3 2×7: You are really upsetting me… on several levels.

That didn't go over well, did it?

Let me start off with some positives. First, the music in this episode is awesome. I don’t believe we’ve heard this exact refrain from Mark Snow before and if we have, I doubt it was used to such great effect. It’s lovely and haunting and perfect. Second, Mulder has some great quips in this one. The scenes between him and “the son” and between him and Dr. Browning are the highlights of the episode. And in a distant third, by tying Mulder’s loss to Kristen’s, the writers do a good job of keeping the fact that Scully is out there…somewhere… in the forefront of our minds.

Now I have to confess my prejudice. I hate this episode. In fact, for the most part, it out and out disgusts me. From the blood-sucking to the body that looked like it had been through a nuclear holocaust to the club scene to watching Mulder get his freak on to the blood filled loaf of bread… I just can’t deal. It’s like the writers of this episode picked up on everything that rubs me the wrong way spiritually, emotionally and psychologically. Oh, Morgan and Wong, how could you?

Don’t get me wrong, I can watch a decent vampire flick with the best of them. But this episode taps into everything that’s gross about the myth without exploring the psychology of it with any style or substance. And when you consider the time and place in which this episode occurs, it’s amazing that we only hear Mulder mention that little word, “AIDS,” once and then that’s the end of it. Really??

Speaking of communicable diseases, this episode relies too heavily on sex.  No, it’s not that we see a whole lot. Heck, this is nothing compared to your average episode of CSI. But it’s gratuitous because it doesn’t serve a purpose. Or at least, it doesn’t achieve the purpose for which it was filmed. Think I’m wrong? This was the first episode where The X-Files got sexy and while sex usually attracts audiences, this is one of the most panned episodes in the series. Sex by itself doesn’t always sell. We also need a plot we can sink our teeth into.

Even Mulder falls prey to the sex theme. I can only reason that Mulder is in a very dark place because of Scully’s abduction and is eager for a distraction. He’s helpless to find Scully, so I suppose he wants to feel as though he’s not impotent in every single way. Though I don’t know if I could’ve gotten my thing on with my best friend lost to the wind, especially if that friend was lost because of me. But I’m not here to judge Mulder… Oh wait. Yes, I am.

In all seriousness, Mulder’s attraction to this Kristen does relate back to Scully’s abduction and even further back to Samantha’s. He sees his sister as a vulnerable victim, a “Little Girl Lost.” Surely if she had been returned she’d have ended up like the other abductees; outcast and troubled. I believe that’s why he tries so hard to rescue women who he feels are misunderstood. He believes them when no one else will. This is yet just another case of Mulder to the rescue. He’s right, of course. Kristen Kilar certainly needs saving. How did she become a vampire in the first place? Her boyfriend beat her and busted her lip so she bit through his and it was love at first taste. No, no psychological handicaps there.

Whatever her issues, Kristen does prove sympathetic in that last moment, when she sacrifices herself to save John from what he had become. In a way, she regained the loved one she thought she had lost. Will Mulder be able to do the same?





There just happens to be a mirror perfect for spying around corners lying on the table? They need mirrors at blood banks?

Knowing that Perrey Reeves was David Duchovny’s girlfriend at the time is the definition of TMI. I really, really don’t want to know what they looked like when they… you know.

“Feeble, literal grasp of the Bible?” I’m going to ignore that dig, Mulder, because I love you. And by the way, big-haired preachers don’t take that passage about drinking Christ’s blood literally. You’re confusing evangelicals with Catholics. Sigh.

I would also like to point out that John 52:54 Does. Not. Exist. I can only assume that those numbers are significant to someone on the writing staff. I haven’t found any info on that bit of trivia, though.

The scene where we watch Mulder catalogue Scully’s file and store her personal effects is well done. It perfectly symbolizes the fact that she’s on his mind, but there’s nothing he can do about finding her at the moment.

