Welcome to “Monster of the Week”-Week, 2020! In honor of Halloween Quarantine, we’re bringing you an entire week of episode reviews on a thoroughly binge-able, creepy show: The X-Files! You’ll meet some of our favorite monsters, the least competent conspiracies, and some of Mulder’s most ridiculous-yet-dead on theories! Feel free to break out the pumpkin ale or mulled cider, because we’ll have a running “Drink When…” list for the entire series!
A quick thanks to the podcast Fox Mulder is a Maniac and the web comic Monster of the Week. They are far funnier and more dedicated reviewers than I. If you love The X-Files but also love mocking The X-Files, check them out!
Eve || Season 1, Episode 11
We open in Connecticut, on quiet suburban street. A little girl stands in her driveway, clutching a bunny that looks unfairly snuggly.
A pair of neighbors jog by and are concerned that the girl, Teena, is outside in cold weather without a jacket.
Back in my day, we kids were encouraged to get the hell out of the house with as little clothes on as possible—builds character! Also makes sure your tax dollars to CPS are being put to good use!
Where’s Teena’s daddy? Well he’s just in the backyard. Oh good! And he said he needed some time to himself. Oh no…..
The neighbors find Teena’s daddy in the backyard swing set. And Daddy’s alone time must be a hell of a time, because he’s deathly pale, deathly dead, and has 2 horrible puncture marks in his neck.
Scully and Mulder open in the X-Lair (that’s what I call Mulder’s office). Scully is reviewing the coroner’s report from the cold open’s victim. The father was missing 75% of his blood and somehow that killed him. The police report says that Teena only left her dad alone for 10 minutes. Can’t leave parents alone for a second lest they go and get themselves bled to death!
There’s scant evidence at the scene—including where the hell all the blood got to. And there’s no theory yet as to what caused the puncture marks. Has The American Red Cross gone over the edge?
Well surely, this is where Mulder will start talking about vampires right? Something along the lines of “Nosferatu, Dracula, Blackula, Duckula, call it what you will, but myths of blood sucking fiends have persisted for millennia…”
But no, Mulder has whipped out a slideshow and springs a picture of a dead cow at Scully, like an old school troll out to traumatize a vegan. He claims the strange death closely resembles incidents of cattle mutilations. Mulder is no biologist, but he’s certain cattle mutilations are the work of extraterrestrials and not any number of very terrestrial phenomena.
Mulder then explains how arteries and the heart work—to Scully who is a medical fucking doctor. Everybody drink!
The coroner’s report has also found digitalis, a paralytic drug, in the victim’s body. Well Mulder, since when do extraterrestrials bother using Earthling drugs for their abductions?
Will this oddity slow Mulder down to at least consider the (shockingly) more reasonable possibility of vampires? No! Because surely there must be time loss! How could a man be pumped of nearly all his blood, and how could all of that blood vanish, in a scant 10 minutes?
Well half of that question will never be answered. The script took a nap and forgot to figure out where and how 4 liters of blood vanished. Again: everybody drink! As for the “10 minutes” question, we’ll later learn that perhaps little Teena’s recollection isn’t exactly reliable….
We cut to Connecticut where Our Intrepid Agents have arrived to interview Teena. Teena’s mother died 2 years prior, so with her dad gone, she’s now an orphan in care of the state.
Hey, buck up kid, maybe this is the start of your Series of Unfortunate Events/Disney Princess/Luke Skywalker adventures! All it takes is a little parent death!
Teena is staying at what the episode calls a ‘social services hostel.’ Upon being interviewed by the agents (and perhaps spotting a sucker when she sees one), Teena helpfully says that she saw red lighting when her father was killed. She says “men from the clouds” were after her dad.
How convenient! Looks like we have our X-Files solution! We’ll ask the coroner to add “ALIENS” to the cause of death and call it a day.
But both agents have to quirk an eyebrow when Teena says the bad guys wanted to exsanguinate her dad. Hmm. What eight-year-old knows that word? (Prior to when every rugrat had a smartphone and infinite information in their pocket). That can’t be a good sign.
