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While Scully tries to piece together the meaning of the symbols on the spaceship breached in Africa, Mulder is Imprisoned by his own frenetic brain activity.


The seventh season premiere episode, "The Sixth Extinction," brings Agent Fox Mulder to the brink of death and Agent Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) to what may be the source of all life on Earth - a source that appears undeniably alien. While Scully tries to piece together the meaning of the symbols on the spaceship beached in Africa, Mulder is imprisoned by his own frenetic brain activity.

TV Guide Summary

The seventh-season opener is the first of a two-part episode that begins where last season's cliffhanger left off - Mulder (David Duchovny) is in a padded cell and Scully is in Africa trying to find out why. To her dismay, Scully's Ivory Coast investigation into the mysterious surface of the spacecraft is joined by two people, both with a connection to the late Dr. Merkmallen. Back in D.C., Skinner is told by a doctor that Mulder's brain is exhibiting activity that "none of us has ever seen." But Skinner is able to extract a clue that leads him to one former Mulder ally who's helpful, while the loyalty of another is dubious.

Complete Summary

In Ivory Coast, Scully is studying the apparent craft found in the surf. She came to find something she did not believe in and stayed on to uncover what Mulder's illness prevents him from finding. While working late one night she does not notice a primitive African warrior who appears and then disappears. Thousands of bugs instantly swarm inside the tent. The next day, an African biology proffessor, Amina Ngebe from the University of Ivory Coast arrives. The discovery is still a secret but she has learned of it. She warns Scully not to tell the African men hired to unearth the spaceship about her vision and the insects. They are animists and would take it as a bad sign (omen). They are interupted when a man working in the surf screams -- he has somehow been burned in the water. At the sight of his blistered skin, Amina tells Scully that this is another warning.

Dr. Barnes (from Biogenesis") arrives at the camp. He denies being a killer. He has been threatened by men in Washington, but he knows what has come ashore. He has spent his life searching for answers and he is there to help read what is on the craft. The sea around the craft turns red (another Omen) and Scully sees a vision of the native, who again disappears. Later, Scully is assembling a mosiac of the text on the outside of the craft. Scully and Amina figure out that the symbols describe human genetics and ancient religious passages. Barnes has translated some. The upper surface has references to human genetics. The bottom has quotes from the Bible, Koran, ancient Sumeria and other sources, referring to the Day of Judgement. In a delirious frenzy, Barnes claims that the spaceship is the ultimate source of power -- the source of life itself -- and traps the two women in the tent to ensure that he gets all the credit.

At night, Barnes discovers that the fish he caught have magically come back to life, but only in Barnes' mind. This proves to him his theory that the spaceship is an animating force. As he is distracted, Scully hits him with a chair, & she and Amina escape, driving off. The women frantically drive for help, but on the desolate road Scully sees the primitive African man in their path. Suddenly, he appears inside the land rover, reaching out his hand to her and saying "some truths are not for you." He disappears, and Amina did not see him. Scully tells her that she needs to get home. At the beach, Barnes' driver comes into the seemingly empty tent and Barnes slashes him in the neck with a machete. Barnes places the man's body in the spot where the fish came to life. Back at the camp, Barnes discovers the driver's body gone and he goes out to the shoreline to look for him. The driver (looking like a Zombie) has returned to life, and strikes Barnes with the same machete.

Meanwhile, in Washington Mulder's brain is so active he cannot sleep. Skinner enters his cell and Mulder tries to strangle him, but Skinner later finds that Mulder has slipped a note (a ripped cloth with words written in dried blood) into his pocket saying "help me." Skinner returns and sees Mulder in private. Mulder cannot speak, but manages to write something on Skinner's hand, "Kr..." It leads Skinner to Michael Kristgau, whose career was destroyed by testifying to Congress about the UFO coverup. At the hospital, Kristgau recognizes Mulder's condition from past CIA experiments into ESP. The electrical impulses in Mulder's brain are working harder than his body can sustain. Kritschgau has Skinner inject Phenytoin, causing an immediate effect in wakening Mulder. Fowley arrives and is suspicious of why Skinner and Kristgau are there. Mulder tells Skinner that he knows Skinner has been compromised -- that Krycek is blackmailing him. Mulder says Kristgau can prove what is causing his condition.

Later, Kristgau conducts a test of Mulder's "remote viewing" abilities. Kritschgau puts a more responsive Mulder through a battery of tests with video monitors to determine his brain's over-activity and psychic ability. Initially the results are modest, but when Skinner has the test speeded up, Mulder shows almost perfect accuracy. Kritsgau says the CIA showed that some people have ESP, but it was never attributed to aliens.

Skinner and Kristgau attempt to remove Mulder from the hospital but Fowley and the doctor interrupt them. Mulder goes into convulsions. Alone later, Fowley talks to Mulder, although he appears to be cataconic. She says she knows Mulder knows that her loyalties are to a man he hates, but he can look inside her and understand why. She loves him and won't let him die. There is no need to prove what he is -- it has been known for a long time. Scully arrives back in Washington and first goes to Skinner's office, where he tells her what has happened to Mulder. He is under security. They won't treat him because they don't know what is wrong with him. She says he is not dieing and the cause is alien. She uses her authority as a doctor to get in to see Mulder. Although he doesn't seem aware, she tells him that if he knows what she has found, he will be able to hold on. It is a puzzle, but the answers can save him. "Mulder, please hold on."

In the Ivory Coast, Amina returns to the camp with police. They find Barnes, dead near the water. The camera pulls back and there is no evidence of the craft. To be continued...

From Kim on AOL

Throughout the episode (similar to "Memento Mori'') Scully is speaking to Mulder in what I'm assuming are diary entries. For example: ""I came in search of something I did not think existed. I've stayed on now inspite of myself, inspite of everything I've held to be true. I will continue here as long as I can, as long as you're beset with the haunting illness I saw consume your beautiful mind. ""What is this discovery I've made? I feel it was meant for you to find .... to make the connections which cannot be ignored ...''

And so begins the season's premiere where spiritual meets extraterrestrial. Where our origin is again questioned. An adventure where Skinner tries to redeem himself by trying to help Mulder, where Fowley declares her love, and where Scully shows her ""love,'' (through determination to help M - don't hyperventilate).

The only direct interaction between our heroes is at the end, when Scully is making an anguished plea with Mulder to hang on until she can make those connections. ""I've found a key - THE key - to every question that has ever been asked. It is a puzzle - the pieces are there for us to put together. Please hold on.''

Cast and Crew

David Duchovny Agent Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson Agent Dana Scully
Mitch Pileggi AD Walter Skinner
Mimi Rogers Diana Fowley
Conrad Roberts Primitive African Man
Jo Nell Kennedy Amina Ngebe
Warren Sweeney Dr. Harriman
Michael Ensign Dr. Barnes
John Finn Michael Kritschgau
Mari Weiss ICU nurse
Anthony Okungbowa Barne's Driver
Abdoulaye N'Gom Driver

Written by Chris Carter
Directed by Kim Manners

Air Date: November 7th, 1999
Shooting Schedule: 31st August to 10th September



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