Memento Mori

Episode Reviews (14)

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9.0
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  • 9.0

    Memento Mori

    By TrueTvWatcher, Jun 30, 2012

    Memento Mori was a superbly enertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of character development for Scully, Mulder and Skinner. The story was well written and played out smoothly. It was interesting to see Scully face her fears with what was going on with her. I liked learning more about what was really happening and it was fun watching Mulder and his Mufon friends infilitrate the medical facility. The Cigarette Smoking Man and Skinner seem to be playing their own game of cat and mouse. I liked the ending. I certainly look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!moreless

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  • 1.0

    Scully spends the whole episode moaning Fox should just put her down ! this episode and the last one she has just moaned and moaned boring !

    By DarcyPace, Nov 24, 2011

    I have been re watching the x files in order and this is by far the worst episodes Scully spends the whole episode moaning Fox should just put her down ! this episode and the last one she has just moaned and moaned boring ! these monologs the scully dictates are awful please just croak and let me enough the x files in peace with out having to listen to a cancer monlogue a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a a aq a a a aq a a a a a a amoreless

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  • 10

    It is a long, long way from "I thought you were sent to spy on me" to "The truth will save both of us", but we finally got there.

    By MattMTRUSTNO1, Aug 13, 2011





    "Memento Mori" opens with a voice over narration, Agent Scully reading from her journal. Though the language is as formal as Scully's reports, the emotion in it seeps through to saturate the scene in despair and resignation. The camera takes us down a long tunnel of white light, reminiscent of near-death experiences, to focus finally on Dana Scully's X-ray, showing a deadly mass growing at the base of her brain. From this image of the death's-head, the episode unreels as a parallel story deriving from Scully's abduction: Scully fights the result of it and Mulder seeks the cause of it. As before, Scully rejects their stories, but is forced to rely on Penny, who is dying of brain cancer, as her guide through the ordeal of cancer therapy. Mulder, meanwhile, searches desperately for information about the other women of that luckless group, all of whom are dead; his investigation leads him to a fertility clinic and a confrontation with a hybridization experiment that now vitally involves Scully.

    "They're our mothers," Kurt the Clone tells Mulder. In such small and offhand sentences whole story arcs are born. In "Herrenvolk", X's last words to Scully herself were a warning to "protect the mother". Is Dana Scully indeed the genetic mother of a set of red-headed clones?

    The metaphor of cancer as an invading demon, with chemo/radiation therapy as a form of exorcism, struck a profound note. The mini-drama between Skinner and the Cigarette-Smoking Man alone deserves a paragraph, as Skinner contemplates a Faustian bargain. Scully's diary entries beautifully summed up her relationship with Mulder with her usual dispassionate and objective mien: like Marie Curie, Scully would take her own temperature and make her own diagnosis on her deathbed, a scientist to the end.

    I'm not sure where to begin in describing Gillian Anderson's benchmark performance. Likewise, Sheila Larken's brief scene as Mrs. Scully once again showcased her capacity to show tenderness, anger, and bitter grief mixed together. Mitch Pileggi's terse and troubled Skinner struck the perfect note of worry and resolve, and the final image of the episode, closing in on his profoundly disturbed expression, sounded the right grace note for the story. Gillian Barber's portrayal of the ill-fated Penny Northern was enough to bring tears to a statue.

    In "Memento Mori", Duchovny let us hear the tears stuck in Mulder's throat, the anger choking him, the fear nearly strangling him. Struck nearly dumb with grief and denial, he fights to maintain his usual sang-froid and utterly fails. From the sea-change that comes over Mulder's face when Scully tells him of her cancer, to the barely-repressed grimace when she calls him to bring her bag to the hospital, Duchovny gives us a Mulder stripped down to raw, bleeding nerve. In a storage room that might contain his own sister's eggs, he doesn't even look for a drawer with her name on it. In Skinner's office, he is willing to sell his soul cheap for Scully's life. Mulder is down to his last emotional nickel here, on the ragged edge of despair. The most sensitive moment in "Memento Mori", however, the one that demonstrated Fox Mulder's innate humanity, came as Scully walks away down the hospital corridor. He takes the vial of her eggs from his pocket-- and does nothing. The truth, and his quest, might be served by revealing to Scully at this supremely vulnerable moment that she has suffered a violation as intimate and visceral as rape. But the Fox Mulder who might have blurted out the painful truth in the first season now thinks twice. Finally, he understands that some things--such as compassion- -are more important than his version of the truth.

