The Truth 9×19/20: Maybe there’s hope.


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I’m here to regale you with yet another trip back into the memory of an X-Phile. Because what is “The Truth” if not a long exercise in nostalgia? Well, so is this.

I remember the buildup of anticipation for this episode, because it’s not really one episode, but two. Two episodes of The X-Files back to back? That’s as good as a movie! And with David Duchovny officially returning, surely the series was going to go out with a bang.

Well, it went out with lots of bangs. Some bangs, some disappointments, some head-scratchers, and lots of emotional flailings. And it all starts where it began – with Mulder.

Listen, kids, you have no idea what seeing David Duchovny’s face fill the screen after all that time did to a girl back in the day. If you binge watched your way to this point, not counting flashbacks and eyeball cameos because they don’t count, then you waited approximately 774 minutes. I waited approximately 8,760 hours. Yes, I counted. Season 9: The struggle had been real.

2016 still found me flipping out with relief. I may or may not have repeatedly called out Mulder’s name like I had spent years stranded alone in the television wilderness. Because I had.

And true to form, no sooner is Mulder back than he’s already sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong. I’m frustrated. I’m yelling at him. I’m thrilled to be doing so. Still, I wonder… how did he manage all this funky poaching without the Lone Gunmen? Top secret military facilities don’t do headcounts? No one noticed Mulder is the only one who hopped off the helicopter without a briefcase?

Guard: What are you thinking?

Mulder: About my son… about his mother.

Guard: Wrong answer!

No, right answer. Right. Answer.

Side Note: Am I the only one who watches these brainwashing scenes and has flashbacks to Star Trek: The Next Generation? “There… are… four lights!”

Anywho, by the time the torture is all over we’re not sure, or we’re not supposed to be sure, whether or not Mulder has finally lost his marbles. He sees dead people… and he’s a guilty man. He’s failed in every respect. He deserves the harshest punishment for his crimes.

Scully isn’t sure either which is what creates the delicious tension in their initial reunion. But she should have known because Mulder keeps calling Scully “Dana” and Skinner “Walter.” Which is code for, “They’re watching.” This also serves as further proof that the emails in “Trust No 1” (9×8) were either forgeries or carefully encrypted messages. I want to believe.

Because you see, when you believe, mountains move, seas part, and Mulder grabs Scully and kisses her like the world’s about to end… because it actually is.

I consider this moment my personal reward for making it to the finish line of Season 9. You can consider it whatever you like, but they did that for me. And the best part, the BEST part of the whole thing is watching Skinner’s awkward bald head squirm in the background.

Oh, the squeals. The flails. The sweet agony. I don’t know what it is, but these two people do deep things to me.

So go ahead. Write me off as a cheap shipper. ‘Cause Jimmy crack corn and I don’t care.

Mulder ‘n Scully 4EVA!

Mulder: Come here you big, bald, beautiful man.

And now back to our regularly scheduled adulthood…

Scully: Mulder …

Mulder: They can’t try me without exposing themselves. I know what I’m doing. {Editor’s Note: No, you don’t.}

That scene, beautiful as it is, transitions awkwardly and unconvincingly into the next.

Scully: Mulder, it’s me. {Editor’s Note: The last one! *sobs*}

Mulder: Is it time to go?

Scully: No. That’s why I’m here. Mulder, I need you to talk to me, confide in me, or we’ll lose.

Mulder: We can’t win, Scully. We can only hope to go down fighting.

Scully: You’re scaring me! Mulder, I’m so scared that I’ve just got you back and now I’m going to lose you again!

Mulder: I know what I’m doing. {Editor’s Note: No, you don’t! Stop saying that!}

Scully: Well, whatever you’re doing… you have no idea how much has already been lost… What I’ve had to do.

Mulder: I do know. Skinner told me.

Scully: [Crying] Our son, Mulder! I gave him up! [Mulder embraces her] Our son! I was so afraid you could never forgive me.

Mulder: I know you had no choice. {Editor’s Note: Bullcrap.} I just missed both of you so much.

Scully: God, where have you been? Where have you been hiding?

Mulder: In New Mexico. [Buries his face in her shoulder]

Scully: Doing what?

Mulder: Looking for the truth.

