A mere half-hour after Fox decides we've had enough post-game football BS, and we're back again!
Mulder gives us a recap of how he came to work with the X-Files and work with Scully. He says the FBI closed the X-Files in 2002, but he remains committed to pursuing whether aliens might exist. "Are we truly alone, or are we being lied to?" he asks. The good old opening kicks in. In New Mexico in 1947, a military bus brings a doctor to visit the crash site of the Roswell UFO.
In the present day, Scully is now working in a hospital and gets a call from Skinner. He wants to see if Mulder is familiar to an wealthy online conspiracy theorist named Tad O'Malley. Mulder is less than impressed with O'Malley's rantings, but agrees to a meet him with Scully. O'Malley takes them to a remote cabin in Low Moor, Virginia, to meet a young woman named Sveta. She claims that she was abducted and impregnated by aliens multiple times, and that the aliens took the alien-human hybrid babies from her.
In 1947, a military team guns down an alien that survived the UFO crash, much to the doctor's horror. In present day, Sveta surprises Scully by correctly noting how Mulder and Scully were once a couple and had a child together. O'Malley takes Mulder to an undisclosed location with a Faraday cage containing what seems to be an alien spacecraft powered by zero-point energy and containing a gravity warp drive.
Mulder goes to meet with Sveta and finds that humans were involved in the theft of her children. He calls Scully and suggests that there might not be an alien conspiracy at all, that they've been led to believe in a lie and that Sveta is the "key to everything." At the FBI headquarters, Skinner and Mulder pay a visit to Mulder's old abandoned office. Skinner says the country has gone in a very odd direction since the 9/11 attacks and suggests that Mulder should do something about it.
Mulder meets with the elderly Roswell doctor, who has promised to confirm Mulder's theory if he ever manages to put all the pieces together (he says Mulder hasn't even come close with his "warring aliens lighting each other on fire and other such nonsense"). Mulder suggests that 2012 kicked off a countdown, in which a conspiracy of men are using alien technology against humanity. The doctor/informant says Mulder is "nearly there."
Although Mulder is eager to use O'Malley's show to broadcast the conspiracy to the world, Scully is worried that this is yet another time where Mulder thinks he's made a breakthrough and actually has nothing. In a meeting between Mulder, Scully, Sveta, and O'Malley, Mulder outlines his conspiracy theory: UFOs were drawn to Earth by the threat of nuclear weapons and concern about humanity's self-destruction, plus tests involving alien tissue and spacecraft technology.
The question is just what the conspirators hope to accomplish, though O'Malley and Mulder suggest that the aim is to try to take over the world. The possible signs include the Patriot Act, perpetual warfare, FEMA prison camps, corporate takeovers of food and takeovers, data collection, and even obesity; Mulder and O'Malley posit that the takeover may involve the disappearance of digital money, the detonation of EMPs blamed on terrorists or Russia, or a simulated alien invasion. Scully dismisses all of it as "fear-mongering claptrap isolationist techno-paranoia so bogus and dangerous and stupid that it borders on treason" and says it would be irresponsible for O'Malley to broadcast it. She reveals that Sveta's blood test came back negative for alien DNA.
Though O'Malley has promised to reveal "the truth" on his show, he is unable to do so when Sveta publicly accuses him of bribing her to make up stories about alien abduction. A military team raids the Faraday cage warehouse and blows up the spacecraft. O'Malley's show is apparently shut down. Mulder meets with Scully, and says that she actually sequenced all of Sveta's DNA to confirm the results. She also tested her own DNA because of what she observed with William, suggesting that she too might have alien DNA as a result of her abduction. Skinner sends an urgent text message saying he needs to meet with Mulder and Scully.
Sveta's car loses power as an alien spaceship hovers overhead. It turns out that they're not there to abduct her, but to blow her up. Soon after, a familiar figure takes a drag on a stoma and says there's a problem at hand: the X-Files have been reopened.
Joel McHale, who plays Tad O'Malley, might be best known for his role as Jeff Winger on Community or the host of The Soup. Fans of The Americans will recognize Annet Mehendru, who plays Sveta, as the actress who plays Nina Krilova. Gardiner Millar, who is credited simply as Man in Suit, is returning for his second role on The X-Files after first appearing as Mr. Baiocchi in the episode "Schizogeny." Andrew Morgado, who plays Charlie Scully, has a few acting credits to his name but is more involved in sound work, having worked as an ADR and foley mixer on a ton of shows.
Episode Body Count
Autopsied alien: Mulder references how Dr. Edgar Mitchell has referred to secret studies on extraterrestrial bodies, one of which is shown
Roswell alien: Gunned down by soldiers
At least four scientists: Blown up when the soldiers detonate the spacecraft
Cigarette-Smoking Man: Well I guess he was just very badly burnt.
Cumulative Body Count (202/202 episodes, 2/2 movies, 1/6 miniseries episodes)
Screenshots are from springfieldspringfield.co.uk.