The X-Files

Season 7 Episode 10

Sein und Zeit (1)

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Feb 06, 2000 on FOX
out of 10
User Rating
243 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

A young girl unexplainably disappears from her home and Mulder requests the case even though it is a full FBI matter, not just an X-File. When Mulder takes some outrageous leaps to convince the girl's parents that she will be found, Scully fears that Mulder is becoming too personally involved with the case because of his sister's abduction.moreless

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  • Sein und Zeit

    Sein und Zeit was a superb episode of The X-Files. I enjoyed watching because the story was intriguing and the case Mulder and Scully were investigating had possible ties to Mulder's sister's disappearance. The note which the various mothers had written was an interesting aspect and a little strange. It was sad to see Mulder's mother trying to reach him but in the end she left this world without telling him the truth. The ending was spectacular as Scully discovered a connection to the case and Skinner ran the suspect down. The last scene was unnerving knowing what most likely laid underneath the mounds of earth. I look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!moreless
  • Mulder gets closer to discovering the truth about his sister.

    As the X-Files has progressed, I've found myself wondering: what exactly is the truth Mulder is looking for? If it was for the existence of extra-terrestrials, then his quest would be complete. He would've discovered the truth by now and be happy that he knows aliens exist. But the real truth seems to have always revolved around his sister. His sister has been missing for so long, and he's believed for so long that it was aliens that abducted them that it's lead him to investigate supernatural cases with the hopes of somehow finding that elusive truth.

    The first part of this two part episode does a good job of bringing us back into Mulder's search for the truth about his sister, and while I think the show would go onto ruin the two parter, the first part is n incredible way of bringing us into Part 2 and preparing us for the final revelation of what happened to Samantha.

    I really liked the way we slowly get pulled into this child abduction case and the way Mulder's sister gets meshed with it over time. It's obvious the second we learn that this is a missing girl case that it will be about Samantha, but the writers are methodical in the way they slowly reveal everything, and I thought overall, it was a very tense 44 minutes that left me hanging right up until the very end.

    What I didn't like ties into the second episode, which won't be nearly as nice. All this time, we're being fed this story about aliens abducting Samantha, and I got use to that story. It made sense, since this was what was driving Mulder at this point to find the truth. However, now we get the hint that maybe it was spirits that came and stole Samantha? It's hinted at here, and I immediately started feeling uneasy. It just feels like the show doesn't know what it wants to do, and it's at a point where it needs figure it out and chose the easy, lame choice.

    Either way, regardless of the second episode, this episode was a good start.moreless
  • Mulder goes through one of the saddest moments of his life

    I thought the case was very scary and sad. A little girl disappears and there's nothing to be done because there are no traces of her. Mulder asks Skinner for the case, to see if he can solve it so he can find some peace with his sister case. What a shock when Scully tells Mulder his mother died. She wanted to tell him something but he never called back, making her death even more sad. I felt sorry for Mulder. The last member of his family is dead and he is left alone. How terrible must've been for Scully to conduct the autopsy. The scene where Scully is explaining him about his mother's disease was very sad, and I just love how Scully comforts him and stays with him to make sure he's not going to do something crazy. I'm sure he somehow felt guilty for what happened to his mother. Then Skinner showing the next morning... I'm sure he knew then that something was going on between these two.

    Finding that Santa's place with all the children's bodies was a little disgusting. To know that someone whose mind is so twisted could do something like that is definitely something to worry about.

  • Interesting child kidnapping case but the episode is a little odd.

    Mulder's mother commits suicide after bizarrely burning all the family photos. She then leaves cryptic messages which Mulder then interprets – he decides it means his memories are false and that his sister was kidnapped not abducted. His abrupt reversal on the subject is startling but the shock of his mother's death is probably the explanation. Though I do think Mulder is reaching, it's jumping at straws to assume what he did from one sentence on an answering machine's message.

    Inside joke – the couple in the intro are watching 'Harsh Realm'. It would have been cute if they hadn't made a point of mentioning it later.

    A rather strange episode – Mrs Mulder's abrupt suicide, Mulder's reversal on his sister's disappearance, the bizarre way the children were taken (yet to be explained) and how they were seen by the parents for years afterwards.moreless
  • The first part to the emotional climax to Mulder's quest.

    This episode demonstrates how much our characters have actually changed, despite being on a show during a time period when networks wanted procedural dramas. Fox always wanted each episode wrapped up in a nice little bow. Here, Mulder is having a crisis of faith. He doubts his beliefs in his sister's abduction by aliens as in "Paper Hearts." He doubts his more general belief in aliens like "Redux" through "Patient X." But like that latter time period, he still has the paranoid need to tie things to a conspiracy.

