Nothing Lasts Forever 11×9: I always wondered how this was gonna end.


 

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Our irreverent constant and her touchstone.

 

 

First of all, pancreas lickin’ surgeons like what in the whole wide world?????

That one moment was harder to watch than all of “Sanguinarium” (4×6).

More importantly, who are you Karen Nielsen and how may I serve you?????

As I try to calm down, let me introduce you to me sitting down to watch this episode. Watching the teaser, I had just started chewing on a gooey Margherita pizza complete with spicy salami. You can imagine my discomfiture.

And at first, I’ll admit, I was cocking an eyebrow at this Catholic Kunoichi plot. I’m still cocking an eyebrow at it, but thankfully, the episode takes the themes deeper than vampire slaying.

Wait, no it doesn’t. It just takes the vampire slaying theme really, really deep. I won’t even try to cover all the themes touched on here. I can’t and keep things coherent. I’m surprised the episode could. But let’s cover what we shall, shall we?

You’re going to think this is strange, but the day I watched this episode, without knowing a thing about it or even remembering the previous week’s teaser, I had been having a conversation with myself in the car that morning about the Bible’s Old and New Testament proscriptions against eating the blood of animals and the inherently blasphemous nature of vampire myths. Because, doesn’t everyone?

Since said conversation has proven oddly (divinely?) relevant to the episode at hand, let me share a few verses surprisingly relevant to this conversation. Bear with me.

Leviticus 17:10-13, 14 (NLT)

“And if any native Israelite or foreigner living among you eats or drinks blood in any form, I will turn against that person and cut him off from the community of your people, for the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the Lord. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible. That is why I have said to the people of Israel, ‘You must never eat or drink blood—neither you nor the foreigners living among you.’… The life of every creature is in its blood. That is why I have said to the people of Israel, ‘You must never eat or drink blood, for the life of any creature is in its blood.’ So whoever consumes blood will be cut off from the community.

Here we see God forbid His people to eat blood for two reasons. One, in its blood is the life that God Himself gave it. To eat the blood is to disrespect not merely the life, but the One who gave the life. Two, blood is provided as atonement, which is a $10 word that means to pay the price for a sin committed. Ergo, the innocent bull’s blood is shed for the sins you committed so that you yourself don’t have to die for them even though you deserve to. Blood is the only price that can be paid for sin.

John 6:51-58 New Living Translation (NLT)

I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.”

Then the people began arguing with each other about what he meant. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” they asked.

So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. I am the true bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever.”

If you’re saying “WHAT?” right about now, join a couple thousand years’ worth of multitudes before you. Unsurprisingly, most of Jesus’ disciples abandoned Him after this. But Jesus is speaking in spiritual terms, not physical ones, His point being that in the same way people eat food to live, we must feed off of Him to live spiritually and eternally.

You’re starting to see the relevance to our X-Files discussion, yes???

Matthew 26:26-28 (NLT)

As they were eating, Jesus took some bread and blessed it. Then he broke it in pieces and gave it to the disciples, saying, “Take this and eat it, for this is my body.”

And he took a cup of wine and gave thanks to God for it. He gave it to them and said, “Each of you drink from it, for this is my blood, which confirms the covenant between God and his people. It is poured out as a sacrifice to forgive the sins of many.

Finally, not only is Jesus’ flesh and blood the life source provided for all of mankind, but His innocent blood is sacrificed as a payment for mankind’s sins. In other words, the innocent takes the punishment for the guilty so that the guilty don’t have to be punished for their own sins. The innocent is sacrificed in order for the guilty to live.

Whew! I know that was a lot. But we had to get on the same page with all most some of writer Karen Nielsen’s myriad Biblical allusions before we could go any further.

Anyway, this moment of breaking bread and drinking wine that Jesus first shared with His disciples is what’s known in Christianity as the Lord’s Supper, or Communion, or the Eucharist among other names. Jesus’ disciples still commemorate His death this way. Now, Catholic Christians believe that during the Eucharist, the wafer and wine that Christ speaks of here materially and substantially, and through no small sacred mystery, become the body and blood of Christ. This belief is called transubstantiation.

Now we can clearly see the parallels being made between the cannibalism in the opening scene, not only the literal licking of a putrid pancreas, but the cannibalism of one human being’s organs for another human being’s survival, be that human being an aging starlet or a nameless patient in a hospital, and Scully’s participation in the Eucharist.

If the innocent dying for the guilty is a spiritual principle and even Scully takes part in the body and blood of Christ, Scully, who by the end prays to Mulder rather than God, is Barbara Beaumont really so evil?

YES.

If you remember without scrolling up however many pages I’ve been venting my Phile emotions, blood is sacred for two (heavily simplified) reasons: 1. It contains within itself life given by God which man has no right to desecrate. 2. Blood is the only thing that can pay for sin. It’s blood that pays for sin in both the Old and New Testaments and blood is forbidden to be consumed in both the Old and the New Testaments (ref. Acts 15:28-29).

