics from the hacker’s murder to those from the killing of Mulder’s dad, then it may be possible to clear Mulder’s name.

Skinner refuses, saying the Trenton police department have access to their databases and if there was a match they’d know by now. When Scully presses him, he says she overestimates the scale of his duties as assistant director. Oh, pet. You tried, but that’s nowhere near as damning a burn as you wanted it to be. Scully all but rolls her eyes and flounces out, while the CSM makes his annoyingly ubiquitous presence known from the next room over. Skinner says Scully doesn’t have the digital tape, which the CSM proceeds to describe as “unfortunate.” YOU’RE unfortunate, mate. You and your cigarettes and face and general existence. Ugh.

The CSM has been hanging out with a bunch of besuited old dudes, all of whom are sweating over the unknown whereabouts of the digital files. Whenever I see a bunch of men shacked up together like this, I’m immediately reminded of that bit in Titanic where Rose watches the first-class menfolk head off for brandy and cigars and scoffs “they retreat into a cloud of smoke and congratulate each other on being masters of the universe.” Hilariously, the CSM appears to be under some degree of pressure from this crowd, as he lies and tells them that the digital tape has been recovered. He’s not at all convincing, and one of those gathered who just so happens to be the lovely John Neville (or as I shall proceed to call him until commenters advise me as to his official X-Files lore name, Mr. Laurence) decides to take matters into his own hands.

That's Mr Laurence to you

On her way out of FBI HQ, Scully walks by a metal detector. It had popped when she went through it earlier, so she asks the guard to run the machine over her again. This time, it pops in a specific place—the back of her neck. She heads to the doctor and finds a tiny implant sitting just under her skin. The doc pulls it out and when they examine it under a microscope, find it looks eerily like a computer chip. Scully later shows the implant to her sister. Missy suggests she go to a hypnotherapist to try and tease out what happened when she was abducted. Scully is fiercely resistant but eventually relents when Missy asks that she do it for her.

There’s something quite pleasing about this, it must be said. Given hypnotherapy is one of Mulder’s preferred treatments and something he’s used extensively in an attempt to figure out what he remembers from the night Samantha was taken, Scully’s aversion to it is such a nice throwback to their days as polar opposites. Not that they’re exactly in sync in their beliefs now—and bearing in mind that Scully’s reluctance presumably stems from an unwillingness to confront what happened—it’s still a neat reminder of how different their stance is on so many things. As it is, Scully’s session with the hynotherapist doesn’t go very smoothly.

She remembers small details from when she was taken—that the sound was strange, there were male voices around her, and that she was powerless to do anything. However, when the therapist tries to prompt her further she snaps out of it and high-tails it out of the office. I’m guessing more detail on what happened will come to light later, but it sounds pretty grim just from this.

Meanwhile, down in New Mexico, Mulder’s been undergoing a Blessing Way ritual. Albert and his family find him buried under rocks out in the desert and take him to a cabin where they perform a traditional chant. This is intended to summon the Holy People, who may help nurse Mulder back to health. At first, it’s not looking promising. He’s burning up and comatose and finds himself floating in the sky with strange figures all around him. Deep Throat and his dad each speak to him in turn. Deep Throat says the truth is indeed out there, but there is no justice or judgement, without which truth is essentially meaningless. He urges him to cling to reason and fight his demons both within and without.

There’s a brief shot of alien creatures in the boxcar scattering as a cannister of cyanide is dropped in. They claw at a hole in the boxcar wall, which I’m guessing is meant to illustrate how Mulder got out of it before it was blown up. When his dad speaks to him, he says he could not live with the truth and is ashamed of his choices. He also says that the memory “lives” in Mulder and that if he dies, only the lies will survive. Interesting notion, especially as Albert had earlier made reference to an old Native belief that something lives only as long as it’s remembered. Is this meant to suggest that the “truth”, as it were, lives only so long as someone like Mulder is out there fighting to bring it to the fore? That if it is never brought to light and no justice comes of it, it ultimately amounts to nothing? Such would be in keeping with what Deep Throat suggests, but then Albert had followed up his reference to this belief by saying that history, as distinct from memory, is written by the victors and so in that sense there is a value to subjective memory.

