The X-Files #270: Trust No 1

"One day, you'll ask me to speak of a truth - of the miracle of your birth. To explain what is unexplained. And if I falter or fail on this day, know there is an answer, my child, a sacred imperishable truth, but one you may never hope to find alone. Chance meeting your perfect other, your perfect opposite - your protector and endangerer. Chance embarking with this other on the greatest of journeys - a search for truths fugitive and imponderable. If one day this chance may befall you, my son, do not fail or falter to seize it. The truths are out there. And if one day you should behold a miracle, as I have in you, you will learn the truth is not found in science, or on some unseen plane, but by looking into your own heart. And in that moment you will be blessed - and stricken. For the truest truths, are what hold us together, or keep us painfully, desperately apart."
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: A shadowy figure who surveils our heroes' every move wants Scully to bring Mulder home.

REVIEW: A mytharc episode that only fakes Mulder's presence (or Duchovny's)? That's not that much of a problem. Mulder is present in his absence. Scully misses him so badly, and he's the MacGuffin of the episode, with heroes and villains all trying to get to him. Now, I'm not a very big fan of Scully and Mulder as a couple, even starcrossed as they are here, playing Eloise and Abelard via email. Maybe it's just that it's made Scully so damn sad! Even in lighter episodes this season, Scully's been tired and irritable... Well, she does have a newborn at home. But still. I do respect the change, however, and it allows for Scully's amazing opening speech to her miracle baby, a miracle not because he has powers or because she was barren, but because he's the result of a chance meeting of opposites. Totally deserved poetic visuals under it.

From there, the episode creates a paranoid atmosphere with shots from CCTV watching Scully, chance encounters with a bickering couple with a baby obviously trying to get close to her, and a shadowy villain who eventually takes insane precautions to talk to her and make her call Mulder. This villain is played by Terry O'Quinn who is always great, but getting a bit ubiquitous (this is his fourth role in the X-Files universe!). His destruction at the end is a bit of a waste, I must say. This super-soldier was apparently watching our agents for a long time, even more than we the audience have if he knew about a certain night's events, and he's nigh indestructible and hardly shows himself anyway... He would have made a good Season 9 stand-in for the Cigarette-Smoking Man. Alas. His death when he gets too close to red kryptonite (or whatever that ore is) is played a little too silly, but it does give us another clue as to baby William's true nature. I mean, if the super-soldiers have "metallic" DNA, there's no way that's what the baby (and the other couple's) is, right? It's too easy for Scully to get a DNA test to check. Either it's alien or has abilities unlocked in Mulder's DNA when he the alien message expanded his mind. My current theory anyway.

Definitely Scully's story, but Doggett is good as the voice of reason no one listens to, and so is Reyes even in a curtailed role. In addition to O'Quinn's intense performance, there are a number of guest actors pulled from The West Wing' extended cast, and I wish we'd gotten to see Kathryn Joosten as the prickly Agent Edie Boal again. She's hilarious. Instant chemistry with Doggett.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - A waste of a good villain, but a very cool paranoid thriller than manages to hit some artistic notes.



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