13 May 2007

Season 4: Memento Mori (4X15)

Writers: Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz, John Shiban and Vince Gilligan
Director: Rob Bowman

Mulder is called to the Holy Cross Memorial Hospital in Washington, Scully has been diagnosed with a cancerous tumour in her nasal cavity, which is inoperable and if it continues to grow the chance of survival is slim. Scully wants to investigate a group of female abductee's she met before in Pennsylvania who had also contracted cancer after having implants similar to Scully's removed. The two agents travel to the home of Betsy Hagopian, only to find that she died two weeks earlier.

While searching the house, they realize that someone is accessing computer files by phone. The call is traced and a man, Kurt Crawford is taken into custody. He claims to be part of the same UFO network as Betsy, and that he was copying the files before the government destroyed them. He also tells them that all but one of the abductees have died of cancer. Scully visits the last living abductee, Penny Northern in hospital, where her doctor, Dr Scanlon appears to have isolated the cause of the cancer.

Scully books into the hospital for treatment and her mother Margaret joins her for support. Mulder visits Assistant Director Skinner as he wants to get in contact with the Cigarette Smoking Man, who Mulder believes knows about Scully's condition and can help her. But Skinner tells him that the Cigarette Smoking Man only deals in lies. Mulder enlists the help of the Lone Gunman to break in to a fertility clinic where all of the abductees were treated in a hope to find a cure for Scully.

Memento Mori is Latin and means "remember that you are mortal". In the days of the Roman Empire, a military leader achieving great victories would be given a parade through the city of Rome where he in the end was told Memento Mori, so that he wouldn't forget his place in the world.

It was for this episode that Gillian Anderson won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

According to media reports, Kurt Crawford is actually the name of Chris Carter's contact at the FBI whom he goes to to check facts for accuracy.

A scene with Gillian Anderson (Scully) and Pat Skipper (Scully's brother Bill Jr.) was cut due to time constraints. Bill Scully would make his second 'first appearance' in the season 4 finale 'Gethsemane'. This scene is significant for several reasons in that Bill Jr. voices his displeasure, or rather what he believes to be his parents displeasure, about Dana choosing to be an FBI Agent instead of a doctor and that now she has paid for that decision with her cancer. He also indirectly blames Dana for Melissa's death and, finally, he mentions their other brother Charles; the only time he is ever spoken of in the series.

Mulder realises that the clones of the young boy he saw with his sister's clones in the season's premiere ''Herrenvolk'', are younger versions of Kurt Crawford.

This episode originally had a kiss on the lips between Mulder and Scully. In the original version, Mulder kisses her forehead, then her lips, then they hug and she walks away. The aired version just has the kiss on the head.

The date on the drawer holding Scully's ova is November 29, 1994 - the date she was returned to the hospital in the season 2 episode ''One Breath''.

Scully: In med school i learned that cancer arrives in the body unannounced. A dark stranger that takes up residence. Turning its new home against itself, this is the evil of cancer, that it starts as an invader but soon becomes one with the invaded, Forcing you to destroy it, but only at the risk of destroying yourself. It is sciences demon possession and my treatment sciences attempt at exorcism. Mulder I hope that in these terms you might know it and know me. And except this stranger so many recognise but so many cannot completely cast out and if the darkness should have swallowed me as you read this. You must never think there was the possibility of some secret intervention, something you might have done and though we have travelled far together this last distance must necessarily be travelled alone.

Scully: I need you to bring the over night bag from the trunk of the car, and I need you to call my mother and ask her to bring up some things to the hospital.
Mulder: Is there anything i should know?
Scully: Mulder what ever you found or what ever you might find i think we both know that right now truth is in me. And i need to persue it, as soon as possible.

Mulder: Byers told you about Dr Scanlan?
Mulder: He very well may have killed those women.
Scully: It will have to be proven, if we find him.
Mulder: When we find him, Scully something was done to you, something you're just beginning to remember, you can't quite figure out. But it can be explained and it will be explained, and no matter what you think as a scientist or a doctor there is a way and you will find it, To save yourself.
Scully: Mulder I can't kid myself, people live with cancer they carry on, and so will I. You know I’ve got things to finish to prove to myself, my family, But for my own reasons.

Scully: (Writing in her journal) I have not written to you in the past twenty four hours because the treatment has weakened my body. Mulder it’s difficult to explain to you the fear of facing an enemy which I can neither conquer nor escape. Penny Northern has taken a down turn. I now look at her with the respect that can only come from one that is about to walk the same dark path. Seeing her I can’t help seeing myself in a month or a year. I pray that I have her courage to face this journey. Mulder I feel you close, though I know you are now pursuing your own path. For that I am grateful, more than I can ever express. I need to know you’re out there if I am ever to see through this.

Scully: For the first time I feel time like a heartbeat, the seconds pumping in my breast like a reckoning; the numinous mysteries that once seemed so distant and unreal threating clarity in the presence of a truth entertained not in youth, but only in its passage. I feel these words as if their meaning were weight being lifted from me. Knowing that you will read them and share my burden as I have come to trust no other. That you should know my heart, look into it, finding there the memory and experience that belong to you, that are you is a comfort to me now as I feel the tethers loose and the prospects darken for the continuance of a journey that began not so long ago and which began again with a faith shaken and strengthened by your convictions if not for which I might never have been so strong now as I cross to face you and look at you incomplete, hoping that you will forgive me for not making the rest of the journey with you.

Episode Number: 87
Season Number: 4
First Aired: Sunday, February 9, 1997
Production Code: 4X15

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