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The X-Files Newbie Recap: “2Shy,” “The Walk,” & “Oubliette”

"It's not yet the finely detailed insanity you expect from me, it's just a theory"

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I’m taking a brief hiatus due to holidays, and I regret to leave things on the emotional gut-punch of “Oubliette”. Skinner, wherefore art thou? I need a hug.

2Shy

In our first episode, a killer with a severe lipids imbalance uses a viscous substance not unlike stomach acid to dissolve his victims’ fatty tissue. It’s gross and yet it’s not the vilest thing in this, as beloved Dana walks headfirst into the ugly wall of institutionalised sexism and has to bite her tongue.

The detective who embodies said sexism, Cross, but whom I shall refer to as Detective Asshole, got in touch with Mulder after the first body was found. They’re in Cleveland and a policeman has just found a woman, identified as Lauren Mackalvey, dead in her car. Her skin is all red as if she’s been burned, and there’s a thick substance coating her airways. In the opening scene, we saw her go parking with some dude she met online. He kissed her and left some weird gooey substance on her mouth so she couldn’t scream, then proceeded to feast on her tissue before fecking off sometime in the night. Unpleasant. It’s like that bit in Batman and Robin where Robin uses rubber lips to stave off Poison Ivy’s kiss of death except not quite as garish. I would apologise for this reference but it makes me think of young handsome Chris O’Donnell and I always liked young handsome Chris O’Donnell.

Mulder takes some notions. He informs Scully about a similar case in Mississippi where four women went missing with only one body being recovered. All of the victims in that case had answered personals in the newspaper so he resolves to find out if Lauren was using a lonely hearts service. In the meantime, Scully is dispatched to the coroner’s office to investigate the goo.

Chatting to Lauren’s roomie, Mulder discovers that she used online chat services and met the goo guy in a chatroom for “big and beautiful” types. The roomie seems slightly awed at the fact yerman may be a killer, as apparently he wrote long romantic letters to Lauren which for some reason the roommate printed out and kept for herself. She gives Mulder a few of them for reference.

Vintage chatrooms!

At the coroner’s office, Detective Asshole walks in to supervise the autopsy and seems stunned to find Scully preparing to carry it out. He says he’s “old-fashioned” in many respects and worries that the killer’s attitude towards women might compromise Scully’s judgement. When she raises her eyebrows, he says he’s “just being honest” and doesn’t think it’s wise to expose women to stuff like this. Fuck off, m8. If you only knew the things Dana’s seen at this stage, your puny mind would be blown to kingdom come. As it is, she somehow manages not to pulverise his head with a mallet (I would, while shouting “DO I STILL SEEM SENSITIVE TO YOU?” but then that’s the difference between Dana Scully and I) and goes about her work. However, when she goes to open the freezer unit where Lauren’s remains are being kept, she notices blood trickling down the front. Inside, Lauren’s body has decomposed entirely, leaving nothing but a skeleton in a pool of blood.

Scully calls Mulder to update him. When he returns, she says the only thing she can think of that might have caused the rapid decomposition is the goo, which is similar in make-up to stomach acid but much stronger. All of Lauren’s fatty tissue is missing, so she’s wondering if the goo caused it to separate from her body.

Meanwhile, the killer’s chatting to someone else online, a woman named Ellen. They make arrangements to meet but Ellen’s neighbour talks her out of it after seeing the FBI warning about a killer preying on women online. The killer doesn’t take kindly to being stood up and goes in search of a prostitute. He kills her in the same way he did Lauren but is interrupted by another prostitute stumbling across the scene, so there’s more of a body left for Scully to examine. When she and Mulder arrive the next day, she spots pieces of skin under the prostitute’s nails from where she clawed the killer’s hand. She takes these for forensic testing. Mulder informs Detective Asshole that the killer’s letters to Lauren contain quotes from obscure Italian texts. Only academics and professors would have access to such manuscripts so he proposes they run a search to find out if anyone in the area has the necessary credentials to get them.

Gross.

