Requiem 7×22: The hour is at hand.


Requiem262

This is it. We’ve reached “Requiem”, where the mythology temporarily gets its groove back, where Mulder and Scully come full circle from their first meeting seven years ago in that basement office, and the episode where Chris Carter tries to destroy me.

The title is appropriate because, in many ways, this is a funeral. Not to spoil it for any newbies out there, but Seasons 8 and 9 will go down better if you don’t get your hopes up: This is the end of the Mulder and Scully era of The X-Files.*

I didn’t know that when this first aired. Fox had only officially renewed the series for Season 8 about a week before. All fans of the series knew was that David Duchovny had renewed his contract for eleven episodes for the upcoming season and Gillian Anderson’s contract still hadn’t run out. That translated to an expectation, at least in my household… and by “my household” I mean myself because my family is sane… that there would be a short lull for half a season or so and then David would return and things would get back to normal. What I know now that I didn’t realize then is that I was saying goodbye to The X-Files as I knew it.

The thing is, nobody knew. Through the writing and filming of this episode, Chris Carter didn’t know whether this was going to be a season finale, series finale or a lead-in to an ongoing movie franchise. That explains why he wrote “Requiem” in such a way that it could serve any and all purposes, and so that it could destroy me.

Agent Short: But, at the end of the day you’d say aliens are your real focus.

Mulder: That’s the reason I got started, yeah.

Agent Short: Investigating your sister’s abduction and the government conspiracy around it. Both of which have been resolved, correct?

Mulder: Nothing has been resolved exactly.

Agent Short: In this case report here it’s concluded your sister is dead as well as the men who took her. This is your handwriting here on the report, Agent Mulder?

Mulder: Yeah.

Agent Short: So, what exactly is left to investigate?

At long last, 1013 acknowledges the reason for Season 7’s lack of drive. Frankly, Mulder and Scully have little reason to still be in the game. As Agent Chesty Short points out, the main issues surrounding alien life, government conspiracy and the mystery of Samantha’s abduction have all been resolved. Oh, there are a few finer points and loose threads that haven’t been addressed. And there’s that whole upcoming annihilation of mankind thing, not that Mulder and Scully have been acting like Colonization is still on the horizon. They’ve been meandering across America, well, mostly California, flirtatious and carefree as the day is long. If the answers have been found and the conspiracy is dead, then there’s nothing important left to discover in the X-Files. If the world is still in danger of ending, then it’s time for them to take their mission up a notch and leave the routine behind.

Before the F.B.I.’s auditor can make that decision for them, however, Mulder and Scully get a call from Billy Miles, one of the abductees that was at the center of their first case. There’s been another suspicious disappearance. So they head back to the very plausible state of Oregon for the last time on the F.B.I.’s dime and let the waterfall of nostalgic tears begin.

The renewed activity in Oregon means that plans for colonization are still going forward and the Alien Colonists are cleaning house before it does. The abductees were originally taken and experimented on in order to perfect the science needed to create alien-human hybrids – a slave race that could survive Colonization by the alien Black Oil. That plan is out since the Syndicate is dead, so the abductees are now useless and a liability. They’re evidence waiting to be discovered.

Cigarette-Smoking Man, sick unto death, realizes what the Colonists are up to and wants to capture the ship, and the evidence it holds, before they disappear again. His plan is to restart the conspiracy. Since he’s currently immobile, he calls up Marita Covarrubias who we last saw on the verge of death herself in “One Son” (6×12). But we’ll get assume that at some point she was given an effective vaccine against the Black Oil, because here she is. CSM sends Marita to go fetch Krycek from the Tunisian jail he put him in. The fact that he’s in Tunisia is a tantalizing bit of information since it indicates that the leader of the Syndicate, Strughold, is still alive and restarting the conspiracy isn’t just a far-fetched dream.

So our two teams, Mulder and Scully, Krycek and Marita, head out to Oregon. Mulder and Scully have come such a long way since their first case. I broke my unspoken rule of going backwards and rewatched the Pilot (1×79) in order to compare it to this episode. It’s amazing how recognizable the characters are even after all they’ve been through. But the devoted duo that they are in “Requiem” is not the oddly matched teammates we met at the beginning.

