01 June 2007

Season 5: Christmas Carol (5X05)

Writers: Vince Gilligan, John Shiban and Frank Spotnitz
Director: Peter Markle

Scully joins her mother Margaret and travels to her brother Bill's house in San Diego for the Christmas holidays, soon after arriving she receives a phone call from a woman who sounds remarkably like her dead sister Melissa, the woman tells Scully, 'she needs your help'. A little perplexed by the call, Scully has the FBI trace the origin of the call. It turns out to be a local address, when Scully arrives at the Sim residence she discovers a police investigation in progress.

It appears that Mrs. Roberta Sim committed suicide, the police question her husband Marshall and daughter Emily, Scully feels a strange connection to the girl. Detective Kresge can not understand why the FBI is interested in a suicide, but Scully explains about the phone call. Kresge tells her that the phone has been off the hook for three hours so could not have been used to call Scully, although puzzled Scully leaves.

Later that night Scully dreams of the girl and again receives a phone call asking her to go to Emily once more. Scully decides to investigate the case and performs an autopsy on Roberta Sim, which reveals a small puncture wound on her foot, hinting that there is more to this apparent suicide. Scully is struck by how alike Emily is to her sister at that age, she runs some tests that reveal that Emily may be Melissa's daughter, a more accurate DNA test will take a few days. When Marshall Sim confesses to the murder and then hangs himself in jail, it leaves only Scully to protect the girl. After the results of DNA test comes, it appears that Scully, not Melissa, is Emily's mother.

Mulder's absence in this episode was due to David Duchovny being in LA promoting his movie ''Playing God''.

There is a wonderful subtle moment between Margaret and Melissa Scully, during the flashback scene when the girls receive their cross necklaces. While teenage Dana is enchanted, teenage Melissa seems to be quickly covering up her disappointment. Makes a nice link to the moment in ''One Breath'' when Margaret greets Melissa, crystal-dowsing over a comatose Scully, with a tension-laden "I'm glad you could come".

The young girl playing the teenage Dana is Gillian Anderson's real life 14-year-old sister Zoe, in her first acting role.

The person who ran the DNA analysis at the end of the episode was named John Gillnitz. This is yet another reference to the names of the three writers John Shiban, Vince Gilligan, and Frank Spotnitz.

Scully's FBI badge number that she gives to the phone company is different to the one she gives in season 4's ''Teliko''.

Look closely at the logo that appears on the back of the photograph shown to Scully by Bill to prove that Melissa could not have been pregnant in 1994. It's reassuring to know that Melissa trusted the "ETAP" brand for her photo paper needs. "ETAP" is the fictional brand of film first used in "Unruhe" and later in "Small Potatoes".

Detective Kresge: If you got a call from her, she must have dialed 1-800-The-Great-Beyond.

Scully: Mr. Sim, my name is Dana Scully. I'm sorry for your lossand I'm sorry to disturb you at this hour.
Mr. Sim: What do you want?
Scully: I received a phone call less than an hour ago. I wasaddressed by name and told that I needed to help someone...a woman. I traced the call and it came from your house.
Mr. Sim: I have no earthly idea what you're talking about.
Scully: This is the second time this has happened, and I'd really like to get to the bottom of it.
Sim: You were here earlier.
Scully: Yes.
Sim: Yes, a detective told me, something about a screw up with thephones. I'm in the middle of a meeting. No one's called you fromhere. Not earlier today and certainly not tonight. You can imaginehow bad a day this has been for my daughter and myself.
Scully: I understand.
Sim: Well, if you understand, then you'll stop coming around upsetting me with this... nonsense. Please. (He shuts the door and shuts off the light. Scully goes back to the car and drives off.)

Kresge: Agent Scully, it's been... what? 4 hours? I was gettingworried.
Scully: I'd like to order an autopsy on Roberta Sim. There's apossibility she was murdered.
Kresge: What? You got another phone call?
Scully: I think that it may have been the husband.
Kresge: Where did you get that idea? You want coffee?
Scully: No. Thanks.
Kresge: He's got an ironclad alibi. Mr. Sim was at the doctor'soffice with his daughter. He was there all morning. I checked.
Scully: I took another look at the police photos this morning.There were no hesitation cuts on Roberta Sim's wrists. Suicide victims seldom make the fatal cut the first time.
Kresge: Seldom but not always. Is that all you got?
Scully: No. Why was the phone off the hook when you got to the Sim's house?
Kresge: The wife took it off. I'm guessing she didn't want to beinterrupted.
Scully: Your report says the husband called the police after hediscovered his wife dead.
Kresge: Yeah.
Scully: But if the phone was off the hook when you arrived, how didhe call you? Did he find the phone off the hook, call you, then have the presence of mind to return it to the way that he'd found it? Doesthat make sense to you?
Kresge: What are you suggesting?
Scully: I am suggesting that there are questions that beg for further investigation. Order an autopsy.

Mrs. Scully: What is it?
Scully: It's the DNA test on Emily Sim's blood.
Bill: What does it say?
Scully: It says, definitely, that Melissa is not Emily's mother, but that they found striking genetic similarities between Emily and Melissa, so many that they ran a test against another sample that they already had.
Mrs. Scully: What sample?
Bill: What are you trying to say?
Scully: According to this... I am Emily's mother.

Episode Number: 103
Season Number: 5
First Aired: Sunday, December 7, 1997
Production Code: 5X05

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