Tag Archives: The Scully Family

Redux II 5×3: I will calm down when somebody gives me a reason to calm down.


“My belief is in The Truth.”

Oh, this opening scene. It’s really hard not to compare Mulder’s explosion by Scully’s bedside with, well, his previous explosion by Scully’s bedside in “One Breath” (2×8), so I won’t bother not trying to do it. In both episodes he starts out almost eerily calm and then crescendos. It’s beauty to behold.

Now, I had this habit back in the day where immediately after I watched a brand new episode, I’d rewind it and watch it again. (Don’t judge.) This episode took me forever to rewatch because I kept rewinding precious moments like it was going out of style, starting with this brief, two minute scene that I quickly memorized. Mulder in a tizzy over Scully – It never gets old.

There are so many utterly rewindable (add it to your dictionaries) moments in this episode that I hardly know how to touch on them all and I probably can’t. But since “Redux II” is told mostly from Mulder’s point of view, his dark night of the soul as it were, we’ll start with him.

Mulder gets hit from all sides this episode. Bill Scully gives him an unjust, and yet somehow not quite undeserved dressing down, one that still raises my blood pressure but in an oh so delicious way. There may only be one character on The X-Files I love to hate more than Bill Scully, and she has yet to make an appearance. Bill Scully doesn’t hold back with Mulder. After all, if it weren’t for Fox Mulder, one sister would be alive and the other wouldn’t be dying. Mulder, to his credit, shows an amazing amount of restraint, far more than he showed with Melissa Scully back in “One Breath”. I guess that’s what guilt, fear, and shame will do to a person.

Poor Mulder walks straight from that drama into a web spun by Cigarette-Smoking Man who attempts to lure him into his service with the bait of a cure for Scully’s cancer. When that doesn’t work and Scully’s health continues to deteriorate, he dangles the carrot of a reunion with Samantha in front of Mulder’s nose.

In “Redux” (5×2), we watched Cigarette-Smoking Man gaze longingly at a picture of young Mulder and Samantha and visions of paternity tests danced in our heads. Now here’s Samantha, or more likely, “Samantha”, calling him Daddy. Coincidence? Never. While the shenanigans Cigarette-Smoking Man is playing with Mulder in order to finally collect him as a trophy on his shelf is doubtless a load of falsities, lies always go down better flavored with truth. We know Samantha was taken. By the government, the Syndicate or aliens who can say? But what if she was returned, only not to Mulder? Is this Samantha, another clone like in “Colony” (2×16), or even one of the drones from “Herrenvolk” (4×1)?  Could the real Samantha be living another life somewhere? Could she be living that life awash in Cigarette-Smoking Man’s smoky haze?

Whatever the case, Cigarette-Smoking Man is having so much fun weaving his little tale, true or not, that he fails to notice the Elder giving him the evil eye. What a shocker that is, a hit being put out on Cigarette-Smoking Man himself. Not that there hasn’t been ample evidence of the tension between him and the rest of the Syndicate. Yet, he’s the villain, the Satan as it were, of The X-Files. Who would have thought that Chris Carter would have been willing to take him out when the show was at its most popular? Then again, that’s probably why he did it. Pop goes the weasel.

And now for Scully… Chris Carter scripted this episode and we all know that he loves dramatic bookends and parallels. Yes, he’s a man after my own heart. This time around, he makes us watch Mulder lose his faith just as Scully regains hers. The floor has opened up under Mulder, his pride is gone, his foundation shaken, just as Scully has shed her pride but in doing so regained her footing and her humanity. Interesting that in the first part of this arc, “Gethsemene” (4×25), it was Mulder who appeared to be on the verge of solidifying his faith once and for all with tangible proof of alien life and Scully who tried to nonchalantly keep her own at a distance through her rejection of Father McCue. Brilliance? Quite possibly.

Verdict:

Need you even ask? It’s a good thing no one could witness me grinning and giggling and exclaiming while I was watching (and rewinding) this episode for the review. Yes, even 14 years later.

I couldn’t possibly have asked for a more satisfying start to the season. Even the shipper in me was appeased.

Well… okay. Maybe I still felt a little gypped that Mulder and Scully don’t have a deathbed goodbye scene. Not to mention we miss the revelation of her miraculous cure as well. But that’s so minor in comparison to all the other pop culture goodness.

For instance, there’s the glorious climax that, don’t laugh, reminds me of the ending of The Godfather in its pacing and editing. Skinner sweats it out trying to prevent Mulder from mistakenly naming him as the mole in front of the panel, Mulder bullies ahead anyway, Cigarette-Smoking Man is clueless to his own imminent danger, and all the while a skeletal Scully is chanting Hail Marys. And then when Mulder finally names Blevins as the man… oh the face. The face! The gangsta lean!

Whew.

Among the fans nowadays, I’m sad to say it, but there’s quite a bit of disparagement for Chris Carter’s writing skills out there. Why?? Have you seen this episode???

A+

The Big Qs:

How did Mulder find out Scully was in the hospital and which hospital she was in? We can be sure he didn’t call up Skinner. The Lone Gunmen perhaps?

How did Skinner find out about Cigarette-Smoking Man’s death? I doubt his obituary made the papers. I would have thought the Syndicate would have cleaned that mess up privately.

What was Scully afraid to tell Maggie Scully? And why didn’t we get to hear it??

Useless Commentary:

Mulder really is being stripped of everything this episode. Scully’s dying. Samantha rejects him. The truth isn’t out there. It’s no wonder he nearly ate Scully’s hand off in desperation.

If Scully had died, who else thinks Mulder would have gone on a vengeful, murderous rampage? Show of hands?

Who’d have thought there’d come a time when Mulder didn’t want to talk about his precious conspiracy but would rather hold Scully’s hand and talk of nothing? How ‘bout those Yankees indeed.

Wait… wait… yep. Still swooning.

Best Quotes:

Blevins: Agent Mulder, we’re here informally to give you the chance to help yourself.
Mulder: Help myself how?
Senior Agent: By allowing any facts or details which might serve to let us go forward with this enquiry in a more informed manner.
Mulder: That helps you. How does that help me?

——————–

Mulder: [To CSM in the hospital] Please tell me you’re here with severe chest pains.

——————–

Langly: That’s unreal.
Frohike: Too freaking amazing.
Mulder: Watch your language, Frohike, and grab me some tweezers.

——————–

Bill Scully: You’re one sorry son of a bitch. Not a whole lot more to say. [Leaves]
Mulder: [Answering phone] One sorry son of a bitch speaking.

