The X-Files Movie Part 2: I had you big time.

Scully: [Jiggles door handle] Oh! Now what?
Mulder: It’s locked?
Scully: [Jiggles handle again] So much for anticipating the unforeseen.
Mulder: [Tries the door in panic and it opens easily]
Scully: [Smirks widely] I had you.
Mulder: No you didn’t.
Scully: Oh yeah. I had you big time.
Mulder: You had nothing. Come on, I saw you jiggle the handle.

Before we can talk about the infamous hallway scene, we have to discuss how well Chris Carter set it up for us.

I mentioned in Part 1 how effective the introduction of Mulder and Scully is on the rooftop in Dallas. Not only does the movie establish, in a funny and memorable way, the personality of these two individuals, it also perfectly illustrates the dynamics of their relationship and, more importantly, it waves a magic wand and turns the entire audience into lifelong Shippers.

I kid, but not really. It’s important that the connection and affection between these two is such that you want them to kiss by the time we make it to the hallway, or else the moment has no power. For long time fans of the show, we’re already there – well, the sane among us, anyway.

Don’t think I exaggerate when I say that the success of the whole film rests on this two-minute scene. If the dynamics here don’t work, then the audience sure as heck won’t understand why Mulder later braves a frozen wilderness to bring this woman home. Emotionally, the rest of the movie won’t make sense.

Scully: Are you drunk, Mulder?
Mulder: I was until about 20 minutes ago, yeah.
Scully: Was that before or after you decided to come here?
Mulder: …What exactly are you implying?

That’s a good question. I certainly didn’t understand what she was implying till, oh, about this time last year. That’s twelve years of ignorance.

Why would Scully think that Mulder would drop by her place drunk and stupid to say or do something he shouldn’t say or do? Well, her threat to quit is weighing heavily on her sleepless mind and she knows it must be weighing on Mulder’s as well. Perhaps she thinks he might put the moves on her with alcohol clouding his judgment, which would mean she already knows there’s something between them. If she does, this is the first she’s ever indicated it. Or perhaps she’s afraid he’ll make an embarrassing scene by begging her not to leave. But he’s not ready to do that quite yet.

I personally lean toward the latter based on their history, but then the dialogue implies that Scully thinks Mulder is there to hit on her like a drunken frat boy. Maybe in another twelve years I’ll get it.

Mulder: What are my choices?
Scully: About a hundred miles of nothing in both directions.
Mulder: Well, which way do you think they went?
Scully: Well, you got two choices. One of them’s wrong.
Mulder: I think they went left.
Scully: I don’t know why, I think they went right.
Mulder: [After a moment’s mental deliberation, speeds off straight ahead into the desert, avoiding both choices] Five years together, Scully. How many times I been wrong?
Scully: [Silence]
Mulder: Never!
Scully: [Silence]
Mulder: Not driving, anyway.

Thanks to a significant hint from the movie itself, (Actually, it’s less like a hint and more like a neon sign when Strughold discusses the thing that Mulder can’t live without and looks up meaningfully right before we cut to a screen full of Scully), the audience now knows that Mulder and Scully aren’t merely partners and friends, Scully is the most important thing in Mulder’s life.

This is another one of those moments with double benefits. Those new to The X-Files can now be sure of the depth of Mulder and Scully’s relationship, something they need to understand before the intensity of the hallway scene shocks them. And for us regulars, we finally get to hear it since neither Mulder nor Scully have ever openly admitted it. Everything about their relationship is implied and understood, it’s never been explicit… until now.

We jump from that gleeful revelation to another scene that’s symbolic, indicative of Mulder and Scully’s entire partnership. Do we go left? Do we go right? No. We split the difference and that’s how we arrive at the truth. Alone, neither Mulder nor Scully would get anywhere. Yet another moment to illustrate the fact that Mulder really can’t succeed in his quest without Scully. Without her, he would have turned left and missed the evidence he was looking for.

So now we’re sure Mulder is both emotionally and practically dependent on Scully. Cue the bee.

Mulder: What’s wrong?
Scully: Salt Lake City, Utah. Transfer effective immediately. I already gave Skinner my letter of resignation.
Mulder: You can’t quit now, Scully.
Scully: I can, Mulder. I debated whether or not even to tell you in person, because I knew…
Mulder: We are close to something here! We’re on the verge!
Scully: You’re on the verge, Mulder. Please don’t do this to me.
Mulder: After what you saw last night, after all you’ve seen, you can just walk away?
Scully: I have. I did, it’s done.
Mulder: I need you on this, Scully.
Scully: You don’t need me, Mulder. You never have. I’ve just held you back.
Mulder: [Stunned silence]
Scully: I got to go. [Walks out]
Mulder: [Chases her down the hallway] You want to tell yourself that so you can quit with a clear conscience, you can, but you’re wrong!
Scully: Why did they assign me to you in the first place, Mulder? To debunk your work, to rein you in, to shut you down…
Mulder: But you saved me! As difficult and as frustrating as it’s been sometimes, your G-d-d strict rationalism and science have saved me a thousand times over! You’ve kept me honest! You’ve made me a whole person! I owe you everything, Scully, and you owe me nothing. I don’t know if I want to do this alone. I don’t even know if I can. And if I quit now, they win.

Oh, where to start?

Let’s start back at the end of Season 5. Remember, even though the plot of this movie is meant to be such that a new viewer can follow along it doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Yes, you can absolutely understand and enjoy what’s going on here without the backstory, but to fully appreciate the depth of it you have to have been watching for a while, long enough to know what a breakthrough this moment is for these characters, long enough to consider the emotional context.

When we left Mulder and Scully in “The End” (5×20), they were not only dealing with the trauma of the X-Files being burnt to a crisp, but an emotional monkey wrench was thrown into their relationship with the arrival of Diana Fowley, Mulder’s one-time partner and lover. Fowley, like Mulder, is a true believer and Mulder for once gets to enjoy having someone accept his theories at face value rather than pick them apart. To his credit, though, when Fowley hints that her Yes Man services would have been more useful to him than Scully’s science he straightens out that misunderstanding right quick.

The problem is, he forgot to straighten out that same misunderstanding with Scully herself. See, Scully has always prided herself on two things: Being the person that Mulder trusts (an issue that will be addressed in the Season 6 premier) and being the person that Mulder needs. However unscientific Mulder himself may be, nary a case goes by that he doesn’t coerce Scully into some all important autopsy or beg her to run tests on some barely tangible evidence. Rather than Scully’s science debunking Mulder’s work as the conspirators originally intended in sending her to him, Scully’s science has been the one thing that’s given the X-Files legitimacy.

Why then would Scully say something as silly as, “You don’t need me, Mulder. You never have. I’ve just been holding you back?” Well, the shorthand that Mulder has with Fowley and their obvious meeting of the minds has eroded Scully’s confidence in her relationship with Mulder and this is really where this statement of hers comes from, not from anything that’s happened over the course of the film, which is evidence that she’s been indulging in a pity party long before the hallway. It’s not that she’s so juvenile as to think he doesn’t value her at all, her behavior up to this point doesn’t indicate that. But the idea has entered her mind that Mulder needed and preferred a type of Diana Fowley all along, someone who understands and believes in what he does. Scully doesn’t believe in what Mulder does, she believes in Mulder.