Chris Carter is a sucker for bookends and so am I, so we get to see Mulder and Scully retracing their past not only by reconnecting with the people they met at the start of their journey and revisiting locations that are full of meaning, but Carter even brings the little moments back. Once more, Scully shows up at Mulder’s motel door shaken and stirred and he welcomes her in. It’s the same but it’s worlds different. Then, he comforts her awkwardly and tells her his life story, why he became a nut. He lets his guard down and starts to trust her. She stops seeing his ideas as a joke and starts to bond with him. Now… Oh, now… He takes off her shoes, puts her under the covers while he gentlemanly stays on top of them, holds her close and whispers to her that she’s already lost too much by running around with him and he won’t let her lose any more, because David Duchovny is trying to destroy me.

Mulder says in the Pilot that nothing else matters to him except finding the answers he’s looking for. This is not the same Mulder who now says to Scully, “There’s so much more you need to do with your life. There’s so much more than this. There has to be an end, Scully.” Mulder is betwixt and between. He loves Scully, wants the best for her, and some part of him looks like he could use a break from all this running around himself. We already know that finding out about Samantha’s death was a relief to him because it freed him. It’s not a stretch to think he’s ready to move on from hunting aliens as well. On the other hand, his search for aliens, his search for “Truth” with a capital “T”, his search for God… what is his life without it? He’s just a man who wants to know his place in the universe. That’s not wrong. Which part of Mulder will win in this inner struggle remains to be seen.

Meanwhile, Krycek is coming up with zilch on this UFO and they’re running out of time before it takes off again. So once both teams make it back to Washington, D.C., Krycek gets Skinner to spring a surprise meeting on Mulder down in the basement office. This is such a perfectly constructed moment because Skinner shoots the breeze with Mulder for a couple of minutes before Krycek and Marita appear in the doorway behind Skinner. It’s a great surprise. Mulder wasn’t too happy about it, though.

Krycek’s aim is to get Mulder back out to Oregon to look for the ship… again. This is where we’d better go back a bit.

Remember that in “Biogenesis” (6×22), Krycek led Mulder and Scully to the discovery of an ancient alien spaceship. He forced Skinner into assigning them the case by threat of death by nanobot. Rubbings from that spaceship are what activated the dormant Black Oil in Mulder’s brain that he was exposed to in “Tunguska” (4×9), effectively turning him into the first alien-human hybrid immune to the possessive effects of the Black Oil. Mulder’s anomalous brain activity nearly killed him.

It’s hard to say for sure since “Biogenesis” was a little fuzzy around the edges, but it’s likely that Krycek was purposefully leading Mulder to that fate. And it’s likely that he’s purposefully leading him toward contact with the aliens now, knowing that they don’t want a specimen like Mulder running loose. Mulder means the potential survival of the human race. This would explain why Mulder passes the forcefield test. It possibly even explains why the ship didn’t take off until Mulder arrived on the scene. Perhaps they were waiting for him to show up.

Krycek, while he wants to survive, doesn’t want to cooperate with the Colonists and he surely wants to stick it to CSM. By giving the Colonists what they want – Mulder – he’s ensuring their departure and the failure of CSM’s plans. Does he have to destroy CSM’s plans before he throws him down the stairs? No. But it’s so much more evil if you take a man’s legacy before you take his life, isn’t it?

For his part, Mulder doesn’t have reason to trust Krycek so I’m not sure why he does. He already believes there’s a spaceship out there, but he’s come home for Scully’s sake. Now he’s going out to find it again because Krycek says CSM’s behind the disappearances. Methinks Mulder doesn’t really need a lot of convincing. He’s concerned about Scully, but this is a man determined to reach out and touch the face of God.

The good news is that this is an excuse for Mulder to gather all the old gang together before he goes. Skinner, the Lone Gunmen, Krycek, Marita, Mulder, Scully… they all stand at a table together in what’s meant to be a tableau of The Last Supper. And Mulder’s our sacrificial lamb, ready to give his very life for the answers. The one thing he won’t sacrifice – Scully.

Mulder: You’re not going back out there. I’m not going to let you go back out there.

Scully: What are you talking about?

Mulder: It has to end sometime. That time is now.

Scully: Mulder…

Mulder: Scully, you have to understand that they’re taking abductees. You’re an abductee. I’m not going to risk…. losing you.

Scully: [Slowly embraces him] I won’t let you go alone.

A moment of silence for my utter destruction.

