The X-Files: Eve

Case: The deaths of Joel Simmons and Doug Reardon, both of whom suffered 75 percent blood loss from two puncture holes in their necks, and who died at the exact same moment --- 3,000 miles apart.

Destination: Greenwich, Connecticut and Marin County, California

‘Eve’ is a dark and twisty episode that introduces us to the wonderful world of government-sponsored cloning and genetic manipulation. Mulder is drawn to the strange death of Joel Simmons because it bears a striking resemblance to cattle mutilations supposedly performed by extra-terrestrials. However, a second, identical murder and the discovery that the two deceased men also had identical daughters soon lead Mulder and Scully to a fertility clinic in San Francisco and to Dr. Sally Kendrick, a former specialist in invitro fertilization and biogenetics who was fired for experimenting with eugenics --- and who also turns out to be the product of a Cold-War era cloning program known as the Litchfield Project.

‘Eve’ is another of my favorite Season 1 episodes. It is a truly disturbing story that is jam-packed with great twists, starting with the revelation that Doug Reardon’s daughter, Cindy, is a doppelganger for Joel Simmons’s daughter, Tina. The unexpected turns keep coming with the reveal that Sally Kendrick is one of the Eves from the Litchfield Project, and --- even creepier --- that Cindy and Tina are younger versions of the Eves! But the fun doesn’t stop there. Next, after becoming pretty well convinced that Sally and the missing Eve 8 are behind the murders, we discover that Tina and Cindy are the real culprits. What’s more, Sally only kidnapped the girls to try to get them help! “I’d hoped my work at the Stapes Center had corrected the Litchfield flaws. Psychotic behavior didn’t develop in the Adams and Eves until age 16. Homicidal behavior at 20. Imagine my … disappointment, when I learned of your accelerated development.” Then in the episode’s final, creepy twist, we learn that the girls’ first visitor at the institution in which they’ve been incarcerated is Eve 8, who’s presumably there to get them out. “How did you know I was coming?” “We just knew.” Shuddery!

While I love the twists, I suppose I can’t really judge how effective they are for the first time viewer. Do the girls really come across as hapless victims of some nefarious cloning scheme before all is revealed? I can’t remember if I thought they initially seemed like tragic, sympathetic characters or if they gave me the willies from the get go. At this point, I can no longer lay eyes on the them without thinking they are completely creepy and disturbing. So much so that it drives me batty when they play all sweet and innocent at the hotel and at the truck stop. I want to yell at the TV, “Can’t you see through them?! They are manipulative, murdering liars!” The twins they hired to play the girls were great. Nothing quite like a creepy little girl, especially in multiples. The looks they exchanged give me the chills!

I also adored Harriet Samson Harris (credited as Harriet Harris) as the adult Eves. She managed to be completely unsettling as Eve 6, and also somewhat sympathetic as Sally. I actually felt a little bad for Sally when the girls poisoned her. (But not too bad. She was really just reaping what she'd sown by creating them in the first place.)

Other Thoughts

While ‘Eve’ is primarily a stand-alone episode, some of the concepts introduced become important recurring themes in the series, particularly cloning.

The whole episode was pretty dark and eerie, but I particularly enjoyed Mulder and Scully’s visit to the Whiting Institute for the Criminally Insane. The way the guards built up Eve 6 was ultra creepy. I wouldn’t have wanted to go into that cell. The subsequent conversation with Eve 6 was even more spine-chilling. Especially her little Hannibal Lector moment. “I paid too much attention to a guard. Bit into his eyeball. [Chatters her teeth.] I meant it as a sign of affection.”

I loved Mulder’s and Scully’s befuddled reactions to Cindy Reardon. I also enjoyed Scully’s repeated attempts to get Mulder to give up his UFO theory.

Tina played Mulder like a fiddle, talking about red lightening and men from the clouds. She really sold it by claiming the men wanted to “exsanguinate” her father. How did she know to give her story this spin? Can the girls read minds? Or did she “just know”?

Mulder and Deep Throat seem to have some pre-arranged “let’s meet” signals. Mulder immediately knew that the phone call with just a couple of clicks was Deep Throat. And he seemed to know where to go to meet him. Interesting.

I’ve read that this episode was the inspiration for the name of ‘Eve 6,’ the alternative rock band. Fun!

Quotes

Scully: “Mulder, why would alien beings travel light years to Earth in order to play doctor on cattle?”
Mulder: “For the same reason we cut up frogs and monkeys. Besides, they seem to have stepped up their interest.”

Scully: “She was kidnapped from the social services home around 11:00 p.m. last night. Looks like someone was afraid she might remember too much.”
Mulder: “Someone, or something, Scully.”
[Scully responds with an exasperated sigh.]

Scully: “Well, there is the random possibility that two people can have an unrelated likeness.”
Mulder: “Who both just happened to see their fathers exsanguinated? I’d like to get the odds on that in Vegas.”

Scully: “The girls are the one and only link between identical murders.”
Mulder: “And one girl was just abducted.”
Scully: “Kidnapped.”
Mulder: “Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.”

Scully: “Mulder, you’re rushing me out of the room.”
Mulder: “No I’m not.”
Scully: “Do you have a girl coming over?”
Mulder: “What’s a girl? I gotta movie I want to watch on TV.”

Eve 6: “I’m just me. They made me. But did they suffer? No, no. I suffer. I suf-fer!”

Sally: “How did you learn of each other’s existence?”
Tina: “We just knew.”
Sally: “Did you discuss how you would orchestrate your little ... prank?”
Cindy: “We just knew.”

Scully: “Do you suppose the girls have any idea of what they are?”
Mulder: “I hope not.”

Cindy: “We’re just little girls!”
Mulder: “That’s the last thing you are.”

Final Analysis: ‘Eve’ is a tense and disturbing tale with fantastically creepy characters. Always worth a rewatch.

Jess Lynde is a highly engaged television viewer. Probably a bit too engaged.

6 comments:

ChrisB said...

Agree that this one is creepy! There's something about those girls -- shudder!

Anonymous said...

Was it ever explained what the girls did with all that blood? I thought that was a rather glaring ommision!

Jess Lynde said...

Hmmm ... I assume you mean the blood the girls drained from their fathers. I honestly don't remember if they explained that or not. Maybe we can just assume that they drained it into milk jugs or something and then dumped it down the tub or sink. They probably would have been smart enough to try cleaning up after themselves with bleach. After all, they were apparently able to make foxglove from a digitalis plant they cultivated themselves. :)

Or perhaps this is just another one of those X-Files details that gets lost along the way once the case takes a wackier turn!

Jess Lynde said...

Another potentially glaring boo boo: I think digitalis comes from the foxglove plant, not the other way around. But when I re-checked the poisoning scene, they actually said they made foxglove from a digitalis plant. Maybe they weren't smart enough to dispose of the blood in an untraceable way!

Bob Jones said...

Decent episode, but I can't help but feel that something better could have been made out of an idea with awesome potential (the same person on opposite sides of the country who didn't know of the other's existence and weren't identical twins). Quite what that is I don't know, but just thought it could have been something better.

Laure Mack said...

What does it say about me that I really wanted those two little psychos to get away?? Don't get me wrong, they were creepy as could be and if I ever meet twin girls I probably won't be able to look at them the same. But I was upset when Mulder outsmarted them.

Poor little science experiments.

Great review for my favorite episode so far!!