Recap / The X-Files S02 E08 "One Breath"

That one episode where Scully spends the whole thing in a boat.


  • Adventures In Coma Land
  • Angel Unaware
  • Badass Boast: The Cigarette Smoking Man is unfazed by Mulder pointing a gun in his face, because "I've watched presidents die."
  • Berserk Button: Scully is in a coma and Mulder wants answers about what's wrong and where she's been, which people are either unwilling or unable to give him. And he does not take it well.
  • Convenient Coma
  • Converse with the Unconscious: Scully's sister does this constantly. Her Establishing Character Moment has her hovering her hands above Dana and communicating with her; she informs Mulder that Dana just told her not to call him "Fox."
    • Mulder sits by Scully's bedside later in the episode and tells her he doesn't believe she's ready to go. When she wakes up, she tells him she "had the strength of [Mulder's] beliefs."
  • Flashback: Dana's mother narrates as we're shown an incident in Scully's past: the first time she held a gun and killed something (a garden snake).
  • Granola Girl: Melissa Scully
  • Heel–Face Turn: Skinner takes a stand against his conspirator overlords for the first time, covertly slipping CSM's location to Mulder. He also refuses to accept Mulder's resignation.
  • Irony: In relation to CSM lying to Skinner about Mulder shooting the guy in the parking garage.
    "I didn't really believe it and here you are with a gun to my head."
  • It's All My Fault: Mulder blames himself for Scully's abduction and coma.
  • It Is Not Your Time
  • Shadow Archetype: X says he used to be Mulder, but that he had the heart to do the things that Mulder can't and won't do.
  • Shell-Shocked Veteran: Skinner talks about how he lost his faith in everything after shooting a child covered with grenades in Vietnam. He also reflects on a later near-death experience and how he's afraid to look beyond it.
  • Silly Rabbit, Cynicism Is for Losers!
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: There are at least two in this episode and both are directed at Mulder.
    • First, there's X in the parking garage.
      "You got him killed! You got her killed. That's not going to happen to me. You're my tool, you understand?! I come to you when I need you!"
    • Later, Melissa Scully calls Mulder out pretty spectacularly when he refuses to come to the hospital for what could be Scully's last night.
      Melissa: Why don’t you just drop your cynicism and your paranoia and your defeat. You know, just because it’s positive and good doesn’t make it silly or trite! Why is it so much easier for you to run around trying to get even than just expressing to her how you feel? I expect more from you. Dana expects more. Even if it doesn’t bring her back, at least she’ll know. And so will you.
  • The World Is Not Ready: CSM says everything would fall apart if people knew what he knew.
  • What Could Have Been: Melissa was originally introduced with the idea of being a love interest for Mulder. This idea was later scrapped. This is Hilarious in Hindsight, as Mulder/Scully shippers generally regard "One Breath" as one of the shippiest episodes, and Melissa's speech to Mulder regarding his cynicism seems to cast her much more as Shipper on Deck than love interest.
  • Villain Respect: CSM admits he actually likes Mulder and Scully. He also believes Mulder is becoming "a player" in the overall game.