The X-Files #158: In Arcadia Ego

"I love you." "I love you more."
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: Two female prison inmates break out to deliver what they believe is God's child.

REVIEW: The prison story tends to melodrama, but in the end manages to be both tragic and touching. And it's true that Millennium has seldom dealt with the female criminal mind, so that's a change of pace in and of itself. In Sonny, we have a woman prone to fits of rage, but she feels no need to hurt others (she bashes at the ground next to Frank, for example), not unless they are trying to hurt her loved ones. In this case, that's Janette, a young woman who doesn't know she was raped by a guard while unconscious, and believes she is having a "virgin birth". While they are dangerous, neither is a killer (at least, until these events unfold); they are, in fact, religious, and need to break out to make sure the baby goes to the right people. Tragedy has followed these women all their lives, and continues to do so, largely because they don't know as much as other characters do, and they endanger themselves and the baby through their own mistakes. Ultimately, Frank is the one sympathetic person in their world - we know how the concept of family drives him - but even his intervention isn't enough to save them, only their child. They follow each other into the afterlife, and their love, even more than the fulfillment of their quest, redeems them. Sonny dies on her knees, as if in prayer.

Unfortunately, the proceedings are skunked by the script's insistence that everyone BUT Frank and Watts be stupid and corrupt. The guards in that prison are only in it for the sexy inmates. Law enforcement guys all want to shoot first and ask questions later, going so far as to fire at civilians. They go in with guns blazing no matter what, then wonder why the Millennium Group isn't feeding them their leads. It's like they need for this women to die, pregnancy or no pregnancy, to make sure those low-life guards don't lose their jobs. We're used to obstructionist cops, but the trope is way overused here, and just makes Idaho look bad. And it's not just them. The clinic where Sonny and Janette get the baby checked out also makes mistakes like talking to the latter about the rape - how did the nurse even KNOW?! - creating a difficult situation for hostage Frank. The case is too easy for Millennium (really, it's not that hard to get the leads they do), so let's just throw every possible impediment at them, no matter how much character assassination we have to commit.

It's interesting, of course, that the baby DOES turn out to be a virgin birth (or at least, not a child of rape). We've seen this all season. Agents of both the Devil AND God are being sent to Earth. People important to the new order, currently children, are being protected by religious zealots and/or a supernatural force (Janette is saved from a bullet by a single metal badge). Were the architects of the Renaissance ALSO virgin births and miraculous survivors? Or have we been living through a millennium of evil without knowing it? I don't know my History of the Saints to know how many were born of each millennium. Maybe there's never been a good millennium. Anyway, if Janette's child has any chance, it'll be with a religious couple that was praying for its mothers. That's fine. I just wish they weren't sketched in as providers of platitudes in the epilogue.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - A sweet and tragic Thelma & Louise story is undermined by the script's inability to paint any other convincing characters.



Blog Archive


5 Things to Like (21) Activities (23) Advice (74) Alien Nation (34) Aliens Say the Darndest Things (8) Alpha Flight (25) Amalgam (53) Ambush Bug (46) Animal Man (17) anime (52) Aquaman (70) Archetypes (14) Archie Heroes (10) Arrowed (20) Asterix (9) Atom (30) Avengers (58) Awards (33) Babylon 5 (140) Batman (677) Battle Shovel (13) Battlestar Galactica (134) Black Canary (22) BnB 2-in1 (40) Books (60) Booster Gold (16) Buck Rogers (11) Buffy (6) Canada (70) Captain America (69) Captain Marvel (55) Cat (156) CCGs (50) Charlton (12) Circles of Hell (6) Class (11) Comics (3959) Comics Code Approved (12) Conan (15) Contest (13) Cooking (15) Crisis (77) Daredevil (33) Dating Kara Zor-El (5) Dating Lois Lane (23) Dating Lucy Lane (13) Dating Princess Diana (11) DCAU (404) Deadman (9) Dial H (128) Dice (10) Dinosaur Island (16) Dinosaurs (67) Director Profiles (9) Doctor Who (1676) Doom Patrol (22) Down the Rabbit Hole (7) Dr. Strange (17) Encyclopedia (28) Fantastic Four (56) Fashion Nightmares (19) Fiasco (14) Films Within Films (6) Flash (83) Flushpoint (86) Foldees (12) French (49) Friday Night Fights (57) Fun with Covers (56) FW Team-Up (37) Galleries (9) Game design (26) Gaming (111) Geekly roundup (762) Geeks Anonymous (47) Geekwear (13) Gimme That Star Trek (60) Godzilla (53) Golden Age (431) Grant Morrison (75) Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction (8) Green Arrow (50) Green Lantern (87) Hawkman (39) Hero Points Podcast (13) Holidays (241) House of Mystery (15) Hulk (44) Human Target (8) Improv (34) Inspiration (45) Intersect (5) Invasion Podcast (44) Iron Man (50) Jack Kirby (87) Jimmy Olsen (74) JLA (94) JSA (25) K9 the Series (30) Kirby Motivationals (18) Krypto (202) Kung Fu (98) Learning to Fly (11) Legion (129) Letters pages (6) Liveblog (12) Lonely Hearts Podcast (21) Lord of the Rings (18) Machine Man Motivationals (10) Man-Thing (6) Marquee (89) Masters of the Universe (9) Memes (39) Memorable Moments (35) Metal Men (5) Metamorpho (65) Millennium (72) Mini-Comics (5) Monday Morning Macking (7) Movies (457) Mr. Terrific (6) Music (73) Nelvana of the Northern Lights (8) Nightmare Fuel (21) Number Ones (59) Obituaries (41) oHOTmu OR NOT? (76) Old52 (11) One Panel (290) Outsiders (165) Panels from Sheena (5) Paper Dolls (7) Play (76) Podcast (488) Polls (5) Questionable Fridays (13) Radio (18) Rants (20) Reaganocomics (8) Recollected (11) Red Bee (26) Red Tornado (10) Reign (563) Retro-Comics (3) Reviews (52) Rom (116) RPGs (539) Sandman (21) Sapphire & Steel (37) Sarah Jane Adventures (70) Saturday Morning Cartoons (5) SBG for Girls (4) Seasons of DWAITAS (100) Secret Origins Podcast (8) Secret Wars (25) SF (30) Shut Up Star Boy (1) Silver Age (368) Siskoid as Editor (34) Siskoid's Mailbox (10) Space 1999 (51) Spectre (20) Spider-Man (100) Spring Cleaning (15) ST non-fiction (19) ST novels: DS9 (8) ST novels: S.C.E. (19) ST novels: The Shat (2) ST novels: TNG (9) ST novels: TOS (13) Star Trek (1711) Streaky (2) Suicide Squad (38) Supergirl (89) Superman (1060) Supershill (11) Swamp Thing (23) Tales from Earth-Prime (7) Team Horrible (4) Teen Titans (83) That Franchise I Never Talk About (53) The Orville (29) The Prisoner (5) The Thing (54) Then and Now (4) Theory (51) Thor (52) Thursdays of Two Worlds (43) Time Capsule (8) Timeslip (7) Tintin (23) Torchwood (62) Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms (5) Toys (65) Turnarounds (7) TV (193) V (6) Waking Life (1) Warehouse 13 (9) Websites (102) What If? (103) Who's This? (203) Whoniverse-B (11) Wikileaked (3) Wonder Woman (82) X-Files (246) X-Men (102) Zero Hour Strikes (26) Zine (5)