Eve is one of the few episodes of the first season that holds up completely almost two decades later. Remember how I said Philes don’t let friends watch “Space” (1×8)? Feel free to preach Eve to the unconverted. I know I have. It’s no wonder a band named themselves after it. Unlike much of Season 1, it doesn’t suffer from hokey special effects or a distractingly 90s wardrobe. It’s a plain, good story.
This is the only X-Files episode written by Chris Brancato and Kenneth Biller who previously worked together on Beverly Hills, 90210. That’s rather a shame since they did such a solid job. Biller went on to become a writer and producer on shows such as Star Trek: Voyager, Smallville, and the recently mourned Legend of the Seeker. Brancato’s resume isn’t far behind. We could bemoan the lost potential, but since that won’t do any good let’s go ahead and celebrate the one episode they did give us.
This is the grand spooky kid tradition. In and of itself, the model can’t be called original. But these two girls are double the pleasure, double the fun. Multiplying the child times two makes for something more interesting than average. They aren’t merely morose a la The Omen. They aren’t merely repetitive like in The Shining. Do they steal the show? Not exactly. The performance of the twins isn’t what sells the episode. The rest of the episode, especially Harriet Harris’ performance as the adult Eves, is what convinces you that these girls are evil. That’s not surprising. Outside of Haley Joel Osment, Dakota Fanning, and Jodie Foster, kids usually aren’t too adept at nuance and subtlety. Still, the girls give an effective if not stellar performance. Mulder and Scully don’t run into a nemesis this clever again until “Pusher” (3×17).
Dare I confess it with glee? Mulder was WRONG. And not just half wrong, WRONG. Not once, but three times in the same episode. First, he thinks aliens are behind the killings, then he refuses to believe two killers are working in tandem. And even when he changes his mind about that aspect of the case, he blames the murders on Eve 7 and Eve 8 while ruling out the girls as suspects. If I were keeping track, and I am, this is the first episode where Mulder was completely off. Somebody must not have given the writers the memo.
And the Verdict is…
For now, let’s forget the writers. Hats of to the actors who managed to leave pretentiousness behind in drama school. Sometimes when it feels as though every actor on television is doing his best William Shatner impression, I can still slip in a DVD and listen to Mulder and Scully talk like real people. They’re not affected, not too well groomed (yet), not too cool. They’re just normal. OK, so they have above average intelligence and natural good looks. For all that, they feel like they could, wait for it… actually be FBI agents! Just think if Mulder and Scully had talked like they do on CSI. Cold shudder
Our agents get taken for a spin this time around. If not for Deep Throat’s intervention and the little girl spilling the poison, they would never have solved this case. Investigation-wise? They fail. Character progression? That’s a no. But that doesn’t matter. This case isn’t about Mulder and Scully, it’s about the X-File itself. In that way, it’s very separate from the previous stunner, “Ice” (1×7), where the tension between our two leads becomes the star. We finally have an episode that’s purely out to give us the creeps, a milestone indeed.
Why did the girls exsanguinate their fathers, exactly? Why make the murders obvious? Maybe it was just a game to show how smart they are.
How does Teena Simmons know to psych Mulder out with the red lighting bit? I can only assume she surmised what he was hinting at from his leading questions and decided to play him.
If it’s a contest between this and the rest of the creepy kid episodes produced during the series’ run… “Conduit” (1×3), “Born Again” (1×21), “The Calusari” (2×21), “Revelations” (3×11), “Chinga” (5×10), and “Scary Monsters” (9×14), I’d have to say “Eve” is the most effective overall.
For once, Scully couldn’t stomach her own nonsense. She looked embarrassed at her own suggestion of mere coincidence.
Scully: Mulder, you’re rushing me out of the room
Mulder: No, I’m not.
Scully: You have a girl coming over?
Mulder: What’s a girl!
Mulder: One girl was just abducted.
Mulder: Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.
Eve 6: Unlock the chains… then we’ll talk.
Mulder: They’re probably there for a good reason.
Eve 6: No. Bad reason. I paid too much attention to a guard… bit into his eyeball. I meant it as a sign of affection.
Eve 6: This replication of chromosomes also produces additional genes. Heightened strength, heightened intelligence…
Mulder: Heightened psychosis.
Eve 6: Saved the best for last.