Actually, why doesn’t Mulder check with MUFON or something? Hunt down Duane Barry’s abductee friends and try to pin down where they’re being taken? That’s why they put the “I” in the “FBI.”

Best Quotes:

John: When a snake eats a fly it’s not murder. It just is.
Mulder: Frogs eat flies.


John: Don’t you want to live forever?
Mulder: Well, not if drawstring pants come back into style.


Mulder: I’m familiar with proferia. It’s an affliction that causes lesions and blisters when skin is exposed to sunlight, not fourth degree burns. Sufferers may have a haema deficiency which can be supplemented by a small ingestion of blood, not the kind of blood-thirst that this man had. It’s probably ignorance of proferia as a disease that led to the creation of vampire myths in Asia in the middle ages. I had dismissed the possibility of the actual existence of such a creature as myth.
Dr. Browning: You are really upsetting me… on several levels.

32 responses to “3 2×7: You are really upsetting me… on several levels.

  1. I never liked this episode either. It has been awhile since I last saw it, but from what I remember there wasn’t any chemistry between M. and Kristen and the story was weak.

  2. Man, I gotta jump on the Negative Nancy Bandwagon here. This episode is terrible. I’ve read before that the writers maintain it was a much better script than the final product gave it credit for, and that the FOX censors really gutted it (can you imagine how graphic it must have been originally?!).

    In any case, the sad thing is that this was such a singular moment in the series. To have an episode where Mulder spirals out of control from Scully’s-gone-guilt is a really poignant thing, and 3 just made it come off as crass.

    Sex has never played especially well for the X-Files. Couple that with one of the most convoluted plots and the “eww” factor, and it’s no small wonder that this episode is almost universally panned.

    I’m just disappointed that the ‘moment’ was squandered on such an abysmal episode, personally.

    • I couldn’t have put it better. They took an opportunity to explore Mulder’s guilt and anguish and turned it into something “crass” and “gross.” For shame. I don’t know what Fox cut out but I suspect that in this case more would have been less.

      It would have been better to see Mulder either start to trust/suspect Krycek while investigating a case than to see him bond inexplicably with Kristen Kilar. Too bad they dropped Krycek as an FBI agent so soon.

      I always figured The X-Files was too smart for sex.

  3. I just finished watching this. And your review is spot on.

    I agree with everyone on here. The episode was very….. awkward for me. I dunno. The blood and the sex theme really grossed me out. Everything just came off wrong I thought. I think it had the potential to be a good episode but it didn’t. I missed Scully too much in this ep too. I couldn’t help imagining throughout what Scully would do if she was there solving the case with Mulder.

    Moreover, I was a little disappointed with Mulder in this ep. His bestie is somewhere unknown with people doing God knows what to her and he’s making out with the hot vampire lady all of a sudden? I don’t think I could ever do that if something similar happened to me. So he’s in a dark place, go and do yoga or something. Like you said, I’m not here to judge Mulder. Oh wait, yes I am.

    Funnily enough, this episode had one line that made me laugh harder than any other episode so far this season. Can’t remember what the guy said exactly but something along the lines of “What if he turns into a bat and escapes through the bars?” My bros and I laughed so hard at that part!

    I thought the exact same thing Salome! I was sure the next episode would be about Mulder tracking down Krycek and finding out more about Duane Barry and all. So you can imagine my surprise when I saw it was a MOTW episode. I would expect Mulder to at least make an effort in finding Krycek.

    One a side note, I did not know that the gal who played Kristen was Duchovny’s real life gf at the time. Glad I didn’t know about it until after I watched it. I never get how these actors are comfortable acting out love scenes on screen with their real life partners. Isn’t it weird? Or maybe its just me.

    • In total agreement. Well, except my favorite line is in the title. The brief glimpses of humor actually bumped this episode up a rating, believe it or not.