True to her word, Scully sends their boss in her place and for the second time in recent history, Skinner’s out in the field. Oh, the lost opportunities. He should have been on the ground with Mulder more. It’s amazing how much affection you can palpably feel between their two characters even though they don’t say or do anything openly demonstrative.

Back in D.C., Scully comes to the realization that she’s not the one in danger, Mulder is. The aliens are taking people who experienced the same anomalous brain activity Mulder did. No sooner does she tell the Lone Gunmen this than she faints. Hmm, Scully’s been looking a little off all episode.

In Oregon, Mulder discovers the force field of the spaceship and decides to walk through it. And in a little room in Florida, there was weeping and gnashing of teeth.

I know it doesn’t even make sense. This episode aired fifteen years ago. I know what happens. I know what happens in the end of the series. I know the show is coming back! But I freak the heck out. Every. Time.

Noooo!!! Mulder!!!! You get back over there!!! You idiot!!!!!! What about Scully????????

That fool. And he looks so resigned. And all the abductees look so peaceful and welcoming. What are they looking peaceful about?? Didn’t the aliens torture them?

You deserve it. You deserve to look scared. Of course there’s a Bounty Hunter. They’re going to kill you. Didn’t I tell you to get back over there????

Okay. I have to stop before my brain explodes. Let’s just say I didn’t see Mulder’s abduction coming. You have to warn people before you rip out their hearts and destroy them.

And poor Skinner. He’s left holding the bag. By the time he shows up at Scully’s bedside he’s crying and ridden with guilt for losing Mulder. (It’s not your fault, Skinner. Mulder’s a stubborn jackass. A sweet, irreplaceable, stubborn jackass.) For her part, Scully looks shell-shocked, though not entirely because of Mulder’s abduction.

Scully: [Crying] We will find him. I have to. [Skinner goes to leave] Sir, um… there’s something else I need to tell you. Something that I need for you to keep to yourself. I’m having a hard time explaining it. Or believing it. But, um… I’m pregnant.

Yep. 1013 has done it. I didn’t see it coming, but they’ve done it. I can’t believe it. They’ve left Scully alone and pregnant.

Help. Somebody. The expressions on her face. I can’t. The grief, sadness, fear, incredulity, hope, joy, panic… I can’t. That emotional intake of breath right before the credits. I can’t. Because Gillian Anderson knows how to destroy me.

Post-Mortem:

Dramatically, this is the perfect way to end an era. It even casts me back to the underlying bleakness of the Pilot. But I can’t fully express my relief that it didn’t end here. After all he and Scully have been through, Mulder suddenly disappearing can’t be the end of the story. It just can’t. Yes, I see the poeticism in Mulder becoming the X-File, on becoming the answer to his own questions, in his meeting the aliens, “God” as it were, face to face. But if The X-Files had ended on a note this sad it would have tainted all my memories of the previous seven seasons. I wouldn’t be able to watch episodes like “Pusher” (3×17) without crying. I might not have been able to watch them at all. My emotions are funny like that. As it is, just knowing “Requiem” exists is enough to make me teary-eyed.

But I have to give credit to writer Chris Carter and the whole team for managing to form this episode in such a way that it could just as easily have been a new beginning as an end. And they positively guaranteed that I’d be watching Season 8.

It tore my heart apart, but it’s a good episode. I’d almost give it an A+ but I’m bitter that it destroyed me.

A

Sweet Nothings:

*Or at least it remains the end until January 24th, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

Agent Mulder should focus his efforts – truer words have never been spoken. But then we wouldn’t have had a show.

How glad I am to see a Bounty Hunter again, you don’t know.

Why does the Bounty Hunter also seem to have the memories of the people he transforms into? Is it just because he’s spying on them?

When the Bounty Hunter as Detective Miles opens the trunk of his cruiser to toss in the bag of shell casings, it’s a little too obvious they just want us to see the body of the real Detective Miles in there. A small bag like that you’d keep on your person. You wouldn’t risk popping the trunk so that people could see your guilt.

Mulder tells Scully the personal costs of working on the X-Files is too high. What about if the world ends? Hmm? What then?

Why didn’t they go here with the mythology earlier in the season? Or even at the end of last season? They could have answered the questions about Samantha for the season ender/opener, acknowledge that Mulder and Scully’s work was almost done, then launch this era of the mythology.

