The X-Files Season 1, Episode 6: Shadows

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“Shadows” was created on Fox’s (the network, not the character) insistence that the creators produce more episodes where Mulder and Scully help people. I thought it was fairly solid despite feeling a bit out of place. The series delves into issues that are so much deeper — both politically and paranormally — that this almost feels like small potatoes in comparison, though it’s still entertaining.

We see more evidence that Mulder will literally talk back to any member of any branch of government (“I’d say you people already suffer from full denial”), and his dry humor will never cease to amuse me.

There’s a handful of fun Mulder and Scully moments, like Scully instantly knowing that Mulder had lied after they’re questioned by the frustratingly quiet agents.

SCULLY: You lied to them.
MULDER: I would never lie. I willfully participated in a campaign of misinformation.

Or, shortly after, him wrapping his arm around her in the elevator after their morgue visit to show her the fingerprints he acquired on his glasses.

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Or after their car accident, Mulder’s casual toss of his suit coat over his shoulder (followed by a seemingly meaningful exchange of wordless glances). (Alright, it’s possible at this point that I’ll use any excuse to post Mulder GIFs.)

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But really, I appreciated that Mulder is still just as excited to explore a case of a potential poltergeist than any other unexplained event. It’s par for the course with him, really, but his willingness to believe the unbelievable is just… oddly refreshing.

MULDER: Either that or a poltergeist.
SCULLY: They’re heeeeeere.
MULDER: They may be.

It’s a good mix of light and dark, really. It’s got plenty of humor but there’s still the serious matter of the company selling technology to a terrorist organization, and even more serious with Lauren finding out that her recently deceased boss, Howard Graves, was murdered rather than a victim of suicide. The scene where she searches her apartment amidst hearing voices and rips open the shower curtain to see blood clouding in the tub… chilling. Then when the duo of assassins arrives to recreate the fake suicide scene with Lauren and Graves’s ghost kicks their asses… just awesome. And, naturally, Mulder is the only one to witness it — staring, mouth agape, as Scully walks in right as the man, previously suspended in mid-air by his throat, hits the ground.

Which led to Scully encouraging Lauren to get back at Dorland, hoping that they can still solve part of this case. It was a conversation that will be had, in various forms, between Mulder and Scully for seasons to come…

MULDER: What are you doing, Scully? You don’t believe.
SCULLY: Mulder, there’s no such thing as ghosts or psychokinesis. I’m sure there’s an explanation. But I believe that she believes. And my priority is to get to her help us stop Dorland.
MULDER: Well, we may have just sacrificed our best opportunity to observe spectral phenomena.
SCULLY: I’m giving us a chance to solve a case that’s tangible instead of chasing after shadows.

Ultimately an entertaining episode and a good story of revenge.

Rating: 6.5/10 | Director: Michael Katleman | Writer: Chris Carter, Glen Morgan, James Wong | Music: Mark Snow | Cinematography: John S. Bartley | Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Lisa Waltz, Barry Primus

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