The Enemy of My Enemy Is Still a Murderer
"En Ami" Plot Summary:
In Goochland, Virginia, a boy is miraculously cured of cancer. Scully goes to investigate and sees that the boy has a scar on his neck where he says an angel pinched him. When she returns to her car, CGB Spender is waiting for her, claiming he saved the boy's life...and her own. Then CSM tells her he cured the boy's cancer because he is dying himself, and wants to share his life-giving secrets with Scully before it's too late.
Scully puts a trace on the phone number he gives her and tracks her nemesis to a protected office, where CSM invites her in. He explains that a cerebral inflammation will kill him in a few months. Most of what he has built in his life is in ruins, and he wants to make amends. Because she's a doctor and a woman of compassion, he will give her the secret to curing cancer.
Scully leaves Mulder a message that she had to leave town on a family emergency. Then she hides a wire in her bra so she can tape her conversations with CSM, who agrees to stop smoking for her and says he has special affection for her since he once held her life in his hands. Though Scully claims she has always trusted Mulder and could never bring herself to trust CSM, he hypothesizes that she's attracted to powerful men but fears their power. It explains her dedication to an obsessed man like Mulder. "You would die for Mulder, but you won't allow yourself to love him."
Though she scorns this pop psychology, Scully goes along when CSM introduces her to a 118-year-old woman whom he claims to have helped. She has a scar on her neck like the boy's. CSM says the power and joy of being able to help this woman makes him understand why Scully became a doctor.
Having learned from Scully's landlord that she left town with the CSM, Mulder goes to Skinner, saying it's not like Scully to lie to him unless she's in trouble. Scully calls Skinner, asking him to tell Mulder that she's fine, but Mulder doesn't believe it. He brings in the Lone Gunmen, who reveal that Scully had a six-month e-mail correspondence with someone connected to the Department of Defense who uses the name Cobra. Mulder refuses to accept that she would have kept such a secret from him.
Meanwhile, Scully records a message for Mulder in a gas station restroom and tries to mail the tape to him, but a man who has been following her car steals the envelope from the mailbox. CSM offers to drive the next leg of the trip. When Scully wakes the next morning, she finds that someone has put her in pyjamas and tucked her in. She accuses CSM of drugging her, but he claims she was merely exhausted. Her wire is still in place.
Mulder barges into Skinner's office to ask about a federal fugitive code-named Cobra. It isn't Scully he's been e-mailing at all, but someone passing himself or herself off as Scully to try to arrange a meeting with Cobra. Mulder says they have to find CSM or they may never see Scully alive again. Meanwhile, CSM has gotten final directions from Cobra, and invites Scully to the dinner where they will meet. He has gotten her a sexy dress - a dress so low-cut she can't wear a wire in her bra.
At dinner, CSM explains that Cobra is to human genetic science as Oppenheimer was to warfare, but Cobra needs assurances that his research won't fall into the wrong hands. "I told him about you," the spy says cryptically. Then he explains that Cobra's discovery doesn't only cure cancer, it cures all human disease, and its origin is extraterrestrial. "That which makes miracles also makes for great evil," CSM adds by way of explanation for why he cannot be cured himself. "I'm a lonely man, Dana." Then he goes out for a cigarette and orders the man who has been following them to just do his job, though the man tries to warn him that Cobra hasn't shown up. Inside the restaurant, a waiter passes Scully a note that says "Calico Cove, first light of day."
At dawn at the dock with CSM, Scully gets into an old motor boat and travels to Calico Cove. The man at the table behind her in the restaurant arrives. "Finally we meet," he says, adding that she looks just as she described herself. Scully is confused, especially when the man adds that they will have to stop communicating after this meeting since he's a marked man.
Sure enough, just after Cobra gives her a mini-disc - then realizes she doesn't even know what's on it because she's not the person he's been e-mailing - the man is shot dead by CSM's crony. The sharpshooter then aims at Scully, but CSM kills him, then rushes back to the dock. Arriving in the boat, Scully expresses her anger about the gunshots. "I wouldn't have sent you if I thought there would be any danger," he lies as she turns over the disc. "Forgive me." He tells her to keep the disc; it's for her.
The Lone Gunmen examine the disc as Scully watches Mulder, who won't meet her eyes. Langly realizes the disc is blank. "No, it can't be," says Scully, as Mulder finally turns to her. Scully takes her partner to the building where CGB Spender has his offices, but the rooms are completely bare. "He used you," Mulder states. Scully cites the boy and the old woman as proof that CSM had been sincere, but her partner says, "You saw what you needed to see. This was the perfectly executed con, Scully. The only thing I can't figure out is why you're still alive."
Scully asserts that she saw something in their longtime adversary - perhaps not sincerity, but the longing for something more than power, something that he can never have. As she speaks, CSM walks onto the dock holding the original disc. He throws it into the water and lights a cigarette, wearing a haunted expression.
I'm trying to decide which irks me more: the taming of Cancer Man or the naivete of Dana Scully, who should be too smart to have gotten involved in something this crazy without some outside contact. Why didn't she get some sort of message to Mulder? Was she trying to shield him? We got no real evidence of that, so it was painful to listen to his faith that Scully wouldn't have lied to him. But Scully's behavior makes no sense without some sort of pop psychological explanation, even if it's the sort she scorned from Cancer Man. If she was trying to protect Mulder, or Skinner, why didn't she get in touch with one of the Lone Gunmen (who probably have wires more subtle than the one she used) or someone in her family or someone from work, some neutral contact through whom she could pass on a desperate message if something went terribly wrong?
This is, after all, Cancer Man we're dealing with - the man who killed his own son, who attempted to kill his ex-wife after allowing her body to be mutilated as part of an alien conspiracy, who sacrificed his daughter, who in all probability had Diana Fowley killed. I can accept Scully going along with the elder Spender to find out how he cured her cancer and that of others - information which, as he said, would be invaluable to the human race. But finding him sincere, even for a moment? Even if CSM is right that she's drawn to powerful men, I've never before seen Scully blinded by attraction. He must have swapped discs right under her nose. What in heck was she thinking about?
This episode did have some beautiful cinematography - the shots of Scully in the boat and of the shoreline passing beside her were lovely, and I'd like to have a romantic dinner in that inn where CSM set up the meeting with Cobra. But the prettiness doesn't make up for the bad taste this episode left in my mouth. Sure, it would be nice to believe that everyone can be redeemed and anyone can change, but in the context of this series where no one is spared and few are saved, only a fool would trust someone who's done the things CSM has done - and only a saint could forgive him, no matter how remorseful he feels at this late date.
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