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Title: Two Fathers
To be Screened in Australia: April 28, 1999
Released on Video in Australia: March 19, 1999 as "One Son"
First Screened in the USA: February 7, 1999
Director: Kim Manners
Writer: Jeffrey Bell (not credited), Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz
- Veronica Cartwright as Cassandra Spender
- Chris Owens as Agent Jeffrey Spender
- William B. Davis as Cigarette Smoking Man
- Nicholas Lea as Alex Krycek
- Mitch Pileggi as Assistant Director Walter Skinner
- George Murdock as Elder #1
- Don S. Williams as Elder #2
- Nick Tate as Dr. Openshaw
- Al Ruscio as Elder # 3
- Valarie Pettiford as FBI Agent
- Damon P Saleem as Pick-up Basketball Player
- James Newman as Elder
- John Moore as Elder
- Frank Ertl as Elder
- Chapelle Jaffe as Dr. Patou
- Brian Thompson as The Alien Bounty Hunter (not really identifiable as such)
The agents search for answers when Cassandra Spender mysteriously reappears.
Australian Media Review:
Fox Media Release
Pick Of The Week
A strength of The X-Files is that it doesn't talk down to its audience, and tonight's special episode is the first in a keep-your-fingers-on-the-pulse, two-part-rattler. The Cigarette Smoking Man (exquisitely played by William B Davis) features predominately, as the conspiracy theory that lifts the lid on The X-Files-a 50 year-old secret that has been kept under wraps from men like Fox Mulder by the Cigarette Smoking Man-comes to light. A beauty.
My Rating: 10/10
The first of a two-part episode is supposed to reveal all the secrets regular viewers are dying to know. As usual, it ends up raising more questions than it answers. Simultaneously tantalising and frustrating.
Sun-Herald TV Now Magazine, Rachel Browne
On first viewing, watching the "One Son" video, these were knockout episodes and automatically got 10 out of 10. On repeated viewings though, I started to waver ... but I still think they deserve top marks. The reason I was wavering was because I kept thinking of more and more questions that the episodes didn't provide answers for. That's not to denegrate this episode (or the following "One Son" episode) -- but it certainly does not give full disclosure as all the hype would have you believe.
The "Two Fathers" episode is well crafted with the Cigarette Smoking Man's disclosure of the truth about his 50 year "career" to (for most of the ep) an unknown listener, providing the backbone for the story. The opening flashback sequence is well done; followed by another intiguing train-car medical scene; a great Skinner/Spender meeting then the Scully/Mulder gym scene which is typically humourous (although slightly out-of-place) with Mulder's interest in his J.O.B. piqued by Scully's investigations into Cancer Man and Cassandra Spender's return. It's good to see Mulder with renewed interest but it is Scully who is (finally) evolving into a true believer in the quest for the truth. Her use of The Lone Gunmen (in "One Son"), seemingly more and more, to ferret out the truth is taking over a role formerly the domain of Mulder and she's directing their investigative energies. If she didn't dig up the box-full of information on Cancer Man, Mulder wouldn't have done anything but play basketball.
Cassandra Spender is a tragic figure in this episode and so is her son Jeff Spender who slowly learns the truth about his old man, thanks to a very manipulative Alex Krycek. Just who is he working for? He's got his own agenda, that's for sure.
The faceless aliens trouble me ... why does "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" protect them from the black oil when in the X-Files Movie Stevie was infected through his feet? Are their motives totally benevelont, I wonder?
"One Son" sees Jeffrey Spender almost become Mulder in his quest for the truth and his hatred of Cancer Man. Diana Fowley re-enters the picture but Mulder still trusts her despite evidence Scully and The Lone Gunment dig up. What gives there? Is there more to their past relationship than we've been told? Does the wedding ring Mulder wore in the two flashback episodes "Unusual Suspects" and "Travelers" have anything to do with it? The use of Skinner as support for Mulder and Scully is a nice touch, ending any thoughts of questionable motives that may have surfaced in the past.