There’s a lot of philosophising in this episode. I’m not inherently against that, but I also don’t see the need to drench everything in such starry-eyed naval-gazing. Like, Mulder could have been buried underground staring into a fire and perfectly lucid when thinking this out, with no need for the insight from beyond the grave. He certainly doesn’t seem religious—unlike Scully—so borrowing imagery and spirituality from other cultures seems a bit forced. I found this quite cringey, to be honest, so let’s move on.

Cringe

A few days later, he comes around. Albert’s family help nurse him back to full health. They advise him as to what he must do to complete the ritual properly, and in one genuinely lovely grace note the boys give him a small bag of what looks like sunflower seeds. I assume as much because I remember Mulder saying that he used to hear his dad eating them in the next room when he couldn’t sleep, and it brought him comfort. (That was way back when—was that in “Aubrey”? Gosh.)

Mulder’s adventures in astral projection aren’t quite done yet as Scully has a vision of him around the same time he comes to. He comes to her in a dream and says that danger is close at hand and “it may be too late”. Scully wakes up all flustered, as if she wasn’t unnerved enough. Earlier that day, on her way back from the hynotherapist’s, she saw Skinner leaving her apartment building. I would say he was attempting to be quick and inconspicuous, but I don’t think that’s even possible for a man of his stature. When she calls him to ask about it, he plays dumb and gets a bit angsty, then abruptly excuses himself from a meeting with the CSM. Seriously, why is this arsehole always hanging around like a bad smell? There must be five of him. He’s forever showing up when you least want or expect it.

Scully goes to Mulder’s dad’s funeral and speaks with his mum. She tells her that despite what the FBI may have said, she strongly believes Mulder is alive and that he’ll be found. As she’s leaving, she’s approached by Mr. Laurence. By some thinly-obscured jovialities, he informs her that his ~consortium’s interests are threatened by the digital tape of which she is ~no longer in possession, and that her life may well be in danger. He warns her that “they” will come at her in one of two ways—either they’ll kill her at home with an unregistered weapon, or they’ll send someone she knows who can get close to her without suspicion.

He suggests she stay somewhere out of the way. When Scully asks why he’s helping her, he merely says that he feels his colleagues are acting rashly and that her death would draw unnecessary attention. He also says that his group predicts the future and the best way to do so is to invent it. This seems like a nice accompaniment to Albert’s observations about history being written by victors. Be the contrived Machiavellian murderous change you wish to see in the world, eh?

Mrs. Mulder arrives back at Bill’s house and finds her son waiting for her. Hurray! Though it’s suddenly painfully clear that there’s only the two of them left, and all the family photos on the wall must be like daggers. Mulder asks her for help. He shows her a photo of Bill with a group of men back in the 1970s. Deep Throat and Mr. Laurence are both in the picture. He asks if she remembers anything and becomes rather needlessly aggressive, but she insists she doesn’t know anything. He begrudgingly explains that he needs to know because he believes this ties in to what happened to Samantha, and then leaves without a backward glance. Oyy. Mulder doesn’t fare well outside of a routine. We need to get him back into the office pronto.

The final few scenes are something of a rollercoaster. Firstly, Scully gets a call from Missy, who says she’s coming over to see her. Right after she hangs up, Scully gets another call, but the person hangs up without saying anything. Dana’s spider senses are activated. She tries to call Missy back but only gets her machine, and tells her she’ll come over to her house instead. However, when she goes outside, Skinner pulls up and implores her to get in the car. Scully reluctantly agrees, but Missy arrives a little while later and is shot right as she comes inside the apartment. CONGRATULATIONS, KRYCEK, YOU REMAIN AN UTTERLY INCOMPETENT SWINE. I swear to goth his reaction basically boils down to “whoops. Should I write them a note?” He and his scumbag compadre drop the gun and disappear, leaving poor Missy slumped on the ground.