——————–

Waitress: Tabasco. Cures anything.
Mulder: I’ll keep that in mind.

——————–

Scully: Mulder, even with the ballistics evidence I can still be the shooter…
Mulder: Scully, I can’t let you take the blame… because of your brother… because of your mother… and because I couldn’t live with it. To live the lie you have to believe it. Like these men who deceived us, who gave you this disease. We all have our faith and mine is in the truth.
Scully: Then why did you come here if you’d already made up your mind?
Mulder: [Laughing] Because I knew you’d talk me out of it if I was making a mistake. [Editor’s Note: ::tear::]

Gethsemene 4×24: If you’re gonna go, why not go all the way?


The tears of a clown.

Last we left Mulder, he nearly killed his partner and himself in a repressed memory induced swirl of self-pity. No mention is made in this episode of the hidden secrets hinted at in the previous one, “Demons” (4×23), but judging by the unoptimistic closing voiceover delivered by Scully, it’s not an uneducated guess to think that his doubts and demons are still closing in on him. It’s in this atmosphere that Mulder gets blindsided with the biggest disappointment of all. Yes, even more disappointing than finding out your father is a chain-smoking cross between The Grinch and The Cheshire Cat and may or may have not tried to blow you to smithereens on a pile of mutant skeletons.

You see Mulder at last has to seriously consider the possibility that aliens may not be real. And if it wasn’t bad enough to find out that you’re a pathetic and delusional loser, he also finds out that the one person in the world who doesn’t think he’s a crackpot is about to die very likely because of his stubbornness. In other words, it’s an uplifting 45 minutes of television we have here.

Yes, I know that considering the inexplicable reality of both The Alien Bounty Hunter and Jeremiah Smith, it’s hard to believe that The X-Files could seriously expect us, let alone Agent Mulder to believe that there’s nothing remotely paranormal going on in this television universe. But, for me, all I can say is that I relish this chance to come at the mythology from a decidedly normal perspective.

Okay, normal with strong tints of paranoia.

Up to this point, Mulder has been almost religiously convinced as to what the truth is. His conversation on the stairs with Scully, when he asks her what she would do if someone could prove to her the existence of God, brings out into the open a theme that’s been quietly allegorical for the entirety of The X-Files’ run. Mulder’s search for aliens, his stalwart belief in them even when the rest of the world thinks he’s crazy, even though he’s never seen them, it’s all a metaphor for a single man’s search for God, his search for The Truth. Is it an accident that the title of this episode is “Gethsemene”, the name of the garden where Jesus faced his final emotional and spiritual struggle before going to the cross?

Truthfully though, it’s a testament to Scully’s influence on him that Mulder holds back as much as he does in this episode. Season 1 Mulder wouldn’t have hesitated to assume that the “alien corpse” was real. He would have been aglow with boyish excitement until the cold hard truth came crashing down. To Season 4 Mulder’s credit, he’s probably more reserved in his assumptions here than we’ve ever seen him, certainly more cautious. Indeed, this episode readily invites comparison with “EBE” (1×16), the first time Mulder wonders, “Which lie to believe,” after Deep Throat led him on an interstate wild goose chase. It begged the question then and even more so now, are these mysterious men in power merely Punking Mulder for their own amusement?

It’s not an idea without merit. I mentioned “E.B.E” where it’s clear that Mulder is being manipulated to both spread and contain disinformation. Then there’s “Anasazi” (2×25) when Mulder is drugged to discredit him by driving him to violence. And if that weren’t enough cause for doubt, all of Season 3 toyed with the question of whether Mulder’s radical or Scully’s traditional point of view is more accurate. They’re both seeing the same evidence, but is the truth that a secret group of men is hiding the existence of alien life for some nefarious purpose or that these same men are perpetuating a myth to cover up their own all too human atrocities? The idea hasn’t been revisited nearly all of Season 4 but now it’s back with a vengeance, theoretically threatening to undo all the plots that have been twisted over the course of four years of television.

I say threatening because no one in the audience seriously believes (except for me at the age of 14) that the entire mythology plotline has been little more than a hoax. There have been too many inexplicable events. And more than that, no viewer in their right mind (even me at the age of 14) believes that Mulder is dead and David Duchovny out of a job.

Just because it’s easy to refute this episode in all its glory doesn’t make it any less exciting, far from it. In fact, considering the fact that David Duchovny’s continuing contract was quite public at the time, I’m impressed that they were able to create such an atmosphere that it feels as if Mulder could/would really kill himself, even though you know it can’t happen. This is in large part thanks to the emotional notes established in “Demons”.

Verdict:

I don’t know that I ever appreciated before how over the course of this three-episode arc leading into the new season Mulder and Scully’s spiritual journeys head in distinctly opposite directions. Mulder begins affirming his faith only to be robbed of it, Scully starts out removed from her faith only to eventually confess her own neediness. It’s really quite artful now that I’ve finally noticed the parallel.

On an unrelated note, it’s easy to rag on The X-Files and particularly on our dear Chris Carter for the purpleness of its prose sometimes. And, yes, this entire episode arc is full of voiceovers that come across as a little too poetic to represent the people and situations they’re supposed to represent. However, by this point I’m so emotionally involved in these characters and the revelations that I can get caught up in the drama without concerning myself too much with whether or not Mulder would actually say things like, “Byzantine plot.” Call me too lowbrow to care. I’ve rewound this episode so many times I actually have the breaths and pauses memorized.

A

P.S. An extra thought: The smartest thing they did here was not in keeping Mulder’s death vague, but in keeping Scully’s part in all this completely up in the air. Does she really think Mulder is dead? Has she turned to the dark side? Is she blaming Mulder and turning her back on the X-Files? Those were the questions weighing most heavily on my mind come Season 5.

Unnecessary Observations:

I said it before in “Tooms” (1×20) and I’ll say it again: Scully should have been an actress. That woman lies like no other.

Blevins is back without so much as a passing comment as to why he disappeared in the first place.

Kritschgau is one of my all-time favorite guest characters. Heck, his story was so convincing, I believed him.

Is it just me, or is Scully’s denial/arrogance beginning to wear thin? How long can she go on pretending to be completely self-sufficient? Thankfully, not much longer.

Best Quotes:

Scully: Early this morning I got a call from the police asking me to come to Agent Mulder’s apartment. The detective asked me, he needed me to identify a body…
Section Chief Blevins: Agent Scully…
Scully: Agent Mulder died late last night from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

———————–

Mulder: After all I’ve seen and experienced, I refuse to believe that it’s not true.
Scully: Because it’s easier to believe the lie, isn’t it?
Mulder: …What the hell did that guy say to you that you’d believe his story?
Scully: He said that the men behind this hoax, behind these lies, gave me this disease to make you believe.