[They both chuckle… because he sounds as ridiculous as ever]

Scully: You found something, didn’t you? Huh? What did you find?

Mulder: I can’t tell you.

Scully: You found something in that facility? That’s what you were doing, right? Mulder, what did you find out there?

Mulder: Scully, I can’t tell you.

Scully: That doesn’t make sense! {Editor’s Note: No, it doesn’t!}

Mulder: You’ve got to trust me, Scully. I know things it’s better you don’t.

First of all, I’m not sure what to do with the sudden surfeit of Mulder and Scully interaction. It’s like eating Thanksgiving Dinner after fasting for 40 days and 40 nights. People have overdosed on less.

Second of all, so that’s it for William huh? That’s the emotional resolution we’ve been waiting for? Look! I can ignore the elephant in the room too. Watch.   

………

Can we just talk about the way they look at each other? Can we? I always lose it when Mulder buries his head in Scully’s shoulder.

I was premature about that whole adulthood thing.

The main point of this conversation is that Mulder’s holding powerful information back from Scully. Whatever it is he read in the Matrix, he’s keeping it to himself at the risk of his own life.

Now, at this point, between the action, the emotion, and the dearly missed Mulderisms, things have been going pretty well. Then here we go with the secret F.B.I. tribunal. A kangaroo court of a kangaroo court. It’s like television time suddenly slows to a crawl.

Mulder: What’s really on trial here is the truth!

I roll my eyes so hard I think I strained the right one. I watch the rest of the episode with an eye patch. I am the Dread Pirate Ship-Hurts.

This trial is ridiculous. Boring and ridiculous. I can’t even pretend to swallow the premise.

Kallenbrunner: All these ETs running around. It’s hard to keep these aliens straight without a scorecard.

I understand why they did it, certainly. There were 9 years worth of mysteries that needed clearing up. And a good part of the audience for “The Truth” would be casual fans and former fans who hadn’t necessarily kept up with the mythology. Oh, who are we kidding? Committed viewers hadn’t kept up with the mythology.

Everyone has to be able to follow along. What’s more, the information is needed and appreciated. It’s been a long, fun, confusing ride.

At the same time, this is exposition hell.

Kersh: Is this all leading anywhere?

Mulder: Yeah. The destruction of mankind.

Isn’t it always?

A few points of interest on the way to Armageddon:

  • Mulder sparing Marita at his own expense is so him.
  • Jeffrey Spender’s an ally now? The enemy of my enemy is my friend?
  • I still don’t understand the logic. Why would the Syndicate, if they did discover a vaccine, only choose to save themselves? They can still be killed even if their bodies aren’t taken over. Wouldn’t humans be more likely to survive in large numbers?
  • After all these years, we have confirmation that the Bounty Hunters were of a different alien race with the Colonists. And, newsflash for me, they were infected with the Black Oil all along.

By now I’m sure you’ve noticed that all mention of cosmic prophecy, tales of William as the new messiah, all history of Mulder’s alien brain adventures, the aliens as “God”, hints at divine intervention… all of it has been conveniently forgotten. Let’s be real – it’s been scrapped.

Well, except for that last part. Chris Carter will pick that up again in the last scene. Suffice it to say, “Provenance” (9×10) and “Providence” (9×11) have been all but rendered irrelevant. Which is no doubt for the best.

Kallenbrunner: She gave up the miracle child? The proof of everything that she and Mulder claim that they’ve risked their lives for over the last nine years – she just sent it off to some strangers?

Oh, this bothers you too??

Reyes: You don’t care what these people have sacrificed over the last nine years, what’s been lost to their cause. You make a mockery of it, gladdened it proves your point.

Kersh: Agent Reyes, that’s enough!

Reyes: What is the point of all of this? To destroy a man who seeks the truth or to destroy the truth so no man can seek it?

No one speaks like this, Chris. Stop it.

Kersh: You’re out of order and in contempt of court, Agent Scully.

Scully: You’re in contempt!

What is this? “And Justice for All…”? If it is then you’re all out of order.

Mulder: A bullet between the eyes would have been preferable to this charade.

Agreed.