  4. My feelings towards this episode are pretty much neutral. I don’t dislike it but I don’t love it either. There are scenes in other episodes that are much grosser in my opinion (like Leonard Betts regrowing his head, ugh). And about Mulder and Kristen: Mulder is so lost so why shouldn’t he do things we don’t see normally of him. It doesn’t bother me. The only thing about this that episode that has always bothered me though is the “date stamp”. Here Scully is missing for three months when it’s later said that it was 4 weeks. But I don’t think Mrs Scully would’ve ordered a headstone after just 4 weeks. But then the events of Irresistible(and all other episodes in between…?) are supposed to happen in November, too -based on Scully’s autopsy of the victim in Irresistible. The length of Scully’s missing period is such an essential detail they should have paid more attention to it.

    • I get Mulder doing something abnormal, but they did it in such an… unsavory fashion that it’s a turn off. The brief flirtation he has with Kristen feels like something unclean, not like a man desperately seeking a connection because he feels lost in a storm. I suspect that’s the way it’s meant to come off, but it doesn’t quite succeed.

      Oh, and the timeline… CC played notoriously fast and loose with that!! That’ll come up some more, in a slightly different way, in Season 4.

      P.S. Eamon has a more favorable review, for the less judgmentally inclined, over here: http://imadethischriscarter.blogspot.com/2011/05/x-files-season-two-3.html

  5. I agree with everyone else’s comments. I feel really uncomfortable watching
    this – it’s like I have to watch with my eyes screwed up to blur the effect. Too much blood too. The sexy bits look like they tried too hard to make it a bit racier. And I agree with you about hating watching M getting it on with K esp as I had already heard (pre-watch) that they were an ‘item’ at the time the ep was produced. This grossed me out for all sorts of reasons I haven’t quite identified yet. If I’m re-watching, I tend to FF to the bit at the end of the story where he’s sitting on the grass fondling Scully’s cross (Q. did he get the chain lengthened so he could wear it?)

    • Sooo uncomfortable. Maybe I’m just too juvenile to handle that, but I don’t want to feel like I’m walking in on someone’s private moment – it takes me out of the show. This is definitely one of those cases where ignorance would be bliss.

      Wasn’t Scully’s chain broken when Maggie Scully gave it to Mulder? That would mean he went out and got a new one so that he could wear it… ’cause he certainly didn’t make it that long for Scully’s sake… assuming, of course, that I think this is more than just T.V. magic. It’s miraculously down to size when he gives it back to Scully later.

  6. I hate to do this but I disagree (just a little) I didn’t hate this episode, i wouldn’t rate it highly but i’ve watched it a few times over unlike some others. Things I did hate – Kristen that actress was terrible! I didn’t know she was DD’s girlfriend at the time and that disturbs me a little and makes me laugh at the fact that there is no real chemistry between them unlike him and GA. Vampire legends are full of seduction and sex and this was poorly executed in this episode i definately agree there and the acting between Mulder and Kirsten was just uncomfortable -the club scene the way he moves close to her ear each time he spoke to her, it was all just …… weird!

    But if you squint your eyes through all of that you might see what I took from this episode: I loved the use of red the blood, wine, lips, light, moon, fire,raspberry sauce, strawberrys etc etc red is a powerful colour – passion, anger, love, life, death the use of red (especially when he is in the room with the ‘son’) represents the massive amount of mixed emmotion he was feeling. I think thats why I liked this episode it showed he had really deep feelings for Scully – he didn’t sleep, didn’t shave, his tone was more monotone then usual, he was so so sad and lost, he wasn’t even very enthusiastic about the case. I felt like it showed he loves Scully alot but isn’t yet in love with her thats why it was ok he got it on with Kristen. She was also lost and they made a connection because of it. He just wanted to feel connected to something again feel alive so to speak and afterwards he slept like he found a brief moment of peace. Then she blew herself up and him sitting on that hill makes me sad he looks SOOOOO sad the way he lifts the cross and then drops it. He is so defeated thank goodness she came back the next episode.

