starts out simply enough----an office building where a woman is
mail to the occupants of each floor. It is her nightly route, and she
is used to
it----until she sees a strange man following her. She speeds up, and
She gets into an elevator and he follows. She is, needless to say,
Finally though, we see the occupants of the elevator change from
to black and white, and the man suddenly backs out. The elevator
behind him, and he starts walking in the other direction---of the
suddenly stops. The lights blink. The cables snap, and, in true
spookiness, we watch in half darkness as the terrified occupants
drop to their
death. The mysterious old man (having run down the stairs) is
them at the basement floor. And as the elevator doors open to reveal
a limp, dying
hand, he flashes his camera.
Scully is called
into AD Kersch’s office---alone--- while doing background
her desk with Mulder. She is offered a case with an “up and coming”
Peyton. Peyton is trying to figure out how a crime scene photographer
Felig) always manages to be at the “crime scene” right after the
He shows Scully photos and tells her he could use her help. Scully
leave and is suspicious. Kersch then makes it clear---this is NOT
her and Mulder’s
case. Mulder’s career, in Kersch’s opinion, is a lost cause.
wants to save Scully’s even if, as it would appear, she does not.
her it could mean promotion. (not in those exact words, but he
Scully closes her eyes and does NOT look happy.
When she gets
back to Mulder, we see that Mulder’s been doing a bit of
He’s got the crime scene photos that Peyton showed Scully on his
He seems a little perturbed that she’s going to be working on an X
him----and with a new partner. He emphasizes that. She tells him
is only a one time shot. Peyton comes in, and introductions are made.
with Peyton for NY, and Mulder looks sad.
the old man manages to catch another photo op. ----A young kid is
murdered for his shoes. Felig (the photographer) goes and takes some
is stabbed, and his camera is taken. However, he pulls the knife
out and walks
Peyton do some digging. Apparently, it seems like this
doesn’t age. All his ID photos----from the 60’s and onward all
exactly the same.
Next day, Peyton
and Scully are called to the crime scene. Scully notices
blood on the
pavement, and asks to have it checked. The knife from the stabbing
was left behind
Fenig is questioned
by Scully and Peyton. Peyton wants to bring the guy in
and Scully notices he acts like he’s in pain. When she checks the
marks on his
back, she sees stab wounds that are almost healed. That puzzles
wounds are only a day old. Fenig is released then, with only minimal
prints on the knife) but when the wounds on his back are revealed,
they let him
go. Peyton is FURIOUS. He wants to catch the guy for murder.
Mulder calls. “Hi, this is Fox Mulder. I’m looking for Dana
used to sit behind me at the FBI…”
a half smile at that. Mulder asks her how her “X File” is
though she insists it isn’t one. Mulder admits he’s been snooping
tells her he knows about the marks on the guy’s back. He tells her
not to let
Felig get away---to watch him.
Scully go on surveillence, and Scully is left by herself to watch
She hears a noise, and notices a camera flashing. She goes up to
talk to Fenig,
then asks him what is going on---they think he’s a murderer.
Scully with him on a little “excursion.”
They go downtown,
and Felig finds what he’s looking for---he tells Scully
that the prostitute
they’re looking at is going to die. She tells him
he’s planning, noone is going to die. He insists that he doesn’t
“He” just takes them. Who is “he?” Scully asks, but Fenig
The woman is
soon hassled by a thug, and Scully gets out to break it up. The
away in disgust, and is hit by a truck. Scully watches, horrified.
photos from his car, and leaves.
Next day, Peyton
approaches Scully, FURIOUS that she left with Fenig---that
she let him
go. They argue, and he insists that he will bring Felig in for
going to tell Kersch about this, and tells her he should have seen
considering her and her partner’s track record. He calls her “dana.”
she corrects him coldly.
Mulder calls. He tells her that Felig is about 150 years
did a background check. He’s also discovered that Alfred Felig has
been Alfred Felig. He’s gone by a few other aliases as well. Mulder
to go and see the guy---“before he vanishes and becomes someone
to see Felig. She asks him about what’s going on, and he insists
that he doesn’t
kill people. She wants to know why he has such little regard
life. He tells her that he takes photos of death so that he can
She notices a photo marked with the name “Lois Brady.” Leaving the
asks Mulder to check it out. He agrees. She tells him that she’s
going to stay----to
make sure that Felig won’t “bolt.”
