The X-Files

Season 8 Episode 17


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Apr 15, 2001 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
196 votes

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Episode Summary

Agent Reyes enlists Mulder's help investigating a killer's connection to the unsolved murder of Doggett's son. They investigate but find no connection, Reyes continues to believe that a thread of evil is linking all the murders together.

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  • Empedocles

    Empedocles was another perfect and very entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story had to do with Doggett's past as agent Reyes asks for Mulder's help. Scully looked very motherly throughout the episode as she was kind of relaxing and not really a big part of the investigation. I liked how Reyes was linking the cases together and it was horrifying to see some of the scenes where the supposed evil took action. Every thing played out nicely and Doggett was more or less forced to acknowledge the truth. The scene at the end with Mulder and Scully was awesome. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • It Was The Pizza Guy

    With Season Eight rapidly skidding to a close, the producers decide to throw Doggett a bone and present us with an episode purporting to deal with his murdered son. Unfortunately, this episode gives short shrift to the circumstances surrounding Doggett's tragedy and instead devolves into a rather blah MOTW episode.

    What is even worse, Agent Reyes returns to go all Dr. Phil on everyone, especially Doggett, in a cool, measured tone of voice that reminds me of nothing so much as a grade-school counselor. Really, she is T-E-D-I-O-U-S and I can't fathom how anyone appreciates her inclusion into the series.

    Then there are the kissy-face shenanigans between Mulder and Scully. This "cutesy" ambivalence as to whether or not they are a couple or whether or not Mulder is the father of Scully's baby is getting old. It's become a self-conscious tease that the producers seemingly have no intent to resolve. The shippers among you love it but I resent the blatant manipulation and the way the producers seem to want their cake and eat it too. In the immortal words of John Lydon, "Ever feel like you've been cheated?"moreless
  • Great situation wasted from bad writing

    The previous few episodes of season 8 had actually started building some good momentum up, at least for me, and then the writing in this episode really stinks that momentum up.

    First off, and maybe this is more of a directing/editing issue, but when Doggett confronts Mulder it's unclear how he found Mulder/Reyes and even worse, where all this action is happening. One minute we are in the hospital, then some dark place filled with files, whether the FBI or hospital who knows, and then Doggett is screaming in Mulder's face simply for standing there in the dark place with files -- Doggett has no idea what Mulder has seen or done, and it just feels really illogical.

    Then we also have the terrible lines coming out of Doggett and Reye's mouths, as though the writers can only have them repeat the same cliches over and over again: "I have a feeling." "I think it's evil." "I'm going to do everything I can to solve this." Bleh.

    Even Mulder can barely get these terrible generalities about evil out; it's just all so vague. Evil is just a virus that gets its opportunity to invade a person when they're down? Well, then nearly everyone would be possessed in the very same way. Silly supernatural fluff.

    The only saving grace of this episode is the Mulder-Scully relationship stuff, which, unfortunately, feels as though it's been spliced out of place into this episode.moreless
  • When a new set of murder echoes the killing of Doggett's son, Monica Reyes returns to enlist Mulder's aid. Doggett must come to terms with his desire to turn a blind eye to the impossible.moreless

    A clear turning point for Doggett as a character. We finally get to see the backstory on his son's death, as well as the past between he and Reyes. Monica really shines in this episode, coming off as the spunky female version of Mulder. Mulder's inability to deal with Reyes shows that he's grown too used to relating with people who are his opposites. Interesting to see him falter when confronted with someone more like himself. The Mulder/Scully pizza boy and gift-giving scenes are perfect examples of the tremendous chemistry between these two actors, and you can't help but smile amidst their banter.

    The idea of evil as a disease isn't very consistant with other themes in the series history, but it's an interesting idea.moreless
  • Random, senseless with Mulder and Doggett going at each other like junkyard dogs.

    Mulder and Doggett are never going to like each other, even if Doggett does start believing. Their personalities just clash and then they are either consciously or unconsciously bickering over Scully.

    Usually the special effects are excellent but here, the vision Jeb has of his scraping furrows in his skin with fire beneath is very badly done.

    If Scully is so sick and 'close family only', why is her mother not here? And Skinner who usually fusses like a mother hen?

    It upset me when Mulder started talking about his work in violent crimes and evil as an actual thing. He almost implied that those monsters were evil as he described it. I find that rather offensive in that it seems to corrupt the excellent work he did, but more so because in the real world, those monsters are real and it's nothing to do with evil and just to do with human nature.

    I liked the whole 'pizza man' joke, very sweet.

