The X-Files

Season 4 Episode 23


Aired Monday 9:00 PM May 11, 1997 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
284 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Mulder undergoes an experimental form of hypnotherapy to recover his memories about his sister's abduction but the treatment has side effects including psychotic behaviour and Mulder wakes up one morning in a motel room with someone else's blood all over him.

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  • Demons

    Demons was a superb and entertaining episode of the X-Files and I really enjoyed watching because there was a lot of great character development. The story was pretty good and it was fun seeing Mulder wake up with blood on him and no recollection of what happened. As Scully helps him to investigate it seems there is more to the story than first suspected. Mulder had flash backs thanks to a crazy Dr. and his treatments allowing Fox to remember things about his sister along with the how and why she was taken. It was hinted that Mulder might be the son of someone else, perhaps the Cigarette Smoking Man. I liked how everything played out and look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • The premise of "Demons" is the same as the premise of The X-Files itself--Fox Mulder wakes one morning in mysterious circumstances, unable to remember the vitally important events of the night before, events which may have changed his life forever.moreless

    Mulder wakes up in a strange motel room covered in blood, disoriented and apprehensive. Scully is convinced he has suffered some kind of stroke. Mulder, however, is more disturbed by his loss of memory and the fact that his gun has been fired. Backtracking his own movements, Mulder finds himself entangled in a double murder, involving alien abductees and a dangerous memory-recovery experiment.

    His investigation can go forward only by going backward into a past Mulder does not remember. Suddenly he is besieged with images and sounds that act out his worst nightmares--that his parents voluntarily gave away his sister, or at least complied with her abduction, and that Mulder's own nemesis, the Cigarette-Smoking Man, is as close to him as his own father. While some of this episode was strained (Scully simply tells Mulder the police have put together evidence that will clear him--I'd have liked a little elaboration on that) and relied too much on coincidence (Scully just happens to be in the stationhouse when a cop--another abductee--commits suicide), the inherent suspense and the emotional weight of the tale take us past these minor problems. All the important elements are here--Mulder's memory, Samantha's abduction, the murky role of Bill Mulder and the Cigarette-Smoking Man, and best of all, the trust and loyalty between Mulder and Scully. Mulder is losing it all in this story--his career, his mind, his future and the core of his beliefs, but Scully is there like a rock for him.

    Gillian Anderson brings us the best of Dana Scully once again--cool of head and warm of heart. Her allegiance to Mulder is, of course, a classic female-character trait in television. But it is her relentlessly logical pursuit of the evidence that places her apart from every other supportive-female stereotype of the genre. Increasingly, it is this well-rounded, deep characterization of a rational career woman that marks "The X-Files" apart in television. Mulder is driven by passions we cannot share (I hope), but Scully is us--an ordinary, intelligent, caring human being whose belief in her partner is fueled not by sentiment or loyalty but by a fundamental understanding of his soul. If Chris Carter and Gillian Anderson are remembered for anything, I hope it is for the creation of this strong female character. There is no one like her on television.

    This episode, which brought us inside the pain and anguish of Fox Mulder, and inside the desperate faithfulness of Dana Scully, could easily have been the last episode of this season. That last image, with the broken Mulder allowing the barest touch of comfort from Scully, should have lasted us until next season. It was a powerful and effective episode.moreless
  • Mulder tries to remember his past again.

    There's been a clear-cut difference in the quality of Season 4 when you compare the first half to the second half. I thought the first half was painful in sections, a series of episodes that were meaningless and poorly written. There was the occasional episode that brought a little more to the table, but for the most part, there just wasn't anything that blew me away. However, this episode continues the second half's streak of great and entertaining episodes.

    The second half seems to have suddenly remembered that Scully was abducted and that Mulder cares for nothing but Scully and finding out what happened to his sister Samantha. As a result, we've gotten a slew of episodes that revolve around Scully's illness and Mulder's quest for the truth. And just about every single one of them have been great. This episode was creative in the way we learn what happened. It's the type of episode that threatens to descend into soap-opera type melodrama about Mulder's family, but instead, we get a "Memento" type episode that finds Mulder unable to remember what happened to him after he wakes up in a motel room with blood on his shirt from somebody else.