Felig’s dark room, and he bumps into her---taking her cell
her noticing. He switches it off and hides it.
to the FBI archives and looks up “brady.” He discovers that Lois
wanted for murder---that Felig changed his name to escape charges.
IS a murderer. Mulder bolts from the archive, gathering papers, and
tries to get ahold of Scully. When he gets ahold of Peyton, he
man to find Scully----Felig is a murder---but don’t ask him to give
Peyton is confused, but agrees. Fearing for Scully, Mulder bolts
from the office.
Felig about his “being able to live forever.” She insists that
believe him. He thinks she does----or else, why would she be there?
He tells her
he’s tried to kill himself numerous times, but he never dies. He
hopes to see
death and look into it, so that he can die. Scully tells him that
he has something
most people would love to have: immortality. He says that most
love?” Scully asks softly.
asks. “Does that last forever?”
He tells her
that he can’t remember his wife’s name. He says, “Love doesn’t
and believe me, you don’t want to be there when it’s gone.”
her eyes painfully, and sighs. (wonder what she’s thinking
that’s when Felig notices it----Scully has turned black and
color of death. He looks at her, disturbed. (It’s obvious he’s
taken a liking
blessings,” he says to a very confused agent Scully.
him about what happened to make him this way, and Felig tells his
tells her of the yellow fever, and how he almost died in a hospital.
He tells her
that he was so close to death, he could see it sucking the life out
Then, he saw it looking at him. But he closed his eyes
look, and held the hand of the nurse who was comforting him.
When he awoke,
she was dead. ----He had given her his death, by wishing it away
All the while, he’s loading his camera.
“I missed my
chance,” he tells Scully. “You’re very lucky.”
He tells her
to be careful what she wishes for…
gets it----he thinks she’s about to die. She orders him to
turn the camera
off---to put it away. She is clearly upset. They fight over the
Scully handcuffs felig to the table. She looks at her watch,
fishing for her cell. It’s gone. She demands to know why.
with him,” Felig says.
There is the
sound of a door opening, and then Felig says “he’s here.”
A light shines
into the dark room, and the camera’s flash is turned on.
her eyes to see; it’s the sillohette of Peyton. He sees Felig
getting him in the chest---through the camera. Felig begins to
Peyton lowers his gun, noticing a person behind Felig----Scully.
ahead in mortification and shock, as we watch her slump to the
smearing up the wall behind her. The bullet pierced Felig
and got Scully
Peyton is horrified.
“No, no no no no no ,” he says, (more like he fears for
his job now,
rather than her safety…)as he checks her for a pulse (she looks
by this point.) He calls 911. Felig lowers his camera (which is
picks up another from the table next to him. But as he looks at her,
that he can’t do it. He realizes why the picture taking never
at him,” he tells a barely sentient Scully. “Close your eyes.”
painfully, and Felig takes her hand. Death is transferred from
her into him,
and Felig closes his eye, a moment of content stark on his face.
Later in the
hospital, Mulder watches as Kersch and Peyton speak with Scully
in her hospital
room. Peyton leaves, and Mulder looks at him coldly on the way
“You’re a lucky
man,” he tells Peyton gravely, warningly.
nods and walks off. Kersch exits. Mulder enters, a soft smile on
Scully forces one on her own as he walks over to her, taking her
fingertips lightly running over each other. He tells her about
he died of a single gunshot wound. Then, a bright smile on his face,
words to Scully that seem to make her pale:
says you’re making the fastest recovery he’s ever seen.”
She tells him
that she doesn’t understand how she ever could have
looks away, as if she’s about to cry. But Mulder tells her he
“I think that
death only looks for you, once you’ve achieved its opposite.”
Well, as far
as shippiness goes, this episode was not the most conducive to
love” dynamic. However, Mulder’s concerns for Scully, his
while she’s away on assignment, and his happiness at her recovery
are very real.