But before they can interrogate Teena on her inexplicable 10th grade reading level, the agents are called away to the other side of the country. Seems an identical murder has occurred in Marin County, California! Oh, that jetlag is gonna be a biiiiiiitch.
Seems this is another suburban father found in a swing set, also exsanguinated by 2 holes in his neck, also dosed with digitalis. The California victim is also a father of a daughter who also remembers nothing. No word on any bullshit about “red lightning.” If you factor in the time zones, the murder occurred at the exact same time as the Connecticut one.
Wow, The Red Cross is even more organized that I thought.
Scully tries to think of an idea more rational than UFOs, vampires, or even blood donation conspiracies. She suggests that a pair of serial killers are working in tandem.
Um, well, actually *pushes up glasses* surely, FBI Agent Scully, you know that it takes at least 3 separate murders to qualify as a serial killer? Seems we’re a body short. (Spoiler: not for long.)
But brilliant Oxford-educated Mulder points out that if a serial killer pair is operating, they commit kills together and don’t commit separate kills. Mulder, although the literature bares you out there: isn’t it possible that this was a joint effort between a killer team?
We cut back to Connecticut, where Teena is in her room at the ‘hostel.’ A storm rages outside, and we hear floorboards creaking in the hallway. Someone tries to open the door to her room. Weird, much like earthly poisons, I wouldn’t think aliens would bother with doors.
The figure breaks into the room. We see Teena get abducted! …not the supernatural ‘doo-doo-doo-doo-doooo-doooo’ way, but like mundane every day kid-snatchin’.
Fortunately, the very snuggly bunny is left unscathed.
We cut back to California. The agents finally meet the most recent victim’s daughter: a girl named Cindy but who looks identical to Teena. Maybe this kid can teleport and is living a double life?
The agents are talking to Cindy’s mom while Cindy watches C-SPAN. This is the creepiest sight so far of the episode. Only a truly dangerous child would watch C-SPAN.
The agents are at a loss, because while they can handle identical simultaneous murders, two little girls looking alike is just too much for them to handle. Watch as they skillfully throw all sense of decorum out the window!
Within feet of Cindy, Scully straight out asks the mom if the girl is adopted. Scully, Mulder is supposed to be the one who doesn’t care about social cues, remember? Cindy’s mom is weirdly not horribly offended by the question, and says she gave birth to Cindy.
Nor is the mom offended by Scully’s second strike of asking if she has all the proper documentation for her daughter.
Scully goes for the full three strikes by asking if Cindy was the only child delivered at that birth. Finally, Cindy’s mom gets around to being offended. No, she’s only given birth once. It was to that kid sitting right in front of them and well within earshot of these questions.
To explain this series of deeply personal and inappropriate questions, Mulder shows a photo of Teena and her father to Cindy’s mom. Why not start out with that? Maybe with “Now, as you can understand, I’m about to ask you some very intimate questions. Perhaps we can do so in the next room away from the little girl?”
But anyway, Cindy’s mom is stunned when the agents demonstrate that her daughter has a twin. The mom is at a loss to explain, insisting that she could show the agents Cindy’s birth video. Um, no thank you? Given the series of inappropriate questions, it’s understandable that you’d think we’re down for that. But no, we’re cool.
The mom adds that she and her husband did have some challenges getting pregnant. Mulder straight out asks if they used in vitro fertilization (IVF). WHOA. Mulder, Scully, both of you need a time out. Even in 2020, IVF is still a taboo subject in many communities (unfairly so). Springing it on someone in the 1990s, and again with the kid in question right under your feet, is not cool. And by the by, it isn’t any of the FBI’s fucking business.
Mulder, however, kinda thinks everything is his business. So, after Cindy’s mom confirms they used IVF, he demands to know what clinic they used.
We are far beyond the point where a person would stop accepting and answering the FBI virtually pushing itself into someone’s uterus. But Cindy’s mom is just the most helpful interviewee ever. Instead of kicking the FBI out of her house, Cindy’s mom even gives them her fertility clinic info.
