“Dreamland” is the fourth episode of the sixth season of The X-Files . It first aired on the Fox network on November 29, 1998. The episode was written by Vince Gilligan , John Shiban and Frank Spotnitz , and was directed by .
Dreamland is a ” Monster-of-the-week ” story, independent of the series’ mythology arc. It is also the first non-mythology story to be split over two installments, with the events concluding in the next episode, Dreamland II .
Synopsis [ ]
On a tip, Mulder and Scully visit the infamous Area 51 where a strange event swaps Mulder’s personality with that of Morris Fletcher, a shadowy government agent.
Summary [ ]
On Highway 375 in rural Nevada at 11:17 PM, Mulder and Scully approach their destination, Area 51. Mulder received a tip from a source who actually works in Area 51 though Scully questions the likelihood of it and wonders if they shouldn’t pursue the normal lives everyone else leads.
As they drive on the highway, they are surrounded by jeeps loaded with soldiers and a smoking man in a black suit, Morris Fletcher. They show the man their IDs to the man and Scully flippantly tells him they are there to see flying saucers.
“Flying saucers. I got a top secret for you: There’s no such thing as flying saucers.”
Unfortunately for the luckless Morris Fletcher, there is a rumbling noise as one appears and passes overhead. The bright light from the object passes over them as it flies past. Mulder suddenly finds himself in Fletcher’s place and Fletcher is now Mulder. No one, besides the two men, is aware that they have switched bodies as Fletcher and Scully depart under the gaze of the soldiers.
Mulder calls after the departing Scully and Fletcher and the soldiers ask if they should open fire. Mulder stops them and orders them to return to base. He enters the jeep awaiting him and finds two other “Men in Black,” Howard Grodin and Jeff Smoodge. Grodin is confused as to why Fletcher let them go while Smoodge figures he just knew they couldn’t disappear two FBI agents. Smoodge assumes they can get the agents’ superiors to reign them in; Mulder agrees, eager to pretend to be Fletcher. The Men in Black return to Area 51 and Mulder enters Fletcher’s office to find an array of pictures of Fletcher with various important world leaders like Saddam Hussein, the Reagans, & others.
He tries to call Scully who is arriving at a gas station with an oddly acting Mulder. Fletcher ignores the phone and asks Scully to pick him up a pack of cigarettes.
Jeff Smoodge tells Mulder that someone called the FBI from the phone in General Wegman’s office, suggesting an arrogant leak who dared use their boss’s phone. After an angry phone call from Joanne Fletcher, Mulder is returned “home” by Smoodge. He decides to sleep downstairs in an easy chair and watch porn.
Pilot in the rock.
Wegman and Grodin visit the crash site.
Elsewhere, General Wegman and Grodin survey the wreckage of the alien craft that two men had been piloting. They find one man phased into a rock but still alive. Another speaks in an unknown language.
Deputy Director Alvin Kersh calls Fletcher and Scully into his office to reproach them for their intrusion onto a military base. Fletcher apologizes to Kersh and says it will never happen again while a stunned Scully watches him. A baffled Scully questions him about his willingness to turn over a source to Kersh, Fletcher excuses himself for a moment to hit on Kersh’s assistant, and when he returns to Scully who accuses him of acting bizarre, he says merely:
Morris Fletcher (as Mulder ) flirts with Kersh’s assistant.
He pats her on the butt as he passes by.
Mulder is awakened by his “wife” Joanne as he mumbles Scully. Joanne yells at him about who Scully is, what if the kids had come down first and seen what their father was watching, and a few other grievances. As Mulder poorly maneuvers through Fletcher’s family life in comedic fashion, he eventually gets his car keys but his wife reminds him to change his suit before going into work. Mulder plays with his reflection until his irritated wife shows up with the phone. Smoodge needs him to come in fast given the serious situation.
General Wegman is introduced to Captain Robert McDonough and Mrs. Lana Chee. While McDonough rocks back and forth praying in Hopi, Lana Chee, the 75 year old Hopi woman, salutes the general and reports as to what happened to the ship.
