The X-Files

Season 7 Episode 1

The Sixth Extinction (2)

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 07, 1999 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
261 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

While Scully travels to Africa to piece together the meaning of the symbols on the spaceship beached on the Ivory Coast, Mulder is imprisoned by his own frenetic brain activity. He manages to get a message to Skinner who finds Kritschgau and together they try to understand what is happening to Mulder before it is too late.moreless

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  • The Sixth Extinction

    The Sixth Extinction was a perfect and very awesome season 7 premiere of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story continued from last time and gave more answers. There was a lot of character and plot development. It was interesting to learn more about the craft discovered in Africa and the hints of what it really is are mind bending and spectacular. I liked seeing Skinner try to help Mulder as Scully was piecing together the puzzle across the world. There were many awesome scenes, some action, and plenty of drama and sci fi goodness. I look forward to watching how every thing plays out in the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • A strange episode and a strange continuation of the myth-arc, but compelling nonetheless.

    I'm not sure I expected the mythology of the show to go in this direction, but it's good when a show in dire need of a boost gets that and more. I'm sure this trilogy of episodes won't be for everybody, but I've actually liked the first two installments. This episode takes all of the intrigue of the Season Six finale and ramps it up even more.

    The episode focuses on two separate groups of people: Scully and Dr. Barnes and back in America, Mulder and Skinner. Scully is learning that the UFO/relic that she found in the ocean contains more than just Bible verses; it turns out that the entire human genome is on there. There's verses from the Koran, the Bible and various other religions. While it was alluded to in the previous episode, the show comes right out and claims it here: aliens may have been responsible for all of these things, meaning that alien life may be responsible for human life.

    This ties in well to Mulder's situation. While it remains unclear what in the heck is causing Mulder's brain activity, it's clear that this is similar to the mention earlier in Season 5 or 6 where Mulder and Scully learn that we may all have alien DNA in us and that it's simply laying dormant. Mulder has said this before, and I'm glad they're addressing it now, especially when many of us were wondering how in the world the show would keep the myth-arc going. It was great to watch Mulder's telepathy at work and see the means to which Skinner would go to save him. Mimi Rogers is a good actress, and while I appreciate her work on the show, I hate her character. She's just annoying and seems to serve no purpose now.. or the writers just don't know what to do with her.

    The episode sort of leaves us on a mini-cliffhanger.. there's not anything left to be resolved right now except Mulder's situation, and I'm looking forward to seeing how that happens.moreless
  • An interesting deviation from ordinary mythology format but an interesting combination of the plotlines developed in the season 6 finale and a character study all on its own.

    The teaser is a nice segue to "Biogenesis" in that it really reflects Scully's state of mind after the events of that episode. She tells herself she does not believe in what she is doing. But she presses on out of devotion to her partner and her determination to find a cure for his illness, something she has always been able to do. This has always been her strength as an investigator – applying strict rationalism and scientific principles to matters that are designated as "unexplained" because previous attempts to do so have failed. The entirely supernatural "signs" and "warnings" that she receives while on the Cote d'Ivoire, are so clearly inexplicable that all Scully can do is ignore them and continue with what she does know. These happenings all continue to push her in the direction she was headed at the end of "Biogeneis" – to finally "believe." The scene between her and Skinner echoes nicely the final scene of "The Beginning." But this time, Scully does not state extraterrestrial life as a mere theory, she states it rather definitively and basis the rest of her argument around it. More interestingly, Skinner, for the first time, announces his willingness to believe. Undoubtedly Skinner's involvement with Michael Kritchgau was the catalyst for this belief, but the seeds had been planted over years of work with the x-files, albeit not in the field. Michael Kritchgau returns as a man clearly vengeful of what the government did to him and his son. He is obsessed in finding proof, and it makes it easier to compromise any morals since the potential sacrifice for this proof is Mulder, the man who effectively ruined him.

    The resolution is definitely not satisfying, even though it was the middle chapter. The climax and "to be continued" moment was lacking (literally) compared to "Biogenesis." Scully's second voice over needed more emphasis on her character, more like the one beginning this episode or the one beginning the final act of "Biogenesis." However, "The Sixth Extinction" lays a foundation for what is to come on the series, especially in season 7. It puts more emphasis on character than most mythology episodes have in a while.

