Max Fenig, multiple abductee, convinces his girlfriend Sharon Graffia, aeronautical engineer, to steal what he thinks is a piece of alien technology, obtained by the USAF from retro-engineering UFOs. This device is divided in three sections. Max was carrying one to Mulder when his flight was intercepted by a UFO; all would have gone well if the military hadn't taken advantage of the immobility of the UFO during the retieval operation to take down the UFO. Both UFO and airplane were taken down, resulting in 133 dead; the US Air Force silences its involvement. Under the lead of a Scott Garrett, the USAF salvages the first section again while another UFO takes the second section from Sharon. Agent Pendell is shot dead taking a bullet intended for a USAF officer coming forward with the truth. Mulder is able to retrieve the third section but his flight is also intercepted: the UFO takes the third section and Garrett with it. And it all started when M&S were celebrating Scully's birthday.
In loving memory of Whatshisname Pendrell, dedicated agent and loving Scully follower -- an untimely death for a supporting character that could have been more. His first name was never revealed, though I like the idea that it's 'Danny', the agent M&S usually call on the telephone for information.
can be called 'independent mythology' episodes: their theme is indeed
akin to the mytharc, with abductions, UFOs and military coverups, but
it would have made
little difference if they had been situated in any season. They're not
part of the continuing storyline of the Syndicate and the Purity
aliens, they're episodes in classic XF mood and paranoia, a kind of
sequel to 1X09:
Fallen Angel. With
the cancer arc begun and quite possibly much of the
mythology stories up to Fight the
formed in Carter and Spotnitz's minds, there was
still room for season 4's second two-parter. No real new elements in
these episodes, but they are two helluva good episodes; if there's ever
an XF movie involving ETs, this is what it should look like. A little
detail that has its importance: as a result of her cancer (4X15: Memento Mori),
bleeds from her
nose; in 4X22: Elegy as well.
This kind of continuity in the X-Files is new and comforting, even though
normal in other series; ever since 2X05:
Duane Barry, XF has been very schizophrenic between
and non-mythology episodes.
Like the first time we saw Max (Howard Gordon's 1X09: Fallen Angel), we deal exclusively with the military. Throughout these episodes, Scott Garrett, this week's menacing henchman, seems to be the head of a team of USAF military, brought on the site of the crash of Flight 549 to assist with the aftermath; he could very well be an agent of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA, Fight the Future). Mulder theorizes he could have been working for some aerospace company: "along with you and your employer and the government that finances its contracts". Given the close ties of the military (US Air Force) and the (civil) defense industry, namely aerospace developers, that is very likely. The presence of Eisenhower's famous industrial-military complex is very much felt here. It is also the military (and its supporting industry), not the Syndicate, which uses and retro-engineers alien technology (see also 1X01: Deep Throat and 6X04/05: Dreamland I & II). The industrial applications of alien technology are immense.
Max Fenig & Sharon Graffia
Max met Sharon
Graffia while they
both spent time in mental institutions; she was a multiple
abductee like him (but not necessarily: there are people in mental
who are not alien abductees,
too!). Sharon was an aeronautical engineer with "Cummins Aerospace". Max convinced
her to steal what he
described as alien technology from her employer, so that they could
the truth to the public. So much that at one point,
Scully thinks this is nothing but "industrial
espionage", but it's not
the kind she thinks. The
thing she stole could be divided in 3
parts. One, Sharon kept; it was taken from her in her motel room. The
second, Max wanted to take to Mulder; but Max was followed by a Dark
(an undercover military or aerospace industry agent like Garrett) who
was planning to take it back. And, mainly, he was followed by the
aliens themselves, who took
advantage of the accessibility of the part with it being in their
kingdom, the skies, and took back what was rightfully theirs. The last
part, Max had left at the Syracuse airport in a knapsack; Mulder
retrieved it, but he was followed by Scott Garrett and also by the
aliens, who took it too -- and took Garrett with it.
