CTP Episode of the Day - 05.22.06

Today's Cherished Episode: John Doe (9x07)
Original Air Date: January 13, 2002
Written By: Vince Gilligan
Directed By: Michelle MacLaren

Scully and Reyes join forces to try and find Doggett when he goes missing. Doggett wakes up in a Mexican jail suffering from amnesia; he tries to recover his memories and stay alive while Reyes and Scully join forces to try and find him.

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(Thanks to chrisnu for today's episode pics.)

"I'll take the bad as long as I remember the good."

Some "John Doe" Tidbits & Musings:

-- "John Doe" was directed by co-executive producer Michelle MacLaren and was only the second XF episode to be directed by a woman (the first being Gillian Anderson in Season 7). Ironically, MacLaren joined the show staff during Gillian's episode, "all things"; she was previously a co-executive producer on "Harsh Realm." In another strange twist, MacLaren's next directorial assignment after this episode was on the 2002 FOX series "John Doe."

-- The series "John Doe," which debuted on FOX in the fall of 2002, was about a man who seemed to know everything except his own name. He helped the police solve crimes while he tried to find out his identity. The show starred Dominic Purcell, who can now be seen as Lincoln Burrows in FOX's "Prison Break."

-- Vince Gilligan's customary shout-out to his girlfriend Holly Rice comes in the form of the name of the businessman that Doggett was looking for, Hollis Rice.

-- In the flashbacks, Mrs. Doggett is played by Barbara (Mrs. Robert) Patrick, though we only see her arm, shoulder, and back. She reprised her role in a bigger part later in Season 9's "Release."

-- In this episode, Doggett seems to have an automagically appearing tattoo, just like Scully has an automagically disappearing one.

-- But his tattoo does correspond to his record of service that Scully researched back in Season 8's "Wtihin." He served in the U.S. Marine Corps, 24th marine Amphibious Unit, 2nd Marine Division, from 1977 to 1983, and was a member of the Multinational Peacekeeping Force, Lebanon Development, from 9/1/82 - 10/30/83.

-- A character uses the name Ladatel when he reads it posted on a public phone booth. In Mexico, the name of the credit card system for public telephone use is Ladatel and it's handled by cards, not money.

-- In a typical Season 9 effort to insert GA into the action, Scully flies to San Antonio to give Monica a message she could have delivered by phone, but as long as she's there, she also carries a police report across the room. Meanwhile, is William home alone?

-- I give credit where credit is due: Both RP and AG do a very nice job in the scene where Doggett's memory starts to return and he remembers that his son is dead. It's a heartbreaking moment for *both* characters and both actors handle it very well.

-- Oopsie! In the final long shot, Doggett is wearing a sneaker on his right foot and some brown thing on his left. Only problem is it was Doggett's right shoe that got stolen at the beginning of the episode.

-- "John Doe" holds a unique distinction for me. During its original airing on January 13, 2002, it was the first time I ever fell asleep while watching a first-run episode of the series. And though I was taping, I never watched the entire episode until it ran in syndication much later. Yes, I know it's hard to believe and I'm ashamed to say it - I actually managed to stay awake through every episode in Season 8.

-- In spite of the fact that "John Doe" couldn't keep me awake, this was exactly the type of episode that *should* have been airing in Season 9. This was Season 1 for The New Kids, and historically Season 1 X-File episodes should: (a) Provide us with a sufficiently unique Monster-of-the-Week; (b) Put the characters in situations where we learn more about them and they learn more about themselves; and (c) Let us watch the bond between the characters strengthen and grow. "John Doe" basically succeeded, except for sticking Scully in the middle of the fray for no reason whatsoever, thereby separating her from her infant son and redirecting our interest toward the off-screen storyline. This episode is a great example that Season 9 might have had a chance if the Mulder/Scully story had been wrapped up completely in Season 8.

-- For the non-mythology episodes in Season 9, I always consider whether I would want to watch an episode if it featured Mulder and Scully rather than the New Kids. So for "John Doe," would I have wanted to see this episode if it was *Mulder* who had holes poked in his head, lost his memory, was tossed in jail, and was trying to piece together the meaning of a series of fragmented flashbacks while his partner tried desperately to help him? The answer is yes, very much. In fact, I already did. It was called "Demons." But if this episode had featured a dirty, sweaty, *Mulder* searching for his identity as well as his shoe, it would have had my undivided attention; and seeing *Mulder* in that opening crotch shot alone would have kept me wide awake.

-- On January 17, 2002, just four days after "John Doe" aired, FOX announced that "The X-Files" would not return for a 10th season.

Please share your first impressions, favorite (or cringe-worthy!) moments, classic lines, favorite fanfic, nagging questions, repeated viewing observations, etc., as today we celebrate "John Doe"!

Polly