———————–

Bill Scully: What are you doing at work getting knocked down and beaten up? What are you trying to prove? That you’re gonna go out fighting?
Scully: Oh, now come on, Bill…
Bill Scully: Do you know what Mom is going through? Why do you think I didn’t tell her when they called?
Scully: What should I be doing?
Bill Scully: We have a responsibility, not just to ourselves but to the people in our lives.
Scully: Hey look, just, just because I haven’t bared my soul to you or, or to Father McCue or to God doesn’t mean I’m not responsible to what’s important to me.
Bill Scully: To what? To who? This guy Mulder? Well, where is he, Dana? Where is he through all this?
Scully: …Thank you for coming.

———————–

Scully: You already believe, Mulder, what difference will it make? I mean, what, what will proof change for you?Mulder: If someone could prove to you the existence of God, would it change you?
Scully: Only if it had been disproven.
Mulder: Then you accept the possibility that belief in God is a lie?
Scully: I don’t think about it actually and I don’t think that it can be proven.
Mulder: But what if it could be? Wouldn’t that knowledge be worth seeking? Or is it just easier to go on believing the lie?

———————–

Kritschgau: That’s just like you, Agent Mulder, suspicious of everything but what you should be.

Memento Mori 4×15: You think a lot more of me than you let on.


The hug heard 'round the world.

This episode opens with something I’m generally not too fond of: An X-Files voiceover.

You can always tell when Chris Carter has written one and they’re always slightly overwrought and self-consciously poeticized. In this one, Scully sounds marvelously unlike an investigator and even less like a scientist. Who knew she majored in Physics but minored in English Literature? Snarkiness aside though, much of this episode is spent establishing that Scully is Scully no matter what her circumstances are. Sickness doesn’t cause her to call up her mother sobbing because that’s not who she is. She doesn’t run to Mulder in frantic desperation because that would be a betrayal of herself. Why her words would become flowery when her mind is not is beyond me. On the plus side, the monologue does get the point across quickly that Scully is dying and there’s nothing she can do about it.

What kind of reaction will this produce in Scully? Will there be any deathbed confessions? Probably not. Based on their track record, we all know that Mulder and Scully aren’t about to embarrass themselves with any alarming declarations, however we as the audience might hope. The foundation of their relationship is unspoken, like an iceberg, the most important parts remaining invisible but assumed and understood based solely on what we can see. One of the reasons “Memento Mori” is so special is that it does allow us some concrete but still subtle proof of how Mulder and Scully really feel about each other. No more guessing.

To suddenly force Mulder and Scully’s relationship out into the wide open would undermine it at the risk of its losing it’s effectiveness. So what happens? Scully writes a diary that lays her thoughts bare, only for Mulder to read it outside of her presence. This gives loyal fans an incredible payoff but also a reason to keep watching since Mulder and Scully are still fundamentally silent. Everything’s understood, nothing has to be said, our assumptions are confirmed and validated, the status quo is maintained.

Gillian Anderson won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama series for this one. It’s not too hard to see why since she takes Scully to a place of both vulnerability and strength that we’ve never seen from her before. But really, the glories of this episode are almost equally shared between 3 leads, the other two being David Duchovny and Mitch Pileggi who also give us some complicated and incredibly nuanced performances.

Mulder, despite his disavowal of Scully’s fate, I believe is actually less in denial than she is. Scully admits there’s no hope then flatly refuses to face her death or admit that she’s anything other than “fine.” Mulder, on the other hand, recognizes that Scully is dying; it’s just that he refuses to believe there’s nothing he can do about it. Like his relationship to the larger conspiracy, he believes it exists but also believes that he somehow has the power to change it. (In fact, it isn’t until he believes that he’s helpless to affect the outcome of events that he momentarily gives up, but that will be a long time in the future). He doesn’t cry and he doesn’t rant, instead he hunts, throwing himself even deeper to the conspiracy that did this to Scully, into the danger that he brought Scully into, in hopes that he can save her from this threat that he’s partially responsible for. This episode avoids losing itself in sentimentality by forcing its characters into action.

Skinner doesn’t sit idly by either. After refusing to set up a meeting between Mulder and CSM, he wastes no time in making his own Faustian bargain with the chain smoking Grinch. I know there’s a lot of talk about there among Skinner/Scully Shippers as to what this means about Skinner’s feelings for Scully that he would sacrifice himself on the altar of CSM to find a cure for her disease. But as much as Skinner cares for Scully and wants to see her healed, I actually think that this transaction has more to do with his relationship with Mulder who, despite a relatively minor difference in age, seems to be a pseudo-son to him. Rather than allow Mulder to be corrupted, he takes up that cross himself and suffers in silence. It’s really one of Skinner’s most heroic moments on the show. He loses his soul yet somehow keeps his integrity.

Then there are 3 other… bonus heroes. I’m glad that the Lone Gunmen show up in this one because they give the episode that bit of fun that it needs to avoid taking itself too seriously. True, this is a story about the devastation of cancer, but it takes place in a show about alien conspiracies and paranormal activity. The writers can only wax so poetic without risk of losing their audience.

Speaking of the overarching conspiracy, this is the first “mythology” episode since Season 2’s “Red Museum” (2×10), a time when the mythology was still largely unformed, that doesn’t actually present any new mythology information. The underlying plot isn’t advanced, only reaffirmed, which is why I would hesitate to categorize this as a mythology episode at all but really a stand-alone episode with mythology elements. Actually, I should clarify, as there is one new bit of information: some of the human genetic material used to create clones and drones comes from the embryos of abductees, Scully included. But it will take a good 4 years… that’s right, 4 years… before Mulder will reveal this secret to Scully in the episode “Per Manum” (8×8). Although, it happens in flashback so really it took him 3 years, but still.

Verdict:

By the opening of this episode it’s like the events of “Never Again” (4×13) never happened. To be sure, when death arrives petty disputes have a way of disappearing. But I suppose we’ll never know if Mulder and Scully worked through their issues or just forgot about them when a much larger monster came along that required all their powers of concentration.

It doesn’t really matter. As much as this episode involved a love letter of sorts from Scully to Mulder, it feels like a love letter to the fans. Scully’s cancer, like her abduction that caused it, gives a human face to the conspiracy and reminds us that this whole show really is about 2 people, their trials, tribulations and adventures. We wanted more insight into their characters and now we have it.