military set up an operations
headquarters there and sent in divers to pinpoint the submerged crash
site. When one of the divers at
Sacandaga got back with radiation burns characteristic of the device,
knew that "We found it."
whole operation was deemed justifiable despite all the deaths that
ensued: the passengers of Flight 549, the Dark Man aboard Flight 549,
the pilot of the F-15, the irradiated divers... As Garrett says, it is "worth
sacrificing the future, the lives of millions" for a greater
The USAF's official story, the
Frish & Gonzalez were ordered to tell the press and the
investigators, was that Flight 549 just
fell (Frish: "At 19:52, Flight 549
dropped from an altitude of 29,000ft. About 45 seconds later, we got an
altitude reading of XXX."). Gonzalez couldn't live with the
134 lives he had contributed to kill and committed suicide. Frish
finally broke and told everthing to Scully. After this, the USAF's
story changed to the following: Frish & Gonzalez made the mistake
to point the F-15 on a route that crossed Flight 549, as a result
Gonzalez committed suicide and Frish went away blaming the military to
cover his mistake. Frish got to Washington with Scully; he called his
girlfriend to tell her not to worry. Scully: "Did you tell her you were in D.C.?" Frish:
"No." Scully: "Then there's someone inside." Frish
has no reason to lie. The
simplest answer is that incoming calls at Frish's girlfriend were being
watched, the men who overheard Frish's call either traced it or
understood that Frish had
left New York and checked outgoing passenger manifestos -- Scully and
Frish were on a special New York-Washington flight from Fulton County.
Frish was eventually placed
under "military arrest" and we
heard of him no more.
and missing time
[Sharon's abduction has trashed
her motel room]
[Scully takes Mulder back from
videotape monologue: "Hi. Max here. But of course. This is, uh, well,
quite obviously, uh, my story, since I'm telling it. Anyway... um...
for those of you who know me already, this is going to be ancient
history, but for the rest of you, this is... well, what can I say...
the story of my life. Actually, all I ever wanted in life was to be
left alone. Don't we all? So just my luck that I'd eventually become an
alien abductee. Now I'm never alone. Any minute, when I'm least
expecting it... And the worst part is, no one believes you. Well, uh...
almost no one. So, I've devoted my life to providing all you
disbelievers out there with proof. Proof that there are
extraterrestrial biological entities right now, as we speak, visiting
our planet in alien ships for purposes of a rather troubling agenda
known only to certain members of the government, uh, the F.B.I. and
certain high-ranking members of the military-industrial community who
have recovered some of these very craft, not that they'd ever admit to
it publicly... uh... of course. Nor, nor would they, uh, admit that
they have salvaged some of this alien technology and are using it in
military applications. No, that would be un-American and they won't
admit it until someone conf, confronts them with irrefutable,
undeniable proof. Someone like me. And, uh... I should probably mention
that I should do this at great risk to my own health and safety, but,
hey...When every day's just another day you're going to get kidnapped
by, by some little grey dudes from outer space, what's a few C.I.A.
spooks to worry about?"
Mike Millar: "You're saying
that, that Flight 549 was in the
grip of... sort of a UFO tractor beam?"
exposes his theory on
what happened to Flight 549]
Mulder: "I left a bag
Garrett: "A man, if he's
any man at all, knows he must be ready to sacrifice himself to that
which is greater than he."
further rant: "There are scientists in Finland right now who say that
they've detected antigravity over the surface of a, a spinning
superconducting disc...Technology that is supposedly twenty or thirty
years down the road like over-unity energy, um, massless displacement
current from cold fusion that we need for space travel. I know, thanks
to my inside sources, that this technology, in fact, exists! I've seen
military aircraft using it hovering right over my trailer. Why is the
U.S. government keeping these facts a secret? I intend to expose these
facts to the people. I mean, I'm just one man..."
gave her an Apollo 11 keychain for her birthday]