Mulder: If I am a guilty man, my crime is in daring to believe that the truth will out and that no one lie can live forever. I believe it still. Much as you try to bury it, the truth is out there. Greater than your lies, the truth wants to be known. You will know it. It’ll come to you, as it’s come to me faster than the speed of light.

Seriously, though. What in the Shakespearean, heck?

Other than confirming that the Super Soldiers are a part of the updated plan for colonization, all this exposition and we still aren’t given an explanation as to why. Why the Super Soldiers and not the Bounty Hunters? Why do human governments need prepping when the aliens have the method and the means to wipe out the human race without human assistance? Why not continue to use the Black Oil to create human pawns? Because Super Soldiers are more durable?

Kallenbrunner: We’re trying a man for murder, not taking a trip down memory lane.

I’m sorry. Maybe no one told you why we’re here.

That’s basically all this was – a trip down memory lane. The clips were pleasant reminders of the past, but I didn’t tune in to watch a clip show. From what I hear, one of the options under consideration had the show ended in Season 8 was to air a one hour television special summarizing the mythology before the finale. I think I would’ve liked that better.

Kallenbrunner: …you describe Mulder as “arrogant,” “difficult,” “a control freak widely disliked by his peers”… This report calls him “unstable prone to violent outbursts.”

Yes… yes. Mmmhmm. Yep. All true.

He can be the most aggravating man. And I love him.

Scully: You say this is greater than us, and maybe it is. But this is us fighting this fight, Mulder, not you! It’s you and me. That’s what I’m fighting for, Mulder: You and me.

PREACH, Scully!

That’s the only solid truth we find out here. That this was only ever really about the journey of discovery made by two people, their spiritual evolutions as individuals and their coming together in an unbreakable bond.

That’s why as frustrating as the lack of either any real development or resolution to the mythology is, in the end, it almost doesn’t matter. Almost.

The action picks up again… finally… when there’s a jailbreak. It’s an awfully easy jailbreak, but I’ll take it. Then we have one last blessed reunion of souls, possibly the last time we’ll see Mulder, Scully, Skinner, Doggett, Reyes… and Gibson… and Kersh?… altogether, before Mulder and Scully take the long road to freedom.

Oh, I’m sorry. I meant, “Mulder and Scully take the long road to Grandpa’s house.”

There’s a cute moment, before the audience realizes Mulder’s about to do what he does best and ignore Kersh’s advice to get out of the country immédiatement, when Gibson gives a slight shake of his head there by the side of the road. He’s read Mulder’s mind and knows Mulder’s about to zig when he’s supposed to zag, that they’re not really headed to Canada, they’re headed to New Mexico to see a man about the truth.

Like I said, Grandpa’s house.

Mulder’s real father, Cigarette-Smoking Man is still alive, not because it makes any sense, but because a finale without him would somehow be soulless and incomplete. And I’m okay with that.

I wondered initially how Mulder managed to infiltrate the Mount Weather facility without the Lone Gunmen to help him. It turns out that CSM was helping him all along. He was the one who tipped Mulder off to the information hidden there and he’s the one who gave Mulder the tools he needed to get in. Is this because, deep down, he has real affection for his son? Affection that the series has hinted he might have for a long time? No. It’s because he doesn’t just want Mulder dead, he wants to see him broken and in the fetal position.

And what is the truth that will finally break Mulder after he’s already lost his sister, his father, his mother, been taken to the brink of death and resurrected by an ancient ritual, been infected by the Black Oil, watched his dearest friend nearly die from cancer because of his quest, suffered a brain malfunction that nearly killed him, had his head cut open and cut into, survived a mysteriously disappearing disease and been tortured by aliens? After he died, was buried and rose again?

Colonization is happening on a schedule.

This? This is the big reveal? The date? You mean I sat through all that talk and the reward for my longsuffering is a date? Unless it’s the date of my marriage to Robert Downey, Jr., I don’t care. What difference does it make if it’s 12/12/22? Everyone already knew colonization was imminent. In fact, I don’t understand why Mulder and Scully haven’t had a fire lit under them from the point the Syndicate was killed.

And how would sharing this information at his mock trial have saved Mulder?

