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Episode 8ABX17

Title: Empedocles

First screened in Australia: June 7, 2001
First screened in the USA: April 22, 2001

Credits: Director: Barry K Thomas
Writer: Greg Walker
Starring: Guest Stars: Plot:
Mulder, Scully, Doggett and Reyes investigate a killer's mysterious connection to the unsolved murder of Doggett's son in the "Empedocles" episode of THE X-FILES.
Fox Press Release
My Rating: 9/10
Another good episode - I think all of them since David Duchovny's return have been very good, but maybe I'm just glad to see him back - with some top special effects and a nice connection to Doggett and Reyes past. Looking back over season 8 it looks like Chris Carter had a lot of the story-arc planned, although fans haven't forgiven him for the "non-search" for Mulder in many of the early episodes and a lot less Scully than fans had hoped for. It seems though the Doggett vs Scully confrontations, the Luke Doggett link, Monica Reyes, the Doggett v Mulder confrontations have all been carefully planned. That's my one complaint - the Mulder v Doggett clashes are a little too scripted, with the audience's sympathy being pushed towards Doggett and not Mulder so everyone will hopefully accept a Dogget-centric season 9. We'll have to wait and see.

Where Have I Seen That Face Before?
Denise Crosby (Dr Speake) is the granddaughter of Bing Crosby. She has appeared in such movies as "10", "48 Hours", "Skin Deep", "Pet Sematary", "Miracle Mile", "Jackie Brown" and "Deep Impact". On TV she's had recurring roles on "Days Of Our Lives", "Star Trek: The Next Generation", "LA Law", "NYPD Blue" and "Key West" and has appeared in 2 episodes of "Red Shoe Diaries".

Jay Underwood (Jeb Dukes) has been in the movies "Desert Bloom" (with Annabteh Gish), "The Boy Who Could Fly", "Uncle Buck" (as Bug), "Blind Faith", "The Fantastic Four", "Sleepwalker", "Dead Dogs" and "Road To Redemption", plus numerous "The Adventures Of Young Indiana Jones" TV movies.

Christopher Stanley (Agent Farah) had a recurring role on "NYPD Blue" and was in the movies "Crosscut" and "Final Vendetta".

For information on Jake Fritz (Luke Doggett) see Invocation.

Trivia and Research:
The title of this episode comes from the name of the Greek scientist-philosopher-poet "Empedocles of Acragas" (c. BC 492 - 432). Held in great esteem amongst other philosophers, he was well known for his belief in the four-element theory -- all matter is composed of the four essential elements: earth, air, fire, and water and that nothing either comes into being or is destroyed but that things are merely transformed, depending on the ratio of basic substances, to one another. He also believed that two forces, love and strife, bring on these four elements. He firmly believed in transmigration of souls, meaning those who have sinned must wander for 30,000 seasons through many mortal bodies and be tossed from one of the four elements to another. Escape from such punishment requires purification, particularly abstention from the flesh of animals, whose souls may once have inhabited human bodies.

Empedocles thought that fire was the chief and most powerful element. According to legend, Empedocles ended his mortal life by flinging himself into a fiery volcanic crater at Mount Etna in an effort to become a god. In return, the volcano belched out a single bronze sandal, a symbol of the ability to move into the underworld at will. The sandal was thought to be a sign that Empedocles had achieved his goal to become immortal.

A "stressor" can be defined as any event that produces stress in an individual. There are different determining factors in how a stressor affects a person, among which include age, gender, personality, experience and emotional state. The body's corresponding physiological response is to prepare the body for "fight or flight" which causes effects such as an increase in heart rate, raised blood pressure, rapid and shallow breathing, and hormones being released into the blood.

Abruptio Placentae is the premature separation of the placenta from the wall of the uterus. This potentially life-threatening complication may affect pregnant women and their fetuses during the last trimester of pregnancy. Warning signs can include bleeding, premature contractions, and abdominal pain. The danger increases with the severity of abruption (marginal, partial and complete) but the risk is usually manageable with immediate and appropriate medical care.

From The Official X-Files Web Site.

Media Article
The X-Files Official Magazine May 2001
Property master Tom Day on the old fashioned doll in Empedocles
I found a lady who actually makes dolls according to the technology used [in different eras]. She can make you a doll the same way they made it in the 1700s all the way until now. She's truly an artist. She's really quite well known in her field.

My question when the producers first said doll was, "Do you want this to be one of Mulder's sister's dolls that she received new when she was a child?" That sent me researching early '70s dolls that were very popular on the market at that time. I mean pages and pages of research on what dolls sold and how popular they were and the demographics of who bought them. Believe me, I learn more about different things [on this show]. [The producers] had decided they wanted it to be something that would have been even handed down possibly from [Mrs. Mulder] to Samantha. And that's why when Mulder gives it to Scully, there's such an emotional attachment because it's a real familial contact there. And they gave me a specific look they wanted, too. They wanted it to be that New England, more austere than the fancy schmancy type of Victorian look. And the woman who made this even did the curls of the older style just for the hairdressing.

She made up three of them for me because in all honesty, for me to go out and find a doll like this [would be difficult]. You can go out and find antique dolls. But on my show, next week we could do an episode where someone throws a Molotov cocktail into Scully's apartment and they're gonna end the shot on this doll burning. So, I can't just have one of it. One alone would have been very expensive to find an actual antique doll. So this woman actually made these three up for me and did beautiful work.
Transcribed by Polly.

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