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Recap / The X-Files S04 E05 "The Field Where I Died"

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Season 4, Episode 05:

The Field Where I Died

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thexfilesthefieldwhereidied.png
"The souls... come back together... different... but always together... again and again... to learn."
Written by Glen Morgan & James Wong
Directed by Rob Bowman

At times I almost dream
I too have spent a life the sages’ way,
And tread once more familiar paths. Perchance
I perished in an arrogant self-reliance
An age ago.
Robert Browning, "Paracelsus"
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Investigation of a doomsday cult leader (Michael Massee) leads to déjà vu for Mulder and revelations about past lives, including his relationship through time to a member of the cult (Kristen Cloke).


Tropes:

  • Continuity Nod:
    Scully: (To Mulder) I wouldn't change a day. Well, except for that Flukeman thing. I could have lived without that just fine.
  • Downer Ending: Despite their best efforts, Mulder and Scully are unable to stop Vernon and other head cultists from being released and later Drinking The Koolaid.
  • Friendship Moment: Scully's "I wouldn't change a day" speech. She would gladly do it all again.
  • Held Gaze: Mulder and Scully look into each other's eyes after her line, "I wouldn't change a day."
  • Hope Spot: When the cult is about to commit suicide, we see that Melissa is in her Sidney persona, who has been established as the "protector." When everyone else is dead, Melissa stirs and looks up, suggesting that Sidney has successfully kept her alive. But then we see that Ephesian is also still alive, and he forces her to drink the poison.
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  • Manly Tears: Mulder cries over the body of Melissa when he finds her among the others who have committed suicide.
  • Multi-Gendered Split Personalities: Melissa is initially suspected to have a dissociative identity disorder, until the whole reincarnation business is brought forth.
  • Mystery Cult: The Temple of the Seven Stars.
  • Reincarnation: Major theme of the episode. Melissa channels her past lives and Mulder finds out about his past lives under hypnosis.
  • Polyamory: Ephesian has multiple wives.
  • Reincarnation Friendship: Mulder under hypnosis reveals that he and Scully have always been tight and very close friends. Sometimes one of them can be an authority figure — in one past life, Scully is Mulder's sergeant.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Mulder, under hypnosis, recounts that he, his sister, Scully, and Cancer Man have been reincarnated into each other's lives over several lifetimes and are always related, and Cancer Man is always evil. Mulder's supposed soul-mate-in-every-life is a woman named Melissa who also channels a guy called Sidney and Lily, a little girl. It's kind of weird that they are supposed to be that close all the time, and here she's one off character who's hard to relate to.
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  • Would Hurt a Child: From Melissa's testimony, Vernon is quite an abusive person who sadistically hurt a child.

And in that act a prayer
For one more chance went up so earnest, so
Instinct with better light let in by death,
That life was blotted out - not so completely
But scattered wrecks enough of it to remain,
Dim memories, as now, when seems once more
The goal in sight again.
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