The X-Files

Season 2 Episode 17

End Game (2)

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 17, 1995 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
336 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

The alien bounty hunter kidnaps Scully and wants to trade her for Mulder's sister, who is revealed to be a clone herself. After the trade goes badly and Mulder discovers the truth about Samantha, he tracks the bounty hunter to his ship buried in the arctic ice and demands the whereabouts of his real sister.moreless

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  • "The faith to keep looking"

    This episode continued from Colony and this turned out to be a perfect episode when Scully finds herself in a bad situation which gets her kidnapped by the bounty hunter in a trade for Mulder's sister.When the trade goes wrong Scully is safe but Mulder's sister goes over the bridge with the bounty hunter leaving Samantha dead and the Bounty Hunter alive.Mulder then finds out that it wasn't his sister and that they are clones and the bounty hunter manages to kill them.Then Mulder has one last plan with information from X a ship is in the Arctic and the bounty hunter is heading there.When Scully asks Skinner for answers of Mulder's location he doesn't help her and neither does X but it was good to see Skinner help Scully by fighting with X to get the answers.It is very rare you see X in an even fight.When Mulder gets to the ship he identifies the bounty hunter and gets beaten up and its the second time Mulder has shot someone and the alien blood has came out hurting his eyes.When the bounty hunter leaves he had told Mulder that Samantha is still alive but Mulder is dying and Scully comes to his rescue.When Mulder wakes up he tells Scully he has the faith to keep looking.moreless
  • End Game

    End Game was a perfect episode of the X-Files which nicely wrapped up the story from the previous episode. I really enjoyed watching as Mulder continued his investigation to find a disturbing truth about the woman who claimed to be his sister. It was also cool to watch Scully trying to find him along with Skinner who took on X. This episode had it all and the characters had lots of development. The guest cast and regular actors were all amazing. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Colony/Endgame" is epochal storytelling that reflects our fears and hopes even as it shapes our mythos. Like all good stories, it tells us more than an entertaining adventure: it tells us something about trust and faith and the human spirit.moreless

    With "Colony" and "Endgame", the series takes a 90 degree turn into global engagement, as Mulder and Scully are drafted into a shadowy internecine war where neither side appears to hold the moral high ground. I find myself running out of superlatives as the series takes on a grand design, one in which our heroes assume a larger role as defenders of not just some abstract "truth", but the possible future of the human species. Layer upon layer of deception peels away during this two hour epic, in which the direction and tone of the series must be forever altered.

    In "Colony", written by series creator Chris Carter from a story by himself and star David Duchovny, Mulder and Scully investigate the deaths of three unrelated yet physically identical abortion clinic doctors. The team uncovers what appears to be a plot with Cold-War overtones, recalling the darkest days of anti-Russian paranoia and the very birth of the CIA. A deadly assassin becomes their target as the chase leads them through several states and across the Arctic Circle. Mulder finds his past and his present intertwining as his long-lost sister Samantha (Megan Leitch) re-surfaces in the middle of the mystery, only to be lost again--or is she? The last half, "Endgame" (written by Frank Spotnitz) takes Mulder on a quest literally to the ends of the earth in his heroic search for truth.

    If "The X-Files" has a motto, it is not "The truth is out there" but "We are not who we are". The character who is not what he seems to be is almost a hallmark of the show. In "Colony", Mulder himself turns out to be a ringer! Later we discover that not only are the doctors not Russians, they are not even human. The usual ambiguities apply: the "good guys" are not necessarily all that good. Their human-tissue experiments have more in common with the works of Nazi geneticists in the death camps, experimenting with human subjects. Time after time, Mulder and Scully's allies--FBI agent Weiss, CIA agent Chappelle--turn out to be the enemy in disguise.

    We have come to expect the outstanding from "The X-Files", and we were well rewarded in the acting department. The power to move an audience, to manipulate their emotions and enter their dreams, is one of the headiest rewards of writing or acting. That brief moment when you hold the audience in the palm of your hand, their emotional response dependent on the next line or the next scene, on the smile of a beautiful woman or the tears of a sorrowing man, make up for the grueling hours and the endless frustrations of the performing arts.

    Gillian Anderson has absolutely patented that wide-eyed look of apprehension and that look of intelligent skepticism. She once again turns in a fine performance, full of fire and spirit. I loved the scene between her and David Duchovny in Mulder's office, where Dana Scully holds her own against her partner as they disagree on the pursuit of the case. Mulder angrily invites her to either agree with him totally or butt out. She reaches past his defensive belligerence to get to that mind she knows is hiding behind Mulder's sulky reaction. Her reaction to the false Mulder in her hotel room is cool and competent. Scully's skepticism serves her better than Mulder, as she doubts early on in the game that CIA Agent Chapel is everything that he appears to be. Her tenacity and courage lead her to the warehouse on "Edmonton" Street, where she witnesses the assassin's destruction of the fetal tissue experiments being conducted by the aliens. Anderson showed us a resolute and daring Scully, one who does not hesitate to face down her superior or a decidedly hostile Mr. X when it came to rescuing her partner.

