The X-Files is absolutely packed with episodes that have to do with the idea of doubling its characters. In “Soft Light”, the villain is not a man, but rather the man’s shadow. Consequentially, the man is not a villain, but rather he is intimately connected to the villain in a way a conjoined twin would be connected to his brother. He has no control over the evil that follows him, and yet he cannot separate himself from it. Furthermore, his narrative suggests that if he dies, the shadow may very well become untethered and unstoppable.
The scientist’s intimate connection with the villain, his shadow, is vital to this episode. On the one hand, both are so similar that they cannot be separated. They share the same form, the same mannerisms, and they move as one. On the other hand, both are so opposite that it seems as though they should not be forced to occupy the same space. The scientist himself is terrified of hurting those around him, while his shadow is both unaware and apathetic to the chaos that it causes. The Scientist is visible, while the shadow exists in darkness. Both the scientist and the shadow are simultaneously exactly the same and completely opposite from one another. Consequentially, the only way for either to exist peacefully and as a whole is for the other to be destroyed.
We are used to the concept that the brighter the light, the safer the environment. However, the brighter the light, the more looming and dark our shadow becomes. Good could not exist in the absence of evil. I couldn’t imagine being so intimately connected to an apathetic and unfeeling killer, but at the same time it seems as though each member of the human race has the capacity for evil such as this shadow. I believe that the shadow in this episode could represent that evil that resides in us all. It’s the same reason we are so concerned with home security monitoring – to ensure that those kinds of people are kept out of our home and away from our loved ones. It’s the same reason I make sure I’m connected to a reliable Sherman home security system. We are all aware of man’s capacity for evil and we all see the need to take precautions against those who would give in to it.