We never do find out what Krycek stole from CSM that got him thrown in prison. Did it have to do with the spaceship in “Biogenesis”?

Why don’t these UFO crashes ever happen over highly populated areas?

Best Quotes:

Mulder: Is that a lot?

Agent Short: A lot? Gas, expenses… the motel rooms alone. By FBI standards these numbers are out of control.

Mulder: We could start sharing rooms.

———————

Agent Short: If you spend so much time and money looking for aliens, responsibly, you should narrow your search.

Mulder: To where?

Agent Short: Wherever they are. It’s not unreasonable. It’s just a matter of reducing your vision.

———————-

Mulder: I think I’m in big trouble.

Scully: Oh, Mulder, how many times have they tried to shut us down?

Mulder: Yeah, but I never actually assaulted an auditor before.

Scully: Did you hurt him?

Mulder: I reduced his vision a little bit.

 

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36 responses to “Requiem 7×22: The hour is at hand.

  1. I never did watch the end of the series after Mulder left (so this watch will be my first time), but did they ever explain what exactly the colonists needed the hybrids for? It seems to me that if they’re trying to colonize the planet, they wouldn’t want anyone to be immune to the virus. Or do they intend to use the hybrids literally as slave labor? Why not just use humans for that? I get real confused because I thought the Syndicate was secretly trying to create an immunity to the virus, but if that’s the point of the hybrids, then isn’t their secret plan exactly what the colonists are demanding? And if the colonists want the hybrids, then why oh why was the Alien Bounty Hunter tracking them down in Colony? I’m not generally a daft person, but there are parts of this whole mythology that just don’t match up, and it frustrates me to no end. I didn’t want to see the Syndicate killed off and Samantha found in these “last” two seasons – I just wanted some *real* answers!

    • Here’s the short story as I see it. Someone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

      The Alien Colonists crash landed to earth and their ship was discovered by the American government. Some men within the government made a deal with the Colonists: Spare our lives and we’ll serve you. The Colonists agree to spare them by creating a hybrid race of human-aliens who could withstand Colonization, a Colonization that would come about when the Aliens sent their essence, a Black Oil virus, to infect the human race. The alien-human hybrids would survive infection, but they would lose their free will.

      The men who conspired with the Aliens formed the Syndicate. With technology and science given to them by the aliens, the set out to genetically engineer alien-human hybrids and therefore save themselves. Once they figured out how to do it and how to replicate it, Colonization could (theoretically) begin. But the Syndicate double-crossed the aliens by keeping their scientific successes a secret. They wanted to buy time so that they could create a vaccine to protect themselves against the Black Oil virus. They had no real intentions of being slaves.

      So, yes, they were both secretly seeking immunity and, at the same time, developing hybrid technology in cooperation with the Colonists. But they were two separate things. The Colonists want hybrids, not immunity.

      The people that are being taken in “Requiem” are potential hybrids. The Colonists have no need for hybrids anymore since the Syndicate is gone, and their existence is a liability since the plans for colonization might be discovered (yet again).

      In “Colony”, the Alien Bounty Hunter was summoned most likely by the Syndicate who wanted to destroy the moderately successful hybrids. After all, he’s a Bounty Hunter and will work for whoever pays him.

      Whew! I’m barely hanging onto that thread.

      Some more answers and an unfolding of events based on those answers as well as previous events, that’s what I wanted. This super soldier thing we’re about to get into…

      • Wow. Thank you. See, this is why I still read your reviews – a shipper who can school *me* (a mythology nut) on the mythology. You’ve done a great job, but I think that just goes to show how confusing all of this is, and that parts of it may not fit no matter how much you try to squeeze them together.

        Like, what was the deal with handing over the Syndicate members’ family? Were they hostages, or part of the hybridization program? If the latter, which the humans were working on, why send them to the aliens? What did the aliens do to them, if they were eventually returned (as Samantha and Cassandra Spender apparently were)? And how does that fit in with the Well-Manicured Man’s speech in the movie? I realize that part of it was cut out of the theatrical version, but I always felt it was the most satisfying reason for Samantha’s abduction. It just needed a few more points filled in. Taking that away, on the other hand, only to give us “Closure” in the seventh season didn’t satisfy me.