Let me not think too hard about it. There’s no more thinking past this point. Scully hears the truth Mulder tried to keep from her and is as unfazed as I am. Doggett and Reyes abandon Gibson to warn Mulder and Scully that the enemy knows where they are. Knowle Rohrer comes back for one last slow walk of menace before getting destroyed by magnetite for good (because CSM wouldn’t hide out in an unfortified hole). Bombs over Baghdad. CSM dies… but he’s a cockroach so don’t count him out. Doggett and Reyes ride off back to D.C. to put the pieces of their F.B.I. careers back together. Mulder and Scully ride off stay in New Mexico. Why do they stay in New Mexico?

“The Truth” is we get a little action, an emotional reunion, excesses of exposition, a little action, a short reunion, and an excess of explosions.

And then, like we did in “Requiem” (7×21), we get a tenderly formed bookend to what Scully once called “the greatest of journeys”; Mulder and Scully back in a little motel room, back where we first met them, bonding in the dark as the rain falls. Once again, Mulder shares his heart. Once again, Scully sees something in this man that causes her to stay when reason says she shouldn’t.

Only this time, instead of Mulder recruiting Scully into the fray, Scully’s the one encouraging Mulder to fight. She’s the believer here, and he’s the skeptic. And I love that what he’s sown into her he’s now reaping.

They’re still recognizable as the young idealists they both were, but they’ve been changed and humbled by their experiences – In a good way. And the bond between them that started that night in the Pilot(1×79) has been strengthened exponentially.

Scully: You’ve always said that you want to believe. But believe in what Mulder? If this is the truth that you’ve been looking for then what is left to believe in?

Mulder: I want to believe that the dead are not lost to us. That they speak to us as part of something greater than us, greater than any alien force. And if you and I are powerless now, I want to believe that if we listen to what’s speaking, it can give us the power to save ourselves.

Scully: Then we believe the same thing.

Mulder: [Meaningfully touches Scully’s cross before joining her in bed] …Maybe there’s hope.

So they found the truth about alien life Mulder was looking for, more or less. So what? The truth is not too mysterious, nor is it afar off. In the end, this journey was never about searching for the truth in some extraterrestrial plain. It was about realizing that nobody gets there alone. It was about both of them finding inside themselves hope in something outside of themselves, something greater. And it was about seeing that hope reflected in each other, because love hopes all things.

Verdict:

Wow. And here we are. We’ve come all the way from the Pilot to the end of the series proper.

It’s funny. For all Scully muses hope, after this episode aired I thought for sure hope of a movie was all but gone. Mulder and Scully were on the run, which I thought was both a great way to end it and a possible lead-in to other things. But there wasn’t much here, outside of David and Gillian’s legendary chemistry, to make you care about what those other things were.

But I was gloriously wrong. It wasn’t the first, and may it not be the last time.

It wasn’t the finale I dreamed of, no. Yet, I cried and flailed and talked back to the TV because somehow, this all means something. Which is why I find myself here, writing a reviews about a show deader than Lazarus, deader than Mulder, but that’s miraculously risen from the grave.

In my heart, at least, it’s never died.

B-

Musings of an X-Phile:

Mulder: [Voiceover] I want to believe, so badly, in a truth beyond our own hidden and obscured from all but the most sensitive eyes… in the endless procession of souls, in what cannot and will not be destroyed. I want to believe we are unaware of God’s eternal recompense and sadness. That we cannot see His truth. That that which is born still lives and cannot be buried in the cold earth. – “Closure” (7×11)

The above is to show that Chris Carter has already worked these themes deeply into The X-Files. Doesn’t that sound awfully similar to the speech he gives Scully? Samantha’s abduction and the search for the truth it inspired, Mulder’s search for “God”, was always about making sense of loss, finding purpose, and the redemption of suffering.

It was also about reconnecting with those lost to us and finding they’re not really lost, which Mulder certainly does here. It was a great reunion seeing Krycek, Mr. X, and, of course the Lone Gunmen. Seeing Mulder interact with all of them were the highlights of the episode aside from his scenes with Scully.  

Mulder used to be a single crusader, now he has not only a partner, but several allies. And he knows that he still needs, and has, the help of allies past. And maybe even a Greater Ally? Because no one gets there alone.

Superfluous Observations:

At the beginning of Scully’s testimony, Mulder isn’t even in focus but you can see the pride on his face as Scully recounts how they met. And is that a bit of a smirk I spy on Scully too?

