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"The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati"
The X-Files episode
A hallucination of the alien colonization by Fox Mulder
Episode no. Season 7
Episode 2
Directed by Michael Watkins
Written by David Duchovny
Chris Carter
Production code 7X04
Guest stars
Episode chronology

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"The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati" is the second episode of the seventh season of the science fiction television series The X-Files. "The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati" concludes a trilogy of episodes featuring Mulder's severe reaction to the appearance of an alien artifact. In this episode Mulder is brought to a new life by the Cigarette Smoking Man while Scully desperately tries to find him.


Plot summary

Fox Mulder (David Duchovny)'s mother comes to visit him at the hospital. When she leaves Mulder tries to call out for her but can only do so in his head. The Cigarette Smoking Man visits him shortly afterwards and after giving him a drug that ends his paralysis tells him that he's his father. Kritschgau approaches Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) in her office. He claims that Mulder's exposure to the black oil two years prior (in the episode "Tunguska") has been re-activated due to the artifact and that he's now become the proof of alien life. Kritschgau wants access to Mulder because of this while Scully is concerned more about his health. Skinner tells Scully that Mulder has been signed out of the hospital, apparently by his mother. Later, after returning to her home Scully is met by Albert Hosteen. Mulder is driven away from the hospital by the Cigarette Smoking Man, who offers him a new life. Mulder is brought to an attractive neighborhood and heads into his new home, finding Deep Throat, alive, inside. Deep Throat claims that he fakes his death to escape the burden and pressures he was under, and that Mulder can now do the same. Mulder is met by Diana Fowley soon after and the two sleep together. Mulder has a dream about a boy on a beach building a spaceship in the sand, whom he helps rebuild when the waves destroy it.

Scully checks the video tapes at the hospital and while they're mostly obscured, she does spot Mulder's mother in one of them talking to the Cigarette Smoking Man. She tries to contact her with no success. She receives a package soon afterwards containing a book of Native American beliefs and practices with connections to what she saw on the spaceship. Scully believes Skinner gave it to her, but he denies it. Scully heads to his office and finds him in pain, with a mysterious intruder (Krycek) getting away. Mulder meanwhile is reunited with his sister Samantha. Scully goes to see Kritschgau and realizes he has stolen her information on the alien spaceship. After he admits to hacking her computer she deletes the files from his laptop. Mulder is revealed to be dreaming everything, and is in reality in a government facility being tended to by doctors while the Cigarette Smoking Man and Fowley watch. Scully meets with Fowley later, who claims not to know where Mulder is. Mulder's dreams continue. He is married to Diana Fowley and has children. The years go by quickly and he is old; Diana is now dead. In reality the Cigarette Smoking Man is prepped as he attempts to have Mulder's genetic material implanted into him so he'll be immune to the alien invasion.

In Mulder's dreams he is now an old man in bed, accompanied by the Cigarette Smoking Man who hasn't aged. He dreams of the boy again, who is now destroying the spaceship, saying Mulder is destroying it. The Cigarette Smoking Man tells Mulder that Diana, Deep Throat, Samantha and even Scully are all now dead. He looks out the window, revealing a destroyed landscape as the aliens invade. Back in reality, Fowley leaves the operation. Scully is met again by Hosteen in her apartment, who prays with her for Mulder. Krycek kills Kritschgau and steals his laptop. Scully awakens in her apartment, finding that someone has slipped a security card under her door. Using it she is able to enter the facility where Mulder is being held. In Mulder's dreams he is met by Scully at his bedside, whom she convinces to leave with him. In reality Scully finds Mulder and the two are able to escape. Scully meets Mulder at his apartment a week later. Mulder tells Scully that Hosteen is dead and that he was in the hospital and couldn't have been at her apartment. Scully tearfully tells Mulder that Diana, who was the one who gave her the book and security card was found murdered in her apartment. As the episode ends we see Mulder with the boy, rebuilding the spaceship on the beach.[1]


David Duchovny, a fan of Nikos Kazantzakis's novel The Last Temptation of Christ worked many of those themes into this episode, finding parallels between that story and Fox Mulder. While executive producer Frank Spotnitz described it as a risk, Duchovny felt the episode was very personal to Mulder's character concerning whether he had made the right choices or not. Duchovny worked on the script while Chris Carter wrote the previous episode, "The Sixth Extinction". Carter eventually added the remaining portions of the script after his work on the previous episode had concluded.[1]

Casting Director Rick Millikan described the episode as one big flashback, bringing back many actors who hadn't appeared on the show for at least two or three years, including Jerry Hardin as Deep Throat, Rebecca Toolan as Teena Mulder and Megan Leitch as Samantha Mulder. Casting the boy whom Mulder meets on the beach proved to be a challenge. The boy was originally supposed to be the son of a neighbor of producer Paul Rabwin. Due to the shooting schedule, all of the scenes with the boy had to be shot in a single day, which caused problems due to child labor laws that limit how many hours a minor can work. As a result, the producers instead used twin boys such that the scenes could all be shot in a single day.[1]

The scene where the Cigarette Smoking Man opens a window, revealing an alien armageddon outside was accomplished by using a matte painting and adding in explosions through special effects.[1] A scene where Mulder watched himself age ended up being cut in the final version of the episode.[1] William B. Davis was pleased with the episode, stating, "For me the episode was terrific to play because they ended up making the Cigarette Smoking Man a little tougher. We have seen so much softness in him; it was great to play that tough side." Davis described the scene where he was strapped on an operating table with Mulder as being "totally uncomfortable".[1] Spotnitz said of the end result, "We knew going into 'Amor Fati' that we would piss off some faction and we probably have but we haven't heard anything from anybody. Often in the past we've done stuff where I was sure we would get angry letters. But we rarely do. And the reason is because of the way we handle things. In 'Amor Fati' we treated the religious side with respect."[1]

The tagline for this episode is "Amor Fati", which is a latin phrase that means "love of fate" or "love of one's fate".[1]


The episode had a Neilsen household rating of 10.6, with a 14 share. It was watched by 16.15 million viewers.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Shapiro,Marc (2001). All Things: The Official Guide to the X-Files Volume 6. Harper Prism. 
  2. ^ "The X-Files Compilation: Nielsen Ratings". Compilation. Retrieved August 23, 2009. 

External links

  • [{{fullurl:wikiasite:Template:Safesubst::Template:Safesubst:}} The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati"] on [{{fullurl:wikiasite:Template:Safesubst:}} The X-Files, an external wiki]

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