Lord Byron, 1788-1824

O snatch'd away in beauty's bloom!
On thee shall press no ponderous tomb;
But on thy turf shall roses rear
Their leaves, the earliest of the year,
And the wild cypress wave in tender gloom:

And oft by yon blue gushing stream
Shall Sorrow lean her drooping head,
And feed deep thought with many a dream
And lingering pause and lightly tread;
Fond wretch! as if her step disturb'd the dead.

Away! we know that tears are vain,
That Death nor heeds nor hears distress:
Will this unteach us to complain?
Or make one mourner weep the less?
And thou, who tell'st me to forget,
Thy looks are wan, thine eyes are wet.

The X-files

Elegy
Episode: 4X22
First aired:5/04/97
Written by:John Shiban
Directed by:Jim Charleston

This is a freaky episode. Especially since it deals with Scully's cancer and what it means to her and her relationship with Mulder. A very well writen and directed episode.

Angie Pintero, the working-class owner of a bowling alley, tells one of his employees, mentally retarded and compulsive man, Harold Spuller, to go home for the evening. Shortly thereafter, Angie discovers a badly-injured blond girl wedged inside a pinspotter carriage. The girl attempts to speak, but no words come out of her mouth. Angie notices police in a nearby parking lot and rushes outside to get help. He realizes a crowd has gathered around the dead body of the same girl he saw only moments earlier in the bowling alley.

Angie relates his bizarre tale to Mulder and Scully. Mulder suspects that Angie encountered the dead girl's ghost, a spirit that was attempting to communicate with the living for reasons unknown. Three similar encounters, and three similar murders, were reported in the area in as many weeks. The agents discover the words, "She is me" written on the bowling lane where Angie saw the spirit. But its meaning remains a mystery.

Detective Hudak tells Mulder and Scully that an anonymous caller phoned 911 with a message regarding Penny Timmons, one of the killer's victims. The caller claimed that Timmons' last words were "She is me." But Hudak notes the victim's larynx was severed, making it impossible for her to utter dying words.

The agents trace the source of the 911 call to a payphone at the New Horizon Psychiatric Center. Mulder notices one of the patients, Harold Spuller, avoiding his gaze. After viewing photographs of the murder victims, Scully comes to the conclusion that Spuller fits the killer's profile: a compulsive person consumed with the desire to organize, clean and reorder.

Scully uses a rest room to attend to a nose bleed, which is the result of her cancer. There she encounters the spirit of another blond girl. Moments later, Mulder relays word that the body of yet another victim was found nearby.

Mulder discovers Harold holed-up in a dimly-lit room accessible from the bowling alley. The walls of the room are covered with score sheets, including those of the victims. Mulder realizes that Harold met each of the murdered women at the bowling alley. Suddenly, Harold lapses into a strange seizure. From his point of view, he sees Angie's ghost standing behind Mulder. He rushes out of the room and makes his way to the bowling alley, where Angie lies dead, the victim of a heart attack. Mulder tells Scully that every person who saw the apparitions was about to die, implying that Harold may be next. Scully, who also saw a victim's ghost, is struck by the implication but does not tell this to Mulder.

Harold is transported back to the psychiatric center. There, he is tormented by Nurse Innes, who ridicules his intellect and physique. Later, Mulder finds Innes lying on the floor, half-conscious. Innes claims Harold went berserk and attacked her. One of the other patients, Chuck Forsch, tells Scully that Nurse Innes was trying to poison Harold. Scully slowly realizes that Innes, not Harold, was responsible for the murders. When Innes attacks Scully with a scalpel, Scully draws her weapon and fires, striking her in the shoulder. Afterward, Scully tells Mulder that Innes has been ingesting Harold's medication, triggering violent and unpredictable behavior. She hypothesizes that Innes was out to destroy the love Harold felt towards the young women. Later, Harold's body is discovered in a nearby alley, the apparent victim of respiratory failure. But Scully suspects Harold died from what Innes took away from him.

Scully admits to Mulder that she saw the ghost of the fourth victim shortly after she was murdered. Later, Scully sees Harold's spirit sitting in the back seat of her car.


