Directed by Kim Manners
Summary by Shannon
Datestamp: Again, No visible date given. Episode aired December 6th 1998. Following the teaser, Part II begins at the same point where Part I ended.
Over shots of an X-file on Mulder [?] and scenes from quarter-century-old home movies, Morris Fletcher recounts the life and times of one Fox William Mulder, Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. He gives a quick synopsis of Mulder's background, from childhood through college and into the Bureau. Mulder, Morris concludes, never got over his sister's disappearance and, thus, has lost his mind.
Morris: If you ask me, he's one step away from pushing a baby carriage filled with tin cans down the street.
But now, Morris says, "all that's gonna change."
The credits roll: The truth is out there.
Outside the Nevada convenience store, Mulder is being dragged away by "cammo dudes" from the Area 51 security force who think he's Morris Fletcher -- and a traitor. Mulder continues screaming to Scully, insisting that he's the real Mulder and that the "Mulder" with her set the whole thing up.
Scully seems to almost-but-not-quite believe, as "Mulder" -- still calling her "Dana" -- joins her outside and apologizes for selling out both her and his source. Scully tells him he did the right thing, adding that "I've been telling you for years you should play more by the book."
"Mulder": Hey, it's the new me!
Mulder, in leg chains, is led down a hallway to a cell, apparently inside the base. In the adjoining cell is the Hopi woman, Lana Chee -- or rather, Captain Robert McDonough, in Mrs. Chee's body.
McDonough/Chee, smoking a cigarette, informs Mulder that they've been "disappeared." When Mulder asks who his new neighbor is, McDonough/Chee gives his call sign, Maverick. Mulder asks "are you all right, ma'am?" and is surprised when "Maverick" responds angrily.
Back in Washington, "Mulder" is playing computer golf again as Scully approaches. He asks was Kersh told her, and she responds, as she's boxing up some items from her desk, that she's been suspended without pay for two weeks for insubordination.
As she starts out, "Mulder" stops her, inviting her to his place for dinner that night to "ease the pain a little." Scully, surprised, nonetheless agrees.
In his holding cell, Mulder is being forced to listen to "Maverick's" ongoing tales of aerial derring-do, but he finally gets fed up.
Mulder: Hey! Grandma Top Gun! Will you shut the hell up??
Maverick (flicking a cigarette butt at Mulder): You're MY bitch now, pencilneck!
Just as Mulder reaches through the gap between the cells in an attempt to attack Maverick, two of the "cammo dudes" return, saying General Wegman wants to see Mulder.
In Wegman's office, Mulder is surprised when the general, Jeff, and Howard ask why he didn't let them know what was going on from the beginning. Apparently, the flight data recorder was replaced with a fake at some point, and the other men assume it was Mulder's doing.
Mulder bluffs his way through the meeting, telling the men he didn't tell them because he didn't know if he could trust them because of the security leak. He says he decided to approach Scully alone to find out who the contact was.
Mulder: Unfortunately, her partner, Agent ... *Mulder*, screwed everything up.
Howard: So why didn't you tell us all this afterward?
Mulder: I knew you wouldn't believe it until you figured it out for yourself.
Mulder insists (with a nervous laugh) that the *real* flight data recorder is safe and that he'll bring it back. Wegman then turns on Howard for his actions, telling him he'll have to face a review panel back in Washington and that he's recommended censure.
At Mulder's apartment, "Mulder" enters, carrying grocery bags, and gives a disgusted expression at the sight of the apartment. He pulls out candles as "a little mood lighting for the bedroom" -- and then has to start his hunt for the bedroom.
He looks around, then spies a closed door down a short hall at the end of the couch. He tries it, tugs a few times, and the door finally opens -- sending down an avalanche of boxes, "adult" magazines, and other debris.
"Mulder" (incredulous): This guy hasn't been laid in ten years.
Outside the Fletcher residence (Rachel, Nevada), Mulder pulls up in Morris' car. He surveys the clothes and other belongings strewn across the yard, then spies a car pulling up to the curb across the street.
As he turns toward the house, Chris storms toward him, sporting a brand-new nose ring. Mulder tries to tell her he likes it, but she retorts, "As if!"
