Annabeth Gish as Monica Reyes
|First appearance||"This Is Not Happening"|
|Last appearance||"The Truth"|
|Portrayed by||Annabeth Gish|
|Occupation||FBI Special Agent|
|Birth name||Monica Julieta Reyes|
|Date of birth||March 13, 1968
Mexico City, Mexico
|Affiliated with||The X-Files
FBI Special Agent Monica Julieta Reyes // is a fictional character in the Fox science fiction television series The X-Files. Monica Reyes is portrayed by Annabeth Gish. A Special Agent with the FBI, she works with her longtime friend and partner John Doggett in the X-Files office, which is concerned with the investigation of paranormal cases, dubbed "X-Files". Introduced in the series' eighth season, Reyes would become a main character throughout the entirety of its ninth and final season, last appearing in the finale, "The Truth".
Reyes' first appearance in the episode "This Is Not Happening" was intended to add another character to the series who would readily believe in the paranormal, after the departure of David Duchovny and his character Fox Mulder. The character, and Gish's portrayal of her, have since received a mixed response from critics.
Due to their decision to continue The X-Files television series and try to appeal to a new generation of viewers, the production personnel knew from the beginning of season 8 that they were going to introduce another female character who would be a believer, as departing character Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) had been a believer. However, the writers wanted a different kind of believer character to work off of the skeptical nature of John Doggett, who had already been established. The writers were required to create a character who was unlike any of the preconceived main characters that were a part of the series. This female character was initially named Karen Miller and then Jane Jones before the name "Monica Reyes" was decided upon, named after a friend of series creator Chris Carter's acquaintance who had an art gallery in Vancouver.
When the role was being cast, actress Annabeth Gish received a call from her agent, who informed her that the producers of The X-Files were looking for a new female character. Gish applied for the part, but her audition consisted of a meeting with writers Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz.
Spotnitz considered Reyes to be like Mulder in her optimism, faith and enjoyment of being open to beliefs, while still being somewhat different as she was more spiritual and subscribed to a more New Age-like view than Mulder had. Reyes was seen as different from both Mulder and the other main characters as she was somewhat more neurotic, scattered, and quirky. She smiled and laughed more than the other characters, having a nature that writer Frank Spotnitz felt was lighter, sunnier, brighter, warmer and more "overtly sexy".
The character of Brad Follmer was created in season nine to provide a love interest for Reyes, as the writers believed the audience needed to know more about her. However, Follmer's unresolved relationship with Reyes also served to heighten the conflict between Doggett and Follmer, as both men had feelings for her. Portraying actress Annabeth Gish was pleased that the relationship between her character and Scully was similar to that of two sisters, rather than Reyes serving as an antagonist to Scully.
The ninth season episode "Hellbound", in which Reyes discovers that she was apparently reincarnated, began as an effort to give Reyes or Doggett a "drive" or sense of motivation, as they were seen by the writers as the successors to Mulder and Scully. According to the writer of the episode, David Amann, executive producer Frank Spotnitz was interested in giving Reyes "some darkness to play" and her past life was consequently written with sombre overtones.
Monica Reyes was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, and speaks fluent Spanish. She studied folklore and mythology at Brown University, and has a Masters degree in Religious Studies. In 1990, Reyes enrolled in the Federal Bureau of Investigation at Quantico, Virginia. Her first assignment in the FBI was serving on a special taskforce investigating Satanic ritual abuse. Reyes then served in the New York City field office, where she became romantically involved with special agent Brad Follmer despite the FBI's strict anti-fraternization rules. Reyes was the head investigator in the kidnapping of 7 year-old Luke Doggett, son of then NYPD officer John Doggett. The boy was eventually found dead, but no suspect was ever apprehended. In 1999, Monica Reyes transferred to the New Orleans field office.
In 2001, Reyes was contacted by Doggett, now an FBI agent assigned to X-Files department, to assist in on a case involving the disappearances of several individuals who claimed to be alien abductees, as well as the disappearance of fellow agent Fox Mulder. Because of her background, Reyes considered that these believers may have simply formed a cult, but did not rule out the possibility of alien intervention. She stayed with the case until after Mulder was returned by his abductors, but returned to her field office soon after.
She later contacted Mulder, who was back to full health at the time, seeking help on a case she suspected had some link to the murder of Doggett's son. However, as before, she soon returned to her own work. Reyes remained with the New Orleans field office until she was called upon to protect agent Dana Scully in May 2001, driving her out to a remote location in Georgia so that the pregnant Scully might deliver her child out of harm's way. Reyes helped deliver the child, and made a permanent move soon afterwards, becoming Doggett's partner on The X-Files.
