Age is Just a Number: The X-Files S11x9 “Nothing Lasts Forever” Review

March 16, 2018 at 9:46 PM | Posted in TV | Leave a comment
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SPOILER WARNING: This review contains major spoilers of The X-Files season 11. Read at your own risk!


We’ve all seen it one way or another. An aging actress takes matter into her own hands and subjects herself to surgical procedures just to look younger.

This is the premise of episode 9 of The X-Files season 11 titled “Nothing Lasts Forever.” It tells the story of a ‘60s movie and TV actress named Barbara Beaumont who wants to stay young and beautiful – at all costs.

In this X-File case of the week, Mulder and Scully investigate a murder in the hospital involving surgeons illegally harvesting human organs. Apparently, someone knows about the doctors’ illegal activity and they are ambushed during a procedure. Mulder thinks it’s an X-File but Scully thinks it’s just a regular case of organized crime.

It turns out that human organs are being stolen from the hospital by a cannibalistic cult led by Barbara and her scientist husband Dr. Luvenis.  The cult eats human organs that help them become beautiful and live forever. Barbara and her husband are actually both 85 years old but they look like they’re still in their 30s.

But who’s the vigilante who killed the doctor at the hospital? It’s a young devoted Catholic woman named Juliet whose sister Olivia is a member of the cult. Juliet is trying to save her sister and atoning for her sins by killing those who are involved in the illegal harvesting.

While investigating the case, Scully also reflects on her faith. She’s a practicing Catholic and spends most of her time in this episode inside a church. There’s a lot of whispering in these church scenes between Mulder and Scully that it gets so frustrating because I could barely hear what they’re saying.

Somehow I feel that Scully’s reflections in the church are rather out of place from the rest of the story. I don’t understand what Scully’s story about her brother has to do with the case. And the case itself is banal, despite the blood and gore in the episode. However, Fiona Vroom’s portrayal of Barbara is quite memorable that I don’t think I can ever listen to the song “The Morning After” without remembering that gross and gory scene.

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The only thing that resonates for me about the episode is the final scene between Scully and Mulder. This is the only part in the final church scene that I understand at least:

Mulder: Well, I may not believe in God but I believe in you. Therefore, I speak to him through you. Through the  transitive property of equality. If “A” equals “B,” and “B” equals “C,” therefore, “A” equals “C.” Reason and faith in harmony. Isn’t that why we’re so good together?

Scully: Are we together?  You know, I believed I could protect our son, and I failed. I believed that we could live together, and I fled. I gave up on that, too.

Mulder: If only you’d fled earlier. You know how many times I’ve envisioned that scenario, where you left that basement office before I even needed glasses? You’d have your health, your dog, your sister. You’d be Kersh’s boss at the FBI, and be married to some brain surgeon and have a bunch of kids that you wouldn’t have to give up.

Scully: Mulder, I don’t begrudge you any of those things. That’s not what I was talking about.

Mulder: Well, what are you talking about, Scully? Because I don’t know if any God is listening but I am standing right here, and I am listening. Right beside you. I’m all ears. That’s my choice.

And then the scene shows Scully leaning over to Mulder and whispering something in his ear. Viewers of the episode are not privy to what Scully whispered to Mulder. The internet was abuzz after the episode aired because the final scene could have explained the status of Mulder and Scully’s relationship. When Scully asks Mulder if they are together, Mulder doesn’t answer.

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Are they getting back together or will they stay apart? The scene is further fueled by what Scully says after the whisper:

“That’s not my four-year-old self looking for a miracle. That’s my leap of faith forward. And I’d like to do it together.”

To which Mulder answers:

“I’ve always wondered how this was going to end.”

Considering that this is the penultimate episode, I also wonder how the season will end.


Side Notes

  • So it was Scully who broke up with Mulder after all. I’m guessing she wanted to break away from the darkness and Mulder “chasing monsters in the dark” like what she said in the I Want to Believe That’s why she fled.
  • My guess on what Scully whispered to Mulder would be something like finding their son William and creating a cure for the Spartan virus to save humanity. To me, that would be Scully’s way of saying they should get back together. But there are theories circling on social media that what Scully whispered could be that she’s pregnant with Mulder’s child (they slept together in “Plus One” episode, remember?) and that she wants to keep the baby and raise it with him. This is also plausible in my opinion.
  • I miss the deadpan banter between Mulder and Scully. That’s why it’s so good to see that again in this episode in the scene where Scully asked Mulder about his “bifocals” (or “progressive lenses” as how Mulder puts it).
  • Mulder only noticing Scully’s new haircut after three episodes in with her sporting that hair was hilarious! By the way, I still prefer Scully’s long hair in earlier episodes. It looked natural on Gillian Anderson. The new short hair makes it look obvious that Gillian is wearing a wig.
  • Both Mulder and Scully used to wear glasses in earlier seasons of the show, although we only saw them on rare occasions. In fact, the pilot episode of The X-Files showed Mulder wearing glasses. So Mulder saying Scully leaving the basement office before he needed glasses was an oversight by the show.


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