It’s a good thing that her faith in him is precisely what Mulder wants. For his part, Mulder responds to this seemingly random admission the only way he can, stunned silence. After her statements earlier in the film it doesn’t come as a surprise to Mulder that Scully wants to quit, what stuns him is why she’s ready to go and that it has nothing to do with Dallas. He can’t possibly have known what Scully was feeling and you can watch realization and the emotions it brings cross his face once she tells him. I could play indignant and try to blame Mulder for never telling his partner how much he appreciates her, but it’s not his fault. This is how Mulder and Scully’s relationship works; it’s like an iceberg where the bulk of their emotions are kept down below with just the tip visible, and that only in good weather.

Yes, their relationship is mainly built on what they don’t say, but that doesn’t mean they don’t communicate their feelings, quite the contrary. They do it all the time! They just do it silently in a mix of intense In fact, most of Mulder and Scully’s best moments involve little to no dialogue. They don’t need it and it would be superfluous. For instance, even in this scene most of the intensity builds after Mulder stops talking. You can read every emotion that crosses their faces as if they were written words. But I digress.

Normally, the understanding between them is rock solid because their eyes and actions perform a more efficient service than their words could ever do. But the recent erosion of Scully’s confidence means that, for once, Mulder is going to have to be explicit. He has one shot to convince Scully of how much she means to him because if she makes it to the elevator, she’s gone.

A touching speech ensues where Mulder lays his neediness out for Scully’s inspection. Never one to resist Mulder’s puppy dog face, Scully silently caves in. Now the two of them are basking in the shared glow of mutual adoration and those still watching are either silently holding their breath or squealing in anticipation. Finally, all those years of pent up attraction are about to be rewarded – is that what’s really happening here?

A passionate kiss is on the verge of taking place, but I don’t believe it’s passionate because their lust boileth over, it’s an overflow of mutual admiration. It’s not that Mulder and Scully aren’t attracted to each other as people, it’s just that I don’t think typical boy-girl attraction is what ignites this moment or their relationship in general. These sentimental emotions of theirs in regards to each other have reached the point where they are so powerful that they have no way to express themselves except in the physical. Once you love someone that much how can you merely say it? Mulder and Scully keep a sharp leash on their emotions, so once they finally boil over keeping them in check is impossible and the kiss is inevitable.

That is, it would be if evil didn’t run rampant in the earth.

Before these two can consummate their long-simmering feelings, before the audience can experience the sweet release of the butterflies in their tummies, a bee buzzes in and takes it all away.

It’s sadism. Pure and simple.

I can’t say I expected any different from Chris Carter, although every time I see this part of me thinks he gets a special sort of pleasure from torturing his audience. No, we all knew it wasn’t really going to happen. For myself, I knew I wanted it but I also knew I didn’t really want it. If they had actually gone through with the kiss us fans wouldn’t have had as much to look forward to. Worse, if they had, for the sake of drama there would have been nothing for the writers to do but split them up again. And God forbid that the Mulder/Scully relationship had turned into an on again off again soap opera.

This is still a point of no return because even if Mulder and Scully don’t kiss, it’s obvious that they wanted to, and both of them know that the other wanted to, which is even more significant. The question is, how long can they feign ignorance and ignore that fact? As I said, they’re experts at keeping silent.

Mulder: [Performing CPR] Geez, breathe! Breathe, breathe, breathe!
Scully: [Coughs]
Mulder: Breathe in, breathe in, breathe!
Scully: [Mouths something]
Mulder: [Leans in to hear]
Scully: I had you big time.
Mulder: [Chuckles]

The kiss is a no go, so 1013 compromises and gives us a mouth-to-mouth resuscitation scene. And it’s not just a physical resolution to the earlier hallway scene; it’s emotional as well with Mulder stroking her face and her teasing him. For a moment they smile at each other in a room full of ravenous aliens as if they have all the time in the world.

[Imbecilic Grin]

The entire sequence where Mulder (mostly) carries a barely conscious Scully through the spaceship and out to safety… Mulder’s finest hour. I willingly ignore how impossible it all is, the climbing, the falling, the survival, because the whole thing makes me teary eyed and, dang it, that’s a rarity. I can almost hear what Scully’s thinking after they’ve made it to safety and she cradles an exhausted Mulder in her arms, “This precious, precious man.”

So they (inexplicably) make it home and life returns to normal, no evidence and no honor. Mulder is acutely aware of that fact but Scully… she’s holding her head a little higher. Could it be because someone in this world could sing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” to her and actually mean it?

Is this what causes Scully’s newfound confidence at the O.P.R. panel? Well, I can tell you what doesn’t. It’s not that Scully has seen anything more to convince her of the truth of what she’s saying. She was knocked out after that virus hit her and she has no real knowledge of what went down in Antarctica. No, I think Scully is more certain than ever that her place is at Mulder’s side and if that means that along with him she’ll be a martyr before the panel or the entire F.B.I., so be it. She’s needed.

Mulder: No. No. How many times have we been here before, Scully? Right here. So close to the truth. And now with what we’ve seen and what we know to be right back at the beginning with nothing.
Scully: This is different, Mulder.
Mulder: No it isn’t! You were right to want to quit! You’re right to want to leave me! You should get as far away from me as you can! I’m not going to watch you die, Scully, because of some hollow personal cause of mine. Go be a doctor. Go be a doctor while you still can. {Editor’s Note: ::noisy sniff::}
Scully: I can’t. I won’t. Mulder, I’ll be a doctor but my work is here with you now. And that virus that I was exposed to, whatever it is, it has a cure. You held it in your hand. How many other lives can we save? Look… if I quit now, they win. {Editor’s Note: She’ll forget every word of this speech in 5, 4, 3, 2…}


Lovely Reader, if you had any idea how much mental energy I expended on this movie this weekend you would be ashamed for me. I am ashamed for me, but it had to be done. This is my Once and For All.

What else can I say that I haven’t already exclaimed over in detail? I could nitpick editorial goofs, or run through a play-by-play of every emotion on Mulder and Scully’s face during the hallway scene, but all things must end and this is as good a place as any.

I merely add that the only OTP is this OTP. All others will try and fail.


Bee Pollen:

After having deep, heartfelt discussions with myself about this movie and this scene all weekend and coming to the conclusions above, I watched it yet again with both the 2008 and 1998 commentaries and was rewarded not only by hearing Chris Carter confirm that the mouth-to-mouth scene was indeed meant to bring the hallway scene full circle physically, but by Rob Bowman beautifully explaining that the kiss Mulder and Scully verge on completing comes not out of lust but out of overwhelming respect. I feel so justified and self-complacent right now that I have, quite literally, patted myself on the back with both hands.

The near kiss is preceded by the first kiss of any sort they’ve ever shared that was initiated by Scully. Mulder kissed her forehead in “Memento Mori” (4×15) and Mulder kissed her hand in “Redux II” (5×3). Maybe it was the fact that Scully showed some blatant affection this time that made Mulder think he could take it a step further since we know that some romantic notions were already a-twinge in the man’s soul.