        And I always got the impression that while the Syndicate were making a deal with the devil, in a desperate bid to save humanity from total extinction, the Smoking Man always took it one step further – that he actually delighted in the thought of the rest of mankind being obliterated while he himself survived, maybe with Teena and Samantha (or some version of them) to comfort him in some twisted post-alien apocalypse future.

        Also, I can’t believe I never put the thought together that the ABH could actually be a literal bounty hunter (even though that’s how he’s described). I had always kind of envisioned him as a mindless enforcer of “the project” (whether the colonists’ or the Syndicate). Maybe that’s one place where a mental comparison to the Terminator has failed me.

        • No one watches The X-Files more closely than shippers, I can assure you. But I don’t remember what WMM said in that deleted scene. You’re going to have to remind me. But the fact that Samantha’s eventual end had no real relationship to the conspiracy, other than her being scared of CSM and his cronies, was a letdown in the extreme.

          The Syndicate family members were hostages, but we know that at least Cassandra and Samantha, and probably all of them, were subjected to experiments. Not all experiments were equal – Scully, for instance, being used as a young, healthy woman to make alien babies while Cassandra was subjected to different tests and Samantha to yet other ones. It sounds, though, like all roads led back to hybridization. They just tried different methods on different people and using different genetic material from various subjects. Some were taken, tested on, released, observed, and then taken again for more rounds of testing.

          I think CSM, like you said, was mainly interested in saving himself. I also think he wasn’t averse to saving others close to him, as long as the salvation of a remnant of mankind made him the savior of the world. If people survived, he didn’t care. If everyone died, he didn’t care. His efforts to revive the Syndicate here are merely efforts to be seen as a great man after his death. They’re not born of compassion.

          • Oh, it was something about giving up Samantha so that she would in some way survive – which now sounds to me a lot like this hybridization plan. Although, why anyone would be more convinced by some human-alien hybrid Samantha than we were when she showed up in Colony, I don’t know. But then, Mulder Sr. didn’t want to give up Samantha, according to the events of Two Fathers/One Son, so that seems to contradict what the WMM told Mulder (Jr.) in the movie. Argh! It’s enough to drive anyone insane.

            The other thing that confuses me is if the Syndicate were working on hybridization, why would they send subjects to the colonists? Although I suppose the easy answer to that is that it was a tandem effort. I guess it’s just that the first four seasons’ mythology (culminating with Gethsemane) put so much emphasis into an either/or hypothesis for abductions – either aliens or the government. And most of what we actually got to see up to that point (especially in Nisei/731, as well as Redux) pointed firmly toward the government.

            I’m not even going to touch the subject of who Krycek’s loyalties were to at various points in the series (other than himself, of course), but I always enjoyed the rogue nature of his character.

            • Oh, I think I remember that, but it’s been a while. I do think it was a veiled reference to giving up their loved ones not just as collateral, but in order to save them as hybrids. Maybe Bill Mulder was reluctant to give her up but was convinced it would be the best thing for her? We know he had a lot of misgivings about the plan.

              I do think hybridization was a tandem effort, but I also think the Colonists were testing humans merely for the sake of science too.

              At least with Krycek we know we’re not supposed to understand him. But did you know they were planning a Krycek episode for Season 7??? It was supposed to explore his plans for resistance. Ugh. What I would give to have had that.

              • I would have loved a Krycek episode. Aside from his occasional betrayals, he became too much of the Syndicate’s errand boy in these “last” couple of seasons.

      • I’m going to print this out and keep it with me when (re)watching the series. I have felt the need before to draw some sort of flow chart to help me keep up.

  2. THIS EPISODE.

    Oh dear lord I’m never ready for this episode. I swear we’re the same person. You said so many things that I have either said or written myself – such as going back to “Pilot” and watching (which might be the single worst mistake I’ve ever made in my life), to listing the buffet of emotions on Gillian Anderson’s face at the end, which is one of the greatest few seconds of acting I’ve personally ever seen, to the many ways this episode tries to demolish the souls of the viewers. I put “Requiem” as just about the most soul crushing episode the show EVER did. “Memento Mori” was at least hopeful and the upcoming Season 8 episodes are also soul crushing but none quite so much as this initial blow to the heart.

