by Michelle Erica Green

I Know What You Did That Summer

"Demons" Plot Summary:

Mulder has a hallucinatory vision of his parents reacting to a tragedy and awakens with his shirt stained with blood. He calls Scully to his hotel - though he can't remember how he got there - and learns that two rounds were fired from his gun. Scully discovers that the car Mulder drove to the hotel belonged to a nearby couple, but when the two agents investigate, they discover the couple dead...and then find that it is their blood staining Mulder's shirt. Meanwhile, Mulder continues to have hallucinations - of Cigarette-Smoking Man, of his mother cheating on his father. He learns that a powerful anesthetic has been found in his bloodstream, as it was in the blood of the woman he allegedly killed.

An officer at the local police station shoots himself in the head. When Scully examines him, she finds a scab on the man's scalp, similar to one found on the dead woman. Scully learns that both the officer and the woman believed that they were UFO abductees, and were seeing an unorthodox psychiatrist to recover their suppressed memories. Mulder is cleared of murder when the stains on his shirt don't match the point-of-entry report from the autopsy. He goes to his mother's home to confront her about his visions. Afterwards, he forces the psychiatrist at gunpoint to finish his treatment.

Scully finds Mulder at his parents' summer home, curled on the floor with a gun. He threatens to shoot her as she explains that the drugs in his system have affected his mental processes: he cannot trust his memories. Mulder fires the gun, but misses Scully, shooting a mirror instead. Then he breaks down and drops the gun, letting Scully try to comfort him.


"Demons" is a giant tease for the viewer as well as for Mulder. We don't know whether any of the memories are real, so we can't be sure whether we've learned anything new about him...other than the fact that he can now be driven to shoot Scully, which he couldn't a year ago even under mind control. This guy is starting to scare me.

We know it's likely that Mrs. Mulder and Cancer Man had an affair, decades earlier; we learned that on the series nearly a year ago, when Il Fumatore made suggestive comments to Mom at the summer house. But Mulder wasn't around to hear that conversation, so, as far as we know, these memory fragments are his first indication that he's not so sure of his paternity. So although Scully calms Mulder by suggesting that his memories aren't real, the rest of us have a pretty good sense that they might be.

But we didn't get to see a complete set of Mulder's hallucinations, so we don't know what he learned after the final treatment - that Samantha was abducted not because his mother chose to save her son, but because Cancer Man chose to save his? That the man Mulder grew up believing was his father was an ineffectual patsy long before he became an alcoholic wreck, which Mulder seems to have assumed was a result of Samantha's kidnapping and the events which surrounded it?

Sure, it would be horrible to learn that your mother cheated on her husband and your real father may be a man you consider to be the devil. But given what Mulder's already been through in his search for the truth, why do these hallucinations come so close to breaking him, and to breaking his bond with Scully to the extent that he's willing to hurt her? He managed not to shoot at her under mind control in "Pusher," yet he almost kills her here.

Clearly, Mulder's not the only one whose life has been devastated by the conspiracy which it increasingly seems that no one controls. We don't yet know what Bill Mulder had to sacrifice, nor even what Cancer Man had to sacrifice. And we know that Mrs. Mulder lost her daughter.

It's a dark, dark world on The X Files, but Fox is coming closer and closer to enlightenment. I'll be terribly disappointed for all of us if he starts falling apart before he gets there, so we can all find out what was so important that these people had to pay the price.

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