4X01 . Herrenvolk

4X02 . Unruhe

4X03 . Home

A very gruesome episode ... I don't blame FOX for not ever wanting to air this again. But from a Shipper's POV, Mulder and Scully's conversation on that bench was about as loaded as you can get!
SCULLY: "Imagine all a woman's hopes and dreams for her child and then nature turns so cruel. What must a mother go through?"
MULDER: "Apparently not much in this case if she just threw it out with the trash."
(They sit on a bench.)
SCULLY: "I ... I guess I was just projecting on myself."
MULDER: "Why, is there a history of genetic abnormalities in your family?"
SCULLY: "No."
MULDER: "Well, just find yourself a man with a spotless genetic make-up and a really high tolerance for being second-guessed and start pumping out the little Uber-Scullies."
(She smiles. He rubs her back.)
SCULLY: "What about your family?"
MULDER: "Hmm? Well, aside from the need for corrective lenses and a tendency to be abducted by extra-terrestrials involved in an international governmental conspiracy, the Mulder family passes genetic muster.
Okay, maybe I'm crazy (well, you knew that already...) but it sure sounds a lot to me like they're wondering about being genetically compatible! This is one of their ways of thinking about a future together, far-off as it may sound. It's never explicit enough to pinpoint, but Scully asking Mulder about his family's genetic history seems much less like just an innocent question than it first does.

4X04 . Teliko

4X05 . The Field Where I Died

4X06 . Sanguinarium

4X07 . Musings of a Cigarette-Smoking Man

4X08 . Paper Hearts

4X09 . Tunguska

4X10 . Terma

4X11 . El Mundo Gira

4X12 . Kaddish

4X13 . Never Again

Anti-Shipper, do you think? Actually, yes and no. I don't think you can have an anti-Shipper episode without some aspect of Shippiness invovled.

This may sound odd, but I was wondering when an episode like this would come around. Not so much the aspect of Scully considering involvement with some guy, but her questioning how she fits into the X-Files and Mulder's quest for the truth. Back in the pilot, we saw that she was assigned to the X-Files to "debunk" Mulder's investigations into the paranormal, but that premise seemed to quickly dissipate as she became very much invovled with his quest.

Since then, she's been loyally following Mulder, risking her own career and her life, and it seems like she's beginning to share in some of Mulder's desire to find the truth.

Or has she?

In this episode, Scully wonders where the heck she's going. After more than years on this assignment, she feels like she hasn't progressed very much in the FBI career ladder, and maybe even lower down than when she was first assigned. She wonders why she's still here, engulfed, eveloped, and immersed in cases she wouldn't otherwise be invovled in.

Mulder is forced to take some vacation time, so he dumps his latest case into Scully's lap, assuming she will faithfully take over and delve into it with the same dedication that he would, or at least as much as she did in the past. But this only seemed to annoy Scully. Mulder's being selfish, arrogant, and pretty much taking her for granted.

And yet Scully goes to Philadelphia to follow up on the case anyway. Why is that? Was it because of an inescapable sense of loyalty? I mean, she obviously disliked how Mulder treated her, and yet she goes against her better judgment to do the assignment anyway.

In Philadelphia, Scully explores the tempting possibilities to be completely different from what she's been for the past three of so years. Accepting a dinner date from Ed Jerse, opting to have a drink at a grungy bar, and impulsively getting a tattoo are things "normal" -- skeptical, rigid, and by-the-book -- Scully wouldn't do. But then, who's to say she doesn't have a right to? She's been almost literally cooped up in the X-Files, and a natural response is to express rebellious behavior -- to some degree or another.

Ed Jerse seemed to be a nice guy, minus the hallucinogenic ergot alkaloid in his blood. He had a genuine concern for her safety, offering to let her stay at his apartment overnight to wait out the storm. And there was nothing aggressive about his intentions -- at least when he said he'd sleep on the couch. But then, the painful thing to watch was when he leaned in to kiss her. Of course, we won't know if their lips ever actually touched thanks to the cut to commercial, but it makes you wonder ...

When this main plot was done, Scully follows Mulder in to their office where Mulder seems to show little sympathy for what she's endured until he comes outright and asks if this was all because he didn't get her a desk. With a slightly indignant look, Scully says, "Not everything is about you, Mulder. This is my life."

Mulder looks a bit hurt and says, "Yes, but it's m--" and then stops himself, and the episode ends in uncomfortable silence.

I don't know about anyone else, but I got the feeling he was about to say, "Yes, but it's my life, too." I think this was the one line that rescued me from really hating Mulder in this episode. Arrogant throughout, he was, yes. But somehow, there was a sense of redemption here if he truly felt like he shared his life with Scully. I think up until now, he thought she was willingly and loyally standing at his side, sharing his quest to find the truth. To him, she was his closest confidante, the one he trusted most, and a person he felt at one with.

And now, he probably feels that maybe it's not so simple.

4X14 . Leonard Betts

4X15 . Memento Mori

4X16 . Unrequited

4X17 . Tempus Fugit

4X18 . Max

4X19 . Synchrony

4X20 . Small Potatoes

Okay, question for all of you -- who squealed when they saw the preview for this episode?

The main premise for this episode is that five women in a small town in West Virginia give birth to babies all with tails. Upon Mulder's insistence, he and Scully travel there to investigate and Scully proposes a very logical answer -- that all of the babies shared the same father. Mulder happens to notice a janitor, who we later find out goes by the name Eddie Van Blundht, with a scar just above his butt crack (funny place for Mulder to be looking -- just kidding!). Further investigation leads to his arrest, but he escapes and the officer putting his info into the computer claims that Van Blundht hit him over the head, only it wasn't Van Blundht, but that it was someone who looked just like the officer himself.

Mulder claims to have a theory, but without even yet saying it Scully guesses it right on the nose -- that Van Blundht somehow had the ability to physically morph into the officer's likeness. Mulder looks at her and says, "Scully, should we be picking out China patterns, or what?" He's joking, of course, but he's definitely surprised that she read his mind, or at least, came up with the same possible explanation on her own. It's a sign that she's learning to think like him, which makes him very happy.

Later, they find Van Blundht in his father's house impersonating his father, but Mulder and Scully pick up on it when they catch a little slip up. They give chase, but he gets away impersonating a man whose wife was one of the women who gave birth to a tailed baby. He almost gets caught when the real husband comes home, but quickly morphs in Mulder, pretending to have been checking the house.

Now, this had me confused for a while, but I think it was Van Blundht-as-Mulder who joined Scully in the examining room as she did the autopsy on the senior Van Blundht. We get a hint that it's not Mulder from the way he was stuttering and accidentally breaking the tail off the corpse. But my question is, why would Van Blundht go there and offer her a "theory" on the consequences of her findings that the entire body was covered with striated muscle tissue -- that it could be what allows him to morph? It's possible that that really was Mulder, but I highly doubt it. It was just too weird.

4X21 . Zero Sum

4X22 . Elegy

4X23 . Demons

4X24 . Gethsemane