What is a vampire? It’s a creature that should be dead but keeps itself unnaturally and blasphemously alive by mocking Christ’s sacrifice for sin and further mocking its Creator by feeding on a life He made. Welcome, Barbara Beaumont. Come on down to Crazy Town.

By the by, if you ever wondered why Dracula was afraid of crucifixes and sacramental bread, it’s because everything he was and did was in violation of God’s natural and spiritual laws. Now you know. Tell a friend.

So, this is an episode that toys with cannibalism but is really about the physical and spiritual implications of vampirism. And might I add, it’s a much more interesting treatment of vampirism than the dreck that was “3” (2×7), which naturally, I skipped during my most recent rewatch.

For that matter, if we’re going back, “Our Town” (2×24) also treated cannibalism as another form of vampirism that provided the gateway to eternal youth for its practitioners, only blood wasn’t touched upon, visually or otherwise, so much or so often as it is here.

Wait. I forgot my comparison to Scully. Rewind. She’s Catholic again? Didn’t she just?… Wasn’t there just?… That whole “no evil” speech… I just… Mmm. Kay.

Anyway, Scully is fueling herself on the blood of Jesus (Really, she’s just reaffirming an ambiguous faith in faith itself, but why split hairs?). She’s not violating any natural or spiritual principles by participating in the Eucharist. She’s a Catholic in good standing and no Barbara Beaumont. May Scully live forever.

Mulder, though, he knows he’s a reprobate. He’s my favorite fictional reprobate ever. Mulder doesn’t believe in God, he believes in Scully. This is something I probably don’t find sweet the way that many Philes do, but I do get it. It’s very human. (It’s not quite where we left Mulder’s character development in “The Truth” (9×19/20) or I Want to Believe, but I’ve given up on continuity. You can’t be disappointed if you don’t care.) And it’s consistent with the nature of their relationship over the years. Scully, for her part, privately whispers her prayer for their future to Mulder rather than God. And even though I have my personal misgivings that Barbara Beaumont and Dr. Luvenis aren’t the only sacrilegiously attached couple who have outstayed their welcome, HOW ABOUT THIS IS PRETTY MUCH HOW THEIR RELATIONSHIP SHOULD BE ALL THE TIME, THANK YOU, CHRIS CARTER.

Seriously, though. Does Mulder worship Scully any less than Dr. Luvenis worshipped Barbara Beaumont?

Verdict:

With no intention of making a perverse pun, I finally have some meat to chew on. I have something interesting enough to muse over. It was not too much to ask.

This doesn’t just challenge your gag reflex like “F. Emasculata” (2×22) or make you squirm in your seat like “Roadrunners” (8×5). My very soul recoils at certain scenes here. Much of it felt over the top and unnecessary. And yet, I’m here to tell you that in terms of writing, I think it’s the most well thought out episode of the season and possibly the whole revival (if I had the stomach to rewatch all of Season 10).

It has to end sometime, Scully. And if this little shenanigans Chris Carter once called a breakup had to end, I’m glad it ended this way. And if The X-Files has to end (I’ll say a prayer for that), let it end with this, one last thoroughly thought out episode, ‘cause we all know the next one’s not gonna be it.

Oh yes, there are the parallels between The X-Files unnaturally extending itself through this revival and Barbara Beaumont sitting in the dark, reliving her heyday on a loop. No, nothing lasts forever.

Except for eternity in heaven or eternity in hell.

“I made a choice – It was mine. I’d gladly trade my lifetime here for an eternity in heaven.”

A-

Just for Kicks:

By the by, another conversation I had had earlier in the day before I watched this episode? About cults and about how one of the hallmarks of them is absolute control by a teacher who knows everything you don’t. This time I was actually talking with someone outside my own head, though.

Once again, Mulder’s uncanny intuition is on overdrive.

What is reverse aging when you spend your pretty-faced life in a lightless coffin of a tenement apartment in New York City with a naked, dirty crowd of grown adults who use words like “dinnie”? Go ahead and kill me.

Barbara Beaumont bordered on too comical at times, and crossed that border into farcical during her little musical recital. I confess, this took me out of the episode a bit. And yet, mad props to Season 11 for using diegetic music in in two out of its ten episodes. Y’all know I’m a sucker for that.

Speaking of Barbara Beaumont, did the actress that played her remind anyone else of Mila Kunis?

Still, no one has answered the question: Where did Juliet learn how to be a ninja?

“Every human being has a time bomb built into their genes.” TRUE. And in more than one way. The Bible calls it original sin. Like yeast in a loaf of bread, decay by a more palatable name, it’s eventual corruption is built in it from the beginning.

Scully would, could, should be dead after her fall through that dumbwaiter and yet Mulder was pretty much chilling.

Continuity Control: During Season 1, Mulder wore glasses while reading more times than I have the patience to post links for, not least of which was the very first shot we ever had of Mulder in the Pilot (1×79).

What a coincidence that Juliet comes walking into the church that Scully’s praying at. Of all the diocese in all the towns in all the world, you walk into mine.

Am I the only one? I’m a veteran X-Phile, but sometimes the cinematography was so dark I, mercifully, couldn’t make out what was happening.

