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Recap / The X-Files S05 E01 "Redux"

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Season 5, Episode 01:

"All lies lead to the truth, isn't that right?"
Written by Chris Carter
Directed by R. W. Goodwin

"In four years, I have shared my partner's passionate search for the truth. And if my part has been a deception, I have never seen her integrity waver... or her honor compromised. But now, I ask her to lie, to the people that lied to us. A dangerous lie to find the truth. To find the men who would be revealed as its enemy... as OUR enemy. As the enemy within."
Fox Mulder

Mulder's suicide is revealed to have been faked — the body Scully identified was actually an agent of the conspiracy who had been spying on Mulder. Scully seeks evidence that the conspiracy has agents within the FBI, while Mulder searches the Department of Defense Headquarters for the truth about aliens and Scully's condition.


  • Antagonist in Mourning: Downplayed. The CSM goes to Mulder's apartment and is visibly emotional at the scene of Fox's "death". However, he is the first to doubt the veracity of this claim and sure enough, time proves him right.
  • Call-Back: The Secret Government Warehouse Mulder discovers is the same one the Cigarette Smoking Man was seen in at the end of the very first episode of the series.
  • Cliffhanger Copout: Near the end of "Gethsemane", the fourth season finale, the audience sees Mulder alone in his apartment, crying with his gun in his hands. We cut away just before hearing his gun go off. The next scene is a flash forward in which Scully has apparently been called to his apartment to identify the body of a white male who died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. She identifies it as Mulder. This episode reveals that Scully was lying, the body is not Mulder's, and the whole crying holding his gun thing was not related to anything. (Specifically, Mulder probably was contemplating suicide — until he was distracted by evidence that he was being spied on, confronted the spy, ended up shooting him, and concocted a plan with Scully to fake his own death.)
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  • Deadly Nosebleed: Scully at the inquiry.
  • Faking the Dead: Mulder is revealed to have staged his suicide with Scully helping him to confirm the con.
  • Friend or Idol Decision: Mulder has to choose between saving Scully and finding the truth about the Government Conspiracy.
  • Mr. Exposition: Kritschgau gives a very detailed History of the Cold War:
    "This is the hoax into which you've been drawn. The roots go back 50 years to the end of World War II. Playing on a virulent national appetite for bogus revelation and a public newly fearful of the atomic bomb, the U.S. Military Command began to fan the flames of what were being called flying saucer stories. There are truths that can kill a nation, Agent Mulder. The military needed something to deflect attention away from its arms strategy - global domination from the capability of total enemy annihilation. The nuclear card was fine as long as we alone could play it. But the Generals and Politicos knew they could not win a public relations war. Those photographs from Nagasaki and Hiroshima were not faces Americans wanted to see in the mirror. Oppenheimer knew it, of course, but we silenced him. When the Russians developed the bomb, the fear in the military was not for safety at home, but for armistice and treaty. The business of America isn't business, Agent Mulder, it's war. Since Antietam, nothing has driven the economy faster. We needed a reason to keep spending money, and when there wasn't a war to justify it, we called it a war anyway. The Cold War was essentially a fifty year public relations battle... a pitched Game of Chicken against an enemy we not much more than called names. The Communists called us a few names, too. "We will bury you," Khrushchev said, and the public believed it. And after what McCarthy had done, they ate it with a big spoon. We faced off a few times in Cuba, Korea, Vietnam, but nobody dropped the bomb - nobody dared."
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  • Myth Arc
  • Negated Moment of Awesome: As Scully is about to present the FBI inquiry with evidence blowing open the vast Government Conspiracy that has consumed her and Mulder's careers, she suddenly faints after her Deadly Nosebleed returns.
  • Once More, with Clarity!: The opening scene from "Gethsemane" is repeated near the end of the episode. It makes a lot more sense with the stakes of the hearing spelled out.
  • Villainous Rescue: Zigzagged. The CSM identifies Mulder under his fake identity, but takes steps to ensure he is able to escape the Pentagon unmolested... with the fake cure, containing only deionised water. Which contains the real one!


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