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An unconscious Mulder's dreams lead him astray from the X-Files. But Scully stays the course in her search to find him 


An unconscious Mulder's dreams lead him astray from the X-Files, and as Scully continues to search for a way to save her ailing partner, Mulder mysteriously disappears from the hospital. Cigarette-Smoking Man's involvement in Mulder's ordeal intensifies.

Episode Summary (The TimeLine/Official Website)

Mulder has a dream of himself at the beach, where a young couple is teaching their son to walk on the beach, while his mother talks with a doctor. She is upset that his treatment is not helping him. She visits his bedside and talk with him, he answers her in his mind, but she cannot hear him. When she leaves, he is distressed. We then see the Cigarette Smoking Man in his room, and they converse without speaking aloud. The Smoking Man gives Mulder an injection which allows him to move and speak. Only part of Mulder is dying. The Smoking Man offers Mulder a way out. Mulder again envisions the toddler on the beach as the words of CSM lull him - "Take my hand, Fox. I am your father." Mulder again sees the boy on the beach, and awakens to find himself in CSM's car. CSM tells him that doctors have worked on him, and the only way he can be saved from death is to disappear into a kind of witness protection program. CSM pulls up to a suburban street and points out Mulder's new life.

The Smoking Man tells him he could go back to his other life, and probably die, but encourages him to look around first. Mulder is curious and in the new house provided to him Mulder finds a larder well stocked with sunflower seeds. As he pops one into his mouth, he is startled by the presence of an old ally -- Deep Throat (killed the first season in "The Erlenmeyer Flask" - 6 years earlier). Deep Throat boasts about his peaceful life in this neighborhood and encourages Mulder to join him. But Mulder is overwhelmed with guilt for his causing this man's supposed death. Deep Throat tells him not to feel responsible for his death or the deaths of Mulder's father, Scully's sister and Duane Barry. Deep Throat explains that they the two of them are merely puppets in a master plan. He coaxes Mulder to relax and enjoy his new life. In a dream of the beach, Mulder sees a boy whose sandcastle, shaped like an alien ship, has washed away. "That's Ok buddy, you can just start again," he tells the boy. Mulder wakes and Diana walks in wearing lingerie. They kiss and the picture fades out.

The next morning Diana brings Mulder a cup of coffee in front of their new house and tries to persuade Mulder that he should become a father. It's all perfect, but Mulder isn't sure what he is doing there. They go to visit the Smoking Man who also lives a few blocks away. The Smoking Man says Samantha has been living there all along, as well as his three grandchildren. Samantha comes up and hugs Fox. We see, however, that Mulder is really in a hospital imagining all this. CSM tells Diana that men like Mulder have dreams of a simpler life. He says this about the real Mulder, who lies on a table with his head strapped in a surgical device. This is where Mulder really is. The illusion of domestic, suburban bliss is only in his mind.

Meanwhile, Scully is asleep in the X-Files office, where she had been studying the Navaho texts from the ship. Kritschgau enters and he explains that exposure to the spacecraft's energy has activated the alien virus injected into Mulder two years ago. Kritschgau demands Scully's research, but they are interrupted by a phone call from Skinner: Mulder has disappeared from the hospital The records show that Mulder's mother checked him out. Skinner tells Scully that he must remove himself from the case and from knowledge of the agents' whereabouts. Skinner's position has been compromised and the less he knows, the better.

Arriving back home, Scully hears a noise and finds the Navajo elder, Albert Hosteen (last seen dying in "Biogenesis") in her apartment, which stuns her because she thought he was very ill. Hosteen warns her that she must save Mulder for the sake of mankind. Scully returns to the hospital. She reviews a surveillance tape of Mulder's room where she can see through the mostly covered monitors that Mulder's mother is talking to someone with a cigarette. This convinces Scully that CSM is behind Mulder's disappearance. Scully tries to reach Tena (Mulder's mom), without luck. At the FBI, Scully receives a book on Native American beliefs and practices, with Navaho writing on it. A section on the Anasasi mentions the sixth extinction and a myth about a man who can save us from the coming plague. She feels that the book explains the symbols on the ship. Scully doesn't know who sent the book to her. She calls Skinner to question him as the source for this clue. Scully deduces that they took Mulder because they think his illness is protection against a coming plague. An apprehensive Skinner hangs up on her. Scully runs up to his office and sees Skinner doubled over in pain, while a bearded man, which we understand is Alex Krycek, escapes. Scully chases him but she cannot catch him in the crowded FBI halls.

