The X-Files

Season 2 Episode 17

End Game (2)

3
Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Feb 17, 1995 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (9)

9.0
out of 10
Average
323 votes
  • "The faith to keep looking"

    10
    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.
  • End Game

    10
    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!!!!!!!!!
  • 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.

    9.0

    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.

  • the one with the clones, part II

    9.2
    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.
  • The second part

    9.0
    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.
  • The aliens aren't all in league with each other. Whoa. And some of them ask Mulder for his help. And he walks away. Whoa again.

    10
    This episode had great balance between action and emotion, which is important to me in a mytharc episode: I want action, but I also want time for me and the characters to process it. We start out with action, and what amazing action it is: Scully is kidnapped, Mulder plans an alien assassination, and Samantha falls from a bridge to her death. Then we slow down, and God, what a terrible scene with Mulder and his father. Duchovney nails the confused half-hearted relief you know Mulder is feeling when he finds out his "sister" was an alien clone. Then we have Mulder sleuthing in the arctic, and Scully on his tail to save him when he goes too far as usual. And Skinner!!! This episode is just full of characters doing heroic and beautiful things; I don't even want to analyze it. This marks the first time we know for a fact that Skinner is a Good guy capital G. And then the end. The beautiful end. Scully and Mulder. I love it. And I'm not even a 'shipper; I think what they have is deeper than romantic love. I just absolutely love it when we can so clearly see it, whatever it is. A great episode, which enriches the mythology and the characters both.
  • A stirring conclusion

    7.3
    The second part of this mythology based double header is equally exciting and well-paced but actually seems to cover too much ground. It's a real headlong rush to get to the end and, in the process, all sorts of big events and new riddles emerge and are raised. But certain aspects remain, the two most immediately noticeable being David Duchovny's charged efforts as a renegade Agent Mulder, and Mark Snow's pulsing John Carpenter wannabe score.

    It begins in a slightly annoying way that we will all have to get used to – the seemingly unconnected teaser to what's gone before. "Colony" left us on breathless tenterhooks with the Mulder doppelganger arriving at Scully's motel, and so what do they do first? They give us a short submarine segment. Of course it works extremely well in whetting our appetite, so we're very ready when the credits are over and we're back in the thick of it. And it's a very cool opening with EvilMulder throwing poor Scully round a motel room before morphing back into the Alien Bounty Hunter and kidnapping Scully. (I make that 4 times now that she's been abducted – "Born Again", "Duane Barry" and "Irresistible" being the previous examples.) Given that one of the chief tenets of "The X Files", as mouthed by Deep Throat in his dying gasp moment in "The Erlenmeyer Flask", is "Trust no one", the Alien Bounty Hunter is a perfect character for the show's universe, as he completely embodies that thought, such is his ability to make him look like whomever he chooses. And as Mulder waits to be contacted by the Bounty Hunter, sister-from-out-of-nowhere Samantha fills him in on some backstory. However implausible any of her story might be, Mulder buys it completely, although we as an audience can see that there's a certain degree of manipulation and self-preservation going on. This is confirmed for us – in fairly harsh terms – later on at the abortion clinic where Mulder meets the Samantha clones and one of them says to him "we needed your help, we knew you could be manipulated". This self-preservation factor is presumably what motivates the Samantha clone to meet with the Bounty Hunter on the bridge. This hostage exchange must have really put Mulder through the wringer as to what to do, but when all parties show up there's actually never any doubt that Mulder wants and needs Scully back, and that Samantha must go. It's just that no one expected anyone to go swimming at that time of night. We also didn't expect to see Mulder reduced to a snivelling little boy, but that seems to be the effect that a very stern William Mulder has on his son. There is no sympathy from him, just a harshness and firmness that bespeaks of a highly distant father-son relationship. And Mulder Snr actually doesn't seem too perturbed about the loss of Samantha so quickly. He's more interested in making Fox feel guilty about destroying his mother for a second time. (Perhaps there's an element of relief in this for William Mulder, seeing as it is later revealed that he was directly responsible for Samantha's disappearance the first time. Now he knows the guilt can be assigned elsewhere.)

    Ultimately though both Mulder and Scully discover that Samantha was not who she said she was, and they do it both at the same time. So while Mulder uncovers a whole cast of sisters at an abortion clinic, Scully is watching one melt at the riverside. This actually prompts Scully to get to the scientific root of what is going on, thus proving how indispensable science is to the X Files. It's thanks to her dedication in this area that she's able to save Mulder at the end (and boy, does she ever take charge in the ER!).

    One of the most annoying aspects of Mulder's character is his apparent complete ease at ditching his partner and going off on one of his personal crusades. To be fair, Scully had earlier in "Colony" remarked that he goes too far and that a line needs to be drawn. But you'd think at this stage that both agents would have realised that they're only ever any good when they have each other to back each other up (a lesson that Scully learned a lot faster and just as painfully when John Doggett later comes on the scene). Scully doesn't take being ditched too lightly and is prepared to go through unofficial channels. That Skinner is prepared to do the same – and his encounter with a reticent X in the lifts of Mulder's building is one of the highlights of this episode – is all the more surprising. But Skinner is a shifting-sand type of character and a very difficult one to second guess. His loyalty to Mulder and Scully is never really in doubt. His methods are. Another iconic moment is the budget-busting scene with the submarine conning tower. With Mulder lying gasping at its base, he runs the risk of being sliced in half as the behemoth starts to come down on him. Although this is clearly filmed in a studio set (and lacks the authenticity that blue screen brought to the Antarctic scenes in the X Files movie), it nevertheless works because it looks big and impressive, and, well, seems really cool! "End Game" seems to have more than its fair share of such moments, which is why it and its "Colony" predecessor make such a rattling good yarn.

    7/10
  • clones

    8.0

    “End Game” is the conclusion to the “Colony” episode. Mulder does a deal with the Alien bounty hunter where he swaps Skully for his sister. Mulder has a plan and it fails and his sister falls of a bridge and disappears. All they way through this episode we are given various puzzles to solve our selves. And if you don’t get them it is all made plain as day at the end of the episode where we find out a big secret. Overall this is an ok episode, not as good as the first part, but it does have some shocking twists that keep the audience guessing. 8/ 10
  • A thoughtfully plotted two-part conspiracy episode

    8.9
    This episode is a must-see if you want to understand the alien abduction conspiracy behind the X Files. Identical clones, transmogrifying spies, unknown corrosive chemical substances add intrigue and suspense to the conspiracy story. Mulder chases after the "truth," both he and Scully risk their lives, Scully's scientific logic is challenged. And good news, these two episodes are safe to watch alone.
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