Mulder is given information on the mysterious death of a doctor who apparently died in a none existent fire and asks AD Skinner if he can investigate the case. He’s paired with a new partner, Alex Krycek, and they begin investigating Vietnam veteran Augustus “Preacher” Cole. Mulder meets with the mysterious X, the man who has been aiding his and Scully’s investigations so far this season, who gives him top secret documents exposing military testing to end the need for sleep for soldiers. Mulder suggests that Cole has the ability to project his consciousness following the experimental procedures he’s endured. Once Cole is dealt with the secret file from X goes missing. It’s revealed that Krycek has stolen it and that he reports to the Cigarette Smoking Man. Krycek advises that Scully is a much bigger problem than CSM realised and we are left to wonder just how this problem will be resolved…
I’m not really a huge fan of episodes that involve military types. This is a fairly common trope of The X Files and they’re rarely episodes I enjoy. However this episode has a lot going for it. We get the first proper appearance of Steven Williams as X. X has always been one of my favourite characters in the entire run of The X Files. He is always electric whenever he appears and is a far more compelling than Deep Throat. This guy takes no shit and won’t do Mulder’s work for him. Deep Throat became a short cut last season but with X that is not an option.
We also get the first appearance of Alex Krycek as Mulder’s new partner. The last time we saw Nicholas Lea he was playing a complete douche nozzle in season one’s Gender Bender. He’s not faring much better here. I can’t help thinking they showed their hand a bit early with the Cigarette Smoking Man reveal. It might have been interesting to stretch it out a bit longer. However Krycek is a great addition to the show and he has some good stuff a head.
The actual meat of the episode is less interesting to me but it does have Tony Todd which makes it well worth watching. Why isn’t Tony Todd just in everything? I can not tell you how much I love him. It’s just a shame they wasted his one appearance in an episode that doesn’t make enough use of him.