That “I have no allergy” line may be one of the most foolish lines The X-Files ever gave us, since a preexisting allergy isn’t in the least a prerequisite for an allergic reaction. You can eat sunflower seeds all your life and then one day, boom. Scully, being a doctor, would be aware of that, bee sting or no bee sting. But, hey, I guess they had to establish for the audience that what was happening to Scully was diabolical and not routine.

When Scully says, “Please don’t do this to me,” it gets me every time.

Who else thinks Mulder and Scully disturbed the neighbors?

I don’t believe I’ve ever made it the whole way through the hallway with two eyes wide open. I have to squint like a schoolgirl or watch through my fingers.

“That’s the theme of the movie: Mulder needs Scully. And never before has he come to that understanding quite so strongly as he does in this story.” – Rob Bowman

It’s a not-so-well-kept secret that Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny asked to film a version of the hallway scene where they went through with the kiss. This version, different than the gag reel one, is now loose on the internet. Search at your own risk.

“I’m not gonna watch you die, Scully, because of some hollow, personal cause of mine.” I’m sorry, what was that, Mulder? Please repeat.

To show you how observant I am, I have seen this film exactly 1,976 times and I only just realized that while Mulder is wearing a t-shirt up on that Dallas rooftop, Scully has on a full suit under her F.B.I. jacket.

67 responses to “The X-Files Movie Part 2: I had you big time.

  1. You have… You did….It’s done….You have written ANOTHER great review!

    “Do we go left? Do we go right? No. We split the difference and that’s how we arrive at the truth. Alone, neither Mulder nor Scully would get anywhere.” OK, seriously, were you trying to bring me to tears with this line? Amazing.

    At 14, I also didn’t know exactly what Scully meant when she was asking Mulder if he had decided to come to her apartment because he was drunk. Over the years I have come to realize (like you) that she was thinking that in some desperate last-ditch attempt to make her stay he was going to come onto her, but also I think that they did that to build the question in the minds of those new to the X-Files, who were being introduced to these characters for the first time. Those of us who knew the duo would think “Hmmm, what’s he got up his sleeve this time?” while newbies would use that little piece to build up to the hallway scene.

    I have to note that I also love that in Mulder and Scully’s last conversation of this movie, Mulder says “You were right to want to leave me! You should get as far away from me as you can!” Um… Freudian slip, much? Don’t you mean “You were right to want to leave THE BUREAU AND THE X-FILES! You should get as far away from THEM as you can!” Ah, but that’s why we love Mulder, isn’t it? His persistent personalization of things and that self righteous, narcissistic, egotistical, paramasturbatory (thank you Ghosts Who Stole Christmas 🙂 ) “mulderness” is what makes him so great and and keeps Scully (and us) coming back for more!

    • I wasn’t trying to make you cry but if I did, it’s an added benefit. Chris Carter’s sadism is contagious.

      Speaking of Mulder getting drunk and coming on to Scully, I can’t prove it, but I strongly feel like his drunkenness is mostly due to Scully’s announcement that she’ll probably quit and less about being blamed for the deaths of 5 people. He seemed perfectly Okay until Scully speaks to him in the F.B.I. hallway and he gets that dazed look on his face. Of course, we didn’t see his O.P.R. session. Maybe it was brutal.

      For once, Mulder’s narcissism is spot on because this really was about him. This is yet another one of those truths about their relationship that hadn’t been said out loud but that both of them understood. Maybe between the bee and the ice Mulder felt like there was no need to throw a blanket over the elephant in the room any more. Scully’s heart was breaking over leaving the F.B.I.? Psh. It’s a government job.

      P.S. ❤ ❤ ❤

  2. I may or may not have had a giant grin on my face the entire time I was reading this.

    Seriously, this is such a thorough and insightful analysis of their relationship. It’s great. And I just love these two. I remember seeing this in the theaters and knowing that there was no way a kiss would actually happen but still thinking and hoping and wishing and praying. 🙂

    One of the things I have always loved about this show and how it dealt with Mulder and Scully’s relationship was its subtlety. Because so many things are between the lines, you can interpret them in your own way. At the same time, sometimes I just wanted some more concrete expression of their feelings — not over the top, but something. I like what you said about the movie being one of the first times that this thing between them, and what they mean to each other, was ever really made explicit . . . I always found it so validating.

    I feel like I should have so much more to say, but I think you said it all!

    Oh wait, one thing: “This is still a point of no return because even if Mulder and Scully don’t kiss, it’s obvious that they wanted to, and both of them know that the other wanted to, which is even more significant. The question is, how long can they feign ignorance and ignore that fact?”

    Apparently, a REALLY LONG TIME.

    • I had a giant grin on my face the entire time I was watching… and I’ve watched innumerable times so that says a lot… a lot, a lot. Probably more than we should get into at this hour. 😉

      I agree whole-heartedly with that description: Validating. That was the reward was feeling validated and assured that we were reading between the lines properly. Just a little confirmation to keep us watching.

  3. Whoa, this must the shippiest shipper review I have ever read. You did yourself proud with this one. 🙂

    I guess I have to talk about the scene in Scully’s apartment because I ALWAYS thought that she implying what we thought she was implying. What I always loved about that scene is that Mulder seemed really taken aback that she was suggesting it. I love that. He shows up so he can take her away to investigate conspiracies and have her do an autopsy and seems surprised that she thinks he’s thinking about drunkenly coming on to her. I find that strangely hillarious. Even when drunk his heart and mind is consumed by a devotion to find the truth and not in trying to try it on with his beautiful partner. 😀

    As for my own personal perferences of the shipper scenes in this movie, I understand why the hallway scene is everyone’s favourite, but for me, it’s the final scene between them that’s my personal favourite of the film. There’s something about Mulder’s “get as far away from me as you can” line followed by Scully’s “if I quit now, they win” response that I just adore.

    PS-Great write up, as always Salome.

    • It’s probably the shippiest thing I’ve ever written aloud. I can only do so much of this before my head explodes but there’s a lot of Ship being sailed in the upcoming season so I suppose I had better gird myself and prepare.

      That moment when Mulder is so nonplussed is funny and it’s funnier now that I get it. And I certainly can’t fault you for preferring that final moment before all others. And to think, it almost didn’t happen! It was originally a scene between Mulder and CSM.

  4. Your reviews on FTF make me want to watch the movie right away – *grabs DVD* – because you pointed out so many things that I never conciously thought of, e.g. splitting the differences or Scully’s motives behind her “You don’t need me.” speech. Thanks so much for the work you put in every review, not just this one. Although I like “shipper talk” best. I’m already rubbing my hands with anticipation for season 6…

  5. Salome,
    May I just begin by thanking you for taking the time and trouble to give the
    ship angle so much attention? I don’t think I have read a review like this anywhere else, and as this was the first one of yours that I read, finding it was like finding a diamond in the desert . Sorry, I’ll stop drooling now. Thanks for your wonderful insights. As others have already commented, you’ve made me think about the real meaning or implication of some bits of dialogue. I also want to do a re-watch RIGHT NOW, although I haven’t watched it anywhere near as often as you have! Further comments from me are probably superfluous at this point . One final thought though (let’s just speculate a little) – supposing the bee had not struck , where do you think the kiss would have led (relationship-wise), and do you think Mulder thought that it was a good way to ‘reel her in’ to keep her onside (not my personal view, but one I ‘ve heard exponded elsewhere on t’internet)? I’d be interested to hear what your take is…!