The skin samples can’t be matched to any DNA because they contain no oils or fatty tissues. Scully acknowledges this is unusual but says there could be a number of explanations. Mulder, however, jumps on one of his own. While noting that it’s “not yet” the “finely-detailed insanity” we’ve come to expect from him (I adore this man), he proposes that the killer is murdering out of hunger. He lacks certain tissues and harvests them from his victims to keep himself alive. Scully listens patiently with a wonderfully loving look on her face. The search for academics has turned up 38 potential suspects, so when Mulder’s completed his tale of ~skin-sucking vampires she goes to brief the cops about them. The academics, that is, not the vampires.

They divide up the names on the academics list and Scully, Detective Asshole, and other cops go to talk to them. The detective has the dubious honour of knocking at the murderer’s door. He notices a bandage on his hand and, remembering the skin found under the dead prostitute’s nails, puts two and two together. However, the killer is too quick for him. Detective never makes it back to base and is later found chilling in the bathtub along with the body of the apartment landlady.

The landlady had, tragically, asked the killer to read some of her poems. She noticed he received frequent packages from publishers in New York and presumed he was some kind of editor. When she came to bring a parcel with her poems in, she let herself in with the master key and discovered Cross’s body in the bathroom, only for the killer to walk in behind her. The landlady’s blind daughter comes looking for her later and recognises the scent of her mother’s perfume in the apartment, so she calls it in.

Mulder and Scully discover the apartment is rented by the hilariously-named Virgil Incanto, a translator of Italian literature. There are next to no records on him but they manage to get a composite sketch based on a neighbour’s description. Incanto had told the landlady’s daughter that he was going to New York, so they issue an advisory at the airport. Mulder doesn’t think he’s headed back to NYC (but I am! On my holidays). He suspects the key to finding him may be in the computer, seeing as it’s where he contacted all his victims. They bring it back to the computer lab at the local FBI field office and, although Incanto had deleted everything, the tech is able to restore the files through the power of floppy disks. Ah, floppys. Hearts in my eyes.

They contact the company which operates the chatroom where Incanto and Lauren met and manage to get a list of real names of users. Cross-referencing this with the names on Incanto’s computer, they compile a list of possible targets. A number of women on the list have already been reported missing. Of those remaining, Scully is able to contact all of them bar two – one of whom is Ellen.

Incanto happens to be at Ellen’s place. He shows up asking for forgiveness after abruptly dumping her earlier in the episode (when he saw the landlady in his apartment). Ellen makes them coffee and then pops into her room to send an email to her neighbour – the same one who was warning her about the FBI advisory earlier. In the meanwhile, Mulder and Scully have asked the chatroom to distribute the composite of Incanto to all its users, and it shows up in Ellen’s inbox right on time. Loading improbably quickly for 1995 dial-up connections, she recognises it’s Incanto immediately but unfortunately he sees himself on the computer and attacks her. Our heroes arrive and find Ellen wrapped up in a duvet with goo on her mouth. Scully stays with her while Mulder takes off after someone running down the street. Alack, it’s not Incanto – he’s still hiding in the bathroom and he attacks Scully when she comes to get something to help Ellen. He’s almost able to get the goo too her, but happily Ellen appears with Scully’s gun and shoots him. Me gusta mucho. Take the power back! This is a nice little reversal of the power dynamics throughout and I approve.

Scaly.

In the final scene, Mulder shows Incanto – whose face is going flaky from dryness – a list of about 40 missing women and asks him to identify which ones are his victims. He says they all are. Scully stares him down and says he’s doubly monstrous for feeding not just on his victims’ bodies but their minds, manipulating and misleading them in their loneliness. He then proclaims (in Italian) that the dead are no longer lonely. Vile bastard. Thusly the episode draws to a close.