    I think it’s going to take me a long time to figure out if this episode is any good. I think it depends heavily on how you handle Season 8. It would be poignant to reflect on how much Mulder and Scully have grown, if it didn’t end like it does. Mulder and Scully’s scenes are so sweet yet for whatever reason they leave me wanting more. Is it great, is it good, I don’t know. It’s just PAINFUL.

    Look at you cranking out all these reviews! It’s making me feel incredibly unproductive. I can’t WAIT to hear what you think of Season 8. And, um, Season 9.

    • To be honest, I had a bunch of reviews half-written before my hiatus took hold of me. I only just got to fresh bones this week, hence the seeming spur. I also want to be able to discuss IWTB with the Philes before the new series hits. Because some things need to be discussed.

      So don’t feel bad. I’m “tragically lazy”, as Mitch Pileggi says.

      Anywho, I know!!!! There’s no way, just no way. Watching the Pilot especially, if I though it would all end so sadly… I don’t know what I would have done. It would have forever tainted the memories. As it is, some of the mental pictures have finger prints on them. (I’m looking at you, Season 9.) It’s poignant but it’s almost too poignant to still be enjoyable. If it were just a book with a depressing ending that I had read for a few hours, that might leave me a little sad. But I’ve invested years in this show, dang it.

  3. I’m a season behind you, just finishing up six, so it’s been a number of years since I watched “Requiem.” So…you think that Mulder went voluntarily with the alien bounty hunter? I’d thought he was abducted? Mulder didn’t exactly look happy to see him.

    This is a thoughtful review. Assuming I don’t get even more behind with the holidays, I guess I’ll be back in a few weeks.

    • I think he initially steps into the force field of his own free will when he realizes he’s found it. Because you know Mulder. There’s no risk not worth taking.

      The Alien Bounty Hunter surprises him, though, and by that point he’s afraid but knows he can’t escape. At least that’s how I read David Duchovny’s face.

      I’m jealous of you still being in Season 6. But feel free to discuss wherever in the series you find yourself!

  4. Great as usual I knew they couldn’t leave the show hanging like that. For a while I wouldn’t look at requiem or seasons 8 and 9

    • I swear, if I hadn’t known that Mulder was coming back when this aired… I wouldn’t have been able to go to school. I would have wept for weeks. My parents would have had to send me to therapy.

  5. Hey, remember when this episode first came out and we were all naïve, pre-9/11 teenagers embroiled in the myth-arch and automatically assumed the government/conspiracy had something to do with Scully being pregnant? No? Well I do.

    I remember spending the summer racking my brain with others about if this was the true point of the cancer arch: to bring Scully to this point where she’d breed an alien baby. Sadly, being a teenage girl who longed for David Duchovny, I stopped watching the show before we learned what the real deal was at the show’s original airing. Leave it to the non-naïve, post 9/11 Baby Philes to see the writing on the wall that we never saw: Occums’ Razor was on full display. Scully was preggo because she slept with Mulder. Nature took it’s course. It seems so easy, but I remember us all having weird ‘she-can’t-be-pregnant-by-natural-means’ feelings when this show originally aired. I KNOW it wasn’t just my young, naïve belief that Scully of all Catholic people wouldn’t have a child out of wed-lock. We all thought there was something nefarious going on.

    Anyho, even given the epic fails that were to come, could you imagine the show ending at this point? Ya know, Joss Whedon originally envisioned Buffy to end with the end of season 5. If anyone is a Buffy fan, and most of you probably are, you know how season 5 of Buffy ended. It was glorious, but if that was how the show was to end, it would have been terrible. I loved season 6’s realness that some people hate, and lived through season 7’s blahhness; point being, even if you don’t like season 6 or 7 of Buffy, they still make the ending of season 5 better. What’s a Christ Story if the symbolic Christ doesn’t rise from the dead?

    That’s how I feel about the last two seasons of the X-Files. Sure, they weren’t great, but much like we needed to have the little grace notes to round out Buffy’s story, so too do we need them to not render Mulder and Scully’s story meaningless.

    Christ had to die to rise again. And even people who don’t believe in Him love to see his story told and re-told. Because it’s epic, and inspiring, and loving, and basically the best story of mankind ever. But, does anyone ever really talk much about what the Apostles did after Christ came back and told them to follow His Father’s mission? Not really. How Thomas and Andrew and Simon-Peter and all of them faired after all was said and done is important to us, but doesn’t tell the story we need to hear. I feel like the same is true of all Christ stories.

