The X-Files: Audrey Pauley

Case: Agent Reyes is in a coma and apparently brain dead.

Destination: Falls Church, Virginia

Reyes: “There’s dog people and there’s cat people. You are a dog person, John.”

This is a lovely Reyes-centric episode with some lovelorn Doggett thrown in. This is one of my favourite season nine episodes. It is beautifully shot, with great acting and some interesting character development. The weirdness is even lovely in its own way. Reyes is in a coma after a serious car accident and shows no signs of life. She finds herself in a replica of the hospital she is in with two other people who share her fate. As Reyes tries to work out what has happened to her, Doggett refuses to believe she is gone and struggles to save her. What I especially appreciated was how they used their investigative skills to solve these personal problems. We've certainly seen this before but I always enjoy it when it happens. FBI agents aren't only agents at work. They are a particular kind of person or at least they are on The X-Files.

The literal heart of the piece is the relationship between Reyes and Doggett. They obviously care for each other and we find out during the episode that Doggett certainly loves her but for some reason he won't make a move. This may be because of his experience with his son and former wife. When Reyes says that she doesn't think he could ever disappoint anyone, I'm sure he is thinking, but I already have. Then again maybe there is no reason other than they need to stay apart to maintain the romantic tension in this season. Sometimes it feels like the same old, same old but the acting helps here. Doggett is in agony as he is helpless to save Reyes and Robert Patrick shows us every inch of this. I fully expected him to finally say something to Reyes at the end of the episode but he doesn't and Reyes leaves abruptly. Maybe she is tired of waiting.

I felt ambivalent about the character of Audrey Pauley. She is obviously gifted but has been mistreated most of her life because she can't read. I don't think her mistreatment was really dealt with. Sure, the nuns gave her a job and a room, but they have also let her know that she is incapable of really helping anyone. At the end she understands that this is not true as her last act is to save Monica and at the same time condemn her own murderer. It was an interesting idea that someone could hold another consciousness in their mind but it was a bit frightening that someone could be seen as brain dead and not really be dead. If we don't use that marker, what do we use?

Other Thoughts

Reyes was hit by a drunk driver. I hate drunk drivers.

I was sorry when Stephen disappeared. I liked him.

The doll hospital was amazing. I would have loved that as a child.

Quotes

Reyes: “I don’t see you ever disappointing anyone, John.”

Reyes: “This seem like heaven to you? A big, deserted, Catholic hospital?”

Stephen: “There is so much I’d do differently.”
Reyes: “What?”
Stephen: “Life.”

Dr. Peijers: “You’re not going to yell out, are you, Audrey?” (What a creep)

Audrey: “I know now. I know who told me to build it.”

3 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Here's my annoying countdown comment -- only eight episodes to go!

Mallena said...

This is a very Twilight Zone worthy episode, I love it. I love the hospital and the way that it was Audrey's view of it. Annabeth was again spectacular and it makes me sad that she didn't get the chance to continue on the show for much longer. My only quibble was that the actress who played Audrey was also the one who played Lucy in Oubliette. That pulled me out of the story, a bit, though she was very good as Audrey.

Juliette said...

I love this episode, it's classic X-Files in the best way :)