Soon after, the agents finally get word of Teena’s kidnapping. Given the similarities of the crimes and girls, the agents suspect Cindy will be kidnapped next. Mulder says he’ll stay with a surveillance team near Cindy’s home. Scully will check out the fertility clinic, because she’s a doctor and a lady, and it’s a clinic all about lady stuff.
Scully arrives at the fertility clinic and we get a very good look of what the world was like pre-HIPPA. She, an FBI agent, just sits down and talks to the head of the clinic all about the fertility treatments for Cindy’s parents and Teena’s parents.
After hearing about the weird twins-but-not situation, the head of the clinic expresses skepticism that the wrong egg(s) would have been placed in the wrong woman. Really? Because this totally happens, even decades later.
Scully, just openly reading these patient files like they’re the Sports Section, learns that both sets of parents were patients of Dr. Sally Kendrick. At the mention of her, the clinic director gets uncomfortable. He shows Scully a clinic promotion video featuring Dr. Sally Kendrick.
While Dr. Kendrick was brilliant, she had a bad habit of playing with genetic material of fertilized ova prior to implant. In other words, what the clinic director said could never happen? It totally fucking happened.
The clinic director specifically uses the very awkward term ‘eugenics’ to describe Dr. Kendrick’s activities. Why does The X-Files throw around stuff related to genocide so higgledy-piggledy? (Drink!)
After getting fired by the clinic but somehow, magically, not being investigated by the HHS, Dr. Kendrick disappeared. So, there’s a mad scientist who loves eugenics, violates patients, and now she’s in the wind? Great. Juuuust great.
Later, Our Intrepid Agents discuss the case in one of their classic nondescript motel rooms. Could Dr. Kendrick be committing the murders in order to cover up her past medical and human rights crimes? Well she’d have to be in 2 places at once, so maybe she has an accomplice. Oh, so maybe 2 killers are committing coordinated murders? Like Scully suggested, Mulder?
The motel room phone rings. Scully picks up, but there’s no answer—only clicks. You would think that any FBI agent would find that suspicious, but Scully does not. Mulder, however, immediately fakes being tired and skedaddles.
Oooooh it’s a Deep Throat scene, ya’ll!
For those who don’t know, Deep Throat is Mulder’s chief enabler/snitch on the shadow government. On this occasion, Deep Throat clues Mulder into The Lichfield Experiments.
What are the Lichfield Experiments? Oh, just a super chill secret Cold War-era project all about using clones and eugenics to create U-S-A homegrown supersoldiers. …or maybe to make the US version of a superior ABBA, who knows?
Why do this? There’s the usual excuse of “well the Russians were doing it, so of course we have to do it.” Hey, America, if Russia jumped off a bridge, would you jump too? Well, maybe if that bridge was “fascism”…
The concept of the experiment was to learn absolutely nothing about how eugenics is bad and also doesn’t work. Trying to “crossbreed” athletes and scientists to make super-smart, super-physical humans isn’t how genetics work.
And as a note, remember how earlier I said that IVF was and remains a taboo subject? One of the reasons is because some consider advanced reproductive technologies to be too easy an opening for eugenics practices. This blogger could rant and rave for a good long while about how the term “eugenics” is sometimes used awfully liberally regarding women not getting pregnant the “proper” way—but we’re here to have fun, so let’s return to this science fiction romp about evil clones.
The Lichfield Experiment was named for Lichfield, Connecticut. There, in the 1960s, clone supersoldier children were raised and monitored. I’m sure this didn’t accidentally create a little pod of Children of the Damned. Nope, definitely not.
All the little boys were called “Adam” and all the little girls were called “Eve.” Ya know, I’m pretty sure God wants absolutely nothing to do with this, shady US Government. How about you leave the Biblical references out of it?
Deep Throat tells Mulder to check out one of the Eves in a mental institution for the criminally insane. He’ll pull some strings to get the agents access.
Cut to the agents arriving at said institution. Now, remember, thus far two men have been murdered and a child has been kidnapped. There are higher priorities right now than taking a detour to get a peak at a real-live clone. But oh well!
Welcome to the super-secret institution with a super-secret prisoner to cover up the super-secret experiments! …Oh, what’s this? The woman is incarcerated under the name “Eve 6”? ….Literally on her cell door it says “Eve 6”? ….I’m sorry, this is a cover-up how?