    • But if you squint your eyes through all of that you might see what I took from this episode

      Insert 30 second chuckle here.

      I think thats why I liked this episode it showed he had really deep feelings for Scully – he didn’t sleep, didn’t shave, his tone was more monotone then usual, he was so so sad and lost, he wasn’t even very enthusiastic about the case. I felt like it showed he loves Scully alot but isn’t yet in love with her thats why it was ok he got it on with Kristen.

      I think that was the secret goal of this episode, to show just how affected Mulder was by Scully’s abduction. But what was meant to be angsty turned out a little pervy. I’m sure Kristen and Mulder worked well together on paper, but in practice it was a turnoff – what should have made Mulder sympathetic had the opposite effect.

  7. It has been hard to decide, but this is the worst episode of the entire series to me.
    Space and Teso Dos Bichos were close 2nds, but this one, oh boy. I don’t know where to start.
    I had to watch it a second time during my 5th or 6th reruns of the entire series, and the more I watch this episode, the more I find it bad.
    This episode is a joke.

    Not only it is incredibly boring, so many parts of the plots don’t make sense.

    There was a million kind of episodes the writers could have made to emphazise Scully’s absence… This one does’nt do justice.
    Like you said Salomé, the “sexyness” of this episodes doesn’t serve a point. What kind of an episode is that ? Even how Mulder behaves during Scully’s dissappearance isn’t really convincing to me.

  8. I agree with you, such a painful episode to watch, I nearly lost my lunch at the blood bread (WTF). Again I think Mulder having a one-night stand is in character for him. At this point, watching a porno isn’t gonna cut it. Everything about Mulder has been heightened since the loss of Scully I see his one and done as a part of that.

    Not everyone reacts to loss the same way, I know quite a few male friends who when very depressed turn to sex. They also tend to be emotionally stunted in respect to sharing their feelings which I think sometimes Mulder is guilty of.

    • It makes sense, emotionally, that someone might try to find comfort in sex after the loss, or alien abduction, of a loved one. The Mulder/Kristen dynamic didn’t work here though, sadly. He’s supposed to look lonely, instead he looks… gross.

  9. Definitely agree that this was one of the worst episodes. I actually thought it was in character for Mulder to sleep with Kristen, much as it disgusts me to post that. Just considering the way Mulder has acted with other women during the series and repeatedly blown Scully off. He might love Scully and his depression in this episode shows that, but that’s never stopped him from pursuing other women (though I’ve noticed Scully seldom behaves the same way with other men). But the part that I found it hardest to get over was him allowing Kristen to fondle Scully’s cross – right before the bathroom/sex scene. At the end, when he was holding her cross, I honestly didn’t know if he was thinking of Scully or Kristen, and that’s something that I shouldn’t have even had to wonder. It somehow made Scully’s cross feel tainted to allow another love interest to touch it. Could never look at the cross afterward in the series without thinking about that.

    • “But the part that I found it hardest to get over was him allowing Kristen to fondle Scully’s cross – right before the bathroom/sex scene.”

      That was… weird. But I think it was supposed to be her recognizing his pain.

      Funny how intent and execution don’t always match up.

  10. I think that right up to the point where the imprisoned “vampire” actually combusts when hit with sunshine that this episode had potential. There was something interesting about the Malibu fires, the jaded look at vampires (are they real vampires or are they pretenders?), and the way Mulder dived into the case. Then it all starts to fall apart for me. At this point in my re-watch marathon it is, by far, my least favorite. But it could have been much better, something just went wrong. As a matter of fact, it’s the only episode (so far) that I can say I dislike. And with all that, there are still some good moments – like re-opening the office, filing Scully’s report and badge – that give it merit.

    D+ is just about right.

