Mulder hanging out with the ghost children is really very touching.
I still don’t remember much about this season (although it’s apparently on Disney+ in this absurd future I find myself in, so I may rectify that), but what I do remember is an opinion column in SFX magazine, which hated this episode. They reckoned that the idea Fox, after all these years of searching for The Truth about Samantha, would accept a ghostly vision as being the proof he needed completely misunderstood the character. Mulder will believe anything, but he won’t believe just anything.
I also thought this was a dumb ending for the Samantha part of the story.
After seven seasons of increasingly convoluted plot contrivances aka we’ve-been-obligated-to-keep-this-going-even-though-we-never-had-a-conclusion-in mind. Who-knew-we’d-be-this-much-of-a-hit? I was so glad to have some kind of closure on Samantha
This was really a perfectly good setup for Mulder’s departure, and I think season 8 would have been in much better shape if they’d tried to make that kind of a clean break: Mulder finds closure and leaves the X-Files; here’s the new guy.
Season 8 has some good episodes, especially when Doggett’s given time to shine, but it gets too bogged down in the Mulder-abducted-by-aliens plot, and nobody wants a show that spends all its time talking about a character who’s not on it anymore.
(I think they also dive into episodes focused on one-off characters, where Doggett and Scully just play a minor role, too early. I think those episodes are actually quite good, but the new guy just got there and they really should have let him drive for a few episodes before they put him in the backseat.)
I’m a fan of Doggett. Robert Patrick was handed a difficult task in Season 8, made perhaps a bit more difficult by the creative team seemingly unsure about how to put Scully at the center of the show. There’s all sorts of maybes that go with hindsight, but I would have liked to see Scully more confident / comfortable as the new head of the X-Files and Doggett less resistant to the phenomena that the office investigated.