The X-Files: Emily (Part 2/2)   Rewatch 
June 9, 2020 7:37 PM - Season 5, Episode 7 - Subscribe

Scully tries to move forward with the adoption of Emily Sim, while Mulder investigates Emily's medical history.
posted by orange swan (6 comments total)
Scully's dream walk and soliloquy through the desert, very cool prop dress.

Sad to see the set for the orphanage (?) is so dilapidated. Clean, but hard used.

Mulder making Emily smile - wonder if this is the moment when Scully (internally, not consciously) allows Mulder into her heart, shortly following her frustrated confession to her mom about her isolation and guardedness.

I really liked the camerawork this ep, it was easy to tell when Scully and Mulder were looking into each other's eyes when talking, looking away, or looking close-ish. But more "tough love" from Mulder but they work together like right and left hands.

"Now are you two her parents?"
"... I'm her mother."

Oh wow. Not a lie, but a lie of omission that she gets called on.

Wow. If I was a writer, I'd have Scully say something like "I have verifiable evidence that this is my child, but there is no conventional documentation of that relationship. I am an FBI agent, and I can provide properly documented FBI forensic lab results to back my assertion."

But there's a ton of situations where I've gone, "er, duh.... huh?" instead of stating some well reasoned response on the fly, myself.

Fucking Alien Bounty Hunters (x2 or x3). Of course, they would drive oversized G-wagons.

Scully asking for antivirals for Emily is bs. Symptom of desperation? The doc talking about steroids is actual "we don't know what else to do, we can inject some steroids so please shut up."

Wow, again, social worker giving Scully some truth and Scully reacting poorly to the challenge.

"Whoever brought this child into this world... didn't intend to love her. ... this child isn't meant to be."

Mulder "So you have the chance to love her."
posted by porpoise at 9:58 PM on June 9, 2020

This is the episode where I thought "Wow, Gillian Anderson is way better than she needs to be…." And I began to pay attention to her acting.
posted by acrasis at 3:17 PM on June 10, 2020

I can't remember which episode it was, and suspect it may have been this one - Mulder and Scully have been working separately on something and meet up, or Scully's late to joining Mulder somewhere. But just before Scully met up with Mulder, she's gotten some kind of bad personal-life news, so she's a little out of it when Mulder is catching her up to speed. He notices and remarks on it, and she tells him what's going on. And all Mulder does is - he silently reaches out and puts a hand on her shoulder, just for a few seconds, and they stand there like that wordlessly; and then Scully's like "...thanks," and then she's ready to hear him out.

When the stars aligned properly this show was fantastic at catching the rapport between two people who cared very deeply and genuinely for each other, regardless what form of relationship they had.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:43 AM on June 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

What you're all saying about Mulder and Scully and David and Gillian...

My brother and I have always thought that they represented a once in a lifetime pairing. The chemistry was there and it was real.
posted by Fukiyama at 9:13 AM on June 11, 2020 [1 favorite]

The dress is lovely. We get very few chances to see Gillian Anderson in evening wear in this show. I have fond memories of the dress she wears in "Triangle".

Mulder and Scully definitely have off-the-charts chemistry. I can think of no other on-screen couple to equal them, and few even in the same league. Elizabeth and Philip in The Americans have something that approaches it (and of course Keri Russell and Matthew Rhys soon became a couple in real life).

I wish they'd developed Emily's character more. I know that's difficult to do with such a young actor, but we don't get a sense of what she's like at all, and it makes her death pretty unaffecting. She seems more like a clone than a person.

The whole Emily experience was definitely Scully's thing, but Mulder was there for Scully as much as he could be, relating to Emily, helping to care for her (I loved seeing him pick Emily up), putting in a word for her at the adoption hearings, trying to find out exactly what Emily's medical history was, beating up that doctor (have we ever seen him do such a thing?), consoling Scully as best he could when Emily slipped into a coma, and bringing white carnations to her funeral. Scully even chose to ride home from the funeral with Mulder rather than with her family.

I feel like no one's asking who Emily's father might have been.
posted by orange swan at 5:12 PM on June 11, 2020

I want to talk about the hybrids.

The ice core sample alien hybrids - the visuals used suggest some kind of parasitism or symbioticism much like cells gaining chloroplasts or mitochondria - these organelles kept their own DNA!

The writers obviously didn't think it through, so this is just me noodling. However, it's ironic that they specified an antiquated maternity test which informs us much more about the biology of hybridization than if they used the same VNTR test that was previously shown.

VNTR looks at specific defined regions of DNA. RFLP cuts up DNA at known sequence repeats and looks at the sizes of different loci - humans inherit DNA from both parents - and looking at enough of them you can tell relatedness or parentage.

That it was still usable to tell that Emily was very closely related with Melissa (who had no alien DNA) and was almost certainly Scully's daughter suggests several scenarios.

Without going into details, the alien DNA insertion(s) is/ are either very small and beyond agarose gel electrophoresis resolution, aliens knew exactly which restriction sites are used for fingerprinting/ maternity testing with one specific method, not made out of DNA (which brings a host of its own problems), or is extra-chromosomal and doesn't purify out with nuclear DNA during DNA extraction for testing.

I don't know if the biology of hybrids was ever cannonized, but the evidence suggests extra-chromosomal integration similar to cells picking up chloroplasts and mitochondria.

posted by porpoise at 7:18 PM on June 11, 2020

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