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Recap / The X-Files S08 E14 "This Is Not Happening"

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Season 8, Episode 14:

This Is Not Happening
"Bad as you want to find Mulder, you're afraid to find him, too."
Written by Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz
Directed by Kim Manners

Skinner: Richie Szalay didn't find an alien last night. He found a woman. A woman whose name you will remember - Teresa Hoese.
Scully: Teresa Hoese was the young mother who was abducted the night before Agent Mulder was.
Skinner: And who was returned last night.

When a woman abducted around the same time as Mulder is found alive in Montana, the agents investigate, and Scully and Skinner begin to hope this could mean Mulder may be found alive as well. Doggett remains skeptical and enlists the help of a former associate Special Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish).


  • Aliens Are Bastards: Played straight with the Grey Aliens/Alien Bounty Hunters returning the abuductees brutally scarred and dying, comatose, and later revealed to be steadily transforming into Super Soldiers. Averted with Jeremiah Smith.
  • Back for the Dead: Very much implied to be the case for poor Jeremiah Smith.
  • Big "NO!": Scully at the very end.
  • Book Ends: This episode begins and ends with a person running towards a UFO, and shouting "This is not happening!" at one point. The difference is that Richie arrived at the moment the UFO dropped off a tested alien abductee, while Scully tried to stop Jeremiah Smith from being taken by the UFO.
  • Call-Back: Jeremiah Smith returns, after not being seen on the show since the beginning of Season 4, and believed dead.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Scully's nightmare about Mulder.
  • Continuity Nod: Scully references the conversation about stars being souls that she had with Mulder in "Closure".
  • Downer Ending: The aliens return a seemingly dead Mulder and then abduct Jeremiah Smith, the only one who could cure him, leaving Scully screaming hysterically and breaking down.
  • Dueling Works: Comparing this with the episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer The Body, both episodes of both Fox shows (that episode of Buffy was aired on The WB) aired in 2001 and features a sad plot (Mulder's death in this episode, Joyce's death in that episode), with TitleDrops said by main characters (Scully in this episode and Anya in that episode).
  • Healing Hands: Jeremiah Smith.
  • Heroic BSoD: Jesus Christ. Scully falls into this at the end of the episode, after finding Mulder's dead body and witnessing Jeremiah Smith being taken away. She can only yell to the heavens.
  • Idiot Ball: Scully not taking Jeremiah Smith with her to heal Mulder, the only one who could, instead leaving him alone in a building for the UFO to swoop in and abduct him.
  • Killed Off for Real: Jeremiah Smith is presumably taken by the Alien Bounty Hunters aboard the UFO and executed. Either way, he is never seen again.
  • Lie to the Beholder: Jeremiah Smith can make himself appear to be a different person.
  • Skyward Scream: Scully shouts out the episode title after failing to save Jeremiah Smith from his abduction, which coincidentally happened after Mulder's corpse was discovered.
  • Title Drop: Twice, actually. Richie says it in the beginning of the episode, when he sees the UFO, and at the end Scully repeats the line, after finding Mulder's body.
  • Wham Episode: The FBI finally find Mulder, but he is already dead from alien experimentation. And on top of that, the one man who can heal him, Jeremiah Smith, is taken by a UFO, preventing a quick recovery.