The X-Files

Season 6 Episode 18


Aired Monday 9:00 PM Apr 18, 1999 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
625 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A writer living next to Mulder becomes obsessed with Scully and confesses to her that he is using her for a character in his novel. Scully finds herself strangely drawn to him even though he is now the prime suspect in the murder case that she and Mulder are investigating.moreless

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  • Milagro

    Milagro was a heart wrenching episode of The X-Files and I really enjoyed watching because the story was simply awesome! There was a lot of great character development, sentiment, and emotions in this episode. I found the story particularly interesting as the main character of the episode lived next to Mulder and admired Scully from a distance. There were moments of true horror as hearts were being removed, and there were sweet emotions as the writer wrote about Scully and his fondness for her. I liked how every thing played out and it was a poetic justice of sorts. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • A writer becomes obsessed with Scully.

    Being the highest rated X-Files episode on, I was expecting (perhaps unfairly) for this to be a classic episode on the same level as "Ice" or "Small Potatoes" or "Pusher." However, while it was a clever idea, one that, as a Creative Writing major, I can appreciate... there was just something lacking here. Maybe a little bit of humor. But it was a darn good episode either way, one I'd call "one of the best of Season 6." Just not classic the way I expected it to be.

    Scully was the focus of the episode. Mulder's next door neighbor, a writer named Philip Padgett, is enamored by Scully and seems to know more about her than she does of herself. He's writing a story that seems to predict her behavior and her thoughts... oh yeah, and the villain in his book, a man who rips hearts from living bodies, is the same one Mulder and Scully are currently looking for.

    When I think back on the episode, it really didn't do too much. There's so much focus on Padgett that we don't get much of a story built outside of "Padgett loves Scully." I do like how it turns out that he created the villain out of his imagination in order to get Scully's attention. It reminded me a lot of Lisey's Story by Stephen King. Despite there never being much of an explanation, I felt okay with not knowing everything.

    But overall, it was a good episode. Oh, and fun fact: the actor playing Padgett was John Hawkes, the actor from Winter's Bone, and he did a fantastic job.moreless
  • a story w/in a story.

    a writer narrating a story about a character that rips out heart & was brought to life by his active imagination. he even writes about scully & seemed to read her mind like the scene in the church where she was confronted by him & declared his admiration & even assessed her that left scully creeped out but she connected w/ him just the same. i like this episode w/ the concept of the writer narrating a story that's rich in conversations & story telling. it all ends when the writer burned his book destroying his character to put a stop to the killings w/ his parting words 'a chance to give what he could not receive' meaning he just wanted love, the reason why he'd done these crimes. imagine that.moreless
  • This is one of my favorite episodes.

    This is one of my favorite episodes. Why? Let's just say I was facinated by the writter, Padgett.

    In one why I thought it was romantic, the things he said, but in another way it was very creepy. It was a very mysterious man.

    He just want's to show his love to Scully and she is attracted to him in a way, she's probably attracted to his mysterious side.

    It's also Padgett that sees that Scully isn't able to respond to his love, because she has another love (finally someone who dares to say it).

    The second "storyline" as I call it, are the murders. The ripping out of the haert, I think that everyone viewer has his on interpretation of the motive. And is given a change to develop the motive untill the end of the eppy.

    The viewer itself is trying to feel what the killer feels and does it automaticly.moreless
  • Evil Hearted You

    An introspective MOTW episode that plays like some sort of writer's personal ego-fantasy. The script is relatively well-written but it suffers from being too "writerly," for lack of a better term. For example, the opening teaser depicts the slow dull agony that is writer's block. It's a nicely shot sequence but it ultimately adds nothing to the story (other than perhaps highlight the fact that the lead character is a writer) and, as a result, it comes across as a bit gratuitous, masturbatory even. The episode also seems a bit pretentious, mostly due to the overuse of voiceover to explain subjective mental states, always a tricky thing to pull off successfully.

    Padgett seems altogether too creepy for Scully to show any interest in him. I realize the plot conceit is that he seems able to change reality to conform to his writing, but I found Scully's receptiveness to his unnervingly direct advances too unbelievable for me to really get into the story. In the similarly themed episode from Season Four, "Never Again," at least we are given some insight into the why and the how Scully becomes involved with the protagonist. Here, we are simply asked to believe Scully's actions without any insight into her motivations, which seems to be lazy writing.

    Ultimately, the storyline itself doesn't work because there is too little direct action to sustain the viewer's interest. The murders themselves are mere window dressing for the psychological drama. We don't know why the murders occur, a fact that the killer even comments upon when he asks Padgett for his motivation. It's like, "Ho hum, here comes the hooded, faceless killer again." The whole setup just becomes so contrived that it becomes hard to care.moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • The scene where Mulder runs after the hooded man in the cemetery had to be filmed on a motorcycle because David Duchovny runs so fast. According to Kim Manners, in a previous episode (Tunguska) David ran so fast that he outran two horses.

  • QUOTES (11)

    • Scully: (reading Padgett's 'confession') Grief squeezed at her eggshell heart like it might break into a thousand pieces, its contents running like broken promises into the hollow places his love used to fill. How could she know this pain would end? That love, unlike matter or energy, was in endless supply in the universe... A germ which grows from nothingness which cannot be eradicated, even from the darkest of hearts. If she had known this - and who could say she would believe it? - She would not have chanced to remain at his sad grave until such an hour so that she might not have to learn the second truth before the first: that to have love was to carry a vessel that could be lost or stolen. Or worse, spilled blood-red on the ground. And that love was not immutable and could become hate as day becomes night. As life becomes death.

