Provenance can be summed up with one word: Classic!  While the season nine premiere, Nothing Important Happened Today, took The X Files in a new and interesting direction, the stand alone episodes which followed have been less than what I have come to expect from the series.  But for the first time since Special Agent Fox Mulder departed from the series, it really did feel like an X File. 


The episode starts with a biker being chased over the Canadian border by US Border Patrol.  But when the chase leaves the roadside, the bike crashes and explodes, leaving the biker horribly burned and his cargo visible – alien rubbings from the space craft previously seen in the Biogenesis trilogy.  After the opening sequence, Scully arrives in Deputy Director Kersh’s office to find a small task squad hard at work, including Assistant Directors Skinner and Folmer.  Scully is shown the rubbings and asked by Folmer if she knows anything about them.  Since her last experience with Folmer was less than pleasant, Scully refuses to give any information, claiming she didn’t know anything.  But the second she was let out of the meeting, she headed to the basement, checking the files for the alien rubbings she took in Africa.  Scully finds the rubbings where they should be, leaving the question of why the FBI has a copy of its own and why they are keeping their investigation secret.  Doggett being familiar with just about every x file was aware of the rubbings origins, even though he didn’t believe it.  Scully explained to Reyes that the rubbings are words of tremendous power. 


At the crime scene, Doggett speaks to Folmer, asking about what’s going on.  But as usual, Brad is less than forthcoming.  He sends Doggett home with a warning: if he puts his nose in this case he’ll regret it for the rest of his life.  The dislike of the Folmer character is apparently what Chris Carter must be going for since he seems to be the new nuisance for the X Files dept which Kersh once was before his big promotion.  Not far from the scene, the biker who was reported dead, drags himself up the hillside clutching a small piece of metal which long time viewers will recognise as a piece of the Biogenesis ship.  The bikers body is covered with scars as a result of the explosion he was in, however after holding the artefact for a few moments his scars miraculously heal and he is able to reach the hilltop without any trouble. 


At Monica’s, both Scully and Reyes discuss the alien impressions.  Scully explains that when she first encountered them, she refused to believe.  But now she needs to know for the safety of her son, William.  Scully believes the ship is her only means to learning about the origins of William and his part to play in the future.  Its hard to believe that two seasons prior to this while Scully and Mulder were hard at work investigating the X Files that Scully was the sceptic and Mulder the believer.  While this goes on, Doggett approaches Skinner demanding answers.  All that Skinner tells him however is that he knows things which John doesn’t.  Once again Skinner is made out as the bad guy.  Where do his loyalties lie?  This was the question asked over and over in the classic episodes of The X Files and it appears that they are being asked again.  But this time, he really is withholding information.  Seeking answers, John steals the rubbings from his office along with the case file on the man who crossed the Canadian border and heads to Monica’s to share what he has uncovered.  The man who crossed the border was actually an FBI agent investigating a UFO cult which was gathering dangerous support.  Meanwhile in Canada, the UFO cult are hard at work digging up some kind of artefact.  As the camera moves back, the object being uncovered is identified as an alien space craft, similar to the one in Africa.  At this moment, the viewer is left asking more questions as a remixed version of the x files theme adds dramatic tension to the episode.


Scully later gets a call from Doggett and leaves William with her mother.  As she leaves, her mothers asks why cant she just accept William as a gift from God.  By now it is clear that while she is no longer the sceptic she once was, Scully no longer has the faith which led her way through the darkest times of her life.  The one question Scully wants an answer to is it God she should thank for her child?  Scully arrives at Monica’s to find Reyes continuing to examine the rubbings.  When she discovers that none of Skinners rubbings match the ones from the x files, she quickly comes to the conclusion that another space craft has been found. 


Things take an interesting turn midway as Scullys mother arrives home from a walk with William and is attacked by Agent Collmer.  Luckily, Scully arrives home in time to see her mother being thrown across the room.  Her mother tells her that Collmer is trying to kill the baby and Scully quickly arms herself.  However, Collmer knocks the gun from her hand and locks the door to Williams room, leaving him alone to do what he needs to do.  As Scully pounds on the door trying to get in, her mother brings her another gun, allowing Scully to burst down the door and shoot Collmer as he looms over William with a pillow in his hand, most likely to suffocate William with.  Not long afterward, Doggett and Reyes arrive.  Hoping to keep her mother and William safe, Scully sends them with Reyes.  Once they are gone, Doggett hears a groaning sound and she opens a door, revealing Collmer bleeding to death in Williams room.  Immediately John wants to call an ambulance, Scully on the other hands is more interested in knowing why he is trying to kill her child.  It was rather humorous watching Scully bordering on psychotic as she grabs Collmer by the collar, shaking him about.  Doggett calls 911 and an ambulance soon arrives taking Collmer to the hospital, leaving Doggett to question Scully on what she was thinking by leaving him to bleed.  He asks if Collmer had a weapon, to which Scully replies “a pillow” which did provoke a couple of laughs.  Moments later, Scully searches the jacket left by Collmer and discovers a fragment of the UFO.


