As Sage and I have been working on these posts, we have been discussing the lasting legacy that The X-Files has left on the television landscape. And what a legacy it is!! Bones most certainly would not exist without The X-Files. Booth even has a line in the pilot saying “What? You want me to spit in my hand? We’re Scully and Mulder.” Bones also has taken up the mantle of “show that makes me want to gag” on a weekly basis and definitely drove me crazy for YEARS with the fact the Booth and Brennan were clearly in love. You can clearly see the influence of The X-Files in the dark humor and visual storytelling of Hannibal. Rob Bowman, who received 4 consecutive directing nominations for The X-Files, is now an executive producer and director on Castle, which features another Mulder and Scully-esque pair. James Morgan writes and produces American Horror Story. Alex Gansa and Howard Gordon are currently clearing room on their shelves for all those Homeland Emmys. John Shiban went on to work on such shows as Smallville, Supernatural, The Vampire Diaries and of course Breaking Bad, which was created by Vince Gilligan. Essentially, The X-Files was a talent farm for all the shows that are winning Emmys and are in the pop culture spotlight today. It’s astounding. As Frank Spotniz said in the interview Sage linked to in yesterday’s post they were all SO YOUNG when they worked on The X-Files and Chris Carter was a showrunner that demanded nothing short of excellence. So the ones that survived that rigorous process are the ones who have endured and gone on to become visionaries themselves. Twenty years from now, people will be talking about Vince Gilligan the way they talk about Chris Carter. And the writers that worked under HIM will be the ones creating the shows that are winning Emmys in 20 years. It’s the gift that keeps on giving and it all started down in the basement with the FBI’s most unwanted.
While it was a challenge to choose the 16 X-Files stories that would represent the legacy of the series, it was even harder to rank the top 5. As we’ve said time and time again over the course of these posts, The X-Files is a show that defies the constraints of the sci-fi genre time and time again. It’s scary, it’s funny, it’s weird and gross, it’s thrilling and it’s romantic. So how do you choose? The best X-Files episodes are a combination of all of the factors that made it great and luckily Sage and I readily agreed over what episodes would be in the all important top 5 of all time. We screamed at each other all weekend about what should be number one, as we were championing different episode arcs. But that is the BEAUTY of this show, because neither one of us were wrong in our opinions (well…Sage was, but that’s okay) on the importance of these episodes. There are SO many episodes that could be called “best ever” of this show because they can mean so many different things to different people depending on what they got out of the show. These episodes are the ones that defined all the things that we got out of it and are still getting out of it all these years later. We’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions on them and what the show meant to you as a television viewer and a fan.
But know this. I am right about number one.
5) “Pusher” (3 x 17)
“Pusher” has always been one of my personal favorite episodes, so I was very happy when Sage not only had it on her list, but ranked it high (though I of course fought for it to be higher, hence its inclusion in the top 5). The second episode ever written by some guy named Vince Gilligan (who would go on to have absolutely no success in his post-X-Files career), “Pusher” is an intense cat and mouse game and a great battle of wills. Robert Patrick Modell is a terrifying villain because he has absolutely nothing to lose. He kills people (but not really, cause they all do it themselves after all) for FUN and because he is bored and looking for a worthy adversary. And he finds that adversary in Fox Mulder. It’s easy to forget that for all his crazy ideas and conspiracy theories that Mulder is also just plain brilliant. He has degree in psychology from Oxford University (first class honors, no less) and before discovering the X-Files and becoming a major player in a world-wide conspiracy, he was a rising star in the Violent Crimes division as a criminal profiler. To Robert Patrick Modell…there is simply no other adversary worthy of his “talents” than Mulder.
Another thing that is astonishing about the fact that “Pusher” is Vince Gilligan’s second episode is that he has Mulder and Scully’s voices down so perfectly. A trademark of his episodes is that they are chock full of zingers and this script is no exception. The script feels like he has been writing our favorite G-Man and G-Woman for years. “Pusher” is full of great little moments between Mulder and Scully…from her falling asleep and drooling on his shoulder and the way he (oh so affectionately) touches he cheek to wake her to the quick-fire banter of the “whammy” scene to the completely unspoken conversation between them in the above gif.
Side Note: In the scene where Mulder is being fitted for his camera to go in the hospital to confront Modell, the original line was “Do you think this thing gets The Discovery Channel?”. David, knowing Mulder’s penchant for porn, ad-libbed and changed the line to “Playboy Channel”. That, my friends, is an actor who TRULY knows his character.
