Season 1, Episode 11
Director: Fred Gerber
Writer: Kenneth Biller, Chris Brancato
Episode eleven of The X-Files finally dips into what I affectionately call the “kids be creepy as shit” genre with “Eve.” I say that, again affectionately, as a father of two children. Whether the creepy children are of the Damned variety or from the Corn, you really can’t go too wrong with a horror/thriller work that features a murderous-eyed tot. Don’t believe me? Check out The Good Son. Anyway, on to the The X-Files.
“Eve” begins in a Greenwich, Connecticut, suburb where a jogging couple spot a neighbor’s shivering child, Teena, standing alone on a sidewalk. Intrigued, the couple collects the girl and investigates the whereabouts of her father, reportedly getting some “alone time” in the back yard. When they approach the father, sitting limply on a swing, he is dead – face drained of all color with two tiny marks in his jugular. My first thought was some kind of alien vampire attack, but I’m quickly proven wrong. Mulder immediately attributes the incident to a alleged penchant for aliens to preform similar experiments on cattle – exsanguination. Guessing they have graduated to humans, Mulder and Scully interview the now-orphaned Teena (her mother died of ovarian cancer earlier), and she claims to have seen some red lightening and nothing else while possessing eerie knowledge of exsanguination. Aliens, right?
Across the country, another father has been murdered in the exact same manner and at the exact same time. When Mulder and Scully begin to investigate, they discover a child, Cindy, who bears an irrefutable resemblance to Teena. Given that Cindy has no knowledge or apparent relation to Teena, Mulder and Scully investigate the fertility clinic where, as we eventually discover, both families received treatment from the same woman, Dr. Sally Kendrick (the fantastic Harriet Sansom Harris from Frasier). Apparently, Dr. Kendrick was involved in a program to create and clone super-soldiers through eugenics. Kind of a mass-production of Captain Americas through selective breeding. Because that’s what the Russians are doing, natch. Thanks to assistance from the mysteriously benevolent Deep Throat, Mulder and Scully find their way to an asylum for the criminally insane (love it) where “Eve 6,” a homicidal raving lunatic also played by Harris, gives them additional details about the program. Apparently, Kendrick created the embryos that became Teena and Cindy in her image and in an attempt to correct the mistakes of the first program – one that lead to a suicidal batch of maniacs similar to “Eve 6.”
Whew. That was a mouthful.
The rest of the saga involves Mulder and Scully tracking down Teena and Cindy who have both been kidnapped by “Eve 7,” again played by Harris. “Eve 7” has been given anti-psychotic medication and enough therapy to ensure a normal, rational existence. She wants the same for Teena and Cindy who, unfortunately, have different ideas for their kidnapper. They poison her and fake the involvement of an “Eve 8” to cover their tracks. Teena and Cindy also almost kill Mulder and Scully, but the children’s motivations are uncovered. They are imprisoned in the same asylum as “Eve 6” (how convenient) where “Eve 8” finally appears, intending to free them so they can continue their super-evil ways.
When done right, I really like the “monster of the week” episodes. This one doesn’t come close to touching “Squeeze” in terms of scares, but it’s another high-quality episode that sits high on the Season One list. It doesn’t hurt that I have an incredible fascination with twins, and these twins, played by Erika and Sabrina Krievins, give very accomplished performances for such young actresses. They’re not actually asked to do very much, in all honestly, but they excel at staring creepily at the camera with a haunted stare. Toward the end, you find yourself waiting to see what these homicidal girls have up their pea-coated sleeves next. The biggest kudos of the episode, though, goes to Harriet Sansom Harris who gives one bravura psycho performance after another here. She clearly draws distinct differences between the various “Eves” but really relishes playing the psychotic “Eve 6,” complete with rotting teeth. Harris deserved Emmy consideration for this role (as with many other performances she gave from Frasier to Desperate Housewives), but she failed to merit attention. Shame.
Thanks to the strong performances and a complicated, yet very clear, story line, “Eve” emerges a successful entry in The X-Files legacy. It might not be as thematically rich as others (maybe there’s some light “dangers of playing God” material in there), but how can you complain when you’re boasting really creepy kids.
Because, you know, “kids be creepy as shit.”