Sunshine Days 9×18: I see it all, man.


SunshineDays130

I think I’ll go for a walk outside now.

Here’s the story

Of a girl named Scully

Who was on her way to being an MD

The FBI said won’t you come

To Quantico

The rest is history

 

Here’s the story

Of a boy named Mulder

Who was busy with his bat crazy theories

He was looking for ETs

They took his sister

Now they call him Spook-y

 

Till the one day when the redhead met our fella

And they knew that it was much more than a crush

That this kook must take her from her family

That’s the way that they became The Spooky Bunch!

 

The Spooky Bunch!

The Spooky Bunch!

That’s the way they became The Spooky Bunch!

[Insert Commercial Break]

 

I have a completely different appreciation for “Sunshine Days” now in 2016 than I did back in 2002. Actually, this appreciation first began in 2011, so 2016 really can’t take credit for it. I didn’t know that everyone hated “Sunshine Days” the way that I used to until I started this blog. I even wondered if I would still appreciate it after yet another rewatch or if it would fall back down the esteem ladder like “El Mundo Gira” (4×11).

I do remember how I felt originally. We were one episode before the finale. Scully had just given up her precious messiah of a son the previous episode. And what is this we’re doing? Having a bounce house party? What the heck is Scully smiling about??

Time and distance may not heal all wounds, but they almost always lower expectations.

There’s no emotional resolution to “William” (9×17) in sight, but that’s not this episode’s fault. There was no mention of William in “Release” (9×16) either. Even though that was because the episodes aired out of order, the final result is the final result. With that in mind, I can convince myself that some time has passed between Scully succumbing to a case of the stupids and this episode. Anyway, I’ve no doubt 1013 was holding on to any semblance of emotional resolution until Mulder returned for the finale. Besides, the only possible acceptable resolution in my mind would be Mulder and Scully getting their baby back.

One last scary episode before the finale was what I wanted instead of “Alone” (8×19) in Season 8. But that was back when we had both Mulder and Scully. Having a traditional Monster of the Week would almost be moot now. What we’re getting instead is a personal goodbye to the audience. This episode is one giant “I got you” to the fans from Vince Gilligan.

Everyone knows that Vince Gilligan came to the writing staff of The X-Files in Season 2 as a fan. Talk about a dream job. And his affection for the show and the characters has always been clearly evident in his writing. Heck, even when he writes for his own show he throws in nods to The X-Files!

I love you, Vince.

Anywho… Fans get fans. Fans know why fans watch. They know that good entertainment, entertainment that has touched us somehow, be it TV shows, books, art, whatever, that it lives on in our imaginations long after it’s gone. Once it enters the human heart, entertainment can become something bigger than itself.

Doggett: One big question – Why The Brady Bunch? Seriously, you two are fans. Why are people still watchin’ a thirty year old TV show?

For Oliver/Anthony, The Brady Bunch was his Happy Place. It wasn’t so much the show itself, it was how the show made him feel. It became real to him and he could bring it back to life anytime he wanted to. Of course, it was never really The Brady Bunch as a thing unto itself, it was the experience of watching it.

More importantly, it was the experience of watching it with the person he loved. Because, as ever and as in “Je Souhaite” (7×21), Vince is back to remind us right before the finale that the most important things, while they may be beautifully represented on a TV show, are to be found in real life – in real, imperfect life and real, imperfect relationships.

Doggett: So close, Dana. I’m sorry you don’t get your proof.

Scully: Me too. Well, maybe I’ve had it these past nine years. If not proof of the paranormal, then… of more important things.

I hear you, Scully. That’s what I’ve gotten proof of. Proof that there’s such a thing as fighting the good fight. Proof that some truths are worth dying for. Proof that unconditional love is a truth that resonates in the heart of every human being.

And what’s more, this time I found that proof all over again with all of you.

This was never about The Brady Bunch. It’s about The X-Files… and the X-Philes and all the relationships that lie therein.

Verdict:

Far from my opinion going back to where it originally was, this time around I may have even teared up the slightest bit right there at the end. I don’t know about you, but this is what I heard:

I know it’s sad that it’s over. Just remember, once something takes hold in your heart, it never really dies.  And The X-Files will never really die, because you can come back here any time you want, any time you need to. You can think about it and it’ll be here. Don’t get stuck here, though. Don’t forget to live. There’s a real world out there waiting. And nothing replaces real love.

