Writer: Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon
Director: Daniel Sackheim
Original broadcast: October 1st 1993
Australian broadcast: March 3rd 1994
As Section Chief Blevins expresses his concern with the direction of the X-Files department, Mulder becomes obsessed with solving a case that closely parallels an encounter he experienced as a child …the abduction of his kid sister, Samantha.
This episode probably wont ever make any of my top 10 lists, but its a good one, even if it feels kind of disjointed at times. I like it because its really character driven. We get more insight into Mulder and just how focused (read: obsessed) he can become on a case that reminds him of his sister. Also its quite a gender reversal, where typically a female character will be the one showing empathy and a connection in such a way.
The full depth of what Scully has got assigned to with The X-Files is more in play here here too. She’s on notice from Blevins and is trying to mediate between him and Mulder. She also comes to understand just how tortured Mulder is over his sister and how it may or may not cloud his judgement on a case.
The plot delves into alien abduction again, though it doesn’t really fit anywhere or add anything to the shows future mythology. The plot about the little boy Kevin (who is extremely creepy) being a conduit feels kind of unexplained or unfinished and not in the shows usual way. That being said though, the sisters face that Kevin ‘draws’ in the binary code is really awesome.
I love, love, love that a huge part of it is set outside in the woods. Its definitely the thing that makes The X-Files feel like The X-Files, as any fan would know.
Side note: The attitude of the sheriff is really shitty. Its basically “Ruby (the missing girl) is a skank. She’s run off before because she’s a skank. She’ll come back like skanks do.” and sadly, this is so often happens in real life when a woman is perceived as promiscuous.
BLEVINS: In your opinion, has Agent Mulder’s personal agenda clouded his professional judgement?
SCULLY: In my opinion, no.
BLEVINS: But you can see, how it might appear that way. As you know, Agent Mulder’s pre-occupation with fringe matters has been a big source of friction in the bureau, this is another case in point. I’m gonna disallow the 302.
SCULLY: With respect sir, at least let me talk with him, and make a recommendation.
I love some defensive!Scully. At this stage she has no reason not to report on what a whack-a-doodle Mulder is but it shows how much she already respects him.
DARLENE MORRIS: You know, I’ve told this story so many times now, oh to the newspapers and the police. And everytime I tell it, people get this, look in their eye, just like the look that you’ve got right now.
Scully, your disbelieving face is showing! I love that this highlights how difficult it must be for Scully going on cases where she believes nothing and can barely add a scientific angle to make some logic out of whats happened. She can try to be empathetic but she’s left with ‘that look’ on her face.
MULDER: You shouldn’t have told them. They have no jurisdiction.
SCULLY: Mulder, they’re NSA.
When the NSA get involved over the binary code Kevin drew, Scully tells them all the details on their case. Apparently the boy drew up a defense satellite transmission and is a threat to national security. This isn’t actually an important or interesting moment, but I always laugh in these early stages when Scully follows the law so perfectly. Oh Scully, you wont always be such a goody-goody. (I kid. I love her.)
SCULLY: Mulder stop. Stop running after your sister. This won’t bring her back.
MULDER: Come with me or don’t come with me but until they find a body, I’m not giving up on that girl.
Oh Mulder. Oh Scully.
MULDER: You know when I was a kid, I had this ritual. I closed my eyes before I walked into my room, cause I thought that one day when I opened them my sister would be there. Just lying in bed, like nothing ever happened. You know I’m still walking into that room, everyday of my life.
The end scene where Mulder is crying in a chapel with a picture of his sister is pretty heartbreaking and not the last time we’ll go through it with him either. I love how poignant it is cut with the voice over from his hypnosis tape that Scully is listening to.
May or may not have been aliens/bigfoot sightings: Mulder: 0 | Scully: 0