But I still could’ve done without that purple prose.

A

Comments:

Grey-Haired Man makes a return. He was last seen in “Apocrypha” (3×16).

The clones are back! Not to be confused with the drones we were introduced to in “Herrenvolk” (4×1) despite the fact that the same DNA created both.

Carter and Spotnitz were working on Fight the Future at the same time as this script. I wonder what that knowledge will reveal when the movie finally comes up.

“It’s part of what makes these such Romantic, heroic characters is that they always put their personal lives on the back seat. In fact they, they really don’t have much in the way of a personal life whatsoever. Um, they’re people on a quest. They’re, they’re really both united and separated by their quest.” – Spotnitz

I feel so justified in my assessments now. See above.

Nice tie in to the visuals of both “The Erlenmeyer Flask” (1×23) and “End Game” (2×17).

Scully really deserved to be chewed out by her mother. I love that this show represents death and dying in a realistic way. People still get mad at each other.

Speaking of people getting mad, it’s still too bad that the scene between Scully and her brother Bill had to be cut. Thankfully, we’ll get another chance to hate him real soon.

Is it Shipper suicide if I admit I’m glad they cut the kiss?

Best Quotes:

Mulder: [Handing Scully flowers] I… stole these from some guy with a broken leg down the hall. He won’t be able to catch me.

———————–

Skinner: So you want to set up a meeting. With whom?
Mulder: Cigarette man. I have no doubt in my mind he’s behind this.
Skinner: You’ve come to be before like this, Mulder.
Mulder: Yeah, well, this is different. This is different, I’m willing to deal now.
Skinner: Find another way.
Mulder: No! I need that meeting.
Skinner: You deal with this man, you offer him anything and he will own you forever.
Mulder: He knows what they did to Agent Scully! He may very well know how to save her!
Skinner: If he knows, you can know too but you can’t ask the truth of a man who trades in lies! I won’t let you.

———————–

Smoking Man: It’s funny. I always thought of you as Fox Mulder’s patron. You’d think under your aegis that he wouldn’t be consigned to a corner of the basement.
Skinner: At least he doesn’t take an elevator up to get to work.
Smoking Man: You think I’m the devil, Mr. Skinner?

————————

Mulder: Pick out something black and sexy and prepare to do some funky poaching.

Paper Clip 3×2: Progress demands sacrifice.


Smoke this.

“I was a dead man, now I’m back.” – I just want to start this review by congratulating David Duchovny on delivering this line with a straight face.

With that out of the way…

If “Anasazi” (2×25) is when the scope of the conspiracy is hinted at, “Paper Clip” is where it begins to take shape. The Syndicate, just like the legitimate U.S. Government, was willing to strike a deal with the devil in order to achieve their goals, and the project impacted nearly every American child born during a certain time period; every American that was given the Small Pox vaccine. Chris Carter has often said that The X-Files is only as scary as it is real and grounding the events of this episode in a framework of legitimate facts gives the events that take place a deeper sense of possibility and makes them all the more disturbing.

Introducing the real world history of Operation Paper Clip into the narrative poses some interesting parallels. If the U.S. Government was willing to make a Faustian bargain for the benefit of its citizens, might not these shadow men who have far less accountability on their shoulders? We know that these men are trying to use alien DNA to make an alien-human hybrid, and not to give out a huge spoiler, but we eventually learn they’re in cahoots with the aliens. The question is never sufficiently raised of whether these men were actually evil in making such an alliance. There’s an argument to be made that they felt they were doing the best thing at the time, much like men in the U.S. Government may have felt that it was better to make the Nazis work for you then to leave them to their own purposes.

Now, no doubt in the real instance it was a vile transaction. But the aliens weren’t vanquished Nazis, they were an uber powerful galactic force that could wipe us out anytime they wanted to with or without our cooperation. Call me a sympathizer, but maybe Mulder could have cut The Syndicate some slack. Regardless, it’s certainly no stretch to think that same Nazi scientists who experimented on innocent Jews would be willing to test alien DNA on American civilians. That it’s done through something so innocuous as an inoculation is truly classic X-Files.

It’s an interesting choice to bring Mulder so close to the whole truth and nothing but the truth this early in the game. We know now that everything he’s been saying all these years is true and the proof exists, but he was faced with a decision: know the truth and have no way of disseminating the information or give up the truth and live to fight another day. It’s obvious what Mulder would have chosen if it hadn’t been for Scully and her sister, which is why all those “Mulder is a selfish bastard” haters need to take it down a couple of decibels.

Speaking of Mulder and Scully, I always thought, as most do, that MSR was purely a result of Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny unwittingly creating it out of the passion and tension that played out between their characters. Almost like magic, it was there before anyone knew what was happening. That’s fair enough and I still feel that way for the most part. But watching this episode again it occurs to me that the writers are nearly as much to blame. OK, maybe it’s 70/30, but still. They were complicit the Shipper Shenanigans that went on.

Mulder and Scully became larger than life because they wrote them as such; they gave them a freaking psychic connection and thought that, what? The audience wouldn’t respond to it emotionally? The characters were written into a corner and eventually they had nowhere to go but into each other’s arms. I mean, imagine just for a second that Scully, even this early in the series, decided to start dating. I can just hear her explanation to her significant other now:

Dear, let me tell you about my friend Mulder. Yes, he’s straight and he’s hot, but he’s really just a friend. A very good friend. We have such a spiritual connection that I even know it when he stops breathing. And when in mortal peril, he visits me in visions. But like I said, friends. There’s no reason this should come between you and me.

It would be a futile exercise. Mulder and Scully have passed the point of no return. No, they’re not in love. But there are only two real options at this point. Their bond can weaken and they grow distant and divided, an idea that the writers toy with for part of Season 3 and even Season 4. Or their bond can grow, in which case, unpolitically correct as it is, it would no longer be believable if the relationship remained forever platonic. If I had to pinpoint it, I’d say this is the moment when, as Nina mentioned in her guest post, they become each others’ “significant other.” It’s not romance in the erotic sense but it’s beyond mere friendship.

Back to the story at hand, Mulder and Scully finding all those medical files hidden away at an abandoned mining company has to be one of the most iconic moments of the series. Vaccinations are as American as apple pie. Even now, all but the most paranoid of parents make sure their children receive them. That something so innocent could be used by a shadow government to track and test its citizens is almost as creepy as the fact that Social Security Numbers were created with the promise that they wouldn’t be used for identification purposes. Interestingly, identification was the cover story for these vaccinations; the government was gathering genetic data so that citizens could be identified in case of a nuclear holocaust. It was the Cold War, you recall, and that would have been a believable party line.

