The X-files

The Field Where I Died
Episode: 4X05
First aired:10/18/96
Written by:Glen Morgan and James Wong
Directed by: Rob Bowman

One of my favorite episodes.

Mulder is standing in a field of tall grass holding two very old black and white pictures. One of a soldier and one of a young woman of the same time. The picture of the woman is torn in half. Mulder speaks in a voice over:
    "I, too, have spent a life the sages' way and tread once more familiar paths. Perchance I perished in an arrogant self-reliance an age ago... and in that act, a prayer for one more chance went up so earnest, so... instinct with better light let in by death that life was blotted out not so completely... but scattered wrecks enough of it to remain dim memories... as now... when seems once more... the goal in sight again.


The story shows what happened before this point:
Apison, Tennessee, once the site of a Civil War battle, is now the home of the Temple of the Seven Stars, a doomsday religious cult that believes in reincarnation. A member named "Sidney" calls the FBI with accusations of child abuse and weapons stockpiling. Fearing another Waco or Jonestown, the BATF and the FBI lead a joint raid on the compound. No weapons are found. Neither is Vernon Ephesian, the cult's dangerously charismatic leader, who dominates his followers with a mix of Biblical prophecy, New Age channeling and old-fashioned intimidation.

An odd compulsion leads Mulder to search a nearby field where he finds an underground Civil War bunker concealing Ephesian and his six wives--all on the verge of committing mass suicide. One of the wives, Melissa, catches Mulder's attention. She feels somehow familiar to him. Ephesian, his wives and the cultists are taken into custody. But with no evidence of abuse or illegal weapons, the FBI can hold them for only one day. Mulder and Scully are assigned to interrogate Ephesian and his wives. Preaching fire and brimstone, Ephesian admits nothing.

Melissa is a different story. Under questioning, this withdrawn and hostile girl suddenly shifts personalities into the mysterious informant Sidney, a gruff male New Yorker. But somehow Mulder knows Melissa's case is even more unusual than Multiple Personality Disorder. He is certain that "Sidney" is one of Melissa's past lives.

Scully, who has a hard enough time with MPD let alone reincarnation, can't understand why Mulder is so obsessed with Melissa, and so certain he is right.

Then comes a revelation that surprises even Mulder. Melissa shifts into yet another identity: a Civil War nurse named Sarah Kavanaugh. She tells them she watched as her fiancee Sullivan Biddle died in the aftermath of the long-ago battle. And that Biddle is one of Mulder's past lives. Mulder unconditionally believes her. Desperate to discover the truth...Mulder has himself regressed.

Scully listens as Mulder cycles through a series of his past lives. He says that same souls reincarnate together over and over again: he, Samantha, Scully, even the Cigarette-Smoking Man are destined to play out many lifetimes together. Melissa and Mulder are soulmates...fated always to be star-crossed lovers.

The current Melissa hears Mulder's story, but she won't allow herself to believe. She returns to Ephesian. Scully doesn't know what to think--especially when she discovers photographs of Sarah and Sullivan in historical archives.

After Ephesian and his cultists are released, everyone's worst fears come true. Ephesian leads the cult in a mass suicide. Mulder discovers the body of Melissa...clutching the photograph of Sarah Kavanaugh in her hand.


Important Quotes:
Mulder -- "I, too, have spent a life the sages' way and tread once more familiar paths. Perchance I perished in an arrogant self-reliance an age ago... and in that act, a prayer for one more chance went up so earnest, so... instinct with better light let in by death that life was blotted out not so completely... but scattered wrecks enough of it to remain dim memories... as now... when seems once more... the goal in sight again."

Scully -- "You didn't even have the courage to tell Skinner what you really believe... that Melissa Riedal is being invaded by her past-life incarnations."
Mulder -- "Because he wouldn't believe me."
Scully -- "I don't believe that you feel responsible for those fifty lives... or Melissa Riedal. You are only responsible to yourself, Mulder."

Therapist (talking to Mulder, who is under hypnosis) -- "I want you to go into your past, beyond your life as Fox Mulder... What do you see?"
Mulder -- "Ghetto streets... shattered glass... bodies of the dead... I'm a woman... a Jewish woman... Poland. My son is with me. He is Samantha."
Therapist -- "Samantha? I thought Samantha was your sister."
Mulder -- "In this life, she is my son. I see my father. He's dead in the street. He is Scully... But now... he's gone on now... waiting for us. The souls... come back together... different... but always together... again and again... to learn. I can't go to my father. Gestapo is standing next to him. An officer... he's Cancer Man... evil returns as evil... But love... love... souls mate eternal... my... husband... is taken away from me. To the camps. He is Melissa. We're always taken away. I'm rising... I'm rising now... I'm rising now... high above... my body. Above the field. My face is bloody. Near the bunker... the federals are gone... my sergeant is also dead. He is Scully. Sarah holds me. She is sad. She is Melissa. She lives... near... the battle... Hamilton County... her name is Kavanaugh. Sarah Kavanaugh... And my name... is Sullivan Biddle. She doesn't know... she doesn't know... that, that I'm waiting for her... that we will live again. We will live again. Oh, God... oh, my soul is tired."

Mulder -- "Dana, if, um... early in the four years we've been working together... an event occurred that suggested or somebody told you that... we'd been friends together in other lifetimes... always... wouldn't it have changed some of the ways we looked at one another?"



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