There are moments of supreme tension here. I actually partially covered my eyes when Barbara Beaumont leaned in to kiss one of her minions. I was afraid I was about to witness a bloodbath.

Juliet and Olivia’s last name, Bocanegra, “black mouth”. I wonder if there’s a history to that name I don’t know about? Or am I just supposed to be visualizing a mouth black with blood? Eww.

Best Quotes:

You may have noticed that this section of my reviews has been neglected for a while now. That’s because there hasn’t been anything worth quoting. But somehow, this time around, there was so much great dialogue I had to pick and choose and still left some great quotes out. Scully and Mulder have the best banter they’ve had all season. Nay, since the final episode that awaits is none other than the inventively named “My Struggle IV” (11×10), I think it’s safe to officially call this the best banter of the season. Period.

Scully: Are those new? Bifocals?

Mulder: They’re not bifocals, Scully. They’re… progressives. They’re called progressive lenses.

Scully: No need to get defensive.

Mulder: I’m not defensive, I’m just…

Scully: Presbyopia’s a natural part of the aging process.

————————–

Mulder: You know, sometimes I wonder why we keep doing it, Scully, in the face of all this indifference and presbyopia… Did you get your hair cut?

Scully: …Are you kidding me?

—————————

Mulder: Now I know why I’m not a Christian, Scully. My parents never got me a puppy.

—————————

Scully: You always bear north, Mulder, no matter which way or how hard the wind blows against you.

—————————

Scully: You think she’s involved?

Mulder: I think she is. My gut tells me she is. And my gut doesn’t need glasses.

 

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55 responses to “Nothing Lasts Forever 11×9: I always wondered how this was gonna end.

  1. Wooooow. The fandom is really split on this one, it seems. I absolutely hated it. For one thing, I felt it was exploitative and the case itself didn’t go much of anywhere. But that conversation at the end…I felt so insulted by it. For one thing, it was barely a conversation. It was mostly Scully mentioning to Mulder the problems they’ve had, but there wasn’t much in the way of actually resolving any of those problems. For once, I’d like to hear Scully explain WHY she couldn’t live with Mulder. And I certainly don’t want her to ask stupid questions like “Are we together?” But, most of all, the whisper was a punch in the gut. This is the penultimate episode. I don’t want to feel like I’m not allowed to see where Mulder and Scully have ended up. It felt like they pried the door open, and then at the last minute, slammed it shut in our faces. I know Mulder and Scully’s relationship has largely been unspoken, but it’s never been inaudibly spoken to the point where fans get to see there’s something there but aren’t allowed to know what it is. That may have been fine with me earlier, but it’s the second-to-last episode. For once, I want some answers.

    • If the fandom’s split, I’m glad I didn’t look around before I wrote this up! If I’m going to go on record, I want to make sure my biases are my own. And I am biased toward themes and parallels. You know me.

      Truth be told, after the teaser, I was prepared to despise it. But when the themes started coming together, I opened my mind. Really, this was about Scully aging, looking back at her past choices and considering her future. Meanwhile, she’s juxtaposed with BB who can’t let her heyday go. I get it. BUT it was gratuitously gross. No doubt about it. No excuse for it. The X-Files used to freak us out by showing just enough to freak us out, no more, no less. This was 2018 “let’s outdo the others” TV.

      I really wasn’t hating the conversation, though. But I wasn’t looking for or expecting an explanation for the breakup. Ever. There was nothing to explain. It would never make sense. If they had given Scully a reason why she left, it would have been touched on in the beginning and gradually revealed and explored before its eventual resolution. The fact that Scully hasn’t had a single bone to pick with Mulder regarding their relationship or their son was all the evidence I needed that this was pure shenanigans. If she never had an actual problem, how can they resolve it?

      I didn’t mind the whisper either because I’ve always felt, even watching the show back in the day, that we were only seeing 10% of their relationship, that they have a history of time spent together that the audience doesn’t even know about. So I don’t mind if it stays private. THAT SAID, I would be much more annoyed if I still cared about the ending being written for these characters. While I can appreciate this episode the bubble of the revival, MY Mulder and Scully don’t end up here. Nuh uh. No way.

      • Edited to add, on the whole issue of privacy, that final moment was meant to be a prayer. And you remember, Scully explained to Mulder earlier that prayer was a private conversation. She wouldn’t let Mulder in on her conversation with God. Mulder, for his part, said that he talked to God through Scully. Remember, in Christianity, Jesus Christ is the ultimate intercessor connecting God and man. She’s his personal Jesus (not that that’s possible, but you get where they’re going), and he’s “connected” to God through her.

        In that final moment, Scully reverses the situation. Instead of praying to God, she prays to Mulder, who then goes to God on her behalf by lighting a candle. In that sense, it makes perfect sense that Scully’s prayer, her whisper to Mulder, is private.

        It’s confusing and maybe unsatisfying, but it’s consistent.

