The X-Files

Season 7 Episode 2

The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati (3)

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 14, 1999 on FOX
out of 10
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Episode Summary

Scully frantically searches for a way to help her ailing partner without having anyone to turn to for help, while a catatonic Mulder's dreams lead him away from his mission and the X-Files to a place which he believes is a better life.

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  • The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati

    The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati was another perfect episode of The X-Files and I really enjoyed watching. The story was pretty awesome and concluded most of the plot lines from the previous two episodes. It was awesome to learn that Mulder is in fact the key to saving humanity and I enjoyed watching the imaginary world Mulder was stuck in. There was a ton of character and plot development along with intrigue and mystery. Every thing played out well for the most part though there were some things I wish were explained or explored further. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • We learn what Mulder is wanted for, and Scully continues to try to save him.

    Talk about a complete letdown. Chris Carter and co. spent two episodes building up a legitimately interesting premise for the show to open its seventh season with and then completely ruin it by soaking everything in dream sequences, voice-overs and weird guest-star appearances that ruin anything good the episode had going for it.

    I suppose I'll start with the good: despite how ridiculous it sounds, the idea of an alien infection spreading across the world and killing everybody is a pretty good way for the show to go for its final few seasons. I mean, once you cover all your bases in the first five seasons and start running out of steam, you gotta have the show go somewhere. I did like the Chris Carter was able to recall the fact that Mulder was infected with the black oil back in Season 4 and tie that into the current plot.

    But let's get back to the bad: first off, the C.S.M saying he's Mulder's father?! What the heck? True or false? I honestly couldn't figure it out. It seems untrue, but the show was playing it off as if it were. Second, the whole dream sequence was only good for one reason: it lead to Mulder and Scully sharing their feelings with each other.. sort of, and then kissing, and not just a peck on the cheek. The rest of the time, Mulder was imagining being married to Diana Fowler, a pointless character. Thirdly, the whole Anazazi plot felt pointless after the trip to New Mexico. That Navajo indian kept showing up and trying to tell Scully that she needed to find Mulder, as if she didn't already know that. It felt stupid and the writing here was terrible.

    I could go on and on, but the main point is that the show nearly lost me here. I felt compelled up until the point the Cigarette Smoking Man called Mulder his son and talked about how there was this incoming apocalypse that Mulder could save, because apparently he was a perfect alien/human hybrid.. and then Scully just randomly saves him with no trouble whatsoever and they move on. What in the world were the writers thinking? This was just ridiculous.moreless
  • So many levels, so much character development, and actually a lot of answers and plot developments. Sets the stage for another great season.

    "Amor Fati" departure from the subject matter of the previous two episodes is made apparent from the beginning. At first you assume we are right back on Cote d'Ivoire where "The Sixth Extinction" left off. Instead, we are in Fox Mulder's dream – maybe even a dream within a dream – at the higher level of cognition that we witnessed being demonstrated for Skinner and Kritchgau. This episode really requires some unpacking so bear with me.

    The themes from the previous two episodes carry over but the plots do not so much. Mulder's headaches are quickly explained as a biological reaction of his altered body chemistry from exposure to purity/black oil in "Tunguska" to the cosmic galactic radiation from the rubbing. Ok. So this has made him an alien-human hybrid now with the necessary genes to survive an alien invasion/infection of earth/humans. Ok. CSM wants this DNA. It was original plan to accomplish this through the syndicate and their hybridization program, but this plan changed somewhere along the lines of when: (1) he learned of Mulder's infection and "cure" in "Tunguska"/"Terma"; (2) he realized the role Mulder could play and thus began manipulating him much more than before "Redux" and; (3) when he became aware of the alien colonists "Patient X" – "The End." Ok. Oh, and CSM is Mulder's father. I thought we were already assuming this? Ok. So Mulder is the savior of humanity but CSM is going to take that ability so he is assured that he will be "saved" from the coming plague of purity/black oil. What? Well we don't really get an explanation of whether or not Mulder retained this ability or whether CSM really acquired it. Whatever. Now Fowley's alliances come into play. She is allied to CSM for her own survival and to be part of the project, and in a minor way, the X-files. She still loves Mulder in some weird way. But what really saves Mulder is that Fowley retained some humanity. She saw what Mulder was being put through and the selfish ends it would serve, which led her to risk her own life to save his. Guilt probably played into this decision as well.

    Kritchgau's character is really the only one that doesn't make sense here. He's all of a sudden a believer in aliens? And he's attempting to have this data analyzed by someone within the government, so he's gone back to those who cast him aside so easily? Well this kind of looks like a plot device until in steps the ultimate plot device. Krycek cleans up the Kritchgau story in a very dissatisfying and unfulfilling way. Not a good way to handle the end to a very interesting character. Krycek, on the other hand, does have an important role to play. He leaves Kritchgau's apartment with the data that Scully and Dr. Barnes collected on the beach and whatever else Kritchgau was able to obtain from his government people. This is a wealth of knowledge, which might include vital information on the hybridization process that Mulder and CSM were involved in, that might even be able to put Krycek on the same footing as CSM. But this isn't resolved until later in the season.

