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Recap / The X-Files S01 E09 "Space"

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Season 1, Episode 09:

"It's coming at me! Holy God!"
Written by Chris Carter
Directed by William Graham

"I have reason to believe there may be a saboteur at work inside NASA."

When the Space Shuttle mission is forced to abort three seconds before launch, the fiancée of one of theastronauts suspects sabotage and secretly calls in the FBI. As the shuttle and its crew face one crisis after another, it becomes clear that someone or something wants this mission to fail. But is it the work of a human saboteur, or of an alien presence that would prefer mankind to remain earthbound? The future of the space program is at stake, and Mulder gets to meet a childhood hero—who may not be all that he seems…



  • And Mission Control Rejoiced: When the ship lands safely despite the complications.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Mission Control is able to get the ship carrying Michelle's fiance to safety, but it comes at a shocking cost: the suicide of Col. Belt to stop the alien ghost inside him from wrecking more havoc. But he is hailed a hero at his funeral, even by Mulder, who initially had a Broken Pedestal that started after the two's first meeting.
  • Fighting from the Inside: Even while the alien ghosts inside him sabotage the mission, Col. Belt still tries to save the astronauts under his command. He sends anonymous evidence that leads to Scully and Mulder investigating and makes decisions that, while dangerous, are the best options to save the astronauts and keep NASA running. The stress of fighting against his possessors drives him to suicide.
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  • The Knights Who Say "Squee!": Mulder turns into a bibbling fanboy when he meets Col. Belt. He gets over it quickly. Though by the end when he realizes the truth, it's clear Mulder has great respect for him again.
    Scully: Didn't you want to get his autograph?
  • Reentry Scare: À la Apollo 13.

"Hey, Scully, we send those men up into space to unlock the doors of the universe, and we don't even know what's behind them."

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