    • Scully: Mulder, you are making critical assumptions without any facts. What about time of death, what about- what-
      (Mulder stops, grabs Scully, and spins around so she's standing in his place and he's taken her spot) Mulder, what are you doing?
      Mulder: Well, you're about to argue my usual side, aren't you?
      Scully: Why couldn't he have imagined it? Why couldn't he just be in the killer's head?
      Mulder: You read his book. You read what he wrote about you. Are you trying to tell me he got inside your head? That what I read is true?
      Scully: (Doesn't meet his eyes) Mulder, of course not.

    • Scully: How is it you think you know me so well, Mr. Padgett?
      Padgett: I'm writing about you.
      Scully: Since when?
      Padgett: Since I noticed you. You live in my old neighborhood.
      Scully: And you moved into this building by coincidence?
      Padgett: No.
      Scully: You moved here because of me.
      Padgett: There wasn't anything available in your building. And it wasn't like you spent a lot of time at home.

    • Padgett: (Typing) The overture in the church had urged the beautiful agent's partner into an act of Hegelian self-justification. Expeditiously violating the Fourth Amendment against mail theft, he prepared to impudently infract the First. But if she'd predictably aroused her sly partner's suspicions, Special Agent Dana Scully had herself become simply aroused. ... What would her partner think of her?

    • Mulder: You weren't joking about being late. I was about to start slicing and dicing myself.

    • Padgett: (To Scully) I have to admit, I noticed you. I do that - notice people. I saw that you wear a gold cross around your neck so I was taking a chance with the painting - explaining something you may have already known. I saw Georgetown parking permits on your car dating from 1993 and a government exempt sticker that lets you park anywhere you like. You don't live in this area, but as a federal employee you have reason to frequent it. You're fit, with muscular calves, so you must exercise or run. There's a popular running route right nearby that you might use at lunch or after work. You'd have noticed this church in passing, and though parking is always a problem in this part of town, your special privileges would make it easy to visit. Not as a place of worship, but beacuse you have an appreciation for architecture and the arts. And while the grandeur is what you take away when you visit, this painting's religious symbolism would have left its impression, jogged by the gift you received this morning.
      Scully: That was from you?
      Padgett: I have to admit to a secret attraction. I'm sorry I didn't include a note explaining that, but you didn't know me then.
      Scully: Yeah and I don't know you now. And I don't care to.
      Padgett: I see this is making you uncomfortable and I'm sorry. It's just that I'm taken with you. That never happens to me. We're alike that way.

    • Padgett: (narrating) Preconsciously, she knew this wasn't her strength as an investigator. She was a marshal of cold facts, quick to organize, connect, shuffle, reorder and synthesize their relative hard values into discrete categories. Imprecision would only invite sexist criticism that she was soft, malleable. Not up to her male counterparts. Even now, as she pushed an errant strand of titian hair behind her hair, she worried her partner would know what she could simply guess. To be thought of as simply a beautiful woman was bridling - unthinkable. But she was beautiful. Fatally, stunningly prepossesing. Yet the compensatory respect she commanded only deepened the yearnings of her heart. To let it open, to let someone in.

    • Scully: Maybe it has something to do with his next victim, maybe he's taunting you.
      Mulder: Maybe it's not me at all. Maybe he sent it to you. Maybe it's a secret admirer.
      Scully: (Scoffs) I think I'll check it out.
      Mulder: Actually, let me. You've got a 9am with a D.C. medical examiner. He's going to let you autopsy the latest victim.
      Scully: (Sarcastically) Thank you for making my schedule, but I think I'm going to have to be late for that appointment.

    • Padgett: Agent Mulder, my book... did you like it?
      Mulder: Maybe if it were fiction.

    • Padgett: I made a mistake myself.
      Mulder: What's that, Mr. Padgett?
      Padgett: In my book, I'd written that Agent Scully falls in love but that's obviously impossible. (looking at Mulder) Agent Scully is already in love.

    • Mulder: You know you're in here, don't you?
      Scully: (uncomfortably) I read a chapter. What does he say?
      Mulder: (quietly) Well, let's just say it ends with you doing the naked pretzel with "the stranger" on a bed in an unfurnished fourth floor apartment. (pause) I'm assuming that's a priori, too?
      Scully: (short laugh, not looking at him) I think you know me better than that, Mulder.

  • NOTES (7)

    • When Mulder looks at a bill addressed to Phillip Padgett, the street address is shown onscreen as 2630 Hegal Place Apt. No. 44, Alexandria, VA 23242. The zip code "23242" is actually located in Henrico, VA, approximately 100 miles south of Alexandria. (At the time this episode aired, the official "preferred" Postal Service address for the zip code was Richmond, VA.) This may be a reference to the hometown of co-executive producer Vince Gilligan, who was born and raised in the Richmond area.

    • The index cards that Phillip Padgett pins to his wall are covered with plot points from the T.S. Elliot poem "The Wasteland".

    • Angele Vacco, who played the murdered teenager Kevin, is a former X-Files production assistant. He also appeared in the season 2 episode "F. Emasculata".

    • John Hawkes worked with David Duchovny in the 1997 movie Playing God.

    • 'Phillip Padgett' is also the name of the character played by Nicholas Lea in an episode of The Burning Zone titled "The Hall of the Serpent".

    • In the cemetery, the camera seems to linger on a tombstone engraved with the names "Diana and Nicholas Salinger", which are the names of the late parents of the kids on Party of Five.

    • A Milagro is the talisman that Padgett gives to Scully. 'Milagro' is Spanish for "Miracle".