On 'The X-Files' Scully Contemplates 'all things'
By Kenneth Silber

Opinions Editor

posted: 12:10 pm ET
10 April 2000


While trying to help an ailing doctor she once knew well, Scully reconsiders her choices in life and overall philosophy.

(originally aired April 9, 2000)

The Laconic Grace of Dana Scully

Dr. Waterston: I have to lock eyes with the Devil for you to grace me with yourpresence?

Scully: Surely not the Devil .

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Written and directed by Gillian Anderson


Scully stands in front of a mirror, her midriff exposed. She finishes getting dressed. Meanwhile, in a voiceover, she engages in a reverie about one's choices in life. As she wonders what might have been if she'd taken another path, the camera pans over someone elsewhere, in a bed. It is Mulder. (more spoilers)


In her X-Files directorial and writing debut, Gillian Anderson (Scully) adeptly evokes a moody atmosphere that edges into the surreal. Music, slow motion, and hallucinatory imagery are employed to strong effect.

Sadly, however, the plot, dialogue and character development are all mediocre. Nothing much seems to happen, and what does occur is substantially driven by coincidence and arbitrariness. The character of Colleen, a New Age guru, is perhaps intended to appear wise but instead conveys a noxious smugness.

Scully's philosophical rethinking is facile, and hard to reconcile with the determined rationalism she's displayed over the years in the face of events no less strange than those that occur here.


A minor mix-up, such as putting the wrong X-rays in an envelope, can have far-reaching consequences.


Will Maggie Waterston become happier, following the catharsis of her anger here?


Mulder's interest in crop circles appears to be uninformed by reports that they are the gleeful work of local pranksters.


In "Brand X", Mulder and Scully are reunited with each other and Skinner to solve a conspiracy at a cigarette plant.

What do you think? Send your comments to the reviewer or editor.

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