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Elegy

Set against any single show on television "Elegy" would easily whup the hiney off it's competitor, but it falls a bit short as X-files go.

Despite it's somewhat lackluster plot, "Elegy" stands as yet another example why Gillian Anderson deserves the Golden Globe, the Emmy, the Academy Award (for the movie of course) and maybe even the Stanley Cup. The final scene where she breaks down is a distinct reminder that she's the best actress on television.

Okay, enough lauding over Gillian Anderson (I do that enough already), it's plot time.

The owner of a bowling alley, Angie Pintero (no relation to the kid who played Jonathan on "Who's the Boss"), finds a body crammed into the machinery above lane six. A pretty woman suffering from a slashed throat tries to tell him something, but alas, her voicebox isn't in functioning condition so nothing comes out. Angie rushes from his alley and finds police gathered across the street, responding to an unrelated call. As Angie tries to relay what he's found, he sees that the victim is the same woman he saw moments before suspended from the rafters in a six-ten split.

As always, Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate the wacked-out stuff, and immediately Mulder stumbles upon a clue. Someone has etched the words "She is Me" into the wax directly under the spot Angie claims to have seen the body.

The dynamic duo turn to the local police for help, but once again the neighborhood force is run by narrow-minded fools. Mulder offers a theory that the woman Angie saw was an apparition, rather than an actual being. This assesment is rejected by the head detective and illicits "The Look" from Scully, but nonetheless, Mulder believes it to be true.

Despite the incompetence of the local squad, Mulder and Scully learn that a 911 call about the murder was placed from a local mental home. A gentle inquiry of the home's patients reveals no answers, but Mulder notices one particularly reticent and shaky patient named Harold Spuller. With a little digging Mulder and Scully learn that Harold suffers from autism and also is a raving obsessive compulsive. He also just happens to work part-time at the very same bowling alley frequented by apparitions of recently deceased coeds.

Scully believes Harold is the psycho killer, but Mulder isn't too sure -- and when Mulder isn't too sure you know he's eventually going to be right. Before Mulder can plead his case to his partner, her nose begins to bleed (at this point her cancer was not in remission) and she goes to the bathroom to tend to her spouting nostril. While cleaning up Scully sees what appears to be a young, college-aged woman with her neck slit. Scrawled on the mirror are the bloody words "She is Me." Just then Mulder knocks on the door and informs her another body has been found -- another young college girl has had her jugular cut. Scully is slightly freaked by these events and asks Mulder to go solo for a while so she can get a check-up at the hospital.

Mulder does his Mulder thing and finds Harold hiding in the dilapidated backroom of the bowling alley. Covering the walls of Harold's lair are carefully pasted bowling score sheets. Turns out Harold is the bowling alley Rain Man and can instantly associate a name with a round of scores -- including the names of the two dead women. The local police are ready to toss Harry in the pen, but the arrest is put on hold when Harry sees the ghost of his boss and begins to shriek like a banshee on crack (whatever that sounds like). He bolts to the front of the alley where, sure enough, Angie has keeled over from a coronary.

Mulder re-enlists Scully's help after Harold is taken back to the mental hospital. He's pretty shaken up about all these dead people but he gets no sympathy from the evil Nurse Innes. She berates his appearance and witholds his medication. Moments later Innes screams, attracting the attention of Mulder and Scully. Innes claims Harold took a swipe at her and fled, but Mulder has his doubts. The brawny nurse decides she needs a little bathroom break, but Scully follows her in. When Innes drops a handful of pills Scully realizes something is amiss and tells her it's time to step outside. But Innes has a different gameplan and tries to hack Scully with a scalpel. Once again a perpetrator looks at Scully and sees a short redhead, but they simply don't realize she posseses a killer right hook and the fastest draw in the bureau. When Innes tries to make the final lunge Scully plugs her with a round to the shoulder.

Mulder arrives, finds that Scully's okay and tells her that Harold's body has just been found nearby. He apparently died of a heart attack. Before Scully leaves Mulder relays his theory that only people close to their deaths are able to see apparitions, which causes Scully to get that really worried crumpled chin look. She tells Mulder about the sliced coed she saw in the bathroom, and in typical Mulder fashion he gets all weepy about "the truth." Scully decides she's had a little too much truth for the evening and goes home. While preparing to leave she glances in her rearview and sees the spirit of Harold.

Both David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson gave strong performances in "Elegy," but the plot was basically a supernatural "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." Oh well, next week we've got "Small Potatoes" to make it all better.

Note: This review originally appeared at Ontap.com. It's reprinted here for archival purposes.



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