16 May 2007

Season 4: Small Potatoes (4X20)

Writer: Vince Gilligan
Director: Clifford Bole

After expectant mother Amanda Nelligan gives birth to a baby with a four inch tail in Martinsburg, West Virginia. It is the latest of five such births in a city of less than 15,000 people. Scully believes that the local environment may be the cause of the birth defects. After interviewing Amanda, who claims the baby's father if Luke Skywalker, Scully discovers that the five children born with tails, share the same father. And that the five women share the same fertility specialist, Dr. Alton Pugh.

At Dr. Pugh's office, they find several couples confronting him about the births. Mulder encounters a janitor with a scar at the base of his spine, Eddie Van Blundht, who tries to run away, but is taken into custody. Tests reveal that Eddie is the father of all five children, but the mothers claim to have slept with no one but their husbands. Scully believes Eddie used the date rape drug Rohypnol to impregnate the women leaving them with no knowledge of the events. Eddie is resentful of the implication that he would have to drug the woman to have sexual relations with them.

After Eddie escapes from custody by morphing himself in to a double of a police office, Mulder theorises that Eddie has the ability to change his form. A trait which Mulder hypothesises he used to make the four women thing he was their husband and Amanda Melligan that he was Luke Skywalker. Eddie manages to overcome Mulder and takes his place, returning with Scully to Washington. But will Scully notice the difference in time.

This episode was named by ''TV Guide'' as one of the greatest episodes in TV history.

Darin Morgan returns to ''The X-Files'' for the final time, playing Eddie van Blundht. Morgan wrote many of the most memorable episodes during second and third seasons.

According to the DVD commentary by writer Vince Gilligan, they had originally wanted wings for the babies because they thought wings were cuter than tails. However, the wing effect was much harder than the tail effect, so they went with tails, which turned out to be funnier and still cute.

The voice of Amanda Nelligan, the mother of the "Luke Skywalker" baby, may be familiar because she is played by Christine Cavanaugh, who more usually appears as a voice artist for animated shows and features. She is probably best known for being the voice of Babe the pig in ''Babe'' and Chuckie Finster of ''Rugrats fame'' and the title character of ''Dexter's Laboratory''.

On the front page of the mock World Weekly Informer newspaper read by Mulder and Scully at the beginning of the episode, there is a headline "ETAP BIGSHOT BUSTED" beneath a mugshot. This is a reference to an earlier Season Four episode, "Unruhe", in which Etap was the brand of film sold at the drugstore. The man pictured in the mugshot is Jim Pate, an assistant prop master for the show, whose last name spelled backward is Etap.

Eddie-as-Mulder's comment in his apartment, "Where the hell do I sleep", is a rib to the many X-Philes who have asked that very same question. Where the hell does Mulder sleep?

The silent H in Eddie's surname is a joke about David Duchovny's surname often being pronounced with the H included, whereas in his name also, the H is silent.Also, the H falling off the name on Eddie's front door could be a reference to the fact that David's father and brother have changed their surname to Ducovny, without the H.

Info from Mulder's driver's license:
42-2630 Hegal Place
VADOB: 10-13-61

Mulder: Well, if you're waiting for my usual theory as to what's going on, I don't have one.
Scully: I do. On behalf of all the women in the world, I seriously doubt this is anything to do with consensual sex. I think it involved some form of Rohypnol rape.

Scully: Looking like someone else, Mulder, and being someone else are completely different things.
Mulder: Well, maybe it's not, I mean everybody else around you would treat you like you were somebody else, and ultimately maybe it's other people's reactions to us that make us who we are.

Eddie: Look, I'm not saying anything one way or another. I'm just saying hypothetically, if some women wanted to have kids, their husbands weren't... capable, and everybody was happy and no one got hurt, well hypothetically, where's the crime?

Skinner: Who wrote this report?
"Mulder": I did sir.
Skinner: You spelled Federal Bureau of Investiagtion wrong.
"Mulder": It's a typo.
Skinner: Twice.

Mulder: When you were admitted you said that the baby's father was from another planet. What did you mean by that exactly?
Amanda: You know, that he's not from this planet.
Mulder: Were you abducted?
Amanda: Huh? No, no, he dropped by my apartment one day, and one thing sort of led to another...
Mulder: But the baby's father is an alien?
Amanda: No, no, I didn't say he was an alien, I said he was from another planet. His name is Luke Skywalker. He's what's known as a Jedi Knight.
Scully: Did he have a light saber?
Amanda: No, he didn't bring it.

Mulder: I have a theory, if you want to hear it.
Scully: Van Blundht somehow physically transformed into his captor then walked out the door leaving no one the wiser?
Mulder: Scully, should we be picking out china patterns or what?!

Episode Number: 93
Season Number: 4
First Aired: Sunday, April 20, 1997
Production Code: 4X20

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