    This trilogy of episodes has really been more about Scully than about anything else. By the end of "The Sixth Extinction," Scully is ready to believe in aliens but not yet sure how to reconcile that with the rest of her beliefs and values. Now, Albert Hosteen leads her to that answer. Scully's strength as an investigator is surely her science and rational nature. But her strength in her relationship with Mulder also comes from her faith and spirituality. Albert helps her realize that this has guided her all along. When she was fatally ill, it was her return to faith, just as much as it was alien technology that cured her. She now has to embrace this in order to continue with Mulder. For all the times this episode alluded to Mulder being the savior of humanity, in this episode, it is Scully who realizes how she might save Mulder (not just from CSM).

    On a different level, this episode really tests the audience's tolerance to change. Much more of this is to come. In addition, it establishes a theme and a direction for the show here on out. The theme for the first two episodes of season 7 is faith and fate. Both of these themes will be explored constantly throughout the season. Scully's character as established here will be important to this exploration, and Mulder's development in relation to these themes will also be important. These episodes also take the show in a direction more towards exploring the main characters and resolving their issues. At this point in the show, a lot of the big-picture plotlines have been resolved but there are still big-picture issues for both Mulder and Scully that have, until now, created a barrier between them. This is where that slowly begins to erode away. Scully is now at least willing to see things from Mulder's perspective. She also knows her role to play in their relationship. Mulder has at least a foundation for a newfound optimism. His rebuilding the spaceship with the boy symbolize more than just his re-investment in his quest to find his sister, but a never before seen optimism that it is not all for not, despite facts that indicate otherwise. Good starting point for another creative season.

    Writing 1/2 Directing 2/2 Acting 2/2 Character 2/2 Entertainment 2/2: 9/10moreless
  • CSM captures Mulder to harvest his DNA, which he claims will protect against the alien virus. Mulder dreams that he has a different life filled with creature comforts. Scully deals with her own doubts while searching for him.moreless

    This is quite possibly the best conspiracy (not "monster of the week") episode of the X-Files ever made. The development is astounding. Mulder is given what he believes to be a chance at a different life---and he takes it. I expected him to get back in the car and drive back to the X-Files, to Scully, to his mission---but he doesn't. He marries Diana Fowley. He becomes best friends with the Smoking Man. He does everything wrong. I should hate this episode for all these reasons, but I don't. I love it. I cried at the end. In his dreams Mulder realizes that everything is all wrong. The smoking man is still evil, the world is still going to end, and his life of creature comforts has been a lie. Scully remains the only constant; the only person completely incorruptible who will not let him lie there and die in peace while the world is destroyed. Mulder is compared to Jesus in ways that I as a Christian am not offended by but instead truly appreciate. There is a lesson to be learned from this for everyone: Be true to yourself. Don't take the easy path over the right one. Know who your true friends are. The last scene between Mulder and Scully is one of my favorites ever. It is reminiscent of the famous hallway scene from Fight the Future. Mulder tells Scully how important she is to her, affirms her as the one true thing in his life. She kisses his forehead just like in the movie. Once again they don't kiss (the timing would have been wrong for the show) but instead she touches his lips as if to say "say no more, I understand." This episode is beautiful. The artsy directing, classic script, heartfelt acting, and everything else that always made the X-files great earn "Amor Fati" a perfect 10 in my book.moreless
  • Mulder is Jesus! Now with EU safety standards!

    Oh my word. It's very hard to express just how offensive this episode is. You see, Mulder is Jesus. In case you've missed this, he is strapped to a cross shaped table with a "crown of thorns", albeit an amusingly labeled one that meets EU safety standards. Oh dear me. Mulder's dream sequence is, well, other than the obvious Last Temptation references, I suppose you could align it with Christ's temptation in the desert. Because turning rocks into bread is kinda like hanging with the CSM. If you squint. And let's continue the metaphor. Fowley would then be Judas (though I don't remember Jesus copping off wiht Judas) and Scully would of the deeply ineffectual disciples who doesn't get much mention and runs about a bit doing nothing of importance until she is given the keycard to rescue Mulder from the handily empty and unguarded lab. Huzzah!

    This episode focuses almost entirely on Mulder, to the detriment of story telling and all other characters. Fowley is redeemed and then killed... off screen. Some other people are probably doing stuff off screen to save Mulder, but isn't that far less interesting than seeing Samantha wave? Er, no. The thing with the fantasty sequence is that there is never a moment's doubt that this is what it is. Deep Throat not dead? Just chilling with a bit of gardening? Samantha lives within drivign distance but never thought to call? You know, I always thought that Byer's dream sequence in Three Of A Kind was a bit cheesey. But it was just short enough to be endearing. This? Bleurgh!