They are almost “friendshippy” in nature, but they’re there.
part of this episode, in my opinion, was the end---when Mulder and
hands in her hospital bed. It wasn’t as if they JUST held hands. He
her hand supportively, or just take it, he intertwined his
hers, and they turned each others palms over gently----caressing
to one another-----like they were trying to communicate on a higher
now, call me crazy, but I DOUBT that would have happened, had Scully
been a man.
But my real
focus here, what made this episode the SUPERB X File that it was,
was the way
it was played out. The story, and the many levels that it touched.
On one level,
we had death; horrificley taking those who were innocent and
And then here was this man, taking photos of death, trying so
to look into it and get back what he lost; his own chance to die.
we see what happens, when the most coveted gift in this world;
turns out not to be a gift at all, but a punishment. What
you wish to live, because you’re too cowardly to die? Outliving
never getting to move beyond life, to end it. Because after awhile,
there just isn’t anything left when you’re alone. Love, after there is
really DOESN’T last forever… But is that REALLY what eternal life
Is it not something to be coveted, but rather, feared?
what you wish for,” Felig tells Scully. So, did he mean that he
punished by closing his eyes? By wishing death away? For wishing it
person? Is that what the divine irony of life really is? Eternal
life, as a
fate worse than death?
In the end,
that would appear to be the case. Which brings us to the next
level of this
episode, which was the (alluded, assumed) tie-in to the also
“Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose,” and the subject of death, as it
Agent Scully. (If you’ll remember, that was the episode about the
also got attached to Scully-----and who could see HOW people were
going to die,
but not when…) Scully had asked Clyde(in that episode) “How DO I
answer was, “You don’t.”
At the time,
the response puzzled Scully, but now, it suddenly seems clear.
Could it be
that the end of this episode was really just an allusion to that
How DOES Scully die, anyway? Well, apparently, she doesn’t.
Scully closed her eyes and cheated death----she looked away and
gave her death
to Felig. She wished for life, and she got it. But remember what
Be careful what you wish for…
how do I die?”
most incriminating, (supportive of this theory) was Mulder’s
that not only was Felig dead, but that Scully was making “The fastest
doctor had ever seen.” (remember Felig’s fast healing stab
these words, Scully looks away, not happy as she should be, but
and sad. From this vantage point, we can only imagine that
remembering Felig’s words, “I gave up my chance. I held her hand and
when I woke
up, she was under a yellow sheet.”
realizes that she cheated death; that she is alive and,
Felig is dead. So though Scully is ever the skeptic, she can’t
help but remember
Felig’s lonely tale of outliving love, outliving the joy of
life; of punishment
because he was not “careful” about what he wished for. At
the end, Scully’s
words to Mulder, “People don’t live forever,” is not REALLY
meant as a
statement for him. Rather, it’s a statement directed towards herself;
herself that it isn’t possible. That it really WONT happen to her.
Scully would never admit it, the idea (although fantastic and
within the realm of science) terrifies her. Thus, those
her way of remaining “the skeptic.” It’s her way of calming her
denying it----or banishing the thought as trivial, whichever way
it. Of course though, she’d never tell this to Mulder…
stand point, was the way death was looked at: black and white,
to the vivid colors of life. Those about to be killed turned shades
white, and grey, signifying that they were about to be robbed of their
Of course though, the twist here, was that Felig saw DEATH,
LIFE as the more “colorful” option. He would have given anything to
be black and
white, to be one of the pictures he so carefully crafted, but he
in color; his perpetual punishment.
the acting in this episode was SUPERB. Fantastic. Namely, (the
that of the lovely and talented Gillian Anderson, and Geoferry Lewis
Alfred Felig. This was a very emotional , touchy episode, and it was
with the utmost care and quality. Hats off to both Gillian and Mr.
So, I give
this episode full star value, because it was, without a doubt, one
of the best
I’ve seen in ages. It just goes to prove that the X files is STILL a
force to be
reckoned with; A TV show still able to turn out spooky, chilling,
and (in this
case) classic episodes. And though I still love their new style of
quasi-romance, it was refreshing to get back to what the X Files
best: turning out superb spookiness with characters you can’t help
but care about
and root for.