The X-Files #243: Per Manum

"I only know what you tell me."
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: Scully gets a pregnancy scare when other past abductees start delivering alien babies and dying.

REVIEW: Duchovny guest-stars again (Mulder in flashbacks), and we discover something important about Mulder and Scully's relationship, and this seems an important part of the hybrid alien mytharc... but it doesn't make any damn sense!!! Frustrating! There's a lot of emotion, what it says about the original duo is actually quite sweet, and the paranoia is cranked up to eleven. Why couldn't it have been a better episode? Thing is, it FEELS like it is, but the more you think about it, the more it falls apart. (Plus, those nasty musical stings that have been overplaying the suspense lately.)

I do like the idea that Scully asked Mulder to be a sperm donor when it looked like there was a procedure to get her pregnant post-cancer/barrenness. Though it's one of the most intimate things two people can do, it's still done within the platonic confines of their friendship, and the actors play the unusual situation well. But here's the thing. The procedure "didn't take", and so Scully's pregnancy remains a mystery and must, like the other women in the episode, have been caused by Conspiracy doctors later. So the whole subplot about Mulder donating sperm, something not at all hinted at in Season 7 (or before), is pointless. It's still not supposed to be Mulder's baby! But the production can't win here, because if the subplot HAD explained Scully's pregnancy, it would have felt much like the revelations from The Gift, as a strange justification for last season's cliffhanger (or in that case, the season opener) revelations, as opposed to a pay-off.

As for the Conspiracy surrounding the hybrid babies, it's an effective plot engine. Scully is presented with women whose experience mirrors her own - abductees who have been given cancer, been cured, become barren, been impregnated - and if she doesn't want to end up LIKE those women (dead or have her baby switched), she has to find a doctor she can trust. But it seems that all the doctors everywhere are part of the Conspiracy! It's a little hard to take, even if a CIA spook is behind it all. As the audience, we know more than Scully, Doggett or Skinner. We see her fertility doctor examine the first woman's alien fetus. Doggett at the end says two things that are completely contradictory, in fact. Either Scully let her imagination get the better of her and she exaggerated the whole experience (which is possible from the onscreen evidence EXCEPT that we do see alien babies), or his CIA friend (Adam Baldwin in a new recurring role) saved her life. Both can't be true, and Doggett should know that. And what exactly is preventing Scully from getting another ultrasound, or even performing one on herself since she's a medical doctor? It's inside her, it can't just be left as a mystery! Dumb! Don't get me started with the birth defect clinic that has an illuminated wall of countless women's stillborn babies! What?!

REWATCHABILITY: Medium but feels like Medium-High
- Things of import are revealed, but the characters have all left their brains at the door, and the retcon coasts on Duchovny's welcome appearance, hiding its pointlessness.



Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zine