Does Reyes always keep a gun in her jeans when she’s hanging at her boyfriend’s house?

I needed much more Mulder and Krycek. They really are like brothers… Thor and Lokie style.

The say 3 judges were leaning in Mulder’s favor. Why on earth…

Of course Mulder was with Gibson! He can hear trouble coming! That was perfect.

The magnetite was in the meteor that originally destroyed alien life on earth and it’s the same metal that downed the Roswell UFO.

Scully would have known that touching that body would render the evidence unreliable.

Bill Mulder’s influence on the boy he thought was his son echoes the influence Mulder was supposed to have had on William according to the prophecy.

Skinner, Reyes and Doggett are back at the F.B.I. with the Toothpick Man and why does everyone have so much chill?? Gibson already outed him as a Super Soldier.

Speaking of Toothpick Man, I recognize him and the General from various outings, but they were both on XF alumnus Howard Gordon’s 24.

Wait, in “William” (9x), I thought it was the Super Soldiers who subjected Spender to those tests? CSM was behind it?

I’m still ridiculously emotional watching this episode. I can’t actually make it through the final scene it one sitting. There are lots of pauses and rewinds and time outs. And the music! Mark Snow, have mercy.

“It’s what made me follow you… and why I’d do it all over again.” – I’m going to take this, carve it in wood, and spank Scully with it come I Want to Believe.

After a fresh rewatch, I’m more flabbergasted than ever that they’d break these two up. Someone tell everyone involved to go back and watch their own show.

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31 responses to “The Truth 9×19/20: Maybe there’s hope.

  1. You know, as deeply flawed and honestly boring as this episode is, that last scene really is nice. I especially like the moment when Scully says “and why I’d do it all over again.” That’s a message to us fans, as well. We’d watch it all over again, and we do. And then Mark Snow beautifully integrates the main theme into the score and, well…it’s very touching.

    • It is deeply flawed and deeply boring so I know I’m grading it generously. But those few good parts were really, really good. Or maybe I’m just overemotional about it. That last scene is sad and sweet and hopeful all at the same time. And, yes! I think Scully speaks for the fans, the cast and the crew.

  2. [“It’s what made me follow you… and why I’d do it all over again.” – I’m going to take this, carve it in wood, and spank Scully with it come I Want to Believe.

    After a fresh rewatch, I’m more flabbergasted than ever that they’d break these two up. Someone tell everyone involved to go back and watch their own show.]

    AND smack her with that wooden carving come the revival as well. I’m going into it with an open mind – hoping and praying that it’ll ALL be ok in the end – PLEASE let it all be ok in the end!

    AH man 8,760 hours?!?!?! Is that seriously how long we had to wait for this back in the day? (#ourstruggle) I still don’t know how I handled it…I remember being a complete mess in school the next day and not being able to focus. I had a dear friend who loved The X-Files as much as me (we still call each other Spooky and Scout – she’s spooky, I’m scout) and we both commiserated ALL day long over where the show had been, had eye roll inducing the past two seasons had been and then flailed over the finale.

    It was definitely exposition heavy and the whole colonization date thing was a horrible let down, plus the mythology is still as headache inducing as ever – but honestly – it was all about Mulder and Scully together again.

    PLUS getting to see Skinner defend Mulder and all of his work was wonderful, Doggett and Reyes risking their careers for The X-Files and then seeing Krychek and X and the Gunman come to Mulder was touching and I just about cry every single time I see them.

    • I was thinking of the revival too! Definitely! It’s madness, I tell you.

      I LOVED seeing those old characters. I only wish we’d gotten Deep Throat too. But there’s something wrong with the Lone Gunmen scene. My eyes always start itching when I watch it…

      And the date thing really was a letdown. So they officially have over a decade to figure out how to stop them. Get to work, then. Mulder’s been in tighter situations and it’s not like he didn’t know the aliens were already here and that colonization was coming. Did he think the plan was to wait until 2050?

  3. Wow, that would have been so much better – take the middle hour out and air a one hour clip show before the finale. Then an hour of the great moments that are left, and there would be a lot more satisfied fans.