Bill Mulder himself believed it, which brings us to the other major revelation of this episode: Samantha wasn’t randomly abducted. She was chosen by her father to be the “guarantee” for the family. Mulder was the one originally scheduled to rendezvous with the Mother Ship. Finally we know what Bill Mulder was trying to say to his son before he was killed. What a sadly powerful moment when Mulder confronts his mother about having had to make a choice. It wasn’t the abduction itself that drove the Mulder family apart.

Now there’s another family suffering. If we thought Scully was “involved” before because of her abduction, it’s even more personal now that her sister Melissa has been White Buffalo sacrificed on her behalf. Finally, she shares Mulder’s quest. And poor Maggie Scully is just put through trauma after trauma. The writers need to stop making bad things happen to that woman. The nobility on her face kills me. Somehow, though, I never do miss Melissa…

Conclusion:

This episode is full of lots of fun, memorable moments. The scene in the mine when Mulder and Scully stumble upon rows of endless files I’ve already mentioned but there’s also CSM turning on Krycek, his mini-me, with a car bomb and my personal favorite, watching Skinner finally give CSM the old what-for with Albert Hosteen at his side. It’s worth all the magic and mysticism we had to put up with in “The Blessing Way” (3×1) just for that moment.

Another highlight for me is watching Scully get mad which, like smiling, she doesn’t do nearly often enough. I can only imagine that as a physician she is particularly offended by the atrocities conducted not only by men like Klemper but that the government would abuse citizens’ trust by taking vaccinations meant to help and using them to test and catalogue people.

We don’t learn much else about The Syndicate. Apparently they just sit around in a smoky room and rule the world. But it’s enough for now to know that they’re so powerful that even CSM has to answer to them. There’s no need to rush the reveal.

A-

P.S. This is where the mythology starts to edge its way towards massive. If you’re having trouble keeping track, like me, go to: http://www.eatthecorn.com/eps/2X25_3X01_3X02.htm

Questions:

We’re told that the DAT copy is protected and can’t be printed or copied, but didn’t we see Scully give a print out for a lady to translate in “Anasazi” (2×25)? And hasn’t Albert Hosteen been walking around with his translated copy that can be copied over?

Why is Well-Manicured man helping Mulder, really? I guess we’ll have to watch and see.

Comments:

When conducting secret experiments on innocent civilians with the help of Nazi scientists, it would probably be best not to take damning photographs together.

Please note that Skinner had to be double-teamed in the stairwell for those wimps to take him.

Napier’s Constant is actually 271828 not 27828 as Scully claims.

Best Quotes:

Scully: I went to your father’s funeral. I told your mother that you were going to be okay.
Mulder: How did you know?
Scully: I just knew.

——————-

Well-Manicured Man: What is it Victor?
Victor Klemper: Oh, I was just paid a visit by the son of one of our old colleagues.
Well-Manicured Man: What did you tell him, Victor?
Victor Klemper: I told him that you were the most venal man I’ve ever met. Beyond that I told him nothing.

——————-

Scully: What do you think your father would have been doing here?
Mulder: I don’t know, but he never came home wearing a miner’s cap.

——————–

Mulder: Lots of files.
Scully: Lots and lots of files.

——————–

Mulder: Why are you telling me this?
Well-Manicured Man: It’s what you want to hear, isn’t it?
Mulder: Is there more?
Well-Manicured Man: More than you’ll ever know.

——————–

CSM: Are you sure?
Krycek: I’m sure of this. If I so much as feel your presence, I’m going to make you a very, very famous man. You understand?
CSM: Yes. Thank you. I’m going to report that to the group.

——————–

Scully: I’ve heard the truth, Mulder. Now what I want are the answers.

The Blessing Way 3×1: Well, it’s definitely not buckshot.


Mr. Hosteen says "Hello."

“Memory, like fire, is radiant and immutable.” First off, this is the most ridiculous thing ever said in an X-Files voiceover. Ever. And that’s saying something. Second, do those sound like the words of an American Indian wise man to you?

It’s almost as though someone told Chris Carter that there wasn’t enough buttercream icing on the cake so he made a fresh batch and poured that on top too. Now, lest you think I would commit blasphemy against the creator of my favoritest show ever, let me just say that I consider Chris Carter a brilliant writer. His writing only suffers when he waxes philosophical.

It’s not entirely his fault. This episode is completely on trend with the 1990’s fascination for all things American Indian. For those old enough, I’m sure you can find in your “immutable memory” films like Geronimo: An American Legend (1993), The Last of the Mohicans (1992), and the still famous Dances with Wolves (1990) which featured a slightly younger Floyd Red Crow Westerman… that’s Albert Hosteen to you.

Looking back, it’s not a trend that aged well. Just because you put the phrase “ancient Indian saying” in front of a sentence does not make it profound, or more importantly, believable, or even more importantly, interesting. Please understand, I’m not denigrating ancient Indian sayings, I just question this episode’s heavy reliance on spiritualism. It’s distracting. It’s idealized. It’s hokey.

And before I jump off this bandwagon, let me give you the worst example of mysticism run amok. After breaching the barrier to the spiritual world through a hypnosis session, Scully has a vision of Mulder back from the (near) dead. So what does he tell her? The secret of life? The secret of death? Oh no.

Mulder: I have been on the bridge that spans two worlds. The link between all souls by which we cross into our own true nature. You were here today looking for a truth which was taken from you, the truth which was never meant to be spoken, but which now binds us together in a dangerous purpose. I’ve returned from the dead to continue with you, but I fear that this danger is now close at hand and I may be too late.

Did you just laugh out loud? I rest my case.

At the risk of sounding like a Negative Nancy, this episode has another flaw, one that I don’t think is nearly as obvious. On paper, it only makes sense that Scully would feel defeated after losing Mulder. Despite her valiant efforts in “The Anasazi” (2×25), Mulder is supposedly dead and she’s left holding the bag; no disc, no job, no honor. Even with that in mind, the first half of the episode plays out as though Scully is more concerned with her flickering career prospects than the fact that her best buddy was just blown to bits. I’m not saying there should be weeping and gnashing of teeth, but some kind of emotional acknowledgement would be nice.

