Follow TV Tropes


Recap / The X-Files S07 E16 "Chimera"

Go To

Index | 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22
Season 7, Episode 16:

"Mirrors are considered items of enchantment. A broken one... means something."
Written by David Amann
Directed by Cliff Bole

"The raven is a carrion bird attracted to death and decay. What if this entity that you saw is somehow a personification of that? What if this creature was brought forth in order to attack Martha? Then the question becomes, 'who summoned it forth?'"
Fox Mulder

Mulder is called away from a stakeout and assigned to investigate a murder in a seemingly perfect town.


  • Adventure Towns: Mulder is investigating a case in Bethany, Vermont, in a seemingly perfect town in New England.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Averted. Ellen's husband wanted a divorce, but remained with Ellen when she got pregnant with Katie, which he regrets. As of the time frame when the episode is set, he's engaged in affairs with at least two other women, one of whom is Ellen's best friend.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: Ellen's eyes turn completely black right before her transformation.
  • Creepy Crows: Raven appears at every crime scene and several other times.
  • "Eureka!" Moment: While on the phone with Scully the final time hearing about her solved case, Mulder comes to the realization of who the killer is.
  • Improvised Weapon: Jenny defends herself with a broken piece of mirror.
  • Insane Equals Violent: The monster-of-the-week is revealed to be Ellen, who has dissociative multiple personality disorder: split personality. She wasn't aware that it was her who was committing the murders.
  • The Killer in Me: Ellen Adderly really didn't know she was the killer and was horrified as anybody with the murders of her friend and later her rival in their community. At one point she believed she was about to be attacked by the stringy-haired creature she saw in the mirror.
  • Magic Mirror: Every crime scene involved a broken mirror or shiny surface so that Ellen could not actually see her true self when she was murdering.
  • The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Every mirror at every crime scene and other mirrors elsewhere as well were shattered so that Ellen would not see her true self. She suppressed this side of her personality.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: Ellen's repressed rage has turned her into some kind of were-raven with long, stringy black hair, mottled skin, and Wolverine Claws that causes any nearby reflective surfaces to shatter, and has enough superhuman strength to effortlessly manhandle Mulder.
  • Serial Killer: The set-up has Mulder and Scully staking out a bar, trying to capture a murderer of prostitutes. Subverted, there was no serial killer after all. It was a religious man who took the prostitutes to his shelter, trying to rescue them from their sorry life.
  • Shown Their Work: The show gets very minute details about Vermont right, such as the area code and zip code (the zip code is for Real Life town Bethel), and municipal vehicles having red license plates rather than the usual green.
  • Split Personality: The perpetrator of the week is Ellen, who wasn't aware that she committed the murders. Her aggression was how she dealt with her husband's cheating on her. There is of course problems with calling it a straight case of split personality, as her alternate personality grows longer nails and have the strength to seriously damage people and concrete with her bare hands and hold Mulder, a physically fit male FBI agent a head and a half taller than her, under water effortlessly.
  • The Stakeout: Mulder and Scully stake out a bar from a cold room across the road.
  • Stepford Smiler: Ellen pretends everything is like a fairytale between her and her husband with their sweet baby girl and perfect-perfect home, with her lavish dinners and lavish breakfasts. He feels trapped and she's aware of it, yet only unconsciously.
  • Stepford Suburbia: Everybody seems to be happy but nobody truly is, at least not the characters the audience gets to know. This little town is seriously disturbed.
  • Television Geography: The episode opens on an Easter picnic, and portrays Vermont as much greener and much, much warmer than it actually is that time of year. There's usually still snow on the ground.
  • Uncanny Village: Lampshaded by Mulder, who says that the town is dressed up a little nicer but underneath the surface, it's the same seamy underbelly as the dirty bar with prostitutes which Scully is staking out.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: In the original case, the one that Scully was working on. They were staking out a bar where a female Serial Killer kept appearing and disappearing. However, it was a man dressing up as a hooker who tried saving the women from prostitution.
  • Written-In Absence: Scully spends most of the episode offscreen, pursuing the case Mulder was called away from at the beginning, to give Gillian Anderson time to direct the following episode.

"I think she did what she did to protect her family."