    That Reyes dialogue was pretentious for sure. I have to say, Annabeth spoke it with such feeling and gusto, that I like her character the best here. It really felt natural and honest and like she cared deeply, and considering how clunky the dialogue, that’s quite a feat! That made me sad to see her go.

    Wait, didn’t we learn early on in the series that there is a date set for colonization? All we learned now is the actual date? Blah.

    Was anyone else concerned that Mulder was hallucinating and we never really find out why?

    I feel like after the success of the hallway scene in FTF, Chris Carter became obsessed with the idea of tantalizing fans by giving them things and then taking it all back. I hope we move beyond that in the revival!

    For all of the episode’s faults, that last scene is perfect.

    • Yes! I think it would have been less clunky and ham-fisted. Then again, maybe audiences would have been less likely to tune in to a separate special?

      Annabeth Gish worked really hard in that scene, you can tell. I think all the actors and director Kim Manners were trying hard to keep up the drama and entertainment factor. But between the nature of the trial itself and the unnatural dialogue, it wasn’t happening.

      Yes! We learned MUCH earlier that there was a date, just not when the date was. I have to go back and find which episode that was. I think it was mentioned more than once, actually.

      But I don’t think Mulder was hallucinating because of X. X hands him a physical piece of paper with information Mulder couldn’t have gotten. Something spiritual was up. CC made the show more overtly spiritual in the last seasons.

      Yeah, giving and taking away was a technique they fell back on several too many times. It wears thin. William – Never Forget.

      • You’re right, it was a couple of times I think. I just couldn’t remember which episode(s) exactly.
        I doubt I would have remembered it back then watching it over the course of years and not a re-watch, which I assume is why they thought it would come as a bigger surprise to people. Problem is, it’s still too far away to be a big deal anyway.

        Many television viewers now are so smart and invested in the shows they love, I hope they really ramp up the new info in the new episodes and put even more faith in their viewer’s intelligence.

        Ah, good call with the paper. I always overlook that and figured it wasn’t real or something. Or maybe I fell asleep.

        • Falling asleep during this episode is a *distinct* risk.

          I still haven’t figured out which episode it is. I think it was Season 3. I’m about do for my personal Favorites Rewatch before the finale, so I’m going to try to look. But, you’re right. Even if they already mentioned it, it was so long ago… Whether they recycled it or not, it’s still not compelling, just a little less imaginative.

          • Season 3 finale – Talitha Cumi. The Smoking Man mentions it in his conversation with a captive Jeremiah Smith. I remember that being the first mention that “the date is set” during my rewatch this year.

            Dunno how that fits with all the tension surrounding the creation of the perfect hybrid in Two Fathers/One Son, though. Also, in Fight The Future, Kurtzweil says it will happen on a holiday (Christmas is close, but a few days off), although he was kind of an outsider and could have been working from faulty intelligence.

  4. I feel like we all deserve shirts that say, “Season 9: The struggle had been real, but I survived.”

    Despite the fact that this episode is boring, it really does feel like a reward for making it this far. I mean, based on what we’ve seen in the past, Mulder and Scully are practically being explicit with their PDA. CC I guess just let it happen since, to him, this was the end and who cares anymore! I missed Mulder so much and his scenes with Scully breathe that last bit of life into this show. Their kiss in the prison is my favorite and I just love that last scene so much. Be honest, how many times did you rewind all the M/S scenes during this rewatch??

    I’m amazed that they spent so much damn time on the trial and only two seconds on breaking Mulder out of, what is presumably, a high security prison. Wouldn’t that have been more exciting to watch?

    I may have just been sitting with this idea for so long that I’ve rationalized it in my brain, but I can understand why Mulder and Scully could have temporarily separated. I mean, yeah, everything seems hopeful now, but they seemed completely depressed and sad in IWTB. I imagine that they barely spoke about William after all of this in The Truth. It’s brushed over so lightly in this episode (Mulder was told off camera and by Skinner, no less! I mean…wouldn’t having Scully tell Mulder about that on screen be better than this damn trial?), and then it is this dark cloud hanging over them in IWTB, especially with Scully. They both are suffering from some major PTSD and a serious lack of communication, but from some clips that I’ve seen from the revival, they seem to be better at verbally communicating. Maybe they’ve finally dealt with their demons instead of just repressing them like I imagine they do post-season 9. I guess we’ll find out soon how this all plays out.

