Thursday, October 15, 2015

The X-Files - S5:E7 "Emily"

[ S5:E6 "Christmas Carol" <<< Season 5 >>> S5:E8 "Kitsunegari" ]

Spoiler Warning: Another mythology episode. More huge spoilers. You've been warned again.

From the start, this episode proves to be a bit more interesting than the last one, opening with a metaphysical monologue that is fairly reminiscent of Mulder's in Colony (not an inappropriate reference, given the elements that turn up in this episode). On that note, Mulder appears - thankfully - to join in on the action in this episode. Things start up relatively quietly, with Mulder presenting evidence in Scully's petition to adopt Emily. He reveals that all of Scully's ova were extracted in the experiments performed on her during her abduction (which Scully is learning for the first time - the expressions on her face in this scene are excellent). Scully obviously wants to protect Emily, but Mulder sees her as a child that never should have been, created by government interests that aren't interested in letting somebody just come along and take their experiment away from them.

Another phantom call (sans Melissa's voice this time) leads them back to the children's center, where Emily is staying. She has a fever and a weird, green cyst on the back of her neck. When the doctors try to take a biopsy of it at the hospital, she begins to bleed toxic, green blood! Well, I guess now we know who (or at least what) her father was... Scully tries to get Emily's medical records from Dr. Calderon, but he won't release them, citing trade secrets (what with their experimental treatments and all). Mulder totally freaks out on him - and it's not that he doesn't deserve it, but wow, that's pretty unprofessional, Mulder. Shortly after, the doctor is killed (with one of those retractable ice picks) by not one, but two shapeshifting assassins. They never assume the form of the Alien Bounty Hunter, so it's not clear whether they're other bounty hunters, or just shape-shifting clones (like we saw in Talitha Cumi) on cleanup duty.

Meanwhile, Emily is dying, and it's not altogether clear whether the conspirators need her alive, or want her dead (although they seem to be leaning toward the latter outcome). Nothing Scully is able to do can heal her. It really puts a personal face on these hybridization experiments. I mean, back in The Erlenmeyer Flask, the renegade hybrid was the tight-lipped doctor's friend, but he was still a stranger to Mulder and Scully, and to the audience. It's one thing to talk about the government throwing innocent lives away for their mad science, but when one of those lives is Scully's own flesh and blood - a little girl she's quickly come to view as her daughter - the stakes are so much higher. In spite of the lukewarm subject of motherhood in the last episode, I think this was a good direction for the mythology to go in. And the introduction of the hybrid experiments (as well as Mulder's contributions) make this episode a lot more entertaining than the last one.

Speaking of the experiments, Mulder finds a few more small pieces to fit into the big puzzle we've been piecing together at least since Scully was abducted. He tracks down Emily's listed surrogate mother, which he had originally assumed to be a fake name, and finds a nursing home doubling as a secret maternity ward, where elderly women are given hormones, presumably so they can deliver these hybrid babies. Mulder examines one of the fetuses in a cooler, finds Scully's name on a list, and makes off with a vial of green goo (which, honestly, I don't know the significance of). All the other evidence gets cleaned up as usual by the end of the episode, and Emily succumbs to her inevitable fate. To her enduring credit, Scully ultimately decides to put the big picture ahead of her personal desires, and continue to fight the conspiracy instead of redirecting that attention toward raising a kid. But let me tell you, endings don't get any grimmer than Scully recovering her cross necklace from her own child's coffin...

Memorable quotes:

Scully: It begins where it ends - in nothingness. A nightmare born from deepest fears, coming to me unguarded, whispering images unlocked from time and distance. A soul unbound, touched by others but never held, on a course charted by some unseen hand. The journey ahead promising no more than my past reflected back upon me, until at last I reach the end. Facing a truth I can no longer deny. Alone, as ever.

Scully: I don't understand. Why create a false record?
Mulder: Because there are no true records.

Mulder: I'll be back.

Mulder: You know anything about pharmaceuticals?
Frohike: Medicinal or, uh...recreational?

Scully: Who are the men who would create a life whose only hope is to die?

No comments:

Post a Comment