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Mulder continues to search for clues about Samantha's abduction and ultimately finds the long sought after answers to her fate.


While Mulder and Scully continue to investigate the mysterious disappearance of a young girl, Mulder confronts the demons from his past and continues to search for clues to his sister Samantha's abduction. The search culminates in a race against time to find the long-sought-after answers to her fate in the "Closure" episode.

Episode Summary (From The Time Line)

In an opening narration, Mulder describes the bodies being uncovered from the shallow graves, one by one. Are they still dreaming the dreams of children or was their innocence taken along with their lives? We see a scene of children getting up from their graves and forming a ghostly circle, as the narration describes them waiting in the starlight to be born again at God's behest.

Mulder and Scully are at the technical services room of the Sacramento police department. Scruloff was 19 when he committed his first murder, the first time he was asked to portray Santa Claus. He has admitted to 24 murders but he refuses to take blame for Amber Lynn. Her body was not found in the graves. Hard as it is, Mulder wanted one of the graves to be Samantha. Harold Piller comes to see the agents. He is a psychic who has gotten some strong "hits" from this case - about Amber Lynn. He has worked with police around the world and has seen children's bodies in previous incidents transported away from an accident scene by walk-ins. Scully doesn't want to involve Piller because Mulder is vulnerable right now. Scully goes back to Washington because she feels she can't do anymore in California. Mulder takes Piller to the grave site. Piller's son disappeared under strange circumstances, then one day he started to see visions of him. Piller believes that the walkiins are good spirits, saving the children from some fate about to happen. They transform matter into energy - starlight. But Piller senses that Scruloff's victims all died suffering. Amber Lynn wasn't here, Piller says, but he senses a connection between her and Mulder. Piller knows about Samantha - what is the connection between Samantha and Amber Lynn?

Scully and an FBI expert watch a videotape of Mulder's June 16, 1989 hypnotic regression, telling the story of Samantha's disappearance. The expert doubts Mulder's story because it seems to be typical guilt fantasies. Mulder's delusion is playing into his unconscious hope that his sister is still alive. There was a huge search for Samantha in 1973. Even the Treasury Department was involved. The expert advises Scully to leave it be, because Mulder's wound may be too painful to reopen, but Scully feels she owes it to Mulder. Late at night, Mulder is watching Planet of the Apes when Piller knocks at his motel door. In a trance Piller says Mulder's mother is present and we see a ghostly image of Mrs. Mulder in the room. Piller says she wants to tell about Samantha, but then he "loses" her. They then find the words "April Base" written on a paper pad.

Scully visits Mrs. Mulder's home and searches. In the wastepaper basket where pictures were burned she finds part of a document. Scully phones Mulder to tell him that the document scrap matches a document in Samantha's Treasury investigation file. It is a copy of the document signed with the initials CGBS calling off the investigation. Both agents recognize the initials as belonging to the Cigarette Smoking Man and Scully is astounded when Mulder doesn't want to press the Smoking Man on the issue. Mulder is pursuing the matter in his own way. He and Piller arrive at the decommissioned April Air Force Base, where Piller senses something. A security guard drives up and tells them to move along. Meanwhile, Scully arrives home to find the Smoking Man waiting for her. He seems not well and he mentions having had an operation. He wants her to stop looking. He admits to signing the order because he believed Samantha was dead. He didn't tell Mulder for so long because there was so much to protect before that is all gone now. He leaves, sadly.

Mulder and Piller return to the base at night and climb the fence. In a residential area, Piller senses that Samantha was present. They hide as a police car drives by, then Mulder finds the name Samantha and a handprint in the cement of a sidewalk of a home. Beside it is another handprint and the name Jeffrey, a reference to Jeffrey Spender, the Smoking Man's son. Later, Scully arrives back in California. Mulder doesn't believe what the Smoking Man said because of the handprint. Scully thinks Piller was just leading Mulder along. The agents go and confront Piller -- he is the subject of a criminal investigation into the disappearance of his son and he has a history of mental problems, which he claims he has under control. He makes a compelling case that he is no different from Mulder and just wants to find his son. All three sneak back into the base and enter the house where Samantha apparently lived. It has been vacant for a long time. Piller asks them to hold hands so he can try to summon the spirits of the residents. We see ghostly visions of many people. One boy takes Mulder by the hand and leads him down the hall. Scully and Piller realize Mulder is missing and find him in another room. Mulder finds a diary that is apparently Samantha's. They read it in a restaurant. It is dated 1979, when Samantha would have been 14. It describes tests. Samantha lies and tells "them" what they want to hear because she hates them. She suspects her memories were taken by the doctors. She vaguely remembers a brother and she hopes he someday reads the diary. In the final entry she talks about running away. Outside the restaurant, Mulder looks up at the stars and says maybe the starlight really is made up of old souls, because there is nothing as ancient as the universe. Later, as Mulder sleeps, his mother appears in his room and speaks to him, but we can't hear what she says.

Scully finds a 1979 police report with a description matching Samantha. They visit a hospital to read reports of a "Jane Doe" admitted. Her mental state exhibited signs of paranoia and there were marks, possibly from the tests. Mulder is convinced that the Smoking Man knew about this. The agents and Piller go to visit the emergency room nurse who signed Samantha in. Outside the house, Mulder has the feeling that this is the end of the road, that he has been brought here to learn the truth. He waits outside as Scully and Piller to go the door and talk to the woman, named Arbutus Ray. She remembers the pretty young girl. She had a vision of the girl dead, but nobody believed her, then she blinked and the vision was gone and the girl was sleeping safely. There were men who came to pick her up. One appeared to be her father and as she describes him it is clear that he was the Smoking Man. When the men went to Samantha's locked room, she had vanished. Scully turns and finds that Mulder is no longer waiting by the car. The same spirit boy, Piller's son, leads Mulder to a field where other spirit children play. The lighting of the scene looks as if they might be made of starlight. Amber Lynn is there, as is Samantha who runs up and hugs Mulder. Mulder returns to Scully and Piller. It is the end of the road and they are all dead, he says, with conviction. Piller sees so much but he refuses to see his son. They are all at a better place, Mulder says, but Piller refuses to believe. Scully asks Mulder if he is OK. He replies, "I'm fine - free," and looks up at the stars as the episode ends.

Episode Information

David Duchovny Special Agent Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson Special Agent Dana Scully
William B Davis Cigarette Smoking Man
Anthony Heald Harold Piller
Stanley Anderson Agent Lewis Schoniger
Randall Bosley Ed Truelove/Paunchy Man
Sal Landi Detective Tariq Kadr
Patience Cleveland Arbutus Ray
Ed Beechner Deputy
Rebecca Toolan Mrs. Mulder
Christopher Wynne Base Cop
Lillian Adams Hospital Administrator
Nicholas Stratton Ghostly Boy
Mimi Paley Young Samantha Mulder
Fort Atkinson Detective #1
Jeff Xander Detective #2
Norman Smith Detective #3
Megan Corletto Amber Lynn LaPierre

Written by Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz
Directed by Kim Manners

Shooting Started: December 2nd, 1999
Air Date: 13th February 2000


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