X-Files Flashback: ‘Redux Part Two’

Season 5, Episode 2
Director: Kim Manners
Writer: Chris Carter

“Redux” concludes with an episode that serves many purposes and touches on almost all aspects of the overall mythology storyline. When judged as a complete whole (“Gethsemane,” “Redux Part One,” and “Redux Part Two”), the overall story arc is well realized, compelling, and ultimately does exactly what I have long asked mythology stories to do – drive the plot forward. Is this my favorite X-Files series? Not by a long shot. But as a mythology story, the combined three episodes are definitely high ranking indeed.

“Redux Part Two” continues with Mulder barging into the hospital after hearing that Scully had collapsed. He is intercepted by Agent Skinner who demands to know why Scully lied for him in the FBI hearing, and Mulder tells him that someone in the FBI specifically gave Scully her terminal disease. Meanwhile, the Smoking Man meets with colleagues and (in his best mustache-twisting way) decrees Mulder a better asset alive than dead. He then arranges a meeting with Mulder, revealing to him that the vial Mulder took from Scully’s box did indeed contain her cure – a microchip. Mulder confers with Scully and her resentful family (mainly her brother), but Scully agrees to move forward with the experimental treatment. Later, after receiving the treatment, Scully calls her mother and apologizes for abandoning her faith. The treatment has, thus far, not reduced the cancer.

Doubting that Mulder is fully on board, the Smoking Man arranges for a surprise meeting between Mulder and his long-lost sister Samantha. Emotional and fragile, Samantha breaks down with Mulder and, after a few minutes, claims she cannot continue the meeting or meet her mother because it’s too much to take. Later, the Smoking Man meets with Mulder and asks him to come work for him and quit the FBI while both men are being targeted by a sniper. Mulder is then called into the office Agent Blevins (the man conducting the hearing in which Scully lied to protect Mulder), and Blevins confronts Mulder with evidence tying Mulder to the death of the DOD employee. Blevins wants Mulder to name Agent Skinner as the traitor within the FBI, but Mulder later tells Scully that he will not follow through with it.

Under testimony, Mulder ultimately names Blevins himself as the traitor within the FBI. During this hearing, the Smoking Man is shot and presumed dead, and Blevins is also killed, his death staged to look like a suicide. When Mulder returns to the hospital, Skinner tells Mulder the Smoking Man is dead (although the body is missing) and confirms that Blevins was on the payroll for a biotech company called Roush. Mulder then reveals to Skinner that Scully’s cancer has gone into remission, the cause of which is never fully realized.

Overall, the three episode run has been an enjoyable experience. Here in “Redux Part Two,” the story is swift moving and thematically rich, particularly in Scully re-embracing of her religious past. It is either clever or cliched (depending on your vantage point) that Scully’s cancer is cured by either her faith or by the presumed alien technology chip – the answer to which we will never know because this is The X-Files. Just like it will probably be a while before we know if that woman really was the real Samantha or if it was another clone. They’re not really about answering questions here – it’s all about the asking and the exploration. Finally, the best sequence of the episode are the final ten minutes in which nearly everything happens all at once, events overlaid on one another in a Coppola-esqe Godfather montage. It’s an effective ending that brings excitement and emotion where it perhaps had not existed before.

And, for now, I’m eager to put the mythology behind me for a bit and explore more X-files. Asking for more coherent mythology storylines may be pushing it after this minor success.

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