If you haven’t read ‘Times Mulder and Scully Should Have Made Out’, you need to cancel everything for the next several hours. Grab some coffee, some snacks, tissues (not for crying, but for wiping tears of laughter), and tuck in. Do it. Do it now.
Kelly, I have missed you SO MUCH! January is here!!!!
With love, a fellow Phile.
She’s back! Salome is BACK! If you haven’t read her reviews of the X-Files yet, get on it!
I, like many of you, have been an X Files fan for more than half of my life. I’m 30 years old now and began watching when I was 12. I was a shipper from the first episode I saw (Irresistible hug, I’m looking at you). I was a diehard fan shortly thereafter. I loyally watched every episode live and taped it. I saw FTF 5 times in the theater and bought the VHS tape the day it was released. I remember taking the series finale I taped the night it aired with me to high school the next day so my friends and I could watch it during the finals we exempted. I saved magazine covers, I clung to any news of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson, and hoped beyond hope that the X Files story would continue.
I was overjoyed at the news of IWTB and saw the midnight showing alone. I was in a different city in the middle of teaching summer camps, but nothing would have stopped me from seeing my show on the big screen again. I had resolved myself to that ending and my own headcanon of Mulder and Scully’s adventures. There is something to be said for picturing them in their own universe, fighting the good fight side by side as partners, friends, and soul mates. I had totally accepted that as the end of their story.
7 years passed with me growing older, finding my place in this world, and always finding comfort by a return to my show and OTP whenever the impulse arose. (Thank you Netflix, Amazon, and my DVD season sets).
I know you all can understand my level of excitement when the Revival was announced. They’re back! Mulder and Scully are back! They’ll be in our homes, on our TVs, back in our lives for all too brief and wonderful a time. We get them for 6 episodes. It’s unbelievable. It is a gift that we fans should HUMBLY accept and bear the weight of the responsibility it entails.
As Philes, we have a long history to protect and uphold. We started “Shipping,” for crying out loud! Together with our show, we’ve been thrust into the digital and social media age. Do any of you remember the internet forums back in the 90’s? When SPOILERS was a thread you had to click into to read? How about waiting for the STAR TRACKS section of People magazine to catch a glimpse of David or Gillian out and about? Well, now all of that info is available 24 hours a day – we need only reach into our back pockets. Social media has changed everything, for better or worse.
Through social media, I’ve met some truly passionate and talented Philes. I LOVE my experience with the folks involved in The X-Files Global Rewatch and TheXFiles201Days (If you’re missing this, it’s a blast! Join us tonight! We’re on Season 2, episode 18: Fearful Symmetry). Live-tweeting an episode is like a nightly slumber party with your friends who all happen to be diehard X-Philes. It is a beautiful thing that should not be missed.
Having said this, I’ve also come across some truly alarming things. Case in point, I was scrolling through my feed over lunch and came across the heat that was thrown at an actress who not two days ago posted an adorable picture with our two leads on the set. Not unlike any of the other co-stars who have posted pictures from the set. They’re excited and proud to be part of the XF team. Who wouldn’t be?! We should be happy for them and excited about these rare glimpses into the making of our favorite show. So when this same actress posts a picture of herself on Instagram and tags a co-star, she gets verbally attacked? It’s bullying, Philes, plain and simple. It’s wrong on so many levels, and we’re better than this. This fandom, who’s worked tirelessly to keep the X-Files alive and who is ever as deserving of comfort from “Don’t Give Up” as Mulder and Scully are, is better than that. We should be welcoming new co-stars into the fold, not grabbing proverbial baseball bats and gearing for a fight. Which none of us would do, btw, if we were dragged out from behind our smartphone and computer screens.
I challenge all of us to this mantra: What Would Mulder and Scully Do?
Dana Scully: our Queen. She made smart sexy. She’s the woman who spent over 10 years proving that a woman can be both strong and feminine. She proved to all of us that it is indeed possible to survive the boy’s club. She’s the inspiration to so many women out there to pursue the sciences and any other traditionally male-dominated profession. Scully was, and is, always on the side of the victim.
What would she say if she read the attacks on that actress?
Fox Mulder: Defender of the innocent, ESPECIALLY women and children. He’s the man who never gave up looking for his sister. The man who spent every day for the better part of 10 years working alongside a beautiful woman who he never objectified. He dubbed her “Scully” within seconds of meeting her in order to make her feel welcome and part of his team. Scully, a woman, became his best friend and touchstone.
What would he say if he read the attacks on that actress?
What would their actors say about this verbal abuse?
We have a responsibility as fans of our show. The creators, writers, and actors are all doing their part to bring it to life for us in January. Our job is simple: Love our show. We can do our part to keep the excitement alive — participate in the rewatch, await behind the scenes pictures and magazine spreads and squeee! when cast members tweet each other (and us!), and we can do so humbly and peacefully.
We’re a good fandom, an old fandom, and new Philes and cast members deserve to see us as such. The X Files was a gift, and the Revival is the best kind of surprise. We need to do our part to keep it fun for all involved – fans, cast, and creators. After all, doesn’t seeing them happy make us happy?
Please, fellow Philes, stay calm, hang in there, and let’s keep it peaceful through January and beyond!
Mulder and Scully are The Truth,
River T. Leaman
Ghost in the Machine was not always a favorite of mine, but it’s growing on me. Perhaps it’s aging that has really done this to me, but I’m certain that this is the episode where I began falling in love with Fox Mulder.
Mulder and Scully are purchasing lunch in the FBI bullpen from a sandwich cart. Did that really happen in the 90’s? They’re interrupted by agent Jerry Lamana, who gives Mulder a super awkward bro-hug.
Mulder introduces Jerry to Scully, saying “they used to work together,” but Jerry corrects him and tells Scully that he and Mulder were partners. Mulder quickly checks Scully when Jerry lays this on her, almost as if he’s making sure she’s okay knowing he had a partner before her. It’s cute, and at the risk of sounding trite, I think it’s an attempt by him to protect her feelings? (he’s obviously her first partner) in a strange way.
He’s too late — Scully was indeed thrown off, albeit briefly.
