This is a story of two halves. It tries to bring something of a resolution to the Mulder arc (before an elaborate fake-out tosses that away), and finally brings to a close the entire character of Scully's son. It goes without saying that one of them is stronger than the other. While there's still that annoying vibe of the writers keeping David Duchovny off the show while simultaneously using Mulder for drama whenever possible, I liked the rawness of the cast encountering a man who could potentially be the guy they've been looking for all these months.
It's most successful with Scully, who is overwhelmed with happiness that Mulder could finally be in her grasp, but eventually expresses the anger that she's been feeling for him all along. It goes some way to addressing how ridiculous his disappearing act has been, and while it doesn't exactly express anything of any weight, it felt like a reaction to a story that's mostly been half-assed and out-of-character. Of course, "Daniel Miller" was never going to be the actual Mulder, but his arrival at least gave way to characters revealing their inner traumas, which was neat.
Where the episode falls down is in the William story, which culminates here and winds up saying nothing of any real importance. There was a real sense of the show wanting to do something interesting with William, especially at the start of the season, but beyond the various scenes of alien cults worshiping his presence, there hasn't been a lot more to it. The get-out here, in which he's injected with some super-serum that makes him human, is crazily generic -- like the show is so desperate to write out a weak character that they didn't even try and come up with something believable to get him off the show.
Additionally, Scully giving William up for adoption feels out-of-character, too. All season Scully has essentially been reduced to a shrieky mother figure, and while Gillian Anderson is clearly trying here to find the truth in Scully's actions, I still don't buy that she'd be so willing to abandon her child after everything she's done this year. Especially when William is now entirely human. Sending him off to a farm with no questions asked is a little too "died on the way back to his home planet" for me. Blah. C
Guest stars Cyd Strittmatter (Dr. Whitney Edwards); James Riker (William Scully); Travis Riker (William Scully)
Teleplay Chris Carter Story David Duchovny, Frank Spotnitz, Chris Carter Director David Duchovny