MULDER: What I’ve seen, I’ve seen because I wanted to believe. I … if you look too hard, you can go mad, but if you continue to look, you become liberated. And you become awake, as if from a dream, realizing that … that the lies are there simply to protect what they’re advertising: a government which knows its greatest strength is not in defense, but in attack. It’s strongly held by believers in UFO phenomena that there is military complicity or involvement in abductions, but what if there is no complicity? What if there is simply just the military, seeking to develop an arsenal against which there is no defense: biological warfare, which justifies – in their eyes – making an ass out of the nation with stories of little green men – a conspiracy wrapped in a plot inside a government agenda.
Dude, his ass would be fired. What’s that line again? “If it looks bad, it’s bad for the FBI”? Were they really letting Mulder run around and speak at UFO conferences? Sit down, puppy. Don’t chew the FBI’s furniture.
Season 5, Episode 13: “Patient X”
As we head into the next mythology episodes of Season 5, you might notice that you actually recognize the people, events, and players in this chunk of the story, even while being introduced to new ones. That’s because the mytharc in Season 5 is quite fluid, or as fluid as the mythology could probably get by this point.
Since we haven’t had a mythology episode since “Redux II,” it makes sense that Mulder is still in a state of doubt, at least as far as aliens are concerned. When we first see him, he’s at a conference discussing the abduction claims of a woman named “Patient X,” whose real name is Cassandra Spender and who claims to have been abducted by aliens multiple times.
Unlike other abductees we’ve encountered, though, Cassandra doesn’t mind being abducted. In fact, she says that the aliens have a lot to teach us puny humans. In other words, Cassandra Spender is the exact wrong person to come along at this point in Mulder’s life, in his period of self-doubt.
Because, ultimately, that’s really what this is. It’s self-doubt more than anything else. Even though he’s quick to believe in extreme possibilities, it’s been clear for a few seasons now that Mulder recognizes the value of good, hard evidence – something he no doubt picked up from Scully. Mulder’s continued belief in UFOs was always based on his sister’s abduction. But his spiritual crisis from “Gethsemane” hasn’t exactly resolved itself. Mulder’s disbelief is in himself. He doesn’t trust those memories of his sister’s abduction anymore.
I’m so, so glad they continued this crisis of faith in Mulder. It would have been easy for them to sweep it under the rug with the cancer arc, but they didn’t. People don’t watch their other halves almost die from cancer and not come out a little spiritually shaken. And it’s not like Mulder’s basic believer role has changed much; he’s still chasing monsters, after all. But he has lost something in himself.
Speaking of losing things, we’re introduced to a new character, Agent Jeffrey Spender, who keeps losing his mother. If Jeffrey looks familiar, it’s because you’ve seen him before. Well, you haven’t seen him, but you’ve seen Chris Owens play young CSM many times. Also the Great Mutato in “Post-Modern Prometheus.” Chris Owens is hella talented, y’all.
I don’t know if it was a conscious decision to cast Chris Owens as Jeffrey Spender, but in any case, it leaves little room to wonder about Jeffrey’s parentage. We know his mother’s Cassandra Spender, so who’s the daddy? I’ll give you three guesses. You should only need one.
I know I said I wouldn’t spoil anything, so I won’t, but if you didn’t figure out who Jeffrey’s daddy is by the end of the episode, try not to pee your pants at the beginning of the next one.
We’ll be discussing poor little blueberry muffin boy Jeffrey Spender a lot more in coming mythology episodes, so stay tuned.
What else? Am I missing anything? Nope? All right, let’s move on.
STANDBY FOR DISCUSSION OF *THAT* SCENE (YOU KNOW THE ONE)
YOU KNOW, THIS ONE
THE ONE WITH LIKE, LIP CONTACT AND STUFF
Whew, did it just get warmer in here?
So, yeah. This scene. It’s hot. I don’t care what anyone says, this scene is sexy. Partly because Nick Lea and Laurie Holden just sell it, partly because the parties involved are attractive, partly because Marita Covarrubias and Alex Krycek strangely work, even if Marita’s about as charismatic as a ceiling fan.
I don’t know what else to say about this scene except that it shocked me the first time I watched it, and it also frustrated me. Now we know the show’s creators know what making out is, so what’s your excuse, Mulder and Scully? Maybe this scene is meant to show us what we think we’ve been missing in Mulder and Scully but really haven’t. It does seem like Krycek and Marita’s relationship is purely sexual, and that’s in stark contrast to Mulder and Scully.
Seriously, though. HAWT. The end.
Final score for “Patient X” is 7/10. Although it does do a good job of continuing Mulder’s arc from the last mythology episodes, I wouldn’t call this a favorite or anything. It’s a little bit slow it places and it so frequently jumps from character to character that it can get confusing, especially when you’re trying to figure out who’s against Mulder and who’s just a confused little blueberry muffin that doesn’t know what the hell’s going on. Most of the interesting stuff happens in the next episode, anyway, so not all is lost.
NOTABLE NUGGETS (AND NITPICKS)
- I can seriously think of no reason Mulder would attend that conference in the beginning except that the episode needed some nice exposition.
- I really like how Chris Owens pulls off the fresh, inexperienced but also clear-headed and determined Jeffrey Spender in this episode. It’s a nice balance of character traits, and really pulls us into this character’s conflict. Whether you like Jeffrey or don’t like him, you feel him, and that really helps us get into the story, especially in Part 2.
- This exchange:
MULDER: One more anal-probing, gyro-pyro levitating-ecoplasm alien anti-matter story, and I’m gonna take out my gun and shoot somebody.
SCULLY: Well … I guess I’m done here. You seem to have invalidated your own work. Have a nice life.
AND FINALLY….A NOTE
I’m so sorry I’ve been gone. I really and truly did not intend to have a four month gap in between any of these reviews, but there you have it. Sometimes life gets in the way, and I don’t want to half-ass these. That’s not fair to you or to the show.
Essentially, I had a very, very busy semester in college, with lots of essays that I had to turn in for actual grades and things like that. Also, the recent X-Files Revival drained me mentally and emotionally. And spiritually. And in all the other ways people can be drained.
I suppose I decided I needed a break from X-Files after the Revival, and lo and behold, a break turned into a busy, busy, busy semester. But the semester’s over, the essays have been written, and I’m ready to tackle some episodes again. Thanks for reading as always, and catch me on Twitter if you want to chat!
-Meghan (Knife Ink)