    • Great points!

    • Be honest, how many times did you rewind all the M/S scenes during this rewatch??

      I can never tell… because I can never make it through one of those scenes in one solid sitting. Too many emotions. It takes multiple, partial attempts.

      I’m amazed that they spent so much damn time on the trial and only two seconds on breaking Mulder out of, what is presumably, a high security prison. Wouldn’t that have been more exciting to watch?

      Ye-es! It’s exasperating. It’s a little too easy to infiltrate and escape the Super Soldier’s lair this episode, no? And then Doggett and Reyes are walking the halls of the F.B.I. with the Toothpick Man obviously in charge and no one thinks to take early retirement. Are they dangerous or aren’t they?

      As far as Mulder and Scully splitting up, I suppose I’ll get into this more with the revival, but pre-IWTB, while they were realistically portrayed, they weren’t realistic characters. They were literary ideals – This show is basically another version of the Hero’s Journey. When Mulder and Scully are stripped of their quest, that’s when things retreat into Normalville, which I don’t think is nearly as universally compelling. After all they’ve been through, the suffering and loss they’ve already made it through that brought them together instead of tearing them apart, it’s hard to believe that your typical lack of communication or depression could break them up the way it would your average couple. But we’ll see how they depict it. Maybe they’ll convince me that lingering hurt could have snowballed into something that would cause someone to walk away from their constant, their touchstone…

      • Oh, don’t get me wrong, I hate that they separated them and I think after EVERYTHING they’ve been through they would never leave each other. It’s their reward for still being alive and fighting the good fight. Just for my own sanity I’ve tried to rationalize it. Hopefully they do a good job in the revival dealing with it. If anything, I trust that David and Gillian will have Mulder and Scully’s love shine through it all no matter what.

        • Oh, I know! I understood completely. I think how well this medicine goes down is going to depend on how much sugar they feed us with it.

          They can’t help themselves…

      • The thing about the whole separation thing that I buy into is, yes, they are separated, but from some of the clips I’ve seen it’s very obvious that when Mulder needs Scully, she still comes running, and that was what it was always about for me. We’ve known for a long time that no matter what was going on between them at the time, Mulder would go through hell for Scully. And we’ve seen evidence of the same from her, but she is the one that wants the normal life. It’s a theme throughout.

        Mulder will never been able to give her that normal life in suburbia, but that doesn’t mean she still doesn’t occasionally dream about it. And maybe there is a point where you’re sitting on the couch with your best friend and you realize that you are making each other miserable. That’s a powerful thing.

        My favorite thing on this rewatch has been witnessing how, once the action was down some, they enjoyed being playful with each other. We really one get one glimpse of that in IWTB. I can definitely see that playfulness slowly leeching out. Plus, we also know neither one of them are GOOD at relationships. They might not be broken up by the normal things that would separate a couple (money, family, etc), but they MIGHT stay away from each other if they decided they were hurting each other by being so close all the time.

        That’s a really long winded way to look at it but I guess what I’m trying to say is that I buy the separation. And I buy how awesome it’s going to be as they try to restrain themselves once they get back into the swing of things. It doesn’t matter how much you love someone, if you fall for a man on a mission and he loses that mission and becomes kind of a shell of himself, you aren’t going to have as much fun around him as you once did. And anyway, as per the trailers for the season, we all know, it doesn’t matter where they are in life, when Mulder calls her, Scully still will be there.

        • I think the same reason I don’t buy it is the same reason you do: That it’s clear they love each other and will eventually work it out.

          It could just be an exercise in drama – let’s torture the audience with it for ratings. OR, CC could present it in such a way that it actually serves the characters and the show and therefore a greater purpose than tension for tension’s sake. Truth be told, I don’t find people getting along on television boring at all. It’s one of my favorite things about Star Trek. But I think I’m in the minority and television writers and execs tend toward drama when it comes to creating drama and boosting ratings. And, it must be admitted, the fact that M&S are split up has created a buzz.

          I can definitely see them physically separating if things were to get unhealthy, but more as a temporary separation than a breakup, which I think is what CC really means – they’re apart, but never completely.

