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Recap / The X-Files S09 E17 "Release"

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Season 9, Episode 17:

"If I sit with them for a long time, very quietly, they tell me things."
Written by John Shiban (Story) & David Amann (Story & teleplay)
Directed by Kim Manners

"Are you saying the same man that killed those women killed my son? This guy Regali?"
John Doggett

Doggett investigates a case that may be linked to his son's abduction and murder, with the assistance of a keen FBI cadet who may not be what he appears.


  • Bittersweet Ending: Doggett discovers the terrible truth about his son's murder, and Regali doesn't face justice for his crimes, though receives a Karmic Death from Follmer before Doggett can arrest him or do it himself. Doggett makes peace with his ex wife, spreads his son's ashes at sea and is finally able to achieve closure, hugging Reyes tightly.
  • Corrupt Cop: Follmer is revealed to be on the take from Mobster Regali. He eventually atones for his sins by murdering him and most likely giving himself up.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Focuses on Doggett and his attempt to solve his kid's murder.
  • Everyone Can See It: Barbara Doggett, John's ex wife, comments to Scully that she can tell that Reyes and Doggett have feelings for each other and could be together, but that John is so consumed with the loss of his son that he's keeping Reyes at arms length. Scully clearly sees it too.
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  • Heroic BSoD: Doggett freezes up for a long moment after the horrifying comprehension of Regali's confession reaches him.
  • Manly Tears: Doggett sheds them freely, at last coming to terms with his son's murder.
  • Moe Greene Special: Regali is killed with a single shot through his right eye.
  • Papa Wolf: It is very much implied Doggett would have gunned down Regali if Follmer hadn't beaten him to it.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Follmer proves to be this despite his corruption, eventually doing the right thing and redeeming himself.
  • Sherlock Scan: Cadet Hayes / Stuart Mimms can deduce a crime or even the profile of the criminal based on a cursory glance of the scene.
  • Smug Snake: Regali the mobster big time, believing he is untouchable. He ends up being proven very wrong.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Regali abruptly and arrogantly confessing to Doggett that his son was molested by Bob Harvey and then that Regali murdered Luke, before casually getting up and leaving the bar. As though nothing was going to happen to him. Had it not been for Follmer Doggett would have almost certainly marched out after him and emptied his gun into his back.
  • Would Hurt a Child:
    • Bob Harvey was a child molester who abducted Luke.
    • Mobster Nicholas Regali caught Harvey and killed Luke when Luke saw his face.