The X-Files S10E2: Founder’s Mutation
January 25, 2016
Recap by Sarabeth Pollock
Dr. Sanjay uses his bloodshot eyeball to gain access to Nugenics Technology. He’s had a “humdinger” of a weekend. Suddenly a piercing tone stops him in his tracks, causing his pupils to bleed even more. At a staff meeting, the Founder has proclaimed that the data is no up to par. Augustus Goldman may be a recluse, but he is engaged in the process and is not happy. Outside the grass is covered in ravens. The noise drives Sanjay to leave the room, even though he’s the only one who can hear it. He retreats to the lab and locks his colleagues out, and as they drill the lock to gain access, the noise becomes too much for Sanjay and he sticks a sharp tool into his ear. So much for Dr. Sanjay.
Agents Mulder and Scully are on the scene. Scully thinks Sanjay had a psychotic break, while Mulder is more concerned that Sanjay picked the most secure room in the building to kill himself. In fact, when Mulder grabs the hard drive, it is taken from him because it’s classified. They won’t even grant the agents access to Goldman. While Scully argues, Mulder swipes the dead man’s phone and uses his finger to unlock it. As the walk away, Scully tells Mulder how illegal it is to search a phone without a warrant, but again, Mulder is more concerned with someone named Gupta with whom Sanjay spoke nightly. Scully tells Mulder that “gupta” means “secret.”
Mulder meets the mysterious Gupta in a dark bar. Mulder knows he’s being watched in the bar. Mulder suggests going somewhere more private to talk, so they retreat to a storage room in the bar, where Gupta immediately gets on his knees and reaches for Mulder’s fly. Mulder backs off and says that he’s not there for that, which leads Gupta to tell him that he’s repressed, and that the truth is in Mulder’s heart. Mulder replies that he’s heard that before. He tells Gupta that Sanjay is dead, which seems to shock the other man.
Scully prepares to do an autopsy of Dr. Sanjay, who still has the sharp letter opened sticking out of his ear. She pulls the letter opened out and notices that he has a black mark on his hand.
Gupta tearfully explains that Sanjay had been upset the past few weeks so Gupta had been trying to make him feel better. Now we see that the men who had been watching Mulder were attracted to him—they’re in a gay bar. Mulder drinks a beer and listens to Gupta talk about how Sanjay was concerned for his kids, whom he said were dying. Scully calls and tells Mulder he needs to see what she’s found.
When Mulder arrives, she shows him Sanjay’s hand. She had to break his fingers to pry them open, but written there are the words “founder’s mutation.” They call Augustus Goldman “the Founder.” The letter opener ended up piercing the auditory complex of his brain, and it looks like he tried to dig it out. Scully recalls that he’d said something about a noise that no one else heard. They want to see where he really loved.
They go to Dupont Circle, where Scully remarks that it’s amazing that Sanjay had to keep his lifestyle a secret. She almost hits a guy, who looks like he’s fleeing something himself. Inside Sanjay’s apartment, they find photos of children with horrific genetic mutations. Mulder wonders if these are the children Gupta had mentioned. They all seem to have been photographed in a clinical setting because the background is the same. Scully notices that the police have arrived, and just as she goes to the door to greet them, Mulder collapses. He’s clutching his head as the same piercing noise renders him deaf to everything around him, except the noise. He sees Scully talking to the officers and all he can make out are the words “find her.”
In Skinner’s office, Skinner reviews their report. Mulder asks if Skinner has seen the files they pulled from Sanjay’s apartment, but a man at the table across the room has the files in his possession because they’re classified, and they belong to the Department of Defense. He cautions Mulder that disseminating any of that information would result in a harsh penalty, to which Mulder replies that he’s familiar with Edward Snowden. The DoD rep leaves the room, and Skinner gives the agents a look. He wants to know what they really think, and he hopes Mulder got copies of the files before they were confiscated. Mulder did make copies, and he believes that the children were a product of genetic studies by the government. Scully concurs that there are some troubling aspects to the case. Skinner closes the report and says that the FBI processes have become very slow given all of the hoops the cases must pass through, so that will give the agents time for a proper investigation. He welcomes the duo back and sends them off in search of the truth.
Can I just say how much I love Walter Skinner?
Mulder returns to their new office at FBI headquarters. Scully is reviewing security camera footage of when Sanjay killed himself. She knows that Mulder might not have been comfortable sharing the story of what happened in Sanjay’s apartment with Skinner, but she wants to know what happened to him. After he tells her what he experienced, he pulls up the footage of the birds outside. He thinks the birds were there because some sound wave brought the worms to the surface. She asks what the link is to all of this and Mulder says that only Augustus Goldman knows. Scully reminds Mulder that Sanjay heard that noise right before he killed himself, and that could be Mulder. She also says she knows how to meet with Goldman.
(Isn’t it funny to see that the agents are still driving their Fords? I’m mildly surprised they aren’t in a Prius…)
The agents arrive at Our Lady of Sorrows Hospital in Washington, D.C. Sister Mary knows Scully from her work at the hospital and she tells the agents about the donations Augustus Goldman has made to the hospital to help women and their babies. Scully says that they want to avoid embarrassing Goldman with a government investigation, but Sister Mary can’t help them. Scully pleads with her, and so Sister Mary agrees to make a phone call. Mulder tells her to mention the “founder’s mutation” to Goldman, and this seems to trouble the nun.
While the agents wait, a young woman named Agnes motions for them to come into the women’s center and asks if they have a car. She needs to get out of there. Scully tells her that she’s safe, but Agnes says she doesn’t want to give up her baby even though there is something wrong with it. Sister Mary is about to return to the room so Mulder slides her his card and Agnes retreats. Sister Mary tells the agents that Goldman is more than happy to meet them, then she tells them that the women are homeless and damaged in some way, either by drugs or alcohol. Agnes watches them, and in the background The Planet of the Apes is on television. There are no men in their lives, Sister May continues. It all seems a little fishy if you ask me.