And yes, this is where that 90s band got their name from, let’s move on.
The agents get treated to a Hannibal Lector-style security rundown. Their firearms are removed and they’re given panic buttons. They’re given flashlights because Eve 6 freaks out when the overhead lights are on. As a result, “no one has ever gotten a good look at her.”
1) You know flashlights can also be used as a weapon, right? If you can snag a gun, you can snag a flashlight, that’s what I always say.
2) Don’t flashlights exist to help give you a good look at things? Isn’t that their central purpose?
The agents are shown to a padded cell. There’s a woman inside, shackled and in a straight jacket, apparently kept this way at all times. Wow, so the human rights violations just keep on comin’.
The agents shine their flashlights into the cell and Scully recognizes a face identical to Dr. Sally Kendrick’s. Dr. Sally Kendrick is a clone! What a twist!
Eve 6 explains that she’s locked up like this because she bit a guard’s eyeball. As a sign of affection, of course. Hey, you know, if that’s what she’s into, don’t yuck her yum. Everybody’s into something.
Mulder asks where the other Adams and Eves are—well we know one of them is running around out there, committing genetic crimes and directly connected to two murdered men and a kidnapped kid. Isn’t that enough?
Eve 6 explains that there are only 3 Eves left (6, 7, 8) and all the Adams are dead. Seems being a supersoldier clone will make you super-smart, super-strong, and super-fucked up. By the by, I shall now refer to multiple Eve as “Evees.”
As proof of her “family,” Eve 6 gestures to a photograph pinned to the wall of her cell. It is indeed a very sweet picture of 8 little identical girls laughing and smiling at the camera. And of course, the little girls look exactly like Teena and Cindy.
…again, this is your cover up? You just have photographs of your super-secret test subjects hanging around?
Scully asks about Dr. Sally Kendrick—why didn’t you start with asking about her?
Eve 6 explains that Eve 7 aka Dr. Sally Kendrick was trying to recreate the Lichfield experiment but avoid the ‘flaws’ of the first batch.
Dr. Kendrick discovered that the Adams and Eves have 10 extra chromosomes and—*buzzer* Nope! Stop! That makes no sense. That many extra pairs of chromosomes means an entirely different organism.
You know what has 10 more chromosomes than humans? A strawberry. Congrats, Shadow Government, you created super-soldier strawberries.
But Eve 6’s nonsense continues with how extra chromosomes mean extra genes, so you get more strength, more intelligence, etc. Wow, those are some very impressive strawberries.
Apparently Dr. Eve 7 was cloning herself via the fertility clinic for her experiment. No duh.
Back in California, Cindy gets put to bed by her mother. For the record, that kid has “lifeless eyes, black eyes like a doll’s eyes.”
Outside, the FBI keeps watch in case of potential kidnappers. Mulder suggests to Scully that if Evees 7 and 8 are out there, perhaps that could account for the identical and simultaneous murders.
SERIOUSLY? Seriously, Mulder? That’s almost exactly what Scully suggested DAYS ago! Sure, she didn’t add the clone part, but come on!
We cut back to Cindy in her bedroom, and see someone emerging from her closet! …wait, how does that even work? The police have been staking out the house for at least a day. When was the last time anyone opened that closet?
Cindy is being abducted! The agents leap into action by knocking on the front door. This, from a pair who will kick in a door at the drop of a hat.
Scully enters the house without turning on any lights. Not turning on lights is also a classic Mulder and Scully move. Mulder goes around back. Inside, Scully is once again a terrible FBI agent and is knocked out almost immediately (Drink!). Gee, maybe you could’ve seen that coming if you’d turned on the lights?
A hooded figure bursts through the back door! Cindy is looking awfully calm and collected for a child being stolen from her bed by a hooded figure in the middle of the night. Hmm.
The little girl remains totally chill even when Mulder confronts the hooded figure, who then holds a gun to Cindy. The hood falls and we see an Eve (presumably Dr. Sally Kendrick). She commands that Mulder back off.
