episode written by Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz
summary by MaraKara
Internal dating: (As with Tunguska) When Mulder visits Marita his watch reads November 25th 1996. This is only a day or two into the case. The Senate Hearing seen in the teaser for Tunguska is dated as 10 days after the start of the case.
Outside a Boca Raton nursing home, a woman pulls up with an older man in a van. The woman sneaks into the nursing home and breaks out her elderly Aunt Janet. The older man is in the van, setting up a Dr. Kevorikan type suicide machine. As Aunt Janet and her niece say their goodbyes, the doctor hooks her up. The aunt turns on the machine and dies. Only one problem -- the oily alien worms start coming out of her eyes, nose and mouth. They cover the niece.
Credits roll: E PUR SI MUOVE (and yet it moves)
In St. Petersburg, an old man is making tea. A knock at the door presents a Russian soldier type -- no uniform -- who asks his help. The older man says no. The soldier gives him a letter from Comrade Artezen. The old man accepts the letter.
Mulder, now wearing pjs, wakes up very sick in his cell. He tries to dust the now gone oily worms off of himself. The prisoner next door tells him that the "test" is just the beginning. He has been exposed to the black cancer.
The guy next door was one of the geologists who found the Tugunska rock. He is now a test subject, just like Mulder and they are going to die there. Their captors are looking for a cure and they are the guinea pigs. Mulder says he won't die there until lives long enough to kill Krycek.
The inmate next door gives Mulder a home made knife. The prison wanted to kill himself, but thought better of it. He wants Mulder to have it.
Back in the US, Scully and another doctor are working on the NASA guy. He is alive, but non-responsive. They find a bunch of worms working on his pineal body.
The old Russian guy is now at a Richmond bus stop, going to Charlottesville. His accent is gone and he speaks pretty good English. He arrives as the Well Manicured Man's farm, and surprises the woman Well Manicured Man was watching ride the horses the day before. She tries to get him to leave the farm -- they are in the stables -- but he chokes her to death.
Scully returns to her apartment and to a very annoyed AD Skinner. Skinner is being hammered by his superiors and she knows why. He wants answers. She begins to explain that she was with the NASA guy and what she and Mulder were doing. Skinner tells her about Well Manicured Man's dead friend -- a virologist who is the leading proponent for destroying the only live strains of small pox in the US and Russia. She was supposed to get the black rock.
Back in Russia, Mulder is awakened in his cell. Since he can't understand what they want, he gets a bit of a beating but winds up on a work crew. As he walks to his assignment, he notices a clean and well dressed Krycek yucking it up with the guards as supply trucks are being unloaded. Mulder, with his home made knife, goes after the jovial Krycek, knocking him into the bed of the truck and stealing both the truck and Krycek. Krycek gets another decent beating before Mulder drives away.
The Gulag Guards follow on horseback, but Mulder has a much bigger problem -- curvy roads and no brakes. Krycek, figuring out what happening, jumps from the truck. Mulder takes the truck into a group of new trees, hoping to slow in down. Instead, the truck mows down the trees and Mulder winds up driving really fast into a ditch. There is blood on the windshield where his head breaks the glass.
That night in Charlottesville, Well Manicured Man is having a cigarette on his porch. He is very upset about the doctor's death. Cancerman is there to console him in a snide manner. He wants Cancerman to find who killed his doctor. Cancerman asks if Well Manicured Man was involved with the doctor. He won't answer, he wants the killer. Cancerman promises to help if Well Manicured Man calls off the committee hearing. Well Manicured Man can't, Sorenson is running the hearing. Cancerman also knows that Mulder was in and out of the Gulag.
The Gulag Guards find the truck but no Mulder. Krycek, who now has a broken shoulder, is running for freedom, but runs into some very PO'd Russians. They think he is part of the government and they want to kill him. Krycek says no, he is an innocent American held at the Gulag from spying. The Russians, who by the way are all handicapped -- one arm, agree to help him.
Scully is back in front of the committee from the same scene that opened last week's episode. She is jailed for not telling them where Mulder is.
The truck driver who Mulder lifted the truck from finds him in the woods. He brings him home to his wife, who luckily speaks English. She tells Mulder that they have been spared from the tests -- everyone in town is tested -- because of the husbands truck and now Mulder screwed that up. She also shows him her son, who has only one arm. Deformities keep you from being tested. The husband returns with a big knife and eyes on Mulder's arm.
