September 2013 saw the 20th anniversary of the first airing of The X-Files . To celebrate this on The Hex Dimension, I’m providing you with retrospectives on episodes and I’ll also be covering the films at the points that they fit into the series’ chronology. So, without further ado… welcome to “Eve”.

Eve The X-Files season 1 img 2Just a jugular case

Apart from perhaps one of the shortest openings in the series, everything looks like it’s going to be a standard monster of the week or an alien of some kind. There are holes in the side of a dead father’s neck and a scared daughter.

Of course there’s a good level of weird going on to keep Mulder and Scully intrigued though on the lines of differing theories – cattle mutilation tactics from aliens versus serial killers working in tandem. There’s nothing for a great deal of the episode to offer a different view on this. The audience is being kept equally unaware of what’s really going on.

Eve The X-Files season 1 img 4Kept in the dark

The audience is, unlike the previous episode “Fallen Angel”, not on any sure footing about what’s going on. Like our favourite FBI agents we are kept in the dark, unsure what to think of the whole issue of exsanguination and reports of “red lightning” at two murder scenes and two little girls who look the same.

All we know is that something weird is going on. But when Scully and Mulder do get hits on information… it’s worrying how Deep Throat just doles it out to Mulder when considered in the context of the previous episode’s ending.

Eve The X-Files season 1 img 6The weirdness of twins and genetic engineering

Writers Kenneth Biller and Chris Brancato managed to take two things that people have always been a bit cautious and weirded out by – identical twins and genetic experimentation – and combined the two. It makes everything just that more creepy.

The inference that the episode’s conspiracy is the result of state sponsored genetic experimentation is creepier on another level, as Deep Throat explains its origins in post-war eugenics experiments in the US. If you consider that today, most experimentation is depicted as something that happens within private enterprise, state sponsored makes for more unnerving viewing.

What is particularly good is that they found a pair of real identical twins, who could act, for this episode. The close proximity that the girls maintain throughout the episode would have made using split screen techniques really difficult and perhaps would have impacted on the “twin like” manner that they were directed to act in.

Eve The X-Files season 1 img 1Innocence of children

Another cornerstone of this episode is that it relies a lot on the perception of children being innocent. Like The Omen before, you don’t assume in the beginning that it is the girls who could be the real perpetrators of the weirdness and murder that’s going on.

It’s why Mulder gets a gun in his face while trying to apprehend the girls in a parking lot outside a diner. The perceived innocence also underlies the cuckoo like origins of the two girls – like cuckoos, they acted perfectly normal in the family nest until they started pushing others (their “fathers”) out of it.

Eve The X-Files season 1 img 5Unexplored potential

The episode ends on a cliff-hanger, with four Eves in the psychiatric facility featured earlier in the episode. I can tell you now that the characters are not revisited at any point in The X-Files, unless of course someone drags them out of retirement for the Season 10 comics.

What did you think of this episode? Let us know in the comments below.