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Recap / The X-Files S08 E01 "Within"

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Season 8, Episode 01:

Within

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thexfileswithin.png
Pictured: Mulder going through the aliens' definition of a dental operation.
Written by Chris Carter
Directed by Kim Manners

Doggett: So, what do you think happened? To Mulder? What's your theory?
Scully: What's my theory? My theory is you don't know Mulder at all. You never did.
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Newly promoted Deputy Director Alvin Kersh organizes a taskforce to hunt for the missing Mulder, assigning Special Agent John Doggett to lead it.


Tropes:

  • The Bus Came Back:
  • Catapult Nightmare: Scully, after dreaming about Mulder.
  • Cradle of Loneliness: Mulder is missing, probably abducted by aliens, and Scully goes to his apartment. She notices his blue shirts lying on the bed. She takes one and lies down on the bed, cradling the shirt in her arms.
  • Food Slap: Scully tosses a cup of water into Agent Doggett's face after he insults Mulder and Scully's relationship.
  • Hero Antagonist: Doggett and his investigation for Mulder is this to Scully and Skinner's investigation for him.
  • Heroic BSoD: Poor Scully upon realizing that Mulder was Secretly Dying.
  • Leitmotif: "Scully's Theme" first shows up in this episode and is used several more times throughout season 8.
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  • Obstructive Bureaucrat: Kersh, as ever.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Despite friction between Doggett, Scully and Skinner it is clear Doggett genuinely wants the truth, and is much more reasonable than Kersh in the pursuit of finding Mulder.
  • Secretly Dying: To Scully and Skinner's horror, Mulder is revealed to have been dying from an undiagnosable brain condition due to his experiences in the Sixth Extinction trilogy and hadn't told them anything.
  • Tyrant Takes the Helm: Kersh is promoted and takes charge over everyone, including Skinner.
  • Wham Line: At the end of the episode, Doggett holds the mysterious man kidnapping Gibson at gunpoint, identifying who he is.
    "Let him go, Mulder!"
  • Wham Shot:
    • Right after the Wham Line example above, it cuts to the man's face, which was kept hidden for the entire episode. It really is Mulder.
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    • Another shot is the sight of the Mulder's family tombstone, with a new name: Fox's. This leads to the revelation he was Secretly Dying, unbeknown to everyone.

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