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Recap / The X-Files S05 E06 "Christmas Carol"

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Season 5, Episode 06:

Christmas Carol

Written by Vince Gilligan, John Shiban & Frank Spotnitz
Directed by Peter Markle

"When your father died, it was a long time before he left me. I saw him in my dreams. The phone would ring, and just for a moment I was sure it was his voice. You're doing the same thing with Melissa. You're seeing her in this child, but that doesn't make this child my granddaughter."
Margaret Scully
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While visiting her brother and his family for Christmas, Scully receives a mysterious phone call that leads her to a girl with a remarkable resemblance to her dead sister Melissa.


Tropes:

  • The Bus Came Back: While he's still The Ghost, Scully calls Daniel Valladeo, Mulder's unseen Friend on the Force from the first two seasons, to get some off the books help from the FBI.
  • Cliffhanger: Scully discovers that the little girl is actually her own child, and not her dead sister's.
  • Christmas Episode: It's spelled out in the title.
  • Evil Brit: Dr. Ernest Calderon.
  • Expy: John Kresge (the detective serving as the de facto male lead in Mulder's absence) is something of a loose prototype for John Doggett. They even have the same first name.
  • Happy Flashback: Scully reminisces about her past Christmas. Teenage Melissa and she go peeking at their presents. Their mum comes to them as well and the girls open together their golden crosses.
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  • Jurisdiction Friction: Kresge initially resents Scully's involvement in his investigation and thinks she should let the local police handle it. He gradually warms up once he realizes there's something fishy going on.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Scully finds out at the episode's end that the little girl is not her supposed dead sister's child, but her own.
  • Myth Arc: As a two-parter, this is part of it as whole. But this installment has relatively few mythology elements, most of which are setting up the more mythology heavy second part.
  • Never Suicide: Scully suspects this about Roberta Sim's death, despite Kresge's reminder that "a lot of people check out on the holidays." She is ultimately proven correct.
  • Phone Call from the Dead: Scully gets a phone call from her dead sister. This ends up leading her to a girl who is her biological daughter, created using the ovum extracted from her body.
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  • Present Peeking: Teenage Melissa and Dana go to the tree to peek at their presents at night.
  • Supernatural Phone: Scully receives a phone call from a mysterious woman who sounds just like her dead sister Melissa. She urges her to help a little girl who turns out to be Scully's biological daughter. The FBI were able to trace the address and it's confirmed that a call came in from that place, but there was no outgoing call from that residence and their phone had been off the hook.
  • Wham Line: One that closes the episode, when Scully gets back the little girl's DNA results.
    Scully: According to this, I am Emily's mother.
  • Written-In Absence: Mulder is only in the episode for about thirty seconds: David Duchovny was busy promoting the film Playing God, which had just been released. To justify his absence the episode focuses on Scully while she is on vacation from work and visiting her family for Christmas.

"You don't know how your life is going to change or how you're going to change the life of others."
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