The X-Files: Audrey Pauley   Rewatch 
September 7, 2020 7:26 PM - Season 9, Episode 11 - Subscribe

Moments after Monica drops John at his place, a drunk driver crashes his vehicle into hers, and Monica awakens in a strangely simplified version of a hospital, where the only other occupants are a few other confused and frightened patients, where there are no signs on the walls and the patient charts are gibberish, and where the hospital itself seems to be suspended in a black void.
posted by orange swan (4 comments total)
I really liked the concept of this one, but they really should have done some more work on the script to iron out the things that didn't make sense -- and Reyes should have been given more agency in the "mind hospital".

Tip of the hat to Tracey Ellis, who inhabited the role of Audrey so completely I never recognized her as the same actress who played Lucy Householder in "Oubliette". She's so good at playing tragic, limited, troubled characters -- and in a completely different way each time.

It defies all belief that anyone as inept and obvious at murdering his patients as Dr. Preijers is wouldn't have been caught before now.

Is there really a drug that can so reduce brain activity that the person who has been drugged would test as brain dead?

Surely Reyes's life support wouldn't have been turned off before her parents could get to the hospital?

That mind hospital was freaky, especially the surrounding black/electrical void.

Doggett imagines a change in the car scene with Reyes, that he kissed her goodnight instead of just having an awkward pause, and when Audrey says that he loves Reyes, he doesn't deny it. This episode gives us the first few indications that Reyes's love for Doggett isn't unrequited, that he feels much the same way, but won't get involved with her because he's too damaged by his son's death.

I found myself worried about the fate of Reyes's black jacket in this episode. She was wearing it in the car, wasn't wearing it when she was brought in to the E.R., and then, happily, was wearing it, or another jacket like it, when Doggett drives her home at the end of the episode. Incidentally, it was a short black jacket, different from the 3/4 length one in my previous count, so that brings her suede/leather coat collection to six (a long black leather coat, a black leather jacket, a brown leather jacket, a caramel leather coat, a rust red suede jacket, and an olive suede coat), and I'm not at all sure I haven't missed some.
posted by orange swan at 11:26 AM on September 9, 2020

I did enjoy Doggett loosening up a little (and showing vulnerability), and the show exploring Reyes' and Doggett's developing relationship. I'm not sure I buy it though. I do buy Doggett buying that paranormality exists.

The mind hospital is a visual ripoff of the Star Trek TNG episode 'The Royale' (1989).

"I came to tell you, your friend... loves you very much."

Yes, Tracey Ellis in another masterful performance. Stan Shaw had a great showing, too.

In that setting, they'd likely evaluate brain activity with an EEG which detects electrical fields. It can pick up spatially synrchonized neuronal depolarizations. One way to stop that would be a potent NMDA receptor inhibitor, required for a major class of excitatory neurotransmission. However, brain cells need to keep firing in a networked way in order for the consciousness to maintain itself. If you stopped or even disrupted firing, it can destroy pathways or create new ones and these events may contribute to mental illnesses and cognitive defects.

So a drug that could mimic brain death like this would cause severe and irreversible brain damage. MK-801 completely blocks NMDA receptors. Given to mice it permanently addles their brain in ways that are useful for certain animal models of schizophrenia.

Reyes' mind boots are a lot cuter than allowed by FBI regulations.
posted by porpoise at 6:36 PM on September 9, 2020

I remember this as a standout from the later seasons. It was maybe as Twilight Zone-y as the show ever got, with Reyes wandering around the freaky dollhouse hospital. The Doggett/Reyes era tends to blur in my memory but I've never forgotten that hospital.

By the time of the reboot/sequel series they had Reyes working with the Smoking Man and she became part of the Syndicate. I don't think Doggett ever showed up at all. They tried to redeem Reyes, saying she was working from the inside to try and do some good, but it still seemed very out of character for her to collude with this cabal of super evil guys.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 2:32 PM on September 10, 2020

(I say that, but it's been long enough that I don't quite recall her motivations. Maybe they did convincingly establish that she had no choice but to work with Cancer Man, or that she really was working for the greater good. In any case I do remember thinking the reboot kind of did Reyes dirty.)
posted by Ursula Hitler at 3:36 PM on September 10, 2020

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