It’s an important exchange and I’ve been racking my brain on how to accurately label it. It’s you’re not my first, but you’re the best. It’s that was my past, you’re part of my future. In no way am I attributing this to anything romantic between Mulder and Scully, but it does feel that way. I turn to the excellent insight of Musings of an X Phile, because where I fall short she never fails to nail it on the head:
[Mulder] looks for the world as though Scully had met a past love of his, as though she wouldn’t want to know there had ever been anyone before her. On her part, Scully drops her friendly smile. Mulder and Scully may not be romantic, or even overly attached at this point, but they are territorial.”
I’ve got a different read on Jerry and Mulder’s relationship after this rewatch. Jerry is ambitious, but tragically, he lacks even a fraction of Mulder’s investigative and profiling skills. Mulder’s too much of a gentleman to admit it, but he was the lead of their partnership, unwittingly casting Jerry in his shadow.
Also not helping: Jerry’s past major blunder — misplacing an important piece of evidence that resulted in the injury of a federal Judge. He’s been attempting to make amends for this for quite some time in the eyes of the bureau, and this current case is his ticket. Not unlike Tom Colton in ‘Squeeze.’
Mulder’s reluctance to help Jerry is more of a testament to his goodness than anything else. Old habits die hard, and Mulder knows working with Jerry will yield the same results as before: they’re not a compatible team. Mulder will always tip the scale if Jerry’s on the other end. If Mulder removes himself from the equation, it will allow Jerry the opportunity to make his own way. Mulder may also be attempting to shield Jerry from Scully’s scrutiny — it won’t take her long to discover Jerry’s ineptitude. I believe Mulder wants to try his best to keep Jerry in a positive light; His loyalty to his friends, though they be few, is extreme. Once given, it’s hard to take back. All Jerry need do is ask for help, and Mulder will be there. I LOVE HIM.
At the crime scene, Mulder notices the phone in the bathroom where the victim was killed is off the hook — a fact missed by everyone else. Both Jerry and Scully are impressed, and Jerry jokingly tells her that he taught Mulder everything he knows. In adorable good humor, Mulder smiles at her and goofily nods his head in agreement. This is shameless…but an important plot device, I swear! Mulder’s profile notes are missing.
It turns out Jerry stole Mulder’s profile and passes it off as his own in the meeting with the task force. I feel terribly for Mulder here. He’s so calm — its impressive, actually, because he’s stewing underneath his composure.
Scully brings him the name of a possible suspect they need to check out, and even gently jabs at Mulder by saying that it is ‘fully consistent with “Jerry’s” excellent behavioral profile.’ I love her too. Mulder, to his credit, doesn’t miss a beat and sarcastically replies “fully.”
They meet with Brad Wilczek in his ostentatious high-tech home. They learn that the system in Wilczek’s house is the same as the one in the Eurisko building. And a precursor to Nest thermostats….?
Random side note: Scully is made of stronger stuff than I am. The second I walk in my door — I’m changing into comfy clothes and taking off my dress shoes. Then I go to my computer.
The following day, Scully and Mulder analyze the speech pattern of the crime scene telephone recording — it matches Wilczek’s voice. Jerry comes to apologize. It’s not much, but it’s enough for Mulder.
With the new evidence, Jerry asks to take in Wilczek on his own, and Mulder lets him go. The Eurisko building COS, which apparently has a mind of its own (the Ghost in the Machine) kills Jerry in the elevator. Wilczek is powerless to stop it.
Poor Mulder watches the video of Jerry’s death and is overridden with guilt because he didn’t go with him. Scully is very sweet here — she already knows that Wilchek signed a confession, but Mulder doesn’t think Wilchek is guilty.
The government wants Wilczek to create AI software for weapons programming. Of course they do. Bastards.
Scully refuses to believe that the COS is responsible for killing people. She suggests Mulder is affected by Jerry’s death and he should talk to someone. He tells her she’s right (warning bells should be going off, Scully!) and that he’s going to do just that. **Prepare to be ditched**
Mulder convinces Wilczek to create a virus to kill his machine. He then drives to Eurisko, fully planning on going on this mission alone. Scully arrives shortly after him. **Ditch foiled!**
They attempt to sneak in to Eurisko. It doesn’t go well for their car.
After observing the ease in which these two problem-solve their way around this locked door, I’d love to watch them actually build a tower of furniture. I’m pretty sure they could create Winterfell and win some kind of FBI award.
Scully crawls through an air vent and arrives just in time to save Mulder. Like a BAMF.
They use Wilczek’s virus to kill the COS. Mulder then meets with Deep Throat again to learn that the government apprehended Wilczek and are trying to negotiate with him.
I’m truly enjoying this rewatch experience because I’m understanding so much more through it. I CANNOT contain my excitement for ‘Ice.’ Stay tuned! Thanks for reading.
Mulder and Scully are the Truth.
River T. Leaman
Our first X-Files ghost story was penned by the team that brought us “Squeeze,” Glen Morgan and James Wong. Admittedly, I’m not too crazy about this episode’s story line, but Mulder and Scully have some great moments together. This recap will be MSR-heavy, because even after a rewatch that is what still speaks to me the most in the episode. I’m sensing an over-arcing theme with these posts…
We begin with a woman named Lauren Kyte packing up her boss’ office, attempting to stifle her tears. Her boss has allegedly killed himself. She takes a few items from his office and heads home.
While depositing her paycheck at an ATM, she is attacked by two men. 2 hours later, those same two men are found dead in an alley. Queue our favorite theme music!
I need to apologize before I go any further: this scene obliterated my outer adult layer — my inner fangirl took over.
Mulder and Scully are summoned to Bethesda Naval hospital to look over two bodies.
They meet two cagey agents from an unknown organization who have zero concept of give and receive. Though they’ve been called in to help, the other agents and the medical examiner offer next to nothing in the way of answers to Mulder’s questions. He’s only met with silent intense stares. Scully answers what she can from observing the bodies.
