Geeks of a certain age may remember actress Stacy Haiduk who played Lana Lang for a syndicated Superboy TV series. But that’s not the big thing about this episode: Gillian Anderson wrote and directed this one, her only time to do either for the entire run of the show.
The Case: Spiritual Coincidence!
The Rest: I remember reading up on Anderson and David Duchuvny when the show was new, and apparently, in real life, Duchuvny was more of the skeptic while Anderson was more open to different ideas. You know, the opposite of the characters they play. Anderson had approached Chris Carter about writing an episode that allowed her to explore her personal interest in Buddhism, he gave her the go-ahead, and then this episode came out.
Anyway, the cold open is something of a fake-out as Scully is getting ready for her day as she passes a seemingly naked and sleeping Mulder in her bed. By episode’s end, that turns out to be a fake-out. Mulder and Scully were hanging out when she passed out asleep on the couch after a stressful few days while he just put a blanket over her and presumably just slept in her bed.
But the episode, for lack of a better description, was mostly about coincidences. Mulder wanted to go to England to look at crop circles, but Scully didn’t, wondering why he couldn’t take some time off. Instead, she went to a hospital where she was hoping to get some autopsy results when instead she accidentally got some x-rays for a man she knew, an older man who was once her teacher and (heavily implied) her former lover.
You know, I don’t recall the exact episode, but wasn’t there some first season episode where Scully mentioned one of her FBI mentors was also a former lover?
Anyway, Mulder’s check-ins, some mysterious blonde woman, and a host of other things bring Scully back to her ex, a man whose adult daughter never forgave Scully, and Scully, for her part, broke it off to avoid causing pain for the man’s family, but he never got over her. There’s some faith healing involved, and Scully finally more or less told the guy that she’d moved on and he should too. It’s kind of a weird episode, one that seems to end with Scully, seeing the mysterious blonde walking away from her for the third time, but when Scully catches up to the woman, it turns out to be Mulder in the same outfit but otherwise looking nothing like the woman. I mean, Mulder doesn’t have a long, blonde ponytail.
Oddly enough, I don’t really remember seeing this episode before. and it’s not what I would call a great episode or a classic. It’s got these artistic flairs that probably came from Anderson-the-director that just kinda stick out, not really in a bad way, but in a way where I think she might have been trying too hard. Still, this episode doesn’t feel like an X-Files episode, but not in a bad way. It seems more like an experimental one, one that came from a first time scriptwriter and that somewhat works as an exploration of Scully’s character. The show has many times looked into why she chose the FBI over medicine, and the implication was she sometimes wondered if she could go back to being a doctor, but here, there’s finally someone from that part of her life wondering why she became an FBI agent instead of practicing medicine.
I’ll probably forget about this episode at some point in the future too.
Up next, smoking kills.