Mulder obeys, and Big Eve makes her getaway with Mini Eve.
Later, we see authorities scrambling to search for the two kidnapped Mini Evees and Dr. Sally Kendrick. As a part of the APB, Scully warns that Dr. Kendrick is very strong for her size. Uh huh…. Slick way to cover for yourself, Scully.
Later we see Big Eve and Mini Eve arrive at a motel.
Big Eve aka Eve 7 aka Dr. Sally Kendrick introduces the Mini Evees aka Eve 9 and Eve 10 aka Teena and Cindy. Teena has been tied to a toilet and gagged, but now Dr. Kendrick releases her and talks to the girls like they’re colleagues. Lady, you can’t go from kidnapping and tying up kids to conducting an Eve Staff Meeting. It doesn’t work that way.
The actress does a very good job of playing someone who is convinced of their own good intentions and rationality. She’s friendly while clearly being off her rocker. Her smile switches. Her eyes don’t quite focus.
The Mini Evees smile at each other, and don’t appear at all shocked to be introduced to their twin. Hmmmmm.
Meanwhile, the manager of the motel has realized that something is up and calls the authorities. Our Intrepid Agents to the rescue!
In the motel room, the Eve Staff Meeting continues. Eve 7 apparently bought matching red outfits for the girls, which is unsettling. Also, again, this is the opposite of subtle. Bright Red Outfits on a pair of twins you’ve kidnapped?
Eve 7 asks how the girls knew of each other’s existence. “We just knew,” the Mini Evees reply together. Oh, well that’s not creepy at all…
Eve 7 explains that she’s kept an eye on the girls while also searching for the other free Eve 8. She had hoped that she had magically fixed the problems with the original batch of Evees.
What “problems”? Oh, just rampant psychopathy and homicidal tendencies.
She had planned to just observe the girls, but she was forced to act by their “prank.” …uh, is that what we’re calling double homicide now? A “prank”?
Yep, seems the girls somehow managed to telepathically coordinate simultaneous poisonings and exsanguinations. …okay, but where’s the blood? And why kill them that way? And what was with the ‘red lightning’ red herring? Oh, dear, seems the script napped all through those details.
When asked why they would murder their fathers, the Mini Evees just matter-of-factly answer “They weren’t our fathers.” Interestingly, actual psychopaths might reply the same way.
“We have no fathers. We were created.”
Eve 7 is all disappointed like ‘aw, these kids don’t have enough self-esteem.’ She explains that she’s here to save the girls and get them to recognize their inner humanity. Maybe cultivate a little empathy for living things and whatnot.
All it will take is a ‘proper environment’ and ‘long-term medication’ so the kids can turn out totally normal. Yeah, normal like her, a mad scientist who violates patients, clones herself, and kidnaps kids.
Yeah, I don’t see the Bad Seeds going for it.
And indeed, Eve 7 starts seizing. The girls exchange wicked smiles.
Eve 7 backs away from the girls, demanding in a panic what the Mini Evees have done. Like villains in a Bond movie, the girls smoothly explain that they put poison in her soda. Oh, beg pardon, not just poison but 4 ounces of digitalis extracted from foxglove. Such clever little girls.
They announce that they’ve given Eve 7 a lethal dose. Thus, we add another item to the “Drink when…” List: drink when someone is all “I knew the leopards ate faces, but I never imagined they would eat my face!” That’s pretty much the expression on Eve 7’s face right now.
Eve 7’s body continues to succumb to the poison, but she grabs a butcher’s knife, ready to take out the Mini Evees.
Our Intrepid Agents and the authorities arrive at the motel. Sounds of glass breaking and a scuffle can be heard within the room. The agents bust in. We see the collapsed Eve 7 on the floor and that the back door of the room has been broken.
The Mini Evees are huddled in a corner in their Creepy Bright Red Outfits. They explain that Eve 7 aka Dr. Sally Kendrick and another woman (Eve 8) wanted them all to drink poison. But the girls were too wily and only pretended to.
Well if the plan was for all of them to die, why did the other Eve just run away?