There is a single moment where we see Scully show up at her mother’s door in tears. If you have the DVD and can access the deleted scene that pops up right after this, you’ll understand why they mercifully cut this scene short in editing; it only makes it painfully clear that Scully is agonizing more over potentially getting fired than the loss of Mulder. I realize it’s only natural that Scully would question the wisdom of her actions in the previous episode under the circumstances. And I also realize that this is supposed to play into the fact that Scully is spiritually connected to Mulder and knows deep down that he isn’t dead. But how did she go from Wonder Woman to Stick-in-the-Mud so quickly? She may question herself, but I just can’t believe that Scully would ever regret saving a friend.

She isn’t a complete loss this episode, however. The writers are finally addressing what happened to Scully during her abduction last season. We were tantalized back in “One Breath” (2×8) with visions of experiments being performed on Scully. Now her repressed memories are coming up for air and that bodes well for the mythology of Season 3. And that little surprise in her neck… this is why I love The X-Files. Where else can you watch a scenario as creepy as going through a scanner and then finding out there’s been a computer chip implanted in your body?

That significant event aside, Scully’s real shining moments are reserved for her interactions with other characters. It’s great to see Scully get someone else to play with besides Mulder. His character is normally the one hobnobbing with informants and geeks. Her scenes with Skinner in particular are quite juicy. Scully is The Good Child so watching her have at her boss makes for some wonderful tension. Naturally, Skinner gives back as good as he gets culminating in that final cliffhanger. I think we all know who is going to walk through the door by the end but that doesn’t make the moment any less great.

Scully also has her first interaction with Frohike since Season 1’s “E.B.E.” (1×16), their brief meeting while she was comatose not withstanding. Yes, if you can believe it, we’ve had to wait that long for Frohike to get another shot at her. I must say, The Lone Gunmen and Frohike in particular, even though we’ve only seen them briefly in 4 episodes up to this point, are incredibly endearing. From the way Frohike shows up in a tux to visit the dying Scully in “One Breath” to him coming to her door bottle in hand, wounded over the loss of Mulder, the man is a Mensch. (Yiddish. Look it up.) That The Powers That Be did what they did to them in Season 9… I’ll never recover.

But the interaction that I most enjoy is Scully’s introduction to Well-Manicured Man, played effortlessly by John Neville. My personal highlight of the episode is the way he delivers the line, “Do you have someplace you might stay?” The subtle changes of expression on his face are just amazing and I find myself wishing that The Syndicate had been explored more as individual characters.

Ah yes, The Syndicate, or The Consortium. They go by both names even in this, their introductory episode. It’s like a perfect nightmare: The world is secretly run by a group of ruthless, wealthy old men. Finally, we have a set of faces to go with the eponymous “They” that Mulder keeps referring to. Whoever “they” are, they’re powerful enough that even CSM has to answer to them. Was Deep Throat once a part of this group? More than likely.

Speaking of Deep Throat, it’s a bit of a shame that his “return” is marred by a plethora of Purple Prose. Bill Mulder’s message from beyond the grave isn’t any better. “The lies I told you are a pox and poison to my soul.” Seriously, why not just put a plague on both their houses while you’re at it?

Conclusion:

Alright, that’s enough of my complaints. Other than being tainted by overdone mysticism and suffering from the natural curse of being the second part in a three-episode arc, there are some very fun elements to this episode. Its weaknesses don’t destroy it, they just mean that there are lower lows between the highlights. In fact, if they had found a way to weave the story together without relying so heavily on spiritualism and Shakespearean prose, I daresay it would have been fantastic.

“The Blessing Way” is the reverse equivalent of “One Breath”; this time Mulder is the one laid up in limbo between life and death and Scully, unable to help him, is left to find the answers. It’s a great chance for her character to go out and explore the world on her on, unaided by Mulder’s quack theories. There are also some exciting hints that the circumstances of her abduction will finally be addressed this season.

And while I still wouldn’t call The X-Files an ensemble show, the current cast of characters means that every scene is potentially touching or explosive. Yep, the crossroads of Season2/Season 3 was a good time of life for the show.

There’s so much going on in this episode that I won’t bore you by attempting to cover it all. By now you’ve noticed that I didn’t even address Melissa’s shooting. We’ll save that last one for “Paper Clip” (3×2).

B+

Comments:

Skinner refers to Mulder’s apartment as “a place we can talk in private.” Did someone not tell him about the listening devices, poisonings, and assassination attempts?

Now I’m sure. CSM really didn’t know he’d (almost) killed Mulder. An argument could be made that he hoped he had, but it’s entirely possible that he was still “protecting” him in his own mind.

Best Quotes:

Frohike: He was a good friend. A redwood among mere sprouts.

——————

Smoking Man: Did you ask her about the tape?
Skinner: She says she doesn’t have it.
Smoking Man: Is that what she says?
Skinner: Yes. That’s what she says.
Smoking Man: Well that’s unfortunate for everyone.

——————-

Albert Hosteen: You must be careful now to end the ceremony properly. If you leave, you must not do any work, change clothes or bathe for four days.
Mulder: That’s really going to cut into my social life.

——————-

Scully: Who are you?
Well-Manicured Man: I’m a member of a kind of consortium, we represent certain global interests.
Scully: What kind of interests?
Well-Manicured Man: Interests that would be extremely threatened by the digital tape that you are no longer in possession of.
Scully: Threatened enough to murder?
Well-Manicured Man: Oh my, yes. – *Editors Note: Brilliance.

——————–

Scully: You’re not protecting me, you’re protecting yourself.
Well-Manicured Man: Why should that surprise you? Motives are rarely unselfish.
Scully: What kind of business are you in?
Well-Manicured Man: We predict the future. The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Good day young lady.

One Breath 2×8: We all know what can happen in the course of a game.


An amulet to ward of the devil.

OK, so the opening teaser is too cheesetastic for my liking. “Irrevocable guilt” in a child that hasn’t even reached puberty reads melodramatic to me. But the teaser does successfully introduce the overall theme of the episode, which is about dealing with death and loss. In “One Breath” we watch Mulder come to terms with the fact that he may lose Scully. And as he runs the gamut trying to find the best way to handle this crisis, pretty much everyone in his life, friend and foe, has advice to give him on dealing with death. Interestingly enough, everyone seems to be preaching the same message to Mulder: Acceptance. It’s just that the motivations behind the message vary wildly.

We start off with Mrs. Scully’s stoic resignation in the face of loss. It’s not for her to drag hope along until it’s tattered and recognizable. Better to grieve and move forward than to wish and hope interminably. Well, Mulder has never been one to accept the word “No.” He won’t put Scully in the grave until he’s touched her cold, dead fingers and knows for certain. We can rule this coping mechanism out right off.