        • But was Scully really praying to Mulder, or was she just sharing a secrete? It was Mulder who lit the candle after all; and he doesn’t even REALLY understand what lighting a prayer candle is all about (because his parents never got him a puppy or something; also because we were always led to believe he’s Jewish. This show is so inconsistent I can’t even deal…). Also, Scully’s Catholic. We pray to Saints to intercede on behalf of Christ. So if she was praying to Mulder to intercede on behalf of Christ, are we meant to believe that Mulder is a Saint to her? Good gracious, I need to go back to CCD to figure all of this out.

          • True! But since Scully didn’t get into saints here, but instead said something to Mulder about prayer being a private conversation with God, I think that layer of doctrine was left out.

      • While I agree the breakup was bad writing, it still frustrates me that they’ve basically completely ignored it and gone back to pretending they’re like they were in Season 3. At least, that’s how Chris Carter seems to want them to be. I think they could have done more with it. I also don’t think that the conversation in the church told us anything we didn’t already know. But I also have a huge problem with the idea that Mulder “worships” Scully – I prefer to think of their relationship as one of mutual respect rather than the sort of uneven dynamic it can take when one party worships the other.

        • I also don’t know why this show has to constantly frame their relationship as this complicated, religious thing when really it is and always has been—love. While I don’t necessarily need to see them say “I love you” out loud, I want to feel like they’re saying it through their actions. Even though I wasn’t an enormous fan of episode 7, that hand touch at the end said way more to me than this conversation did.

    • Well said, knifeInk. I agree.
      😐

  2. These past two have been a vast improvement. Barbara was a hoot, but far too easily disposed of. Where was the to-the-teeth blood wrestle? Just seemed a little too regular for them to merely get an address and close things down. I mean how many times did they encounter Tooms? I want X-Files, not CSI. Still, I will take it also. Quite a thoughtful episode as you said with some dialogue worthy of the show’s heyday.

    • I agree that the climax was rushed, probably sacrificed to the god of conversational dialogue. We never really got to see Mulder figure BB and her boyfriend’s little scheme out. We ended with no idea how they seduced and brainwashed these kids. It probably had something to do with promising them youth and beauty, but all the youth and beauty in the world can’t explain that mess. We needed a little intellectual showdown with Mulder.

      • Yes, or at least some condemnation. M&S have been far too nonchalant. Remember Scully’s contempt in 2shy and Mulder’s anger, well in loads of criminal profile-type episodes? It was more like- oh Scully just fell down an elevator shaft- oh well. As if THAT was the way to wrap things up. Barbara’s burn about Scully’s age was rather funny though. I hope they resurrect her somehow. The show had been lacking engaging new characters. Whilst “Familiar” was alright, I thought the cast were a sorry lot.

        I get this was a sacrifice for the conversation at the end, of which, as a non-shipper, I didn’t actually hate. Yet these clipped conclusions have been happening a lot during the revival. Give me an X File which isn’t missing the last few pages.

        • One thing I really miss that we got a lot from Scully’s character in the early seasons was her strong sense of justice. She – and Mulder – used to care about the outcome of a case.

  3. Did we hear Tad O’Exposition’s radio show being played during the teaser? I heard “chemtrails” and started crying.

    • We did. I’m certain of it. I rewound just to make sure.

      • Yeah, that was totally him. Most boring, unimaginative character of this revival (possibly; I don’t really think too much about this revival, to be real). To quote Flo in Pitch Perfect 3, “Wow. That was a lot of exposition.”

  4. I loved the goriness of the episode as it actually made me squirm which isn’t easy in this day and age and it was over the top. I’m a sick man, I know 😉

    As with the previous episode I found myself enjoying the show for the most part but the niggling thing was…why are Scully and Mulder not engaged with this crime mystery? Almost nothing they say and do or emote reflects the situation going on around them. It felt like this was just a routine crime scene and they had to get that stuff out of the way before discussing some religious and relationship conundrums that have been rattling around their heads since ep 1X79.

    All the ingredients are there to make this a great ep just like Familiar but that jarring contrast of what is happening around the two and their reaction to it takes the steam out of it for me.

    • Very true. But what most offended me on this front was, as I mentioned, Mulder’s lack of urgency when Scully was almost certainly dead. To be fair, Mulder and Scully’s burnout was written into the dialogue of the episode, with Mulder wondering out loud why they still do this at all. But it’s still so hard to see the emotional disengagement from each and every case. Back in the day, Mulder’s empathy for these sisters would have been on his sleeve.

      Alright. Hold that thought, everybody. I’ll be back!

      • Yeahhhh. Mulder’s general lack of empathy/concern this season is weird. Even jarring at times. His little hear to heart with Sveta was the only time he’s behaved like the real compassionate Mulder of yesteryear this entire revival.

  5. A-? Huh…usually you’re right on par with with, but I really didn’t care for this one.

    As I’ve said before in another post, the show really seems to have crossed a line of showing us a little too much this season. I miss that “scarier in my mind” feeling I got in episodes of past. This one was filled with gore, and just left me feeling disgusted right after watching. That in itself made me dislike this one.

