The X-Files has always been a two-person show. We may have had supporting characters coming and going over the years, but the big draw was always the banter between two FBI agents, the butting heads and romantic undercurrent -- two against the world as they crack conspiracies and solve monster mysteries. With Mulder's disappearance, Doggett was brought on as something of a placeholder for David Duchovny, something that ended up working better than it easily could have done. But what Deadalive does so well is positioning Doggett within the series in the aftermath of Mulder's unexpected return. Three's a crowd, and the emotional crux of the hour is generated by Doggett working out his place in the suddenly-crowded X-Files.
But even that is more of an emotional decision than a professional one. Doggett has gradually come around to Scully's mode of thinking over these last fourteen episodes, not so much in running with her extreme theories, but liking her on both a personal level as well as admiring her passion and ability. He's offered a promotion by Kersh, something that would effectively terminate the X-Files, but rejects it in fairness to Scully. He sees the good that she does, and can't stand in the way of it continuing. But that last shot cements the feeling that he's even more unsure of where he stands than ever before. He sees the tightness of Mulder and Scully, and appears only as a quiet observer. It's an intriguing position to put him in, and opens up fresh possibilities for the future.
Elsewhere, Krycek is a character that I haven't understood for years, but his interaction with Skinner has always been pretty engaging. There's also a neat Rosemary's Baby vibe to his determination to stop Scully from giving birth, another sign of the show introducing new mythological elements that feel fresher than recent attempts. B+
Guest stars Nicholas Lea (Alex Krycek); Mitch Pileggi (Walter Skinner); James Pickens, Jr. (Alvin Kersh); Tom Braidwood (Melvin Frohike); Dean Haglund (Ringo Langly); Bruce Harwood (John Fitzgerald Byers); Judson Scott (Absalom); Zachary Ansley (Billy Miles); Sheila Larken (Margaret Scully); Gibby Brand (Arthur Gaffin); Larry Dorf (Pathology Assistant); Richard McGonagle (Dr. Francis Orovetz)
Writers Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz Director Tony Wharmby