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The Truth, Part I

Scully and Skinner enter the prison, showing their badges to the guard. Scully looks jittery. She's white as a sheet. "How long has he been here?" she asks Skinner, who tells her that he's been trying to find that out, but he can't get a straight answer from anyone. "Who called you?" she asks, as they're led down the hall. "Kersh," Skinner says, explaining that he doesn't know who informed Kersh. All he knows is that they're holding Mulder "indefinitely." "What for?" Scully asks. "Murder of a military man," Skinner gruffs. Scully looks like, "Not again." And I know this is expositional and all -- except for the part where we all already know it -- but I think they probably would have covered this on the way to the prison. What were they talking about in the car? Was Scully like, "So, Mulder, huh?" And Skinner was all, "Apparently. So, you are not going to believe the stupid fight I had with John last night. He wants to retire from the Bureau and open a House of Pies upstate." ["I so wish that was a planned X-Files spin-off: John and Walter's House of Pies, this fall on FOX!" -- Wing Chun]

A guard lets Skinner and Scully into a dark room, where Mulder waits in his fancy jumpsuit. The guard stands there, watching the reunion. Mulder doesn't turn around. Scully looks at his back for, like, twenty minutes. His head is moving like he's talking to himself. Skinner looks very concerned. Scully looks sad and scared and very small. "Mulder?" she asks. He turns and looks at her. "Dana," he says. Oh, something's very wrong with him. Scully embraces him. "Oh, my God," she breathes. Mulder looks unbearably sad over her shoulder, as she nuzzles her head in the crook of his neck. She pulls back to look at him. He furrows his brow. "You okay?" he asks calmly. Oh, duuuude. He's brainwashed. God. I can't believe they brainwashed Mulder. Man, could Scully's life get worse? "Am I okay?" Scully repeats tearfully. "Mulder, I haven't seen you in such a long time." She touches his face gently. "I was so worried." Mulder looks at her like she's the brainwashed one. "Well, it's okay. I'm all right," he assures her. "They're treating me really well in here." Scully's mouth drops open just a hair. "What's happened to you?" she asks. Mulder smiles like a simpleton. "Nothing," he tells her. "I'm squared away." The color drains completely from Scully's face. Mulder looks up at Skinner. "Oh, hey, Walter. It's good to see you, man." Okay. Something is wrong. With all the first names? He's either completely broken, or this is going to turn out to be like that time on 90210 when Donna was being attacked in her bedroom and David comes into the apartment and she calls him "Dave" and he knows that something's really wrong and he bursts in and saves her. Skinner wonders gruffly if Mulder is aware of why they're holding him -- if he knows how severe the charges against him are. "Oh, yeah, we're clear on that," Mulder chirps. "You're clear on what?" Skinner gruffs. "My crime," Mulder says. Scully raises a teary brow. "I murdered a man, Dana," Mulder tells her. "I went looking for something that didn't exist and I made a terrible mistake. I should be punished severely," he says almost cheerfully. Scully doesn't understand this. Skinner just shakes his head and reminds Mulder that no matter what he did, he still has the right to a lawyer and the due process of law. "I don't think you heard me," Mulder says calmly.

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