    • I’m just glad to hear I didn’t rock the boat with all this Shipping (pun intended). 😉

      As far as where it would have gone, I don’t know that Mulder and Scully were absolutely ready for their relationship to reach that stage, by that I don’t mean that the emotions weren’t there, but with all the chaos still around them… the unanswered questions, the monkey wrench of Diana Fowley, the fact that Mulder’s quest was still all-consuming… I’m not so sure it wouldn’t have caused them more pain than good, looking back that is. At the time, I was all for it, but ultimately I’m happy with the way it played out. And Mulder, he’s too artless for such a thing!

  6. Glad you agree about Mulder – I couldn’t bring myself to believe that he would be manipulative enough to “reel Scully in”. It just isn’t consistent with his character. Sigh.

  7. I saw this movie twice on opening night (yeah…that’s just how I roll); the first time, the biggest laugh came at the beginning of the film, with the time stamp and location for the cavemen. The second time through, the big laugh was when Scully asked if it was before or after he decided to show up. Lots of cat calls and wolf whistles and laughter. Just shy of my 17th birthday, I had NO idea what she meant (just goes to show what an innocent/how lame I was). And I’m a little ashamed to admit that it probably wasn’t until a few years ago that I figured it out. In all fairness, I never gave it much thought in the interim, but still. However, as entertaining as that part is, all I can focus on during that scene is how, at 3am, Scully looks ready for a fashion shoot; perfect makeup, even skin, lips done. And I’m sorry, but when I’m laying on my back, in my jammies and ready for bed, certain parts of me aren’t quite so…perky…as Scully’s are. That, and the hair NEVER MOVES. Lying in bed, running through a cornfield chased by helicopters and the hair comes out unscathed. How much hairspray did they put in poor Gillian Anderson’s hair to achieve this look?

    One of my favorite anecdotes about people’s reaction to the hallway scene was Tea Leoni’s, actually. I remember reading that she said, as she was watching the movie for the first time, that she was leaning forward in her seat, yelling at the screen, “Kiss her! Kiss her!” I always get a kick out of that. I’ve never been a fan of Leoni’s, but I do enjoy the fact that despite being married to half of one of the best duo’s ever, she’s a shipper and wears that banner with pride.

    My reaction to the hallway scene…doesn’t matter how many times I’ve seen the movie, I seem to subconsciously think that if I just lean forward a little more, that’ll make the kiss happen. Seriously–every time, I’m on the edge of my seat and I tense up and I just hope–HOPE–that something will change and it’ll happen. I love that this one moment can still have this effect on me 13.5 years later. Plus, Mark Snow’s score doesn’t hurt the mood.

    Since I’ve mentioned Mark Snow, I’d like to say how much I love the music of “Crater Hug.” Gives me chills EVERY DAMN TIME. Plus…he reused a lot of FTF music for some earlier episodes of Smallville.

    I think, to me, what one of the hardest parts of this movie is now is knowing what “The Beginning” will bring. He traveled to, literally, the end of the world to save this woman, and then decides to be an ass? She has decided, for better or for worse, that she’s by his side, her life and reputation be damned, and all of a sudden, the science and rationalism that have saved him a thousand times over is just wrong? And all because the Fowl One’s presence. As much as I love season 6–and I do love it completely–the end of the movie always makes me a little sad, and that’s because I know Mulder’s about to be a giant douche.

    But, I’m getting ahead of ourselves.

    • I saw this movie twice on opening night (yeah…that’s just how I roll)

      ROFL!!! Oh, man.

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who didn’t get the joke, because I kid you not when I say that flew right over my head many, many times. I just sort of dismissed it as a throwaway line.

      One of my favorite anecdotes about people’s reaction to the hallway scene was Tea Leoni’s, actually. I remember reading that she said, as she was watching the movie for the first time, that she was leaning forward in her seat, yelling at the screen, “Kiss her! Kiss her!” I always get a kick out of that. I’ve never been a fan of Leoni’s, but I do enjoy the fact that despite being married to half of one of the best duo’s ever, she’s a shipper and wears that banner with pride.

      This absolutely cracked me up, but it doesn’t surprise me. It was Tea Leoni’s doing that the movie has that little moment where Mulder gently takes Scully out of the pod. I swear, between her and DD I’m not sure a couple ever shipped Mulder and Scully harder. The irony.

      And believe me, if I hadn’t remembered that Triangle was coming up in two episodes to relieve the pain of that scene in The Beginning, I would’ve forsworn the unwritten laws of my rewatch and gone back to FTF to comfort myself.

  8. Ah, Jeez. I’m just finding this site. It’s 12:29am and I’ve just finished reading Part 1 and 2 of your review for FTF. And all I can think is, “I want to re-watch XF. NOW. And not just FTF, but the whole effin’ series!” But definitely FTF to watch with new eyes, fresh ears, listen and look for the nuances I’ve missed over the years that now, after having read your review, I’m thinking “WTF was I thinking? How’d I miss THAT?” Thanks for an amazing review. 🙂

    • An X-Files overdose at 12:30am? Somewhere Chris Carter should be very proud! Go, you should. Go back and watch the whole thing because it doesn’t disappoint.

      I don’t know how you got here but I’m glad you did!

  9. Wonderful review. My heart is both filled with reverence, and aching because I know how much they’re going to go through next. There’s just something about these two – God, I don’t even think I can explain it, but luckily I don’t have to because you already know.

  10. I just found this sight a few days ago and have been LOVING your reviews. Anything I could say would be redundant in light of what you and everyone else has said, but I must say that your statement about this being the OTP above all other OTP’s is so true. And I just came to this epiphany like last week or something (apparently I’m slow with these fictional relationships). I think the one reason I love these two characters together so much is because I love them as both completely platonic and in a relationship. When I started watching this show (I came to it in re-runs on FX), I was so caught up in their platonic friendship of mutual respect that it almost smacked me in the face when I saw the hallway scene and all that came after it…But then, after a moment of thought, it just came to me as, “Yeah, that makes total sense.” My point being, the MSR wouldn’t be as powerful if they didn’t have such a great, respectful friendship before hand.
    Also, (and I just noticed this when I watched the movie (probably for the 30th time; I’m a wee grasshopper to your re-watch Kung Fu)) I LOVE how Mulder even gave Scully shoes or socks or whatever they were in the alien space ship. I don’t even care that it doesn’t make sense where they came from, it just makes my little shipper heart jump that he even thought to give her footwear so that she wouldn’t catch too much of a chill in the extreme cold. I’m long passed the 13 year old in me that was in love with David Duchovny, but just seeing those little booties on her feet literally made me say, “Awwwww, he even gave her socks!!! I want to marry a guy like Mulder (well, not as insane as him, but still).” I actually think I had this epiphany while I was mowing the lawn right after rewatching the movie, which says how much this movie makes me think, but I digress….
    Anyway, great review(s)! I can’t wait to see some of your reviews from season 7, particularly Orison, which is one of my favorite episodes : )

  11. Hi all, I remember the kiss scene and was psyched out when they were about to kiss.I do think CC at another conference stated they were to have M&S kiss and then he takes her to to bed, and when S is getting redressed that is when she gets stung. He then said no, it was too soon to have them in the series in a relationship. So we got what we got. He should have kept it the original way. It was time for them tether.o get together.