Terrence follows, and Mulder tries again, but Terrence tells him that Joanne is taking out a restraining order against him.
Mulder waves, uncomfortably, as the kids leave in the minivan, then heads inside, where he sneaks a look out through the blinds at the car. Joanne enters, demanding to know why he's back. He tries to explain, but she's not listening.
Joanne: I've heard enough from you for one lifetime, Morris. Go tell it to that tramp of yours, that Scully what's-her-name.
Mulder: Dana Scully. Special Agent Dana Scully of the FBI.
Joanne: Special tramp Dana Scully.
Mulder tells Joanne that Scully is his partner, that he's not Morris but instead Fox Mulder, also a special agent with the FBI.
Mulder: I am not your husband. We are not married. We are complete strangers. And I have a whole other life that I'm desperately trying to get back to.
Joanne: You know, Morris, most men, when they have a midlife crisis, they go out and buy themselves a sports car. They don't run around calling themselves "Fox"!
Mulder tries a different tack, showing Joanne the car and telling her that the men in it are watching him. He says that if he makes a wrong move, it's likely that he'll "be history, which means that your husband will also be history."
She still doesn't get it, and Mulder gives up.
Back at Mulder's apartment, Scully arrives for dinner, only to be greeted by "Mulder" in an apron -- and a clean, half- redecorated apartment. Scully is stunned, and even more so when "Mulder" helps her take her coat off. "Mulder" tells her he thought it was about time he "stopped living like a frat boy" -- and then he nudges her down the hallway.
They enter the bedroom, "Mulder" flipping on the lights to reveal a roomful of brand-new furniture -- including a four- poster bed, complete with black sheets trimmed in leopardskin.
Scully's response: "I didn't even know you had a bedroom."
"Mulder" invites her to sit on the bed, then leads her over when she begs off. They sit, at which point Scully discovers it's a waterbed; when "Mulder" flops back, she also falls backward -- and discovers that the ceiling is covered with mirrors. [A shot into the mirrors shows Scully lying on the bed next to what at least looks like Mulder!]
"Mulder" asks if she hates it, and she says no, she doesn't. They sit up, Scully looking a bit befuddled, and "Mulder" returns to the kitchen, snaring an ice bucket, bottle of champagne, and two glasses. On his way back to the bedroom, he indulges in a [blessedly] brief rendition of "Let's Get it On" -- complete with falsetto -- and throwing in a few dance steps for good measure.
As he reaches the bedroom door, he pulls it shut behind him with his foot.
In the bedroom, "Mulder" and Scully sit across the bed from each other as "Mulder" passes over a glass for champagne. A thoughtful look on her face, Scully makes her move ...
Scully: You know what would really be fun?
Scully, smiling, holds up her handcuffs.
"Mulder": Oh ... oh yeah ...
She hands them to him, and he obligingly handcuffs himself to the headboard -- still holding the bottle of champagne between his knees -- and remarks that it's his "first time." When he turns back to face her, however, he's surprised to see her training her gun on him.
Scully: You're not Mulder.
"Mulder": What? [Champagne cork pops, and he jumps.] Baby?!
Scully: "Baby" me and you'll be peeing through a catheter.
Scully says his name is Morris Fletcher, that Mulder was the one who was arrested in the desert, and demands to know how they can get things back to normal.
Morris tells her he doesn't know how to switch things back, and that even if he did, he wouldn't. He's glad to be rid of his wife and kids, his mortgage, and his job. Besides, he adds, no one will ever believe her, "so you might as well just get used to me being here."
Scully: Or ... I just shoot you ... baby.
Morris insists he doesn't know how to undo it, and when Scully asks about Mulder's source, he says he doesn't know who that is, either.
Just then, the phone rings. The answering machine picks up and, to Scully's disgust, says that he's "entertaining a *special* guest." When the caller begins to leave a message, Scully realizes that it's Mulder's source and motions for Morris to answer, which he does. Scully leans close to hear as the caller says, "Agent Mulder, listen very carefully ..."
At the Fletcher home, Mulder has pulled up a chair next to the window and is watching the men watching him. Joanne comes in again, suitcases in hand, and when she asks why he won't leave, he asks where they can go. Joanne's confused, but he says they should leave the house, "go someplace with a lot of people." He even smiles softly at her and runs a hand over her hair.
