The X-Files

Season 4 Episode 24

Gethsemane (1)

Aired Sunday 9:00 PM May 18, 1997 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (7)

out of 10
296 votes
  • Oh nooo it can't be.

    Season 4's ending finds Mulder once again at the deep end of breaking the truth about aliens among us and is a distinct episode because this creature is different from the other alien stories in the series so far (black goo, the flask etc). The other stand out is the ending but its also flawed in a way. They make it definite that Muldor is dead, Scully see's the body and the report confirms it. At the time this must have been a great ending because there was no knowledge about the future of the series, folks may have thought there would only be one more season. Knowing that there are 5 more seasons and movies plus a reboot at the time of this post you know this ending isn't all it seemed and that removes some of the drama.

    So again this is a heartfelt ending on its own but knowing Muldor isn't dead makes it less impactful.
  • Gethsemane

    Gethsemane was a perfect episode and season four finale of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was awesome as Mulder investigated a possible Extraterrestrial Biological Entity preserved in glacier ice. I loved the format how Scully was giving her testimony on The X-Files to a committee of higher ups in the F.B.I. and what transpired was in the recent past. It was interesting to learn "The Truth" or the lie behind the supposed truth. The ending was great and unforeseen. I certainly look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!
  • Mulder finds an extraterrestrial hidden in northern caves while Scully learns something about her illness

    Unlike last year, which ended the third season on such a lame and obvious cliffhanger that I realized I didn't care much what happened, this cliffhanger does everything right. It doesn't exactly stick us in the middle of a situation and say "To Be Continued." Instead, the episode ends definitively, and the ending line/moment makes us wonder whether or not we'll see agent Mulder again.

    Of course, it'd be foolish to assume Fox is dead.. he's the star of the show along with Scully. However, I'm finding myself very curious as to how in the world they're going to pull off Mulder being alive. For one, they never showed his face when Scully identified him, so there may be some hoax going on. At the same time, that's what makes the cliffhanger so effective: we're left wondering still why Scully seems to be discrediting Mulder so heavily.

    The episode itself had a lot of conspiracy stuff going on, but there was no inclusion of the Cigarette Smoking Man yet. However, there was a great plot involving Mulder and some friends finally finding an alien and doing a legitimate autopsy on it. It was a great revelation for Mulder, who has spent four seasons looking for the truth and having it elude him every time. This time, it appears he may get very close.

    However, a new development arises: a man from the D.o.D appears and claims that the government has been creating all of these "extraterrestrial" hoaxes as a cover-up for secret government missions they're doing. Of course, it's absurd to believe that after all we've seen, but I think the writers do a good job of making us feel like Mulder. It feels like we're getting jerked around, but that's probably how Mulder feels, and by the time the episode ends, I wouldn't be surprised in the least if Mulder was actually dead.

    Scully's illness isn't ignored either; the chance that her illness may have been administered simply to keep Mulder believing in the lie is horrifying to think, and hopefully, that doesn't end up being the case. It would turn Mulder from a guy who won't give up at finding the truth into an obsessive guy who lets his compulsions hurt others.

    I'm pumped to see what happens next.. I would definitely say that this is the best season finale so far.
  • Gethsemane is a great episode of the X-Files in which, for the first time in the show's nine-year run, Mulder and Scully are forced to deeply examine not only their own beliefs, but also the degrees to which their personal quests converge and diverge.

    Gethsemane is a nearly superb episode of the X-Files that kicks off one of its best multi-part stories. The episode is impressive in its creation of high drama around a pair of internal quests, and in that it does this by keeping Mulder and Scully mostly apart throughout the episode. Perhaps the only drawbacks of this episode are the wordy dialogue and its theatrical delivery during Scully's hearing, and Mulder-is-dead cliffhanger redux. While I appreciate that Mulder's death seems a logical end to his journey through Gethsemane, suicide doesn't fit Mulder's character, and it furthermore distracts us from the exciting ideas in this episode, reducing Gethsemane to an is-he-or-isn't-he moment.

