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Monica Reyes

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Monica Reyes
The X-Files character
MonicaReyes.jpg
First appearance "This Is Not Happening"
Portrayed by Annabeth Gish
City Washington, D.C.
Born Monica Julieta Reyes
Date of Birth March 13, 1968
Mexico City, Mexico
Information
Occupation FBI Special Agent
Partners John Doggett
Affiliations Dana Scully
Fox Mulder
Walter Skinner
Duration 2001-2002, 2016
Seasons 8, 9, 10

Monica Julieta Reyes /ˈr.ɛz/ is a fictional character in the Fox science fiction-supernatural 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 season, before returning for a single-episode guest appearance in the tenth season finale.

Conceptual history[edit]

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 contrast with the sceptical 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.[1][2]

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.[3] 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.[4] 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".[4]

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.[4][5]

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.[6]

Background[edit]

Monica Reyes was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, and speaks fluent Spanish.[7] She studied folklore and mythology at Brown University, and has a master's 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.[8] 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.[8][9]

Character arc[edit]

Season 8 (2000–2001)[edit]

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.[8]

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.[9] 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.[10][11]

Season 9 (2001–2002)[edit]

Season nine sees Reyes join the X-Files on a permanent basis, working with both John Doggett and Dana Scully. Following a year of investigating the paranormal, 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. The X-Files office was closed shortly after the involvement of Walter Skinner and Alvin Kersh in Mulder's escape was revealed;[12] Reyes still stayed with the FBI in some capacity for a time afterwards.

Between seasons 9 and 10[edit]

Shortly after the closure of the X-Files, Reyes was contacted by C.G.B. Spender (the Cigarette Smoking Man), who had miraculously survived the confrontation in New Mexico, albeit with devastating major injuries. Spender offered to secure Reyes a place among the designated survivors of end-times, in exchange for her assistance. Reyes departed the FBI shortly thereafter, electing to take Spender's offer. She spent the next 14 years personally assisting the physically damaged Spender (even lighting his cigarettes for him), but with the intent to halt the invasion from within the syndicate.

Season 10 (2016)[edit]

Following the widespread outbreak of a contagion, Dana Scully is contacted by Reyes, who claims to know how to develop a vaccine. During their meeting, Reyes reveals her arrangement with Spender. Scully implies that Monica was weak for accepting the deal, though Reyes' information ultimately allows Scully to create, and administer, a vaccine to Agent Einstein—and, presumably, to the rest of humanity thereafter.

Reception[edit]

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".[13] 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".[14] However, Shearman considered the character's appearance in "Empedocles" to be "very clever",[15] while Gish's acting in "4-D" was described as "stand out".[16] 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.[17] 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".[18]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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. 
  2. ^ Brown, Scott (February 19, 2016). "Art of The X-Files". vancouversun.com. Vancouver Sun newspaper. Archived from the original on February 23, 2016. Retrieved February 20, 2016.  Subtitle: "Gallery owner Monica Reyes, who had a character named after her, displays creator Chris Carter’s personal mementoes."
  3. ^ Hurwitz and Knowles, p. 190
  4. ^ a b c Frank Spotnitz, Robert Patrick, (2002). Profiles: Monica Reyes (DVD). The X-Files: The Complete Ninth Season: Fox Home Entertainment. 
  5. ^ Chris Carter, Cary Elwes and Annabeth Gish (2002). Character profile on Brad Follmer (DVD). The X-Files: The Complete Ninth Season: Fox Home Entertainment. 
  6. ^ 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. 
  7. ^ Michelle Maxwell MacLaren (director); Vince Gilligan (writer) (January 13, 2002). "John Doe". The X-Filess. Season 9. Episode 7. Fox. 
  8. ^ a b c Kim Manners (director); Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz (writers) (February 25, 2001). "This Is Not Happening". The X-Files. Season 8. Episode 14. Fox. 
  9. ^ a b Barry K. Thomas (director); Greg Walker (writer) (April 22, 2001). "Empedocles". The X-Files. Season 8. Episode 17. Fox. 
  10. ^ Kim Manners (director); Chris Carter (writer) (May 13, 2001). "Essence". The X-Files. Season 8. Episode 20. Fox. 
  11. ^ Kim Manners (director); Chris Carter (writer) (May 20, 2001). "Existence". The X-Files. Season 8. Episode 21. Fox. 
  12. ^ Kim Manners (director); Chris Carter (writer) (May 19, 2002). "The Truth". The X-Files. Season 9. Episode 19 & 20. Fox. 
  13. ^ Tucker, Ken (November 16, 2001). "The X-Files Review | TV Reviews and News". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved March 4, 2012. 
  14. ^ Shearman and Pearson, p. 241
  15. ^ Shearman and Pearson, pp. 244–245
  16. ^ Shearman and Pearson, p. 263
  17. ^ 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. 
  18. ^ 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. 

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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. 

External links[edit]