The X-file here is the
visions of Skinner, the red-coated old woman
that seemed menacing to Skinner but by the end proves to be something
guardian angel. Skinner's near-death experience was
introduced in 2X06:
his visions had started then, in a Vietnam ambush. They began again
when Skinner's carreer and
life was in danger, about after 3X15:
Piper Maru when he was shot ("Skinner
has been receiving treatment for the past three months", "A few months ago, I started seeing her
again") and suffered from his marriage (well, its failure).
Such visitations of a "succubus"
are known since the middle ages according to Mulder. The old woman
gives Skinner the location of the Syndicate henchman speaking through
Skinner, which permits Skinner to get to him and kill him. It looks
like Walter &
Sharon get back together at the end, but in 4X09: Tunguska we find Skinner
yet another apartment, alone again.
After a failed murder attempt on Skinner (Piper Maru), CSM tries to
solve the inobedience problem at the FBI by forcing the FBI to fire
Skinner. Scully: "Why not just kill
Mulder: "Well, they already tried
that once, and a second attempt would be too obvious, even for these
thugs. Anyway, I think Skinner's probably worth more to them
alive in disgrace than dead and buried."
We already saw both of the Syndicate men present here in action before:
they and the
Grey-haired Man were the ones that gave Skinner
a warning in the café in Piper Maru.
The Grey-haired Man seems to be higher in the hierarchy since the other
one does all the dirty work. All the other FBI agents and elders we
meet (Agent Bonnecaze and the Senior Agent) don't need extra lobbying
from the Syndicate to mount a case against Skinner, his guilt seems
obvious enough thanks to CSM's schemes.
A cut scene between CSM & Skinner offers more insight (with juicy
and straightforward dialogue): CSM: "You're
in an untenable position. I'm here to offer my assistance."
Skinner: "Out of what? Professional
courtesy?" CSM: "On old
favors. Which gives me leverage to influence certain outcomes."
Decidedly, CSM has a lot of
trouble making Skinner blindly follow his orders. Skinner has always
walked the line through the years (6X10: