26 April 2007

Season 3: Avatar (3X21)

Story by: David Duchovny and Howard Gordon
Writer: Howard Gordon
Director: James Charleston

Assistant Director Skinner puts off signing his divorce papers for one more day, reluctant to end his 17 year marriage. He meets a woman in the Chesapeake Lounge of the Ambassador Hotel and they end up spending the night together in a hotel room. Skinner has a vision of an old woman and awakes to find the woman from the lounge dead in bed next to him.

Mulder and Scully are called in by the local police investigating the case. The dead woman Carina Sayles it turns out works for an escort agency, when Mulder and Scully check with the agency they have Skinner's credit card details. Skinner is released on bail but refuses Mulder and Scully's help. They investigate the case regardless despite their own admission that they know nothing about his private life, they feel honour bound to help clear his name. Mulder notes that he was surprised to hear that Carina Sayles was a prostitute.

Scully discovers that Skinner suffers from a serious sleeping disorder linked to his recent separation from his wife and has visions of an old woman visiting him in the night. Mulder links this to a succubus, a spirit that visits men in the night in such a form. After Skinner's wife is run off the road and nearly killed by his car, Mulder tests the airbag from the car which reveals the face of an unknown man proving Skinner was not driving the car at the time of the accident. Which leads Mulder to believe that someone is out to frame and discredit Assistant Director Skinner.

'Avatar' is a Sanskrit word meaning the human incarnation of a deity. The word has also become popular on the internet as the term used to describe a user's screen name in a chat room or forum.

A scene with Skinner and the Cigarette-Smoking Man was cut due to time constraints. In this scene CSM questions Skinner's allegiance.

The red coat worn by the old woman that Skinner never quite manages to catch up with is an obvious allusion to the red-coated stranger in ''Don't Look Now'', the Nicholas Roeg film in which Donald Sutherland is haunted by glimpses of a hooded character he thinks may be the reincarnation of his dead daughter.

Mulder: It's not a strange story... It's age old, actually. You may have heard it - although in slightly less clinical terms. In the Middle Ages, a visitation like the one Skinner described would have been attributed to a Succubus. A spirit that visits men during the night in the form of an old woman.
Scully: Visits them for sex?
Mulder: Usually.

(Scully and Mulder look around the madam's apartment)
Scully: Looks like business is booming.
Mulder: I think you mean banging.

Skinner: I got through that experience like most eighteen-year-olds. By numbing myself with whatever was around. I was no choir boy, I inhaled.

Episode Number: 70
Season Number: 3
First Aired: Friday April 26, 1996
Production Code: 3X21

No comments: