Young at Heart!
Man, we watched this a year ago, I don’t really remember. But I guess basically Mulder played it by the book a few years back and got some people killed, by a jerk named Barnett who ended up dying in prison afterward, but! Barnett is back, even though he’s dead, and it’s because of some kind of fountain-of-youth type regeneration shit that happened because of a mad scientist and so now Barnett has a salamander hand! And Mulder kills him at the end in an ironic reversal of the by-the-book stuff. ALSO! Scully gets shot by Barnett except she was wearing a vest so she’s okay. SPOILER ALERT!
Tashmoo Federal Correctional Facility
The year is 1989. The state: Pennsylvania.
A man in a wheelchair and a prison jumpsuit hears screaming and wheels his way toward it!
Dude rolls into a surgical lab and asks a doctor guy what he’s doing to Johnny.
And the doctor is all like “nothing!”
And then John “Johnny No-Arm” Barnett blinks at wheelchair guy!
The year is Present Day. The state is not a state because Washington D.C. isn’t a state.
Mulder and Scully check out the crime scene of a jewelry store robbery, when Mulder sees someone he recognizes and decides to be a jerk:
Reggie: Mulder! I hate it when you do that.
The deal: the robber, a “lone gunman”–
–shot a clerk after she’d already filled up his bag with loot. The forensics guys found, well, something non-specific:
Reggie: This. Is gonna blow your mind.
Reggie: I’m tellin’ you, Mulder, this is gonna blow. Your. Mind.
It turns out that the whatever the hell it is that they aren’t telling or showing us what it is is a sign that this store was robbed by Barnett. But how can it be Barnett?
It turns out that the thing that we were being dramatically prevented from seeing was a hand-written note not unlike those left by Barnett back in the day. A note that looks like…THIS!
It turns out that back when Mulder originally apprehended Barnett…
Also, regarding mister Barnett:
Handwriting Analysis Action
A lady named Henderson analyzes Fox’s note while joking about how she’s never had sex with Fox but that he probably doesn’t last very long.
The getting of either of them laid safely averted, Henderson says the handwriting is Barnett’s.
Mulder’s Bad Day
Scully and Reggie go over the tape of Mulder’s botched take-down of Barnett. Mulder played by the book instead of taking a risky shot…and it cost two men their lives.
And then Scully manages to prevent Mulder from successfully going through a door by mentioning something Reggie told her, about Barnett swearing he’d “get” Mulder.
Isn’t It Gridironic
Mulder goes and watches some kids play football. Wallenberg’s kid, presumably. But when he goes back to his car, and finds something inside:
There’s another that-is-not-a-haiku note and some nice black and white glossy shots of Mulder going about his Mulderly business. Surveilance! Mulder shouts:
Nearby football watchin’ parents? Unimpressed. Creepy guy in big hat in bleachers? Staring into the camera in extreme closeup.
Reggie and Mulder have a lengthy conversation about how Mulder is turning into a damn nutter.
Reggie: A lot of people are saying Spooky Mulder has become an embarrassment. A liability.
Reggie: Maybe, maybe not. It’s always better to cover your ass–
Scully drops off Barnett’s will — he gave everything to fellow inmate Joe Crandle and requested his body be cremated, which allegedly it was. The will doesn’t mention having his arm cut off by a creepy doctor in the beginning of an X-Files episode, though, so who knows.
Mulder sits down with Digital Composite Computer Lady to figure out what Barnett might look like. After telling her he’s aged five years and probably put on a little weight, he goes for the brass ring:
Mulder recalls testifying in court and reveals basically no new information, but we get to see a not-yet-dead–
–John Barnett smirking obnoxiously.
At whom Mulder, having finished his testimony, pisses off the judge by standing up and yelling. He wraps it up like so:
And then Barnett leans over toward Mulder and carefully whispers “I’ll…get…you!”
Scully with the dish: Barnett supposedly died of a heart attack, but the prison infirmary has no record of that. And so it’s off to Tashmoo Prison to talk to Wheelchair Guy.
Wheelchair guy confirms the bullshittedness of the heart attack thing and recaps the start of the episode. Back in the office, Mulder pointedly fiddles with his gun, and our agents have a heart to heart:
And then Mulder gets a call from Barnett. Who says he’s in the same state that Mulder is in.
But then the phone call is over!
Death of a Reginald
Reggie gets a call in the middle of the night from Mulder, because Mulder is an insensitive jerk. Mulder starts to explain that the jewelry store perp was a righty but that Barnett got his arm cut off in prison, but then Reggie goes and gets strangled to death by Barnett and that screws up the phone call pretty much.
A bit later, Mulder and Scully stand in the crime scene that is Reggie’s apartment while Mulder mopes some more about how he should have shot Barnett back in the day instead of PLAYING IT! BY! THE BOOK!
Handwritin’ Henderson goes over the note left on Reggie’s body. Note was from the same guy! Also, that prison doctor was a mad scientist or something? Who was doing illegal experiments on the super-aging disease progeria.
Cue a filmreel about Crazy Doctor Ridley courtesy bald scientist dude who knew Ridley and thinks he’s a big ol’ jerkypants. And trots out a nazi reference, proving that Godwin’s Law applies to network television as well.
Mulder thinks Ridley managed to reverse aging!
AI: [HUMANS TERMINATED]
More age hijinks
Mulder instructs the Face Factory lab person to age Barnett backwards, which apparently turns him into:
Scully gets a new computer
Scully writes up some notes on Dr. Ridley and how he had CRAAAAZY ideas about reversing aging that TOOOOTALLY couldn’t be feasible. And it kind of looks like she’s on some green website in this shot:
And somebody skulks around Chez Dana; she goes for her gun! And there’s crazy chanting in Latin on the soundtrack! And someone is knocking on the door! And he says it’s DR. JOE RIDLEY!
And it totally is! And boy does he look young. And also someone else goes skulking away in the dark.
So Ridley fills in Scully and Mulder (who apparently was hiding in her couch?) on how he (Ridley) is dying of progeria and how Barnett totally isn’t, and how it all has to do with myelin somehow.
Which is how Barnett’s missing hand grew back. But not a human hand.
A salamander hand!
Anyway, it turns out that this has all been paid for by a secret government conspiracy. Which means it’s time for a visit from:
The next morning
Somebody is checking Scully’s answering machine (remember answering machines?) remotely! John Barnett’s finger prints were on it!
And then Barnett calls and moans into the phone and threatens to kill a bunch of people and stuff. OKAY, JOHN, WE GET IT.
Operation: Scully Is Bait
Despite the FBI’s fleet of agents, Barnett manages to get inside — as Salmonhands McPianotuner! And after he finishes tuning the piano, he jams a giant revolver in his pants and wanders into the lobby and TOTALLY SHOOTS SCULLY!
And then Mulder chases him into the auditorium! But Barnett takes the cellist hostage! And Barnett mocks him about how Mulder won’t shoot him! Because Mulder’s too by the book. Or wants Ridley’s research. Which is great and all but then Mulder shoots him in the damn head.
Also, Scully was totally wearing a bulletproof vest and is fine, but gosh are her ribs sore.
Finish it up
While Barnett’s busy dying on a hospital table, Mulder and Scully look on and have a heart to heart:
Also, the secrets of immortality and/or acute salamanderhandism are apparently sitting in locker 935 at the airport.