This is terrible. I’m so annoyed.

Scully and Skinner have come to Mulder’s apartment, which as we all know is TOTALLY a safe haven what with the bugs and poisoned water and surveillance and X in the window. I’m guessing the place isn’t being monitored if they think Mulder’s dead. Anyhoo, Skinner, darling man, excels in not looking at all shifty.

Lessons in how not to look shifty

I’m just saying that one of these days I’m going to write fanfic about Skinner’s clandestine relationship with his equally frazzled Bureau lawyer and that lawyer, friends, is gonna be me. Self-insert ftw.

Scully insists he go in first, at which point she pulls her gun and instructs him to walk to the couch. He acts relatively cool, but tries to convince her that he has the tape they’ve been looking for. Before they can talk it over, there’s a noise at the door, and Skinner takes the opportunity to pull his own gun. Lads, please, can we all be reasonable here. At this point the episode decides to end, which I remember being extremely miffed by cos I watched this at 3am and had to finally accept the inevitability of sleep. The next episode is equally momentous, so let’s keep moving.

Paper Clip

The noise at the door is Mulder! I was kind of hoping it’d be Mr. X just going “what the eff are you two doing here” but alas, that revelation must wait for another day. Anyway, Mulder barges in, sadly not to a rapturous swell of Eminem’s “Without Me” but that song hadn’t been written back then and we can’t be having the craic all the time. His gun comes out immediately, and he trains it on Skinner. Sad face. We were *this* close to a Mexican stand-off. Walter decides he’ll play the reluctant adult of the group and puts his gun down, then pulls the tape out of his pocket. Mulder informs him that the tape contains evidence of a global conspiracy to cover up evidence of extraterrestrial life. Skinner blinks.

I really like to imagine him making a mental note to assign Mulder the most hardened of psychiatrists at this moment in time, but I think he’s slowly being won over. He insists that he hold on to the tape as it’s their only leverage and it’d be too dangerous for either of them to have it. After some bickering, the other two agree, then head off to continue their adventures. Out at the lift there’s a nice little moment where Scully tells him she somehow knew he’d be found, and we get warm-hearted smiles which are always welcome in my grateful shipper heart. Of course, the episode ends on another little moment between these two, but the circumstances will be decidedly sadder. :(

Elsewhere, Missy’s been brought to hospital. Scully’s mum arrives in a panic, believing that it’s Dana who’s been shot, only to realise with dawning horror that it’s her other daughter and that Dana is nowhere to be found. Scully has gone with Mulder to see the Lone Gunmen, who examine the photo Mulder found in his dad’s house. They identify a notorious Nazi called Victor Klemper. This exemplary pillar of humanity was responsible for innumerable heinous and despicable experiments during the Holocaust and escaped the Nuremburg trials by being brought to the US to contribute scientific knowledge to the Space Race.

I want to make an Arnim Zola reference here, but I think that might be disrespectful. Frohike arrives a little later and jovially throws himself at Mulder. Mulder says Frohike will have to wait a little longer to inherit his videotapes, and I want to make a note of this. I saw a Cracked.com article over the weekend which claimed Mulder was a secret porn addict. I didn’t read it (spoilers, obvs) but I will now be paying very close attention to any mention of such tapes henceforth. Because, like, ew. Porn is grand and all, but hordes and hordes of it in place of real human interactions…not so much.

Frohike has the unpleasant honour of informing Scully that Missy’s been shot. She runs out of the room immediately, but Mulder follows her and warns that the men who tried to kill her will look for her there first. She has to wait until they’re in a more secure position. To this end, they go to see Klemper. He has a giant greenhouse of beautiful flowers, all of which stand in direct contrast to his evil and poisonous soul. He even has the audacity to tell them he’s confronted his demons when Scully tells him what a wretch he is. He eventually directs them to a facility in West Virginia and tells them to bear Napier’s constant in mind. Our heroes head off, leaving him to call Mr Laurence. The latter acts surprised when he hears that Mulder is alive. He relays this information to his “consortium” who decide that enough is enough and they need to call in some people who’ll handle the matter in a more satisfactory manner. You’re not gonna look good on your performance review, Krycek.