Scully confronts Kritschgau at his apartment and accuses him of being telling someone about Mulder, resulting in Mulder's disappearance. On his laptop she finds her own files of the symbols on the ship. He claims he was having them analyzed by the National Institute of Health. Wherever she got the information, it proves what happened to Mulder, and that Mulder has biologically transformed into an alien, he says. Scully deletes the files from the computer. At FBI HQ, Scully confronts Diana who says Scully could have prevented what happened to Mulder. Scully tries to convince Diana to help, asking her to think, "wouldn't he bust his ass to save you?" Diana responds, "I'm thinking, Agent Scully, I'm always thinking."

In a lab, a doctor and the Smoking Man talk. The implication is that Mulder is a compatible human-alien hybrid. He's immune to the coming viral apocalypse, but he may not survive the medical procedures. The Smoking Man says if he doesn't survive, he suffers a hero's fate. Inside his dream, in rapid succession, Muldr sees himself and Diana married, and sees her pregnant. He sees himself and Diana with children and his hair is graying, then he is older and sees Diana in a coffin, then sees the boy on the beach. The boy has built a sandcastle of the alien ship, but is kicking it apart. "You were supposed to help me," the boy tells Mulder.

Albert is back at Scully's apartment. This science makes no sense to her. He answers that she must look inside her heart for Mulder. They pray together, kneeling on the floor.

Meanwhile, Mulder and the Smoking Man are both on operating tables. They are apparently removing genetic material from Mulder and inserting it into the Smoking Man, who says he will carry on for Mulder from here. Diana makes a statement confirming that Mulder is the Smoking Man's son, but suffers an attack of remorse and leaves. In the dream, Mulder is now a very old man and CSM is at his bedside. CSM tells him that he should let go. All Mulder's loved ones are dead and are waiting for him; it is time for him to go. As they speak, outside we see flames as alien spacecraft destroy the city, the world outside is in full apocalypse.

In a different scene, we see Kritschgau is dead on the floor of his apartment. Krycek burns various official documents then leaves with the apartment in flames, taking Kritschgau's laptop with him. Scully wakes up on the floor of her apartment. An envelope has been slipped under her door containing an electronic pass key for a Department of Defense facility. She rushes to the DOD hospital and finds Mulder in the operating room with all of the people gone. As she does so, in his dream she also finds him, as a very old man. She says he is not supposed to die in a comfortable bed with the devil outside, to trade his true mission for creature comforts. "You must get up and fight," she says in the dream. In the operating room, he struggles to chose between his fantasy life and reality, then wakes. Scully says, "we've got to get you out of here. You've got to get up. Help me." He replies, "you help me." They hug.

One week later, Mulder is at home, still wearing a head bandage, and his New York Yankees "Victory Cap." Scully arrives and Mulder informs her that Albert died last night in New Mexico - he had been in a coma for two weeks. Scully can't believe it because she talked with him and they prayed together. She doesn't know what to believe. She doesn't know what the truth is. Scully tells Mulder that Diana was found murdered this morning. Scully believes that Diana helped save Mulder's life - she gave Scully the book and the electronic key.

Mulder is emotional, and reveals his dreams about another life without the X-Files. He admits to Scully that she was the only one who told him the truth in his dreams and that "even when my world was falling apart, you were my constant, my touchstone." . "And you are mine," she replies. She kisses him on the forehead. In the final scene, we see Mulder and the boy on the beach again. Mulder is helping the boy build a huge, very detailed sandcastle of the alien ship.

Scenes and Dialogues

Cigarette-Smoking Man: I know you can hear me.

Mulder: I could always hear you. Even when my mind is jammed with a thousand voices I can hear you like a snake hissing underneath. How the hell did you get in here?

Cigarette-Smoking Man: How does anything I do surprise you now? Aren't you expecting me to sprout vampire fangs

Episode Information

David Duchovny Agent Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson Agent Dana Scully
Mitch Pileggi Walter Skinner
William B Davis Cigarette Smoking Man
Mimi Rogers Agent Diana Fowley
Warren Sweeney Dr. Geoff Harriman
John Finn Michael Kritschgau
Jerry Hardin Deep Throat
Nick Lea Alex Krycek
Floyd Westerman Albert Hostein
Martin Grey Agent Flager
Megan Leitch


Rebecca Toolan Mrs. Mulder
Arlene Pileggi Skinner's Secretary
Andrew/Steven Cavarno Dream Boy
Fritz Greve Bearded Man
Brian George Project Doctor
David Brisbin Second Doctor
Anthony Anselmi Paramedic
Henry Schwartz Toddler

Written by Chris Carter and David Duchovny
Directed by Michael Watkins

Air Date: November 14th, 1999
Shooting Schedule: 13th to 22nd September 1999


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