February 9, 2019

The X-Files 9.11, Audrey Pauley: Maybe We Should All Rethink Signing Organ-Donor Cards

Posted in TV tagged , , at 1:05 pm by Jenn

Ordinarily, when a random woman tells you to jump into nothingness, you shouldn’t listen, but this one time, it’s okay

Summary: Reyes drives Doggett home to Falls Church, Virginia (hometown shout-out!), after work one night, and they chat in her car for a few minutes. There’s a discussion about him being a cat person when she thinks he should be a dog person, and how he prefers cats because they’re easier to take care of and harder to disappoint. Reyes doesn’t think Doggett ever disappoints anyone. Instead of making out, because come on, Doggett goes inside alone.

On her way home, Reyes gets into a bad car accident and is taken to a hospital. She finds herself in an empty ER, and when she goes to check things out, she discovers that the hospital is basically floating in the middle of nothingness. When she goes back inside, she encounters another patient, Stephen Murdoch, who’s also aware of their weird situation. He takes her to a man named Mr. Barreiro, telling him there’s someone new in the hospital. Reyes guesses that the men think the three of them are dead.

As Reyes runs off, Scully arrives at the hospital and meets up with Doggett. She’s learned that Reyes was hit by a drunk driver, so the single beer Reyes had with Doggett after work wasn’t much of a contributing factor to the accident. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really matter – as Scully determines herself, Reyes is brain dead.

The Reyes from the empty hospital comes by the room where her body is being kept alive by machines, but she still sees the room as empty. Stephen finds her and tells her death isn’t that bad once you get used to it. Reyes wants to know why all the paperwork is blank and there are no signs on the walls. Stephen isn’t sure, but he thinks they might be in a kind of way station until they move on to the next destination. Reyes goes back outside and drops a mug into the nothingness. It gets zapped by some sort of electricity in the atmosphere.

Reyes’ doctor, Preijers, tells Scully and Doggett that Reyes signed a living will and has an organ-donor card. Doggett doesn’t think things add up – Reyes is supposedly brain dead, but her body is mostly unharmed. Scully says it doesn’t matter, since brain death means she’s not going to get better. Preijers knows of a patient who needs a heart transplant, so they need to move quickly to harvest Reyes’ organs.

Reyes comes across a woman in the empty hospital, but the woman runs around the corner into a dead end and disappears. Stephen yells for Reyes, who rejoins him in time to see Barreiro getting zapped like the mug and slowly fading away. In reality, Barreiro has died, despite Preijers’ efforts to revive him. The woman from the hallway, who’s a hospital volunteer, watches him die.

Doggett tells Scully that the doctors say they can harvest Reyes’ organs as early as the next morning. Scully has examined Reyes and found some minor swelling in her brain, but not an amount that would normally lead to brain death. Doggett looks at Reyes’ EEG records, which show that her brain waves suddenly stopped at some point. He thinks that if they can figure out what caused that, they can reverse it.

In the empty hospital, Reyes tells Stephen about the disappearing woman. Stephen wants to focus on one disappearance at a time and asks what happened to Barreiro. Reyes thinks he died, which obviously couldn’t happen if the three of them are already dead, so she thinks she and Stephen are still alive. Stephen asks where they are, then.

Doggett asks Preijers about the EEG, making Preijers think he’s building a malpractice case. Since Reyes was wearing a seatbelt and had an airbag, and she was conscious when the paramedics got to her, there must be something they’re not seeing. Preijers allows Doggett to look through Reyes’ chart to see everything the doctors have done for her.

The disappearing woman is sitting by Reyes’ bed when Doggett returns to his partner’s room. The woman introduces herself as a patient aide who mostly delivers flowers. She asks if Doggett is Reyes’ husband, and when he says no, she guesses that he loves her. The aide (okay, her name’s Audrey Pauley, let’s just get there already) tells Doggett that Reyes isn’t gone, “at least not her soul.” Doggett wishes he could talk to her and tell her things he’s been meaning to say.

Audrey goes to her home, a room in the hospital, where she keeps a dollhouse shaped like the empty hospital. Inside it, Reyes is looking for another way out. She sees Audrey again and asks her to show them the way out. Audrey says she can’t help, but she has a message for Reyes – her friend loves her very much. Reyes guesses she means Doggett, so that’s interesting. Audrey tells her that her friends think she’s dead. Reyes asks her to deliver a message back to Doggett that he’s a dog person.