    Amber Lynn's abduction clearly brought out feelings regarding his sister Samantha. The story began much like the story in "Conduit" or "Oubliette" in which he is pursuing a missing child with a personal stake in the outcome. He has replaced this child with his sister in his mind. But this time, he will find answers. How Mulder reacts to these hidden answers is what demonstrates his development. In "Paper Hearts" Mulder stood over a skeleton and desperately wanted the body to be of some other child. Here, he wants to find his sister. As one of the victims' father said in "Paper Hearts," he always thought "missing was worse than dead because you never knew what happened." That made sense to everyone but Mulder at the time. Only now, as he begins to accept the idea of an after-life and some form of spirituality, does this begin to make sense for him as well. The death of Mulder's mom is the first breaking point for Mulder and at this point, spirals downward. This is really the emotional climax of "Sein Und Zeit" and serves is later balanced with the final scenes to "Closure." Of course, Mulder's "spirituality" comes, initially, in the form of the paranormal-laced "walk-ins." He wants answers and this is the best means through which he can find them. In the end, it doesn't seem to do much good for the family of the victim, except give them some peace of mind and discount them as suspects. But where it leads Mulder is to what he thought he might find. Santa's Village is a diversion, but only in the literal sense. It is not the explanation for Amber Lynn's or Samantha's disappearance. What it does is serve as a catalyst for Mulder's spiritual beliefs that he expresses eloquently in the voice-over of the teaser to "Closure." This is Mulder's second breaking point of the episode and serves as a lead in to what he must confront in "Closure." It is this amount of suffering and death, especially to the innocent, that has prevented Mulder from embracing any sort of faith or belief in God. When he is forced to confront it here, he is able to deal with it as never before. Mulder's experiences in "Amor Fati" "Signs and Wonders" and when he spoke with Kathie Lee in prison here, finally give him this loose a spiritual foundation.

    Mulder/Duchovny seemed very distant in the early stages of this episode but that was clearly meant to contrast to his breakdown in his apartment with Scully. The cliffhanger is definitely not one of the show's most breathtaking or surprising or nail-biting. But on an emotional level, it is perfect for Mulder's spiritual journey. Writing 1/2 Directing 2/2 Acting 2/2 Character 2/2 Entertainment 2/2: 9/10moreless
John Harnagel

John Harnagel

World Weary Dad

Guest Star

Marie Chambers

Marie Chambers


Guest Star

John Bisom

John Bisom

News Anchor #2

Guest Star

Mitch Pileggi

Mitch Pileggi

Assistant Director Walter Skinner

Recurring Role

Rebecca Toolan

Rebecca Toolan

Teena Mulder

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

    • When speaking to Skinner and the task force, Mulder cites the discrepancy between the facts and what Mr. LaPierre said - that he was going to bed, but when cops got there the TV was still on. However, in the beginning of the episode we see that Mr. LaPierre does indeed turn off the TV before getting up to check on his wife and daughter.

  • QUOTES (8)

    • Scully: (To Mulder) Skinner is royally pissed --- at you.

    • (Talking to Mulder in his apartment)
      Scully: Your mother killed herself, Mulder. I conducted the autopsy. She was dying of an incurable disease---an untreatable and horribly disfiguring disease called Paget's Carcinoma. She knew it. There were doctors' records. She didn't wanna live.

    • (Scully walks into Skinner's office)
      Scully: Sir.
      Skinner: What? What is it, Agent Scully?
      Scully: I need to have a word with Agent Mulder.
      Skinner: It can wait?
      Scully: No, it can't sir.
      Mulder: What is it, Scully?
      Scully: Mulder, your mom's dead.

    • (Mulder plays the answering machine message from his mother for Scully)
      Teena Mulder: So much that I've left unsaid for reasons I hope one day you'll understand.
      Mulder: She knew what I'd find with this case out in California.
      Scully: How could she know that, Mulder?
      Mulder: A child disappearing without a trace — without evidence — in defiance of all logical explanation? She knew because of what's driven me — what I've always believed.

    • Mulder: Some of these tapes go back to the 60s. (Scully puts a tape in the VCR) I think I know what we're going to find here. It's what my mother was afraid of. My sister.

    • Mulder: (on answering machine) This is Fox Mulder. Leave a message. I'll try to get back to you.
      Teena Mulder: (on phone) Fox, it's your mother. I'd hoped you'd call upon your return but I haven't heard from you. I'm sure you're busy. There are so many emotions in me I wouldn't know where to start. So much that I've left unsaid for reasons I hope one day you'll understand.

    • Scully: Don't go looking for something you don't wanna find.

    • Skinner: You begged on to this case as part of the solution, all you've done is hand our only suspect the Twinkie Defense!

  • NOTES (5)

    • The LaPierres' lawyer, Harry Bring, is named after Harry V. Bring, the X-Files unit production manager. If you watch the gag reel for Season 7, you can see him playing the character in a spoof.

    • Amber Lynn LaPierre is named for Amber Woodward, Chris Carter's assistant on Harsh Realm.

    • Tencate and LaPierre are both last names of two of Chris Carter's former girlfriends.

    • In the episode's teaser, Bud LaPierre is watching Harsh Realm (Chris Carter's short-lived and grossly un-promoted drama series) on television. Mr. LaPierre commented to Mulder that he didn't know what it was called (probably since it wasn't well promoted by Fox), but that it was good. On a related note, the actor playing Mr. LaPierre was in the 2nd episode of Harsh Realm as a bounty hunter.

    • 'Sein Und Zeit' means "Being and Time" and is the title of a rather famous 1927 philosophy book by world renowned philosopher Martin Heidegger. It deals with our existence - being.


    • Skinner: all you've done is hand our only suspect the Twinkie Defense!

      Twinkie defense a claim by a criminal defendant that at the time of the crime he/she was of diminished mental capacity due to intake of too much sugar, as from eating "Twinkies," sugar-rich snacks. The defense was argued successfully by a defense psychiatrist in the notorious case of former San Francisco County Supervisor Dan White, who shot and killed San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and County Supervisor Harvey Milk, resulting in White's conviction for only manslaughter instead of murder.