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Recap / The X-Files S06 E07 "Terms of Endearment"

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Season 6, Episode 07:

Terms of Endearment
Witness a new addition to your nightly fears, courtesy of the Devil himself.
Written by David Amann
Directed by Rob Bowman

Mulder: You mentioned a fire in the room, in your account and a, uh... a devil that held your legs...
Laura: So that he could take the baby.
Mulder: But according to your statement... your baby... was not a normal baby.
Mulder: No. It was some kind of monster. With, um... horns and a tail.

Mulder and Scully investigate after a woman miscarries a baby with strange physical anomalies, including horn-like protrusions on its head. They learn that the woman's husband (Bruce Campbell) is a demon seeking to have a normal human child — but there's more to the story...


  • Big Brother Instinct: Deputy Sheriff Stevens to Laura, Wayne's first victim.
  • Death of a Child: The episode begins with a miscarried baby, and there are more before it's over.
  • Enfant Terrible: Betsy drives off with a demon baby, after all!
  • Eviler than Thou: Betsy compared to Wayne.
  • Evil Parents Want Good Kids: Wayne is a demon parent who wants a human kid. Unlike most cases, this is not a redeeming quality, given the utterly monstrous lengths he's prepared to go to in order to make it happen. Betsy, on the other hand, is a demon parent who wants a demon kid, and she's prepared to go just as far.
  • Faux Affably Evil: Wayne initially comes off as a flawed but ultimately not terrible person who suffers from a bad case of I Just Want to Be Normal. Eventually he reveals himself for the selfish, cheating asshole that he is, and devours Laura's soul to cover his tracks after she discovers his true nature, even though she had done absolutely nothing wrong for the whole episode.
  • Good Girls Avoid Abortion: Played with. Laura is a good girl whose baby was aborted (without permission from the mother) by its demonic father.
  • Hellish Pupils: Betsy reveals animal-like pupils near the end.
  • Karma Houdini: Betsy was up to the same exact thing as Wayne, but while Wayne does not survive the episode, Betsy manages to escape accountability and gets the demon baby that she wanted.
  • Mana Drain: Wayne sucks in Laura's spirit to put her in a coma. It goes back to her when he dies.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Wayne manipulating the grief filled Laura with a false story about what happened.
  • Monster of the Week: Or monsters, depending on how you look at it. This is a stand-alone episode, not connected to the myth arc of the series.
  • Mugging the Monster: A demon crosses a demonic woman's path.
  • Plain Jane: Laura fits perfectly.
  • Redemption Equals Death: A possible minor example with the demon Wayne. He is clearly horrified to see Betsy has been doing the same evil thing he has been, and appears to purposefully give back Laura's soul in exchange for his death.
  • They Look Just Like Everyone Else!: The demons blend in easily with humans, save some bony bumps on the back of their necks.
  • Tragic Villain: Wayne, initially, but he eventually proves himself to be mostly Faux Affably Evil.
  • Wham Line: Betsy, during her "abortion": "What are you doing, Wayne?"
  • You Have Outlived Your Usefulness: Betsy sets Wayne up to be taken out of the picture one way or another once she sees that she has gotten the demon baby that she wanted, and succeeds.