Mulder is OVER the lack of answers from the other agents. His distress is high enough to make him remove those sexy glasses in outrage. **wink wink**
The most interesting aspect of these two bodies: both throats have been crushed without evidence of tissue damage. More questions from Mulder and Scully, more blank stares from the other agents. Scully’s annoyance level quickly matches Mulder’s. She asks why they’re being consulted. The other two agents ask if Mulder and Scully have ever seen any phenomena like this in the X-Files. Mulder says ‘no.’ And just like that, the meeting is over.
I’ll say it again, these two love themselves some hallways.
Scully knows Mulder lied about seeing that phenomena before. “I would never lie. I willfully participated in a campaign for misinformation.” Love him. Mulder says there are many separate X-Files with similar phenomena, but never ALL the elements in one case.
She admits to being intrigued, but wonders how they can investigate with no evidence.Gird your loins, Shippers. This is totally unnecessary and yet all the more wonderful because of it. Hallways and Elevators. Sigh.
Meanwhile, Lauren Kyte gives her two weeks notice to her late boss’ business partner, Mr. Dorlund. He’s creepy and shady and she needs to get the hell out of that office. She’s aided by an unseen force — who decides the best way to keep him from harming Lauren is to tighten his gaudy man-bracelet. If you’re a ghost who can manipulate objects and people — just PUSH him!
Mulder and Scully do some digging on the dead men — they’ve got ties to an extremist group out of Philadelphia, 60 air minutes from where the bodies were found. Mulder spots an ATM near the area where the Philly patrol officer found the men, and he and Scully find the video of Lauren Kyte being attacked. This shot is gold.
Lauren Kyte denies having seen the two men who attacked her, but neither of our agents believe her. They don’t get much out of her, but she does get Fox Mulder’s cell phone number in case of an emergency, so there’s that.
I for one, am grateful that our agents have learned to immediately put on their seat belts in the car. **Remember the Pilot Episode** They lose control and zoom backward down the street before crashing into another vehicle. I think many of us miss this if we’re watching in standard format, but for some reason I caught it — here’s a reassuring hand hold after Mulder asks Scully if she’s okay. There may be some squeezing in there. First time I’m seeing this. So sweet.
While their car is checked out by a mechanic, the powers that be try to kill me with Mulder. They’ve nearly succeeded by this point.
He’s suggesting that Lauren Kyte is unknowingly emitting high levels of electrostatic charge from her psychokinetic power. Or, a poltergeist is responsible for their crash. Scully jokes with him with that famous line from Poltergeist and it’s too cute.
She also is not having any of this psychokinesis argument. She theorizes that it’s far more likely that Lauren was targeted because of her companies’ possible connection to the extremist terrorist group and that she has an accomplice. They’ll have to watch Lauren to find out more.
After observing Lauren’s temper tantrum in a parking lot, Scully finds Howard Graves obituary. She doesn’t even have to look to find Mulder’s hand. These two…
Back at her apartment, Lauren witnesses some weirdness in her bathroom and manages to learn (in spite of much sniffling and shaking) that her boss was murdered.
Despite the evidence, Mulder and Scully want to double check that Howard Graves is in fact deceased. They turn to the medical examiner for his case, Ellen Bledsoe, ME, who is my favorite guest character in this episode. Her delivery of “Howard Graves is very dead” still makes me laugh to this day.
It’s also memorable for me because I remember watching this episode with my dad — who promptly cracked up when she said this. To give you some context, my dad is h stereotypical former US Marine; quiet and scary to those who don’t know him. While he has a sense of humor, it’s got to be genuinely funny to crack him. Ellen Bledsoe had my father positively giggling with her exchange with Mulder and Scully. For this alone, she’ll always hold a special place in my fangirl heart.
Lauren Kyte calls Mulder and asks that they meet her at her house in a hurry. Mulder arrives in time to see an invisible force Sith-choke a would-be assassin. Scully, laughably at this point, just misses it.
Back at the police station, Lauren slides into an all-too-lengthy monologue about her relationship with her boss and why she thinks he was killed. By this point, I’m annoyed with her character. This is the part of the episode that always feels tired to me. We’ve been told the same thing twice now. We get it already — terrorist group was in deep with Graves’ business partner. Move on please.
Surprisingly, and to her partner’s dismay, Scully rises to tell her that Lauren can help Howard by helping the FBI finish his unfinished business.
I’m not sure I agree with Mulder here. It’s true, Scully doesn’t believe, but she believes that Lauren believes. Mulder is upset because in doing so, they’ve probably lost their best chance at witnessing true spectral phenomena. Scully reminds him that their priority is solving the case and punishing those who are actually guilty of a crime. I’m sorry, Fox Mulder, you’ve got my heart, but I’m with your partner on this one.
A joint task force works with Lauren to search Dorlund’s office. They don’t find anything until the ghost of Howard Graves traps Mulder, Lauren, and Dorlund in his office and swirls an absurd amount of paper in the air before revealing a floppy disc hidden in the wall.
After sending Lauren on her way, Mulder asks Scully if she believes in an afterlife. Her cool reply of “I’d settle for a life in this one” leads Mulder to ask if she wants to go see the Liberty Bell with him.
They drive off into the night…and hundreds of fanfiction stories were frantically being pecked to life from the keyboards of squeeing MSR Philes who were desperate for the 2 minutes of lost footage we could have here. Just the two of them waiting in that long line would have been worth it to me! They could have shaved some of Lauren’s monologue. I’m just saying…
Again, not a favorite episode of mine, but there were some memorable moments.
See you all soon! Thanks for sharing in my madness.
Mulder and Scully are The Truth.
River T. Leaman
Welcome to New Jersey. The year is 1947 and a family is happily driving down the road singing “Bingo” together. We should know disaster is about to strike. No family happily sings in the car together! Even the dad seems to be enjoying himself. Speaking of the father, don’t we know him from somewhere?
Fellow Philes, this is actor Bill Dow, and the powers that be obviously love him because he makes several guest appearances as different characters before finally landing the role of our beloved Chuck Burks. I believe he is the only actor besides David Duchovny(Small Potatoes) to play two different characters in the same episode. Maybe they felt some remorse for killing his character off so quickly — no sooner has this poor guy arranged everything to fix his flat tire then he is suddenly dragged off into the woods by an unseen attacker.