Krycek, meanwhile, is sleeping at a campfire with his new Russian buddies. They tackle him and amputate his left arm (ick). The scene ends with them cutting and him screaming.
Scully is reading all she can on smallpox viruses in her cell. Skinner comes by to check on her and to ask her to give Mulder up. Scully won't, saying she isn't protecting only Mulder. She said with all the dead folks and the oily aliens, why are they so concerned about Mulder? Are they afraid that Mulder may figure it out or maybe he already has or can they stop him before he does? She would trust them if Mulder was around but she's going with Mulder's "Trust No One" attitude until he reappears.
The comatose NASA guy has a visitor, the old Russian hitman. He sticks the same brown medicine the Gulag doctor gave to Mulder into his neck and the oily aliens come out. Good news. Bad news is he cuts off the oxygen supply to the doctor and steals the rock.
Cancerman and Well Manicured Man have a picture of the hitman. He is a retired KGB agent. The Russians have been working on a cure for the black cancer for years, the American are just starting. The Russians wanted to stop the US's progress. Well Manicured Man wants him stopped.
Scully returns to the committee with her arms full of evidence. As the committee members remind her of her night in jail, she starts in about the murder of the doctor in Charlottesville, the diplomat off Skinner's window, the rock, but the committee wants to know about Mulder's whereabouts.
Mulder walks in asking what was the question. Scully smiles the biggest smile and tells the committee that the doctor's murder and the diplomat's murder have something to do with the rock. Skinner tells Scully, aside, that the NASA doctor is dead. When she advises the committee of this, they adjourn.
Mulder and Scully have a nice hug -- he tells her he thought he'd never put his "two" arms around her again and starts to tell her about his "long, strange trip", but Skinner stops this moment of warmth. Scully asks Skinner to let them go to Florida to the nursing home. Skinner doesn't want to know what they are doing -- he may have to explain it.
Scully tells Mulder that the Charlottesville doctor worked in the Boca Raton nursing home and there was a strange death there.
Meanwhile, at the nursing home, the KGB hit guy is lurking around. Mulder and Scully arrive, but not in time. The patients are all dead and the oily worms are on their faces. Mulder tells Scully that they were test subjects, poisoned to keep them from finding out the truth. Scully declares the place a bio-hazard.
Scully and Mulder fly to NYC to talk to Krycek's militia buddies. Krycek went by the name Artezen to them. The finding him in the silo story was a lie -- Krycek/Artezen came to them. The plan was to build two bombs to stop the black cancer. He told the militia guys that the black cancer was a Russian plot and was tested during the Gulf War. When he clammed up, Mulder demanded -- physically -- to know where the other bomb was. Mulder promised the militia guy that he would make sure the militia guy spent his time in prison on his "hands and knees" servicing some convict. The bomb is in Terma, North Dakota.
Mulder and Scully figure out that Krycek was a stooge for someone who wanted to make sure the rock was destroyed.
Mulder and Scully fly to a Canadian refinery where the truck was last scene. Mulder checks out the truck, which is sitting next to an unused well, while Scully goes to the refinery. The old KGB guy is in the refinery, setting off the well Mulder is near.
Mulder finds the rock but it is in a pipe, just out of his reach. As he tries to get it, the well starts shooting oil. Realizing the truck is a bomb, he makes one last grab at the rock before running for his life. As he gets several yards away, all goes boom!
Scully sees the explosion and worries about Mulder. She has bigger problems, however, as the KGB guy comes up from behind. Gentleman that he is, he says he is done with his job and won't kill her if she lets him go. She does.
Scully drags an injured Mulder from the fiery well.
Scully give the committee a recap of what happened. She tells them the rock is extraterrestrial and has proof. They look at her the way she usually looks at Mulder. This ticks off Mulder, who gives a speech about the fact that we have found life from Mars and maybe they are in contempt of the evidence and the truth. The committee head quickly ends the hearing.
The KGB hitman returns home, unhappy to find his boss sitting drinking tea. The boss is Krycek, who now sports a prosthetic device for an arm. Alex Krycek: 1990's one armed man!
Senator Sorenson sits and reads Scully evidence. He hands it to Cancerman, who throws it away.