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Recap / The X-Files S07 E15 "En Ami"

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Season 7, Episode 15:

En Ami

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/thexfilesenami.png
The most unusual partnership you'll ever see in The X-Files.
Written by William B. Davis
Directed by Rob Bowman

"I have access, Agent Scully. I have these miraculous chips, but the genetic research that makes them work is closely guarded. There are men in this building who would kill me if they knew what I'd offered you. They'd kill you, too, in the blink of an eye."
Cigarette Smoking Man
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The Cigarette Smoking Man persuades Scully to join him on a trip to retrieve extraterrestrial technology that can be used to cure all human diseases.


Tropes:

  • Anger Born of Worry: A much less overt example of the trope than is typically seen. Mulder becomes increasingly worried and tense the longer Scully is with CSM alone, and becomes moreso when Scully refuses communication with him. When she returns, Mulder radiates anger, though this is seen through his body language rather than anything he says—silent and averting eye contact. The latter is the most noticeable for two people who are well-known for their Facial Dialogue.
  • Bait-and-Switch: The Black-Haired Man returns, seemingly a threat to the Cigarette-Smoking Man's plan; he spends most of the episode trailing his car. Only not really: he's acting under CSM's orders, and is executed by his superior after making an attempt to kill Scully.
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  • Demoted to Extra: Mulder takes a backseat in this episode while Scully deals with the CSM.
  • Double-Meaning Title: As mentioned below, the title means "as friends" but sounds like "enemy" playing into the duplicitous theme of the episode.
  • Foreign Language Title: "En Ami" is French for "as friends".
  • Heel–Face Revolving Door: CSM's behaviour in this episode is highly ambiguous. On one hand, he's still himself, playing the agents to get what he wants. On the other, he throws away his greatest gain, saves Scully's life even when her purpose had been fulfilled, and is generally shown to be a tragic character that Scully, at least, is willing to believe capable of better things. In the end, his moral compass and the motivations behind his more heroic acts in this episode are left up in the air.
  • Hidden Depths: Scully extolls this of CSM, believing she saw a genuine glimpse of the mundane, lonely man beneath the surface.
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  • Myth Arc: The one in which Scully almost gets a cure for all diseases.
  • Odd Friendship: One half of the episode's central theme. William B. Davis had always been fascinated by his character's largely unexplored relationship with Scully, and wanted them to interact at length. Certain scenes and a suggestive line at dinner could imply that CSM is outright attracted to her; indeed, Davis' outline for the original script was for his character to "seduce" her with the medical knowledge she craves.
  • Pet the Dog: CSM's entire interaction with Marjorie, who is clearly delighted to see him. Our Big Bad in general shows a much more human side to the character in this episode.
  • Terms of Endangerment: The Smoking Man starts calling Scully "Dana". The effect is rather squicky.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Before going on the trip with CSM, Scully hides an audio recorder in her clothes, and places the mic there. Played with, when CSM wises up and makes her wear a dress with cleavage to prevent her from hiding such a device from him.
  • Villain Episode: The episode was written by our Big Bad's actor, and focuses on his relationship with Scully.
  • Villainous Rescue: CSM kills his own hitman to save Scully's life.
  • What You Are in the Dark: CSM succeeds in getting hold of the disease-curing extraterrestrial technology, but throws it off the pier alone at night. A single man having that much power over people's lives is perhaps too grand a standing even for him to commit to.

"You may be right... but for a moment, I saw something else in him. A longing for something more than power. Maybe for something he could never have."
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