Doggett and Reyes were last seen in the New Mexico desert in 2002, where they were warning Agents Mulder and Scully of the arrival of Knowle Rohrer, a Super Soldier linked to the alien colonists. They were fleeing the scene as black helicopters destroyed the Anazasi adobes where The Smoking Man had been living. They are most likely still with the FBI, however the X-Files office was closed after the involvement of Walter Skinner and Alvin Kersh in Mulder's escape was revealed.
The character of Monica Reyes has attracted mixed reviews from critics. Gish's portrayal of the character has been described by Entertainment Weekly's Ken Tucker as "ferocious yet lissome". Robert Shearman and Lars Pearson, in their book Wanting to Believe: A Critical Guide to The X-Files, Millennium & The Lone Gunmen, felt that Reyes' introduction in "This Is Not Happening" was "rather forced", finding her upbeat personality at odds with the tone of the series at that time; Shearman and Pearson also felt that the overall use of the character in season nine was "lazy", with her willingness to believe in anything compromising the tension of episodes such as "4-D" or "Hellbound". However, Shearman considered the character's appearance in "Empedocles" to be "very clever", while Gish's acting in "4-D" was described as "stand out". Writing for The New York Times, Joyce Millman described Reyes and her partner Doggett as "the Diet Coke of Mulder and Scully", referring to their secondary standing. Fellow New York Times writer Caryn James felt that Reyes and Doggett were "colorless", and "a shadow" of their predecessors, noting that "where Scully and Mulder's muted sexual attraction linked them to reality, Doggett and Reyes's chemistry was nonexistent, even as platonic partners".
- Chris Carter, Robert Patrick, Frank Spotnitz and Annabeth Gish (narrators) (2002). The Truth Behind Season 8 (DVD). The X-Files: The Complete Eighth Season: Fox Home Entertainment.
- Hurwitz and Knowles, p. 190
- Frank Spotnitz, Robert Patrick, (2002). Profiles: Monica Reyes (DVD). The X-Files: The Complete Ninth Season: Fox Home Entertainment.
- Chris Carter, Cary Elwes and Annabeth Gish (2002). Character profile on Brad Follmer (DVD). The X-Files: The Complete Ninth Season: Fox Home Entertainment.
- Frank Spotnitz, Vince Gilligan, John Shiban, Chris Carter, Cary Elwes, Robert Patrick, Kim Manners, Michelle MacLaren, Corey Kaplan, Mat Beck, Paul Rabwin, Matthew Mungle, David Amann, Cheri Montesanto-Medcalf, John Wash, Bill Roe and Burt Reynolds (2002). The Truth Behind Season 9 (DVD). The X-Files: The Complete Ninth Season: Fox Home Entertainment.
- Michelle Maxwell MacLaren (director); Vince Gilligan (writer) (January 13, 2002). "John Doe". The X-Filess. Season 9. Episode 7. Fox.
- Kim Manners (director); Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz (writers) (February 25, 2001). "This Is Not Happening". The X-Files. Season 8. Episode 14. Fox.
- Barry K. Thomas (director); Greg Walker (writer) (April 22, 2001). "Empedocles". The X-Files. Season 8. Episode 17. Fox.
- Kim Manners (director); Chris Carter (writer) (May 13, 2001). "Essence". The X-Files. Season 8. Episode 20. Fox.
- Kim Manners (director); Chris Carter (writer) (May 20, 2001). "Existence". The X-Files. Season 8. Episode 21. Fox.
- Kim Manners (director); Chris Carter (writer) (May 19, 2002). "The Truth". The X-Files. Season 9. Episode 19 & 20. Fox.
- Tucker, Ken (November 16, 2001). "The X-Files Review | TV Reviews and News". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- Shearman and Pearson, p. 241
- Shearman and Pearson, pp. 244–245
- Shearman and Pearson, p. 263
- Millman, Joyce (May 19, 2002). "Television/Radio - 'The X-Files' Finds the Truth - Its Time is Past". The New York Times. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- James, Caryn (May 20, 2002). "What 'Friends' Has Going for It ... - ... That 'Ally McBeal and 'The X-Files' Didn't Have". The New York Times. Retrieved March 4, 2012.
- Hurwitz, Matt; Knowles, Chris (2008). The Complete X-Files. Insight Editions. ISBN 1-933784-80-6.
- Shearman, Robert; Pearson, Lars (2009). Wanting to Believe: A Critical Guide to The X-Files, Millennium & The Lone Gunmen. Mad Norwegian Press. ISBN 0-9759446-9-X.