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Mulder conducts an investigation after a man is gunned down on the lawn of the White House while trying to tell the president about an alien invasion

|Three Words|

Episode Summary
By Michael Marek

A man, later identified as Howard Salt, walks along the iron fence along the street outside the White House. He puts on gloves and climbs the fence, running toward the building. Secret Service agents intercept him as he calls out "He needs to know," and "Aliens are taking over the United States, he needs to know." Salt pulls a gun out of his belt, and as the agents wrestle for control of the arm, the gun fires into Salt's abdomen. As Salt passes out, he hands a CD-ROM to an agent, asking him to give it to the President. On the CD-ROM is written, "Fight the Future."

Mulder is in his hospital room, gently touching the wounds on his face and remembering what was done to him during his abduction. Scully and a doctor enter. They have important news. In addition to Mulder's incredible recovery, Mulder's terminal disease is no longer detectible. The virus is gone, after the treatment with antiviral drugs and blood transfusions. The scars on his face and body are repairing themselves. He is in perfect health. Mulder says he feels like Austin Powers.

Later, Scully takes Mulder home to his apartment. Upon entering, Mulder looks around and tells Scully that something looks different. She tells him that his apartment is clean and he laughs. He looks around and notices that one of his fish, Mollie, is missing. Scully tells him that she wasn't as lucky as he was. She tells Mulder he can't understand what it was like -- learning of his abduction, searching for him, finding him dead and now having him back. Her prayers have been answered. Mulder says that her pregnancy is also an answer to her prayers, and he is happy for her. He, however, has no idea where he fits in now. He is having trouble processing what has happened to him.

At the federal prison in Perkey, WV, a trustee is circulating library books to prisoners in a common area. He has the new Harry Potter book. He hands Absalom a book, "The Coming Apocalypse." Inside the front cover is a newspaper clipping about a census worker shot on the White House lawn. Deputy Director Kersh is watching a TV report about the census worker when Doggett and Skinner enter his office. People are so rarely what they seem, comments Kersh. Scully has submitted an application to reinstate Mulder on The X-Files. Kersh intends to deny the application. The success rate on the X-Files since Doggett was assigned is much higher than during the time when Scully and Mulder worked together, he says. The FBI is no place for a personal crusade, Kersh says, and directs Doggett to tell Mulder that he will not be reinstated. Kersh says the alternative is closing the X-Files completely.

Skinner and Scully actually tell Mulder about Kersh's decision - Kersh wants to hurt and punish Mulder and he wants to punish Skinner and Scully as well for putting him in the position they are in and for not giving up on Mulder. It was a bullet fired eight years ago and they've finally got it right. Mulder looks to Scully and tells her that she is going to give birth in a couple months. She can talk as tough as she wants, but they know that soon there will be more important things going on in her life rather than whether or not the X-Files stays open. Skinner tells him that Kersh is not shutting down the X-Files, but rather keeping Doggett running them.

For the first time, Mulder is told that Scully has had a partner for the last several months to help her find him, to which he says "Mission Accomplished". Doggett doesn't know much about the paranormal, but Scully says he is above reproach and is also being maneuvered. Mulder tells her that its good - atleast he's maneuverable. Mulder intends to go back to work anyway.

In Bassett County, WV, a prison work crew, including Absalom, is working on a road. In the dirt, Absalom finds a board with a nail sticking out and slips it into the sleeve of his orange jumpsuit. As the prisoners are loaded into a van, he uses the board to strike a guard and runs. He is pursued, but he eludes the guards by running in front of a passing train, which blocks pursuit. [He doesn't even look at the train when he's running, just keeps running .. a classic scene!]

Later, Doggett returns home to find Absalom waiting for him. Absalom grabs Doggett's gun and holds it on him. Doggett is ordered to put his hands behind him and lean forward so Absalom can check the back of his neck. He has to make sure that Doggett is still Doggett, he says. Doggett is shown the newspaper clipping. Absalom claims "they" killed Salt for what he knew, just as Absalom's life is threatened. He vows to show Doggett after which Doggett will spread the word. The invasion has begun. They are already here. As Absalom utters Biblical phrases, the phone rings but Doggett is not allowed to answer. It is Scully calling. She is with Skinner in a briefing about Absalom's escape. The words "Fight the Future" were found on the wall of Absalom's cell. The agents in the room are skeptical about reports that Absalom made claims about alien abduction, healing and alien invasion. Skinner stresses that while the claims are not substantiated, neither have they been refuted. The evidence of torture was real. Skinner tells Scully that this is obviously an X-File and he wants Doggett to be running it. Scully answers that she is "all over it." As they talk, Scully's cell phone pager beeps with a message from Mulder, "Where is everybody, come on down."

They find Mulder in his office, feet up on his desk. By being there, he could be endangering the X-Files, but he brushes off such warnings by saying "Hey, I’m just down here visiting my buds" Mulder already knows about Absalom and has noticed that Salt is seen in a photograph taken of people at Absalom's compound. Mulder doesn't know any more than that, but has a big hunch. Salt, he says, was a multiple abductee, was trying to get word to the President and was killed for what he knew. Scully and Mulder visit the FBI evidence room. Mulder locates Howard Salt's personal effects, including Salt's laptop. The entire hard drive is taken up with a ten gigabyte encrypted file. He removes the hard drive and they leave the evidence room.