At the Little A'Le'Inn, a combination restaurant, bar, and motel with the slogan "Earthlings Welcome" on the sign, a car pulls into the parking lot. It's Scully and Morris, who [obligingly] run through their plan. Morris is to enter alone to meet with the source, who will be wearing a blue Buffalo Bills cap.
Morris: And, if I try and slip out the back door, da da da, de de de ... [pantomimes a shooting motion]
Scully: Get going.
Morris: Can't we start over? Do that thing with the handcuffs?
[Scully cocks her gun.]
Morris: Probably not your scene ...
Morris enters the bar, looking around for the contact as country music plays. At the bar sit Mulder and Joanne, having drinks.
Morris finds his source -- it's General Wegman. He's shocked, and laughs at the discovery.
Mulder sees two MIBs enter the bar and quickly tells Joanne he's headed for the restroom.
In their booth, Wegman tells Morris ("Mulder") he didn't want the UFO to crash; he just wanted to "disable the stealth module" so Mulder could see it.
Outside, Mulder is ducking behind cars, looking for an open door to make is escape. He finds one open -- with Scully in the driver's seat. They're both surprised, and Scully is wary, but she says, "Mulder? Is that really you?" Mulder gets in, asking why she's there, and she responds that she's trying to figure out how to help him.
Back in the bar, Joanne is sitting alone at the bar. Morris and Wegman are still talking, and Wegman tells him the flight data recorder is on the floor by his feet; Morris looks down and there it is, in a brown paper bag.
Joanne goes outside, calling out, "Morris?" She sees him in the car with Scully and storms back inside, retaking her seat. Morris stands to leave, but as he's walking out, he spies Joanne, who's starting to cry. His face falls, but before he can react further, he sees Jeff come in and speak to the other MIB, and he slips away.
Jeff approaches Joanne, asking if she's seen Morris. Just then, Mulder comes back in the back door, and Joanne throws her wine in his face. When Jeff asks what that was about, Mulder replies, "I guess I make a lousy husband."
Joanne returns to her seat, and Jeff says he'll talk to her. Mulder goes into the men's room to clean up, and when he looks in the mirror, he sees his own face behind him. He pushes the mirror back flat to the wall to show both their faces, then turns to face Morris.
Mulder: So you're the guy that wants my life. I assume that includes all the ass-kickings?
He locks the door, then throws Morris against the wall, but Morris stops him. He insists that if Jeff sees them together, "we're both dead" -- particularly if Jeff sees the flight data recorder.
Mulder tells him to take the recorder to Scully, but Morris says he's not going out until Jeff leaves. Morris tries to convince Mulder to do it, but Mulder says Jeff doesn't trust him any more.
In the bar, General Wegman gets up to leave and sees Jeff talking to Joanne. He quickly retreats to the men's room, which appears deserted, but as he paces, two faces pop up over the stall -- Mulder and Morris.
Scully enters the bar the back way and sees Joanne at the bar, just as Wegman leaves the men's room and snags Jeff and the other men, telling them to follow him. Scully backs up against the wall beside the men's room.
Wegman and the other men hurry outside, where Jeff asks what's going on. Wegman points out Mulder, who's leaving the bar with a brown paper bag, and tells them to detain him. When they do, they discover that the bag contains a six-pack of beer -- just as a car (Scully's) peels out of the parking lot.
In the car, Morris shows Scully the flight data recorder. He smiles and mutters, "Suckers!" -- but Scully only looks worried.
At the Lone Gunmen's ... abode, Frohike, decked out in an apron with a bandana on his head, is dishing up huevos rancheros to Langly and Byers. Both Frohike and Byers correct Langly's mangled Spanish, just as someone knocks, the door buzzer goes off, and Scully calls out, "Open up!"
Frohike checks the monitor for their outside camera, seeing that it's "Mulder" and Scully. He releases all the locks and lets them in. As Scully pushes her way in, Frohike tells "Mulder," "If I'd known you were coming, I would have made more salsa."
Scully tells them they need their help, showing them the flight data recorder. Byers breaks it open, and Frohike comments that it's "definitely not standard-issue."
