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Jessica: B+ | Grade It Now!
Our Long National Nightmare is Over!

X-ray lab. Scully critically eyes what I presume are Mulder's brain scans. Enter Skinman (that's the name of my latest album, by the way). Skinner is sad and dismayed that no one called and told him about Billy. Scully bitterly remarks that Billy's recovery is too good to be true: there is absolutely nothing wrong with him. Skinner doesn't understand why Scully isn't thrilled to pieces about that fact. She twists up her mouth and tells Skinner that Billy's case makes no medical sense. "Something's not right," she says. "He literally became a new person. And I don't mean the same person." Skinner furrows his big bald brow. "Do you think this has to do with an alien influence? Or a virus?" he asks. Scully wonders why he's asking her all these questions. "Do you know something?" she asks. "We're working against the clock!" Skinner purses his lips. "There may be a vaccine," he hesitantly says. Scully jumps at this news. Skinner warily informs her that the vaccine has a price. "This is about saving a man's life!" Scully exclaims. Skinner, master of doublespeak, looks at his shoes. "Yes, it is," he says.

Doggett goes to prison to find out how Absalom managed to cure the abductees. That's all you need to know about this scene: that Doggett swallowed his doubts and did some investigating, in the hope that he could help out Scully and Mulder. Why? Because he's a nice, decent guy, despite being crazy stubborn and deeply in denial. Write that down: Doggett is a nice guy. We all love Doggett. Doggett will be our touchstone next season when Mulder and Scully are off in the Cayman Islands, bodysurfing and taking tequila shots and playing patty-cake with their strangely complected and preternaturally strong alien baby.

The hospital set is getting a ton of work this season, isn't it? Skinner skulks around the hallway for a moment before he darts into Mulder's darkened room. Krycek is there, waiting for him. They banter. Skinner needs the vaccine. But the price? He has to make sure that Scully doesn't come to term. Skinner blanches. "You're out of your mind," he spits at Krycek. "No, the answer is no." Krycek swallows. "We all have a life in our hands," he says philosophically. "I have yours. You have Mulder's. Scully has her unborn child's. Let's see who's willing to sacrifice." Skinner stares back at him, real hard.

Doggett's lurking in the hallway outside Mulder's room. Krycek waltzes past him. Doggett watches him walk all the way down the hall before he turns to see Skinner standing in Mulder's room. Down the hall, Scully emerges from Billy Miles's room. Got all that?

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