So! Overall, not too bad, bit throwaway but as noted above I admire Scully’s calmness in the face of sexist hostility. She’s a lot more gracious about it than I’d be, though I’d equally admire her if she walloped yerman in the face. I think the nice little subversive twist of having Ellen ultimately take Incanto down makes up for this somewhat, and I suppose for all his assholery Cross probably didn’t deserve to end up stewing in the tub. I would have liked a little more insight into the killer’s background or how he came to have such bizarre powers – Scully joked that Mulder was describing a skin-sucking vampire earlier in the episode, so one wonders if he’s an ageless type who feeds on tissues to stay alive forever. Maybe this is how he’s so familiar with ancient Italian literature and also why the feds have no records on him. Feels very Anne Rice, you know? Anyhoo, let’s move on.

 

The Walk

In this one, an army veteran who lost all his limbs in the Gulf War takes revenge on his commanding officers. Some solid performances and plenty of suspense really help elevate this above the norm, and in its own way the episode manages to subtly call out the way some veterans are treated.

Mulder and Scully come down to a military base in Maryland to investigate a Lieutenant Colonel Stans, who’s attempted to kill himself on multiple occasions and keeps being found on the brink of death. When questioned by doctors, he says “he” won’t let him die, implying some apparition is preventing him from completing the act. This factoid catches Mulder’s eye and he attempts to get more info out of Stans, whose most recent attempt at suicide involved throwing himself into boiling water. He’s in pretty horrific condition and more or less held together by skin grafts and supportive head apparatuses. He says he doesn’t know who the apparition is, but it stands at attention and has military bearing. He wonders if it’s one of “Saddam’s boys” come back to haunt him. Scully writes “classic shellshock – PTSD” on a note and passes it to Mulder just as an army captain comes in and tells them they’ve been ordered to suspend the investigation.

The general at the base, Callahan, says the investigation is to be conducted through military channels and the FBI have no jurisdiction. Scully is beautifully stern in reply and demands that the general make himself available to see her and Mulder. They manage to speak to him and he promptly informs them that the Justice Department has been told about the FBI’s “incompetence” in this matter. Scully shoots back that key pieces of information have been left out of the investigation – namely, the recent death of Stans’ wife and children in a house fire. Stans claims the apparition killed them. Further, Mulder brings up the case of Sergeant Aiklan, also stationed at the base, who lost his family in a house fire a few months back as well. Aiklan became delusional, was treated for mental health issues and claimed someone was trying to stop him from killing himself. He eventually threw himself into a woodchipper, which is about as emphatic a way of ensuring your death as you can get. The general bristles a bit but says the men in question have basically fallen from grace and all you can do is feel sorry for them. Scully says they’ll draw their own conclusions and marches out into the hall. Z snap. I like to think Dana’s background with the military – her father was a naval captain, après tout – makes her less inclined to defer to army obstinacy. Her show of strength here is wonderful and I love the way she and Mulder insist on getting to the bottom of the situation, intent on exposing what appears at first to be some kind of army cover-up.

Outside, Scully wonders if the men were exposed to chemical weapons in the Gulf. This may account for some of their strange behaviour. She points out that the government’s refusal to acknowledge Gulf War Syndrome is an obvious motive for burying the investigation. Mulder doesn’t think it’s so simple – when does he ever, brave soul – but doesn’t immediately have a theory.

Elsewhere on the base, a group of disabled veterans, all of whom lost limbs in the war, are meeting in a kind of support group. One of them is speaking about a dream he has where he can still walk, which prompts another to get all surly and insulting and claim they’re all deluding themselves. This vet – Leonard – has lost all his limbs and eventually demands that an orderly named Roach wheel him out. Roach himself has a military background and served with Leonard in the war. It seems something he did led to the incident where Leonard lost all his limbs, as the latter has him carrying out his dirty work for him.

Oh dear

The general’s aide, Captain Draper, is killed on the base shortly thereafter. She goes to take a swim and is dragged under and drowned by an unseen foe. The same night, General Callahan gets a strange answering machine message of a distorted voice repeating some indeceipherable phrase. He pulls out the plug the message keeps playing. He also sees a soldier-like figure reflected in the window in his office who tells him his “time is coming”, but when he turns around he can’t see anything.

