Recap / The X-Files S01 E06 "Shadows"

Two men who attempt to kidnap the secretary of a defense manufacturing company in Philadelphia are strangled to death without any outward sign of injury. That, and other physical impossibilities, lead Mulder to believe that the murders are the handiwork of a poltergeist who is very protective of the secretary. Scully thinks the murders are political. The two try to find the truth while two other mysterious agents try their best to withhold it from them.


  • Answer Cut: In this transition:
    Mulder: Sure, all you got to do is prove that Howard Graves is still alive.
    Ellen: (Cut to following scene) Howard Graves is very dead.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Mulder used the lenses of his normally Purely Aesthetic Glasses to sneak the victims' fingerprints.
  • CIA Evil, FBI Good: Subverted. The other pair of agents try using Mulder and Scully to investigate the paranormal, but they deliberately withhold information from them and accuse them of blowing their case. However, they later collaborate and more FBI agents get involved. CIA gets mentioned again, but the agents didn't say which organization they worked for and they never introduced themselves.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Dorlund.
  • Elvis Lives: Mulder's line about how difficult it is to fake your own death - Elvis being the exception.
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The other pair of agents are of the same height as Mulder and Scully.
  • I Lied: Mulder did, though not in a sinister way. Mulder lies to the agents who called him, saying he can't help them, as he's never seen anything like their case before. Given the team was stingy on the details, it was more of a snarky revenge.
    Scully: You lied. You have seen this before, I can tell. You lied to them.
    Mulder: I would never lie. I willfully participated in a campaign of misinformation.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: CIA vs. FBI.
    • Scully goes back to confirm that Graves really died and the coroner is not very pleased but there is no major problem.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: At the end, Lauren's new boss's teacup starts to rattle when she behaves rudely to Lauren. The boss thinks it's just trucks passing by, but Lauren has another suspicion...Either way, Lauren doesn't mind anymore.
  • Meaningful Name: Howard Graves.
  • Mugging the Monster: Played with; Lauren Kyte herself is quite harmless, but the several people who try to harm her over the course of the episode quickly discover that she is being watched over by an angry, vengeful and very protective spirit that is anything but...
  • Papa Wolf: Howard Graves
  • Poltergeist: Mulder initially thinks one of these might have attached itself to Lauren.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: On seeing that Lauren has a poltergeist watching over her, the female assassin who breaks into her home and attacks her quickly decides to change course. Unfortunately for her, the poltergeist isn't in the mood to just let her leave with an apology.
  • Shout-Out: Scully's quote of "They're heeere", referencing Poltergeist.
    • When Mulder mentions he thinks Lauren had psychokinesis, Scully also says, "You mean how Carrie got even at the prom?"
  • Stock Episode Titles: 29 uses.
  • Token Minority: Of the two other agents, the man is black and the woman is either Asian or middle-eastern. This is the first and last time we see or hear of them.
  • Unfinished Business: Invoked by Scully when she persuades Lauren Kyte to cooperate with the investigation into Howard's death, saying that otherwise Howard can't move on. Scully may not know it, but that really is the case.