A Tribute to Agent Pendrell


"Well done, Agent Pendrell. Keep up the good work."
"Hey, thanks. Keep it up yourself!"

Scully leaves.
"'Keep it up yourself'? What a doof."
(Scully and Pendrell, 731)

With that line, I instantly knew that Pendrell was destined to become one of my favorite characters on The X-Files.

Shortly thereafter, I was disappointed to read that Brendan Beiser, the actor who portrayed Pendrell, was not expecting to have any other appearances on the television show. Imagine, then, my delighted surprise when his name popped up in the opening credits of "Apocrypha." Clearly, Pendrell was not just going to be a one-time character.

He had various other appearances throughout the year, and each one reinforced my opinion that Pendrell was "the only man for Scully." Cute schoolboy crush aside, Pendrell was a warm, kind, intelligent, likeable person...or, at least, he seemed to be, given that we didn't see as much of him as I'd have liked. I was determined that the two of them should develop a close friendship. I never thought Pendrell was a likely target for the supporting-character-eliminating tendencies of the X-Files writers.

Unfortunately, I was wrong. At the start of "Tempus Fugit" I was again thrilled to see that Pendrell would be making a return appearance, although the pace of the narrative caused me to forget about this until...the scene. I was dismayed to see that Pendrell was drunk - I thought he had a bit more self-control than that. But at least it was an opportunity for him to express his affection for Scully, and he wasn't that obnoxious.

But when the gunman came into the bar, followed by a slow-motion shot of a jovial Pendrell walking across the floor, I knew something was up. Pendrell was bound to get hit by a bullet. But you never know what's going to happen on The X-Files - they delight in thwarting audience anticipations. Unfortunately, my worst fears were true. "No no no," I said as the bullet ripped through Pendrell's chest. "We're not going to kill Agent Pendrell." Those closing moments were agony - Pendrell seemed to be doing all right, but who could tell?

I spent an agonizing week wondering about Pendrell's fate. You never know what's going to happen on The X-Files - they'll kill anyone. But later I realized that deep down, I'd never expected that they would really kill off the character.

I was nervous when I sat down to watch "Max" but, once Pendrell's plight was resolved, I felt hopeful. Medics had gotten there quickly and he was in their expert hands, being rushed to a hospital. Scully didn't seem that worried. He was going to be all right.

And then...the shocker. I let out a very audible gasp when it was revealed that Pendrell had died. He couldn't die! He had to form a close friendship with Scully! Who was supposed to work the lab if Pendrell was dead?! Who was going to smile shyly at Scully and act all gooshy around her?!?! And what a horrible final episode - Pendrell didn't even get to do anything. The character deserved better than that. Depression sunk in. "This is silly," I thought several times that day, "it's just a television character. Why are you getting so worked up about this?" I finally decided it was because not only did I really like Pendrell, but there were things about him that I identified with. I was always cheered by Brendan Beiser's appearance in an episode. The character was really close to me and I'm very disappointed that we've lost him.

"Mulder, Agent Pendrell is dead."
(Scully, Max)

So she says!


Click on Agent Pendrell to return to my Pendrell page.

Thanks to Ducovny and Abree Brand for this excellent picture!