Scully examines Draper’s body the next day. There are marks on her neck and arms consistent with a struggle. Mulder questions base security, who claim that no one else was seen going into the pool. Mulder tells Callahan that his soldiers may be in danger if the pattern continues and to keep an eye out for anything out of the ordinary. When Callahan asks what he means by this, Mulder replies (without missing a beat) “any unusual or unexplained phenomena”. For once, this doesn’t elicit a belly laugh right in his face. The general tells them what happened with the phone and the figure in his office the night before. Apparently he’s been getting calls to his house as well.

Mulder, Scully, and the general decamp to his house to get the previous messages. When they arrive, the general’s wife Frances is all shaken up. Their son Trevor claims to have seen someone in the house and she can’t find anyone. They have a look around but no one’s about. They then go to the general’s office, where he plays back the answering machine message. It’s the same as the one he received before and sounds like gibberish. Heavily atmospheric and creepy gibberish, but gibberish nonetheless. Scully’s looking at the photos on the wall. They’re all photos of Callahan in the military – I wonder if this reminds her of her youth at all? She spots someone out in the garden and alerts the others. They hurry out but the person is gone, though he did leave footprints in the sandbox. This was actually Roach, who seems to have stolen post from the house.

In addition to the footprints, they manage to lift fingerprints off the front door handle. These are traced to Roach and he’s arrested. In his apartment, Mulder finds a pile of post, half of which isn’t addressed to him. Scully declares that they’ve got their man when she sees the post, but Mulder isn’t quite so sure yet. Back at the general’s house, an apparition appears over Trevor, who’s playing in the sandbox. The sand tumbles in on top of him and he is smothered, despite the presence of a military guard outside.

Phantom in the sandbox

Mulder and Scully question Roach and demand answers. He says he’s Rappo’s “mailman” but won’t elaborate on what that means. Later, in custody, he starts screaming that he doesn’t want to be left alone and that he’ll be killed. The guard ignores him, but when he returns later with Scully Roach is dead in his cell. He’s shoved a sheet down his throat – or at least that’s how it looks – so Scully decides it’s a suicide. Mulder says he thinks Roach was murdered. He shows her a bunch of dental X-rays he’s gathered from the base, all of which have been exposed to some kind of radiation. He theorises that the killer is indeed Rappo – Leonard – and that he’s using astral projection to leave his body and take revenge on those around him. In some instances, those who astral project need a physical object to link them to a target, which might explain why Roach was gathering post for Leonard. He’s also decoded the voicemail message – if you play it backwards, the voice is saying “your time has come, killer.”

Finally, they go to question Leonard. They had looked in on him earlier after figuring out he was “Rappo”, but abandoned the line of enquiry once they discovered he was a quadruple amputee. Armed with his astral projection theory, Mulder asks if the reason Leonard has refused all efforts at rehabilitation and prosthetic limbs is because he can leave his body at will. Leonard is just as nasty as he was during the veterans’ meeting earlier, saying he blames his COs for what happened and that they took his life away. This in itself isn’t unreasonable, but when Mulder asks if he took their lives as revenge, Leonard replies “if only I could.”

The general and his wife are packing up Trevor’s toys at home. Everyone’s very sad and upset and it’s quite horrible. Suddenly, Callahan sees Leonard standing behind him and turns to find bloody footprints on the ground. When he follows them, he discovers his wife is dead. He takes his gun and goes to the hospital, visiting Stans first. He tells him he was right and tries to shoot himself in the head but the gun won’t fire. Stans tells Callahan that he knows who’s causing it all. He spotted Leonard during a medical appointment earlier and recognised him from the war. When Callahan goes to Leonard, the latter happily admits he killed his wife and son. He tries to goad him to shoot, but Callahan instead fires into the wall and tells him he’ll have to suffer like the rest of them.

Mulder and Scully arrive outside. The general tells them what happened and hands over his gun. They go in to check on Leonard, but he’s zoned out and is lying twitching in the bed. Scully thinks he’s having a seizure, but Mulder realises he’s projecting. He runs after the general but misses him as he gets into the lift. The lift takes Callahan to the basement, where a network of steam pipes start blowing up around him. The apparition is there and throws him around, preventing him from escaping. It attacks Mulder too when he arrives downstairs.

