Closure (The X-Files)

Closure (The X-Files)
The X-Files episode
Closure TXF.jpg
Samantha Mulder and Jeffrey Spender's handprint at April Air Force Base
Episode no. Season 7
Episode 11
Directed by Kim Manners
Written by Frank Spotnitz
Chris Carter
Production code 7ABX11
Original air date February 13, 2000 (Fox)
Guest stars
Episode chronology
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"Closure" is the 150th episode and the eleventh episode of the seventh season of the science fiction television series The X-Files. The episode first aired in the United States and Canada on February 3, 2000 on the Fox Network, and subsequently aired in the United Kingdom. It was written by executive producers Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz, and directed by Kim Manners. The episode is the end of a two-parter and continues from the episode "Sein und Zeit".

"Closure" was a story milestone for the series, giving the final revelation of what really happened to Fox Mulder's sister, Samantha. When Mulder is forced to accept that his mother’s death was by her own hand, he is led by a man whose son disappeared years earlier to another truth - that his sister may be among the souls taken by ‘walk-ins’, saving the souls of children doomed to live unhappy lives. Together, they embark on a journey that will reveal to Mulder the truth about his sister’s disappearance. The episode earned a high Nielsen household and syndication rating when compared to other episodes of the seventh season, but received mixed reactions from fans and critics alike.


Plot summary

Agents Mulder and Scully aid the Sacramento Police in the investigation of a brutal murder committed by Scruloff, the owner of the Santa Village. As the remains of more children are discovered, he admits killing twenty-four children, but denies murdering Amber. Mulder is approached by psychic Harold Piller, who tells Mulder that he has helped law enforcement across the world, and has proved in various cases that children had been taken by "walk-ins". Piller believes that walk-ins save children who suffer terrible fates.

Scully becomes worried about Piller's influence over Mulder. The agents return to Washington D.C., where Mulder keeps searching for evidence in the case. Meanwhile, Piller gets another vision of Samantha Mulder, leading Mulder to April Air Force Base. Scully finds evidence that Samantha's disappearance is linked to the Cigarette Smoking Man; when she returns to her apartment, she finds him waiting for her. He tells her that he had called off the search for Mulder's sister when she vanished because he knew she was dead.

When Mulder returns to April Air Force Base, he uncovers proof that Samantha lived with the Cigarette Smoking Man along with his son, Jeffrey Spender, and that she was forced to undergo painful tests. Scully finds a 1979 police report of a girl matching Samantha's description, and learns that she was taken to a hospital emergency room. She and Mulder find the nurse who treated her, and the nurse describes how Samantha disappeared the same way as Amber - without a trace. Mulder later walks through the forest and receives a vision of Samantha along with the spirits of other children. Upon telling Scully and Pillar (who reacts badly upon hearing that his son is dead) of his vision, Mulder accepts that his sister is dead and in a better place. When Scully comforts Mulder and asks if he is alright, he responds with a choked "I'm fine. I'm free."


The X-Files crew had built two permanent stages, when shooting season seven of the show. The stages were five and six at 20th Century Fox, and they used stage eight as their "swing set". The first scene was shot in Griffith Park, above the playground. The first scene with the Walk-ins rising up from their grave was "tricky," according to director Kim Manners. The children wouldn't collaborate if the crew told them to lay themselves in graves, so instead the crew called the holes in the ground "forts."[1]

The scene at April Air Force Base was shot in San Bernardino, California at a closed airfield, the former Norton Air Force Base. On the airbase was a large abandoned house complex built and used by the United States military. The air force base was renamed April Air Force Base because the producers could not use the name March Air Force Base. One of the shots in the April Air Force Base was filmed at a sound stage in Los Angeles. The scene at the restaurant was shot in a location on Sepulveda Boulevard, at a hotel that had been standing there for 30 to 40 years.[1]

"My Weakness", a song by Moby from his album, Play, is used in this episode, during the first scene (in which the FBI discover the mass grave) and near the end (when Mulder encounters his sister's spirit). Carter never told the series' resident composer Mark Snow about the decision to use someone else's music, although Snow has since said that his reaction to the use of the song was more positive than negative and that the song was a "perfect" fit for the scenes in which it can be heard.[2]

The episode's tagline was changed from the usual "The Truth is Out There" to "Believe to Understand".


The episode earned a Nielsen household rating of 9.1, with a 13 share. It was viewed by 9,173,000 households and gathered a total of 15,360,000 viewers in the United States.[3] The episode debuted in the United States and Canada on Sunday, February 13, 2000 at the Fox Network. The episodes debuted the same time and day in Canada on the Global Television Network.[4] In the United Kingdom, the episode gathered 680,000 viewers and was the eighth most watched episode that week, in front of Angel and The Simpsons.[5] On May 28, 2000 the episode debuted in the United Kingdom and Ireland on Sunday. Three days later, on May 31, 2000, it made its first appearance on Australian television.[4]


External links

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