An "alien autopsy" videotape and a murder spark Mulder's search for a strange creature. Scully looks for information about her disappearance.

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Gillian Barber ...
Corrine Koslo ...
Lottie Holloway
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Diane
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Coast Guard Officer (as Paul McLean)
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Storyline

After Mulder buys an alien autopsy video from a mail order house in Allentown, Pa. he thinks he may be onto the real thing. He goes to Allentown with a skeptical Scully to find that the man who distributed the videos has been murdered. They arrest a trespasser in the house only to learn from Assistant Director Skinner that the man is a senior Japanese diplomat. The papers he was carrying however point to the use of rail cars as rolling laboratories as well as the recovery of what was supposed to be a Japanese submarine. Scully meanwhile meets a group of women with whom she may have a particular affinity. Written by garykmcd

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24 November 1995 (USA)  »

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4:3
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Trivia

First appearance of Agent Pendrell. See more »

Goofs

The U.S. Coast Guard Officer wears a U.S. Army rank insignia on his sweater (with a USCG metal pin-on insignia). Coast Guard wears U.S. Navy style insignia. See more »

Quotes

Mulder: Come on in.
Scully: What are you watching?
Mulder: Something that just came in the mail.
Scully: That's not your usual brand of entertainment... What is it?
Mulder: According to the magazine ad I answered, it's an alien autopsy. Guaranteed authentic.
Scully: You spent money for this?
Mulder: $29.95... plus shipping.
Scully: Mulder, this is even hokier than the one they aired on the Fox network, you can't even see what they're operating on!
Mulder: But it does look authentic, I mean the settings, the procedures. I mean it does look as if an actual autopsy is...
[...]
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Connections

References Alien Autopsy: (Fact or Fiction?) (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
X-noir and the hoax of authority
18 July 2013 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

This is good in how it mines a specific (recurring) idea behind the show, one I've touched on in previous posts.

The episode is reminiscent of previous mythology ones, but season 3 so far is on another level and fittingly this is the most self-aware handling of the theme in the whole series.

The idea is that Mulder is the viewer of a movie that is created around him (that he partially creates?) to supposedly conceal 'truth'. He is on the same footing, indeed fits the same profile, as the intended audience, watching this for spooky revelations. Now look at the introductory narrative device of this: Mulder has purchased an 'alien surgery' video where, apparently, an alien is being operated on by doctors, which is partial cctv footage of the pre-credit sequence we saw moments earlier. What he hasn't seen, and we have, is how the scene ends, with a SWAT team raiding the room killing everyone.

So this starts with Mulder looking at the same images we did, looking to unveil truth. The big questions are of course trivial and the same as every other mythology episode, by now you probably now there is nothing to give away they haven't already: aliens exist. What he hasn't seen in the video, we have: the alien. It's all beating around the bush from there on out.

So this is nice. Mulder like any conspiracy theorist purchases a video which is the truth being suppressed. Every story element from then on is juvenile, as juvenile as the conspiracy notions of UFOlogists themselves. See for yourself.. Mulder and Scully drive to the house of the man who sold the videos, find him killed just moments before. (how he found the video is also fun; nicked it off a satellite dish, these it would be off a Pentagon pc) The killer is still in the house, Mulder chases after him and makes the arrest. Later, they're told he's a high-ranking Japanese diplomat and has to be released, though he's an obvious suspect to homicide. But Mulder keeps his briefcase which, surprise surprise, turns out to contain secret paperwork!

How childishly imagined is all that in its perfect convenience? I mean this not as a putdown but as explication of the narrative dynamics. This is a story a teenager or conspiracy theorist would come up with, where every piece cleanly fits into some authoritative scheme.

The entire episode has Mulder and Scully like teenagers encountering 'adult' figures of some authority (Skinner, X, the senator, the naval officer, etc.), trying to decipher how much in this narrative is a hoax or red herring, wondering who to trust. It's good if you can squeeze into that mindspace.


4 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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