"Where did you get *this*?" Byers asks, directing his question to "Mulder," but Scully answers: "Groom Lake, outside Area 51."
As "Mulder" looks around, half-listening and perusing a copy of The Lone Gunman -- and grinning -- Langly speculates that the flight data recorder is from "the Aurora spyplane," which Byers explains as "a hypersonic reconnaissance aircraft fueled with slush-hydrogen."
"Or methylcyclohexane," Langly adds -- and "Mulder" snorts out a laugh, getting the attention of the others.
Frohike: What's with him?
"Mulder": You guys like the name? I'm going to go with either "Aurora" or "Borealis."
The Gunmen are taken aback, and Scully admits that it's not Mulder. She starts to explain but can't quite get herself to say it all, so Morris finishes, telling them who he is and that he "assumed Mulder's identity through a warp in the space-time continuum."
The Gunmen laugh, but then they whip around to look at Scully and realize she's dead serious. Morris laughs, telling them that they're his "heroes," because of the "crap" they print. The Gunmen are offended, but Morris tells them the reason he likes them so much is that "not only do you *believe* this horse pucky that we create, you broadcast it as well."
He points out a headline in "The Lone Gunman" -- "The Newsletter for Those Who Want to Stay Informed and Alive" -- reading "SADDAM TESTING MANDROID ARMY IN IRAQI DESERT." He then tells them Saddam Hussein is, in fact, a dinner theater actor from Tulsa named John Gillnitz [!], who "rattles his saber whenever we need a good distraction."
[In-joke alert: "John Gillnitz" is an amalgam of the names of the three writers' names who penned this episode: John Shiban, Vince Gilligan, and Frank Spotnitz.]
"Mulder": If you boys only knew how many of your stories I dreamed up while sitting on the pot.
Frohike: What stories?
"Mulder": Oh, I'm sorry, Melvin, that's classified.
Frohike: The name's Frohike, you punkass! What the hell'd you do with Mulder!
Scully intervenes -- "Shut up, all of you" -- and tells the guys that if they want Mulder back, they'll get her the analysis from the flight data recorder.
In his office, General Wegman is shredding documents when there's a knock at the door. It's "Morris Fletcher" -- Mulder -- who enters, and Wegman says they shouldn't be seen together -- "Fletcher, Mulder, whoever you are."
Mulder says he hopes it'll be the last time they meet, since Scully will be coming back with the information from the flight data recorder. Wegman says it'll be too late for him, that whether or not the switch back happens, someone will figure out that he's the leak. He repeats -- to the real Mulder this time -- that he set the whole thing up so Mulder would see the craft.
Mulder asks why, and Wegman says that he's spent his whole career hiding the truth. "What is the truth?" Mulder asks, and Wegman is surprised -- "You mean ... you don't know?"
It turns out that Wegman doesn't know any more about what the craft are than Mulder does. "We just fly these birds," he says. "They don't tell us what makes them go."
Mulder: Well, if you don't know, why'd you call me?
Wegman: I ... I've seen your file. You've chased flying saucers for years. ... Do aliens really exist, Agent Mulder?
Mulder has no answer.
Back at the Lone Gunmen's headquarters, they've gotten into the flight data recorder. Scully joins them at the computer, and they tell her the data recorder has all the standard information, but there's two extra categories of information listed -- tachyon flux and gravitational displacement.
Frohike (to Morris): Aurora, my ass ... what have you guys been flying out there?
In response, Morris simply waggles his eyebrows.
Scully tells the guys to analyze the data and calls out to Morris, who holds up a paper with the headline "Monica: Minx or Mandroid?" and says, "This is one of mine!"
"Get your butt in gear," Scully retorts, and Morris says, "You're gonna miss me when I'm gone."
Frohike: Yeah, fat chance, laughing boy.
Morris: Back off, Sneezy.
Scully again breaks in, telling the guys to call when they find some answers.
Near Area 51, three teens, two male and one female, approach a white mailbox, which one of the guys insists is actually the legendary "black mailbox" --"they painted it white to hide it." It's a traditional meetings spot where UFO aficiandos look for lights in the sky. The other two are too wrapped up in each other to pay him much attention -- or to notice the low rumble approaching them.