Outside, Mulder definitely thinks something is going on with the clinic. He says it’s “insidious” that Goldman contributes money to a homeless mother’s ward when he’s also backing projects that are classified by the DoD. It’s like his own incubator for genetic testing. Scully asks if that’s what Mulder thinks happened to her, that she was just an incubator for some project 15 years ago. She hasn’t stopped thinking about their son, William. What if he’s one of the children on Sanjay’s board? She has missed every event in his life. Mulder says they need to keep working to figure these things out. He also thinks about their son, but they have to hope he’s okay.
Scully and a young boy walk toward a school on the first day. She asks if he remembers what the most important things are, and the most important thing is that she loves him. They go inside, and then the doors open and the children leave. Will runs past her, and then the scene changes and he’s on a stretcher, having broken his arm. The scene shifts again and he’s in his room, calling for Scully. When he turns from the mirror, his face has morphed into some kind of alien/human hybrid. Scully jolts back into reality, where she takes a picture of a baby from the drawer and touches it lovingly.
At Goldman Technology, Goldman says that “founder’s mutation” was a strange message to pass along. He plays it off and says that the work they do is trying to save children. The walk through a ward where children with various deformities are in rooms that are sealed up, and they’re not able to get out. They stop and talk to a boy named Adam, who tells Scully that he has been there forever, and he doesn’t have any parents. Goldman insists that Adam was brought to them when he was a baby and the work they’re doing is trying to save children. Scully asks if he is using alien DNA in his research, but Goldman never ventures close to an answer, not to mention the fact that they’re interrupted when a patient starts screaming, and objects start flying off the cart next to her of their own volition. The agents are rushed away, but they both saw what happened. Mulder gets a text. Something happened to Agnes.
The agents arrive in a tunnel where Agnes seems to have jumped in front of traffic. Scully asks the police officer where her baby is, and the officer is confused. Mulder sees the blood on the front of the girl’s shirt and knows that the baby is gone.
Mulder pores through police files as he waits for Scully to complete the autopsy. She did indeed die of blunt force trauma, but the baby was surgically removed. Scully can’t tell if the baby was alive or dead when it was removed. Mulder thinks that the baby could have enough alien DNA that it could have survived. That would mean they’re trying to change a population. Mulder also found out that Goldman’s wife Elizabeth was remanded to an insane asylum for killing her baby 17 years ago, and that body was never found either.
The agents pay a visit to Jackie Goldman at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital. She’s catatonic, until she chucks an apple at the cat. She doesn’t want to talk about her husband because he’s the one keeping her there. Mulder asks if she loved her daughter. We flash back to a party at the Goldman house, where the mothers are playing with their children and laughing and not paying attention to the fact that Jackie’s daughter was gone. Jackie found her at the bottom of the pool, where she’d been for almost ten minutes. She was breathing in the water. Jackie knew then that her husband had been using their daughter for his research, and she was nine months pregnant at the time and not about to let him use their son. She tried to leave him but she couldn’t find their daughter. She left, but she knew the government was coming after her. She hit an animal in the road and crashed. She crawled out of the car and heard the sound. It was her son talking to her, telling her to cut her belly open. We see the baby crawling out of her.
Scully tells Mulder that even though she thinks Jackie is delusional, there’s something about her that she trusts. As they walk down the hall, Mulder stops a janitor and asks about the company he works for. Upon returning to the office, Mulder shows Scully a tape of the janitor from the same company working directly above Sanjay when he died. The janitor has a similar reaction to a noise, and it also happens that he worked at St. Elizabeth’s the month before.
The agents arrive at the janitor’s house and find a woman there. It’s Kyle’s mother. Her son has nothing to say to them and she doesn’t like exposing her son to stressful situations. Mulder asks if she gave birth to Kyle, and clearly she didn’t. He suspects that Kyle was Jackie’s son who crawled away from the accident. They look up and see that birds have landed all over the yard. Bad things happen when the birds gather,” she says. That’s when the noise sends Mulder falling down the stairs. Scully runs off in search of Kyle. She finds him in the barn and they put him in the car. Mulder asks if Kyle can control his ability, and he can’t. He’s just trying to find his sister Molly.
They go to Goldman’s office and Goldman takes a vial of Kyle’s blood and promises to take him to his sister. However, the girl he introduces as Molly isn’t Molly at all, and so Kyle runs off in search of her. When they find each other, Molly speaks telepathically with her brother and together they break the glass door with their minds as Goldman and the agents catch up to them. The siblings use telekinesis to send Scully into a wall and Mulder into a door, and then they kill their father by making his orifices bleed.
Later, the DoD representative tells Skinner that the area is now restricted, and Skinner passes this along to Mulder and Scully, who wonder where the siblings went. Skinner asks Mulder, since he was the last person to see them, but Mulder blacked out after Goldman’s eyes popped out of his head. “You can’t unsee that,” Mulder drawls. Skinner leaves, and Mulder presents the vial of Kyle’s blood to Scully for analysis.
Next we see Mulder and Will watching The Plant of the Apes. Mulder explains that apes were early humans and that the monolith represents the first contact with aliens. Outside, father and son launch rockets into the air and talk about man’s journey to the moon. Will vows to go to space someday. Next we see Mulder racing toward a door, and inside we see Will levitating out the window.
Mulder sits at his kitchen table and looks at the picture of baby William that Scully had been looking at. Sadness is in his eyes as he thinks about the son he never knew.
Until next week, fellow Philes!