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The X-Files: Trust No 1

Case: Scully meets with the parents of another special child and must decide if she needs to risk Mulder's return.

Destination: Washington, D.C.

“Truth is not found in science, or on some unseen plane, but by looking into your own heart.”

Well, I knew who wrote this one the minute the episode started. A sappy voice-over of Scully is heard as we get glimpses of far better episodes from the past. Chris Carter is fond of such over-the-top speeches and maybe some viewers are as well. I’ll include the whole thing in the quote section for those of you who thought that it was beautiful, but whoever else would rather get a root canal than reading those words: you may skip it.

When the opening is thankfully over, we see Momma Scully pushing baby William in his stroller while she gets coffee for herself and a warm-up on William’s baby bottle. Unfortunately, Scully opens her laptop to see an email from Trust_no1 that starts off, “Dearest Dana.” Now, I have to admit that I enjoyed this part, on first-time viewing, because I was desperate for Mulder to make his presence known. In hindsight, this email is just more fingernails on a blackboard for me. I don’t really object to Mulder calling Scully “Dana,” but the rest of it is torture. I had to go look up some synonyms for “sappy,” because I knew that I would need them for the rest of this review. It’s funny that I resented Robert Patrick so much, back in the day, but now… I’m happy every time he, or Annabeth Gish, appear on-screen in this episode. They are an island of plain-speaking normalcy in an overly soppy sea.

I’m trying to find something positive to say about this episode. Let me think… uh, the scenery is nice, especially during the scenes shot against a massive cliff. Scully gets tackled by Monica when the former is shot at (good job, Monica), Doggett and Reyes were great, the guest stars were fabulous, Baby William is cute… that’s all I got.

After many overly-dramatic scenes that ultimately became just more dramatic nonsense, I finally discovered that I enjoy this episode best when the sound is off and the subtitles are on. Chris Carter’s schmaltzy prose was easier to take, that way.

Other Thoughts:

Scully’s email is QUEEQUEG0925.  Aww, poor Queequeg.  Miss you, little buddy.

According to Matt Hurwitz and Chris Knowles in their book, The Complete X-Files, director Kim Manners was critical of this take on Mulder, noting, "The only thing I thought we didn't do right during seasons eight and nine was that a lot of the shows were about Mulder, and I thought it was a mistake to make a series about a man that wasn't standing in front of the camera." Well said, Mr. Manners, and I would add that having too much focus on a baby with no lines to say except for "coo" or "wahh" was also a mistake. RIP, Mr. Manners. Your loss is truly felt and some of my favorite shows were enhanced by your directing.

Shadow Man is played by Terry O'Quinn of Lost fame. Isn’t Mr. O’Quinn great in every role he plays? I think so. He also appeared in Fight the Future, where he played another FBI agent who got blown-up with the building in The X-Files' feature film.

Kathryn Joosten (Desperate Housewives, The West Wing) was also in this episode as Agent Boal, who had a brief but memorable scene with Doggett. Ms. Joosten passed away in 2012. RIP, also.


Scully: “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.”  (Yes, that was definitely imponderable.)

Mulder: “I've resisted contacting you for reasons I know you continue to appreciate. But, to be honest, some unexpected dimensions of my new life are eating away at any resolve I have left. I'm lonely, Dana, uncertain of my ability to live like this. I want to come home. To you, and to William.”  (Aww, that's kind of sweet.)

Scully: “I am physically shaking right now seeing your words. Wishing it were you speaking them to me. I want so badly to see you too, but you are still not safe here.”  (Gag me with a spoon.)

Doggett: “How long are you going to do this?”
Scully: “Do what, Agent Doggett?”
Doggett: “Refuse to trust me... or anybody. How else you going to get him home?” (Alright, that was a sweet exchange.)

Scully: “These clothes that I'm wearing... they're my size. How the hell do you know my size?”
Shadow Man: “Your size? I know your blood type, your resting heart rate, your childhood fear of clowns. I know the name of your college boyfriend, your true hair color, your ATM pin number, favorite charities, pet peeves. I know you spend too much time alone. And I know... that on one lonely night... you invited Mulder to your bed.”
Scully: “Oh, my God.”
Shadow Man: “I was as surprised as you are.”  (Ha!)
Scully: “Who authorizes you? I mean, what gives you the right? Who are you?!”
Shadow Man: “I'm the future, Agent Scully. And I risked my life being here.”
Scully: “Well, then, why do it? I mean, why meet me?”
Shadow Man: “Because you can reach Mulder — Mulder needs to know what I know or he may have no future. Perhaps no one will... if I see that you haven't contacted Mulder in the next twenty-four hours, I disappear and you never see me again. Do you understand, lady?” (I understand the Mulder invited to bed part.  Oh, yeah.)

Scully: “I hold no hope you can respond to this, or that it reaches you. I only hope that you are alive. I cannot help believing that you jumped off that train because you knew what I now know: that these 'super-soldiers,' if that's what they are, can in fact be destroyed. That the key to their destruction lies in the iron compound at that quarry.  I am scared for you, Mulder... and for William... the forces against us are unrelenting. But so is my determination — to see you again. To regain the comfort and safety we shared for so brief a time. Until then, I remain forever yours... Dana.” (Words fail me.)

Doggett: “The man I shot, he fell in front of a freaking moving train, but he ain’t down there on the tracks.” (Bless you, John Doggett. Your earnest, slightly peeved delivery makes me laugh. That levity is much needed, here.)

Did you see the part where Shadow Man says that Mulder or William must die, either one of the other? More gibberish to add to the Mythology Stew that this show keeps on making. I get so confused by the mythology that I just don’t even try to make sense of it anymore. Anyone like this episode? Anyone?

One out of five John Doggetts.

Mallena loves John and Monica. Sorry, Mulder and Scully, I think my ship is moving on.

1 comment:

  1. Am I the only person who thinks this was some sort of coded pre-planned communication between Mulder and Scully? Fox and Dana?? Since when? Chris Carter ruined this show when he couldn't figure out how not to make everything about Mulder after Duchovny left.


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