    • You’re so right. It had potential, which is actually what makes it all the more frustrating. Mulder’s feeling impotent because he can’t do anything to help Scully so he goes out and tries to find comfort sexually with someone who gets unhappiness and darkness. Right. Okay. I may not like it, but I get it.

      This, though, takes so many wrong turns in the characterization, the story, the timing of certain events, the shaving/sex scene that is a turn off in every possible way….

      I still like the score and there was that really funny moment with Mulder and Dr. Browning. I could also tell that Mulder was truly worried about his partner. Those are the only reasons it got a D+ instead of a D-.

  11. I like to pretend that this episode doesn’t exist, just like Never Again and maybe Syzygy and All Things. The way the main characters are written in them just makes it very difficult for me to see the series, the M&S relationship as a whole, if you know what I mean. It spoils the integrity of Mulder and Scully’s characters for me.

    • Honestly, I usually ignore it too. Funny how this, Never Again, and The Field Where I Died can all be skipped without any damage done.

      Come to think of it, I usually skip All Things too. Though I’ve come to appreciate it more in recent years.

  12. Agreed that this episode is the pits, but I wanted to randomly point out that blood bankers do in fact use mirrors! As they are looking for agglutination in blood samples for typing, they use a light and a mirror to magnify what they are looking at, those tubes are tiny. I don’t think one would just be lying around, though.

  13. I’m doing a series rewatch right now, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised by a few episodes I’ve always written off as being dull or terrible as actually being decent this time around. So I went into 3 thinking that maybe it’s better than I remember. NOPE, it’s worse, much worse than I recall, to the point that I wonder if maybe the first time around I actually didn’t see the whole thing.

    I actually turned the episode off halfway through; I just couldn’t cope with it anymore. And it’s not about Mulder sleeping with Kristen; I personally hate that, but I can sort of see the argument that sleeping with a near stranger who’s kind of tied to his current case is just some kind of self-destructive behavior he’s using to cope with how lost he feels over Scully’s abduction. It’s just a terrible episode. It’s trying to be sexy, but fails spectacularly because of no chemistry between M & K and also seriously terrible directorial choices—the scene in the club, when Kristen leans way close to Mulder’s ear to talk, then leans back, and the Mulder leans way close to Kristen’s ear, then leans back, and so on and so forth for an uncomfortably long period of time? I was laughing hysterically by the end of it.

    And then the whole thing is super gross, with all the blood and the griminess. The X-Files has successfully done gross before, like the in The Host; the difference is, The Host is gross and fun, which works. 3 is gross and sexy, which doesn’t work; it mostly just made me feel like I was going to get a disease just by watching it. Or in other words, The Host is the kind of episode where you cover your eyes but peek through your fingers, waiting for the next disgusting jump scare. 3 is the kind of episode where you just cover your eyes.

    • Don’t you hate that? You run into a few episodes that have more merit than you remember, you get your hopes up and then, boom. 3.

      Same thing happened to me.

  14. Perrey Reeves is Will Ferrell’s wife in Old School ha!

  15. Also, how did Kirsten get back to the house so quick after driving out of car port then dumping the car?

  16. I’m going to wade in with more behind the scenes workings. While GA’s pregnancy meant CC had to get creative to keep her in the show having fought to get her cast in the first place, Fox saw it as an opportunity to test other lead actresses. One wonders if CC put the word out to make the episode bad on purpose, so Fox couldn’t take Scully away. Fox from the outset wanted the ‘triple-X’ Files with a sexy female lead that was pretty to look at. The casting of DD girlfriend at the time may have been Fox’s idea, to ‘ensure’ sexual chemistry. Ha! like anything could match the transcendental connection between GA and DD and Mulder and Scully.

    So, yes, the episode is bad. But let’s consider that it’s bad for a very good reason.

  17. Pingback: Nothing Lasts Forever 11×9: I always wondered how this was gonna end. | Musings of an X-Phile

  18. The disease Mulder talks about is porphyria. Scully also mentions it in “Bad Blood”.

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