The episode is well made and quite different from "Two Fathers". Mulder's voiceover at the start and the use of flashbacks to 1973 is well done and the pace becomes more frenetic as the episode builds to it's climax. The pivotal meeting between Cancer Man and Mulder over Fowley's lingerei is brilliant -- Mulder can see the results of all those years searching but can do nothing about it while Cancer Man wishes Mulder was his son. The ending is a shock as Spender stands up for Mulder and Scully and begs Kirsh to give the X-Files back to them and is then killed for his efforts.
All in all, a great mythology double episode that stands up against any others from the previous five seasons.
Skinner: (To Spender) I wasn't aware that you'd made any progress. In the months since your assignment, I've received but one memorandum. Were you planning to hit me all at once?
Cassandra Spender: (To Jeff Spender) Oh ... Don't cry, honey.
Skinner: (To Spender) Are you afraid of the truth?
Mulder: (To Scully) Hey, Homegirl, word up.
Mulder: No, I'm ready to J-O-B just not on some jagoff shoeshine tip.
Scully: (very small smile) No "jagoff shoeshine tip"?
Mulder: (smile) No background checkin' jagoff shoeshine tip.
Mulder: You looking for work, Agent Spender? 'Cause if you are, I got a whole pile in that middle drawer that I'd love to shove down someone's throat.
Mulder: The truth is out there, Agent Spender. Maybe you should find it for yourself.
Cassandra Spender: I told you that the aliens were here to do good and that I was being used as an oracle to spread the word. Only now I know what the aliens are here for and it isn't good.
Mulder: What are they here for?
Cassandra Spender: To wipe us off the planet. They're taking over the universe. They're infecting all other life-forms with a black substance called Purity. It's their life force. It's what they're made of.
Mulder: And you know who these men are?
Cassandra Spender: (bitterly) Oh, sure. One of them's my ex-husband ... Jeffrey's father.
Mulder: Smokey's got a name. (Monitor has picture of Cigarette Smoking Man with name
Spender, C.G.B.. The reference number has No Information Available)
Krycek: (To Spender) Watch where you point that.
Spender: (To Krycek) I'll be my own great man.
Where Have I Seen That Face Before?
Nick Tate (Dr Openshaw) is an Australian actor who has appeared in TV series such as "Spyforce" and "Space: 1999" plus movies "The Devil's Playground", "Coolangatta Gold", "Cry Freedom" and "The Year My Voice Broke".
Valarie Pettiford (FBI Agent) graduated from TV soaps -- four years on "One Life To Live" and two years on "Another World" -- to movies such as "The Cotton Club" to a broadway production of "Fosse: A Celebration In Song And Dance" in 1998.
Damon P Saleem (Basketball Player) has appeared in a few films like "Caught Up" and "Invader" plus the bad Christina Applegate movie"Vibrations". On TV he's guest-starred in "Walker:Texas Ranger" and "Law and Order".
James Newman (Elder) has been a part-time actor with limited roles stretching back to the 1954. He starred in a spaghetti-western "Wanted Johnny Texas" as well as "Silent Night, Deadly Night II" and guest-starred on a "Profiler" episode.
The Pain Factor
Nothing to speak of for Mulder and Scully
The original title for this episode was "Xeox Pur Soli" which translates as "Together Yet Alone".
The plot summary of this episode on The Official X-Files Site has descriptions of two scenes that were not aired.
1. In flashback, thirty-five years earlier, Dr Openshaw, Bill Mulder, and the Cigarette Smoking Man enter a train car containing a Native American test subject. The Native American's face, arms and body are horribly disfigured. Repulsed, Bill Mulder exits the train car. As the disfigured man is their best effort, both the Cigarette Smoking Man and Openshaw believe they must ally with the aliens if they ever hope to create an alien / human hybrid.
2. At the hospital, Cassandra Spender enters the bathroom to smoke a cigarette. As she looks in the mirror, her face suddenly loses its shape. Cassandra screams. The female FBI agent assigned to protect her races to her aid. She assures Cassandra that she will be all right, as she is "the one." Cassandra stares at her, not comprehending. The female FBI agent reaches up to her own face and pulls back her flesh, revealing a male faceless alien beneath. Cassandra recoils in fear. Clad in the FBI agent's clothing, she flees to Mulder's apartment.