Shadows

The X-Files: One Shot

1x05: Season 1, Episode 6 (October 8, 1993)

(Director of Photography: John S. Bartley)

An ode to the late Lorena Gale, incorrectly credited in “Shadows” as “Lorean Gale.” She’s appears in three X-Files installments (this one, Season 2’s “One Breath,” and Season 4’s “Elegy”), in addition to the second movie, The X-Files: I Want to Believe (2008). The take-no-shit death stare is her specialty and she has a prickly voice to match: “Howard Graves is very dead,” she scoffs at Mulder and Scully when they visit her office. Gale is playing medical examiner Ellen Bledsoe (she was frequently cast as medical or legal professionals), who is tangentially involved in the case of a maybe-murdered CEO with a psychic connection to his devoted former secretary (Lisa Waltz).

Gale’s scene-stealing is the highlight of an episode (written by Glen Morgan and James Wong, and directed by Michael Lange) that’s weak overall. Though it does feature some intriguing beats in the Mulder/Scully relationship, such as the giggly, girlish smile Scully shoots Mulder after he posits “psychokinesis” as the case’s likely rationale, or the way Mulder continues to cavalierly invade Scully’s personal space (throwing his arm around her; glancing at her suggestively). Their bodies are talking. Their emotions are playing catch up.

A few other striking images: An otherworldly light source leaking in through a hospital window, as well as an establishing shot of an interrogation room that leans heavily on negative space and ably illustrates (in side-by-side comparison with the original full-frame DVD release) the gains and losses, depending on how you look at it, of the early seasons’ widescreen remasters. “Shadows” also features a pair of stoic Mulder and Scully doppelgängers, Webster (Deryl Hayes) and Ms. Saunders (Veena Sood), which results in some evocative sight gags.


Afterimages

Dead, I tell you!

Giddy as a schoolgirl

Space invader

What are you looking at?!?

Neon demon

Negative space (DVD, left; Hi-def remaster, right)

Webster & Ms. Saunders

The mirror crack’d