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Recap / The X-Files S07 E10 "Sein und Zeit"

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Season 7, Episode 10:

Sein und Zeit
"You've seen things. I need to understand them."
Written by Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz
Directed by Michael Watkins

Mulder: I'm going to find those kids.
Scully: What if they're dead, Mulder? Don't go looking for something you don't want to find.

Mulder investigates a series of abductions of little girls, and is reminded of his own sister's still-unresolved disappearance.


  • Cry into Chest: Mulder to Scully, this time.
  • Deconstruction: The episode deconstructs how a normal X-files case goes. Mulder pushes his way into a mundane investigation because it reminds him of his lost sister and argues it's an X-file based on a flimsy piece of suppose supernatural evidence. Normally Mulder would be proven right, but this time he's wasting everyone's time and hurting the investigation. Even worse, in his zealous pursuit of someone who reminds him of his sister Mulder misses out on the opportunity to talk to his actual living family, his mother, one last time. The most damning part is when Mulder's trying to come up with a conspiratorial reason his mother committed suicide and it's obviously a last desperate defense mechanism to deal with the grief of losing a loved one, which summarizes Mulder's character in general. In the end, despite actually running into something supernatural, the case is solved by Scully using regular detective work and solution is a regular serial killer.
  • Fat Bastard: The killer, Ed Truelove, is a fat, unpleasant man. Justified as he portrays Santa Claus for children.
  • Foreign Language Title: "Sein und Zeit" is German for "Being and Time".
  • Ironic Name: A Serial Killer who targets children has the last name "Truelove".
  • Manly Tears: Mulder after learning his mother killed herself, in one of his most emotionally raw moments of the series.
  • Meaningful Name: Sein und Zeit is the title of a book by the philosopher Martin Heidegger dealing with the theme that many people live a life of illusions while running away from the truth of their existence. To cure this retreat from reality, most people need a confrontation with death, according to Heidegger. This strongly parallels Mulder's arc in this episode.
  • Missing Child: A little girl gets abducted from her bed, and her parents end up being suspected themselves because there are no clues. The kidnapper torments them and the police with notes about what he's done, which all end with "NOBODY SHOOTS AT SANTA CLAUS!"
  • Myth Arc: Mulder finds himself looking into his sister's disappearance while trying to find Amber Lynn and other disappeared children.
  • Percussive Therapy: In a non-humorous example, Mulder reacts by attacking his desk when Scully tells him that his mother committed suicide.
  • Serial Killer: The child kidnapper is unfortunately also a deranged serial killer.