    Writing 1/2 Directing 2/2 Acting 2/2 Character 2/2 Entertainment 1/2: 8/10moreless
  • I watched the whole three hours of this episode, yet, I am not comfortable trying to deliver a quality "Summary". I will just leave a "Review".

    This type of developed plot, that takes three episodes to present, is just too much to digest. The X-Files for the regular viewer is best served, when delivered in 1 hour episodes. Start...deliver...wrap...end. - all in one hour. It is perfect when done in this format. Once you start adding so much more to the "ride", it begins to wear down the simpler minds. It looses its light and comfortable understandability. It becomes so entwined with the twists and turns, it drags weaker minds down, to a point of frustration and confusion. Keeping it more understandable, and easy to follow with 1 hour programs, is just a more desirable format I believe. If the X-File Uber-Fans read this, I am sure they will disagree, but it is because they are more involved and can understand much of the "assumed" or subtle pieces of the puzzle. Regardless, I just think three hour episodes do not work as well. I find I am more entertained by the 1 hour, non-political (inter-agency/governmental conspiracy) type. Just my opinion...moreless
  • Scully works in Africa to cure Mulder's neurological wackyness.

    Mulder's goes from crazy to comatose, and I'm not in love with either. The whole bible-UFO in Africa never amounted to much, and spending three episodes dealing with it seems excessive. Beautiful Scully monologues throughout though, even given Carter-scripted episodes' usual over-verbosity.

    Season premieres are a frequent weak spot for this show, for whatever reason. Luckily, Season 7 turns out to be excellent overall.
Warren Sweeney

Warren Sweeney

Dr. Harriman

Guest Star

Mari Weiss

Mari Weiss

I.C.U. Nurse

Guest Star

Abdoulaye N'Gom

Abdoulaye N'Gom


Guest Star

Mitch Pileggi

Mitch Pileggi

Assistant Director Walter Skinner

Recurring Role

Mimi Rogers

Mimi Rogers

Agent Diana Fowley

Recurring Role

John Finn

John Finn

Michael Kritschgau

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • 11:09 Mulder writes on Skinner's hand one way, but the next time it is shown it is different 14:43

    • When we see Scully writing down the translations of Navajo words for the nucleotides in DNA, adenine, guanine, thymine and cytosine, Scully has written the first one as "ademine".

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Kritschgau: I was destroyed to protect what Mulder knew all along. And now he's the proof. He's the X File!

    • Michael Kritschgau: We developed this to test remote-viewing capabilities. It works much like a card trick. You tap the monitor where the saucer image appears when it appears or when you think it does. Okay?
      Mulder: Who you going to call? (They start the test and Mulder begins tapping the monitors in succession. Only a few times does he hit the correct monitor when the flying saucer appears) Now. Now. Now. Now. Now. Now. Now. Now.
      Michael Kritschgau: All right, Agent Mulder, fine. You're at about five percent accuracy.
      Skinner: I'm assuming that's low.
      Michael Kritschgau: Yeah. At the CIA a high degree of ability was 20%. 25% was extraordinary.
      Mulder: But I see them in my head.
      Skinner: You saw his ability earlier. It was you who pointed it out.
      Michael Kritschgau: Well, our tests showed that some people have psychic abilities, sure. I mean, ESP, clairvoyance, remote viewing, but it was never attributed to aliens.
      Mulder: You don't want to believe. You're not looking hard enough.

    • Scully: (voiceover) The work here is painstaking - a slow and tedious piecing together. It appears to be a craft, its skin covered in the intricate symbols you and I both saw, but which I now understand are part of a complex communication. Dr. Barnes has broken some of the symbols into letters using an ancient Navajo alphabet and, though it has helped to uncover some of what's here, it has also made for greater confusion. On the top surface of the craft I'm finding words describing human genetics. (On graph paper she translates the names of the four basic nucleotides - Cytosine, Guanine, Adenine, Thymine) Efforts to read the bottom of the craft have been harder. Our workers were scared away by phenomena I admit I can't explain - a sea of blood, a swarm of insects. But what little we have found has been staggering - passages from the Christian Bible, from pagan religions, from Ancient Sumeria... science and mysticism conjoined. But more than words, they are somehow imbued with power. I've ignored warnings to quit this work, remaining committed to finding answers, afraid only that our secret here won't last and that I might be too late.