Back in present day, we follow Scully as she walks into the basement office, where she finds Mulder fully engrossed in reading an “article.”
These two are so playful about Mulder’s magazine. He’s unabashed and Scully can jab at him with total ease. “Anti-gravity’s right.” Too cute.
I love that Scully is so excited to tell Mulder about the story she just heard. I can picture her thinking when she overhears it, “ I can’t wait to tell Mulder. He’s going to love this.” After she describes a victim with an arm that was bitten off by another human, Mulder heads toward the filing cabinet. He hands her an X-File and says “read about the case in 1947.” Very close to her face.
They have the ENTIRE office to spread out, but apparently there’s an unwritten rule stating they have to remain within a 2 foot orbit of one another at all times. This may be the only rule Mulder habitually follows.
Upon their arrival at the city morgue, Mulder and Scully meet serious resistance from detective Thompson. He doesn’t want their involvement at all. In all fairness, the FBI has no jurisdiction, but the man is a complete jerk.
Nothing brings two people together like a shared dislike of local law enforcement.
Mulder is now 100% percent invested in this case, and his attempt at keeping Scully in town with him is nothing short of irresistible (at least to me).
Scully’s made of stronger stuff than this lowly blogger. She has to be back in D.C. by 6:30 p.m. Mulder inquires if the reason is a date. There’s an unusual lift to his question: Half antagonizing, half joking, but mostly hoping she’ll say it is not a date. It’s probing without really wanting to hear the answer but needing to know at the same time.
She’s torn, and this little pout “Oh” after bemoaning that she’ll be in traffic after 3 hours of driving by herself says it all. She must really love that godson. This episode is one of the few in the series offering a glimpse of the life Scully could have without the X-Files. What I wouldn’t give to have been a fly on the wall for the conversation prior to this where Scully tells her friend that she thought Mulder was ‘cute.’
Meanwhile, her partner is roaming the New Jersey woods. Obsessed with his work.
Kidding aside, Mulder is perfectly willing to go down alleys and talk to the homeless population about Roger Crocket — because he’s a credit to the human race. I read somewhere that Mulder and Scully fight for the living and honor the dead. I couldn’t agree more. It’s particularly true for Mulder in this episode — he’s just so….GOOD. Long after local law enforcement has turned their back on the lowest and forgotten of the city, Mulder’s concern is genuine. He even trades his hotel room with a homeless man for the night so he can have a chance to see the Jersey Devil. I love him.
Mulder catches a brief glimpse of someone sniffing through trash and running along a rooftop before he’s suspiciously apprehended by police.
Scully buys Mulder breakfast and listens intently while he regales her with his nocturnal adventure as a vagrant. This is my favorite scene. Here’s why:
1. I can’t even…
2. Scully can’t even look at him when she says her reason for hurrying back to D.C. this time around is a date.
3. I will always love Mulder for asking “Can you cancel?” Like he knows she was asked out and not the other way around.
4. “I have a life.”
5. Her smile. His look. Where her legs are under the table….
The fact that Scully wants to introduce Mulder to a beloved professor on the way home is so awesome. She’s proud of him, in a way, and she knows that the two of them will get along.
I love that Mulder can’t seem to get enough food from just one evening on the street. He goes straight for the coffee pot in the professor’s office. Wouldn’t it be great if there was an alternate universe where Mulder and Scully both take this guy’s anthropology class? Mulder’s the kid who keeps raising his hand with the crazy questions and Scully is the front-row Hermione who can shoot every single inquiry down with an answer from the textbook. I’d read that fic.
Her professor is such a good sport — he listens to each of Mulder’s theories and gives an honest and thoughtful answer. No wonder Scully wanted to get these two together.
Scully goes on her date.
I feel bad — this guy is really nice, but he’s DULL. She needed this date. It offered a glimpse into a normal life and brought about a big realization for her.
I think there comes a time for most of us when we want the simpler things: house, 2.5 kids, dog, whatever. Some reach that desire much sooner than others. Scully isn’t ready for that. Scully at the beach? Nope. Her work with Mulder is her life right now, and she’s gradually coming to terms with what she’s learning about herself through their partnership. As she observes in a later case, “Smart is sexy,” and Mulder is extremely intelligent and the work they do is intellectually and emotionally stimulating on a level far greater than whatever Rob could offer her at this point in her life. She left behind a career in medicine for a chance to distinguish herself as an FBI agent. Dana Scully does not desire normalcy. In a way, it would be her spiritual death. Hence her strong kinship with Mulder — these two cannot do mundane. It’s the reason he’s still in the office.
Which of course, he makes.
Mulder: “Sorry to interrupt your evening.”
Mulder gets attacked by said beast woman. Scully attends to him. Beast woman gets away.
Can we take a moment to appreciate that all 4 of them squeezed into the park ranger’s truck? Must have been tight over on that passenger side…
They’re too late. The beast woman is killed after she attacks one of the officers in pursuit. The detective justifies her killing by saying he shot her for the same reason you would kill a rabid animal. Scully grabs Mulder’s arm before he can retaliate and they wordlessly leave the scene.
Scully can tell how upset Mulder is by the ending to their case. She tries to get him to take the day off, but he’s already planned a meeting with an ethnobiologist. What happens next is Scully’s first step into her “life” working with Mulder.
This is what he does — his work is his life. His look at Scully when Rob calls is a mix of regret and acceptance. He wants her to join him, but he knows she wants a life.
He is so cute when he realizes that she’s going with him to the Smithsonian. He doesn’t even flinch, like he had been hoping against hope that she would.
A trip to the Smithsonian with Fox Mulder? Way better than borrowing your godson to see Cirque Du Solei with a divorcee and his kid.
Yeah, she does, Mulder. And she’ll hurt you like that beast woman if you tease her about it.
Oh, and look closely, it’s Bill Dow again!
I’ve heard many Philes site this episode as not being very strong. In terms of story, that’s probably fair. However, in terms of character, it’s loaded. All in all, this episode speaks more to Mulder and Scully’s partnership than anything else. We glean that their lives are their work. We knew of Mulder’s singular passion for the X-Files from the get-go. What’s fun for us is that we get to watch Scully choose this life with him over a chance at a “normal” existence, and we couldn’t be more thrilled with her choice.
