Being a newbie to X-Files, I haven't made my way through my show, which makes it even harder to avoid spoilers. People tell me their own personal favorite episodes and moments, and I try to avoid spoiling how the show goes. However, up until this point, I think it's safe to say that this episode, along with End Game, are my favorite episodes of the series to date. They took the mythology of the show to a whole new level by teasing us with the possibility of meeting Mulder's sister who was supposed to have been abducted. However, the episode doesn't begin with this. All in all, this was a well-acted, well-written episode of television.
It all begins when we meet Mulder being shipped into an ER room. His face is beaten up and it appears he's close to death. The doctors begin warming him up and Scully bursts in, claiming they must let him remain cold, as it's the only thing keeping him alive. From here, we're pulled back in time as we investigate the events leading up to this. There's the investigation into the deaths of identical men who all worked at abortion clinics and the mysterious crash landing of a ship in Alaska that the government sends submarines to destroy. There's also the bounty hunter going around to try and kill the identical men.
All of these events coalesce into one thrilling plot that would be a shame to spoil. Let's just say that Fox Mulder meets who he thinks is his sister, Samantha Mulder, while the bounty hunter and the identical men have some extra-terrestrial blood in them.
There's plenty of plot development here, and for the first time in the show, I've liked Skinner. Skinner always seems to be on the brink of believing Mulder, despite everything else telling him not to. It was also nice to see the return of "X," the nameless man from the government who has begun helping Mulder. It should be interesting to see how he keeps helping with Skinner discovering his existence, along with Scully.
I realize that many of these events happened in the next episode, the second part, but it's hard to review them separately. They're both important to each other and it feels like watching a two hour episode instead of two separate one hour episodes. Either way, all that really needs to be known is that these episodes are some of the best that the show has made up until this point in the show.