season 4, episode 4, “unruhe”
todd vanderwerff of the av club said, “as much as mulder is the show’s sense of purpose, scully is its heart, and any time she’s in danger, it feels like the show itself is about to be stabbed through the heart.” i love this quote and i feel the same way. that’s why i am always drawn to the scully heavy episodes. the stakes seem unbearably high when she’s in peril. in this episode, scully finds herself in danger at the hands of a psycho killer. again. this is one of those fully developed stories that could have played as a feature length film. it’s a scary psychological thriller. the “thoughtographs” concept is really cool and lends itself to visual storytelling.
the killer, gerry, thinks he is curing troubled women by lobotomizing them and ridding them of the howlers, monsters in their brain. it is a frightening premise. he’s not aware that his own nightmares are being projected onto any nearby film. when developed, the film shows the victim being devoured by the howlers. scully finds a non-parnormal connection to two of the crime scenes. a construction company had sites nearby each location. mulder only wants to pursue the affected photos. scully’s patience with mulder seems to be running thin and she is bothered by this case. not like she was in “irresistible,” but dispirited that these horrors are happening and she has no solid leads. however, the combination of both of their avenues of investigation end up leading scully to catch the killer. during the interrogation, gerry tells scully she is troubled. she’s mostly troubled by the crimes he has committed and desperately wants to find the latest missing girl before it’s too late.
alas, they are too late. they find alice brandt dead. scully is devastated and frustrated. mulder wants to know more and scully says it’s over. she’s disappointed that they were unable to save her. well, it’s not over because gerry escapes custody and he comes after scully. he wants to save her from her howlers. a captured scully tries to talk with gerry, to understand where he’s coming from and reason with him. she tries to convince him that he’s sick and that howlers aren’t real. but, “pictures don’t lie,” he says. it’s hard to argue with that. mulder’s evidence is actually supporting gerry’s madness and it’s certainly not helping scully’s situation. mulder continuing to use the photographs to find scully does end up locating her. he busts in just in the knick of time and kills gerry. scully, deeply dejected, wraps up her case notes. she finds herself showing up in yet another x-file and like the audience, wondering how much more suffering she can take.
of course scully took german in college.
scully’s realization that gerry is the killer is superb. the timing, the framing, the acting. spot on.
pruitt taylor vince plays a good scary guy. he scared the crap out of me in “identity.”
i will forever be scared that someone will stab me from underneath my parked car thanks to this episode.
watching in this day and age you can’t help but think when he turns the camera on himself, “but first, let me take a selfie.”
the single tear at the end, though. heartbreaking.
mulder steps in when gerry tells scully she’s troubled.
he helps her out of the chair after saving her just in time. it’s a close up of him grabbing her hand. it is so intimate. someone on twitter called it hand sex. haha.
m: “why would she stab her boyfriend in the ear? the magic was gone?”