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 young actress who originally played Emily was terrified of the hospital setting in the second of this two-parter, "Emily," and as a result the producers had to recast the role and re-shoot all footage featuring the little girl. 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.
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The X-Files
Written by Mark Snow
Performed by John Beal
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User Reviews

"We're still connected to them Dana, even after they're gone."
11 July 2017 | by (Florida, New York) – See all my reviews

Take almost any other ongoing TV series and the idea presented here would be almost patently ridiculous. At the conclusion of this episode, it's revealed that Scully is the mother of a three year old girl, with no knowledge that the child was ever born. Although to be fair, I did know a husky woman once who didn't know she was pregnant until the day she wound up in the hospital complaining of stomach pains, and refused to believe she was having a baby - that very day! I guess those kinds of things happen, making the truth often stranger than fiction.

This story starts out with Scully receiving a mysterious phone call that sounds like it might have been from her sister who had been murdered in a prior season. In that respect, the writers here borrow an idea utilized by Rod Serling in a couple of his 'Twilight Zone' stories dealing with phone calls from the beyond. One occurred in the second season of that series titled 'Long Distance Call' and the other one was from the fifth and final season, 'Night Call'. Both were creepy in their own way, with twists that could only occur in the Twilight Zone.

The connection between three year old Emily Sim (Lauren Diewold) and Scully's sister Melissa is established via an old family photo and the recurring phone calls. What looks like a husband/wife murder case is abruptly turned on it's head when it's revealed that a pair of unidentified agents are involved in plotting to do away with Emily's parents, all in service to a government sponsored genetic experiment. That brings the story into the myth/arc conspiracy tableau, which receives further exposition in the second part of this story.

There is some poignancy to the episode as Scully reflects on her own inability to ever have children, made even more heart rending with her sister-in-law's pregnancy and the family oriented Christmas season looming. In an effort to bridge the family connection between her sister and Emily, Scully places her religious cross around the neck of the young girl. A flashback scene between Scully and Melisa reveals just how sensitive and wise Melissa Scully (Melind McGraw) was in attempting to console her younger sibling on the choice of a career - "There is no right or wrong. Life is just a path." For Scully, this would turn out to be the most stressful path of her life.

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