The X-Files: Shadows   Rewatch 
March 2, 2020 9:06 PM - Season 1, Episode 6 - Subscribe

Scully and Mulder are called to Philadelphia to investigate the medically inexplicable deaths of two men who had attacked a young secretary at a bank machine, only to be found dead hours later with their throats crushed from the inside.
posted by orange swan (5 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Scully: How can the esophagus be crushed without the neck even being touched?

Mulder: Psychokinetic manipulation.

Scully: Psychokinesis? You mean how Carrie got even at the prom?
posted by valkane at 4:01 AM on March 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

One of the things I forgot about until this rewatch thread went up is how "guardian angel" stories were a thing for a minute in the 90s. They were all over the trashier news mag programs. This episode is starts with the psychokinesis angle before it reveals the poltergeist angle, but it kind of feels like a guardian angel story. (I'm not actually rewatching as these threads go up, but I think the idea even comes up in the episode?)

The other thing I'm reminded of is the "speculation" at the time that radical Islamic terrorism would replace the Soviet Union as the big existential threat of the age. Complete nonsense, of course, while 9/11 was a horrifying tragedy there was never an existential threat posed by terrorists on the same level as global thermonuclear war. But the idea that Jihadis were the new Soviets was definitely in the air.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:01 AM on March 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

I am pretty sure this was the first X-Files episode I ever saw, back in the day. I remember finding the bathtub scene suspenseful in a horrifying way. I definitely found the "weapons sale to jihadists" angle surprisingly prescient on this rewatch.

The way the other two agents remained silent in response to Mulder and Scully's questions/comments was bizarre. Surely in real life they would have said something like, "We're working on a case that we think is related to this murder, so we're limited in what we can tell you."

That lovely little arts & crafts house of Lauren's was much nicer than what a 26-year-old secretary with no family help would reasonably be able to afford, but I suppose that was explained by the 15K in credit card debt.

I don't understand why Lauren wasn't more cooperative with Mulder and Scully. Sure, she'd be afraid that the protective ghost stuff would make her sound crazy, but she had concrete things to talk about: the owner of her company threatening her, followed by two assassins actually appearing at her door.

Lorena Gale's delivery of the "Howard Graves is very deaaaaaad" line was unforgettable. It's a shame her character doesn't become a recurring role. She does appear three more times in the X-Files oeuvre: in "Elegy", "One Breath", and in I Want to Believe (the second movie), but as different characters.

Fun fact: The pathologist in this episode was played by Kelli Fox, little sister of a certain Michael J. Fox. She's more of a stage actress and isn't so well-known. Interestingly, Michael J. Fox would have been very unlikely to be cast in any X-Files role. A lot of well-known actors wanted very much to be on the show, but the producers preferred to go with unknowns, as they thought it hurt the realistic feel of the show to go with famous actors, or even actors with model-perfect looks.

And Mulder and Scully are off to see the Liberty Bell.
posted by orange swan at 11:53 AM on March 3, 2020 [2 favorites]

Another example of "enhance. ... enhance. enhance some more!"

Scully's hair keeps changing every episode. It's a little distracting.

Can't remember when Scully experiences her first incontrovertibly unexplainable experience. Mulder taking another one in stride.
posted by porpoise at 7:29 PM on March 21, 2020 [1 favorite]

I kinda feel like they just said "Let's add Mulder and Scully to the movie Ghost and call it a day."
posted by Monochrome at 6:14 PM on March 22, 2020

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