Doggett: Well, here’s hopin’ the TV stays off and he learns how to love the real world.

Don’t worry. Keeping up the fantasy was slowly killing Anthony. We won’t make the same mistake. Besides, The X-Files is off the air. All is darkness and smog. The new revival, though…

And may I just say, I loved Doggett and Reyes more this episode than I have all season. Doggett was downright funny. He’s right. It’s a shame he’s losing this job just as he gets the hang of it.

A

Crazy Bread:

They can take a show off the air, but they can’t take away my head cannon.

I wonder how much they had to pay just to be able to whistle The Brady Bunch theme?

I’m sure you recognized David Faustino from Married… with Children.

Unless my memory of “The Truth” (9×19/20) fails me, this was Scully’s last autopsy.

That moment when you think a guy is urinating on the ground and he’s actually toasting his dead buddy.

Can you imagine if we Philes could actually walk into the basement office?

Did Doggett and Reyes just walk off into the hallway sunset?

Oliver didn’t murder those people, he accidentally killed them. Yes, he gets a pass.

Doggett makes logical inferences and comes to an extreme conclusion without being inconsistent as a character and turning from a complete skeptic into a total believer. Dagnabit, where has Vince been??

Scully, too, considers what Mulder’s position would have been without trying to be Mulder or turning into anything other than a curious scientist. (Seriously though. Was he on a break?)

Best Quote:

Doggett: And there’s no end to the harm he could cause if he goes off the deep end, which isn’t too long a walk for this guy, in case you haven’t noticed.

————————

Scully: Oh, so maybe I watched an episode or two.

————————

Doggett: A. Eyewitness places the deceased inside this house just prior to the time of his demise. B. We found a fragment of roofing shingle at the scene of the impact. It would seem it matches the discarded piece you now hold in your hand. C. There’s a hole in the roof, recently patched, this big around. Connect A to B to C.

Reyes: Much in the fashion of, say, Daffy Duck or Wile E. Coyote, the deceased shot straight up through the roof, flew high into the air and landed on his buddy’s car? You’re serious?

Doggett: A to B to C. I gotta tell ya, I think I’m finally gettin’ the hang of this job.

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23 responses to “Sunshine Days 9×18: I see it all, man.

  1. Because I knew that William and anything major wouldn’t be addressed until The Truth, I was able to really enjoy this episode. And I really liked this one. It actually made me chuckle. There was just something really funny about them all finally seeing the Brady House and Monica being a bit of a nerd about the show and Doggett believing. This also had echos of Je Souhaite because Scully almost got a big professional recognition in that one, as well, because of the invisible body. Sadly her hopes were again dashed. Not meant to be, Scully (Like your child!!) *Ahem* sorry. Where was I? Oh yes. The message at the end is really sweet. Based on the description, I thought this would be a major dud. I didn’t like any of the silly episodes they made this season, but I was pleasantly surprised. I can understand why people would hate this one, though. If I watched this in real time, I might have thrown my TV out the window. Do I wish that the penultimate episode was not a completely random, silly MOTW? Hell yeah. But let’s be honest, I wish season 9 never existed in this capacity to begin with. Lowered expectations can sometimes be a really beautiful thing.

    Michael Emerson is also amazing. I had no idea he was on this show. Just a few years shy of his burst to fame with Lost.

    Oh man! One episode left in this season! I can’t believe we made it this far. Bring it on home, Salome!

    • Oh, and nice job with the song. It made me laugh! How long did that one take you? 🙂

    • Oh, they can. Lowered expectations can set you free.

      I found myself chuckling along this time too, at Doggett especially. And it does echo “Je Souhaite”! Not only are they on the brink of discovery, but there are a couple of stoners, someone with super powers that seem like a blessing but aren’t, that person gets set free from their power, and there’s a strong sense of camaraderie. There’s also the message that the impact we have on each other is more important than being able to change the world through a shortcut.

      It all seems really silly, but it’s a fitting end in a lot of ways.

  2. Monica being all fangirlish over the Brady Bunch reminds me of Scully in “Jose Chung” – it’s so nice to see that personality shine through. I REALLY wish they had given Reyes more to do. She could have been truly awesome in her own right like Doggett was in his.

