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Recap / The X-Files S08 E07 "Via Negativa"

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Season 8, Episode 07:

Via Negativa
Written by Frank Spotnitz
Directed by Tony Wharmby

"'Via Negativa' - the path of darkness. Tipet believed he reached it. Uh, he believed that the drugs took him inside the subconscious minds of anyone he knew... making the most horrific, irrational dream imagery of their nightmares come true."
John Doggett

While Scully is in the hospital, Doggett and Skinner investigate a cult leader named Anthony Tipet (Keith Szarabajka) who may be murdering people in their dreams.


  • Agent Mulder: Scully is briefly hospitalized, so Skinner fills this role in this episode, suggesting that Tipet may have actually succeeded in ascending to a higher plane of consciousness. Doggett, as usual, fills the Agent Scully role, but by the end he has really been thrown for a loop by the strange occurrences he can't begin to explain.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Tipet to Doggett, unable to help himself as he is trying to brainwash Doggett into taking his place in the dream world, and trying to force him to kill Scully.
  • Bad Boss: Kersh is being a dismissive jerkass, as per usual.
  • Battle in the Center of the Mind: Doggett and Tipet at the end. It is implied the only reason Doggett wins is because Tipet passes away before Doggett can kill Scully.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Tipet dies and Doggett is able to break free of his control, resisting killing Scully, but Doggett is deeply shaken by the end of the episode by his paranormal experiences.
  • Driven to Suicide: Tipet, upon realizing he was out of control sticks his head against a saw blade. He falls into a coma and dies by the end of the episode, after unwillingly trying to force Doggett to become like him.
  • Heroic Willpower: One possibility for how Doggett was able to resist going through with Tipet's command in his dreams to murder Scully.
  • Heroic Suicide: Subverted. When Doggett refuses to kill Scully in the dream world, he tries to swing the axe towards his own head. Luckily, he wakes up before the blade even touches his face.
  • Near-Villain Victory: Tipet nearly succeeds in taking control of Doggett and killing Scully, but passes away before he can succeed. Allowing Doggett to stop before he does.
  • Not So Stoic: The normally rock solid Doggett becomes gradually more emotionally troubled by the paranormal events of the episode, especially when he can't tell if he is dreaming or awake.
  • Spectral Weapon Copy: A mystic used his power to copy the ritual axe.
  • Tragic Villain: Tipet didn't mean to kill anyone in his dreams, but lost control of himself with his powers. In an attempt to stop the killings he rams his head onto a buzzsaw, killing himself.

"It was a bad dream, Agent Doggett, but that's all it was."