Important Quotes:
Mulder -- "What, you don't believe in ghosts?"
Scully -- "You're saying that what this man saw was the victim's ghost?"
Mulder -- "Sounds more like a disembodied soul."
Scully -- "Which is just another name for a ghost."
Mulder -- "Except according to Mr. Pintero, this one was trying to communicate. It was speaking to him as if she was trying to tell him something. It sounds more like a death omen."
Scully -- "A death omen?"
Mulder -- "Yeah. It's a spirit being that arrives as a harbinger of death."

Scully -- "Mulder, the man is disturbed. You could see the pressure building in him from the moment the interview began."
Mulder -- "Yeah."
Scully -- "Why are you now so unconvinced that Harold Spuller is the man we came here looking for?"
Mulder -- "I'm sure Harold Spuller is the man that made that phone call. But what led us to him still remains unexplained."
Scully -- "'She is me.'"
Mulder -- "Uh huh, and the other apparitions, like the one Mr. Pintero saw at the bowling alley."

Scully -- "Mulder ... I ..."
Mulder -- "What?"
Scully -- "I think I'm going to let you take care of that. I, uh, I think I'm gonna get this checked out just, you know, just to be safe."
Mulder -- "You want me to drive you?"
Scully -- "No, no, I'm fine really. I've had the doctors keep a close watch and it's just, just precaution."
Mulder -- "You're sure?"
Scully -- "I'm fine."

Scully (to therapist) -- "I don't mean for this to sound too dire. My health has been good. I have been checked up on a weekly basis."
T -- "You've kept working?"
Scully -- "Yes. It's been important to me."
T -- "Why?"
Scully -- "Why? Um ...Agent Mulder has been concerned. He's been supportive through this time."
T -- "Do you feel that you owe it to him to continue working?"
Scully -- "No. (pauses) I guess I never realized how much I rely on him before this ... his passion ... he's been a great source of strength that I've drawn on."

Scully -- "I saw something Mulder."
Mulder -- "What?"
Scully -- "The fourth victim. I saw her in the bathroom before you came to tell me."
Mulder -- "(in a slightly annoyed tone) Why didn't you tell me?"
Scully -- "Because I didn't want to believe it. Because I don't want to believe it."
Mulder -- "Is that why you came down here, to prove that it wasn't true?"
Scully -- "No, I came down here because you asked me to."
Mulder -- "Why can't you be honest with me?"
Scully -- "(defensively) What do you want me to say? That you're right, that, that I believe it even if I don't. I mean, is that what you want?"
Mulder -- "Is that what you think I want to hear?"
Scully -- "(softly) No."
Mulder -- "You can believe what you want to believeScully, but you can't hide the truth from me because if you do, then you're working against me ... and yourself. (his voice softens) I know what you're afraid of. I'm afraid of the same thing.
Scully -- "The doctor said I was fine."
Mulder -- "I hope that's the truth."


Back to The X-files: Season 4

"Elegy" is the twentieth episode of The Twilight Zone, and was first broadcast in February of 1960. It stars Kevin Hagen, Don Dubbins and Jeff Morrow as a trio of astronauts, and Cecil Kellaway as a kindly but mysterious old man.

The series takes place in a near future science-fiction setting, where three astronauts, in an injured craft, make an emergency landing on another planet. They find, to their surprise, that the planet looks exactly like earth, and more specifically of the United States of the mid-20th century. Except that everyone is frozen in place: they wander through idyllic small town scenes where everyone is frozen totally still. The mystery is explained to them (and to the audience) by the appearance of a Mr. Wickwire, who explains exactly where they are, and then in a second climax, reveals an even more unexpected twist.

Although television audiences and writers were much less sophisticated in 1960 than they are today, I wonder if at some point the writers and creators of the Twilight Zone intentionally decided to play with their just-established tropes. This episode features an idyllic view of mid-century small town America, which we have seen in "Walking Distance" and "Where is Everybody?", a tale of a spaceship crash landed, which we have seen in "I Shot An Arrow in the Air", and a kindly mysterious old man, which we have seen in "Mr. Denton on Doomsday" and "What You Need". Having spent some time studying the Twilight Zone, I saw all of these tropes presented in this episode, but the way they were played still comes as a surprise.

El"e*gy (?), n.; pl. Elegies (#). [L. elegia, Gr. , fem. sing. (cf. , prop., neut. pl. of a distich in elegiac verse), fr. elegiac, fr. a song of mourning.]

A mournful or plaintive poem; a funereal song; a poem of lamentation.

Shak.

 

© Webster 1913.

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