    I do like the emotional note touched on this one and thank the Lord for Vince Gilligan! He gave us the calm before the storm …

    • I wasn’t even thinking of Scully in JCFOS!

      This episode proved to me that Doggett and Reyes could actually be a lot of fun. “Lord of the Flies” and “Scary Monsters” weren’t particularly successful in that. “Improbable” was only moderately so.

  3. Beautifully written, Salome.

    What a lovely and more understanding tribute to fans and their love of the show than the Leila character.

    Vince is my hero. I may or may not be nurturing an obsession with his work.

    How does it feel, wrapping up the series? One more to go! That must feel pretty satisfying! amazing job.

    • I saw this as a loving tribute too, and a less awkward one than Alone or Scary Monsters, despite Anthony’s personal awkwardness.

      And there are worse things to spend time thinking about than Vince Gilligan’s work!

      Also, I feel relieved to have made it more than anything else. LOL!

      Thank you so much!!

  4. I’m actually glad to see you really appreciated this episode. There was something very surreal and almost scary about it in a couple of scenes. Maybe some people would like it more if it wasn’t the on right before the series finale (?).

    • I definitely agree with that.

    • I think that most of us were already so disappointed with Season 9 and eager for the relief of the finale that the merits of this episode were largely overlooked.

      OR, I’m crazy.

      • I can remember watching this one and the two before it when they aired, and I remember getting very antsy because I expected things to snowball into the finale with the ultimate conspiracy reveal and some sort of turnaround with the William plotline. (Because they wouldn’t just drop it THERE, or so I thought at the time.) I can remember rather vividly not being able to pay too much attention to any of the last episodes because I was just chomping at the bit for the resolution to occur. I think if I had known they wouldn’t be mythology episodes I would have been able to appreciate them better, as I can now. But I suppose I don’t think that I was so disappointed with the season before it that I overlooked it, rather I think I had faith that they were going to ‘bring it all home’ in the time left, and then that’s when I actually was disappointed.
        I find it interesting to think about now in relationship to the revival, because my initial reaction to all of the clips and previews they have released is that they’re giving too much away. I avoided them for a long time. But now I’m considering that they are giving everyone a preview of what to expect so we start out (nearly) on the same page. I can imagine what it would be like if Mulder and Scully being broken up was a secret bombshell that was dropped in the first few minutes. I don’t know if I would get over it fast enough to enjoy the episode properly or I would just end up immediately annoyed. Now I’m in curious mode and am open minded. I hope their strategy pays off. Maybe they knew that we needed time to come to grips with it, haha.

        • Whoops, I was wrong. not the two episodes before, that was William. But this one anyway.

        • Yes, yes, yes. I completely thought something was still going to *happen* with William. How wrong I was.

          And, like you, I thought with the final finale coming up, we were going to see the story accelerate like we’d never seen before. Again, wrong.

          As far as the revival, I’ve only seen the official trailers and I think they had the right amount of show without telling everything. I’ve avoided the Re-Opened special like the plague, though. Even CC said they revealed too much, and that after he had them cut a lot out. I’m not sorry I know about the breakup, though. You’re right. We wouldn’t have been able to concentrate on the rest of the episode! I needed time to find out, calm down, and make my peace with it. LOL

  5. Pingback: Season 9 Wrap Up – There’s a lot of crap to cut through. | Musings of an X-Phile

  6. I teared up at the end of this episode. By far the best Season 9 has to offer. I actually loved it.

    Thank you, Vince Gilligan.

  7. Just letting you know I got a bit misty eyed at the end as well. 😉

  8. Can we talk about the brilliant part of the episode where it shows a bewildered/enchanted Skinner floating and the pan from Doggett’s unamused face glancing at Monica’s smiling, knowing face, and Scully’s utter bliss as she grins? I know this episode came at the wrong time/too light after William, but that scene gave me life.

  9. Yes! I have nearly round up my rewatch of all seasons. So to say, rewatch of season 1-5 and first watch of season 6-9. How could I have not thought of the X-files in all those years. They are back in my system again. Now the Truth and season 10 still to watch. Thanks, Salome, for your great reviews which have accompanied me 😉 Hope this site will stay ‘alive’!

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