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The X-Files: Without

Case: Scully, Skinner, and Doggett find Gibson Praise and search for Mulder in the Arizona Desert.

Destination: Clifton, AZ

“Who are these beings we dare to imagine, but fear to accept? What dark work goes on inside their impossible machines, cloaked from us by invisible forces?”

This is the second episode with John Doggett and I have to say that he quickly became a character that I wanted to root for. I didn’t like him at all when he first arrived on the show, but by the end of this one, it's pretty clear that he is a man of integrity.

With a dramatic flourish of music and a bird’s eye view up a mountain, we come upon Doggett and Mulder at the edge of a cliff. After some rather silly dialog, which I’ll happily quote later, Mulder does a very nice reverse dive with a twist and falls to the desert floor.

I liked the part where Scully goes over to Mulder’s landing site and John tries to act like it was a normal thing that Mulder fell that far and that there were footprints showing that he had run away. Sure, maybe Mulder had a circus troupe down there ready with a safety net to catch him.

The middle part of this episode was a little slow. They talk to Gibson, a dozen useless FBI agents mill around (our tax dollars at work, folks), Scully chases Fake Scully, Skinner and Scully point guns at each other, and Doggett scratches his head and looks confused.

The episode gets better after night falls on the desert. Those night scenes were beautifully filmed. Scully and Skinner have some nice heart to heart moments, and sad X-File music plays while Scully calls out mournfully for Mulder. A bright light fills the sky… what is it?…can it be? Nope, it’s a helicopter with Doggett aboard. I love the way that Skinner left Scully all alone in a desert while he took Gibson to the hospital. It’s not like dangerous aliens were lurking about or anything. Anyhow, Doggett and Scully have quite a great conversation there in the dark. Scully is defiant and emotional, Doggett is trying to be pragmatic and logical; but he is also obviously listening to Scully and trying to find common ground. I’m starting to glimpse the chemistry between those two and that’s a good thing; she's going to need Doggett, whether she knows it or not.

There is a cool thing that happens after Doggett and Scully leave to go see Gibson in the hospital; a spaceship is seen behind some kind of hazy force-field, and Mulder is shown crying out for Scully. It's a near miss, for our lovely duo; so close yet so far.  It’s very sad.

I really like the last few scenes in the hospital. Skinner as alien bounty hunter was truly frightening, and I loved that moment where Gibson’s reflection could be seen as he shook his head, trying to warn Scully. That was cool. Thankfully, mean alien bounty hunter doesn’t kill Scully, just throws her into a cabinet really hard. Oh, my spleen.

The dozen useless FBI agents just stand there, and no doctors seem to be available as Doggett hurries to help Scully and holds her as she sobs with her hand over her eyes. All together now… awww.

It was great that Doggett seemed to heed Skinner’s warning that Evil Assistant Director Kersh was out to ruin his career. It’s only the second episode of the season, but it’s nice that we are being given some good reasons to like Agent Doggett and to know that he will do his darndest to find his man, do his job, and most importantly; do the right thing.

Other Thoughts:

I don’t really like the Mulder torture chair scenes. To me they seem kind of silly. Why would aliens want to do things like stretch the skin on his face? Are they testing some kind of alien skin lotion?

I remember feeling cheated the first time that I watched this because most of “Mulder’s” scenes were not really even him.  When Duchovny deigns to actually be in an episode from now on, I want to see him as Mulder, not as something else.

In my research of this one, I read that Duchovny wanted to film more alien spacecraft scenes and do a whole episode about his abduction, but Chris Carter didn’t want the focus to be pulled from his new star, Robert Patrick. Doggett did have a lot of great lines in this one, as you shall see below.


Doggett: “Come on, dammitt… it’s just stupid, Agent Mulder, don’t turn this into a movie… just tell me if you got a gun.” Okay, what? Is that a reference to Patrick’s Terminator role?

Doggett: “It’s too hot for this B.S.”

Doggett: “You’ve painted me a picture; now put it in a frame.”

Skinner: (to Doggett) “The only way you’re gonna find Mulder is to give into the truth…to listen to Scully. But even then, say you do find him, even then you lose. You put anything about aliens, or UFO’s or alien bounty hunters in your report, Kersh will ruin you. I’m betting that was his plan.”

Scully: “I can’t take the chance that I’m never going to see him again.”
Skinner: “Mulder could just come walking out of the dark…we don’t know.”

Scully: “What kid? I don’t see any kid.” Ha! Good one, Scully.

Scully:  (to Doggett) “In case something tries to rip your throat out; I’ve got you covered."

Gibson: “He’s here…I hear him.”
Scully: “What are you talking about?”
Gibson: “Mulder…somewhere out there…you’re so close now.”

‘Somewhere out there, beneath the pale moonlight, someone’s thinking of me, and loving me tonight.’ That’s from An American Tail, in case you’re wondering.

Final Analysis:

This was a good episode; it had a lot of nice scenes and some action and a few chills. It’s just time to accept that Duchovny just didn’t want to do more than twelve episodes this season, and to try to sit back and enjoy the development of Doggett’s character, which I think was done quite nicely.

Three and a half out of five Fievels.

Mallena loves her DVR, her Pug, anything in the sci-fi, fantasy, or supernatural genres, and her family. Well, maybe not in that exact order.


  1. I got to be honest--I absolutely loved Doggett. I didn't really know who Robert Patrick was, having never watched Terminator 2 at the time. But, I loved Doggett. As awful as the X-Files would get in its last two seasons, he was the reason I kept coming back for more. I thought he was a nice and believable departure from Mulder (who I love, but I just found Doggett a lot more, shall we say, grounded?). Doggett was no-nonsense, but he had an open-enough mind that he quickly accepted that there were some crazy things out there that he didn't know about and he wanted to get to the bottom of things.

    Robert Patrick is now one of my favorite actors.


  2. I didn't think that Patrick was a good choice for the role when he first came onboard, but it soon became apparent that he was. What if the producers had decided to hire some hunky potential love-interest guy? That would have been bad.

  3. Great review, Mallena. I really liked the quotes you cited. :)

  4. I didn't like dogget either. And I was so mad that mulder wasn't in season 8 much but after re watching I liked dogget.


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