What I remembered about this episode is that the twins were evil (aren’t they always?) and so was Harriet Harris’ character(s). I had forgotten the whole clone project storyline that could serve as a nice prequel for Orphan Black.
Decades ago, children were cloned for experimental purposes. The girls were “Eve” and the boys “Adam.” The girls possessed an exceptionally high intelligence quotient, but suffered from mental psychosis and homicidal tendencies. They scattered to the winds, but one grew up to be a genetic scientist herself, Sally Kendrick and another is found in a high security prison mental institution, designed along the lines of Hannibal Lecter’s. Of course, that’s fitting since the character of Scully was modeled after Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling.
The case ends up with Mulder and Scully when a man is killed by what seems to be exsanguination. After Bad Blood it’s impossible to consider this theory without giggling and the slides that Mulder shows Scully of exsanguinated cows don’t help. The man’s 8 year old daughter was the only witness to his death and all she remembers is red lightning preceding the incident, then she was left in some kind of daze. Mulder thinks her memory loss may be linked to alien abduction.
It’s hard to describe Scully’s amused reaction to Mulder. Neither her eyes or lips actually smile, so I can’t explain how I really know that she’s smiling on the inside, but I do and she confirms this when she mocks Mulder later. The look on her face is actually so sober that you might think she was fed up with Mulder, but actually her response is much more gentle and affectionate than that. She’s not against him as she was in Bad Blood or as Mulder sometimes she imagines she is even in less comedic episodes. She’s doubting, but tolerant and, somehow, still admiring, even when she thinks he’s a nut.
When Mulder and Scully are talking to the 8 year old to investigate one father’s death, they find out the same thing has happened to a man in a different city. They travel there only to be greeted by another 8 year old, identical to the first. The girls were both the product of in vitro fertilization. Mulder and Scully soon figure out that when their parents thought they were having their own eggs implanted in the mother’s, actually they received cloned eggs, pub there by Sally Kendrick, who is now on the lam.
The first 8 year old goes missing and Mulder concludes that Kendrick has kidnapped her and they decide to stand watch over the 2nd 8 year old. Scully says she’s relieved that Kendrick is the murderer, because she was beginning to suspect the twins. Mulder poo-poos that notion “no-no-no” he tells her. Kendrick wanted the parents out of the way so she could reclaim her little Eves. How I wish that Scully had gotten to say “I told you so” to Mulder before this episode ended! Well, actually she does. Once they figure out the clone situation she’s all like, “So, you don’t think it’s exsanguination after all?!” He just smirks.
This begs the question, why did the twins try to make the murders look like exsanguination anyway? If their goal was simply to get rid of their fathers, couldn’t they have chosen a more low profile method? I guess they did it because they are little arrogant geniuses with dark, quirky senses of humor, a lot like Mulder in fact, only cruel where he is compassionate.
Back at their motel, Mulder and Scully are sitting on the bed when the phone rings. Scully answers and there’s only a clicking sound. Mulder understand the signal and hurries her outside. She finds it humorous that he’s obviously trying to get rid of her. Does he have a girl coming over? “What’s a girl,” he says. She’s not threatened by the idea that he might have a date and I suppose that’s comforting. Maybe I won’t feel so threatened and possessive when I see Phoebe and Mulder together in the next episode, Fire.
When he’s rid of Scully, Mulder meets up with Deep Throat who tells him about the cloning project (again reminiscent of Project Leda on Orphan Black). I forgot that Deep Throat didn’t just leave an X on Mulder’s window like, um, X does. Deep Throat too had to earn his nickname in a particular way. Mulder and Scully visit the mental prison and talk to a strait-jacketed Eve clone. She’s in there for a gruesome murder. She screeches whenever the overhead lights are turned on in her cell and so they have to use a flashlight to enter her dark habitat. So, the most iconic shot of Mulder and Scully using flashlights isn’t because they’re exploring some empty cavernous space. Nah, they’re just in a tiny jail cell, chatting up a batty woman who’s afraid of the light.
On a similar note, I believe that wardrobe didn’t first put Mulder and Scully in trench coats because they looked cool. They did it as a pre-emptive strike so they would have something to cover up pregnant Gillian’s burgeoning belly. The inmate is a first generation clone, just a grown up version of the twins. One has already been kidnapped (or abducted Scully says, I’m not sure what the difference is, for the plot’s purpose) and they have to watch the other one, for her own good and because she is the lure that will lead them to the killer.