    Maybe that was too deep of an analysis, but I don’t care. Chris Carter had the Christ story in mind when he originally wrote the X-Files, so so do I.

    PS: Ending the story here would have been too much like the ending of A Separate Peace: there was no point to anything, things just happen. GOODNESS, I was already depressed when I had to read that book, but afterword, I was almost catatonic for a couple of weeks.

    • I too was a naive, pre-9/11 teenager when this first aired. But I was also a born cynic, so I totally assumed the baby was Mulder’s. Because, yes, Scully was Catholic, but she never seemed particularly devout. My main evidence, though, was the appropriately described by KnifeInk “buffet of emotions” on Gillian Anderson’s face. She looked too happy for this to have been a virgin birth. Celibate girls freak out at pregnancy, unless their name is “Mary.”

      But again, cynic over here. A hopeful cynic, though.

      And, no, for all the ups and downs of the upcoming seasons I’m glad they came. My heart would have been crushed if they ended it here. Because not only am I a cynic, I’m a closet sentimentalist.

      Oh my goodness, can we talk about this whole Christlike allegory thing for a minute? I never picked up on the Last Supper motif until this rewatch. And it’s possible to read this abduction as Mulder’s destiny – This is how he’ll save the world, by laying down his life for mankind. But in order for that to work, we have to see him rise from the dead or else no dice.

      I don’t think they do William any favors by making him the baby Jesus, though. I wonder why that doesn’t work so well? When it comes to rehashed storytelling, maybe it’s Christ’s intentional, willful sacrifice that resonates more than the advent? I dunno. I’m going to give that some thought this season.

      Christ had to die to rise again. And even people who don’t believe in Him love to see his story told and re-told. Because it’s epic, and inspiring, and loving, and basically the best story of mankind ever. But, does anyone ever really talk much about what the Apostles did after Christ came back and told them to follow His Father’s mission? Not really. How Thomas and Andrew and Simon-Peter and all of them fared after all was said and done is important to us, but doesn’t tell the story we need to hear. I feel like the same is true of all Christ stories.

      I’d clap but you can’t hear me.

      I think the story of the apostles is compelling too, of course! But you don’t get the second without the first. And the two eras don’t occur simultaneously. In other words, they needed to give the Mulder and Scully era it’s full finish, finish it completely, and then let Doggett and Reyes have at it. I’m getting ahead of myself, I know.

      Maybe that was too deep of an analysis, but I don’t care. Chris Carter had the Christ story in mind when he originally wrote the X-Files, so so do I.

      Talk about young and naive, I don’t understand how I could have missed as a teenager how blatant The X-Files is and how, more than likely, Mulder and Scully are stand-ins for Carter himself. A man wants The Truth, because you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free, because if he finds the Truth he finds God. He finds the answers to his own existence. He finds meaning. He finds The Source. And he wants to believe; even though he has no “concrete” scientific proof, he does believe. He knows he should believe. Something in him tells him that The Truth is out there and he has to find it no matter what it costs him.

      And, voila, man’s search for God.

      P.S. I haven’t read A Separate Peace but I had a similar reaction when I finished The House of Mirth. The heroine finally learns her lesson only to die before her life radically changes for the better? What? Stab me.

      • P.P.S. The conversation on Twitter today has been the Christlikeness of Spock. This is properly timed.

        • Salome, I love you and your analytical ability to get what we’re all thinking and what I in particular am trying to say. Take a bow, fan-girl-soul-sister. You know you’re wicked awesome.

          • I think you said it for yourself quite clearly!

            It’s so nice that my goal of venting all my obsessive gasses has brought me to the like minded and equally gaseous. Because that’s really all this is – uncontrolled venting. I’m not sure how I managed to earn appreciation for that, but I do appreciate it.

            Just promise you all will hold me through the new premiere.

  6. “Why didn’t they go here with the mythology earlier in the season? Or even at the end of last season? They could have answered the questions about Samantha for the season ender/opener, acknowledge that Mulder and Scully’s work was almost done, then launch this era of the mythology.”

    What a great point! How fascinating would that have been to have a whole season to explore. This episode always left me wanting, perhaps because it hints at this (well the whole season does) then never delivers. this fills in the blanks for me for why it bothered me, I think.