Mulder and Scully are The Truth.
-River T. Leaman
I’ll be the first to admit that Conduit is not one of my favorite episodes. I can’t pinpoint the exact reason. Having said this, the episode does have a fair amount of MSR fodder for the shippers out there, and there’s some interesting case information that I’ve missed in the past. After this rewatch, I have a little more respect for the episode, but I have a feeling this post will be more of an ode to Mulder and Scully’s personal development than anything else. That’s the beauty of this show. Where a given episode may have a few elements that fall flat (a rarity in itself), the heart of the show lies in its two leads. As long as Mulder and Scully share the screen it’s still an enjoyable 42 minutes of television.
Scully is called into Section Chief Blevins’ office because Mulder sent a 302 requesting an assignment to investigate the disappearance of a girl during a family camping trip. Blevins asks Scully if she can explain why Mulder is requesting this assignment with little more than a newspaper clipping as a source. Literally — a newspaper clipping that he paper-clipped to the 302. I think it’s weird too.
She admits it’s strange even for Mulder. She’s rocking this look, by the way. I’m not sure anyone can make shoulder pads look better than this right now.
Blevins wants to know if Mulder is personalizing this case because of what happened to his sister. This is the first time I noticed this next part: he proceeds to take Samantha Mulder’s X-File out of his personal filing cabinet.
WHY does he have that in his office?? It’s clear in the conversation that follows that Mulder has no idea his 302 is in danger of being disallowed, so I do not believe Blevins would have waltzed down to the basement and asked Mulder for it. If Scully finds this strange she doesn’t let on. I appreciate that Scully is hesitant to disclose anything that Mulder has told her personally about his sister. Even though the evidence is clear to her that his interest in this case is personal, she persuades Blevins to let her talk to Mulder and make a better recommendation for the need to investigate.
Scully does her best to persuade Mulder that they will need more than his newspaper clipping to warrant an investigation. She really is my hero — I mean, seriously? Look at this man.
Mulder lets on that the location of the girl’s disappearance is what really caught his attention. It’s near Lake Okabogee. What was that, you ask? Scully was confused too. Apparently the 3 or 4 feet between Scully and Mulder was a vacuum because he needed to get closer to repeat “Okabogee.” This close. Completely legit. Squeeee!
I love Mulder’s slideshow presentations. I’d take his class any day.
The subject of Mulder’s presentation is Darlene Morris, mother of the missing girl in the article and also the photographer behind a UFO picture from lake Okabogee. Apparently this is enough evidence to legitimize that 302.
Once they arrive at Darlene Morris’ house, Scully observes Mulder looking at photos. It’s a little heavy on the Ruby-as-Samantha theme for me, but it’s a still sweet moment. Mark Snow’s score helps a lot.
Mulder leaves the room to chat with Kevin, and we get a great little homage to Poltergeist.
Mulder takes Kevin’s papers with 1’s and 0’s and sends them to the FBI for analysis. Here’s another golden nugget that I’d never noticed before:
The infamous “Danny” on the other side of the phone throughout the seasons must be this guy — Daniel Bernstein, of the FBI’s Cryptology section. This Phile is proud of herself.
While in the police station, Mulder decides now is the best time to antagonize the sheriff for not investigating Ruby’s disappearance with more gusto. Watch Scully closely. She totally kicks Mulder when he pushes it a little too far. I love them.
After leaving the sheriff’s station, a note on the agents’ windshield alerts them to a woman who wants to meet in the library. Also, crossing the street is reason enough to touch your partner. You know, to make sure she gets over safely.
It’s also perfectly normal to stand this close to someone in a library. I also feel this would make a good READ poster for any school library. Hell, I’d buy it now.
Mulder and Scully learn from this meeting that Ruby was planning to meet up with her bartender boyfriend at lake Okabogee the night she disappeared. This prompts them to check out the bar that Greg Randall worked in.
I LOVE this bartender. I really just want Mulder and Scully to belly up to this bar and let this guy serve them several drinks. He and Mulder can wax poetic about UFOs and Scully can ruin every single one of their stories with her logic while she giggles into her drink…
Also, this look from Scully to Mulder is priceless.
So baby Scully learns the hard way that FBI service weapons should be in arms-reach while sleeping. Also, WHY do these guys burst into her room at 5:30 am asking where Mulder is? Were people already assuming they were sleeping together? This still cracks me up to this day.
I have no words when it comes to Mulder’s bedhead…
But Seven Blessings be upon whoever was responsible for this shot.
The NSA learns that Mulder and Scully got the document of 1’s and 0’s from Kevin Morris, and they go on to raid his room. If this doesn’t make you mad, you have no soul. Look at what they did to the boy’s sweet little piggy bank! They’ve reserved their places in the Special Hell.
Back in the field office, the documents have been decrypted and it’s a compilation of random pictures and sounds. Much like a TV switching channels, according to Mulder. *Random aside: Can we take a moment to appreciate the fact that Dana Scully knows her classical music? The woman can ping Bach after a small sample better than a music major taking a final. You’ll always keep us guessing, Dr. Scully.
Mulder is convinced that Kevin is the key to solving Ruby’s disappearance. Scully attempts to tell him that she’s picked up on why he’s so attached to this case. Neither one of them is outright saying it, but the elephant in this car is Samantha Mulder’s abduction. Does anyone else feel like one or both of them is about to burst into tears here? It’s taking every ounce of Mulder’s willpower to not berate Scully for continually insinuating that he is personalizing this case.
Before I get serious for a moment, let’s take some time to appreciate that no one other than Fox Mulder stands like this.
This next scene is intense and probably my favorite from the episode. Mulder officially crosses the line into personal territory, and his pleading “What if it’s her? I need to know” is so honest and raw that it melts whatever resolve Scully had to stop him.
It turns out the body they find is Greg Randall. A note in his pocket matches Tessa’s handwriting from earlier and they get out of her interrogation that she had motive to kill Greg and possibly Ruby. Mulder refuses to believe that Ruby was killed and he will not give up on her or Kevin.