I have to pause here and say that I can’t believe Mulder. Pictures of Scully in bondage, struggling for her life lay strewn across his table and all he can do is rewind his porno tape back to the best part? I know he’s depressed and all, but seriously, Mulder? I almost preferred him sleeping with Kristen Kilar. Almost.

Whatever Mulder’s sentimental failings, I’ll forgive him nearly anything for that gut-wrenching scene by Scully’s hospital bed. We knew Mulder was intense but we’ve never seen him quite like this before. I can’t help but think forward to when we see him like this again in the almost parallel episode “Redux” (5×2). The most interesting part is the way that Mrs. Scully reacts, or I should say, doesn’t react at all. I get the distinct feeling that she’s not actually ignoring Mulder. I’d even go so far as to say her silence constitutes tacit agreement with his frustration. I think the difference is that she’s at a different stage of grief than Mulder. Mrs. Scully skipped anger and moved straight to acceptance. Again, that’s a place Mulder’s still unwilling to go to. Are Mulder’s rants upsetting her? Does she want him to stop? Does she want him to keep going?

Mrs. Scully keeps her opinions to herself for the most part, much unlike Melissa who irritates Mulder like static cling. Why? Mulder is an absolute believer when it comes to the paranormal but a knee-jerk skeptic of almost all things spiritual. The paranormal is something Mulder thinks he can prove; a realm that exists, that science can touch and that science will eventually be able to confirm. Mulder doesn’t believe in things he feels can’t be proven (ironic considering how little proof he actually has for his belief in the paranormal). Melissa’s New Age optimism is like sandpaper to Mulder’s cynicism. He doesn’t believe and hope, he believes and despairs. For her part, Mrs. Scully doesn’t have much patience for Melissa’s crystal-tinged speeches. Mrs. Scully is more spiritual than Scully, but not “harmonic” like Melissa. So far in the Scully family we’ve met a skeptic, a believer and a quack. I wonder what Thanksgiving dinner is like.

Melissa represents acceptance as well, but not the practical acceptance of Mrs. Scully. She’s advocating a spiritual acceptance of the natural order of things. You know, the Circle of Life and all that. Well, that won’t work for Mulder either since he doesn’t see Scully’s death as part of some greater spiritual plan but as an “unnatural act.” Scully shouldn’t be in this situation. It’s too soon. Not only that, he got her into this mess.

That’s why he can’t do what X commands and drop the whole issue for his own safety. Speaking of X, the man is bad! He’s like the Shaft of the underworld. So, what is it about Mulder that compels pity in even the hardest of hearts? X eventually turns from holding a gun to his head to aiding and abetting his cause. But now we know more about him, that he was once an idealist and possibly even a crusader like Mulder. He talks a big game about Mulder being “his tool” but if that’s the case then his tool for what? To expose the truth? Maybe he’s still an idealist after all. That would explain why he acts like a softy and gives Mulder the information on how to find the men who took Scully.

Skinner is another one who takes pity on Mulder in his desperation. Possibly against his better judgement and certantly at risk of his life, he gives Mulder the information he needs to find CSM. He also opens up to Mulder about his experience in Vietnam. Thanks to this little interchange Skinner’s transition from boss to surrogate father figure is complete. The message is clear: other people just accept death, but Mulder may actually be able to get to the bottom of it.

Conclusion:

Finally Mulder’s self-righteousness is being challenged. Was he right to keep Scully at his side, even when he knew how ruthless these men could be? CSM asks Mulder a profound and legitimate question. If it’s not CSM’s call to judge what’s right, can Mulder truly claim it’s his own? Maybe that’s the real reason Mulder doesn’t shoot CSM; he realizes that he doesn’t have enough information to judge him. He has barely an inkling of how serious this whole conspiracy is and what it might be about.

Mulder also recognizes that his selfishness in keeping Scully close to himself and the X-Files may have cost her her life. Still, wasn’t Scully there for the events of “The Erlenmeyer Flask” (1×23)? Didn’t she give a ransom for her partner’s life and witness Deep Throat’s death? Scully’s no shrinking violet. She realized that the stakes had been raised high and she was still in the game because she wanted to be a help to Mulder. Surely she knew that both of them could end up in serious danger. Mulder may need to dial down his guilt from a 10 to an 8.

A-

Questions:

Even though I realize Melissa is meant to be a foil for Mulder to bounce off of, I’ve always wondered why she isn’t in the least bit curious as to what happened to her sister. It’s true that Mulder’s lust for vengeance won’t bring Scully back and his attempts to find answers won’t save her. But to show little to no interest in how Scully ended up in this position strikes me as unnatural.

I believe CSM is telling the truth when he says that he likes Mulder and Scully, but I can’t believe that’s why he brought her back. In fact, I don’t understand why they dropped Scully off at all unless they expected her to live, which I don’t see how they could have predicted. Could CSM have secretly treated her with something?

Thoughts:

The verse quoted on Scully’s tombstone is actually 1 John 5:6, not 5:7. It also wouldn’t be written as 5:07. It’s a bible verse, not a digital clock readout. I’ll say it again: why didn’t anyone hire a priest as a consultant for the show?

Frohike at the hospital! He always was the sensitive Gunman. So he didn’t see Scully as merely a babe after all. Just seeing him in that suit is worth the price of admission.

The Gunmen drop a hint about branched DNA being used to graft something human to something inhuman. This is a great bit of continuity from “The Erlenmeyer Flask” and a real clue that the series is going to head deeper in the direction of merging alien and human DNA.

Best Quotes:

Byers: Good work sneaking out these charts.
Frohike: Tucked them in my pants.
Mulder: There’s plenty of room down there.
Langly: You look down, Mulder. Tell you what, you’re welcome to come over Saturday night. We’re all hopping on the Internet to nitpick the scientific inaccuracies of Earth 2.
Mulder: I’m doing my laundry.

——————–

Mulder: Get that gun out of my face.
Mr X: This high capacity compact Sig Sauer 40 calibre weapon is pointed at your head to stress my insistence that your search for who put your partner on that respirator desist immediately.

——————–
Mr X: I used to be you; I was where you are now. But, you’re not me, Mulder. I don’t think you have the heart. Walk away, grieve for Scully and then never look back. You will be able to live with yourself, Mulder, on the day you die.

——————–

Skinner: I’m afraid to look any further beyond that experience. You? You are not. Your resignation is unacceptable.
Mulder: You. You gave me Cancer Man’s location. You put your life in danger.
Skinner: Agent Mulder, every life, every day is in danger. That’s just life.