    It's a stupidly unsatisfactory conclusion to an already confused three parter. So aliens are God and Mulder is Jesus. So Mulder is an alien in human form? It could ahve been so much more than this.moreless
Henry Schwartz

Henry Schwartz


Guest Star

Megan Leitch

Megan Leitch

Samantha Mulder

Guest Star

Brian George

Brian George

Project Doctor

Guest Star

Arlene Pileggi

Arlene Pileggi

Skinner's Secretary

Recurring Role

William B. Davis

William B. Davis

Cigarette Smoking Man

Recurring Role

Nicholas Lea

Nicholas Lea

Alex Krycek

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • When Mulder is laying on top of the operating table, we clearly see that he is strapped down to it. When Scully comes and they have that brief conversation he goes to hug her and is no longer strapped down.

    • Medical Reference: Phenytoin
      Scully mentions that Mulder has been injected with phenytoin. Phenytoin is the generic form of the drug Dilantin. The most common use of this medication is the prevention of convulsions in seizure disorders such as epilepsy.

  • QUOTES (9)

    • (Dream Sequence)
      CSM: Diana Fowley is dead... (Mulder stares at him) So is Scully. (Mulder starts to cry)

    • Scully: This book. It's explains everything that I found in Africa... using the same symbols that I found on the ship. It's all here - a foretelling of mass extinction; a myth about a man who can save us from it. That's why they took Mulder. They think that his illness is a gift - protection against the coming plague.

    • CSM: Get up.
      Mulder: I'm dying you idiot! If I could get up, I'd kick your ass!

    • Diana Fowley: I'm thinking, Agent Scully. I'm always thinking.

    • Mulder: Scully, I was like you once — I didn't know who to trust. Then I... I chose another path... another life, another fate, where I found my sister. The end of my world was unrecognisable and upside down. There was one thing that remained the same. You... were my friend, and you told me the truth. Even when the world was falling apart, you were my constant... my touchstone.
      Scully: And you are mine.

    • Mulder: Scully! I knew you'd come. They told me you were dead.
      Scully: And you believed them? Traitor.
      Mulder: What?
      Scully: Deserter. Coward.
      Mulder: Scully, don't... I'm dying.
      Scully: You're not supposed to die, Mulder — not here.
      Mulder: What do you mean?
      Scully: Not in a comfortable bed with the devil outside.
      Mulder: No, you don't understand. He's taking care of me.
      Scully: No, Mulder, he's lulled you to sleep. He's made you trade your true mission for creature comforts.
      Mulder: There was no mission. There were no aliens.
      Scully: No aliens. Have you looked outside, Mulder?
      Mulder: I can't. I'm... too tired.
      Scully: No, Mulder, you must get up. You must get up and fight... especially you. This isn't your place. Get up, Mulder. Get up and fight the fight.

    • Albert Hosteen: You're running out of time.
      Scully: Why do you come to me like this? Why? When I can't find him.
      Albert Hosteen: You don't look in the right place.
      Scully: I don't think you're hearing me.
      Albert Hosteen: You don't know where he is?
      Scully: Even if I did I wouldn't know how to save him. This science makes no sense to me.
      Albert Hosteen: Have you looked for him here? (He points to her heart)
      Scully: Are you asking me to pray?
      Albert Hosteen: There are more worlds than the one you can hold in your hand.

    • Scully: Bum a cigarette, Agent Fowley?
      Diana Fowley: I don't smoke.
      Scully: Really? I could swear I smell cigarette smoke on you.
      Diana Fowley: Let's cut the crap, shall we?
      Scully: Yes. Let's.

    • (Dream sequence)
      Deep Throat: They can change your name but they can't change the things you love.
      Mulder: It can't be. You're dead.
      Deep Throat: No. No, just really relaxed.
      Mulder: Scully... saw you get shot... on the bridge six years ago. I was sure you were... dead.
      Deep Throat: One, uh, well-placed bullet... A punctuation mark in a man's life and you get to start a whole new chapter. I'm fine, son. Aside from a little tennis elbow.

  • NOTES (2)

    • The tagline for this episode is changed to the subtitle: "Amor Fati".

    • Amor Fati means "Love of Fate". It can be a religious term, having to do with our lives being divinely willed (thus we are supposed to love our lives). A relatively famous phrase, it was written about by Nietzsche ("Amor Fati: let that be my love henceforth").


    • At the beginning of the episode when Cigarette Smoking Man is in Mulder's hospital room he says, "I'm showing you how to take the road not taken"

      'The road not taken' is an allusion to the poem of the same name by Robert Frost.

    • Visual: Film reference
      The idea behind Mulder's dream sequences were largely borrowed from the last 30 minutes of the 1988 film The Last Temptation of Christ (based on the Nikos Kazantzakis book of the same name). In the movie, we see Christ saved from the cross at the last minute and allowed to have a normal life. He gets married, has kids, and leads a long, normal life. As Jesus is dying of old age, he is visited by his supposedly-dead best friend Judas, who calls Jesus a traitor and shows him that Jerusalem is burning because Jesus did not die for our sins. Jesus then snaps back to reality where he is indeed dying on the cross.
      As you can tell, the episode is nearly identical, with Mulder 'saved' by the Cancerman, allowed to have a normal life where he marries and has children, when he is about to die of old age, he is visited by his supposedly-dead best friend Scully who calls him a traitor and shows him that the world is being destroyed by aliens because he did not complete his quest, and he snaps back to reality where he wakes on an X-shaped table.