The first guy hears and sees it, though, wondering out loud what it is. He feels the ripple pass through him and turns to his friends to see if they've noticed -- but they've been melded together, their torsos joined and the girl's hand sticking out through the boy's back.
In a darkened area, Mulder sits in his car as another pulls up. Scully climbs from the passenger seat -- Morris is driving -- and approaches Mulder near his car.
Mulder: You don't look too happy. Don't tell me I'm going to have to put two kids through school.
Scully [leaning toward him]: That is you in there, Mulder, isn't it?
He nods, and Scully, sighing, haltingly tells him the Gunmen have analyzed the crash data and found that "there was an anomalous event that night." Mulder asks how he gets back, but Scully replies that there are too many variables involved for them to accurately reacreate the anomaly and get him back.
Scully: Mulder, if we were ... if we were off .. if the event were off by even one millisecond ...
Mulder: I might wind up with my head in a rock.
Scully: Something like that, yeah.
Stumped, and visibly upset, they are silent for a moment, until Mulder asks about Morris. Scully tells him that "Agent Mulder" is the AD's new "golden boy" and is supposed to return the flight data recorder. "The son of a bitch confesses to Kersh even more than I do to my priest," she adds, and Mulder laughs briefly.
Then she adds that she's "just tagging along" on the trip, and when Mulder questions the statement, she says that she's been fired from the Bureau. Shocked, Mulder says that she should get her job back, that she has the data and can explain it to them the same way she explained it to him.
Her reply: "I'd kiss you if you weren't so damn ugly."
Mulder smiles, but then Morris honks the horn, yelling out the window, "Take a picture; it'll last longer."
Mulder: If I ... shoot him, is that murder or suicide?
Scully: Neither, if I do it first.
She then grasps his arm, closing her eyes briefly, and they look at each other for a moment before she starts to walk away. As she does, Mulder calls her back, then gives her a handful of sunflower seeds, taking one back for himself. She stands motionless for a few seconds, looking at him, then turns and slowly makes her way back to the car. Mulder watches, his face pained, as she and Morris drive away -- for good.
On the highway, the unaffected teenager from the mailbox site jumps out to stop a passing car, begging for help. The driver is Howard, and he follows the boy across the field as the boy goes on about a "wave" that was "all squiggly and everything," and that "their faces, they .. they stuck together..."
But when they come upon the other two, they're completely normal, making out on a blanket and wondering where "Sam" has been.
Sam turns to Howard and insists that "they were messed up."
"I believe you," Howard replies.
Back on the highway the next morning, Morris is again driving with Scully in the passenger seat. He's telling a long story about how he got a motel room for free by showing his FBI badge. Scully remains silent, and once he's finished his story, Morris offers to talk to Kersh and try to get Scully her job back.
Morris: We could have lots of fun together, once you got to know me.
Scully: I've still got my gun.
Morris backs off, but Scully suddenly stares out the window and tells him to stop, then back up. They've just passed the gas station that was burned two days earlier -- but it's now standing undamaged.
Scully gets out, incredulous. The entire property is untouched, and the attendant walks out, asking if he can help her. Scully says she doesn't understand, that the place had burned down, but the attendant replies, "I think I'd remember that."
Back at the base, Captain McDonough is being led down the hallway toward the cells, still mumbling Hopi under his breath. "Mrs. Chee" sees them coming and steps to the front of the cell, to face Howard. "Chee" starts to back away, but one of the cammo dudes starts to drag her (him?) from the cell.
Outside the Fletcher home, Mulder is opening the back of a U-Haul trailer when Morris and Scully drive up. He asks why she's there, and she says something's happened, but before she can elaborate, Joanne starts yelling at "Morris," and the three turn to look at her. She's trying to drag the recliner out the front door, with Terrence helping, but she stops when she spies Scully.
She orders Terrence back inside, then starts yelling at Scully for coming back to the house. Mulder tries again to tell her that he's not her husband, but she ignores him. Scully pulls him behind the U-Haul, as Joanne yells, "Homewrecker!"
Morris approaches Joanne, and tells her that Mulder was telling the truth about which man was her husband. He begins recounting stories about their wedding day, their first apartment, her pregnancy, and the night their daughter was born. Finally, she believes.