    A very random episode, it's been a disturbing part of season 8 that the episodes end without a clue as to where the 'freak of the week' came from. This is a perfect example, so random as to be meaningless, looked at from the outside, this case had no connection to John's son at all. And I think it's insulting and hurtful to John to suggest that some random evil killed his son rather than a flesh-and-blood man. That kind of thinking can only hurt him, even reverse the healing process – as much as a parent could ever get over losing a child.moreless
Robert Patrick

Robert Patrick

Special Agent John Doggett

David Duchovny

David Duchovny

Special Agent Fox Mulder

Gillian Anderson

Gillian Anderson

Special Agent Dana Scully

Annabeth Gish

Annabeth Gish

Special Agent Monica Reyes

Guest Star

Jay Underwood

Jay Underwood

Jeb Dukes

Guest Star

Wendy Gazelle

Wendy Gazelle

Kathy Dukes

Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (13)

    • (The doorbell rings, Mulder answers the door, and sees that it's the pizza guy. Mulder looks at Scully with an exceptionally jealous look.)
      Scully: (To the pizza guy) Just give it to the guy with the funny look on his face.
      Pizza Guy: (To Mulder) That'll be $28.09.
      Mulder: What do you get with that? A tank of gas?

    • Mulder: You miss your regular pizza man, don't you?
      Scully: Yes. That's okay. He's coming by later.

    • Doggett: It's over. It's over now.
      Reyes: It's never over.

    • Scully: So this is a case you're working on?
      Mulder: Yeah. Actually, one that involves Agent Doggett's son, the son who died.
      Scully: Yeah, he's never talked to me about him, but I know something. Are you able to help him at all?
      Mulder: You can't help a man who can't help himself.
      Scully: He's worth the effort, Mulder.

    • Mulder: I've actually been out in the field with Agent Doggett and this, um, female Agent from New Orleans.
      Scully: Agent Reyes.
      Mulder: Yeah.
      Scully: I like her.
      Mulder: You're nothing at all alike.
      Scully: Well, then neither are you and I.

    • Mulder: I think that's a coincidence. I think that life is full of them.
      Reyes: And full of patterns, things we see, but can't comprehend. You believe that. Why can't you believe this?
      Mulder: I think there's an opening coming up in this office soon. You might want to apply.
      Reyes: Is that why you won't help him?
      Mulder: I have a, uh, sick friend in the hospital and, uh, I think I should go see her.
      Reyes: I hope she gets well. This office down here needs at least one person with an open mind.
      Mulder: You'll say anything, won't you?
      Reyes: Only when I think I'm right.

    • Scully: What's wrong, Agent Doggett? You don't seem too good yourself.
      Doggett: You worked with Agent Mulder for how long? A long time.
      Scully: Mm-hmm.
      Doggett: You never believed in any of this stuff. This paranormal or whatever you call it. So, what changed your mind?
      Scully: I realized it was me, that I was afraid. Afraid to believe.

    • Reyes: You're taller than I thought.
      Mulder: You keep on alluding to a time that we've met and I don't remember.
      Reyes: I was there when they found you in the woods. You were... Uh... Yeah. I'm not surprised you don't remember.
      Mulder: Yeah. Um, I-I have somewhere I have to be … if we could cut to the chase.

    • Nurse: Who are you? The husband?
      Mulder: No.
      Nurse: Then you wait outside.

    • Scully: Mulder?
      Mulder: What?
      Scully: I was just about to jump in the shower but I was waiting for the pizza man.
      Mulder: You got something going on with the pizza man I should know about?
      Scully: The pizza man?
      Mulder: Well, correct me if I'm wrong but you just said you were waiting for the pizza man to jump in the shower.
      Scully: No, what I mean was the pizza man's usually late, and so...

    • Dogett: I gotta believe I did everything to find my son.

    • (Doggett grabs Mulder and slams him against the wall)
      Mulder: Hey! Hey! H...
      Doggett: (screaming) Stay out of my life!
      Mulder: Take it eas...
      Doggett: You stay out of my business!
      Mulder: Take it ea...
      Doggett: You want something about me... You ask for it first! You hear me! I don't want to be getting calls about you going behind my back!
      Mulder: I didn't want anything on you...
      Doggett: Who asked you?!?!?
      Reyes: (appears) Agent Doggett, what the hell you doing?

    • Scully: Nice Package!
      Mulder: Thank you.

  • NOTES (1)


    • Title: Empedocles
      "Empedocles" is the name of a Greek scientist-philosopher-poet circa 450 BC. He was known for his belief in the "four-element" theory - that all things are composed of four basic elements: earth, air, fire, and water. He believed that opposing forces (love and hate) acted upon these elements to combine and separate them into their varied forms (hate separates them, love combines them). He also formulated a primitive theory of evolution in which he claimed that humans and animals evolved from antecedent forms.