Absalom and Doggett arrive at the Federal Statistics Center in Crystal City, VA. Absalom has taped a gun to Doggett's back so that it would fire into Doggett's skull. Absalom has his hand on the gun. Doggett's FBI credentials get them through the guard post, but a hidden x-ray locates the gun. Absalom wants access to the place they compile the data from the current census. He thinks there's proof in the census data that the aliens are already among us. As the two are about to enter the computer room, guards appear with guns. Doggett calls to them to back off and lower their weapons, but one guard shoots Absalom through the forehead, killing him instantly.

Doggett is in Skinner's office. Skinner asks about Absalom's claim that the census records contain proof. Mulder enters Skinner’s office. He asks if he is Agent Doggett. Doggett stands up to shake Mulder’s hand, but to his surprise, Mulder pushes him back into his seat. Mulder yells to Skinner that he hopes he’s not commending him as a hero for what he did—he got Absalom killed because of what he knew and what he was going to expose. Doggett points to the big scratch on his face and asks if Mulder sees it. Mulder tells him that he sees him sitting there, and that is enough for him. Once Mulder has left the office, Skinner tells Doggett that he has to think about what Mulder’s been through, and now he finds him there. Doggett gets up and leaves before Skinner can finish.

Later, Frohike greets Mulder at the door to Scully's apartment. It's not fair, Frohike says, that Mulder has been dead for six months and still looks better than Frohike. He hugs Mulder adding "but not by much". Mulder laughs and jokingly tells him that he would be a lot happier if he would take his hands off his ass. Frohike quickly apologises and backs away. Byers and Langly are also happy to see him, although Langly implies, motioning toward's Scully, that Mulder may have been involved in a "certain blessed event." The Gunmen were able to partially decrypt the file on Salt's hard drive. The data was downloaded from the Federal Statistics Center (FSC) the day Salt died. Fifteen minutes after Salt was shot, firewalls went up on the databanks of the FSC. Mulder thinks that means he's right and that they would kill to protect what is in the files. Unless Mulder can find a password, there is no way to get into the data. What is on the hard drive is apparently just a directory structure. Scully has gotten the Gunmen to try to convince Mulder to let this one go, but Mulder remarks that this is America - just because you get more votes doesn't mean you win.

Doggett approaches his friend, Knowle as Knowle is jogging. Knowle compliments Doggett for dodging a bullet. Doggett wants to know if he is being used. Knowle can't tell him that, but he can tell him three words. Later, Doggett stops Scully outside her apartment building. He can't go upstairs because Mulder doesn't trust him. Doggett tells her that Salt had a computer diskette that he was trying to get to the President, according to Doggett's source. The password for the data is "fight the future." Scully goes inside, where Mulder is waiting. She hesitates, but tells him of Doggett's information.

Someone knocks on Doggett's door - it is Skinner. Scully called, beside herself. Mulder somehow got access to a password to a federal database filled with names of people of a certain genetic profile being tracked using the US Census. Doggett confesses that he gave Scully the password, but now he doesn't know which side he is helping. He declined to tell Skinner more. At the FSC, Scully is parked outside in a car when Doggett knocks on her window. Mulder wouldn't listen to her. Doggett tells her to leave. She thinks she can't do that to Mulder, but Doggett tells her to do it for herself. He thinks he may have set Mulder up. Doggett runs into the FSC. Mulder and the Gunmen are inside, working to penetrate the FSC security.

With the Gunmen's help, Mulder gets inside without the security guards noticing. Doggett finds the guard's office empty. Mulder arrives at the computer room and the Gunmen remotely open the locks. He uses a workstation to access the data and prepares to e-mail the data. Doggett pounds on the door, which is now locked again, calling that Mulder's life is in danger and to get out of the room. Mulder ignores him. Doggett fires his gun through the glass door, jumps through the door and again warns Mulder of the danger. Mulder thinks Doggett is trying to protect the data, which Mulder says proves that aliens are targeting certain people based on their genetic profile for abduction and replacement by alien facsimiles. He begins to send a copy to the Washington Post. Guards drive up in military vehicles. Scully sees them arrive and uses her cell phone to warn the Gunmen that Mulder has to get out. Mulder again thinks Doggett has set him up, but Doggett says they've both been set up and they will both be killed. Langly radios to Mulder that the data has been trapped and can't be uploaded for transmission. Byers has a long shot idea for how they can get out. The guards storm into the computer room and Doggett and Mulder are not there. They are hiding above the suspended ceiling.

Knowle is jogging again. As he stops at a drinking fountain, Doggett approaches him. Why shouldn't Doggett expose Knowle? Skinner is walking toward them across the park. If Knowle walks, Skinner will see to it that Knowle's name goes in lights. Knowle asks if Doggett exposes him, where will he get his answers? Doggett is standing on the tip of an iceberg, he says. It's not about Mulder, Knowle says, it's about the truth. Doggett has it all right in front of him in the X-Files. Knowle says he is just trying to point Doggett in the right direction. As Doggett walks away, we see that Knowle has a lump on the back of his neck.


Episode Cast and Information

David Duchovny Special Agent Fox Mulder
Gillian Anderson Special Agent Dana Scully
Robert Patrick Special Agent John Doggett
Mitch Pileggi Walter Skinner
James Pickens Deputy Director Kersh
Tom Braidwood Melvin Frohike
Dean Haglund Ringo Langly
Bruce Harwood John Byers
Judson Scott Absalom
Nelson Mashita Dr. Lim
Gary Bristow Howard Salt
Adam Baldwin Knowle Rohrer
Dwight Hicks Prison Armed Guard
Joe Basile White House Lead Guard
J.C. Murad FBI Guard On Intercom
Ric Sarabia Prison Trustee

Written by Chis Carter and Frank Spotnitz
Directed by Tony Wharmby

Aired on: 8th April 2001

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