With David Duchovny mostly out of the picture, season 8 proved to be a significant challenge. For the most part, it was a difficult adjustment trying to bring Doggett in as some sort of replacement for Mulder (though, really, Doggett is a skeptic — so, he’s replacing what Scully used to be). Tough transition, but still with some good material here.
8abx01: Within (II)
Special Agent John Doggett is appointed by Deputy Director Kersh to head-up the task force searching for Mulder. He and Scully get off on the wrong foot, which culminates in an awesome sci-fi soap opera drink in the face for Doggett. We see some tender moments from Scully as she longs for Mulder (who is probably the father of her child…yeah…she’s preggers now). The whole thing winds up in rural Arizona.
8abx02: Without (III)
Doggett watches Mulder plummet to his death. Except that he apparently got up after the fall and ran away. Scully, convinced that the alien bounty hunter is among Doggett’s task force, attempts to protect Gibson Praise, in hopes of finding Mulder.
I really wanted to like Doggett and Reyes. Honestly, in a different universe (one not populated by Mulder and Scully), that might have been possible. In “Empedocles”, Reyes brings Mulder in on a case that she believes may have something to do with Doggett’s son’s disappearance — a case she worked many years ago.
8abx20: Essence (I) & 8abx21: Existence (II)
I find it difficult to separate these two episodes, as the first is purely setup for the second. Most of the action revolves around safeguarding Scully’s baby (who is finally delivered at the end). A lot of major character plots are tied up, which is nice to see for a season finale. All-in-all, it’s good enough I think.