  12. … yeah, THAT’S what happened!

    I had to skip sections of this “review” for obvious reasons. But you made some salient points, most notably the part about secretly hoping the kiss never happens. It’s all about the tension and tease with you gals; if they did kiss, you’d wished it never happened! Also, part about watching it through “split fingers” was particularly amusing. I admit, I was like that too! That scene and my reaction to it was embarassing! shame on me.

    As for the first part of your review, I loved it. It was appropriately cynical. The story was full of gigantic plot holes (I didn’t even fully realize the first coincidence you mention of them somehow being at the bomb building of an alien coverup..). But for some reason I still really enjoyed this movie. I think it was the high production look, and the acting was really well done. The movie was beautiful and entertaining; I think if it were a 2-part show, I might not have liked it nearly as much, most probably due to the giant problems in the story.

    I’m glad Chris Carter didn’t direct it, but I wish he brought in Vince Gilligan to cowrite the screenplay. It would have been a lot better.

  13. When I first saw the movie it was on TV. yeah I was a slow shipper, But I loved it and went out immediately to get the DVD. i watched it maybe 20 times, How I love a man that would go to the arctic for the love a woman. oh Mulder where have you been all my life. That is love, romance at its finest. A real love story without anyone dying.

  14. I love Chris Carter and think he is a gifted man But…I too hope he has someone as well as Frank Spotnitz writing the X File 3 script. I hope Tony Warmby or Rob Bowman directs or with him.

  15. You are such a wonderful writer and annalist. I’m being a bit of a fan girl here, I am aware.

    When I was 15, I had pictures of Mulder and Scully and quotes quietly hidden in my room but where I could see them when I fell asleep. I only had the season 5 boxset, which means the season still means the most for me but having watched all the way up to that part (and now reaching the movie) I realise that was the season where they’re relationship really evolved into something very different and a lot deeper. I think the movie is the climax to that gear shift and from then on up it’s all a go and hyper-tense emotionally speaking. I over-analyzed every second of that near kiss too, I remember. Even to the point where I remember thinking (over a decade ago) that there are two Scully hesitations -one where she’s all ‘Ha… yeah, cause, like we’re actually going to do this….’ and then more of a … ‘Oh, God, we’re actually doing this…’ So I hear ya.

    I watched this movie first as a kid and now and a half-blown adult I see so much more depth and meaning that ever before. So I appreciated this post more that you can imagine. Would love an eight hour chat over tea with SOMEONE over this whole series and the movie itself but alas. Talking to myself, squeeing in the dark with my brie and grapes (like a boss) and reading your wonderful, wonderful posts will do me just fine.

    Peace out (I assume) sister,


    • And now I have to check out the kiss scene and find those little hesitation moments you described. I can’t believe how fascinating it still is after all those years.

      I feel kind of creepy (like a boss ;))

      • Haha. I just saw this, be fascinating to hear your thoughts. I’m re-watching and rereading (I can’t do one without the other- Salome has changed the X-Files for me forever. I think I lover her a little). My mind is blown not just by the genius of this show but the fandom. I fall in love with it all and understand it all a little more each time, but I adore more than anything that there are people everywhere to whom this show means a great deal. It’s magical to me that sites and blogs like this exist, where we can congregate and where somebody as smart and passionate as Salome can put into words exactly how we feel. SHE GETS IT. I agree with everything she says. And it’s become part of the show for me. I love this film. I love this show. Peace.

        • Yeah, it’s great to know that someone knows exactly what you feel – even if it’s related to a rather intense fandom of something… well… fictional. That’s probably what makes it quite weird and I can’t figure out to this day how people were able (and still are after all this years) to analize the connection between people who doesn’t exist. It’s unbelievable, but I want to believe, heh 😉 Everytime I rewatch the series (or the first movie, because the second one is kind of a disaster for me and I avoid remembering it at all costs 😉 I get back to this blog, so the author can tell me what I feel. Yes, that sounds very disturbing. Cheers!

          • I agree on everything- esp. IWTB- that you just said. Philes-unite. Peace-Px

            • The IWTB movie just lacks the tension I guess. Plus the story is cringeworthy in my opinion. I kind of understand that after the apocalypse from the series it was pretty difficult to get to the X Files mythology and they had to find a way around it. But still… so bad. Anticlimactic, dull, lacking the atmosphere, nonsense. I wish it was never made to be honest, it was like watching the sequel of the reboot of the sequel of a bad interpretation of the series.

    • When I was about 9 or 10, I was religiously noting qoutes from every episode. Of course, I couldn’t keep up with the series while I was writing them down, but I believed I could remember the episodes better that way. I still got those things somewhere, I just couldn’t throw them away.

      • I hear that. I used to rewind and rewatch and rewind and rewatch certain sections. I’ve just realised I couldn’t have been 15 at all, but about 12 or 13. They were like a kind of parental couple for me and I used to think about them all the time.

    • Dear Soul Sister,

      I am always up for The X-Files and tea… or coffee… and then another round of tea. Because I actually CAN sit here and discuss this all freakin’ day. Sick? It may be. But it is what it is.

      So we can indulge and then we can walk each other to rehab where I’m sure they’ll be serving brie and grapes. ‘Cause that’s how sci-fi gangsters get down.

  16. I don’t know if it’s just me, but during the hallway scene right when Mulder’s about to kiss her Scully’s facial expression changes and for a teensy second it looks like she’s thinking “Oh shit.” But in a good way, if that makes any sense.

    I love these two to death. Your review is, as always, fantastic. 🙂

    • Yes yes! I totally agree! (See me comment above). I love it! 🙂

    • I saw it too. The scene is waaaay too overanalyzed by me. But it seems like a normal thing to do among the “shippers” (I’m not a fan of that word!)

      • I agree. Takes away the magic a bit to be honest. Especially as because it’s in the movie it’s technically weird metta canon and not part of the show’s overall narrative/characterisation (I think). I like the point about where they are though to bring them there. The term ‘shipper’, as now used by every fandom everywhere, was actually coined due to/by the X-Files fans. As DD said, they were the first online fandom.

        • Exactly. I found out that there’s a term for that quite late and didn’t like it at all. To me it was purely natural and a bit magical from the beginning. If it wasn’t I would grow out of that, and I didn’t. I find it ridiculous that almost every series nowadays has a couple now. I tried to watch a bit of them and I’m always like “That is soooo Muldeer&Scully, but sooo poorly done” and seconds later I decide it’s painful to watch copycats.

          • To me it was purely natural and a bit magical from the beginning. If it wasn’t I would grow out of that, and I didn’t. I find it ridiculous that almost every series nowadays has a couple now. I tried to watch a bit of them and I’m always like “That is soooo Muldeer&Scully, but sooo poorly done” and seconds later I decide it’s painful to watch copycats.

            You should really get out of my head. It’s kinda creepy.

            • I’m glad I’m not alone with this feeling. I know there’s nothing wrong with adding some tension between two main character even in the very beginning of the series (well, it’s not like “Pilot” was tension-free either), but does it has to be so obvious? And even if the X-Files wasn’t the first one to experiment with that formula (first one with the same vibe “Moonlighting” for me, but I’m sure it was ‘invented’ earlier), it surely was the most succesful at it. Right now they are trying the copy&paste method on it, and at developing characters. It became a very obvious scheme.