Meanwhile in Canada, a woman from the UFO cult picks up a newspaper with Collmers face on it and heads back to the dig site, informing the leader of the cult about what’s happening.  The leader believes that there is only one thing left to do, to which the woman agrees, once again leaving the viewer with questions. 


In the FBI building, Doggett and Scully are called into Deputy Director Kersh’s office and questioned about Collmer.  But before Scully can answer, Doggett tells her not to tell him anything until they are given some answers.  Reluctantly, Kersh agrees and he explains about a UFO cult gaining dangerous levels of support in Canada.  The decision to keep the investigation secret was initially made by Skinner as the cult had previously threatened the life of Special Agent Fox Mulder.  Folmer who was sitting quietly in a corner adds that the FBI received unconfirmed reports that Mulder was already dead.  Overcome with grief, Scully leaves the office without saying a word.  Since Mulders disappearance, the season has been left with a void, but this is the first episode where its easy to forget that Mulder is no longer part of the series. 


Scully heads back home, where Reyes arrives shortly after with baby William safe and sound.  Immediately Reyes asks what’s wrong, and all Scully could say is that Mulder is involved before the desk drawer begins to rumble.  As they open the drawer, the UFO fragment flies across the room, smashing through Williams crib and hovering above his head.  The night, Doggett arrives and both Scully and Reyes explain what’s going on.  As they leave, Doggett notices a suspicious looking car, telling Scully and Reyes to go on ahead and he’ll catch up.  But as they leave, the car starts its engine and Doggett is knocked down.  Meanwhile in a secluded ally, Scully and Reyes meet with the three stooges – Frohike, Langly and Byers, who agree to take the child to a safe place.  As the two agents return to Scully’s apartment, they discover Skinner and an ambulance taking John away.  Reyes heads in the ambulance to keep him safe while Scully realises that William and the Gunmen are all in danger.  But before Scully can do anything to help, the woman who knocked down Doggett forces the Gunmen’s van off the road and as the first part comes to a close, we see the cult woman taking William at gun point, once again bringing us back the question What’s wrong with William?


The second part of this mythology episode opens with a scene from the Gulf War with a voice over quoting from the bible, giving the impression that what Scully is now in the middle of is far more complicated that a Government conspiracy, but perhaps something on such a massive scale it can only be classified as biblical.  In the desert, the voice over comes from the leader an American military squad as he shoots at enemy forces.  But when a bomb goes off, his men are killed leaving him injured in Irag.  But before the enemy can come any closer, a group of super soldiers come from the desert and save the day.  Since that day, the man had become fascinated by these ‘angels’ and is now the leader of the UFO cult.  That incident gave him purpose – to deliver the message of the super soldiers and of the gods.


After the teaser, we see Brad Folmer leading an FBI task force with the purpose of recovering Scully’s baby, but Scully is less than convinced he will actually find William.  Meanwhile, an FBI agent works with the Lone Gunmen to identify the woman who took William from them.  As the mug shots appear on the screen one at a time, the woman responsible’s image appear on the screen.  Outside in the corridor, Scully and Skinner have an argument about what is going on.  Scully believes that by failing to inform her of Mulders so called death, the FBI was systematically trying to eliminate the X Files and that Folmer was a part of it all.  Skinner on the other hand believed that they kept it from her in order to protect her and The X Files.  In disgust, Scully leaves intending to find William herself. 


At the hospital, Reyes sits with John who is in a coma as Skinner enters.  Hoping to comfort Reyes, Skinner explained that during the Vietnam war, he held the hands of injured and dead soldiers while talking to them, considering it a form of praying.  Even if the soldier cant hear what it being said, maybe God can.  Moments later the phone rings and Scully asks if Monica could come and see her without telling Skinner.  When the image of the woman with William had appeared on the screen, the Lone Gunmen had told the FBI it wasn’t her, allowing them to learn her identity without Folmers knowledge.  As William was taken, Byers was able to clip a cell phone to the bottom of his car seat, meaning that all they had to do is dial the number and trace the call.  Reyes believes that what Scully is doing is madness but goes with her anyway.  In Canada, a group of the cult members examines the UFO when the ship seals, locking two members inside. 


