The X-Files #202: Saturn Dreaming of Mercury

"Parenting's tough work."
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: Jordan is drawn to a boy whose father appears to be demonic.

REVIEW: Though it doesn't give up answers easily, this episode's supernatural mystery atmosphere keeps the viewer entranced all the way through. It's all so weird, and the only explanation at the end is that the Devil did it. This is arguably the first Jordan-centric episode, and Brittany Tiplady accounts herself pretty well. I wish we'd had more time to see her grow up on the series. Jordan really is her father's daughter. Frank may call it her "spy phase", but she's just like him. An observer. A still and silent watcher with some kind of truesight. She disobeys orders, gets into trouble, and then won't tell her father exactly what she's experienced, and what she does tell him, he doesn't believe. Sound familiar? Through this same episode, Frank pulls the same thing on Emma, and at the end, she even calls him on it. She feels her talents are wasted playing babysitter to Jordan.

Thing is, Jordan's sight was deceived. She saw the new kid in school's parents as evil (the Buffy demon faces again), but - and the fact her doctor also appeared as evil to her should have been a clue - the real evil resided in the kid, Lucas, himself. One last vision at the end reveals Lucas to be Lucy Butler (similar name) in disguise, and so we must surmise that she bounced Jordan's powers off to her adopted parents. Some of what Jordan saw was true - the cool reverse explosion of the house, the final shot of this "Devil" driving off, the sense that people were placed in danger by this evil - but none of that explained why Lucas accused her of biting him, or just who was in the basement stabbing people in her stead. Lucy Butler did threaten to go after Jordan the last time we saw her, and this was apparently part of that manipulation. It's kind of too bad that this is the last we see of Frank's nemesis, because it doesn't really bring us closure, but in the greater scheme of things, Lucy's modus operandi of kidnapping children - parents die and their kids are placed... where? - is consistent.

That's not to say everything is explained at the end. The stuff with the glass eyes. The weird computer virus. Frank's nightmare where half his face is torn off by a monster in an impossibly large basement complex filled with skulls. The shape in the furnace (Lucas?). The odd telemarketing distraction (Lucy?). And most of all, the ghost of Simon who pushes Jordan to investigate these situations and sends her into danger. The unborn child who died in Phoenix was this Simon? Or was he the form of Lucas? The episode's a bit muddled on this point, and it stands as one of its less intelligible mysteries. Still, that mysterious tone, in a world perceived by an intense and empathic 8-year-old girl, makes it work.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - Nice to see Jordan used so well, and the atmosphere is quite strong. It's just too bad Lucy Butler couldn't get a better send-off.



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