    However, not being one to judge an episode purely on my gut/initial reaction, I went out and discussed with others. Was told that in part, Barbara Beaumont was based upon Elizabeth Báthory, the so-called “Blood Countess” who supposedly killed hundreds & bathed in their blood in the belief it would restore her youth. Many of the vampire legends are inspired by Báthory, so this did at least make the story worth a second look to me. Yet, it still doesn’t change the gore-factor. Think if I wanted to see that much gore, I’d go watch Texas Chainsaw Massacre, not The X-Files!

    A lot of people were upset over the discussion between Mulder and Scully at the end of the episode. Think many were expecting a kiss during the “lean-in”. Maybe I’m missing something, but I thought what we got was even better & more intimate than a kiss. Finally, these two are opening up to one another in a way a mature relationship should. Set aside jokes about handcuffs and crazy case obligations, and finally talk…really talk. Maybe the important words were said in a whisper for only the two of them to hear, but I still was happy to see it. The truth they both know…and for the rest of us, we can use the power of imagination to come up with our own truth. Wish the rest of the episode would have been able to follow suit and show us “less is more” .

    • The gore is what took it down a few notches for me. That and the believability of some things. But the depth of symbolism sold me. Maybe it’s just because I’ve been starved for it this whole revival?

      I wasn’t expecting a kiss, but I had no spoilers going into this one, or any of them, for that matter. Man, I remember when I used to rewind teasers until I knew them by heart…

      Anyway. I couldn’t be disappointed in the lack of romance because I wasn’t expecting any. And I’m like you. I preferred the intimacy to a kiss.

      Besides, after “Plus One” I was over anything CC wanted to do with MSR.

  6. I also forgot to say…I’ve already made a run to the liquor store in preparation for the finale. Not because I’m having a finale party or am even that big of a drinker. No, think I may need the alcohol just to get through the episode. My expectations are not just low…they’re hit-rock-bottom, may-need-therapy, and prepared-to-walk-away-forever-from-the-fandom low. If rumors and buzzing I’ve heard are even remotely true (deaths of long-time characters, cliff-hanger ending, and poor script), this may be it for me. Hope I’m wrong, and pleasantly surprised with true closure and an ending worthy of the franchise, but if not…maybe I should follow Gillian’s lead and say “I’m done.”

    Allowing the series’ characters to be repeatedly pushed into horrible circumstances in mediocre episodes and continuing to watch is only enabling the bad behavior on the part of Chris Carter to continue. I’ve supported the show through thick and thin for years, but something has to give. If Chris Carter won’t stop repeatedly pulling from his same bag of tricks only to prolong the series indefinitely, than maybe it’s time for the fans to move on… There are far more satisfying resolutions out there in the fanfic world from others points of view or maybe even writing my own that I’d rather explore. After all these years, I’m tired, bitter, and ready to find my happy ending…with or without the blessing of the show’s creator.

    • I think the problem was M&S being written into a corner. I always felt love between them, but not really passion. I could perhaps see them being together now, but it needn’t continually be the show’s focus.

      • 1013 has a way of blaming the shippers, but it’s really 1013 that made Mulder and Scully’s relationship the focus of the show.

        • True. 1013 never did want to acknowledge their own hand in that.And DD contributed, whether knowingly or not, because many of Mulder’s touches, caresses, and flirty mannerisms in the early seasons were not scripted but DD’s doing.

    • Agent summer…I just watched the finale and read your comment here and its exactly what is in my head, and I need to hug you. I wholeheartedly agree. And what a terrible feeling to to have for something that once meant so much to me. I can’t believe that after all these years he drove the show so low and managed to make us feel this way – and WE have to abandon ship. Never did i think it would end by me walking away. Is it too much to say I’m heartbroken?

      • I’m glad I didn’t see these before I watched. Not that it would have changed a THING. But it lets me know that what’s in my head is not just in my head and it’s not just in my head because I heard it.

    • Check. Check. Check.

      Let me stop so I don’t spoil it for any poor soul coming after us and watching these episodes in order.

      Here be monsters.

  7. Although I’m maintaining my Chris Carter-free viewing lifestyle, I’m sitting here too nervous to even read any reviews of the finale. I have this awful feeling CC poured gasoline all over the X Files landscape, then lit it up.

    • A fairly spoiler-free response:

      I’m honestly not sure what I watched. He didn’t pour gasoline over it – he sort of gave up and decided to just give it a sedative. There was no big cliffhanger, and I’m not actually sure what happened – once again, too much stuff was packed in because of too many pointless set-piece action scenes.

      So there ended up being no room to understand Skinner’s actions throughout season 11, no further understanding of Reyes, and no understanding of what actually happened to a number of characters at the end.

      In a sense, Carter has given us the best ending he could have – sweet and focussed on M&S and the future. But my hands are frantically waving round the season 11 (and seasons 1-10) landscape going “WHAT ABOUT ALL ****THIS****?”

      Maybe I missed something big – cos once again, so much was done in incredibly dark spaces, and unlike the old X Files, I can no longer make out half of what’s happening when they film it like that.

