The X-Files (1993– )
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Christmas Carol 

While visiting family for Christmas at her brother's San Diego home, Scully receives a mysterious phone call that leads to the investigation of a woman's suicide and a young girl who may be the daughter of Scully's deceased sister Melissa.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Lauren Diewold ...
Patricia Dahlquist ...
Marshall Sim
Rebecca Codling ...


At Christmas-time, Scully and her Mom arrive in San Diego to visit her brother Bill and his wife Tara, who is expecting any day. She's no sooner arrived than Scully receives a phone from a stranger saying she needs help. She traces the call but arrives to find that the occupant has committed suicide. The caller sounded like her dead sister Melissa. When she sees the dead woman's little girl, Emily, she is convinced that she's Melissa's child. Birth records confirm that the young girl had been adopted and Scully's examination of the dead woman leads her to believe she was killed. Scully orders DNA tests that prove to be quite informative. Written by garykmcd

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Release Date:

7 December 1997 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


The picture of Melissa at three was made in Japan in 1965, when Scully was 1. As far as we know, the Scullys could have been living in Japan then. It is never mentioned in the entire series where Dana was born so it might have been in Japan. See more »


When Mulder is removing the floor in the library, you can see a shadow which is not from Scully or Mulder. See more »


Det. John Kresge: This is Roberta Sim. Age 40, suicide. She's been dead at least 3 hours. You got a call from her, she must have dialed 1-800-THE-GREAT-BEYOND.
See more »


The X-Files
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by John Beal
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User Reviews

Killing Alvin Toffler
23 March 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I've always maintained, that Sculder and Mully are the most unfortunate individuals on the face of this and many other Alternate Earths.

Which is why Skully cannot even go on a harmless Christmas Vacation with her family without some major dilemma occurring. How do Mulder and Skully survive this constant barrage of Future Shock? Enough Future Shock to kill a thousand Alvin Tofflers, if I were allowed to quote Larry Niven from his book "A World Out of Time." These episodes "A Christmas Carol" and "Emily" comprised two of the Season Five Mythology episodes of The X Files (As opposed to the Monster of the Week Eps which were represented by the greatest MOTW of them all, "The Postmodern Prometheus" which was earlier in the season).

This episode poses questions regarding Skully's sister Melissa - Questions which regard not Melissa, but rather Skully herself. And so Skully has to bring up this difficult subject to her mother and brother once more.

Skully is now fully captured by Mulder in this season, fated forever to be part of his story, giving up her chances of ever having a normal career or family. Mulder IS Skully's family, as much as her mother and brother. This episode painfully teaches Skully this lesson, in the most personal way possible for a woman, a sister, a doctor and an FBI Agent.

Which makes this Mythos episode an important mid-series story, as it is not just about Mulder chasing answers about his sister Samantha, or his mother and the Cigarette Smoking Man: These two episode bring Skully directly into Mulder's story - And as much as she wants to stand independently from Mulder, from this point on in the series she is undeniably and inextricably bound to Mulder for the rest of her life.

Skully visits her Brother and his wife, who is exacting very soon - For Christmas. Within hours of getting to San Diego, she gets a phone call from a dead woman. The Dead woman leaves behind a Legacy, which is actually Skully's legacy. This is either incredible fortune, or the X-Files Shadow Government in action.

This story answers questions that were posed in Season two regarding Skully's abduction. Not all of the answers but enough to propel the Mythos another 4 years.

Season Five was the heart of The X Files, it was still being filmed in Vancouver, but was now being presented in wide-screen format. Some of the best Location work was done in this season, and some of the best Special Effects - Always building from the earlier seasons. And these two Episodes are right in the middle of the heart of The X Files, as they are a very personal story for not just Skully but Mulder as well.

Look for Gerard Plunkett and John Pyper-Fergusen, who played important characters in "Fringe."

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