The fourth-last X-Files episode aired last night.
It looks like these final five all deal with the
mytharc. They’re trying to tie up loose ends, so
I don’t see how to really keep the reviews and
discussions spoiler-free and useful. So, the
score was 31 out of 42. The spoilerish
discussion follows.

Cast

Robert
Patrick

as John Doggett
Annabeth
Gish
as
Agent Reyes
Gillian
Anderson
as Dana Scully
Mitch
Pileggi
as Walter Skinner

Chris
Owens
as the Deformed Man

Crew

Story by Chris
Carter
, David
Duchovny
and Frank
Spotnitz

Teleplay by Chris
Carter

Directed by David
Duchovny

Original Airdate


William
originally aired on
Sunday,
April 28,
2002.

Synopsis

After a late night at work, Doggett starts to
head home, only to catch
a man breaking into the X-Files office stealing
the files regarding
Samantha Mulder. The very disfigured individual
soon proves to be
very familiar with the X-Files, and with recent
events in Scully’s
personal life. He claims that Mulder told him
the details of all of
this. Doggett begins to suspect he is Fox
Mulder, and DNA tests
confirm that idea. Scully refuses to believe
that’s true, though. He
gains their trust enough for Scully to bring him
to her apartment,
where she had hidden the files he came
specifically for. While there,
he injects William with a form of magnetite.
(This is presumably the
same form that killed the shadow man back in
TrustNo1.) A
thourough examination of the baby shows that,
apart from the presence
of the magnetite in his blood, he’s perfectly
normal.

At this point, Scully realizes that this is not
Mulder, but Mulder’s
half brother Jeffrey Spender, who had been
disfigured but not killed
by a gunshot wound to the face in One
Son
. He and Mulder are
half brothers, which is why the DNA test came up
as a match for
Mulder. He convinces Scully that the people who
disfigured him will
keep hunting her now-normal baby for the rest of
his life, so Scully
chooses to give William up for adoption. He is
adopted by a nice
family that live out in the middle of nowhere,
where he is unable to
make the mobile spin with his mind. (The mobile
was a bunch of white
buffalos. See The Blessing Way for
explanation of that
imagery.)

High Point

Exit the demon sprog. This is the most sensible
decision Scully has
made in her entire career as a mother.

Low Point

In Christmas Carol, we learned that the
FBI DNA labs are able
to distinguish DNA finely enough to know that
Emily was Dana Scully’s
not, and not Melissa Scully’s. Now it can’t
distinguish between half
brothers. That seems very inconsistent to me.

That’s not the worst part, though. CSM shot
Jeffrey Spender in the
face, and didn’t kill him? If he wanted to kill
him, he could have
left him there to rot. If he didn’t want to kill
him, why did he aim
for the face? Jeffrey should not have survived
to return this week.

The Review

This premise of this episode is new for The
X-Files. In that respect, it’s
original. In terms of the kind of
stress Scully was facing,
it was too much like TrustNo1 for my
tastes. I give it 4 out
of 6.

The effects this week were limited to
makeup effects.
However, I have to give them a lot of credit for
that very convincing
hole in the face. 5 out of 6.

The story was minimal. This was about
how Scully would react
to the possibility of Mulder returning as
something else. The plot
was simple to follow and slow moving. I give it
3 out of 6.

The acting this week was very good.
Chris Owens did a great
job mixing Mulder’s mannerisms with Spender’s.
He threw off his voice
so it wouldn’t be immediately recognizable.
Gillian Anderson really
conveyed the appearance of a woman who’s trying
very hard not to break
under extreme stress. Everyone else was
perepheral, and did their
best to just stay out of the way. I give it 5
out of 6.

The emotional response this week was
alright. I was
interested in finding out how the episode would
be resolved despite
the fact that I recognized Chris Owens under all
that makeup. I give
it 4 out of 6.

The production was excellent. David
Duchovny is a much better
director now than when he directed The
Unnatural
and
Hollywood, A. D.. Mark Snow’s
understated score worked well,
and Bill Roe’s dark photography helped to
emphasize the levity of the
situation, and the need for secrecy. I give it 5
out of 6.

Overall, this was a good episode to run
in the last few
episodes. It did a nice job of resolving a
character whose death
seemed unimportant at the time (which almost
makes sense now that
there was no death.) It also took care of
William Scully in a way
that makes sense in context, and prevents him
from slowing things down
in the future. Finally, it even included an
impact on the mythology
when they made William Scully normal. I give it
5 out of 6.

In total, William received 31 out of 42.

The Coming Weeks

On May 5, we get Release, which looks to
bring
up some old demons regarding John Doggett’s son.
On May 12, we get
Sunshine Days, about a guy who is
obsessed with The Brady
Bunch
. On May 19, the broadcast starts an
hour earlier than
normal for the two hour series finale, The
Truth
.