    The art of this episode then is how Chris Carter introduces and interweaves a blend of interpersonal drama, conspiracy mystery, and truly wondrous glimpses of alien life, all wrapped up in a melodramatic framing device. No episode or arc since the Anasazi three-parter so winningly got us excited about all of things at the same time, nor introduced new characters as fresh and well-acted as Bill Scully and Michael Kritschgau. This pair of foils effectively begins to derail both Mulder and Scully, but yet remains sympathetic, an especially remarkable feat for Kritschgau, who knocks a cancer-ridden Scully down a flight of stairs. Also appealing, is the contrast between Scully's spiritual, family-oriented journey and Mulder's solitary, intellectual journey. Particularly in Mulder's case, where we often find him accompanied by the baggage of her sister, by Cancer Man, or by his mother, it's refreshing to see him go this one alone, and it further helps to paint him in the anti-social, maverick light that the show keep telling us about.

    Surely, however, the most interesting thing about Gethsemane is the way in which it anticipates the 'game-changer' trope in TV that wouldn't fully surface for another 5-7 years with serial dramas Alias, Battlestar Galactica, and Lost. Although the season-five episodes that followed wouldn't fully exploit the degree to which Mulder was now skeptical of extraterrestrial life, this episode and arc seemed to promise that the very nature of the show had been irrevocably changed.
  • Perfect Season Ender

    Wow! What a great closing episode! Perfect in virtually every way and with a whopper of a cliffhanger that would make anyone curse the intervening summer before Season Five (pre-DVD, of course).

    The cinematography is fantastic, especially the wipe open shots of the snow-covered Canadian mountains. Anderson looks her absolute radiant best here. She is just gorgeous.

    I liked the religious subtext of this episode and thought it worked well. Both Scully and Mulder are forced to reexamine the strength of their respective "faiths." Scully because of her apparently impending death and Mulder because of the apparent "death" of his alien theories, which are debunked convincingly by an interesting new character, Michael Kritschgau.

    They manage to pack quite a bit in this episode. Not a minute is wasted and lots of possibilities are opened up for Season Five. A truly great closer, perhaps the best of the series.
  • The one where Mulder seems to be dead

    ‘Gethsemane’ is a brilliantly well written episode that makes us believe the lie.

    The episode begins with Scully going to a crime scene and asked to identify a body, the one of Fox Mulder and she says it’s him.

    The episode continues in the snow, an alien was found but Scully isn’t going with Mulder to investigate it, she doesn’t tell him that her cancer results were bad and that they will probably spread through her body and become aggressive.

    When all the investigators in the ice are shot dead, Mulder and a doctor who are going to examine the body find them and only one is alive and tells where he buried the alien’s dead body.

    When Scully goes to an office to find something she has been examinating, she finds a guy that took it with him and when she tries to go after him she pushes him off the stairs. Then she tries to look him up in a computer and tries to arrest him, he tells her that if she arrests him the men who put the cancer in her will kill him.

    The guy explains her everything and that the government have used her and Mulder since the beginning.

    Meanwhile a doctor opens the alien’s body and when Mulder leaves, a guy enters and kills him with the only survivor that seemed to be behind everything from the start.

    When the guy tells everything to Mulder it upsets him, knowing that everything might have been a lie and that his sister wasn’t abducted by aliens.
    We were made to believe that Mulder after realising everything took a gun and shot himself, and that’s Scully’s statement.

    To Be continued…

    The episode was brilliantly done, I would have believed the lie.
  • Believe the lie!

    The changed tagline for "Gethsemane", BELIEVE THE LIE, is programatic: Not only did Mulder allegedly believe in a lie, but we are asked to as well. Are aliens really just a big hoax? Was all the evidence of extraterrestrials we've seen, from clones to bounty hunters to the Black Oil just a fabrication to instill Mulder with faith in his crusade that would send him on a tangent away from the government's real crimes?

    An interesting kind game not unlike "Paper Hearts" that plays with the original X-Files concept of ambivalence that in each case, both the supernatural and the scientific explanation might be right.

    On the other hand, everything that had come before in mytharc terms has been so strong that it was vcery unlikely even here that alienms would turn out not to exist. The tantalizing question in "Gethsemane" is thus why the conspirators would now try this avenue to throw Mulder off, why Scully lies to the FBI board, what will happen to her health and just why Mulder fakes his death. Because seriously, him committing suicide is one lie no one believes.

    As for just the episode, it's a thriller of cinematic proportions. Great visuals, exciting score by Mark Snow, and this just the first part of three!
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