Recap / The X-Files S06 E06 "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas"

On Christmas Eve, Mulder and Scully are trapped inside a house haunted by two lovers who died in a Suicide Pact on another Christmas Eve.

Tropes:

  • Bottle Episode: It's just Mulder and Scully in a car, in a Haunted House, and in Mulder's apartment. And there are only two other characters beside them.
  • Christmas Episode: It's Christmas and Mulder and Scully spend the magical night together, chasing apparitions who make themselves known every Christmas. Cute. But Scully is somewhat uncomfortable as she is supposed to be visiting her family early in the morning.
  • Dresses the Same: Played with. Mulder and Scully discover two decomposed corpses under the floor and they have the same clothes as the agents. They are of course supposed to represent them.
    Scully: Mulder, she's wearing my outfit.
    Mulder: How embarrassing!
    Scully: Yeah, well, you know what? He's wearing yours.
  • Genre Blindness: Maurice laments that they don't get to scare people on Halloween. Lyda immediately counters by saying people love being scared on Halloween and how it's much easier to play on a person's regrets during Christmas.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: "I don't show my hole to just anyone."
  • Ghost Butler: Doors open and close by themselves several times around Mulder and Scully.
  • Haunted House: The ghosts live in one. The lights switch on and off, the old clock chime, the furniture is appropriately covered with dust, brick walls keep appearing in places where doors are supposed to be; there are missing stairs and ladders in the big library room, corpses under the floor, mind-screwing multiplied rooms, Christmas music keeps playing...
  • How the Mighty Have Fallen: Maurice laments that he and Lyda used to have all year round to drive victims into madness. Now, they only get one day and have to rush their tricks.
  • Lightning Reveal: Before her proper introduction, Lyda appears behind Scully during a lightning flash.
  • New Year's Resolution: Scully resolves not to follow Mulder on his crazy quests all the time.
  • Scary Flashlight Face: Mulder tries it on Scully. Her nerves are taut, so it works.
  • Self-Deprecation: Scully initially derides the sights in the house as standard clichés. Later on, Maurice laments the stunts they pull and that their pop psychology lines run the risk of being more annoying than anything else.
  • Snow Means Love: Mulder and Scully start unwrapping their presents to one another, just as the snow starts falling. They live in the Washington-Metropolitan area, where snow doesn't usually fall until mid-January, so it's especially meaningful.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is featured heavily in the episode.
  • The Stakeout: Mulder stakes out the house from a car.
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Lyda and Maurice. They were together when they were alive, but they were afraid that one of them might die and leave the other alone.
  • Suicide Pact: The ghosts, a couple of lovers, try to get Mulder and Scully re-enact their suicide pact.
  • Together in Death:
    • The ghosts Maurice and Lyda died via Suicide Pact and are together in the afterlife.
    • The ghosts try to get Mulder and Scully to re-enact their deaths. They invoke the illusion of the bodies lying together as corpses under the floorboards.
    • It is implied that the ghosts drove other couples to suicide. They were people who lived in their Haunted House.
    • Nearly played straight with Mulder and Scully who appear to have shot each other so that they need not to face their lonely lives. However, they recognize that it is a trick and they flee from the house.
  • Torso with a View: Lyda has a see-through hole on her stomach, and Maurice has one on his head, which they show to Scully to make her faint.

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/TheXFilesS06E06HowTheGhostsStoleChristmas