The X-Files #127: Emily

"Agent Mulder, help me out here. Does 'F.B.I.' stand for Federal Bureau of Imagination?"
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: Mulder tracks down how Scully's child was conceived.

REVIEW: The story of Scully's daughter may be filled with shocking twists, it nevertheless comes to a pretty predictable conclusion (not to say it isn't poignant). Emily simply does not survive as a character, and a child's funeral is sad no matter what she might have become or how she was engineered. Perhaps we should be heartened that Scully's ova is being used to create more such children. Perhaps not. The director may be throwing Madonna/Virgin birth symbolism at us, but Mulder is much more correct to call the "men" who are conducting these experiments, "medical rapists". It's not just the abductees either, but the old ladies who are carrying these babies to term while under sedation (yikes!!!). What makes the death of a child tolerable in this instance is that she was obviously not (completely) human, but an alien hybrid. Then her doctor and the previous episode's hitmen also turn out to have toxic blood and face-changing abilities. They're hybrids too. But why is Emily's health failing, why do they have be raised with normal humans, and why is she so "important" when they themselves have achieved biological stability? Here, I wanted more answers. Or at least sensible speculation.

It's Scully's story, but Mulder is finally brought in and proves very effective at investigating, threatening people with guns, and most importantly, understanding his partner. The early scene where he notices Scully gave her crucifix to Emily is subtle and pointed. And though he doesn't think adoption is a good idea, and says so, he does go to bat for Scully, joining her fight against the system, because he'll support any decision she makes. And it's possible it'll come back to bite him in the ass, but he also hides evidence from her, presumably to protect her. The hybrids may have cleaned up their mess, up to and including Emily's body, but he's still got that vial of green juice, right?

As for Scully, she's more or less trapped in the worried/grieving mother role, but Anderson as usual excels at that kind of deadened sadness, never tipping into melodrama despite the script's sometimes grandiose narration. The opening scene, in which she walks through a desert which will be revealed as the same dust or sand that's been left in Emily's casket to weigh it down, and turns INTO that sand, is a beautiful, lyrical image of what's happening inside her at the end of the episode, and rather ballsy considering the time it was made. Her family is mostly in the background this time, but the episode does make a point of having Bill and Tara's baby be born - life goes on - and of making Bill grumble at Mulder a couple times. One can only imagine what's going through all their minds, considering how many Emilies might be out there. They don't try to tell us and just let the images and actors show it.

THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE: If the aliens have hybrid bodies and clones, and can make more using human gametes, "colonization" is surely a possibility. But why was Emily dying and undergoing tests? Are hybrids actually dying in Earth's atmosphere and REQUIRE injections of the green stuff regularly? If so, why let these babies grow up in foster homes? Sleeper agents? Maybe. Or is Emily a new breed of hybrid that just didn't prove viable? One thing I found interesting was the discussion of her biology, which does include human blood. The green fluid seems to be in addition to it, in a separate circulatory system, one that begins (or ends) in that green pustule at the base of the neck, no doubt why you can only kill hybrids by stabbing them there and letting the noxious "green blood" ooze out. This separate system is no doubt responsible for their enhanced strength, regeneration, and metamorphic abilities, but what else?

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - Love the twists and shocks, and it's an emotional story for both leads, but it really needed some explanation of why Emily was SO important given what we already know. The frustration I felt keeps it from hitting a High.



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