——————–
Mulder: I brought you a present. Superstars of the Super Bowls.
Scully: I knew there was a reason to live.

Beyond the Sea 1×12: I tore this off my New York Knicks t-shirt.


'sup witchoo?

What modern TV doesn’t allow for anymore is the chance for a show to grow into its own. Either you’re a hit right out of the gate or you’re canceled. Series no longer have the luxury of discovering themselves as they go and this is a shame. It used to be that you could count on any Season 1 to be rather rough, but you knew whether or not it was going to be a good show based on the gems you found hidden in the briars. “Beyond the Sea” is one of those gems. This is the first teaser that features one of our stars, so you already know this is set up to be a special episode. In fact, it’s Masterpiece Theater care of Messrs. Morgan and Wong.

I think between this episode and “Fire” (1×11) we can officially say that Mulder and Scully are friends, buddies even. Of course, this is a fairly recent development in their relationship and there are splendid moments of awkwardness sprinkled throughout this episode that let you know Mulder and Scully are still working on this newfound intimacy. Mulder calls Scully “Dana” three times and three times I get a cold chill. Ironically, what would be a sign of closeness between two normal people sounds like misplaced formality between Mulder and Scully. Scully agrees with me, but her initial sardonic dismissal of Mulder’s attempt at overt friendship doesn’t deter him from trying.

Mulder is the instigator (isn’t he always?). Scully doesn’t turn to Mulder for emotional support so much as he sticks his foot in the door and refuses to move. Scully, for better and for worse, is more closed off than Mulder. He’s the one in touch with his instincts, who obeys his emotions, and he does so here regardless of whether or not Scully reciprocates them. She does reciprocate them, of course, she just takes a little longer to become comfortable with her own feelings.

Would it be sacrilegious if I say that the chemistry wasn’t quite there in every scene? As I said, Mulder and Scully don’t look like they’re used to this (and neither to David and Gillian for that matter). I might be the only X-Phile in the world that finds Mulder’s ministrations somewhat awkward. However, I don’t think their being awkward is wrong. In fact, it makes sense. This is new territory in their relationship.

It’s not that their scenes together don’t feel real, it’s that they don’t feel natural, not until that wonderful, gorgeous scene it Scully’s motel room: The Great Sit Down. Was there a moment, any moment throughout the series that you could pin down as the point where Agents Mulder and Scully became Mulder and Scully? You could argue that there was or wasn’t. But if you were to argue that there was a moment, a place where they became more than partners, more than just buddies in a police procedural, it’s safe to say that this one gesture would make the short list for consideration. Not only are they completely in sync, there’s nothing strange, unnatural, invasive, or dare I say, even sexual in this moment. It’s as if they’re in their own Mulder/Scully universe.

Why does the personal space bubble exist? Because I am me and you are you and the twain should never completely meet. Why don’t Mulder and Scully practice the personal space bubble with each other? They don’t exist separately. Oh, sure, they’re different people, but they’re kind of like spiritually conjoined twins; separate yet always together. At Scully’s saddest and most vulnerable, having Mulder glued to her side is as natural as it gets.

But enough about Mulder and Scully. Brad Dourif gives a superb performance as Boggs without which the entire episode would have fallen apart. The perfectly timed tears… I almost want to salute in admiration. Sheila Larken shows up in her first guest spot as Margaret Scully. Here she’s so wrapped up in her own grief that she barely acknowledges her daughter’s. That’s why it feels so right.

Then there’s the biggest guest star of all: Bobby Darin. Who could forget him? The song Beyond the Sea is the perfect backdrop to the emotions of this episode. My own father played it often when I was a kid as it’s still one of his favorites. I wonder if everyone’s dad is a Bobby Darin fan? Maybe that’s why Scully feels like the every-daughter in this episode; almost every child will face a crossroad where they have to disappoint the parents they love to do what they feel is right for them. Scully’s meticulous science may be hard for many to understand, but at last, in this, she becomes relatable.

And the Verdict is…

This episode was so successful that it can serve as the cornerstone of Scully’s psychology for the rest of the series.  If the writers knew what the show would become, would they have killed Scully’s father off so soon? It would probably still be the wisest decision. For one thing, watching Scully lose her father allows us to see a depth of emotion in her that was only hinted at in the “Pilot “(1×79). Vulnerable Scully now makes an encore appearance and she’s a welcome departure from the slightly cocky Scully we’ve been exposed to thus far. Not only that, but when Scully’s penchant for following older, wiser men is revealed later on in the series we can better understand why she so willingly followed Mulder into madness. And that element of her personality only makes sense in light of her relationship with her father.

Scully believes… and then she takes it back. Why make it easy? But now we know that Scully is capable of believing even when Mulder doesn’t, as long as she has a personal stake in the matter, that is.

More than that, now we know that The X-Files is capable of being a great, great show.

A

It Doesn’t Make Sense:

Here’s an angle to Scully’s history that I’ve never, ever understood: Why are her parents so disappointed with her becoming an FBI agent? Is it less prestigious working for the FBI? If anything, they could say their daughter was a doctor and an investigator. Talk about bragging rights. It just feels like a stretch to think that this would be a point of contention within the family.

How did Mulder’s blood splatter so high up on the white cross? He’s not 8 feet tall.

Here and There:

His name is Luther Lee Boggs. That’s our first clue. Only southern boys or serial killers go by all three names: John Wayne Gacy, Lee Harvey Oswald, Henry Lee Lucas, etc.

Boggs channels a Mafioso? Here it works. In “The Field Where I Died” (4×5)? Not so much.

Boggs’ red jumpsuit is a great touch. Hot orange would have done horrible things for his complexion.

Not until about my tenth time watching this episode did I catch the fact that in the face of Scully’s obvious lie, Mulder intuitively knows that Scully has experienced an “extreme possibility” in regards to her father. Scully gives him a look of mild surprise when she realizes he’s guessed. In tune much?

Best Quotes:

Scully: Did Boggs confess?
Mulder: No, no, it was five hours of Boggs’ channelling. After three hours I asked him to summon up the soul of Jimi Hendrix, and requested All Along The Watchtower. You know, the guy’s been dead twenty years, but he still hasn’t lost his edge.

———–

Mulder: Dana, after all you’ve seen, after all the evidence, why can’t you believe?
Scully: I’m afraid. I’m afraid to believe.
Mulder: You couldn’t face that fear? Even if it meant never knowing what your father wanted to tell you?
Scully: But I do know.
Mulder: How?
Scully: He was my father.