Now, look, I LOVE Dana Scully. But every time she tells Mulder to stop running after his sister it makes me angry. Right here, in this scene, I’m not sure they’ve known each other long enough. She may think it, and he may know she’s thinking it, but she puts it into words and she has no right to. It’s clear she regrets it the moment she says it.
He’s fighting back his anger and his self-control and patience with her here is commendable.
While it still irks me later in the series, (even in IWTB, but by then I think she totally has the right to say it) this instance really stings. To her credit, Scully still follows Mulder even though she thinks it is futile at this point to continue to search for Ruby. Her loyalty is unquestionable, and that’s why I think Mulder still invites her to come with him after all of this.
They check Kevin’s house and find Ruby’s picture is what the 1’s and 0’s make up. They have to return to lake Okabogee.
Once they are in the car, Mulder opens up to Scully by telling her a DEEPLY personal story. He used to walk into his room with his eyes closed hoping that when he opened them he’d see his sister. In a way, he says, he’s still walking into that room every day of his life. He’s entrusting Scully with his emotions. It’s his way of telling her that they’re okay while also acknowledging that her instincts have been correct.
It turns out Mulder’s instincts are also correct. They find Ruby has mysteriously returned to lake Okabogee and she’s taken to the hospital. It seems as though Ruby is on the verge of telling Mulder and Scully who took her but Darlene interrupts them. She takes Mulder and Scully into the hallway and asks that they leave Ruby alone. Mulder tries to encourage Darlene to help Ruby dig deeper into her experience, but Darlene refuses on the grounds that she once tried to tell her story and no one believed her. Mulder tries to explain that it doesn’t matter because it was the truth. “The truth has caused me nothing but heartache,” she replies, “I don’t want that for her.”
This time it’s Mulder who needs a guiding hand at his back.
Scully goes home to listen to Mulder’s regression tapes. His “I want to believe”closes out the episode and will always tug at my heartstrings!
While Conduit has some serious moments, I’ll hope you will forgive me for staying lite and focusing on Mulder and Scully’s development. No other characters grow as much as our pair does in this episode. While still not one of my favorites, it serves as a visual testament to the creation of the intense bond and trust between them. They only grow closer from here.
Thanks for reading!
Mulder and Scully are The Truth.
-River T. Leaman
Look Dana, who’s side are you on?”
We’re well on our way into Season 1, and after two episodes related to the mythology of the show, The X-Files deals out its first Monster-of-the-Week: the genetic freak, Eugene Victor Tooms. I’ll confess this is one of my favorite episodes of all time, and this rewatch was particularly enjoyable due to the fact that I found a few nuggets of goodness I’d previously missed. That’s saying something folks, because like many of you, I’ve seen this episode more times than I’ve got fingers on both hands. Probably more times than I’ve got fingers AND toes, if I’m being honest.
I must have seen this episode at a critical point during my adolescent development — I have never been able to shake this image from my subconscious. I still, nearly 15 years later, give storm drains a wide berth. He’s in there, y’all. Yellow eyes and all.
George Usher has my deepest sympathies. This poor guy had THE WORST last day ever: presentation fell flat, working late, got wife’s answering machine, attacked by liver-eating-mutant. Ouch.
We find Scully at lunch with an old friend from her class at Quantico. This scene offered me one of those aforementioned nuggets: Scully’s class of cadets is only two years out of the academy at this point. That puts Scully one year out from her rookie year. I can’t believe I missed that the first time around. Colton doesn’t take long to prove himself to be a classic ambitious narcissist. Where Scully can give one of their classmates props for a major promotion, Colton complains about it not being one of them. He then pokes at Scully — inquiring about ‘close encounter of the third kind’ and her partnership with “Spooky “Mulder. Scully immediately defends her partner: “Mulder’s ideas may be a bit out there, but he is a great agent.”This is why we love her. Colton jumps at the chance to segue into a case that’s “out there.” He’s on the rise in the prestigious Violent Crimes Section and he’s been handed the reins to a case that he needs help with. From here on out, it’s clear his motive for inviting Scully to lunch is nothing more than an underhanded attempt at getting Mulder’s input on the case. I’d almost be able to forgive him for this — the guy’s a loser –if he hadn’t already made a jab at “Spooky” Mulder. I’m defensive, I know, but every time I hear it from another FBI agent I get the sudden desire to punch them in the mouth through my T.V. Especially coming from the guy with the striped shirt and polka-dotted tie.
At the Crime scene Mulder is wondering why Colton didn’t just ask him for help. Scully offers that he felt more comfortable talking to her about it because they’re academy chums. It is super endearing that Mulder is shocked to learn he has a reputation.
I love this scene in the office for many reasons:
1. This moment. Duh. He may be half-teasing and half-serious with her here, which is heart-breaking and too cute at the same time. And I just can’t with him. He’s adorable.
2. Mulder’s a keenly perceptive observer of human behavior ( profiling golden boy, remember) and Colton isn’t a mystery. The instant Colton digs at Mulder with a “little green men” comment, Mulder’s done with him. He immediately launches into a tiny rant about the Reticulum Galaxy, and Colton is too dense to decipher if Mulder is serious or joking.
Scully, in all her glory, does nothing to stop Mulder and I love her for this. Her minuscule half-smirk at Mulder’s reticulan comment is a cross between embarrassment and amusement: a lot like when you’re BF says something inappropriate at a party…you’ll berate the behavior later, but you’re trying like hell not to laugh at it in the moment.
3. “What in the hell is he doing?” Working your crime scene, you ingrate. Finding a fingerprint that you missed. Go home or start taking notes, Colton. Fox Mulder is working.
Or go home and change your tie. I mean, seriously???
Returning to their office, Mulder pulls some prints from an unsolved case he found in the X-Files. The dates of these previous murders go back as far as 1903, prompting Mulder to declare that technically, he and Scully had this case before Colton. They decide to work their own separate investigation.
