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