Scully and Reyes arrive in a parking lot to find Williams car seat lying on the ground with the phone still strapped to it.  She’d lost the trail.  The next morning at the hospital, Monica enters the Chapel to pray for Doggett and William when Folmer enters, trying to convince her that he is doing everything he can to find William.  He believes that there are people within the FBI working against them, asking for Reyes cooperation.  At this point, there is question as to whether Folmer knows what is going on himself, or if he is just a puppet being manipulated by other high ranking officials.  Brad tells Monica that agent Collmer is awake and is wanting to talk.  On a piece of paper given to him, Collmer was able to write down one word: jacket.  Reyes heads to Scullys demanding answers.  Scully explains that what Collmer wants is the alien fragment.  Scully grabs the piece and heads to the hospital with Reyes, hoping they can get some answers.  They used the fragment to heal Collmer, but before the monitors could alert the hospital staff, Reyes switched them off.  Collmer tells Scully that he son has to die.  The space craft in Canada is supposed to hold the physical manifestation of God, who told the leader of the UFO cult that there exists a miracle child who will save mankind.  The cult leader believed that William is the miracle child and he will follow in his fathers footsteps by trying to stop the alien colonisation.  To stop that from happening they were forced to kill Mulder, causing William’s destiny to change.  However, in order to save humanity, William too had to die.  Moments later a nurse enters, causing Collmer to take the fragment from Scully.  A group of FBI agents enter telling Scully and Reyes to get outside.


Back in Canada, the cult leader tries desperately to open the ship, without success.  But when the woman enters with William, the ship opens itself, revealing that the men inside are dead.  The music at the scene is the same from the season eight episode This Is Not Happening when Mulders dead body was found giving the impression that what was going to happen was pivotal in the future of humanity.


In the hospital, Scully and Reyes hide in the Chapel and talk about William.  Reyes believes William is alive and they need to save him while using the alien fragment on John to save his life.  But before they could do anything, Skinner enters telling them that Collmer is dead.  In Collmers room, Scully checks of the fragment only to discover that it is gone, leading to the belief that Collmer was murdered by one of the agents in the room.  Only one agent was in the room alone with Collmer, and Reyes demanded that he be searched for the alien artefact.  Meanwhile in Doggetts room, Scully prays for him saying that she never wanted to put him in danger.  Moments later, John wakes up, telling her that he heard a voice saying that they will come to Scully but cannot be trusted.  At that moment, the phone rings and the cult leader gives Scully solid instructions if she wants to see her son again.


At an off road diner, Scully meets with the cult leader who tells her he only wanted to protect the boy while talking about the bible.  He says that the super soldiers are the true sons of God and that William will lead the aliens when the come to retake the planet.  To stop this they tried to kill Mulder, but now the leader has question as to whether or not Mulder is dead.  He gives Scully an ultimatum – if she wants to see William again, she must bring him the head of Fox Mulder!  Once again, the episode seems to revolve around Mulders disappearance and the origins of Scully’s child. 


As the cult leader leaves the diner, the Lone Gunmen track the truck, giving both Scully and Reyes directions.  As they approach the site where the UFO cult was digging the craft free, William begins to cry causing the ship to come roaring to life.  The ships takes off, causing a massive explosion.  Scully and Reyes arrive at the site to find charred bodies everywhere without a single survivor.  But from beyond the noise of fire burning, the two agents hear the noise of a baby crying.  Only William survived. 


Back at the hospital, Reyes meets Doggett in the Chapel, where she tells him that she was praying for him.  While in the coma, John could hear a voice telling him to get up and warn Scully.  Meanwhile, at the FBI building, Folmer says Skinner refused to sign the case file, and that there is evidence Collmer was getting better.  Brad now wants to remove his name from it too, however, Kersh wouldn’t allow it taking the file from Brad, revealing that the file isn’t just an ordinary case file – its an X File.  Kersh says that everything is dead but this case to the agent who was alone with Collmer when his death occurred.  As the camera swings back, it is revealed that the man isn’t a man, but a super soldier. 


Over all, this episode may be the best of season nine, if not the entire series.  Not only does it contain the plots of the newer super soldier storyline, it also has elements from the classic episodes including the colonisation.  At times, it was easy to forget that Mulder wasn’t even in the episode.  It wraps up questions while leading to new questions just as the X Files has always done.


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