              PS: I’m really glad you’re back, Salome! Can’t wait to sink my teeth into all these new posts & responses (yes, I read with my teeth).

              • Everyone keeps trying to recreate Mulder & Scully through artificial means. They think they’ve figured out the formula. But just because you can physically clone a creature doesn’t mean you can breathe into it the breath of life.


                Thank you!!! Chewing is good for the digestion.

    • She does! She does!!

      Gillian’s face is like an open book.

  17. I think “shipper” has become a term to describe someone who will put any two characters together, regardless of their chemistry. You’ll notice that ships nowadays have cutsie names that combine the names of the two characters in question. I’m not really sure where the term originated, but it has changed in a big way since its first usage, which was probably for Mulder and Scully. Notice how differently X-Philes approach the Mulder/Scully relationship. We call it MSR, but notice how that’s not a cutsie name or even something that refers to the people directly. It refers to a phenomenon that, if you want my humble opinion, transcends terminology. That’s why so much of what Mulder and Scully mean to one another isn’t expressed in words – it doesn’t have to be said. And while I would like to see Mulder and Scully doing more lovey dovey stuff as much as the next girl, a part of me knows it would alter the dynamic of what is possibly the most unique, well done, and truly touching relationship that has ever been put on screen.

    I’m saying this as a person who generally avoids romance, in more than one medium, and also as a self-declared cynic. The Mulder and Scully relationship makes me flail, and I’m not ashamed. It doesn’t happen to me for anyone else. I’ve always believed, and I think it’s very clear Salome does too, that while the paranormal aspect of the show is very cool and unique, the show is, at its core, about Mulder and Scully. And I would go on and on about this, but I’m actually in the process of writing an X-Files blog myself and I need to save my shipper rants for that. 🙂

    • And while I would like to see Mulder and Scully doing more lovey dovey stuff as much as the next girl, a part of me knows it would alter the dynamic of what is possibly the most unique, well done, and truly touching relationship that has ever been put on screen.

      I’m saying this as a person who generally avoids romance, in more than one medium, and also as a self-declared cynic. The Mulder and Scully relationship makes me flail, and I’m not ashamed. It doesn’t happen to me for anyone else. I’ve always believed, and I think it’s very clear Salome does too, that while the paranormal aspect of the show is very cool and unique, the show is, at its core, about Mulder and Scully.

      Salome does. Oh, Salome does. She feels exactly like this.

  18. What I don’t understand is how they could go an entire movie without once mentioning the apocalypse. I mean, they established in the finale that Mulder wouldn’t give up, and lo and behold that’s what he’s doing in IWTB. IWTB doesn’t really understand its characters as much as the show does, WHICH IS WHY WE NEED A THIRD MOVIE. XF3!!!!

    (By the way I think there’s a petition on to greenlight XF3. There’s still hope!!!)

    • This petition is everything- thank you for bringing it to my attention. As for MSR, I completely agree with you. It transcends the paradigms of not only the traditional male/female relationship but every fictional TV duo (note, not couple) that has come after it. Their attraction is based on respect and admiration, not the manifestation of boy-girl attraction or need. It isn’t whimsical, or planned, but like a lot of real life relationships, just happens organically. Even as an 11 year old I picked up on this being deeper than anything else I’d ever see. I’m with you and Salome and have read many an interview with CC, DD, GA, KM et al., who all say the show IS Mulder and Scully. I know CC was adamant for them not to be a couple (hence the scene in the pilot in her underwear), which I love for two reasons; firstly, because it means the show was about the story, not about cheap gimmicks or ratings hooks, but mainly, like Salome discusses in her Milagro review, that their relationship grew out of the writers’ and even the actors’ hands. It was a mix of a whole heap of factors, from DD and GA’s chemistry, to the story arcs, to the intensity of the set up and mythology that made the MSR what it is. The X-Files in a genius and innovative piece of TV but also the most romantic story told on TV in my opinion. I wish I could express this all better. I personally found IWTB painful because even though I think she is one of the finest actors of her generation, it looked to me like GA’s heart wasn’t in it. Perhaps she didn’t have faith in the set up, or it’s because Scully was meant to be broken, but I’ve seen her in a lot of things and she is always unrecognisable, such is her talent. Scully was just such an incredible person but it just didn’t work for me- I didn’t see Scully in there. Also, that bit in the boat was just horrific. So utterly explicit and cringe-worthy- so un-THEM. I would love X-F3 with them finding William. I’m just not sure if IWTB didn’t damage the value of the franchise in terms of production. That said, I’m signing up! Please share the details of your blog when it’s up!!x

      • The blog is actually very similar to Salome’s. I only discovered her blog after I started writing it, and I was a little upset, mostly because her reviews are better than mine will ever be. But it’s the greatest fun in the world. The blog is I also have a main review blog,, which I’ve been putting a lot more focus into lately.

        • Hooray! I’m really excited. I’m following you now and I’m going to read your’s and her’s after every episode I watch. It will be so wonderful and valuable to me to read not one but two smart cookies and Xphiles’ opinions. I’m going to be on a mission now. Or like a shadow. You’ve been warned. Looks great!

          • Wow! Thanks so much. It actually means a lot. I don’t know how much I’m going to be able to work on The X-Files one right now, but I’ve gotten through the first two seasons and a little bit of the third already.

            • No pressure here. I am actually starting series 1 again, so it suits me well. Plus I’m a fiction writer and actor, so I know too well about balancing the desire to create with the weight of time pressing down on you. When it’s ready, it’s ready!

              • This is a long one, so sorry in advance, but I’m dying to talk about the movie with some educated fellow philes.

                Like you, I am disappointed in Scully from the film, but I don’t think GA’s heart was the problem in IWTB. In her interviews she talked about having trouble coming back to the character, and when you see her storyline in the film, the source of her problem is obvious. Mulder had all of his conventional Mulderisms in the script just waiting for DD to bring back to life. Where were Scully’s? The way that they wrote Scully made me want to scream on behalf of women everywhere and given GA’s very public concern about these kinds of things, I’m surprised she even agreed to play the character without a significant rewrite. No doubt she felt she owed it to the fans and wanted to get the old band back together. Although I will at least give the writers the benefit of the doubt that they were trying to emphasize how vulnerable and wary Scully was about the impact an x file would have on the new life she and Mulder have built together, what they actually wrote is something entirely different and miles away from who she always was at her core.

                In the series, Scully is a force to be reckoned with: she stands up for herself, her beliefs, and the people she loves without fail. Though she and Mulder are both devoted to the truth, Scully consistently seems more willing to prioritize people over that search. She even explicitly says in FTF that, aside from the devotion to Mulder, part of why she stays comes from the knowledge that there’s a vaccine and it can save lives. There are also meetings with FBI bosses where she is angry that how many people her x files work helps/saves doesn’t factor into the way the agency gets run. I think that this is a huge part of what she brings to the partnership with Mulder and what drives her to help him get at the mechanics of the problems/solutions to help the people touched by the paranormal, conspiracies, or extraterrestrials. It’s not that Mulder doesn’t care about people, but his search for the truth can blind him to the repercussions of his actions while Scully is always worried about the personal costs for anyone involved, except when it comes to saving Mulder’s life because priorities and such. In this respect, it’s reasonable to believe that Scully would have gone on to do some kind of experimental medicine after the events of “The Truth,” but that isn’t quite what she’s doing.

