The X-Files: Momento Mori   Rewatch 
May 23, 2020 8:02 PM - Season 4, Episode 14 - Subscribe

Scully is diagnosed with an inoperable tumour, and begins treatment for it, while Mulder and Skinner both go to desperate lengths in their separate attempts to save her.
posted by orange swan (5 comments total)
Anderson deserves the Emmy she won for this.

In retrospect, Scully not explicitly confronting her cancer status in 'Never Again' (last episode) and having her do it in the opening of this episode works better especially if 'Never Again' is considered to have occurred cannonically after 'Leonard Betts.'

The show's been ok about having her wear boots when appropriate, I wonder if showing her in boots in a hospital setting is meant to show vulnerability and the desire for "armour" or protection.

Skinner's deal with the devil was heady stuff.
posted by porpoise at 2:18 PM on May 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

Not an oncologist, but the chemo/ radiation to facilitate "gene therapy on p53" doesn't make sense to me. p53 is a cell cycle regulatory protein that's disrupted in a large number of cancers; the idea is to introduce gene expression of p53 into cancer cells - wouldn't require the chemo/ radio to do so.

p53 overexpression wasn't in clinical trials until the late 90s - usually through various viral vectors, and was an adjunct to conventional therapy. A quick search shows that as of 2018, p53 therapy in some form is actually available. Delivering overexpression of p53 into cancer cells effectively and efficient remains a major challenge.

"Gamma knife" (brain stereotactic radiosurgery) - precise localized exposure of gamma radiation is a high risk but sometimes effective operation for tumours in regions such as here - I believe, was available in the mid 90s.

The "feel like you're dying" refers to systemic chemo/ radio.

Penny's dig on "chemo compassion is not something that they have" on the oncologists feels... in poor taste by the writers, at the very least.

lol, "I'm trying to hack into the system but can't get by the password protec." Er, getting by the "password protec" is the point of "hacking" - which Mulder does in a way.

The "DNA stuff" on the floppy drive is technobabble, but I'll forgive because of Mulder's "Well, pick out something black and sexy and prepare to do some funky poaching."
posted by porpoise at 2:20 PM on May 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

Penny's dig on "chemo compassion is not something that they have" on the oncologists feels... in poor taste by the writers, at the very least.

Didn't Penny say "human compassion is not something that they have"?
posted by orange swan at 5:28 PM on May 24, 2020 [1 favorite]

I heard it as chemo, like a beginnings of the descriptivist language wars. I guess, this is - again - US health care, so maybe it's just that and my bad.

edit: "Chemo compassion" ~~ compassion for people undergoing chemotherapy
posted by porpoise at 8:50 PM on May 24, 2020

We don't see Scully's tattoo in the cold open despite the hospital gown showing so much of her back.

There's an outtake in which Mulder and Scully kiss in the scene in the hallway, but that was edited out for the final version of the episode. I think I like the idea of their first kiss happening under happier circumstances.

Skinner won't let Mulder put himself in CSM's power to help Scully, but he does so himself. As I've said before, Skinner is the unsung hero of this show.

When Scully writes her journal letter to Mulder, she seems to write specifically in a vein he can relate to -- a kind of Mulder-speak.

Mulder can't bring himself that all the women from the alien abduction support group are dead but Penny.

"The truth is in me" is an atrocious line. They couldn't have had Scully say something about how, in this case, the truth was in science/medicine?
posted by orange swan at 8:06 AM on May 26, 2020

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