Later, the CSM’s cigars and brandy party continues. Actually, after being reminded of this choice turn of phrase at the Welcome to Night Vale show on Saturday last, I’m going to refer to them as a vague yet menacing government agency henceforth. They discuss the colossal cock-up that was Missy’s being shot instead of Scully. Adorably, the CSM attempts to defend his cronies, saying the men are “professionals”. Mr Laurence angrily retorts that they’re “ridiculously ineffectual” and the situation cannot be resolved by shedding more bullets. The CSM continues to claim that Mulder is dead and says the digital tape has been recovered, but it’s been “vouchsafed” for security reasons. He pledges to bring it to the meeting tomorrow, by which time all this rigmarole will have been cleared up. Sure, lads. Keep fooling yourself into believing you’re in control.

Mulder and Scully arrive at the West Virginia facility and find an old, ramshackle building perched on the side of a mountain. It appears to be the same building from Bill’s photo. They head inside and find a series of fortified doors with electronic access pads. Scully punches in the formula for Napier’s constant (27828, the basis of all natural logarithms apparently) (I wish maths had been my strong suit) but it only works on one door. Mulder giddily goes to pull it open but Scully pauses, reminding him that he hasn’t had time to grieve for his dad and that depending on what they find inside, it may be too much for him. She’s so selfless, it almost breaks my heart. Her sister is dying in a hospital bed and she can’t be with her but she’s still mindful enough to think of Mulder’s grief. It’s possibly a form of distracting herself, but it still speaks to her incredible character. Mulder is not one to be dissuaded at this stage, however, so they go in.

They find rows and rows of filing cabinets stretching deep into the mountain.

Endless filing cabinets

The track in the middle is pleasing. Makes me picture stuffy government operatives rolling along in a coal cart, searching for the right place to do their filing. The cabinets contain shitloads of medical records, all of which include a birth cert, vaccination certificate, and tissue sample. Eerily, they find a record for Scully, and more predictably one for Samantha. Samantha’s record was originally marked with Mulder’s name, which is noteworthy. Their browsing is interrupted when the lights go out and a distant high-pitched noise takes up, prompting Mulder to run after it and back out into the main building. He finds an alien ship taking off, while back inside the mountain dozens of alien creatures run by Scully.

I feel like this should have been more momentous than it was, but it kind of looked a little silly. Mulder runs up to the roof to watch the craft take off but is swiftly distracted by the arrival of several vague yet menacing cars out of which pour numerous emphatically menacing armed men. He runs back in and narrowly evades gunfire to find Scully, who leads them out of the same portal she saw the aliens run through. This is extremely weird. Were they actually aliens there or did she hallucinate? I’m thinking of the scene in “The Blessing Way” where Mulder apparently saw aliens being gassed, so maybe this is another strange (waking) vision? It just seems very odd.

Mothership

They meet Skinner at a Maryland diner the next day. He’s been attempting to deal with the CSM in the meantime, informing him he has the tape and that he wants to make a deal. The CSM made several thinly-veiled threats and told him to watch himself. I’m amused at the fact Skinner calls him “sir”, with just a faint hint of sarcasm. At the diner, Skinner tells them they can’t copy the tape, or print a hard copy of it. Mulder updates him on the events of the previous night. He goes off on a characteristically impassioned bout, saying he needs to know why his dad was killed, why they took Samantha and what they did to Scully.

This tirade is interrupted when Scully says they should let Skinner make a deal for them. She too wants to know the truth, but not at the expense of their access and protection. She reiterates that answers are meaningless if they can’t bring anyone to justice and, far more cogently, she needs to see Missy. Skinner adds that if the CSM doesn’t honour the deal, he’ll go state’s evidence and testify, or they’ll have to kill him too. Walter, my heart. You may resent it but you’re such a good guy. Mulder relents and says it’s up to Scully. She tells Skinner to make the deal, but not to hand over the tape until Mulder has agreed to it.