    It'd be a shame to spoil stuff, so I'll just say that Scully and Mulder try to figure out what happened to him and prove that he didn't kill anybody. Mulder's past ends up being involved, and by the time we get to the end, we're left in a pretty dark place before the finale arrives. It'll be interesting to see how Scully's illness and Mulder's recent events will tie into it.moreless
  • Mulder remembers some stuff

    Basically, mulder wakes up in a motel room with no knowledge of what he has been doing, why he has blood all over his shirt or why he has keys with the name 'Amy' on them. Que Scully, having been called at 5am, to come and rescue him dundunduuuuuuun! We learn a bit more about Samantha's abduction...well, not really but we hear some shouting about it and the CSM pops up, so we assume we learn more about the abduction. Mulder questions his paternity, but his mother refuses to answer. Scully gets to drive for once. I found the conclusion somewhat confusing, but in the end he points a gun at scully and you think he shoots her but doesn't because somehow she's moved behind him or he swivelled around. Mulder cries on the floor and Scully gives him some form of backhug. Sweet.moreless
  • Mulder's Flashback Weekend

    It's too bad Goodwin only wrote this single episode as it's a good one, full of mystery and twists that unfold naturally and logically as the episode chugs away. Reminded me of the film, "Memento," in some ways. Well done.

    Duchovny gives a fine performance and Scully actually gets to see Mulder naked in the bathtub, haha. The two characters continue to drift apart as Mulder refuses Scully's attempts to get him some much-needed medical treatment and even points a gun at her head in the last scene.

    The flashbacks sequences were very revealing and well done, although they were replayed maybe one too many times during the episode.moreless
Jay Acovone

Jay Acovone

Detective Joe Curtis

Guest Star

Mike Nussbaum

Mike Nussbaum

Dr Charles Goldstein

Guest Star

Andrew Johnston

Andrew Johnston

Medical Examiner

Guest Star

Chris Owens

Chris Owens

Young Cigarette Smoking Man

Recurring Role

Rebecca Toolan

Rebecca Toolan

Mrs Mulder

Recurring Role

Vanessa Morley

Vanessa Morley

Young Samantha Mulder

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Scully says the blood splatter pattern on Mulder's shirt is not a match to the crime, but she should have said blood spatter. A scientist should know this.

    • During the scene between Scully and Det. Curtis in the apartment of the police officer who committed suicide, a moving shadow of a crew member can be seen on the wall behind Scully.

    • Since when did Quonochontaug suddenly become the place where Mulder's sister was abducted instead of Martha's Vineyard?
      Response It wasn't actually stated that Samantha disappeared the night Mulder remembers here, only that it was the night that his father and the CSM told his mother about it.

    • The date stamp says that it is April 12 and Scully says that it is Sunday, but April 12 1997 was a Saturday, not a Sunday.

    • According to the time stamps, Scully took 1 hour and 40 minutes at best to dress, pack, catch a flight from Georgetown to Providence, Rhode Island, rent a car and drive to Mulder's motel.

  • QUOTES (5)

    • Scully: You're jailing an innocent man.
      Detective Curtis: Yeah. Well... this way he won't get lost for two days and do something else he won't remember.

    • Mulder: Scully, you don't have to do this.
      Scully: Mulder, you have to help me out. There is nothing here that points directly to your guilt. I mean, unless somebody can show me with absolute certainty that you were holding the weapon that killed those two people, that the rest of the narrative is far too convenient and suspect. The drug in your system already suggests other explanations.
      Mulder: What, that I was partying with a few senior citizens?

    • Scully: Mulder, I'm going to get you out of here.
      Mulder: You're a doctor, not a lawyer, Scully.

    • Mulder: (in the shower, with the water on) I can't get warm.
      Scully: Mulder! You're in shock. (she turns off the water and hands him a towel.)

    • Mulder: I had those peoples' blood on my shirt, Scully. I was missing for two days. I have no recollection of my actions during those two days. There were two rounds discharged from my gun. I had the keys to this house, the keys to their car. Do the words "Orenthal James Simpson" mean anything to you?

  • NOTES (2)

    • Like Cassandra Spender in Season 5, Amy and David Cassandra are named after the Greek phrophetess Cassandra, who was cursed by the god Apollo. Not unlike Mulder, everything Cassandra said was true, but no one ever believed her.

    • This is the only episode written by Vancouver producer R.W. Goodwin.


    • Mulder: Do the words "Orenthal James Simpson" mean anything to you?
      Mulder is referring to OJ Simpson and the infamous murder trial of his wife wherein Simpson claimed that he had no memory of the night she died.