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Mind's Eye

Before viewing this episode I previously believed that nothing ever happens in Delaware, but now I know the state known for it's lack of a sales tax is also home to blind women with a talent for finding dead people. Wonders will never cease.

Anyway, "Mind's Eye" was a solid episode bolstered by strong performances by David Duchovny and guest star Lili Taylor. I'd say Gillian Anderson did a good job too, but her five minutes of screen time didn't leave much room for a formal analysis of her acting chops.

Alrighty, time to get to it:

The show opens with a shot of what appears to be a typical woman living a typical life and coming home to a typical apartment. She walks up stairs with groceries, flips on the television and easily lights a butt from the burner of her gas stove. Only when she sits down in front of the TV do we see that she's blind. Meanwhile, she's busy witnessing the murder of a latin drug dealer. Her eyes go all buggy, the pupils dilate and the scene fades out. Sixty miles down the road two cops enter a motel room where they find a very bled-out drug pusher -- the same one the blind woman saw while blankly watching the evening news. The cops spot a figure behind the shower curtain and find the same blind woman standing there and looking just as wigged out as before. Nice trick.

The scene shifts to Mulder's office (or is it Mulder and Scully's office now?), where Scully is showing some lovely slides detailing the precision-murder of Paco "Little Monster" Ordonez. Joining Scully in the briefing is Detective Pennock of the Wilmington police department. Pennock has Marty Glenn -- the blind woman -- in custody, but he's only got 48 hours to pin her with the murder. Otherwise, she walks and his reputation goes down the crapper.

Mulder is instantly convinced that Marty is innocent, and when Mulder is convinced you know he's right. In a bit of a role reversal from recent episodes, Scully reassumes her sceptical point-of-view and Mulder is back to his blind-belief ways. The agents travel on down to the beautiful state of Delaware where they attempt to interview Marty. Too bad she's copping a significant attitude -- hitting Mulder and Scully with a barrage of cliched blind jokes. Scully gets pissed so Mulder takes point in the interview, slapping Marty with a classic one liner -- "Let's face it, you wouldn't know a featherduster from a duck's ass." The humor is lost on Marty and she continues to be uncooperative.

Her stubbornness to help leads both Pennock and Scully to believe she's guilty, but Mulder just doesn't think so. He's in pure profiling mode (remember, he was the best profiler in the violent crimes section before being assimilated by the X-files) and instead of investigating the current crimes, he takes a dive into Marty's past. Scully decides to stick to the murder of the moment and goes with Pennock to the crime scene.

Within minutes of arriving at the low-rent motel room Scully is able to find prime evidence that the entire Wilmington police force couldn't spot. I guess that's why she's in the FBI and they aren't. Stuffed behind a disposable razor outlet is a very bloody glove -- and you know the OJ jokes can't be far behind.

Meanwhile, Mulder runs Marty through a lie detector test that produces an interesting little result. Marty passed all questions except one -- "Did you see the murder?" Her blood pressure skyrocketed at the suggestion, prompting Mulder to get that lower-lip biting look. He calls Scully on her omnipresent and easily-concealed cell phone and she proceeds to tell him he's nuts, but in a good way.

Marty is hauled back to her cell, but it isn't long before she has another semi-psychic flash. This time she sees a distressed redheaded woman. Marty demands to make a phone call, and instead of calling a lawyer she calls a neighborhood bar, asks to speak to the guy at the end of the bar hitting on the redhead, then promptly freaks the bastard out by whispering, "Leave her alone, I'm watching you." The redhead bolts and it appears that Marty has foiled a possible nasty encounter.

Scully and Pennock come back to the station, bloody glove in tow, and put Marty through another interrogation. It's OJ time. In the span of two minutes, three Juice Jokes are cracked -- which is an official X-Files record. Despite being confronted by the glove Marty knows the police don't have the murder weapon, and without a weapon they don't have a case. Scully and Mulder have a little conference behind the one-way mirror and Mulder shows her Marty's file. Turns out she's never acknowledged her disability, which makes her pretty righteous in Mulder's view, but Scully doesn't buy it -- she's got a hunch that Marty isn't completely blind.

So the poor blind girl is put through another round of tests. A well-dressed optometrist uses a big contraption to determine that Marty is in fact blind, but just as he's shelling out his report to Mulder and Scully Marty has another flash. Her pupils dilate and Mulder realizes she's obviously seeing something.

Before he can get the goods the D.A. shows up and tells Pennock to "kick her loose" (I guess that's lawyer slang). Right after being released, Marty has a violent flash where she sees the same redhead being accosted. Somehow she knows the name of street where the attack is occurring, so she demands directions from pedestrians. Someone answers and Marty darts across a busy intersection, narrowly avoiding a trip to oblivion from the grill of a semi. She makes it to the alley, but her rescue attempt is in vain -- she finds the body of the redhead in a dumpster. Making her way back to the police station, she tells the desk sergeant she killed them both -- and it's back to the interrogation room we go.

Despite signing a confession and continually declaring she's guilty, Mulder still doesn't believe her. Scully helps Marty's cause by finding forensic evidence showing she wasn't involved in either crime, but Marty still professes to being the killer, and even tells the authorities where they can find the drugs she stole from Paco Ordonez.

Mulder does his investigative thing and learns that Marty's mother was murdered while pregnant with her. Her premature birth caused her blindness, but Mulder also believes that the violent act left Marty with a connection to her mother's murderer -- a connection that lets her see through his eyes. Unfortunately, not many of Mulder's theories hold up in court and Marty is transferred to the state penitentiary. While being taken to the super-secure prisoner transfer van, Marty sees herself from above. Her murdering buddy has decided to see her off.

Her incarceration is a short one because Mulder drops by to let her know that her fingerprints weren't found on the briefcase full of drugs, and he knows she didn't do it. Marty insists she's a murderer, but Mulder's digging pretty hard on her and won't hear it. Unfortunately, he's got some bad news -- the murdering eyes she's been looking through belong to her father.

Marty says she'll help the cops catch her killer dad, but she intentionally sends Mulder and Scully to the wrong place. When Dad shows up at Marty's apartment, Marty smacks Detective Pennock with a teapot, steals his gun, then waits for the family reunion. As her dad creeps up the stairs she sees her apartment through his eyes. He walks into the kitchen, she emerges from beneath the counter and pops dear old dad with a slug straight to the cerebellum.

Pennock gains consciousness just in time to see Marty commit the act, so this time she's going to jail and staying there. In the final scene, Mulder drops by her cell after her sentence and there's lots of hand-holding and oggling. His good-bye kiss is foiled by a mean prison guard, but the episode uncharacteristically ends on a positive note.

Other than the lack of screen time for Gillian Anderson, "Mind's Eye" stands as a great example of how deep a stand-alone episode can go.

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



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