A nurse named Whitney advises Preijers to review Reyes’ records, since an injection he gave her isn’t in her notes. Preijers denies this. Whitney reminds him that inconsistencies like that are just the sort of thing malpractice lawyers love to find out about. Preijers pretends to be grateful that Whitney’s looking out for him; then he gives her an injection of her own.

Doggett remembers the dog person/cat person conversation as he thinks about his feelings for his partner. Then he lets fantasy take over and imagines kissing Reyes. He’s brought back to reality when he hears a commotion – Whitney’s body has been found. Doggett’s suspicious and thinks she was murdered as part of a cover-up. Scully tells him how she would have committed the murder if she were Whitney’s killer, and it’s exactly what Preijers did. Doggett’s like, “Great, thanks for volunteering to do an autopsy.” Scully reminds him that it won’t bring Reyes back.

Audrey finds Doggett in Reyes’ room and delivers the message about him being a dog person. She repeats what she said earlier about Reyes not being gone. In the doll hospital, Reyes looks through paperwork again, but Stephen says he’s gone through it all and never found a clue. Reyes notes that while the hospital looks complete at first glance, there are small things missing. It’s like a movie set built by someone who didn’t quite get what he or she was recreating. Suddenly Stephen starts gasping and collapses. Real Stephen is now dying, and of course Preijers is his doctor.

Audrey takes Doggett to her room, explaining that the nuns who run the hospital let her live there in exchange for her work as an aide. Doggett asks why she made the dollhouse. Audrey says she goes into her head, by which she means she goes into the dollhouse, and gets to be alone. Well, she was alone in the past, but now patients join her there, like Reyes. Doggett asks who the other patients are.

Reyes holds Stephen as he dies; he gasps something I can’t quite catch about life. Scully tells Doggett that Reyes’ parents are on their way from Mexico to say goodbye. He replies that they’ll get to talk to their daughter because he’s not letting the doctors take her off life support. He has Stephen and Barreiro’s files and has put together that Preijers pulls the plug on his patients. Doggett even wonders if Preijers drugs his patients to speed up their deaths. He insists that Reyes is still alive, and she and Stephen need their help to survive.

They’ll be too late to help Stephen, since he’s getting zapped away like Barreiro. At least the dollhouse version of him gets to die with a kind friend holding him. Scully and Doggett realize they didn’t get to the real Stephen in time. Doggett returns to Audrey’s room and tells her they only have an hour to keep Reyes alive. Audrey says she only delivers flowers; she can’t help. But since she can communicate with Reyes, Doggett needs Audrey to tell her what’s happening.

Doggett cries as he says he wants Reyes to know that she needs to fight and show some sign that she’s still alive. He doesn’t know what else he can do. Audrey tries to comfort him, but Doggett doesn’t have time to give in to his emotions. Preijers watches as he leaves Audrey’s room.

Audrey returns to the doll hospital and tells Reyes that Doggett wants a sign. She starts to leave, which Reyes objects to. Audrey says something’s wrong in her head, and she really can’t help anyone. She needs help herself doing something as simple as delivering flowers, since when she tries to read, the words are all jumbled. Reyes realizes that Audrey created the doll hospital, which means she can make the rules work however she wants. She can help Reyes escape.

Audrey goes back to the real hospital, where Preijers tells her he’s being accused of doing some horrible things. Audrey needs to be silenced, which means an injection. Reyes notices the hallways of the doll hospital changing, and Audrey tells her she has to leave. But the way out is through the nothingness, which will supposedly kill Reyes. Audrey says it won’t hurt her now. She understands now why she built the doll hospital.

Reyes lets herself fall into the nothingness as Scully tells Doggett that the transplant teams are ready to do their work. Doggett refuses to allow it, but Scully notes that he hasn’t given a good enough reason to think Reyes is alive. Fortunately, Reyes herself can do that, as she’s now awake. She asks about Audrey, but Doggett is once again too late to save someone – Preijers has already killed her. At some point in the future, or in the past, or in another version of reality – I don’t know – Doggett drives Reyes home, but once again, he doesn’t tell her how he feels. They both end up in their separate homes, alone.

Thoughts: Sorry, show, but Doggett and Reyes are no Mulder and Scully. Don’t go reaching for a romantic connection just for the heck of it.

Also, thanks for making me type “Preijers” over and over. I appreciate it.

Someone please count up the number of times Vernee Watson (Whitney) has played a nurse and/or has appeared on medical shows.

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