    • I know it’s unfair because hindsight is 20/20 and all that, but it’s hard to look back and not see where things could have gone in a different, better direction.

  7. Pingback: Without 8×2: You say you want to find Mulder but you won’t do what it takes. | Musings of an X-Phile

  8. I kept foot dragging about rewatching this one. You expressed all of my pain wonderfully in this review, including screaming at Mulder to turn back. He promised Scully he’d be safe! Ugh. I almost wish it ended here and we got a movie. It would basically be FTF but Scully saving Mulder from the spaceship. But sometimes I wish it just ended after 8…but I’ll deal with those feelings in a few weeks. At this time in my first watch of the series, I was so blinded by anger that I couldn’t see any good in season 8 through all the red.Especially because I naively thought Scully (and her search for Mulder) would be completely in the forefront. Oh how wrong I was. Anyway, I’m going to TRY to be positive about it. Your reviews will be the guiding light.

    I also hate that this episode is the best of season 7 because I NEVER just watch this one for fun. Ever. If only they incorporated more of this storyline throughout the season.

    Lastly, this episode marks the second time where we are left to think CSM is dead. How many more times will this happen? I’m still waiting to find out…

    • I think even though Fox and 1013 knew fans would be upset over the loss of Mulder, they had no way of predicting just how upset fans would be. The way they set up Season 8 you can tell they expected us to start off hating Doggett but also start that we’d start loving him right along with Scully. Personally, I really liked Doggett. I never loved him though. And even if I had, I wouldn’t have loved him like Mulder. And there is good in Season 8, but they kept doing things to re-aggravate our anger. I think some fans gave up in frustration and more casual fans weren’t going to try to work themselves up to caring.

      And it’s hard to focus on other characters and other storylines when all you want is for them to hurry up and find Mulder. I’ve found him now, so I can focus.

      And I’m with you. It’s very, very frustrating that this was far and away Season 7’s best episode. It’s too painful to watch for entertainment and they waited right until the end to peak.

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  16. Best ep of the season by far but you know what?

    I was more interested in how Patrick was going to fit in with the next two seasons and how that whole story was going to unfold. I like his acting a lot and frankly, I was tired of this season. It was generally a vanilla tasting, blase experience, especially in the last half.

  17. Pingback: My Struggle II 10×6: Spoken like a true psychopath. | Musings of an X-Phile

  18. OMG! So many emotions swirling around on this rewatch. Bringing back so many memories. Mostly the angst awaiting in a Mulder-lite Season 8 and the ennui of Season 9. and a tearful Scully (but damn, her hair looked great in Season 9!). Truly was the end of an era. I know we got the revival. But … Sigh.

    Do you think Mulder finally learned his lesson about sticking his hand in things he shouldn’t? That oh, sh** look on his face when the ABH stepped into the light…. No, Mulder, no!

    And the irony …. at that moment, both Mulder and Scully get what they wish for … but at such a cost.

    The Fowley-like Greta, and Krycek’s Brutus to Cancer Man’s Caesar.

    I remember watching Requiem all those years ago and “OMG, she’s pregnant!” flashing thru my mind as the camera was zooming in on Gillian. Another “Sixth Sense” moment 😱

    But why, Chris and Frank? Why? Did you not realize the consequences of your actions? Think this through? I feel like a mom shouting at her wayward kids. It’s not like Gillian was preggers again and you opted to write it into the plot line … I know it made Scully’s search that much more poignant and desperate (tho you’d never know it until sweeps), but really…

    They really should’ve let GA out of her contract at the end of Season 8 and sent M, S and wee Willie into hiding in the modern-day equivalent of ancient Egypt (New Mexico?), to continue the biblical analogy. And gone on with Doggett and Reyes running the X-Files.

    OK, enough kvetching about the William plot line and all the retconning, crazy plot twists and whale songs that await … Oh, who am I kidding? At least William was a cute baby with a neat/let’s-freak-out-Mommy talent.

    And here’s hoping he’ll show up or be found in the nick of time to save dear old Dad when Season 11 finally commences.

    Have I mentioned lately how much I enjoy reading your musings, Salome?

  19. And this begins a new era for me. You see, I’ve never seen any episodes from seasons 8 and 9. I was content to leave it since I had heard about the final seasons beforehand. I still have no intention to watch them. But I will read and enjoy your reviews on them.

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