    • Michael Kritschgau: Can he even recognize me?
      Skinner: To be honest, I don't know.
      Skinner: Agent Mulder? (The monitor registers some brain activity, but there is no physical response)
      Skinner: His brain is on constant redline. They've got him on Haloperidol just to keep him on the monitors.
      Michael Kritschgau: Haloperidol?
      Skinner: He becomes violently agitated. He just won't speak or sleep even when he's medicated. There's activity in parts of his brain they've never seen before.
      Michael Kritschgau: Was his... (He stops speaking as the monitor registers more activity)
      Skinner: Was his what?
      Michael Kritschgau: I started to ask you a question about his prior mental state but he anticipated it. Second time. Agent Mulder? (The monitor registers activity again)
      Skinner: He claimed to be hearing voices.
      Michael Kritschgau: I might know why Agent Mulder asked for me. Doesn't mean I can do anything for him.
      Skinner: What just happened?
      Michael Kritschgau: I think he responded to a question that... I didn't ask.

    • Scully: What is it? (The African driver speaks to her in his native language) Look, I'm sorry. I don't speak your language.
      Dr. Barnes: Perhaps you need an interpreter.
      Scully: Stay away from me! (She raises her machete defensively)
      Dr. Barnes: Are you going to hack me up in front of my driver? Word is you're under suspicion already.
      Scully: You're the murderer here.
      Dr. Ngebe: Murderer of who?
      Scully: Dr. Merkmallen.
      Dr. Barnes: I murdered no one, but I won't be sent away from here. I know what we've got. This craft that's come ashore? Its extraterrestrial origins?
      Scully: You don't even believe in that.
      Dr. Barnes: Nor do you. But here we are.
      Scully: I'm here only to help my partner.
      Dr. Barnes: Then let me help you to read it. I've spent my life looking for what's out there the answer to what theologians have pondered for millennia the key to everything to life itself. I've already been threatened by men in Washington about what I know. How long would your secret keep if you were to send me away? (Dr. Barnes' driver calls to them, beckoning them to the shore)
      Scully: What is it?
      Dr. Ngebe: It is a sea of blood.

    • Dr. Harriman: He's been quiet for the last 36 hours, but he doesn't sleep. There's activity in the temporal lobe we've just never seen. It won't allow his brain to rest or shut down, manifesting in episodes of aggression... sometimes against himself.
      Skinner: You can't sedate him?
      Dr Harriman: Yes. We slow him down for short periods and put him in the neuro ward. It's the only way we're able to run tests. But over time... his brain is going to just die.

    • Scully: I've stayed on now in spite of myself. In spite of everything I've never held to be true. I will continue here as long as I can. As long as you're beset by the haunting illness which I saw consume your beautiful mind.

    • Scully: I came in search of something I did not believe existed. I've stayed on now, in spite of myself. In spite of everything I've ever held to be true. I will continue here as long as I can... as long as you are beset by the haunting illness which I saw consume your beautiful mind. What is this discovery I've made? How can I reconcile what I see with what I know? I feel this was meant not for me to find but for you... to make sense of — make the connections which can't be ignored... connections which, for me, deny all logic and reason. What is this source of power I hold in my hand — this rubbing — a simple impression taken from the surface of the craft? I watched this rubbing take its undeniable hold on you, saw you succumb to its spiralling effect. Now I must work to uncover what your illness prevents you from finding. In the source of every illness lies its cure.

  • NOTES (0)


    • Mulder: (to Michael Kritschgau) Who you gonna call?

      This refers to the movie Ghostbusters. Mulder says this as he is about to undergo tests on his psychic ability just as Bill Murray does with the 2 students early on in Ghostbusters.