Skinner then pays a visit to Missy in hospital. Albert has been with Mrs Scully for the past few days, praying over Missy. Although doctors are optimistic about her recovery, he’s not so sure. He recounts (in voiceover) the story of a white buffalo calf born to another Navajo tribe. Such an occurrence is considered a great omen by his people, but the mother buffalo had sickened and died and the calf is ailing. He worries that for something to live, something else must be sacrificed in its place, and he fears that Missy’s life will pay forfeit in this case.

Skinner (who’s not wearing his glasses—yes, I’m going to casually point this out) offers condolences to Scully’s mum and explains that she can’t be there due to a serious situation. He notices a shady suited guy walking by the room. Albert informs him that this dude’s being “very curious”, so Skinner tells them to stay put and follows him. He tracks him out to the stairwell but is promptly set upon. He manages to fight off one guy but there’s another, and then Krycek appears, dressed as Danny Zuko, and manages to grab the tape. The dudes leave Skinner upended on the floor and run off in different directions. Scumbags. How very dare they. Though can we at least take a moment to appreciate that it took no fewer than three men to hold Skinner down? THREE. Like a beast of the ancient world, he simply cannot be caged.

Wonderfully, Krycek’s day takes a turn for the worst when he and his peeps stop at some kind of diner. The other two go inside to get something and are noticeably weird enough for him to twig what’s going on and jump out of the car just before it blows up. He makes off as the other two watch, apparently appalled, in the distance. All of you are utterly useless. How do you even have jobs? Krycek is evidently feeling a bit ballsy in the immediate aftermath of this attempt on his tragic floppy haircut’s existence, as he calls the CSM and announces he’s alive. The CSM is so blithely unconcerned on the phone it’s hilarious. He asks Krycek where he is, but he replies that he’ll never be found. Further, if he so much as feels the CSM’s presence he’ll make him “a very famous man.” Chortle.

This actually isn't a curtain parting

Yo Alex, I’ve a pamphlet for you:

This speaks for itself

Mull that one over in a remote desert township for a few weeks. At least until you inevitably start skulking about under Mulder’s window and either try to finish the job you started or make an uneasy truce. I’m in favour of uneasy truce, mainly because I’d like to see Scully wrestle him to the ground and beat him senseless over what happened to Missy.

The CSM announces to the group that the digital tape was destroyed in a car explosion, which also killed Scully’s would-be assassin. He’s so jovial about it he’s practically skipping. He announces he’s off to meet the FBI about making a deal, but given he now knows they’ve no leverage, it shouldn’t take long.

JUST YOU WAIT.

(Wait, was the tape actually destroyed or does Krycek still have it? He robbed it from Skinner so I assume it was still on his person…)

While all this excitement was happening, our heroes went back to look for Klemper. He has, predictably, passed away very suddenly. Instead, Mr Laurence meets them, tells them about Operation Paper Clip (this was summarised in The Winter Soldier so let’s move on) and that Klemper could create the “most beautiful” hybrids. He’s referring to the orchids, but obviously means human/alien hybrids. Mulder’s head practically explodes. Mr. Laurence continues, saying that the medical records in the mountain facility were created so that Klemper had access to the details of everyone born after 1950 (and specifically all those with a smallpox vaccination).

Mulder’s dad OKed this, believing it was medical data being kept safe in case of nuclear holocaust. When he learned the truth, he objected strenuously but was unable to do anything. Scully isn’t buying it. She tells Mulder the technology to carry out such experiments didn’t exist back then, and warns that Mr Laurence is manipulating him. The latter protests, asking why he’d lie. Mulder says the current records must be of alien abductions—including Scully’s. She gives up and leaves. Mr Laurence tells Mulder that Samantha was taken as insurance against his dad exposing the project, and that now he threatens to expose it he too is in danger. He’s telling him all this because it’s “what [Mulder] wants to know”, and that there’s more to it—more than he’ll ever know. Oyyy. So much to absorb. Who needs a nap?

