Autumn Tysko's Reviews

Smiling Scully

Analysis, analysis

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Mulder and Scully Isms

The Irresistible Shrine

I think that most Philes have that one episode, that has turned The X-Files from just another show, to THE show, for them. That was the case for me, with "Irresistible". You see, there hasn't been an episode since, that has left me in such awe. Yes, I know that this is a 2nd season episode, and the show has progressed and evolved so much since then - in storyline, in character building and in the level of writing - but what can I say? "Irresistible" just caught me in a way, that no episode has done since. So, I've decided to dedicate this space to the episode that is special to me. Hey, I'm entitled to, aren't I?

So what makes "Irresistible" such a stand-alone episode? I mean, we've seen both Mulder and Scully being put in danger more than a handful of times. Well, in my opinion, it was a lot more than just the usual Scully-in-jeopardy episodes (which, I'm a sucker for, but that's another story). Chris Carter, who wrote this episode, gave us a rare opportunity to glimpse into what's really going on inside Dana Scully's soul.

Gillian Anderson delivers an aching and troubled Scully. The episode takes place not long after her abduction and return, and even though she's handling it with her usual "I'm fine, Mulder", it's obvious she's far from it. Scully has seen her fair share of disturbing images, she's a pathologist after all, but this particular fetishism case has shaken her usually stable composure. Two particular scenes, that we, the viewers had the privilege to see, and Mulder didn't, show us how frightened Scully really is:

  • The first takes place in Moe Bocks' office, Scully's looking at victims' photos in the case's
    folder, and she sees herself as one of them. She leaves the room, without a
    word, but with a very stern expression.
  • In the second scene Scully is dreaming. She's about to perform an autopsy, and it's herself,
    who is the dead body on the autopsy table.
    Both these scenes strike me as very important, as we see how troubled Scully is, and personally, I was deeply moved by them, and still am, as I write this right now.
    But it's not the facing-the-facts I'd really like to see on The X-Files, even though there's a great deal of emotionality here. You all know how hard it is for Dana Scully to reveal her emotions, and to Mulder of all people, which makes the final scene so tender and touching.

    As much as "Irresistible" is a Scully-episode, one cannot ignore Mulder's part in it. There are, oh, so many episodes, in which Mulder is being his insensitive, flippant self, especially towards Scully. But in this one, David Duchovny gave us a caring Mulder, who was sensitive to his partner's feelings. In that context, I especially liked the scene in the jail-house, where Scully declares she's taking the next flight to Washington DC, and he knows better than to get into the reasons why. He just says: "I think it's a good idea. But I don't want you to think you have to hide anything from me, Scully".
    I'd like to point out another thing, which was written to me by a fellow Phile. Mulder's previous experience with the Violent Crimes section kicks in here. He jumps into high gear when he realises the desecration is the work of an escalating fetishist. This is his area, and he knows it, and with a quick dangerous assessment (which turns out to be 100% accurate - remember, he's no slouch at profiling), Mulder assumes control of the investigation. This was an excellent way of keeping both characters involved in what was, essentially, an episode that revolved around Scully.
    [Thank you, Yomper, for letting me use this].

    That very moving crying scene at the end was like a catharsis, and I could feel Scully's relief flowing through the TV screen. And even though it was Mulder who came to the rescue (which is a tendency of Chris Carter and Co. I don't usually like), I sure was glad he was there for her.
    The final monologue, delivered by Mulder this time (as if saying -'Scully is still recuperating, so I'm filling in for her'), was very well put, and I'm transcribing it here:

      "The conquest of fear lies in the moment of its acceptance. And understanding
      what scares us most is that which is most familiar, most common place. That boy
      next door, Donnie Pfaster, the unremarkable younger brother of four older sisters,
      extraordinary only in his ordinariness, could grow up to be the devil in a buttoned-
      down shirt. It's been said that the fear of the unknown is an irrational response to
      the excesses of the imagination. But our fear of the everyday, of the lurking stranger,
      and the sound of foot-falls on the stairs. The fear of violent death and the primitive
      impulse to survive, are as frightening as any x-file, as real as the acceptance that it
      could happen to you".

    You thought you're over and done with this episode? Think again. I present you with:
  • Autumn Tysko's "Irresistible" review, which is definitely worth looking into.

  • Also, even though I wouldn't declare of being a total relationshipper, I'd have to say that there's something there, between those two, that is stronger than any romantic duo I've seen in a long time. So here are Those scenes that were just, ummm... (I can't put my finger on exactly what those scenes are, but you'll see my point).

  • A piece written by Vered Gilad, that elaborates on the "Irresistible" themes. An excellent piece, in my opinion, that brings more dimension and depth to this ever so analysed episode...

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