Not quite how Charmed depicted it

Back in the room, Scully calls for the nurse to get a crash cart, believing Leonard is going into arrest. When she leaves the room, Stans slips in behind her and locks the door. He smothers Leonard with a pillow. Down in the basement, the apparition disappears and Mulder and Callahan escape. In the final scene, we see Stans delivering the post in Roach’s place. Mulder reveals in voiceover that there’s no physical evidence to link Leonard to the murders, so officially they remain unsolved. He discusses how amputees often feel phantom limbs long after they’ve lost them, and wonders if Leonard developed some kind of phantom soul which let him escape his body to take revenge on those accountable. War, he says, is what destroyed him physically but they cannot know what destroyed the parts of him that made him human.

An unusually heavy ending, that, probably because it reflects on an all-too-real experience for many people. We may not astral project but a great many people lose limbs either through accident, illness, or indeed service in the war and the changes it inflicts on your life are unimaginable. Leonard may not have been a sympathetic character and talked openly about wanting to murder people, but while his actions are extreme his motives stem from a somewhat recognisable place, especially in light of the way trauma and mental illness in those returning from war is often underplayed or dismissed altogether. This was a good episode, thought-provoking and serious and tied a real-world tragedy to the show’s paranormal ethos brilliantly.

 

Oubliette

This one, meanwhile, just settles for dumping all the feels in the world on us. How long has it been since Mulder’s childhood baggage made us cry? Few episodes at least? Brace yerselves. This is one of the Criminal Minds-esque ones with a young girl being kidnapped but it’s deftly played and packs some emotional wallop.

The young girl who’s kidnapped, Amy, is played by little Kaylee from Firefly. Lookie!

LIL KAYLEE!

Bless her cotton socks. She’s abducted by some lecherous pervert who spots her while assisting at a school photograph session. He takes her from her bed, whispering “nobody’s gonna spoil us”, and disappears out the window. At the exact same time, across town, a waitress named Lucy gets a nosebleed and collapses in work, murmuring “nobody’s gonna spoil us.” Amy got a nosebleed when the kidnapper took her but there was very little blood on the carpet, suggesting Lucy bled for her instead.

Mulder is first to arrive, taking an earlier plane than Scully. He speaks to Amy’s mum and tells her he knows what she’s going through. When she asks how he could possibly understand, he stops short of saying what happened to Samantha, and she walks out by him. Just in case anyone forgot that particular personal tragedy, eh?

Amy’s little sister saw her being taken and overheard what the kidnapper said. Other than that, there are no prints or forensic evidence. Mulder speaks to Eubanks, the agent in charge, and finds out where Lucy’s being kept. He meets Scully at the hospital and fills her in – Lucy herself was kidnapped when she was a child. She was missing for five years when someone found her at the side of the road. Her captor had kept her locked in a basement and he was never caught. Mulder tells Scully that Lucy took ill at the same time Amy was taken, and she was whispering the same words the kidnapper was. Scully shudders a little and says “that’s spooky.” Mulder replies, “That’s my name, isn’t it?” I want this exchange on a t-shirt with a picture of their most serious faces. I love them.

They go in to speak to Lucy but she’s not very cooperative. She says she doesn’t know anything and just wants to go home. She can leave when they finish questioning her, so as soon as they relent she grabs her clothes and goes to get dressed. Later that night, at home, she lies in bed shivering and develops scratches on her face. A friend brings her an extra blanket and when he arrives, she says it’s dark and she can’t see. Elsewhere, we see Amy being kept in a darkened basement, with identical scratches on her face.

