X-Files Review – “Par Manum”

There was another new episode of “The X-Files” last night. As always, the spoiler-filled review follows.


This was the episode Chris Carter promised us that would explain Scully’s pregnancy. (He’s also said that the baby should be due during the season finale.)

The episode begins with a woman in labour being reassured by David Haskell. The doctors decide to do an emergency C-section, and manage to manouver Haskell out of the room, locking the door behind him. The woman gives birth to a child with the now-familiar large all-black eyes of the X-Files aliens.

After the opening credits (which now list Duchovny, Anderson, and Patrick as the stars), Haskell comes to Doggett and Scully, claiming that his wife was murdered to cover up the nature of their child. He calimed his wife was an abductee, who had been given cancer, cured of it, left barren, and impregnated. Scully gave him the bum rush, but Doggett continued the investigation, noting the similarities between his wife’s story and Scully’s X-file. (Don’t forget, Scully only shared news of her pregnancy with Skinner and her doctor.)

Haskell provided an ultrasound (produced by Zues Genetics) as evidence of his wife’s abnormal pregnancy. Scully went to Zues Genetics to investigate further, and eventually hid in a room filled with abnormal fetuses. (This is a room that probably should have been locked, unless they actually wanted her to see it.) Scully then took the ultrasound to her own doctor, to have him compare it to hers.

Meanwhile, Doggett continued to pursue the investigation after Scully told him there was nothing they could do. Among the little tidbits was the discovery that Scully’s doctor was one of the doctors the Haskell’s consulted during the pregnancy.

Haskell was called into the FBI to discuss the other points Doggett dug up. There was no record of the Haskell’s marriage, and Haskell had a history of threatening people, such as his wife’s doctor. While leaving on hte elevator, Haskell used his cell phone to call the people at Zeus Genetics, and warn them that they could “lose Mrs. Hendershod.”

Mrs. Hendershod came to Scully at home, and asked for her help. After taking a leave of absence from the FBI, Scully brought her to another hospital to have a proper examination of the child, and to have her own child checked as well.

Meanwhile, Doggett found that Haskell was a CIA agent who was reported dead in 1970. He went to a friend to find out what was going on, but was given a plausible brush-off. (Is there a field of law-enforcement anywhere that doesn’t employ one of Doggett’s friends?)

When having her ultrasound, Scully noticed that the VCR was set to play rather than rewind; she was being shown someone else’s ultrasound. She escaped, bringing Mrs. Hendershod with her. On the way out, she met Doggett’s CIA friend and some of his associates, who told her to get in their getaway vehicle. During the escape, they ran off the road to avoid incoming police, and stopped the vehicle at Scully’s request to deliver Mrs. Hendershod’s child. Scully was kept away from Mrs. Hendershod, and drugged. Local police showed up just after the birth.

Scully awoke in the hospital to find Doggett with her, telling her that she would be fine, as would Mrs. Hendershod, (who is referred to by Scully as Mrs. Henderson in this scene. Oops.) and both children. This is the scene in which Doggett finally finds out about Scully’s pregnancy. It was the final scene in the episode.

Running parallel to these events were a series of flashbacks describing exactly Scully became pregnant. As most fans may remember, Scully’s ovum were removed during her abduction, and Mulder recovered them, but they weren’t viable. What we didn’t know was that Scully brought them to her own doctor, who said that they were viable. She then went to Mulder to ask him to donate the sperm for artificial insemination. (This was probably the funniest line in the episode. Scully suggested he talk to her doctor to find out what he needed to do, but Mulder assured her he was an expert at that part.) In the final scene of the episode, we learn that the impregnation didn’t work. So, how can she be pregnant now? I guess we’ll have to tune in next week…

Overall Impression

This episode belongs in sweeps week. We got a lot of answers, and a few new questions. The shipper/noromo debate is still unsettled; Mulder may be the father of the child, but he wasn’t actually present at the time of conception.

Doggett was well handled in this episode too. His reactions to Scully’s habit of withholding information was absolutely believable. Robert Patrick seems to have just slipped into the role from day one as though he’d been playing the part since the pilot episode.

In terms of the other major characters, Skinner was present, but barely used. Duchovny was back (and, based on the credits, will stay back for the rest of the season.) However, Mulder is still absent.

In terms of writing and directing, this episode was very well done, with no flaws that I can recall. Even the unlocked door makes sense when you realize that Scully was being set up from the beginning. No one scene really comes across as outstanding, since they are all of very high quality.

This episode is the perfect lead in to next week’s, which ends the February sweeps period. I’ll refrain from putting spoilers here now, but that episode (titled This Is Not Happening) should be very pivotal.

In the end, I give Par Manum 3.5 stars out of 4.

One reply

  1. it was all about trust
    Good synopsis. This episode was all about trust. We

    learned that Scully finally learned to trust Mulder,

    just before he disappeared. Now she is having a hard

    time trusting Doggett. Although she’s worked with

    Doggett for a while now, she couldn’t bring herself to

    disclose anything to him. Yet when her suspicions

    became aroused at the Army hospital and she was trying

    to escape, she immediately trusted the fellow who

    suddenly appeared and ordered her to get into his

    truck. I’m not sure, but this man was probably the same

    guy who Doggett was talking to earlier. Doggett was

    trying to get the ID on “Haskell” from him. Doggett

    seemed to trust this guy (who looks like Krycheck), but

    not completely. Scully immediately trusted him, which

    was unfortunate.

    The folks they’re messing with now seem particularly

    nasty. I have a feeling that Scully may meet an

    untimely demise before the season is over. That would suck.

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