Proving just how abysmal they are as guards, Mulder and Scully only park outside of the 2nd child’s house and gaze up and into her bedroom window, occasionally. They do nothing to make sure that all of the doors and windows in the abode are secured. So, they are caught off guard when Sally Kendrick appears in the bedroom window and just snatches the girl from right under their nose. She got in through the back door, which our FBI agents never thought about protecting.
The twins have actually been taken by an Eve clone, who isn’t Sally Kendrick, who wants to cure them and stop their murdering ways. They reunite in a motel room where she takes them. She wonders how they found out about each other. “We just knew” they say. Apparently, the could communicate telepathically without ever having met before. They aren’t interested in being saved and poison Eve.
Mulder and Scully get a tip that they’ve been spotted. Mulder wants to head to the motel, but Scully thinks they might be at the airport. Mulder points out that the kid spotted at the motel was giving the gardener tips on what chemicals to use. She was such a little braniac that she had to be one of the missing twins. Scully concedes.
When they get to the motel, they find the dead Eve. The twins tell them that she tried to kill them by putting poison in their drink, but they didn’t take it and she drank it herself. They pretend to be traumatized and Mulder and Scully comfort and reassure them. At one point, Scully tells one girl that nothing bad will happen to her. Oh yeah, look how good of a job she did protecting William!
They start out on the road. One girl is an orphan, because her father was a single parent. The other girl is going to be returned to her mother. It would be nice if the mother would could take both girls, I’m thinking, but that’s not to be. When the twins find out they are to be separated, they start plotting. They tell Mulder they have to use the rest room. He wonders if they can hold it. Duh! What’s his hurry?
Scully says she could use a caffeine break, so he stops at a café. He orders 4 diet cokes. The girls say they want regular. Why is he ordering for Scully anyway? I guess he has worked with her long enough to know what she likes to consume (as we learn again in Dreamland). They get keys for the restroom. Scully takes the girls in with her, but one sneaks out and goes to the counter to take the drinks. The waitress stops her, but she says her dad will pay for the sodas when he returns from the bathroom. The waitress concedes.
This interests me as one of the first instances when Mulder and Scully are mistaken for husband and wife. It’s an exchange that shows how devious the twin is, but it makes me wonder if it’s a commentary on Mulder and Scully’s interaction that she correctly assumed that the waitress took them for husband and wife, out with their daughters.
The twin puts poison in the drinks and then tells Mulder and Scully that those beverages are theirs. It tastes awful sweet and Mulder questions that it is actually “diet” but the twin insists that it is, because she saw the waitress pour it. Uh, you don’t usually pour carbonated sodas. I guess she is saying she watched it come out of the dispenser, but just the fact that she said this would have made me suspicious of her. It doesn’t phase Mulder.
He and Scully head out to the car, but he forgot his keys. When he returns for them, he sees green substance on the counter and recognizes it as poison. He runs outside and yells to Scully. She wonders what his problem is and he says, “I just wanted to open the door for you.” She looks like she thinks that’s weird, but not as strange as it actually is. He then knocks the drinks over. He tells her the girls have poisoned them, but they didn’t drink enough to get sick. The girls run.
They try to use their innocent appearance to convince passersby that Mulder is harming them. When good Samaritans try to save the girls and call the police Scully screams, “We are the police!” Hilarious. When Mulder finally gets the twins and secures them, they say, “we’re only little girls.” Sure you are, he retorts.
The girls are locked up in the institution with the other crazy Eve clone. I’m not exactly sure what type of facility houses children and adults side by side. Furthermore, that one Eve mutilated and killed with a knife. At 8 years old, the girls are murderers yes, but haven’t proven as physically violent. As long as they’re kept away from poison, they shouldn’t need as much security as the grown Eve does, but I suppose we must suspend our disbelief.
As the episode ends we see a new visitor at the institution. She signs in and is led to the prisoners. It’s Dr. Sally Kendrick. “We knew you’d come,” say the Eves. Even though she’s a doctor, since she’s identical to the grown Eve and the hospital must know the whole clone story, I’m not sure why she would be allowed to visit them, unescorted, especially since her medical colleagues have previously informed Mulder and Scully how unprofessional she was when they worked with her before her disappearance. She shouldn’t be making any facility’s trusted visitor list, let alone this one! Again, we must suspend our disbelief.
Although, I am aware that in Rain King Mulder claimed he does not gaze at Scully, I saw him doing it a few times in this episode, peering at her out of the corner of his eye, when her attention is elsewhere. When it happens in mundane moments, it’s somehow more significant and telling than when it occurs during emotional events (as in Beyond the Sea).