      • Okay, it’s not just me. It’s true. I’ve turned up the brightness on my TV and I still can’t tell what’s going on sometimes. It was true this episode (mercifully, as I mentioned) and it was true in the finale. This is more than just aesthetics.

    • I’d love to surprise you and tell you you’re wrong. But. Well.

  8. I know exactly how you feel, evilpants. When “The End” aired I had the same response that you’re describing here, those ““WHAT ABOUT ALL ****THIS****?” feelings of confusion and befuddlement.

    OK… so should I expose myself to this? It won’t make me angry and bitter the every other “My Struggle” script has left me? I could always practice the “only watch the M&S scenes” … which is how I made it through “The End” in the first place.

    • Unfortunately, it’s a CC episode, which means he splits M&S up for most of it.

      I simply feel disappointment and relief, in all honesty. The story isn’t satisfying in any way, it makes no sense at all, it has no reason for existing, it doesn’t fit in with anything else we’ve seen, and it just…. ends.

      But I don’t feel angry & bitter, and I don’t hate Carter for making it. It is probably the best finale we could’ve hoped for, given how badly he’s destroyed the mythology, Reyes’s character etc.

      The relief comes from the fact that this episode really can be seen as a proper finale – if The X-Files doesn’t come back, this ending works, *if we assume that we’ve been told the truth in 11×01 and that the aliens really aren’t coming*. I’m relieved that loose ends were tied up.

      But effectively, it ends with a sigh, and I feel sad at the sheer bloody minded waste of time, creativity and effort.

      I’d wait for one of the other commenters to pipe up before deciding to watch it on the basis of what I’ve said. I think you might be safe to watch it because you will finally get a sense of finality from it, even if it won’t be an uplifting, nourishing experience. But let’s see if others here agree with me.

      • Let’s be real (and I’m super zonked-out on steroids right now, so I’m not gonna be eloquent in any shape, matter, or form), it sucked. I’ll wait until Salome makes her post to say any more, but yeah, at least it’s over.

        • Kate, perhaps this was the universe’s way of numbing you to the CC finale pain? Feel better!

          • Thanks! You all make me laugh so hard some times! It’s such a help on so many levels!

            • That’s just the steroids. We’re actually a bunch of miserable moaners 🙂

              Hope the steroids don’t make you feel too bad.

              • But smart and insightful miserable moaners! Don’t forget that(!). But seriously, if I didn’t have a forum in which to go to discuss my frustration with this abomination of stolen 90’s art I might go more nuts than I am right now. Just say’n.

                • Totally agree. And I love the “stolen 90s art”.

                • Girl, rock on with your Prednisone.

                  I relish the comments of smart and insightful miserable moaners who know crap in a can when they smell it.

                  If they didn’t, they wouldn’t be Philes in the first place.

      • I hated it but without passion. It was like when you blow a giant bubble and it pops. It’s just gone.

        I guess it’s the best he could’ve done? But like you said, he turned everything that happened before it into a meaningless waste of time.

  9. I am so disappointed that the one recurring character who we hadn’t seen for so long, and who publicly said they were returning in season 11, never showed up. I won’t name them just yet cos it’s a big big spoiler, but I always felt so sad that we never saw this character again in the original series, and now we probably never will.

  10. At least “The End” gave us that amazing kiss and their kanoodling conversation in the hotel room final scene. I’m under the impression there’s no such ship moments here. *grr*

    • You’re right, mostly because the soul is missing. At least there are none of the awful clunky statements from Mulder like “I believe more than ever that the truth is out there”.

      It really does feel as if someone tapped Carter on the shoulder and said “Let it go Chris. Let it go”. Because it really seems as if they ran out of steam – perhaps the shock of the response to My Struggle 1 and 2 was so great it actually influenced him to just calm things down.

      For shippers: the end scene could have so much power, but they removed 80% of it with a sudden change in Scully’s attitude and the sudden revelation of that there was something other than the loss of his sister that now sits at the core of Fox Mulder, followed by a repeat of a previous cliffhanger, but with absolutely none of the power.

      Lol at me trying not to post any spoilers.

  11. When Salome posts a review of the finale, I’m using that as my marker to start watching the whole series again. This time I might go up to “The Truth”, but I think I might finish at “Biogenesis” – the moment Scully sees a UFO serves as a great finale for me, and it’s before the “William prophesy” nonsense ruins any mythology.

    I know people say Requiem makes a great finale, but here’s why it doesn’t: the look that the alien bounty hunter gives Mulder. They’re all standing in the UFO field smiling, as if what Cassandra Spender said was true, that the aliens are great. It’s as if they’re having a spiritual experience.

    And then the bounty hunter looks at Mulder, and the whole point of that look is “now I’ve got you, now it’s over”. That’s an awful way to end the series for me.

    • I’m already in the middle of my personal rewatch. Don’t hold yourself back. Besides, it’s up!

      I think thematically, Requiem ties things up nicely, but would have been a horrible ending for the reason you give. It just would have been too tragic.

