The X-Files: Season 4, Episode 13

Never Again (2 Feb. 1997)
"The X Files" Never Again (original title)

TV Episode  -   -  Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
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Reviews: 10 user | 2 critic

While Mulder is vacationing, Scully finds herself attracted to a handsome divorcee whose tattoo seems to have a life of its own.



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Title: Never Again (02 Feb 1997)

Never Again (02 Feb 1997) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Episode cast overview:
Edward Jerse
Betty (voice)
Bill Croft ...
Comrade Svo
Jay Donahue ...
Detective Gouveia (as Jay Donohue)
BJ Harrison ...
Kaye Schilling
Jan Bailey Mattia ...
Ms. Hadden
Igor Morozov ...
Ian Robison ...
Detective Smith


With Mulder off on a week's mandatory leave, Scully is on her own and feeling put upon. While in Philadelphia she meets Edward Jerse who asks her out to dinner. Ed has recently gone through a nasty divorced. Despondent and more than a little drunk, he gets a tattoo. Soon after, he begins to hear voices and lashing out at work, loses his job and disposes of a neighbor who he thinks is responsible. After drinks, Scully gets a tattoo of her own but the next day two Philadelphia police detectives show up at Jerse's apartment investigating his neighbor's disappearance. Scully may have found a medical reason for Ed's hallucinations. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis






Release Date:

2 February 1997 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The tattoo that Scully got is called "ouroboros". The serpent or drake who bites its tail forming a circle is a symbol of infinity, continuity, death-and-rebirth cycle in many ancient cultures, from Hindu to Greek-Roman, from Norse-Finnish to Aztec. See more »


When someone gets a tattoo, the skin at and around the tattoo site is naturally a bit reddened for at least 24 hours, yet Ed Jerse's skin appears normal immediately after getting his tattoo. See more »


Scully: I feel like I've lost sight of myself, Mulder. It's hard to see, let alone find, in the darkness of covert locations. I mean, I wish I could say that we were going in circles, but we're not. We're going in an endless line, two steps forward and three steps back. While my own life is standing still.
See more »


References Glengarry Glen Ross (1992) See more »


Tattooed Love Boys
Written by Chrissie Hynde
Performed by The Pretenders
See more »

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User Reviews

Beauty is only skin deep, baby. I go all the way to the bone.
23 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"Never Again" is Glen Morgan and James Wong's swan song for The X-Files (despite their "farewell" episode, "Die Hand Die Verletzt" having aired two seasons prior) and reassures that after three and a half years two of the series's best scribes still had not lost their magic touch. Much like earlier Morgan and Wong outings, this episode is all about the character development, and who better else to put into the forefront than Scully, whose previous centric episodes are often lauded as some of the show's finest hours.

When Mulder is dragged into taking a vacation, an embittered Scully is dispatched to investigate a potential X-File in Philadelphia, where she bumps into heartsick divorcée Ed Jerse. The set-up for the plot makes perfect sense in the context of the series, and the frustration that hangs over Scully like a rain cloud is perfectly relatable to anyone who has been pushed into close quarters with someone for a lengthy time. This frustration makes even more sense given the events that took place in "Leonard Betts," in which Scully discovered that she had developed cancer as a result of her abduction (a fact that, due to unfortunate scheduling changes, was not referenced in this episode; nonetheless it does not disrupt the flow between that episode and the subsequent one, "Memento Mori").

Jerse suffers from auditory hallucinations that take physical form in the tattoo of "Betty," voiced brilliantly by none other than Jodie Foster. Whether the hallucinations stem from Jerse's psychosis or a chemical poisoning is not made clear, but it leads to a cool ambiguity throughout the episode. When he meets Scully at a tattoo parlor he persuades her to get a tattoo of an Ouroboros. The sexual chemistry in this episode is unrivaled by most and "Never Again" remains notable not only for its frustratedly handsome performance from Rodney Rowland, but also for one of the most widely circulated Scully screenshots of the entire series.

Quentin Tarantino was reported as having been contracted to direct this episode, but DGA red-tape prevented this from happening. Irregardless, Rob Bowman does wonders behind the camera, making a brooding jungle out of a claustrophobic apartment building. The directing in this episode feels quite different from his other works, but makes for some neat moments, including a rose petal that segues into a bloodstain on Jerse's bandage. With enough amount of rich character study for the "philes" to sink their teeth into, "Never Again" remains a highlight.


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