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April 20, 2014

The X-Files: Gender Bender

by Anna Johns, posted Aug 20th 2006 9:27AM
x-files; gender bender(S01E14) I can honestly say I had never, ever seen this episode of The X-Files. I'm not sure why I passed it over or missed it over the years, but it was new to me. And I totally loved it! Oh, and Nic Lea, who plays villain Alex Krycek in subsequent seasons, makes an appearance in this episode as 'Michael', a near-victim of the Monster of the Week.

The opening scene of Gender Bender made me wonder what time of year this episode aired. It opens with sex, after all. But, alas, it was not created for ratings as it originally aired on January 21, 1994.

I always feel Scully's frustration whenever Mulder seems to know more about the cases than she does. Gender Bender is such a case. At the beginning, we get to see a man suddenly turn into a woman and then form back into a man so we know he/she can switch gender.

The investigation takes us to an enclosed community called The Kindred, which seems similar to the Amish, except with a secret handshake. The she-man who keeps killing people in D.C. night clubs uses the secret handshake to coerce victims into having sex with him/her.

Mulder and Scully meet the super-freaky Kindred, who are unfriendly except for the one who uses the handshake method on Scully and she develops some sort of crush on him. When the agents sneak back to the freak farm, Mulder and Scully spy on some sort of funeral ceremony. When Mulder leaves to get a closer look, Scully is whisked away by the Kindred who seems to be wooing her. He tells her that the killer is his ex-best friend, Marty, who left the Kindred to become part of the rest of the world.

While Scully is having a nice chat with her boyfriend, Mulder is discovering underground caves where one of the Kindred is being buried. There's a series of yellow caves and all sorts of seemingly undead bodies. Are they bringing people back to life? Is that why there aren't any children? Before we can get an answer, Scully is being seduced by the Kindred guy, Andrew, but Mulder breaks into the room in time. Scully's all woozy and nauseous after the guy rubs the pressure point between her thumb and forefinger.

Now here's where we get to see Nic Lea (Krycek). He nearly gets killed by the she-man and his stolen credit card leads the agents to their perp. Only, the Kindred get to him/her first. The agents follow in hot pursuit to the farm where everyone is gone, the cave is cemented over, and there are crop circles in the field. Man- I didn't see that alien ending coming.

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