    An actress blessed with both talent and beauty may choose to neglect one over the other--Hollywood does not demand much in the way of talent from most actresses (though they may have it). Many actresses would be content to walk through their lines, knowing that audiences would be satisfied with her face and figure onscreen. To her undying credit, Gillian Anderson gives us better than we deserve. She uses her beautiful face as she should--as another aid to her performance, not as its center. I am thinking particularly of the last scene, where against the stark background of the Arctic station, with its corrugated-tin walls and concrete, Scully sits beside Mulder's bed, waiting for him to live or die. When she realizes that he will live, her rare and beautiful smile tells us many things about her struggle, about her feelings for Mulder, about the desperate battle she has helped him wage. Mulder does not see it, but we do, and it is a wonderful perspective into the complex woman behind the serene facade. Gillian Anderson knows how to use that face, and that is the mark of an accomplished actress.

    I don't know whether to compliment David Duchovny's writing or his acting for the nuclear intensity of Mulder's scenes with his father (Peter Donat). Mulder goes to embrace his father and the old man puts him off stiffly with a formal handshake and lecture. We see that Mulder gets his stubbornness from his father--it takes real obstinacy to keep trying after 22 years of this treatment. Later, the scene where he tells his flinty father that Samantha is, once again, lost to them, was very well done. How does a 34 year old man manage to look like a shamed 14 year old? Guilt, contrition, and humiliation fought for dominance on Duchovny's face. We see also that Mulder gets his "inquiring mind" from his mother, who even in her joy questions whether this is, indeed, her daughter come home. And the scene on the front porch between Fox and Samantha Mulder was exquisite--he so desperately wants to believe, but is struggling with his innate doubt. One of the most chilling things I have ever seen on television is David Duchovny as The Bad Guy. Talk about freezer burn! The look in his eyes as he manhandled Gillian Anderson was the coldest stare I've seen since Lee Van Cleef in "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly". The scene in the abortion clinic, where Mulder comes face to face with the truth about his "sister" as he meets the clones, is outstanding. I *saw* the birth of a bone-deep rage in Fox Mulder on David Duchovny's face as he realizes the depth of his betrayal. This time the enemy has hit a vital spot in Mulder's psyche, and his self-respect will depend on how he recovers from this blow. He may not have been willing to kill to learn the truth in "One Breath", but he is willing to die to learn it, which is a different thing. [Anyone still maintaining that this man's acting is 'wooden' is invited to meet me at dawn, ahorse or on foot, with their weapon of choice.]

    I could only find one noteworthy plot flaw: Dana Scully foolishly calls Mulder with a secret message--from the middle of a crowded bus. Why not just take out an ad on TV? This is an example of the plot driving the character--Carter needed the alien assassin to know her plans so they made Scully do something stupidly out of character. It's a plot "solution" that weakens the plot, but it is not a fatal wound. Her lapse in judgement results in her capture, thereby forcing Mulder to choose between his partner and the sister he has sought all his life. I'll forgive the blunder for the enrichment of the story line.

    Although I have no evidence, I would like to think that the tighter plot and more careful handling of important details in this arc owes something to the mind of David Duchovny, the professionally trained teacher of literature. Do lines like "an ether of vague memories" and "truth as elusive as memory" echo the poet in Duchovny? Moreover, I wondered who came up with the subtle levels of meaning in this script. On the surface, we can see the involvement of the plotline in the current controversies surrounding abortion, fetal-tissue research, and genetic engineering. We hear echoes of the "ethnic cleansing" of the Nineties and the racial purity campaigns of the Thirties. But on a more abstract level, we can see "Colony/Endgame" as the pitting of the individual against the mass mind. The aliens are, by nature, clones. They lack the genetic diversity and quite probably the emotional stability of a species which embraces change as part of its survival strategy. Less adaptable, less independent than our aggressively individualistic species, they would naturally look with suspicion on attempts to "dilute" their genetic code through hybridization. Whereas change comes naturally to non-clones, it must represent disaster to those whose evolution has dictated conformity at the cellular level.

    A sea-change has taken place in the environment of "The X- Files". As fun and trendy as it has been to play with nihilism, no scenario can be sustained indefinitely on the premise that we live in a chaotic and unpredictable universe. We can enjoy the occasional excursion into chaos, but we must always return to the ordered world we know. The failure to do so will ultimately bore the audience, who finds the novelty wearing off, and nothing more substantial to put in its place. We know there are dark and bitter nights full of death and fear, but we also know that the sun rises inexorably every morning. While we may say we like fantasy, we also subconsciously react to a story on the basis of our cell-deep knowledge of reality, based on mundane experience. To confront us week after week with ambiguity and despair and confusion is to risk losing our belief--and our attention. Carter has wisely moved us forward into a newer, more mature plot environment. From now on, we will know something of the structure of this secret empire against which Mulder and Scully struggle. We are being invaded slowly, silently, insidiously by an enemy who hides in our skin and behind the faces of our loved ones. The lines are more clearly drawn, the stakes are more clearly understood as Mulder and Scully are drawn into this war fought in the shadows. We lose something of the thrill, perhaps--the monster we imagine is always worse than the monster we see clearly--but we gain structure and coherence we were needing.moreless
  • the one with the clones, part II

    The second part of this two-parter was much stronger. But it still didn’t keep me from being annoyed by the hunter and the storyline, also Samantha turning out to be a clone as well was very unnecessary.