                The Scully in IWTB is lacking most if not all the awesome “scullyisms” that bring these parts of her character into view. Agent Whitney even says something to Mulder about how awesome he is, prompting his “I’m only half of the team response,” but the script doesn’t back that up at all. Mulder gets through all the evidence and finds the MOTW just fine without Scully. Sure she saves his life and the life of the missing agent (a scene we never see that would emphasize her competence and contributions to this kind of work *cough cough), but what does she really bring to the investigation? Oh right. Google. Yeah. I can see why that skill would be essential to the investigative team, and when the audience does spend some time with Scully, it’s nothing but angst and an xfiles take on Meredith Grey’s “pick me. choose me. love me.” speech. Seriously CC? Seriously? Scully’s response to Mulder doing exactly what she asked him to do is “I want a happy house, so it’s me or the x file”? When did Scully become the stereotypical cop’s wife who can’t get over her husband’s dayjob? Where is the Scully that was fascinated in the work despite herself and cared about the impending end of the world? Couldn’t she at least be researching stuff that would help with that? Oh, right, we’re pretending the series finale never happened. Totally believable that the knowledge of doomsday wouldn’t impact or haunt her life choices, CC. We can add head-in-the-sand-Scully as a foil to my personal favorite, slap-a-pimp-Scully.

                We get a glimpse of our girl when she emphasizes that she has her own battles to fight, but frankly, where is that fight? We have a hospital administrator going behind her back to prevent her from treating her patient any further, and in the scene when she discovers these sneaky goings on she has no compelling lines. The priest creeps out her patient, but she doesn’t confront him about his behavior. He publicly tries to force her to stop treating Christian and her only lines are, well then pursue the right administrative channels to make me (I feel like Scully would actually say, how bout no cause long list of irrefutable scientific reasons with a dollop of personal empathy for flavor, Scully face, leave room). He goes behind her back to religiously guilt the boy’s parents, and still she says nothing. I’m sorry, but this is not the woman that fights for what she believes in. This is a travesty. A shell of the character we love. We get one glimpse of the Scully we know in the scene where she meets father Joe, and you can even see that this is who she is supposed to be because this is the scene where DD’s Mulder looks like he is actually “in love” with her. He adores how strong and independent she is, and so do we. So why did that Scully take a hiatus for the rest of the movie? Why was her reaction to her worry for Mulder “we can’t be together” instead of “you’re worth my time and my energy even when you’re spinning off into the big nowhere of paranormal adventures”? Well, I have a theory about this.

                The big CC has stated repeatedly that Scully was his perfect fantasy woman, and I suspect that his resistance to the MSR and the watered down cop’s wife of IWTB stems from this. He can’t let Mulder, or anyone else have her. Not his kickass intellectually brilliant fantasy, anyway. Throughout the series, he is reluctant to give Scully any kind of sexuality that isn’t part of the abduction arch, a brilliant commentary about how society takes a problematic view of the female body, or a Madonna angle (an implicitly asexual immaculate conception. Scully’s even wearing blue and white when we see her with William for the first time *dies of imagery overdose).

                Scully gets to be attracted to two men other than Mulder (not counting Milagro because it isn’t clear how much of that comes from his magical novel). One turns out to be a violent psychotic and the other a vampire who drugs her coffee while they’re sitting in a car alone together (date rape innuendo anyone?). When we look at her past lovers, there is zero chemistry and we are told that it’s part of a messed up father figure complex. Scully doesn’t get to have any healthy sexual impulses that we can see, and the insistence in the fandom/writer’s interviews that her relationship with Mulder is “beyond they physical” reinforces this problem. Why is it less complex, less deep, or less significant if Scully wants to have sex with Mulder? Why wouldn’t she want to have sex with someone else if this is purely platonic? Law and Order SVU successfully ran an extended male-female partnership for years that was profound yet not Romantic precisely because the characters had other love interests who were mostly offscreen but part of the general atmosphere. Consistently denying Scully a “Bambi” type temptation in the writing essentially doomed the noromos from the get go.

                For the shippers that want MSR to remain on a higher plane, isn’t it actually better that Scully’s a whole person who has desires and pursues them with someone that she has a connection with? Someone that she can joke around and laugh with, but also cry and be completely honest? Do we really want Scully to miss out on that part of life when it detracts in no way from her spiritual bond with Mulder? Come to think of it, why do we buy into the idea that romantic relationships are inherently less noble or profound because they are sexual?

                It’s telling that the writers wouldn’t give Scully a healthy sexuality outside of a motherhood impulse, and Gillian had to invent it through her interactions with Mulder/writing contributions. She’s the one who insisted that “All Things” finally give a hint of some non-self destructive sexual behavior from Scully (and women everywhere said “finally, thank you”), and she’s the one who constantly points out how much of Scully’s sexuality gets repressed in her panel interviews/subsequent work. She was irate that the one night stand in “The Fall” shocked people/was such a big deal because the series wanted to point out how many of these double standards about female sexuality are still alive and well.

                At any rate, I was disappointed that Scully never showed in 2008/hadn’t evolved into more than a busy wife trying to cope with a husband’s perceived midlife crisis. This was not the character that inspired more women to pursue the sciences. Shame on you, Chris Carter. It’s right up there with pointing out that Scully doesn’t have a desk, cares about that fact, still doesn’t get one. (I love that she takes over Mulder’s at will, but why bring it up as a problem and then never resolve it if not to thumb your nose at the idea that she should have a desk?)

                • One thing I noticed started to creep in at about the half-way point of the series was an attempt to humanize the characters, Scully in particular, by switching up their motivations from a desire for truth, justice, and the American way to pseudo-psychological hangups. I mean, we know Mulder can relate to the hurting and downtrodden because of the loss of his sister, but as he likes to remind Scully in “Oubliette”, not everything can be so easily reduced. Our heroes, because that’s what they are, romantic heroes, do right because they’re righteous. They’re not perfect, no. But both Scully and Mulder genuinely want to see evil punished and the innocent saved. Is that too weak a motivation? Does the need to humanize them (read: make them post-modern) overrule that motivation?

                  When did Scully become the stereotypical cop’s wife who can’t get over her husband’s dayjob? Where is the Scully that was fascinated in the work despite herself and cared about the impending end of the world?

                  This is EXACTLY how I felt about IWTB. Did you get a peek at my notes???

                  Come to think of it, why do we buy into the idea that romantic relationships are inherently less noble or profound because they are sexual?

                  In Chris Carter’s defense, I think what they tried to show (once they came around to MSR) and the point they were making was that any sexual attraction between Mulder and Scully came out of the love they had for each other. The thing about erotic love is that, divorced from agape love, it’s inherently selfish. It’s about the fulfillment of one’s own needs and desires. Unless, of course, there is also a selfless love for your partner that takes precedence over one’s own desires and feelings. I don’t think they inadvertently reinforce the idea that sexual romantic relationships are ignoble since they’ve been natural, right and good since Adam and Eve. I think, though, that Mulder and Scully are a great example of love and respect giving birth to the sexual pull in a relationship rather than vice versa. I think that’s why their relationship still holds so much fascination.

