“I closed that case, the one four years ago.”
– Broyles

We know precious little about Agent Phillip Broyles. We don’t know much about his personal life or what he does in his free time. We don’t even know about his family, or if he even has a family, for that matter. But that’s about to change.

Broyles is usually all business, stern and severe. But he can also be soft, gentle, and caring, like when he consoled Olivia at the end of “Momentum Deferred” after she killed shapeshifter-Charlie. What we haven’t yet seen from Broyles is his playful side. We finally get to witness it at the beginning of “Earthling,” when he grins at a little boy who is mimicking him in a restaurant. However, that glimpse of Broyles’ playfulness is brief, as he is summoned to work on a case. It’s one that he had worked on four years ago but was never able to close, and his obsession with it is what put an end to his marriage.

That case involves a man named Timur who is trying to protect his brother, a Russian cosmonaut who was infected by a weird space parasite. Timur has uprooted himself and changed identities several times in order to help his comatose his brother. Just as Broyles is devoted to his job to the point of ruining his personal life, Timur is slavishly devoted to his brother.

Luckily, this time around, Broyles manages to close the case. He goes to visit his ex-wife and let her know that it’s over. Of course, he’s not expecting her to take him back. He knows she has since remarried and that she has a family now. But he needs closure, and he knows that she needs it too. Still, he can’t help but look wistful when he sees the life that he could have had. He may have achieved closure, but he still leads a sad life. Protecting the country from dangerous supernatural threats is a lonely job.

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