What’s of interest to me is that Scully is the one who pens the profile of Tooms. In all honesty, I’d have expected it from Mulder, as he is the criminal profiler of the pair. But for whatever reason, we’re allowed the opportunity to see her hard at work and listen to her profile as she delivers it to the VCS good ole’ boys. Keep in mind, Scully is only two-years out from the academy, so this briefing with the VCS is a big deal. She’s also the only woman in the room. (Yet another reason I thank Chris Carter for giving her to us). It’s clear there’s a small amount of yearning on Scully’s part to earn her membership to this boy’s club. Everyone in the room is impressed with her profile, garnering her an invitation to join the stake-out. She’s pleased with the results, but uncomfortable at their jab at Mulder: “I know you’re assigned to another area, Scully, but if you don’t mind some over time you’re welcome to come aboard with us on this . That is, if you don’t mind working on an area that’s a bit more down to earth.” After all, she’s assigned to the X-Files too. In her mind, the insult is as much hers as it is Mulder’s.
Scully is assigned the George Usher crime scene and she’s waiting in the parking garage. Riddle me this: why is this adorable man even here? I doubt Scully invited him, so I’m led to believe that Mulder came here to check up on her. After work. Hence the sexy-college-professor look he’s rocking. He thinks Tooms won’t return to this location because he’s already been here and the thrill is gone. Interestingly, this is one of the few times that Mulder is wrong about a profile. But he does this ridiculously cute flailing run when he realizes his mistake, and the way he says “Scullay” is enough for me to give him a pass.
AND…he’s man enough and respectful enough to give her credit for being right in her profile.
Tooms passes a polygraph and the VCS guys are ready to let him go. Mulder insists that “Scully is right. He is the guy.” He attempts to explain that the two questions Tooms clearly lied on are reason enough to keep him in custody. Due to the extreme nature of the questions, the VCS dismiss them and release Tooms. I love these next few moments. Colton asks Scully if she’s joining them and she politely thanks him for the opportunity to work with the VCS, but she’s officially assigned to the X-Files. This moment, for me, is the official stamp on their partnership. Scully makes it clear that she is staying with Mulder. She could easily use this opportunity to step out of their basement office, but she stands her ground alongside her partner. AND, she’s incredibly gracious throughout this exchange. Dana Scully is a class act and we don’t’ deserve her. Colton also gets this glare when he offers to get Scully off of the X-Files:
And THE glorious Shipper Moment is approaching… keep scrolling past these bad ties.
Ah, this moment. It still makes me smile after all this time. Scully asks Mulder why he kept pushing it in that room with the VCS when he knew they wouldn’t believe him. He replies: “Maybe I thought you caught the right guy. And maybe I run into so many people who are hostile just because they can’t open their minds to the possibilities that sometimes the need to mess with their heads outweighs the millstone of humiliation.” He does not care what they think of him. Scully accuses him of being territorial in the room, but before she can take it back he has to get her attention and explain his actions. Mulder needs to lock in with her eyes and the only way he can get this done is to touch her.
Why the necklace? I can’t say for sure. Its an overtly intimate gesture, but I think Mulder realizes it is much more powerful than if he had grabbed her arm or said “hey, wait a minute.” When these two have something to say to each other, they need to touch one another. They’ll hone their nonverbal communication to an art form throughout the series, but they always establish some kind of physical contact when one of them needs to hear the words said by the other. Mulder’s taking this moment to let Scully know how much he appreciates and respects her already. He needs her to hear and feel every word that he’s about to say.
“Of course I was. In our investigations, you may not always agree with me, but at least you respect the journey. And if you want to continue working with them, I won’t hold it against you.” **I just pouted a little because he’s so genuine right here.**
She may well be the first agent in a very long time to treat him and the work they do with respect. He wants her to know he appreciates that. He may also be adding a little plea to stay with that gesture. But unbeknownst to Mulder, Scully’s already chosen her side, and she’s wondering what evidence her partner has to back up his theory. I also love that he’s got that bag of sunflower seeds. I can just picture Scully waiting patiently at the vending machine with him… because they’re about to share them.
Mulder and Scully run into Colton the next day at the crime scene. Part of me wishes Scully hadn’t stopped Colton from attempting to block Mulder — what would Mulder have done? I NEED to see that. The other part of me wants to fist-bump her for taking the opportunity to dress this egotist down. “A report of you obstructing another officer’s investigation might stick out on your personnel file.” There is a slight dose of venom in this comment, and Colton doesn’t miss it.
Boom. Seven hells, we don’t deserve Dana Scully.
How do we learn about the present? We look to the past. Why are Mulder and Scully our OTP? Because they were doing this on their third case together:
They leave to meet with the original investigator of Tooms’ murders. He makes it clear that he believes Tooms is the manifestation of evil. Another nugget: Arthur Dales was not the first old man to try and tell Mulder that the cure for what ails him lies in baseball. “I could go home, pitch a few baseballs to my kid and never give it a second thought. You gotta be able to do that. You’d go crazy, right?”
He gives them the address for Tooms’ apartment. Who doesn’t love this shot?
They find a hole in the wall, which Scully has no problem climbing into first. Go, girl! Before them lies the entrance to a mutant’s bile and newspaper nest of disgustingness. He hibernates in there for 30 years, y’all. GROSS. And Mulder just had to touch it.
Mulder goes on to theorize that Tooms is a genetic mutant who needs 5 human livers to provide sustenance to hibernate for 30 years. Scully is okay with this. Wait…what? I guess a doctor can go with genetic freak before alien abduction. In any case, Tooms steals her necklace and plans to put her liver on the menu for the evening.
Meanwhile, Colton calls off the surveillance on Tooms’ apartment and we get this beautiful ending to their friendship. Love her.
Scully goes home to take a bubble bath in her absolutely wonderful claw foot tub. I’ve always wanted one! I secretly love her bathroom. All of it. I’m just picturing how this layout works during all the unseen action in season 7………. shut up. Just look around! You’re thinking about it now too! I’m not sorry.
Tooms attacks Scully, and she holds her own. Look, she’s a BAMF, I can’t say it enough.
