Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The X-Files - S7:E15 "En Ami"

[ S7:E14 "Theef" <<< Season 7 >>> S7:E16 "Chimera" ]

Spoiler Warning: This is a mythology episode, so there may be some spoilers in the following review.

Going into this episode knowing that it was a mythology episode, I couldn't help wondering - with the Syndicate dismantled (Two Fathers/One Son), and Mulder having found his sister (Sein und Zeit/Closure), where else could the mythology possibly go? I don't even know what story the season finale (originally intended to be the series finale) could tell, other than to depict the alien apocalypse (and what with the continuation into an eight and ninth season, I doubt that's going to happen). Nevertheless, this turned out to be a pleasant little episode, that has just enough mythology content, but wisely spends most of its time telling a standalone story - albeit one involving the Smoking Man. The episode was notably written by William B. Davis himself. And while I was concerned that his bias towards the character might make him out to be too sympathetic (he's just not convincing as a nice guy, after all the mean shit we've seen him pull), I was pleasantly surprised by the conclusion to this episode (one notes the ironic similarity between "en ami", French for "as a friend", and the English word "enemy"), which is a Scully/Smoking Man shippers' dream (you know you're out there).

It begins with a family of religious nutjobs refusing medical treatment, and thereby dooming their little boy to death. But, lo and behold, in the middle of the night, he is "visited" by what he predictably believes to be angels, that miraculously cure his cancer. Of course, it's only men - shadowy government operatives, wielding a technology we've seen in action before (the religious subtext involving Scully's spontaneous remission in Redux II is resurrected here, but kept tastefully restrained). The question remains, however - why cure this little boy? And it turns out that it's a ploy by the Smoking Man to gain Scully's trust in order to redeem himself before he dies (via complications from the surgery he underwent in Amor Fati), by passing on to her the government's secret cure for cancer. From Scully's perspective, it's a tantalizing - albeit dangerous - proposition, and you can't fault her for cautiously going along with it (in what seems to be an analog of Mulder's ride with the Smoking Man in Amor Fati). Mulder doesn't have a lot to do in this episode, but his parts do feature a humorous meeting between Skinner and the Lone Gunmen. It's really an unexpected gem of an episode.

A business card for a man without a name.

Memorable quotes:

Scully: What the hell are you doing?
Smoking Man: God's work, what else?

Smoking Man: In the end, a man finally looks at the sum of his life, to see what he'll leave behind. Most of what I've worked to build is in ruins. And now that the darkness descends, I find I have no real legacy.

Smoking Man: No sacrifice is purely altruistic. We give, expecting to receive.

Skinner: She says she's fine.
Mulder: She's in trouble.

Smoking Man: How do you take your coffee?
Scully: Unadulterated, thank you.

Byers: "Shadow project" is right.
Langly: Where this dude works, even the shadows have shadows.

Smoking Man: What we are being given - it's not the cure for cancer. It's the holiest of grails, Dana. It's the cure for all human disease.
Scully: Wow.
Smoking Man: It's from that final frontier. It's largely extraterrestrial.

(I like that they're still working in bits of classic alien folklore this late in the series).

No comments:

Post a Comment