      • My theory on the Jail Break: Cancer Man wanted them to break-out so that he could have Mulder run to Grandpa’s house so that he could fulfill his ultimate goal of seeing Mulder as a broken man. That’s why Kersh helped them; he was under orders from the last of the Conspiracy (ie, CSM).

        And can we just talk about one of the best parts of this episode: when Scully calls CSM a “cigarette smoking bastard.” She says it with SO much loathing that it’s hilarious! I love how after En Ami she has so much unmitigated disgust and hatred for him, especially when he’s grossly hitting on her again. It’s like she’s so mad, she can’t even come up with a bigger insult than that he smokes cigarettes…and is a bastard.

        Why is Mulder seeing dead people. Hello, Chris. You’ve firmly established that that’s Scully’s thing.

        My current guilty pleasure show is Pretty Little Liars. Whenever Annabeth guest stars I MST3K the show to make her character say Reyes lines. Pretention and whale song and all. It’s my favorite.

        PS: I can’t wait until you post your review of 10×01. MAMA MIA, have I got some things to say…

        • You make perfect sense!! Maybe CSM pulled some strings to allow Mulder to get out of there.

          And we can talk about Scully. Because I’ve been missing her all season. And while there’s still some crying going on, at least she’s FIGHTING again. I love her attitude with CSM. “So the end of the world is coming. So what? The aliens will come and you’ll still be scum.”

  5. You made it all the way through! Congrats! I’ll never get tired of the reunion in the prison, or the last scene, or Doggett, Reyes and Skinner being freaking awesome. But other than that, this is an awfully dull episode. So good job finding the good in it, the way that it does tie everything together in its own way. (Even if they do gloss over some stuff that really should have been discussed. And even if the mythology is so tangled by this point that even a court case explaining it in detail can’t make it clear to me.) Really, it’s all worth it to get that last scene: “Maybe there’s hope.”

    You are reviewing the miniseries, right? I mean, I assume you would be, but I wanted to double-check. I need thoughtful reviews from someone whose take on the X-Files I trust. NEED, you hear me?

    • When it’s good it’s really, really good and when it’s bad it’s boring – That basically sums up this episode for me. In terms of the mythology, there’s nothing interesting going on here which is a horrible shame. But I like that it ended with Mulder and Scully on the run, starting out on the next phase of their journey. You both know what’s going to happen and you don’t. If we had never gotten anything else I could have imagined them fighting the good fight and eventually succeeding.

      And, yes! I’m in for the revival. In for a penny, in for a pound, right? Though I guess in this case, it’s more like in for a pound, in for a penny. What’s 6 episodes in the face of 201?

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  11. I can’t watch the Truth without thinking of my dad, who died three days before it aired. I was in shock over his passing, and my favorite show’s too. I watched it on the cable-less TV in his studio and remember being underwhelmed. I didn’t rewatch it again till a few months ago, and just finished rewatching again. Still underwhelmed. Except for the M/S bits. Like a cool, refreshing cup of water after the long, parched slog that was Season 9. I’m glad they ended up where they began, and I must commend Scully for packing one of Mulder’s gray T-shirts and a pair of his 501s in her getaway bag. So thoughtful of her 😉

    Things that bother me about this ep:

    Mulder’s no longer in the FBI. Kersh fired him. Why do they still refer to him as Agent Mulder during this? And why is this an FBI-run kangaroo court? Or, excuse me, a military tribunal? He’s not in the military. For the sake of argument, seems like it would’ve been under federal jurisdiction. Oh, Zabird, stop being so literal, just go with the flow!

    Samantha died in 1979. Not 1987, Chris!

    Skinner had keys to the military brig? And rhey could walk right in?

    That said, it was awesome to see Krycek and Mr. X again. Especially X. Badass in life, badass in death. The Gunmen too.

    Looked like TPTB had zero interest in killing Moose and Squirrel. They were there to take out Gramps. But like cockroaches …

    As to their being apart in the revival … Damn you, Carter! tho I could see how they got to that point … You could see it coming in IWTB.

    And speaking of, can’t wait to read your thoughts on IWTB and the revival. But like fine wine or chocolate, I will be savoring them in small bites, not big gulps. Have to make it last till Season 11, whenever that is.

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