Back at FBI HQ, it’s time for my beloved Walter’s defining (thus far) (and that’s saying something) moment of badassery. The CSM is feeling giddy as a schoolboy now he knows the tape’s out of reach. He threatens to have Skinner offed, has the hilarious audacity to call him a “punk” and then goes to leave. Not so fast, amigo. Skinner tells him he’s not done yet. He calls Albert in from the next room—fittingly, the same one from which the CSM himself usually saunters in. Skinner introduces him to the CSM and with a glorious rallying cry of “this is where you pucker up and kiss my ass” (!!!), informs him that Albert can recite everything on the tape and, what’s more, in the oral storytelling tradition of his people has told 20 other people in his tribe. If anything happens to Mulder or Scully, Albert talks, and if the CSM tries to off him he’ll also have to off several other Navajo people in multiple states. The CSM, flabbergasted, says he’s bluffing. Skinner resists the urge to belly laugh and merely retorts “am I?” It’s wonderful. It’s magical. It’s the best thing ever. The CSM leaves and Skinner looks back at Albert, who nods admiringly. DUDE. Walter’s so, so proud of himself. I may have shed a momentary tear.

He's so proud of himself

Unfortunately, despite this iconic moment, the episode ends on a sad note. Mulder arrives at the hospital to find Scully sitting alone, staring at Missy’s empty hospital bed. Missy died in surgery three hours earlier. Scully sadly reflects that she died for her, and that she tried to say she was sorry but she doesn’t think Missy will ever know. Mulder comforts her. When Scully says there’s no justice, he says it may not be about justice but fate. They’re both adamant about going back to work and not wasting any more time. Mulder declares he’s more certain than ever that the truth they’re looking for is in the X-Files, and Scully says she’s heard the truth but now she wants answers.

They hug and we fade to black. I’m all wrung out like an old cloth.

Hugging is such sweet sorrow

This was SOME rollercoaster, peeps. I feel like I’ve been writing this for days.

So! ALIENS. Let’s review the evidence: the vague yet menacing government agency recovered alien DNA from the Roswell crash (cf “Erlenmeyer Flask”) and has been using that to perform experiments on humans since the early 1950s. The implication is that human/alien hybrids have already been successfully created, at least some of which were gassed in the boxcar (Mulder mentions as much when he remembers the alien body with the smallpox vaccination scar). Are there other, more everyday looking ones running around and hiding in plain sight? I remember references to these—and even a live one—in “The Erlenmeyer Flask”, but they were all being systematically wiped out.

In addition to this, we have a colony of aliens descended from the very same visitors who set up shop here with vague plans to colonise the planet at some stage. These are the ones who cloned themselves and were looking for a way to mingle with the locals by using human DNA to alter their identical appearance. This crowd appear to have been comprehensively destroyed by an alien bounty hunter, dispatched by the original home world/alien HQ cos the experiments weren’t sanctioned (cf “Colony” and “End Game”). Are these linked? Their experiments are quite similar, so one would expect them to cross paths at some stage. Are the “colony” aliens completely separate to the ones created by crackpot government scientists, or have I missed a step? I’m tired, I may have missed a step. Help a girl out here.

In any event, these were cool episodes, though as noted above perhaps not as stirring as I would have expected. “Anasazi” is some tough act to follow though, in fairness. And there’s plenty of ghastly information relayed here which we can return to and gape over in future episodes. I’m guessing we’re on for a nice easygoing few episodes for the next while, but I genuinely can’t wait for them to get back to the alien mythos. I wanna see more of that bounty hunter. These conspiracy theories are amazing.

(One final note: Twitter friends have kindly informed me that Mr. Laurence’s canon name is The Well-Manicured Man, so I’ll refer to him as such in future recaps.)

Grace Duffy is a pop culture devotée and sometime film critic currently catching up on her classic sci-fi. You can read more on her blog, Tumblr, or catch her frequent TV liveblogs on Twitter.

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