The Alien Bounty Hunter (abbreviated as ABH) is a fictional character in the science fiction FOX TV series, The X-Files. He was initially listed as The Pilot in the credits and is portrayed by actor Brian Thompson.
The Alien Bounty Hunter is what its name describes: an alien bounty hunter. There is, in fact, more than one ABH, and their individual names, if existent, are never given. The ABHs were tasked by the Colonists with tracking down and eliminating any threats by other aliens (e.g. alien rebels) that threaten the Colonists' plans to invade Earth. In this way, their role is analogous to the role the MIB served for The Syndicate. In fact, the Syndicate would regularly employ the bounty hunters when traditional means proved ineffective. The Syndicate would refer to them as "our friends". This, however, was the last resort of the Syndicate - utilizing the bounty hunters meant increasing their vulnerability and therefore increasing the possibility that the Colonists would discover that they were working on a vaccine to the Black Oil. The ABHs helped to police the Colonists' plans, although their very identification as "bounty hunters" (who undertake assignments for pay) implied that they were merely hired to pursue Colonist goals and had no vested interest in such activities beyond loyalty to their employers, suggesting that they might represent an entirely separate alien race.
The bounty hunters were able to shapeshift to any desired appearance, making them very difficult to identify. Most often they took the form of an unknown Russian fighter pilot, played by Brian Thompson. However, neither of the two Bounty Hunters seen in the Christmas Carol/Emily two-parter took this form.
The bounty hunters had green blood which contained a retrovirus that was lethal to humans. The alien blood could burn through most surfaces like an acid, and would kill a normal human if exposed for too long to its noxious fumes. The alien blood would cause a normal human's blood to coagulate until becoming like jelly, but its effects could be neutralized by extreme cold. They could also only be killed by piercing a small area at the base of the neck. The bounty hunters carried a kind of alien stiletto-like weapon to accomplish this task. Once dead, they would rapidly dissolve into a pool of their severely acidic blood, which would eventually evaporate.
The ABH is noted to have saved the life of Mulder's mother in the season 4 episode: "Herrenvolk."
Function in The X-Files plotEdit
It is unknown when the bounty hunters took on their default human form played by Brian Thompson, though some of the alien rebels took on this form also.
In the episode "The Red and The Black", the Bounty Hunter was dispatched by The Syndicate to eliminate a captured Alien Rebel but before he could complete the job both Fox Mulder and another Rebel stepped in. A flash of light came just as Mulder fired his gun and when asked moments later what happened by Scully, Mulder replied he didn't know. It would have appeared the particular Bounty Hunter was destroyed since when military men became involved the Rebels were gone as was he.
It was not confirmed that there were multiple bounty hunters until the season 8 episode "Without", when a large group of them is shown standing together inside an alien spacecraft. They were not seen or spoken of again following this episode, only appearing in archived footage of the series finale "The Truth". The reason they were no longer utilized is most likely because The Colonists no longer required them to enforce their plans for invasion; once the Bounty Hunters returned those they abducted, they were quickly turned into Super Soldiers. As such with the Soldiers infiltrating the FBI, they were not likely to bring attention to themselves as the Syndicate often did with mishaps; that led to the Bounty Hunters no longer being needed to clean up messes.
It is also possible that because the Alien Rebels were not seen after Season Six, there were no longer any threats to the Colonist's plans for invasion that required the Bounty Hunter's services; thus why they weren't used for the remainder of the show's final two seasons.
Given that they all seem to use the same human disguise as a default, it is unknown if the bounty hunter who appeared from seasons 2-8 was the same individual hunter, or was multiple hunters. It is possible that it was the same bounty hunter and he was the first bounty hunter to use the human form of actor Brian Thompson. and other bounty hunters began to use the form as their default human form.