Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Season 4, Episode 16: Unrequited


The episode opens with Mulder, Scully, Skinner, and another agent keeping an eye out for a suspicious character as a general named Benjamin Bloch gives a speech at the Vietnam Memorial. Everyone manages to get a sighting on him, but he always manages to slip away before he can be caught. As the man gets close to Bloch, he fades from view.

Twelve hours earlier, a lieutenant general is shot in the back of his limo by the same man. The FBI goes on alert, since several military leaders are arriving for the rededication of the Vietnam Memorial. Mulder and Scully go to see the leader of a revolutionary group in Virginia called The Right Hand, which the limo driver was affiliated with. The strange man shows up in a photo, and is identified as a former POW named Nathaniel Teager. The leader says Teager supposedly died in a crash in Vietnam, was rescued from a POW camp by the group in 1995, and disappeared upon his return to the United States.

Teager appears before a woman whose husband was supposedly killed in the war, and tells her that he is actually a POW; when the agents question her later, her eye bleeds a bit. Mulder ponders whether Teager is targeting the people who left him for dead, and also sees that the Army has recovered a couple of his teeth from the crash site and declared him dead despite inconclusive evidence. Scully finds that the woman who suffered the bleeding eye had a "floating blind spot." Another general is murdered, and though Teager is in the room Mulder doesn't see him.

After Teager shows up on a security feed, Mulder posits that Teager has the ability to selectively erase himself from people's field of vision by manipulating blind spots. In trying to find the next target, Mulder meets with Marita and discovers that the generals were involved in a covert project to leave behind commandos and spies in Vietnam, despite the fact that they would certainly be captured or killed. Bloch's parade is halted, and Scully sees Teager but immediately loses him again.

Mulder feels that the case was foisted on the FBI with the intent of letting the generals die to maintain the military's policy of denial about POWs. A former military friend of Teager's recognizes him, and Teager gives him a list of dozens of men left trapped in Vietnam. As the first scene repeats, Teager manages to get away, and Mulder realizes that Teager can only hide in a direct line of sight. He is shot and mortally wounded while hiding in Bloch's car, repeating his name and number as he dies. However, the military is able to cover up the incident by claiming Teager was another soldier.

Scott Hylands, who plays General Benjamin Broch, also played Detective Kevin "O.B." O'Brien in the 1980s series Night Heat.

Episode Body Count

Lt. General Peter McDougal: shot in his limo by Teager.

General John Steffan: shot and killed by Teager in his Pentagon office.

Sgt. Nathaniel Teager: shot and killed by Agent Cameron Hill as he tries to drive off in Bloch's car.

Teager had 26 confirmed kills in Vietnam, according to the leader of The Right Hand, but I'll invoke the Gimpy Rule on mass wartime tallies on that one.

Humans: 3
Creatures: 0
Aliens: 0

Cumulative Body Count (89/202 episodes, 0/2 movies)

Humans: 1,044
Creatures: 80
Aliens: 49

Grand Total: 1,173

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