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The X-Files - 'Chimera'
By Kenneth Silber
Opinions Editor
posted: 06:10 pm ET
21 July 2000

x-files_716_000403


Mulder experiences some of the pleasures of a well-kept home while investigating strange small-town events that may be connected to the appearance of a raven. Scully remains in the city for a stakeout.

(originally aired April 2, 2000)

She Knows Him So Well


ELLEN: I get the feeling you're not used to anyone taking care of you.

MULDER: That has a pathetic ring.

ELLEN: No, I just noticed you're not wearing a wedding band. Do you have a significant other?


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MULDER: Not in the widely understood meaning of that term.

Written by David Amann
Directed by Cliff Bole

WHAT HAPPENED

A small town at Easter time. An outdoor party. A sumptuous banquet. Two attractive, respectable women seem somewhat disturbed that Jenny, the town black sheep, is in attendance. Then, a young girl on an Easter egg hunt goes is walking in the woods. She sees a raven, then turns and sees the glowering Jenny. The girl runs away.

Back home, the shaken girl asks her mother (one of the earlier-seen women) why Daddy can't come home a day early. Then the girl says: "It's back." Mom closes an open window, but it's too late: There's a raven in the room. A mirror shatters. Someone hairy is nearby. There's a scream. (more spoilers)

ANALYSIS

"Chimera" appealingly evokes a Martha Stewart-type lifestyle in an affluent small town -- a lifestyle that in fact overshadows the ill-defined paranormal phenomenon that Mulder is investigating. As the episode closes, we can only hope the preceding burst of violence and grotesquerie will not permanently spoil the pleasantness of well-prepared meals and tasteful home furnishings.

Scully's marginality is a noteworthy feature of the episode, as her appearances are brief and limited to complaining about the hardships of an urban stakeout. It's surprising to find her in such a self-pitying mood. Perhaps less surprising, but unfortunate nonetheless, is Mulder's lack of consideration as he walks out of the stakeout without even telling her where's he going.

Beyond that, there is little to be said, pro or con, for "Chimera". The episode is mildly interesting and avoids the puerility of recent episodes such as "X-Cops." But at this late date in the series' evolution, any "standalone" episode that lacks any connection to the X-Files "mythology arc" is a disappointment.

WHAT WE LEARN

Mulder does not like capers.

DANGLING PLOT THREADS

Will Ellen get better?

REALITY CHECK

As Mulder says, a diagnosis of a "disassociative disorder" is "as close as science can come" to understanding the uncanny phenomena in question.

TUNE IN NEXT WEEK

The talented and lovely Gillian Anderson writes, directs and stars in "all things", wherein an ex-boyfriend returns.


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


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