  12. I’m one of the people who view this episode more positively. Mainly for me it was the teaser and ending. The middle was a bit more ‘meh’, but I still enjoyed it, and would say it was one of the better episodes this season.

    1. There are not many things that make me wince or feel queasy when it comes to television, but this opening teaser was one of them. I recoiled slight when they cracked the victims ribs open, and I felt sick when the guy licked the pancreas. It achieved what it was meant to achieve, and I liked that.
    2. However, the moment I saw it, I immediately thought, okay, this is ‘Sanguinarium’ with a hint of ‘Squeeze’.
    3. I later thought, okay, this is ‘Sanguinarium’ with a fair dash of ‘3’
    4. Even further in, I thought, okay, this is ‘Sanguinarium’ with a lot of ‘Our Town’.
    5. When Scully fell down the dumbwaiter, I immediately thought, okay, she’s going to land in a laundry basket like in ‘The Goldberg Variation’. I was close.
    5. Basically this episode called on lots of past episodes, which made it feel a bit rehashed and unoriginal.
    6. Now, you’ll remember I said I viewed this episode positively, and I still do for the most part, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t problems.
    7. As others have previously commented, this season has done way too much showing compared to the original run. What is left off screen is often far more powerful than how it could come off visually. Saying that, I did take a gratuitous enjoyment from the teaser. I think the rest of the episode could have been toned down a bit though.
    8. Did Barbara Beaumont remind anyone else of Bette Davis’s Baby Jane? She was over the top and grotesque, and when I saw that singing scene approaching, I thought, no, please no. It was cringing. I think Barbara (nice to have a different name for once, isn’t it?) would have benefit from being less pantomime/theatrical.
    9. I found Barbara’s death very anti-climatic. It was a blink and you’ll miss it moment. If it wasn’t for the fact that I saw the time on the clock, I thought there was a significant amount more of the episode to go. I think this is because there is practically no investigation. Where are the scenes of Mulder and Scully doing proper investigative work and figuring things out, and coming to conclusions about why these things are happening?
    10. Mulder, Scully just fell down however many hundred feet down a long dark shaft. Please be a little bit more concerned.
    11. What’s with the Lara Croft ninja warrior? How does her methods bear any relation to anything?

    Okay, so that’s all my criticising done. Now for all the things I liked.

    11. It felt like an X-File, and Mulder and Scully were more in character than they have been in ages.
    12. I loved the banter between Mulder and Scully; it was bang on. That exchange of ‘Did you cut your hair?’/’Are you kidding me?’ had me howling.
    13. I liked that there was allusions to vampirism, but that it was never actually mentioned in the episode.
    14. I like that although Juliet sees everything that’s happening from a biblical point of view, the cult itself is completely secular, with no suggestion of the members having any religious motives. It’s an interesting contrast.
    15. The last scene in the church was beautiful. Okay, I did cringe a bit with Scully’s line ‘Are we together?’ but the rest was perfect for me. I like that Scully whispers her hopes/wishes/prayers for the future in Mulder’s ear, and that we don’t hear it. it is for us to come to our own conclusions on what she said.
    16. I like that Mulder lights a candle for Scully. I know a number of people had issue with this or just an issue in general with Mulder in this scene, but I don’t. maybe it is because I’m an Atheist myself that I don’t find any of this actions remotely pertaining to God/Catholicism/Prayer. He is doing it out of respect for Scully’s beliefs and gaining comfort from sharing this moment with Scully, not in a religious way, but a humanist one. For me, lighting a candle doesn’t have to be a prayer to God; it can just be a quiet reflection or lighting it in memory of a loved one. I also don’t think this scene is meant to suggest that Mulder and Scully view each other as their saints or whatever else people have theorised. I just see it as them sharing a deeper metaphysical connection.
    17. This scene should have been the ending to the series. It is more would have been more appropriate and to end the series like this than what we get with the final episode. It would have left us with more hope and despair or fear for their future.

    Other thoughts:

    18. Mulder had glasses in ‘Pilot’ and then he miraculously lost the need for them until now. Still, the scenes with him wearing them are so cute, I can overlook it. >.>
    19. If any episode was going to have a loaf of bread filled with blood, it should have been this one. It would have made far more sense than in ‘3’.
    20. In ‘Aqua Mala’ there is a dark, rundown flat with barely any occupants. There has just been a huge storm causing a power cut, people have evacuated, and there is a water dwelling monster in the pipework. It makes sense. The barely occupied, creepy flat in this episode does not make sense. maybe if the landlord kept it in better condition he’d have more tenants.
    21. Anyone notice ‘4D’ as the door address? Reference to the episode 4D, perhaps? Or just a coincidence? Apart from the 4D itself, there is nothing connecting the two.

    • “2. However, the moment I saw it, I immediately thought, okay, this is ‘Sanguinarium’ with a hint of ‘Squeeze’.
      3. I later thought, okay, this is ‘Sanguinarium’ with a fair dash of ‘3’
      4. Even further in, I thought, okay, this is ‘Sanguinarium’ with a lot of ‘Our Town’.”

      With. You.