But oh well! This investigation is over! Good thing all our questions are answered and these kids aren’t creepy as hell. Onward!
For no particular reason, Mulder and Scully volunteer to drive the girls back to…somewhere? Also why? Shouldn’t they be taken to a hospital? Or turned over to social services? One of them still has a mom to go back to… How is this a thing?
But no, pseudo-family road trip time. Maybe Mulder wants to interrogate them about what it’s like to be clones, who knows?
As the agents drive, the Mini Evees sit in the backseat holding hands and exchanging “we’re totally not evil” looks.
The group pulls over to make a pitstop at a diner and order sodas to go.
Oh no! Not sodas! Their favorite weapon!
While the agents are distracted, one of the Mini Evees doses their sodas. Apparently these little evil geniuses haven’t thought through what might happen if they dose people who are driving them in a car.
But it seems Mulder has forgotten his keys, so he dashes back into the diner. Scully sips her soda while the girls exchange “I love murder” looks. These people are the least observant agents the FBI has ever produced.
Inside the diner, Mulder notices a distinct green powder on the counter where their sodas were. In a stunningly stupid move, he tastes the substance. Mulder! You don’t know where that green stuff has been!
But somehow Mulder knows what digitalis poison looks and tastes like. He runs out of the diner and wildly yells at Scully to warn her.
Suddenly, Mulder changes tactics and acts like everything is okay while ‘accidentally’ knocking over Scully’s soda. Seems he doesn’t want to give the game away in front of the girls.
…which frankly doesn’t make a ton of sense. They may be murderous little children, but they are still children and you two are full grown FBI agents. With guns! And handcuffs! And 2 feet of height! Nail the little shits to the wall and take away their sodas!
Mulder whispers to Scully that the girls have poisoned the sodas.
He didn’t whisper it quietly enough, because the Mini Evees have run off!
The girls have dashed into a dark sea of parked semitrucks. Yeah, I’m nope-ing right out. I am not peering under trucks in the dark while those little creeps are running around. Then again, the girls are in Bright Red Outfits—I’d think they’d be easy to spot.
Mulder manages to snatch the Mini Evees and the girls start crying out for help. Weirdly, this is the most helpful truck-stop ever and several truckers come to the girls’ aid. 10 bucks says at least one of these helpful truckers has a murdered woman in his back cab. But admittedly, grown man grappling with two little girls is not a good look.
The girls dash off. The truckers are then informed that they just pulled guns on the FBI. Ouch, that’s gonna be a hell of a ticket.
The Mini Evees pull a Boston Marathon and hide in a boat. But somehow the agents detect and capture them!
The agents are later visiting with Cindy’s mom. Uh, and Cindy’s mom is apparently rescinding that title in earnest.
She burns a photo of Cindy and says “All I need to know is that she was never my daughter.” WOW, that’s cold. Even if the little tyke murdered your husband, that’s cold.
And again, this stuff brushes up very closely to unfair prejudice against children who are not ‘naturally’ brought into the world. Are we going to meditate on that at all, show? No? All righty then.
Later, we see the mental institution. The Mini Evees are now housed in the same dark, dank corridor as Eve 6. Their cells are also labelled (Eve 9, Eve 10). Again, WORST cover up.
We see a woman in a lab coat approach the cells. It seems we have found the elusive Eve 8. …and apparently she’s pretty easy to find?
The Mini Evees say that they knew Eve 8 would come for them. How? “We just knew.” AKA “The Script couldn’t come up with an answer, just like where all the blood from the murders went.”
This is one of the few episodes that manages to sustain its mystery for the audience up until the final act. However, the method of murders is too much of a misdirection in the script for it to make sense later. How are the murders/exsanguinations a “prank”? Were the girls hoping a UFO-obsessed knucklehead like Mulder would be attracted to the case?
Creepy kids are a standard trope of X-Files episodes, and I think it works well for the creepy kids to not be apparent until much later in the episode.
The twin actresses playing the Mini Evees do a good job of acting too old for their ages. The actress playing the Big Evees is able to jump between distinct personalities of the adult clones. Without those performances and some small touches within the script, the episode would be very forgettable.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m craving strawberries…