Everything about this episode is so sad

Back at investigation HQ, Mulder swings into protective mode when Eubanks tells him Lucy has a criminal record (for narcotics and prostitution, it seems). Scully discovers that the blood on Lucy’s work uniform is made up of two types – O positive and B positive. Amy has B positive blood, so everyone’s getting suspicious. Mulder is adamant that Lucy not be treated like a suspect until they have actual proof of her involvement (which he doesn’t believe for a second). He goes to visit her later and finds an ambulance crew patching her up. He attempts to ask her about Amy, encouraging her and saying she can help, but Lucy is standoffish and dismisses him.

Later, Scully brings Mulder what seems to be a break in the case. Amy’s school sent out official photos of all the students the previous week, but Amy’s one is missing. The photographer’s assistant, Carl Wade, was present when the photos were taken but was sacked the day after the shoot. They’ve got a picture of him and plan to show it to Amy’s sister.

Wade, who is indeed the kidnapper, has been taking photos of Amy in the dark. He leaves his house the next day and she takes advantage of a brief bit of daylight to find a way out. She manages to tear some boards off the wall and escape into the forest, but Wade comes home just as she flees and pursues her. Lucy takes a fit of running at the same time as Amy bolts. She runs down the street and eventually collapses when Wade catches Amy. Mulder, who was with her at the time, follows her and picks her up. Based on her behaviour, he speculates that Wade is the same guy who took Lucy many years ago. Lucy is frightened and says it feels like the kidnapping is happening all over again. As they’re talking, Scully and Eubanks arrive outside with a group of agents. Forensics have discovered that the blood on Lucy’s shirt is an exact match to Amy’s and they want to arrest her. Mulder is outraged, but before anyone can do anything Lucy escapes out her window.

Eubanks is miffed and puts together a poster asking the public to keep an eye out for Lucy. Mulder speaks to Scully, explaining his theory that Lucy and Amy are somehow linked and that she bled Amy’s blood, which would account for it being on her uniform. He wonders if Lucy developed some kind of empathic transference when she was kidnapped which is keeping her in touch with Amy now. Scully tries to calm him down and gently suggests that he may be too close to the case. The loss of Samantha may be preventing him from seeing Lucy as a suspect. Mulder says he’s aware of all this, but not everything goes back to his sister. To be fair, while Scully has a point, she did earlier acknowledge that a whole bunch of witnesses can vouch for Lucy being miles from where Amy was taken. The fact Amy’s blood was on her uniform seems to lack an obvious causal link. Besides, while Mulder is indeed prone to bouts of irrational behaviour induced by his emotional baggage, these can also tend to make him more determined and protective and hell, even righteous in his pursuit of a criminal, so I’d let him off with this one. I’d be more worried about the nasty memories it’d stir up, especially given fake Samantha last season (an emotional rollercoaster from which I’m sure he has yet to recover) and the loss of his father recently. I’d ALSO be more concerned about Lucy’s obvious difficulties reintegrating to society after what happened to her, and not so inclined to treat her as some kind of undesirable.

Sigh.

The agents get a tip-off from a man who spotted Wade earlier. He works for a garage and was called out to a breakdown on the road to Wade’s house. He spotted Wade with a flat tyre and pulled over to offer assistance, but Wade went ballistic and tried to attack him. The man tells the agents where he saw him and Mulder immediately notices it’s close to where Lucy was found years ago. They all hightail it to Easton, the nearest town. Wade sees the squadron of cars arrive and quickly drives off in the opposite direction.

Mulder and Scully manage to get an address for Wade from a photography place in Easton. They arrive at the house but Wade and Amy are gone. Mulder climbs down into the basement and finds a delirious Lucy. Eubanks starts interrogating her, demanding to know where Wade has taken Amy. He threatens to try Lucy as an accomplice if anything happens. Mulder steps in and says he’ll take her when Eubanks orders she be brought into custody. As they make their way outside, Lucy says Wade hasn’t touched Amy yet. He takes pictures instead of doing so, but if he can’t have her all to himself he’ll get dangerous and may hurt her. Mulder comforts her and says she’s a survivor and that she is helping Amy by sharing her strength. Ah, this man. For someone who’s such a social pariah in his own circles he is the kindest, gentlest soul when it comes to dealing with innocents. Feels.

