Not that I have a pitch perfect recollection of every episode of The X-Files, but I honestly didn’t remember this one as I sat down to watch it aside from a vague recollection that the case took place in Philadelphia.
That’s fine. At least this one didn’t have me questioning the show’s sense of geography.
The Case: A G-g-g-g-g-ghost!
The Rest: I think it says a lot about me and possibly the times I live in that the episode’s central mystery is a poltergeist, apparently of a dead businessman who was a partner in a defense contractor, and he’s very protective of his still-alive young secretary that I assumed a romantic relationship, and possibly an unwanted on in the era of #MeToo. Instead, it’s apparently more of a paternal one, where the young woman doesn’t really have a family and the dead man, named Graves no less, lost a daughter roughly her age as a child and decided to look out for her.
The point is, that seems a lot less innocent in 2023 than it probably did in 1993.
Still, this is a helpful ghost, in that he only murders people who are threatening her life. Mulder and Scully apparently just get off with a warning when the ghost messes with their car. It also prompts Mulder to give a warning to some national security types trying to interrogate the woman since the dead man’s partner is apparently selling weapons to shifty Middle Eastern types.
By the by, when two assassins come by the secretary’s house, looking to kill her, the woman assassin has some nice throat clenching going on when the ghost starts to throttle her. It made me wonder if that was a special effect or she was just really good at making her neck look like someone was crushing it while invisible.
But the nice thing about having a protective ghost is said ghost will find the evidence needed to convict his shifty partner when a search warrant fails.
Also nice that Mulder and Scully were called in to consult by some national security types rather than choose to come in on their own. Scully’s theory for this episode is the dead man faked his own death, but that proves to be impossible since he was, among other things, an organ donner, but she’s trying here. Mulder even humors her a bit in a less douchey way than he has in some of the early episodes.
Still, that ghost sure did seem a lot less innocent when I watched this one, and that’s not even getting into the seeming cliché of a Middle Eastern terrorist group.