    "Memento Mori" gives Dana Scully a crusade of her own, and Mulder a partner unto death.



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  • 10

    Scully's cancer Beware of spoilers!

    By Ngbballgyrl15, Oct 21, 2010

    By far one of the best x-files episodes ever! Ok so scully finds out that she has incurable cancer and decides to look for the women from the Mufon group who are in the same boat as her. Scully finds out that all the women have died except for one. After she visits Penny in the hospital, Scully decides that she is going to get treatment at the hospital. Mulder is determined to find out what happened to scully but lets her know that he will always be there for her. While going through chemo, scully rights in her journal to mulder. Angst, Angst, Angst.......and finally we get to the end. Mulder goes to scully's room and when he sees that she isn't there he has the saddest look on his face. He runs down the hall and Byers tells him that she is in the room with Penny. Mulder busts into the room and is relieve when he sees scully. Penny (I hope that was her name)dies and Scully comes out of the room crying. Her and Mulder share a hug and a kiss on the forehead and the top of the head after she tells him that she's not going to be defeated by her illness and after he tells her that he read what she wrote to him. Like I said it was a great episode.moreless

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  • 10

    For the first time I feel time like a heartbeat...

    By tunguska1013, Oct 21, 2010

    Scully finds out that she has an inoperable brain tumor as a result of her abduction and Mulder's desperate search for the cure brings him closer to the conspiracy.



    Memento Mori is an amazing episode, emotional and revealing at the same time. The writing is great especially in Scully's voice-overs and the directing is excellent. Moreover the performances throughout the episode are spot on especially by Gillian Anderson who deservedly won the EMMY. In this episode we also get the chance to learn a little more about the project and the experiments they've done to Scully during her abduction as well as the fate of the women from the MUFON group we met last year. Memento Mori is an episode full of memorable moments: when we find out that Kurt Crawford is a hybrid, the scenes between Scully and Penny Northern or Scully and her mother, The Lone Gunmen appearance and of course the hallway scene between Mulder and Scully near the end. Definitely one of the best episodes!moreless

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  • 10

    Cancer

    By threenineteen, Jun 27, 2007

    All of the women in MUFON (whom we met earlier in the show) are dying/dead from cancer after having their chips removed. Scully has had her chip removed. Scully has cancer. Can you see where this is going? We find out a little bit more of what happened to Scully when she was 'abducted' and we get a nice bit of chemistry between Mulder and Scully. It is really quite a sad episode considering Penny (?) dies and Scully has loads of treatment and writes long, emotional journal entries. ANd then of course there is THAT scene, the one which shippers love. The hug and forehead kiss just warm my shipper heart!moreless

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  • 10

    Perfect

    By Anon67683, Mar 13, 2007

    Best episode in the series so far and a perfect 10 in every way. The writing was top notch, particularly Scully's sensitive and delicate journal entries, which were a clever way to build dramatic tension without seeming overly expositive.



    Anderson deservedly won an Emmy for her acting in this episode, perfectly portraying Scully's terror, vulnerabilty and quiet resolve in a virtuoso performance. Duchovny is also quite good, although it is easy to overlook his performance given the focus on Anderson. By now, the chemistry between them is solid and the reason why this show remains so good after three and a half seasons.



    Loved the Lone Gunmen's first covert field op! The set used for the research facility was fabulous. My favorite single moment in this episode was when one of the hybrids explains to Mulder that they are trying to save the abducted women because "they are our mothers." Great stuff.moreless

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  • 7.0

    slow burner

    By danideathstrike, Feb 12, 2007

    Memento Mori see’s Scully's recent failing health is revealed to be inoperable brain cancer which is common among abductees. She meets with other abductees with the same condition and forms a special bond with a dying woman, while Mulder tries to save her from a doctor who may be connected with the abductions. In my opinion this is an average episode which is overrated by other fans, I think there are plenty of other episodes that deserve more recognition. I know people will say that it is developing characters and that it’s “a very special episode”, but to me it was just a slow burnermoreless

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  • 7.9

    I don't understand the hype.

    By hannuraina, Jan 22, 2007

    This was definitely a decent episode, I always enjoy when they delve into the mythos of the series. However, for whatever reason, I am not that intrigued by the whole Scully being abducted side story. I am sure that the ending of the mystery will be exciting, but I found this portion of the story ho-hum. The acting, as usual, was good and there was also a couple funny jokes thrown in during the episode. Overall, I found myself a tad disappointed by the episode after seeing how high it was listed on the top episodes of all times. Oh, well. 7.9moreless

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