The X-Files #199: Antipas

"He wants me like all men do."
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: Lucy Butler returns to steal a child from a high profile couple.

REVIEW: Lucy Butler, the only character who can be called an archvillain in Millennium, and possibly the Devil him/herself (why didn't I note the Lucy/Lucifer thing before?), IS back, and her plans are just demented. The baby she is said to have killed in previous stories is alive, having been switched, cuckoo-like, and placed in the care of a would-be governor. The child is apparently remedial in every way, and her worth to Lucy's cause unknown, but it could all have been a trick to make sure they sought her help as nanny. Once ensconced, she goes right to work seducing the creepy little girl, attacking the parents marriage, and eventually doing away with them in brutal fashion. At the same time, she's inviting Frank to come and get her by leaving a trail of bodies with the encoded word "Antipas" at the posed crime scenes. And once he's in her sphere of influence, she's having sex with him in a dream that may well have happened, recalling another demonic booty call in The X-Files' Terms of Endearment. This to better accuse him of rape, but if her claims are true, to make herself pregnant - one more devil spawn? It's completely crazy, and even at this moment, I'm not sure how Frank's career can survive it. Hitting her with a car seems more damning than anything. Next she's coming for Jordan, so watch out.

And to hell with ambiguity, she has overt shape-shifting powers now. Her male form is seen several times, she impersonates Frank himself, and she turns into various animal shapes, once on camera! Wild dogs are never too convincing on TV, usually lovable pets with growls added in post. Same here. The snake is much better, and the shot of it digesting a little girl is particularly memorable and shocking. Unlike overt transformations, this seems to have a more metaphorical function, an absorption of the child into Lucy's thrall, or something. She never becomes a goose, but the use of geese, another animal, is very effective in the mother's murder. Lucy's slimy lawyer might as well be a demon himself with the way he oozes on screen with sugar-coated racial slurs. Makes you itch all over. The episode also pushes the limits in terms of sex, with sodomy discussed in all but name in Emma's briefing, and Lucy telling Frank he came... to see her, when the rape and pregnancy hangs over him. It's all got me awaiting the rematch with baited breath.

REWATCHABILITY: High - A great villain toys with our hero in some impressive ways. I'm not sure I can get behind Emma seeing a shapeshifter do its thing like that, but it's a small blemish in an otherwise very effective horror piece.


Anonymous said...

So what do you make of Lucy being a "Butler"? Is it that she used to be on God's payroll before she rebelled, or that she offers to serve men in exchange for their souls, or something else?

Siskoid said...

Funny you should ask, because that was something I was actually thinking about this morning while walking to work... I haven't come up with any answers, and there might not be one more elaborate than "it sounds good". But I like your theories.

Servant of the Devil (or of Evil) is probably truer than her being Satan incarnate.

Anonymous said...

I think that makes a great deal of sense.

Now analyze "Frank Black". And after that, "Brittany Tiplady".


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