July 20, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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The X-Files “Ghouli”

Scully thinks she's on the trail of William, the baby she gave up for adoption.

I have said, more than once, that it’s really hard to care about William Mulder (or William Scully or whatever) because, well, he’s not really a character on the show.

I must have forgotten about this episode.

The Case:  William The Ghouli!

The Rest:  Two things happen:  two teenage girls go to an abandoned ferry separately and find a monster.  They attack the monster but end up slashing each other.   This giant grasshopper-lookin’ thing, the Ghouli, wasn’t really there because the girls each thought the other was the Ghouli, and a panicked man of unknown origin called 911.  Both girls will live, but that gets the case on Mulder’s radar.

What gets it on Scully is she’s having what seems like sleep paralysis but seems to be dreams guiding her somewhere, and what makes it really freaky is the two girls, who didn’t know each other, describe dreams an awful lot like Scully’s, independent of each other, and they were both dating one Jackson Van De Kamp.

Wasn’t that the name Spender gave Scully as the last name of the family that adopted William?  And weren’t they farmers?  Why are they living in the suburbs now?

Oh, they aren’t living because they both look like they were killed by their son in a murder-suicide!

Oh, he didn’t kill them because Mulder is good at his job and determined that some DoD agents shot the parents because William/Jackson was part of some eugenics experiment.  As Jackson explains to one of his two girlfriends, he found he can cast illusions and visions, and the Ghouli thing was a prank gone wrong, but now these suited guys are looking for him.  Possibly to kill him.  Or just to take him in.

You know, I’d say William was definitely Fox Mulder’s son with his, shall we say, womanizing ways since Mulder is such a horndog, but the Smoking Man, who pops up briefly in this episode before Skinner goes to give Mulder some more information about the eugenics program, is still apparently William’s father.  Beyond the two girlfriends thing, William seems like a good kid, and he doesn’t deserve what happens to him.  He does use his powers to make the DoD creeps all shoot each other, but he also uses them to talk to Scully.

See, that’s what finally sold me on this character:  William is acquitted well enough here, and Scully has a hell of a good monologue where she apologizes to what she thinks (incorrectly) is her lost son’s corpse.  I won’t say I was all Team William all of a sudden, but all things being equal, the show made an effort to make William sympathetic.

Then again, this episode was written and directed by James Wong, and he actually knows how to put a good X-Files episode together.

Up next, Skinner goes missing.