Suddenly, Lucy starts coughing and shivering. She says Amy is cold and wet, wherever she is. The other agents come out and say Wade’s car has been found north of the house. Mulder looks at Lucy and twigs that Amy must be in water, so he and Scully race towards a river in the opposite direction. When they arrive, Wade is holding Amy underwater. Mulder yells at him to let her go but he won’t, so he shoots him dead. Wade’s body floats off downriver while Mulder jumps in and pulls Amy back to shore. He and Scully start CPR but Amy is non-responsive. Back at the house, Lucy passes out and the agent with her calls for help.

Amy is safe at least!

Eventually, Scully tells Mulder to stop. Amy has no pulse and isn’t breathing. He reluctantly gives in and stands back, but a few seconds later Amy starts coughing and comes around. The other agents reach them and Scully tells them to get a special medical unit down. They say there’s one up at the house working on Lucy. Mulder hears this and bolts back to the house, but when he arrives the agent tells him Lucy passed away before the EMTs arrived. He leans down over her body and starts crying. It’s so, so sad. You guys.

Well it HAD been a few episodes since he made us cry

It’s not just the obvious link to Samantha but the fact that he vouched for Lucy and sought to keep her safe. Indeed, much like Samantha, he attempted to protect her but was ultimately powerless to do anything. Stuff like this really makes Mulder one of the most affecting characters in history, and that’s before we even stop to consider all this from Lucy’s point of view. Her whole life was destroyed when she was kidnapped and even if she was eventually found, she was never able to reintegrate properly with others. Earlier in the episode, Mulder noted she had speech difficulties and was hypersensitive to light from her years locked up in a basement. It all speaks to a such a needlessly wasted life and so much lost time and it just makes me so upset. :(

Scully comes in to Mulder at the end of the episode and tells him Amy will be fine. She has no injuries and despite being dragged through the woods and nearly drowned there’s not a mark on her. Lucy, however, was found to have five litres of water in her lungs despite being nowhere near water when she died. Mulder says he believes she saved Amy’s life and ultimately died for her. Scully tries to comfort him, saying he was part of the connection between Amy and Lucy, and they’d never have found Amy without him. Mulder sadly reflects that Lucy died for more than Amy – it may have been the only way she could escape what happened all those years ago, and finally outrun Carl Wade. It’s awful. This episode has me all torn up inside.

I love both our heroes equally but there’s something that little bit more affecting about seeing what happens to Mulder in situations like this. They’ve both been through the ringer, but I think the personal connection he has to so many of these horror stories makes it worse. For all that Scully’s father died suddenly and she herself was taken and then recently her sister was murdered, she at least had some semblance of a normal upbringing and a happy life. (From what I know so far, anyway.) Mulder was distanced from both his parents when they tried to move on after Samantha and then discovered that his dad inadvertently sanctioned the whole thing, only for Bill himself to be murdered before they could reach any closure. He’s barely had a moment to process everything that happened and then this case dredges up all the nasty baggage all over again. Lord. I don’t usually sanction emotional trauma pushing people into one another’s arms but in the case of this particular OTP, I’m all for it. Please, please for the love of god start going to bed together, lads. And like, it doesn’t even have to be physical, just sleep together and hold hands and be there when the sun comes up. It’d break my already fragile heart into bits and make your lives infinitely better. Pray for me, readers.

And on that note, I’m taking a brief hiatus to go on holidays! In typical me fashion I have left everything til the last minute so despite the fact I’m not flying out til next week, I don’t think I’ll get a chance to write up a recap before I head off. I’ll hopefully have the next one for you on November 9th, which suddenly seems stupidly far away. I can’t believe I won’t have one of these for posting on Halloween.

Anyhoo, stay safe and spooky in the meantime peeps! Thank you as ever for reading and see you on the flip side. :)

Grace Duffy is a pop culture devotée and sometime film critic currently catching up on her classic sci-fi. You can read more on her blog, Tumblr, or catch her frequent TV liveblogs on Twitter.

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