  19. I know it’s years later but I’m just reading your writeups, for the most part(90% at least) I agree with your assessments. But to say that an almost kiss and CPR is the same as a kiss and that he was trying to kiss her out of a deep respect is about the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. I’m not saying it was pure lust, I don’t believe it was that either. I think he is clearly in love with her and that she loves him too but is much slower to realize/acknowledge it but after his confession he seen it her expression that she mostly feels the same way and he thought, why not? Basically, I think it was out love and emotion more than anything else. Also, I think he was kissing *her* instead of the other way around because she just waits for the kiss as opposed to going in to meet him.

    • Ack! Heaven forbid.

      I would never imply that the CPR was a cop out version of a kiss. But as they mentioned in the DVD commentary, TPTB meant for it to be a physical consummation of the promise of a kiss in the hallway. Cheesy? Yes. Deniable? No.

      And what is love unless it’s backed by deep respect? I don’t think that Mulder wanted to kiss Scully in some kind of formal tribute. But mutual respect is at the foundation of their great relationship, no?

  20. Salome, when do we get your review of IWTB?? I actually only just saw it for the first time a week ago — I had been avoiding it because of all the disheartening reviews/reactions. Or maybe I just felt safe in the idea that *somewhere* out there, there was a piece of the story I hadn’t seen, and there was a certain enduring hope in that — that something precious to me would never be over. Maybe I just couldn’t bear the anticipated disappointment that inevitably descends on me when I’ve reached what seems to be the end of new or beloved material in the series. But with the revival episodes now so close (and the reality that my inevitable and ultimate emptiness that will follow my consumption of the last unseen X-Files moment in existence will be delayed whether I watched IWTB or not), I decided to indulge in the film. And I liked it so much I wanted to watch it again. And I want to know what you think/thought, too.

    • We’ll get there! That will be the last review before the new revival.

      I have to warn you, though, I was only moderately appreciative. I think it grew on me, but I’ve still only seen it 4 or 5 times (which is nothing in my little X-Files world). And it’s been 5 years since I’ve seen it last. We’ll see if time and distance will help or hurt.

      But like you said, there’s something about knowing that you’ve reached the end… and that emotional need can project onto IWTB more expectations than it can live up to. So, in a way, knowing there are more episodes coming frees IWTB up. It’s free to be a short vignette on the way to something bigger.

      I remember seeing IWTB in the theater and waving madly at Mulder and Scully at the end. There IS something about reaching that FINAL moment that’s so sad. I’m so glad it turns out that wasn’t it.

      AND they haven’t ruled out yet another event series!!!

  21. Pingback: My Struggle 1×01: Now you got my number. | Musings of an X-Phile

  22. Thank you for this. I’ve been away from the X Files since developing a severe disability in 2001, to a severity that I missed season 8 and 9, and IWTB. Part of me purposely avoided dipping into it, as I knew the effect Mulder and Scully had on me, and there’s no such thing as a quick look at an episode or scene. This particular post, and everyone’s comments, sums up my interest in a series that defined my teenage years and, it turns out, still affects me the same way. My illness went into remission in 2013, and very casually this week, I typed “Mulder Scully relationship” into the ether. 27 consecutive hours of my life disappeared in repeatedly watching the same clips. My instinct was right to stay away – 27 hours of any stimulus might have killed me before. But now, I get to reconnect with my life. I’m strong enough to take holding my breath during the hallway scene. I also can’t watch it without partly looking away or concealing my vision. It’s so real, I feel like I’m a neighbour that’s popped into the hallway and frozen so I don’t disturb what’s going on, that I’m somehow intruding on a profound and private moment between people.

    Initially, when I found your blog, I wondered when I’d written this and if my memory was getting worse and not better. I am delighted to have found someone who has my voice! Thank you for sharing with the world what my health wouldn’t let me do for so long. The world is a very different place since the 1990s, and I’m glad to know there is a global X-Phile home for me to come back to.

  23. My god, I LOVED this review! I just finished watching the movie and I think I might be the only person in the world who saw this movie BEFORE the tv show.

    I remember watching it a while ago and I did like it. I though “the guy” was really sweet and “the chick” pretty badass. I remember I was a little disappointed about the lack of real plot (I was really expecting aliens and havoc) and the magical boots for Scully really bothered me ^^

    Now, after watching 5 seasons in one month, I’m so greatful for this movie! My shipper heart needs a freaking break! I love Mulder. His puppy eyes melt my heart every time and everything you’ve said is so on point I better stop talking now.

    Thanks for the review, can’t wait to see what happens in S06!

    • Thank you!!! I always suspected this movie brought new fans into Season 6. It’s such a perfectly succinct summary of everything that had made the series great up to that point.

  24. Out of all the movies/TV shows I’ve watched in my lifetime I swear the “hall way” scene is the most emotionally intense I’ve EVER seen… Nothing even comes close! The emotion/admiration/love… Oh and my fav, a bit of panick on Scully’s face when she realizes what’s really about to happen 🙂 Being with these characters from the beginning and watching every tiny touch or playful interaction, every worry at the others safety, the deep respect they share for each other… All leading up to a true confession/display of affection in this one scene….

    Couple things… I completely agree with the reviews on Mulder and Scully’s relationship and interactions up to this point… I don’t truly believe there was a lustful attraction (despite pretty much %95 percent of what fanfic writers believe)… But I DO wonder how long Mulder has wanted to kiss Scully? Or thought about it? Or was this purely such an emotional moment it seemed likely to happen… I’m curious when you think the actual moment changed for Mulder? In this moment or at some point beforehand and he just needed the right motivation?

    Scully on the other hand does look rather panicked.. BUT she was going to let it happen!

    Also…. If the kiss did happen, where do you think it would have gone!?! Obviously the new “kiss out take” that Gillian and David did was really passionate but was that just a joke or them in real character 😳

    I feel I’ve been following these characters for sooooo long, and although I understand the reasons to some degree… Feel essentially robbed that CC doesn’t allow us to see the moment when there relationship went to really respected friend(obviously in love but maybe not truly realizing it or admitting it)… To something more and physical! I honestly have NO idea how that would go…. Going from tiny expressions of physical affection/flirting or tender hugs/etc… To an actual physical relationship for these characters is a HUGE deal!!! And we don’t get any insight into how that actually went down… Lame. I just feel like something is incomplete in the story for me in that regard…..

    Just seriously hoping that CC has some more out takes from back in the day…. That someday he would allow to be seen! I’ve heard he does but it’s a VERY distant rumor….. Possibly they’ll give us something if they do a new season and have to kind shed some more light on that aspect of M and S in thirds to William’s existence??

    I’m not like.. Let’s see a full on “make out” scene… But thinking I know the characters pretty well I seriously have NO IDEA what would have happened after that kiss occurred…. That single moment where walls come down would have been such an intense/emotional/complex scene..any-hoo, ya.

    BTW the second movie did nothing for me!! I thought there chemistry was dry and just seemed… Well boring? Not at all how I pictured them as an official couple years later? And the new episodes… Except for founder mutation and the lizard man… The other episodes to seemed to lack that emotion/tension and chemistry.. It’s likely we’ll never see them that way again?

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