The X-Files: Ghouli or in dreams I walk beside you


How powerful is the mind? What if we could project our thoughts onto others? Tonight’s episode of The X-Files explores those concepts through the eyes of Dana Scully.

“If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” – Jackson Van De Kamp


Chimeras or Delusions?

The beginning of Ghouli deals with an urban legend like Slenderman. We see the aftermath of what occurs between two teenage girls as they play around on a rust bucket known as the Chimera. You know something bad is going to happen because who in their right mind boards an abandoned ship in the middle of the night?

As it turns out, these girls claim they were compelled to do what they did because the “Ghouli” prompted them. Although we see this hybrid creature, does it exist or is it a chimera?

Meanwhile, Scully is experiencing sleep paralysis. She’s chasing a dark figure in her dreams through a maze of a house. Mulder (David Duchovny) tries to come up with a logical explanation while Scully, oddly enough thinks it is more of a psychic connection.

Is William sharing his visions and dreams with her? It is obvious that they can communicate telepathically.

The Connection

After interviewing the two girls who had the incident on the ship, they find out that they both have something in common. A boyfriend who goes by the name of Jackson Van De Kamp (Miles Robbins).

This revelation startles both Mulder and Scully because they know their son, William, was adopted by people named the Van De Kamps. So, they set out to interrogate Jackson at his home. Once they get there, shots are being fired in the house.

Mulder and Scully enter only to find the Van De Kamps lying in pools of their own blood in the living room. Then a shot rings out from upstairs. The pair race to investigate and they walk into a bedroom to find Jackson dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Convinced Jackson is her son with Mulder, Scully takes a lock of his hair for DNA testing. Before leaving his bedroom, she notices a snow globe collection. This intrigues Scully because a snow globe of the ship Chimera appeared in her dreams.

Rise Up

Once in the morgue and Scully sees the face of her beloved William, all the maternal love and deep regret washes over her. Gillian Anderson’s moving and heartfelt speech about loss and guilt should garner her an Emmy nod.

She sees Mulder standing in the doorway. He immediately walks over to her and embraces her.  The love and respect he has for his partner of twenty-five years is written all over his face as he holds her.

After they depart the scene, Jackson gets out of the body bag.

In Pursuit of William

From this point on, we find out that the DNA tested positive and that Jackson is William. When he decides to visit his girlfriends in the hospital, all hell breaks loose. The DOD has been pursuing him per the Cigarette Smoking Man’s (William B. Davis) orders.

Trapped in the hospital, William explains to his one girlfriend, Brianna how he can project his thoughts into other people’s heads. He told her that’s how he was able to make her think that she and Sarah saw the monster on the Chimera.

At this point, he knows he’s trapped and while running, he begins to project different images to various people so that they end up shooting their partners and getting shot in return. This is the way that he escapes the DOD and Mulder and Scully

Project Crossroads

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After the latest SNAFU in the hospital, Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) meets Mulder and tells him to drop the investigation. They talk about Project Crossroads (which just so happened to be on Jackson’s hard drive when Mulder downloaded the info from his laptop) and the experimentation with alien hybrid DNA.

Skinner reveals that Scully was an unwilling participant and William is the result. Mulder then tells Skinner that William is dead.

However, his son is very much alive. During the course of this show, Scully keeps running into an Asian man who tosses very cryptic yet poignant messages her way such as “Change is coming.” The very last time she encounters this gentleman, she’s pumping gas at a convenience store.

Mulder asks what the exchange was about and she replies with a Malcolm X quote, “If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” It’s at that time that Mulder makes the correlation between the Asian man and William.

He reminds Scully of William’s Malcolm X poster above his bed. The pair immediately rush back into the convenience store to look at the footage of the parking lot. Sure enough, they see William saying goodbye to his mother.

The Verdict

This James Wong penned and directed episode is very well done. It’s not quite a monster of the week show because it has more plot points that resonates with The X-Files’ overarching mythology. However, questions are answered about how William came into existence.

We also learn about his unique ability to project thoughts into other people’s heads. For those of you out there who enjoy trivia, Miles Robbins who plays Jackson/William is the son of actress Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins.

In an interview last year, David Duchovny dropped a bombshell when he said that William “resembles two people that aren’t Mulder and Scully.”  After seeing Jackson/William, I was really struck by how much Miles Robbins looks like a young Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea).

The X-Files – Nicolas Lea – Courtesy of Filmweb

The X-Files – Miles Robbins – Gillian Anderson – Courtesy of the X-Files Fan Club

Perhaps Krycek might be his biological father and not Mulder? Like I have postulated before, he was a victim of the black oil in the Piper Maru episode. So, alien DNA is in his makeup. Food for thought…

Next: X Files: Who is William? David Duchovny gives us a clue

The X-Files airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on Fox.