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Recap / The X-Files S02 E12 "Aubrey"

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Season 2, Episode 12:

"Did their home life mold them into creatures that must maim and kill, or are they demons from birth?"
Written by Sara B. Charno
Directed by Rob Bowman

Mulder: Well, I'd like to know why this policewoman would suddenly drive her car into a field the size of Rhode Island and for no rhyme or reason dig up the bones of a man who's been missing for fifty years. I mean, unless there was a neon sign saying "Dig Here"...
Scully: I guess that's why we're going to Aubrey.

When a female police officer, BJ Morrow, starts displaying preternatural knowledge of a set of 50-year-old serial killings, Mulder theorizes some kind of clairvoyance. But when new victims start turning up, it seems that something far more sinister is going on. Has a 74-year-old serial killer resumed his old activities? And what is BJ's connection to the case?


  • Asshole Victim: Rapist and serial killer Harry Cokely receives poetic justice when he is murdered by his granddaughter in the same fashion he murdered others, while begging pathetically for mercy.
  • Child by Rape: BJ's father was one. His mother was raped by a serial killer, but she survived and had his child. She put him up for adoption.
  • Double Entendre: "Yes, and also I've always been intrigued by women named B.J."
  • Evil Old Folks: Cokely, to a T. Even after decades in prison, he shows no remorse for his crimes and remains as nasty and unpleasant as ever (even calling Scully "Little Sister," how he used to taunt his victims). Mulder, Scully and Tillman have no problem considering him a suspect despite his advanced age.
  • Genetic Memory: One of the more ridiculous uses of the trope. Apparently, if your grandpa was a serial killer who raped someone, he'll pass on his serial killer genes and his memories of his serial killing onto you. Also, the serial killer genes and serial killer memories skip a generation.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tillman becomes very snippy once BJ reveals her pregnancy, but he still tries to protect her while she begins slipping into insanity and even petitions to adopt the baby after she attempts to abort it in prison.
  • Office Romance: BJ, a female detective, has an affair with her lieutenant, who is married. She gets pregnant from him, but these are only minor problems... She starts channeling her grandfather, serial killer Harry Cokely. She ends up suicidal and tries to abort her son. Lieutenant Tillman petitions to adopt the child (it's unknown whether his wife knew about the affair or if they even stayed together).
  • Sanity Slippage: BJ. The investigation into the recovered bones affects her negatively, compounded by her repeated visions of murder and blood and her own DNA. It gets to the point where she assumes the villain role in the third act.
  • Serial Killer: Harry Cokely, a.k.a. the Slash Killer, who rapes and kills women, and also has killed FBI agents who investigated the case.
  • Show Within a Show: Cokely is watching His Girl Friday on television when BJ confronts him.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Mulder's sunflower seeds are back, and he even tries to explain the case with them. What if he likes them because his father liked them as well, and he's predisposed to like them, hum?

"Evidence suggests the presence of a mutator gene that has activated previously dormant genes, but the results so far are inconclusive."