Mulder arrives in the nick of time, bursting through the door with what I think is our first Scully’s-in-mortal-peril “Sculllay!” Right? I don’t think he did this in the pilot. Correct me if I’m wrong. Regardless, Go Team. One on one, I’m not sure either of them would have been enough for slippery little Eugene Victor Tooms. Together, though, enough said.
You didn’t really think I’d leave the episode without this one, did you? My little heart still lurches whenever I see it.
This is one of my all-time favorite episodes for so many different reasons. More than anything, this episode is where I believe Mulder and Scully truly become partners and the seeds of friendship are starting to take root.
Now about those ties…
Mulder catches a lot of flak for his necktie designs, and he’ll grace us with some pretty bads ties soon, but Colton’s are just terrible.
So, Mulder, my dear, take solace in knowing that this guy can no longer count Dana Scully as a friend and that he has the WORST ties of the episode.
Mulder: “Tell me I’m crazy.”
Scully: “Mulder, you’re crazy.”
Our second episode of the season finds us in the Spud State with Mulder looking to the sky and Scully shaking her head. This marks our second plunge into what will become the mythology of the show and also our introduction to the first of Mulder’s informants, the mysterious and grandfatherly “Deep Throat.”
Another first: Opening credits with that infamous theme. “Dooo doo doo doo dooo doooo!“
Mulder asks Scully to meet him in a bar to show her a case he’s found. How I wish we had a deleted scene of that request! We’re given a rare glimpse of these two out and about in society and another opportunity to once again appreciate Dana Scully in 90’s spectacles.
Oh, and this wonderful little invasion of personal space.
These two get a table, and though Scully puts up some resistance, Mulder has that lone lock of hair and she’s begun mentally prepping for that flight to Idaho.
He also meets with his first informant in a locked men’s restroom. Like you do. Mulder ignores the warning to “leave the case alone.” I’d argue hearing that only fans the flames of curiosity for him.
While Mulder goes home to cook in his adorable little kitchen, Scully does some microfiche research. (Yes, I had to look that up. I vaguely remember seeing one of those viewers in my elementary school library. I think. )
Welcome to the Budahas house. There’s something going on with this porch. It’s made Mulder so flirty!
Our pair meets with Mrs. Budahas about her husband’s mysterious disappearance. They exchange knowing glances and then move on to meet a test pilot who has returned home.
A failed attempt at meeting another military commander drops our OTP into the orbit of a “reporter” who conveniently arrives to question them. Mulder can’t resist asking where he can go to talk to a UFO enthusiast (for research purposes, of course) and Scully’s tiny fit behind him is what I’m living for right now.
Who else wants to go with me to this little dive bar? Anyone? I’ll buy the first round.
Now, in all fairness, Mulder is supposed to be a brilliant investigator — top of his class at Quantico, Oxford-educated, all around bright young man. I don’t fault Scully at all for calling him a sucker. That photo is too blurry to warrant a $20 addition to a lunch tab. After watching this, I’m pretty sure I could sell him a $600 vacuum cleaner if I put a UFO sticker on it.
He does get a napkin-map to that UFO hotspot out of this, so there’s that. **This banter between them, though.**
Our agents move the investigation to the outskirts of a an airfield, and Scully couldn’t be more annoyed. She opts to stay in the car while Mulder traverses a hill armed only with a camera. Come nightfall, she’s rudely awakened by a shattered back window and her overly-excited partner. And we get some hand-holding.
The dancing lights in the sky make a dramatic exit just as Mulder and Scully see two kids running away from a helicopter. Can we take a moment to appreciate that no hilly terrain can overcome Dana Scully running in heels? The woman is my goddess from this point on.
After huddling under a tree together, Mulder and Scully decide to take the kids out for hamburgers at 5 o’clock in the morning before driving them home. These are classy FBI agents, folks.
What follows is my favorite scene from the episode. Here’s why:
1. We get Mulder rocking out
2. Which elicits this smile from Scully
3. Mulder’s not so thinly veiled excitement at the thought of Scully stoned
4. The fact that Scully listens to his entire theory on UFOs even though there’s no way in hell he can convince her it’s a UFO or planes built using UFO technology. She insists that just because it can’t be explained doesn’t mean she’s ready to believe they are UFOs. In fairness, her point is extremely valid. Mulder’s two photos are very weak evidence to mount everything on. Once again, she grounds him with the reason they came out to Idaho in the first place: “It still doesn’t explain to me what happened to Colonel Budahas.” He begrudgingly nods his head — she’s right again.
Pardon this small indulgence:
Not today, Mulder, but she will in 5 years.
Speaking of Colonel Budahas… his wife called. She wants her old husband back. This one won’t do.
We’re gifted with banter in the street again about whether or not Colonel Budahas’ brain has been rewired.
The next scene never fails to irritate me. Why do they let these guys push them around? Why don’t they ask them to identify themselves? Come on, you two! You’re FBI agents, for crying out loud.
However, this injustice warrants enough reason for another hotel invasion…
They don’t take their eyes off each other throughout this entire exchange.
Mulder believes the government has a right to protect its secrets up until the cost becomes human lives. Scully believes they have no business asking these questions. She’s ready to retreat: they have no evidence and they lost their witness. Get ready to be ditched, Dana Scully.
I almost feel sorry for her when she believes he’s accepted this. She’ll have to learn the hard way.
We’ll all learn together that nothing good ever comes out of separating these two.
What exactly was Scully’s plan with this guy’s car? It doesn’t matter, she’s taking no prisoners and she’s awesome. Seth Green agrees with me.
This is sick, but I secretly love hostage exchanges. I have no idea why.
Mulder needs to take this out to the track.
Deep Throat asks Mulder the $64,000 question:
Preach, Mulder. Preach.
Thanks for staying with me.
Mulder and Scully are The Truth.
-River T. Leaman
I teach music in Houston, Texas. I’ve got some extra time this summer, so I’m making good on a goal to do something that I’ve never done before. I’ve always wanted to try my hand at a blog, and the X Files revival was the excuse I needed to begin. If you love the show, if you’re head-over-heels for Mulder and Scully, and if you’ve always believed they’re the light in the dark places, we can be friends.
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