The X-Files: The Field Where I Died   Rewatch 
May 14, 2020 7:23 PM - Season 4, Episode 5 - Subscribe

An FBI investigation of a doomsday cult has Scully and Mulder interviewing a 25-year-old cult member who says that in one of her past lives she was a nurse during the Civil War... and that Mulder was a Confederate soldier who died in her arms in the field adjoining the cult compound.
posted by orange swan (3 comments total)
Oh god. This one.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:03 AM on May 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

The pacing for S03 has been pretty great, following a really solid thriller episode (that followed a supercharged mytharc 2 parter) with this much more introspective one.

Mulder definitely has a "soft spot" for young women in distress, which often clouds his judgement.

Do small towns with archives dating back to the 1800s still exist? Especially for the climate, I'm super surprised at how well preserved the historical records are.
posted by porpoise at 10:04 AM on May 15, 2020 [1 favorite]

I don't believe in reincarnation at all, but I must admit that the idea of souls reconnecting in each life they have is pretty cool and a nifty premise for a show like this.

Also cool... the Civil War-era past lives created for Mulder and Melissa Ephesian were drawn from real life:

Mulder and Melissa's Civil War personas Sullivan Biddle and Sarah Kavanaugh were taken from real life Civil War soldier Sullivan Ballou who wrote a now-famous (and very moving) letter to his wife, Sarah, in which he assured her that his love for her was 'deathless' and that even though he might be killed in the war, he would always be with her, he would wait for her, and that 'we shall meet again'. One week after writing the letter, Sullivan Ballou was killed in the First Battle of Bull Run.

But... this episode's plot hinged on the notion that the FBI couldn't find the cult's weapons stockpile and were unable to criminally charge Vernon Ephesian and the other members of his cult, which meant that Mulder and Scully had to work with Melissa to try to get at that information, and when they couldn't, it had tragic consequences. But I don't buy it that they couldn't find the weapons without further info from Melissa. How hard could it have been for the FBI, who after all are specially trained to search for such things, to find that damn bunker with the weapons stockpile in the space of 24 hours? Come on, the field wasn't even that big!

Yes, Mulder does have a pattern of becoming too emotionally attached to young female victims. And his focus definitely became more about exploring the idea of the past lives where he and all the people who are currently significant to him were all connected than on finding that fucking weapons stockpile.

Mulder and Scully demonstrate quite an impressively thorough knowledge of the Book of Revelation in this episode. Scully would have been trained in such things growing up, but Mulder seems to have quite a surprisingly in-depth knowledge of Christian texts for someone who is, at most, nominally Christian.

We have a good shipper moment when Mulder and Scully talk about the possibility of having known each other before. Mulder calls Scully "Dana", as he rarely does, and she says she wouldn't change a moment of the past four years except for the whole Flukeman thing. You'd think she'd want to change the murder of her sister and his father, not to mention her multiple abductions and traumatic experiences, etc., but I guess she was being kind.

I'm sure the historians at the archives are going to be thrilled about the tearing of the Sarah Kavanaugh photo once they get it back.
posted by orange swan at 12:19 PM on May 15, 2020

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