Another week, another MOTW. But the upshot to this episode is the presence of our beloved Vince Gilligan. Last week I spoke at length about my personal preference for the mytharc episodes. This is still true, but if there are going to be non-mytharc episodes, I would have to say that watching a Gilligan episode is never a bad thing.

This episode addressed one of the leftover matters from the premiere that I was hoping would get taken care of quickly and methodically. That matter being: Can Scully effectively shut Doggett out, given her new situation?

The answer is no, which points to the fact that CC and co. are not going to take the easy way out. It would be all too simple to have Scully take center stage and avoid all of the recrimination of the Mulderites by leaving Doggett in the background. But this episode goes a long way toward showing why this would not work. Mulder used to do the same thing, and Scully was always there to pull him out of the fire. Sometimes I wonder if people forget that point. Because let's face it...Scully needs someone to back her up, even if it is not Mulder.

More to the point, her pregnancy has made that kind of "cowboy law enforcement" even more foolish. Mulder would never have needed to worry about that happening to him, so it was only his own skin that was in jeopardy. Scully cannot afford to indulge in that kind of selfishness.

I actually had no expectation that Scully would become infected by the parasite, and so it really drove this entire theme home.

I've read some reviews, and seen the results of some polls, and it looks like this episode rated much higher than "Patience". The Mulderites are still making their presence felt, but I suspect that it will always be that way, until Mulder returns. I wonder how things will turn out next week...previews point to something a little different, and actually look more interesting than the previews for the last couple episodes.

Some other comments:

- Color me amazed. Running back to last season's finale, this is the fifth episode in a row that carries an ongoing thread of continuity. Scully's comment to Doggett about his thorough study of the X-Files ties directly into "Patience". Scully's pregnancy obviously ties all the way back to "Requiem", and the hints that Doggett might actually know about her condition ties into the end of "Without". If this happens again next week, I'll be convinced that there is a lot more planning involved in this season than ever before.

- Why oh why is most of the discussion of this episode covering the possible disappearance of Scully's tattoo, or the small scar on the back of her neck? This reminds me of the endless and completely pointless ongoing debate about Scully's cross and the end of "Requiem". This is the "X-Files"...little continuity errors are to be expected, considering that they usually can't get the larger details straight either. Or was this episode compentent enough that this is the only thing to discuss?

- Oddly enough, I'm not coming up with much to discuss either. This episode really *was* solid!

- And now for another segment of Scully's "X-ploitation" List! A list of the scenes that seek to exploit GA's physical attributes. Only this time, I'm not sure a list will do...

We can start with that T-shirt. Tight and low-cut, like in the premiere. I suppose that's another nod towards overall continuity! But then we can jump right to the fourth act, when she was strapped to the bed, wearing nothing but that sweaty T-shirt, etc. Maybe Vince was letting a few of his more interesting thoughts about GA seep into his writing during that phase of the script...

If nothing else, I was impressed by GA's overall body tone. Great abs for a pregnant woman! And did you get a look at those upper arms when she was straining to get away? Someone's definitely got a personal trainer!

- Speaking of the fourth act, during the scene on the bus, I couldn't help but get a chuckle when Scully started flipping out when the parasite was starting to invade her skull. Scully, wild-eyed, screaming, "Get it out! Get it out now!"

For just a moment, was anyone else thinking that this was a bit of a preview for a future delivery scene?

- I'm waiting for the eventual scene when some doctor is going to suggest that Scully find a new line of work, if she is intending to actually carry this baby to term and be a mother. It should happen, especially since this was given as a reason to deny her petition to adopt Emily three years ago.

- Doggett's little reprimand was perfect. Scully was willing to overlook Mulder's tendency to leave her in the dust, but Doggett plays things straight, and will not let that happen. I wonder if he has lost a few partners over the years, and that has something to do with his strong opinion on it. I also think that it reinforces the possisibility that Doggett knows Scully is pregnant. If Doggett really has read all of the X-Files, and if he did his homework during the manhunt for Mulder, he should know about Scully's past history.

Overall, I give it a 7/10. Better than "Patience" and highly competent, but there is nothing about this episode that makes it stand out as exceptional.

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