When a female FBI agent is abducted, Mulder believes the ‘visions’ of psychic priest Father Joe (Billy Connolly) hold the key to the mystery; Scully thinks the ex-paedophile is trying to expiate his past sins. With Father Joe’s help, sundry body parts are found, some containing traces of animal tranquiliser. Organ theft, it seems, may be the motive. This chimes oddly with Scully’s own medical dilemma: she is contemplating painful, experimental stem cell therapy for a young boy with an incurable degenerative disease. On the one hand, a vivisectionist nightmare, on the other, an ethically ambiguous dream of power over death.
In its prime, ‘The X-Files’ tapped in to a zeitgeisty fascination with paranormal phenomena and conspiracy theories. But six years after the show sputtered to a close, Carter, Duchovny and Anderson are going through the motions. Lazy plotting, so-so performances and squandered ideas lead to only one diagnosis: there is no compelling reason to keep this moribund formula on a life-support machine.