The fiercest enemy is the man who has nothing left to lose.
After the season finales for seasons one and two, “Talitha Cumi” and “Herrenvolk” seem almost tame by comparison. After shutting down the X-Files and then possibly killing Mulder to end the previous two seasons, the cliffhanger of the alien bounty hunter arriving to eliminate Jeremiah Smith seems positively tame by comparison. But while the stakes may seem a bit lower for the cliffhanger, at least you had an idea of where things might go immediately upon the series’ return the next fall.
“Talitha Cumi” feels like the first time the series really begins to try and bring the mythology into some type of focus. For the past three seasons, we’ve had hints of colonization, the aline oil, and just how the Mulder family ties into all of this. This two-parter provides a few more breadcrumbs to follow but Jeremiah Smith doesn’t necessarily promise the same level fo answers that the Thinker did in “Anasazi.” (And which the series had to step back from because if you give Mulder (and us) all the answers in the season premiere, there’s little incentive to come back for the full season).
There are hints that maybe Mulder’s mom, Teeny, and the CSM had some type of deeper relationship. Their argument at the Mulder family cabin offers hints of this, without necessarily coming out and giving us any confirmation. I recall at the time wanting CSM to pull a Darth Vader with Mulder and admit that he is Mulder’s biological father. Looking back on where the series goes, I seem to recall the show wavered on this a great deal the later we get into the series run. But that could be my memory cheating on me a bit.
Once again, a season finale puts part of the Mulder family in fear for their lives. It’s interesting that the CSM won’t allow Teeny to die — though whether it’s to keep Mulder in line or due to some sentimental attachment is left up for us to decide. I think Chris Carter and company must have decided that it would be cruel — and possibly predictable — if somehow a family member of Mulder and/or Scully’s died every time the seasons changed.
Jeremiah Smith also feels like an avenue that could or should have had more exploration. Why exactly do he and the alien bounty hunter having healing powers? Is it part of being a clone or a drone? And is there some hierarchy to these drones? We see drones of Samantha and the boy on the farm, but they’re pretty limited — they can’t communicate verbally. But yet, Smith and the bounty hunter can and do. Taking the bee analogy a step farther, is there some type of queen that we’ll eventually meet — or is that the role of the Syndicate? A lot of questions and I don’t necessarily recall if or when we get answers. It feels like we get some in Fight the Future, but that’s only because we get the world’s most resilient and determined bee. (More on that when we get there).
Another thing that strikes me is that it just doesn’t pay to be Mulder’s informant. First Deep Throat and now X have come to violent ends for sending information Mulder’s way. Seeds of this distrust were sewn in “Wetwired” with X covering up his own part in helping Mulder. Red flags were up and you’d think X would lay low for a while — despite both Mulder and Scully calling for his help. I have to wonder just how much the Syndicate knew about what he was giving to Mulder since they apparently have sussed out their secret Bat-signal to get together.
It does make me wonder what exactly Marita thinks will happen to her by becoming an informant to Mulder. I get the feeling that her showing Mulder the photograph and CSM having Teeny healed are just scraps thrown to Mulder to keep him off the real scent or to lead him down the wrong path. Or maybe it’s as the CSM says that you’ve got to keep your friends close and your enemies closer. It could be keeping Mulder only finding the answers they want him to find and not looking further. Mulder is a bit blinded by his quest to find his sister — and he certainly seems to get a step or two closer here.