    It begins in a submarine, some men are being attacked.

    Then where Scully ended, she knows that the Mulder who is standing in front of her isn’t the real one, She tries to escape but he knocks her out and takes her as hostage, He wants Samantha in stead.

    When Mulder trades Samantha for Scully, they fail to kill the hunter and they fall into the water. The next day, they found Samantha’s body who begins to rot and turn into some green fluid.

    Mulder is sad about his sister’s death and her dad gives her some sort of a card, it turns out that she was just a clone. Of Samantha? Probably.

    Mulder tries to protect the women but he’s knocked out by the hunter while he kills all the clones.

    Mulder then goes to a place where he might find the hunter, who he then shoots and that same fluid comes out of him that almost kills Mulder. Then the hunter throws Mulder out of the machine and it launches away.

    While Scully tries to find out where Mulder is, she asks Skinner for help but he doesn’t want to at then. Then he does, he beats up X and makes him talk.

    Back to the hospital where this all began, Mulder is saved by Scully.

    The episode was very well written, but I still dislike the storyline. It irritated me a little for some reason.

    But that doesn't keep it from being good.moreless
  • The second part

    Just as I mentioned in my previous review, this two part episode is incredible in the way it takes multiple plots and combines them all together into something that drags us even further into the conspiracy.

    It's tough to comment on anything new that I haven't mentioned in the previous episode, but I'll just add that the suspense in this episode dwarfed just about everything the show has done before. Whether it was the exchange between Scully and Samantha or the discovery of the alien lab that the clones were running in the women's shelter or the submarine in the Arctic (it's no wonder the image on the front of the Season 2 box set is the submarine with the lights on).

    Everything was tied up nice and neat by the time we reach the end, and I wouldn't be surprised if we returned once again to the random monster-of-the-week episodes. But either way, at least we got an incredible batch of episodes that keep us on our toes.moreless
Garry Davey

Garry Davey


Guest Star

Andrew Johnston

Andrew Johnston

Agent Weiss

Guest Star

Allan Lysell

Allan Lysell


Guest Star

Bonnie Hay

Bonnie Hay

Field Doctor

Recurring Role

Steven Williams

Steven Williams


Recurring Role

Peter Donat

Peter Donat

William Mulder

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Scully's bandage has a spot of blood when she gets out of the car to talk to Mulder at 14:44 and clear tape just above the bottom of the gauze with some gauze sticking out from below it, she is also wearing the bloody sweatshirt that she had on the night before, but when she calls Mulder the bandage and her clothes are different at 18:51.

    • 4:44 - The glass top of the table breaks 3 frames before she hits it. Under the table there is a black box at the top of the left leg just under the glass, with a wire connected to it, that runs along the inside ledge of the table. Just before the glass breaks there is a flash from the box. And later when Scully sees the table, the box and wire are gone.

    • 4:25 The Bounty Hunter threw Scully against the wall, several feet from the chair. Yet at 4:44 it is obvious that when he throws her to the table she jumped from the chair.

    • After Samantha's body is pulled from the river, the body is loaded into an ambulance that carries the letters "FBI." The real FBI doesn't operate any ambulances.

    • The flag in Skinner's office is hung upside-down.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Scully: Did you find what you were looking for?
      Mulder: No... No. But I found something I thought I'd lost. Faith to keep looking.

    • X: You'll only win the war if you pick the right battles, Agent Mulder. This is a battle you can't win.

    • Skinner: What's going on here, Agent Mulder? Why are the lights out?
      Mulder: Orders from my opthamologist.

    • Bounty Hunter: Is the answer to your question worth dying for? Is that what you want?
      Mulder: Where is she? Just tell me where she is.
      Bounty Hunter: She's alive. Can you die now?

    • X: You wanted to see me?
      Mulder: How was the opera?
      X: Wonderful. I've never slept better. I don't like these hasty public meetings, Agent Mulder.
      Mulder: I'm sorry. I need your help.
      X: It's over. The fat lady is singing.

  • NOTES (3)

    • In order to recreate the Arctic, a large soundstage had to be filled with 140 tons of ice for 5 days.

    • In the original script, Samantha would have survived the fall off the bridge. Once she had been rescued from the river, she would have driven with Mulder to the clinic. However, once they got there, she would have transformed into the alien bounty hunter.

    • The first takes of the fight between Skinner and X were rather weak as both actors were too preoccupied with not hurting the other. However, after a few takes, the director asked them to heat things up and both decided to just go for it. In the next take, the fight became so real that Mitch Pileggi threw Steven Williams against the (fake) elevator wall so hard that he went right through the back of the set piece.