The introduction of Alex Krycek in Sleepless

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Title: The introduction of Alex Krycek in "Sleepless"
Creator: LoneThinker
Date(s): late 1990s
Medium: online
Fandom: X-Files
External Links: [1], Archived version
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The introduction of Alex Krycek in "Sleepless" is an essay by LoneThinker.

It is one of many essays at The Cave's X-Files Commentary Archives.


As this episode began, I watched this new agent Alex Krycek introducing himself to Mulder and wondered what background had led up to this moment. How long had he been with the Consortium? How long had he been in training for this assignment, anticipating being paired with Mulder? What exactly had they told him? How much of what he would discover about Mulder through working this case came as a surprise to him?

For what it's worth, it occurred to me that perhaps Alex had been in training for this assignment (after all, Scully had failed to live up to the Consortium's expectations as a suitable planted partner for Mulder), but that before he was quite finished with this preparation, the case of Dr. Grissom's mysterious death hit the news and the Consortium, fearing Mulder might discover (and perhaps publicize) their experimentation on the soldiers, rushed Krycek into position early to monitor Mulder's progress, as well as to steal back any records Mulder might come across during the investigation (records the Consortium wants to remain secret.)

Obviously, we have no idea whether 1013 gave any thought to these pre-episode circumstances or not, but to me this theory would explain some of Krycek's nervousness (he's been briefed about Mulder, but hasn't had quite as much time to study the man as he would have liked.) This might also explain why K seems not to anticipate Mulder's behavior, like the ditching or the fact that Mulder seems determined at the outset to work the case without the benefit of Krycek's assistance.
Is he green or not? He certainly seems green at first glance--the nervousness as he waits to introduce himself and his reaction to the body Scully is dissecting. I like Camille Bacon-Smith's* possible rationale for Green!Krycek's joining the Consortium ("because he was the good guy and Mulder might be the enemy.") It would make perfect sense.

But I'm also compelled by Spica's* observations about how Krycek instinctively took over at the scene where the two policemen shot each other. And looking ahead to the Duane Barry/Ascension arc, K's actions there don't seem quite like those of a newbie, either. In spite of the nervous hand-across-the-hair afterward, he bops the tram operator on the head without hesitation, and whatever he does to Duane Barry in the mountaintop lodge, he does quickly and efficiently.

Or, here's a totally different twist: a friend recently suggested a drastically different take on what happened to Duane Barry--that his sudden illness was precipitated by something in the cup of water the EMTs give him at the beginning of the scene in the room, before either Mulder or Krycek enter. I like this idea a lot. The Consortium knew where DB would likely go; I could see them sending EMTs (the group's own version, of course) to be ready for him... and to 'take care of' the problem he presented. Besides, who would suspect the responding EMTs in Barry's demise? It would be the perfect cover.

I do believe Krycek is new to the FBI. As far as that goes, he seems to get more than his share of drudge work. Not only does Mulder ditch him and try to act as if he's not on the case (and not an equal), there's the added insult of Agent Kazdin's giving him her order for coffee in *Duane Barry. It couldn't be very heartening.

As for Krycek's connection to the consortium, he definitely seems ruthless/ambitious as Spica notes, fresh at least to the upper echelon of the group and eager to impress his superiors with his perceptiveness and can-do attitude. He seems to expect that if he does a good job, he's going to be moving up the ladder quickly. If he only knew! This final scene also gives us our first glimpse of something Nick notes about his character in the video clip where he's doing the voiceover for the second XF video game, where he says that Krycek "tends to be cocky until the shit hits the fan", and he seemed to note this as a general trait rather than one specific to that particular (video game) situation. Certainly, at the end of Ascension, he's not at all prepared for CSM's "You have no rights, only orders to be carried out."