“No warning lights came up on the panel. All systems checked out in
Lana Chee (McDonough) salutes General Wegman.
pre-flight. She just wasn’t in the mood to fly, sir.”
Mulder calls Scully while Fletcher plays a golf game on his computer. She clearly doesn’t believe the man calling is Mulder and has Fletcher pick up and listen in on the conversation. He asks to be picked up ASAP. Fletcher decides they should immediately report this incident.
Mulder buys sunflower seeds from an attendant at a gas station and leaves. The man watches a tremor shake the place as things start falling off the shelves and all the glass shatters.
Three jeeps approach Mulder as he is driving away from the gas station. The last jeep stops and Grodin and Smoodge tell him to turn around and follow them. Returning to the gas station, Mulder finds it in ruins. The military sets up a perimeter and the other Men in Black are confused as Mulder rushes into the place looking for the attendant. They find him phased into the floor and Mulder demands that they help the man. The others disagree and believe they should leave before whatever phenomenon happened repeats or returns. The soldier cuts the conversation short by executing the attendant. They leave and torch the place. Smoodge reminds Mulder that there was nothing they could have done.
Scully goes to Mulder’s apartment to find Kersh’s assistant just leaving. Scully tells Fletcher that they traced the phone call to a pay phone near Groom Lake (Area 51) and she suspects it is Mulder’s source though unsure why they would try and impersonate Mulder. Fletcher is indifferent to this news and Scully yells at him. His behavior is far too strange and his lack of concern for the X-Files is completely out of character.
Mulder (as Morris Fletcher) arrested by a trap set up by Scully & Fletcher.
he is dragged away, kicking and screaming, he yells at Fletcher and tries to convince Scully.
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Ronald “Ronnie” Lavelle Strickland was a vampire who was almost the cause of a $446 million lawsuit against the FBI , with Special Agents Mulder and Scully as co-defendants, when Mulder staked him through the heart.
Ronnie Strickland was living in Chaney, Texas and working as a pizza delivery boy, when Mulder and Scully were brought in to investigate an apparent vampire killing. In an unusual twist on the usual vampire legends, Ronnie was a vampire who had watched “one too many Bela Lugosi movies.” He had sharpened his canines to leave the trademark two puncture holes in his victims’ necks and had to drug his victims by putting chloral hydrate in their pizzas. Ronnie drugged Mulder but was delayed in drinking his blood when Mulder threw his sunflower seeds at him. Since the legend of vampires includes their obsessive-compulsive nature, Strickland was compelled to pick them all up. While this was happening, Scully was carrying out the autopsy of another victim and realized, from the stomach contents, that the drugs were in the pizza. She arrived in time to take several shots at Strickland but they had no effect. She checked on Mulder and believed him to be incapacitated and ran after Strickland. Mulder, however, had recovered and had taken a sharp piece of wood with him, beating Scully to Ronnie, he stabbed him in the heart. The two agents were later sent back to Chaney after the coroner was attacked and Ronnie Strickland went missing from a morgue. The agents returned to Chaney and were met again by Sheriff Lucius Hartwell. Mulder left Scully to stake out the cemetery with Sheriff Hartwell, while he went to arrest Ronnie. However, it turned out that all the locals at the RV park were vampires, including Sheriff Hartwell. They drugged Mulder and Scully, and left the RV park. (TXF: “Bad Blood”)
Apocrypha [ ]
Ronnie Strickland in The X-Files/TMNT: Conspiracy.
Ronnie Strickland, as well as the rest of the Chaney vampires, have a guest appearance in the IDW Publishing crossover title The X-Files/Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Conspiracy #3 (2014), where they have taken residence in a small Northampton town, which so happens to be close to the farm where the titular Turtles are staying with their human friends April O’Neil and Casey Jones. Once more working for a pizzeria, Ronnie cannot resist his urges to feast on April and Casey’s blood when they come visiting his place, and only the timely appearance of the Turtles and The Lone Gunmen – who have been looking for the Turtles – prevents Ronnie from killing the two victims, although the other vampires quickly show up as well to protect him. After Byers distracts them by scattering chilli flakes, the vampires cut their losses and evacuate the town, taking Ronnie with them.