Mulder and Scully return, saying they have to go, and Scully explains that whatever happened to switch Mulder and Morris may be reversing itself. Mulder adds that they have to be back on the highway, where they were in the first place, to be switched back.
Just then, two Jeeps full of cammo dudes, and Jeff, pull up. Jeff approaches Mulder, apologizing but adding, "a traitor's a traitor," as one of the cammo dudes pulls the flight data recorder from the car.
The Jeeps pass the "Restricted Area" sign on Highway 375, at the border of Area 51, with Mulder, Morris, and Scully in the back of the lead Jeep. But they are stopped by a roadblock, led by Howard.
Jeff approaches Howard, asking what's going on, and Howard explains that they have switched back Captain McDonough and Lana Chee. Mulder breaks in, saying that the warp is "snapping back like a rubber band," and Scully adds that they must be in its path when it happens.
A low rumbling starts in the distance.
Mulder asks Howard why he's doing it, and Howard replies that he wants his "spotless career record" back.
Morris asks for clarification -- "So this is time snapping back?" -- and Mulder says it'll be like the previous few days had never happened at all, that none of them will remember it.
"In that case, Dana," Morris says to Scully, "it's been real" -- and he gives her a parting pat on the rear, at which both she and Mulder cringe.
Then the ripple passes over them, and Mulder looks down from the sky, exactly as he did after the first ripple passed. He is back in front of the car, in his grey T-shirt and jeans, with Morris facing him from several feet away.
Mulder and Scully return to get in their car, but he and Morris turn back to look at each other. Morris reaches in his shirt pocket for his cigarettes, and stops when he catches sight of his wedding band. Mulder, for his part, shrugs quickly, as if uncomfortable in his own skin.
He half-smiles as he gets in the car.
Back at Mulder's apartment building, he's emerging from the elevator on the fourth floor, in his T-shirt and leather jacket and carrying a bag over one shoulder. His cell phone rings, and he answers as he heads down the hallway toward his apartment.
The caller is a tired Scully, who's back at the office, a custodian mopping the floor in the background. She tells him that their trip to Nevada "slipped under Kersh's radar" -- no one noticed at all. She then says she's sorry his source didn't pan out.
Mulder: Well, I guess you were right, Scully -- just another crackpot who watches too much Star Trek.
Scully [smiling]: Good night.
Mulder: Hey, Scully -- I, uh, know it's not your normal life, but ... thanks for coming out there with me."
Scully: You're welcome.
After struggling with the lock a bit, Mulder gets the door open. As he steps inside, we can see the reflection of a blue light and a glimpse at the apartment, apparently still redecorated (as Morris had it). Mulder closes the door behind himself.
At her desk, Scully goes to put a file in the drawer, and something catches her eye. She picks up, and it's the the melded dime and penny she found in Nevada. She holds it up and looks at it curiously.
At his apartment, Mulder slowly re-opens
the door, looks at the number to be sure he's really in the right place,
looks around ... and then slowly closes the door again.
Some useful websites on Area 51 and the Philadelphia experiment:
Project Rainbow/The Philadelphia Experiment:
http://www.wincom.net/softarts/philexp.html -- This is the website for a book in progress on Project Rainbow, with excerpts, a list of topics covered, reference lists, and links.
http://mmm.simplenet.com/frames/philadelphia_experiment/philadelphia.html -- An ongoing site, not very well-organized but with some interesting "official" statements gathered through the Freedom of Information Act.
http://www.stc.net/~descher/pe/PE.html -- Brief descriptions of three theories about what *really* happend during the experiment, and a few links.
http://www.stc.net/~descher/pe/PE.html -- A relatively thin site, but with some good book and link info (including UFO-related books and links).
http://www.stc.net/~descher/pe/PE.html -- This is actually a student's research paper on the Philadelphia Experiment, but it gives a basic overview of theories and explanations, plus background on Carlos Miguele Allende, the man who first reported the apparent time travel, as well as several other people associated with the project in various ways.
http://www.ipcress.com/area51/ -- Very extensive site with lots of detail on the base, area locations, the Roswell incident, various aircraft projects, etc., Includes maps.
-- Similar to the above, slightly more information but harder to read.
|| THE WINNERS' CIRCLE
|| CHEMICAL REACTION
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