      10. Mulder would have been freaking out back in the day.
      18. He used glasses several times. They always did need a Phile fact checker for every episode that wasn’t written by Vince Gilligan.

  13. I’ve decided to watch season 11 in production order so I’ve watched this one after “Rm9sbG93ZXJz” 11×07. I hope there isn’t any continuity issues by doing this. They’ve probably switched them as in the previous season as they said it flowed better. But the x files tone has always changed tone dramatically from episode to episode so I don’t think that is a good reason.

    Ok first thoughts are “Sanguinarium” 4X06, is the surgeon going to be possessed again and start killing the patients. Is that Tad O’Malley talking about chem trails again? And is that William on the roof? Ew, the surgeon licking the pancreas- another mutant – al a Tooms? An intriguing teaser. So some religious nut is going around on some kind of mission to do with organs somehow. Another tag change – I want to be beautiful. Fits in with 4X06.

    It’s nice to see Scully still practicing her Catholicism. Mulder’s new glasses! Love Scully’s comments, but both of them wear glasses already so I don’t know why she’s making a joke of it. They both wore them in the Pilot. Unless the joke was to point out they are getting old, which seems to be a bit of a recurring gag in seasons 10-11. Thank you Mulder for once noticing Scully’s hair! Great gag. So this is looking to shape up as some weird cult religious episode who drink blood. I quite like the fact this season they haven’t just gone for traditional monsters. Although those episodes can be great, after 10 seasons they become less imaginative.

    This cult is seriously creepy. I like the angle they are going with this. With the couple stuck together, it reminds me those horror films, such as The Hills have Eyes. I like the back story with Scully telling how she came to believe, especially as we know so little about her brother Charlie. A lot of these episodes have become very personal for Mulder and Scully this season. I think that this is a very wise choice considering this the last (potentially) season. How can Scully not believe in miracles after all she’s seen? “Revelations” 3X11 anyone? A nice touch bringing back the medallion from “Home Again” 10X02. So the x files are tackling the fountain of youth in a twisted are dark way – perfect. This so easily could have be done as a comedy episode. Very disturbing the suicide scene and the singing. It almost reminds me of Hannibal the TV show. Perfect x files! It’s twisted with a dark humour.

    Nice job matting New York skyline with Vancouver. That wouldn’t have happened in the original series. OMG Scully fell down the lift shaft! But somehow I’m sure she will survive. I’m loving this episode. The ‘villian’ in this episode played her part to perfection. Excellent climax.

    The line Scully says in the church at the end “accept your place in the numbing embrace of the status quo”. Is this a subtle commentary on Mulder & Scully in seasons 10 & 11. Because 1013 has been criticised for keeping the status quo and not evolving Mulder and Scully. Also the gag with Mulder’s glasses makes sense now in the context of the episode. Oh my word. The last scene is so touching. I’m glad previous events were touched on and addressed. What did Scully whisper in his ear? Are they back together now? This is my favourite episode of the season so far. This is what I had hoped for from the revival

    A+

  14. *sigh* The “Roseanne” (in addition to “Will & Grace) reboot is already so much better than ours. And I never even watched “Roseanne”… 😦

    • What did you decide to do about watching the finale in the end, SteamGrrl?

      • I’ve to maintain my “no CC ‘My Struggle’… to watch this” method. Other trusted Philes have confirmed my suspicions – they’re apart for the bulk of the episode, 80’s cop show levels of car chases and running/yelling through warehouses and what sounds like an overall “I’m just not into this” vibe from every aspect of production. Oh, and William becomes an “he was only an experiment” afterthought. I will not let this lazy storytelling interfere with that beautiful final shot of the three of them in “Existence.”

        My kingdom for a time machine, that may have been the best moment to stop this “I’m CC’s b-tch” cycle… 😦

  15. Not that it’s all that important in the grand scheme of things, but the complaints regarding continuity and Mulder’s glasses are getting on my nerves. Yes, they have both been seen wearing glasses in early episodes. However, the glasses Mulder is now wearing are reading glasses and, as mentioned, for presbyopia – which is not regular myopia – it is the age-related deterioration of the ability to see items up close. For whatever reasons, they wore glasses sporadically in early seasons, usually when working at the computer, or microfiche, or slides…perhaps to prevent eye strain…maybe the skipped their contacts that day (whatever our suspension of disbelief may provide us), but once the eyes progress into presbyopia, you CAN’T read without some sort of lens correction. They were too young before to need reading glasses, so the jokes in this episode don’t really indicate a lack of continuity. I’ve had to start wearing reading glasses in the last two years and I also wear contacts (earlier than any of my friends, but I have eyes that think they are in an 80 year old).

    Also, obviously, the glasses/Presbyopia are symbolic of two other things…clearly, the whole ‘forever youthful’ aim of the cult…yet, also Mulder’s lack of faith. Presbyopia makes it difficult to clearly perceive what is right in front of you. Mulder isn’t a believer, Scully is – Mulder can’t see the existence of God, even if it is right before him. Just a thought I had regarding the point of showing Mulder having to use reading glasses.

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