Let’s talk that climactic scene of Russian Roulette, shall we? In all my research on the episodes for this post, I learned that Standards and Practices tried to put the brakes on this scene, which is not surprising. Nothing like it had ever been on television before and Chris Carter and Vince Gilligan REALLY had to fight them to keep it in. Could you IMAGINE if they had lost this scene?? To me it ranks among the tensest minutes in the entire series (you can also see the roots of Breaking Bad in this scene…now many standoffs with Walter White does this scene feel like??). David, Gillian, and Robert Wisden are top-notch in this scene, and if you are not gritting your teeth along with Mulder while watching this, then there is something wrong with you. It’s nothing short of chilling to watch Mulder turn the gun on himself and pull the trigger without a moment’s hesitation. He only starts to fight against Modell’s Imperius curse (because that is TOTALLY what it is) when he has to turn the gun on Scully. Because Mulder would kill himself in heartbeat before harming one ginger hair on Scully’s head. He proves that time and time again over the course of the series. And Modell knows that too, which is why he chooses this route of torturing Mulder. Because in killing Scully, you essentially kill Mulder as well. You can see Mulder’s torment, even when he still has that terrifyingly blank look on his face. You can hear the little voice in his head saying “Not Scully. I will not hurt Scully.” And Modell, bastard that he is, keeps saying that it is justified for Mulder to shoot her. She DID shoot him once, after all! It’s only fair! Tears are glistening in both of their eyes as they stare at each other and Mulder’s strangled “I’m going to KILL you, Modell.” is heartbreaking.
And of course, we get some good old Mulder/Scully comfort and hand holding at the end of the episode as they look in on Modell in the hospital. Vince Gilligan was such a closet shipper, you guys.
Mulder: Modell psyched the guy out, he put the whammy on him!
Scully: Please explain to me the scientific nature of the Whammy.
4) “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” (3 x 04)
The MVPs of “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” are Darin Morgan’s impeccable script and an endearingly weary performance by guest star Peter Boyle, both of which earned Emmys. It’s a satisfying episode and so representative of the series, though I can’t think of another one quite like it. That was The X-Files at its best though, when it would finesse a jumble of disparate genres and influences into something cohesive and unforgettable. I’ve probably seen “Clyde Bruckman” dozens of times, but still felt the need during my rewatch to tweet that it’s “stone-cold genius.” And I just quoted myself, because I can.
Apparently, Morgan (who, by the by, also acted on the show as loser Eddie Van Blunt in “Small Potatoes” and the titular monster in “Flukeman”) set out to write a very dark script. In fact, he began with the idea of having the lead guest character commit suicide at the end. But somehow that seed of an idea developed into one of the wittiest, crowd-pleasing episodes of the series. It just FEELS like one of those scripts that began writing itself, in the best possible way. It’s been my experience that darkness and humor never live very far from one other anyway.
A lot of the comedy in the script comes from the rare circumstance that both Scully AND Mulder are skeptical of the otherworldly element. Most of the “psychics” Mulder meets at crime scenes are probably of the Stupendous Yappi variety. And as a believer, he’s PERSONALLY affronted by people who would fake a sixth sense for money, which is why he doesn’t know quite what to make of Mr. Bruckman, the most reluctant seer ever. Clyde Bruckman – whose occupation, hilariously, is life insurance salesman – is consumed by death. It’s the first thing he sees in every person he meets. His resignation to the inevitability of his gift is mirrored in the creepy killer, who seeks out mystical motivations for the acts that he claims not to even want to carry out. Talk about “negative energy.”
Even though Scully doesn’t believe in Bruckman’s gift, she believes that HE believes, and comes to feel sympathy and even affection for him. She still can’t resist asking him how she dies, and, adding to the enigma of the enigmatic Dr. Scully, he answers, “You don’t.” This line was actually intended as a set-up for a possible storyline where Dana Scully was found to be IMMORTAL. Instead, closure came from “Tithonus,” where she almost died and then didn’t. I like the “Tithonus” solution, not only because the immortality plotline would have completely changed the nature of this show, but because it’s true to Bruckman’s roundabout, vaguely literal predictions. Less vague is his prognostication that Mulder’s end will come via auto-erotic asphyxiation. Or maybe he planted that idea in his head as payback for the barrage of psychic tests Mulder put him through. Seems like something Clyde Bruckman – may he rest in peace – would do.
Mulder: Do you remember the first time you foresaw someone’s death?
Clyde Bruckman: 1959.
Mulder: What happened in 1959?
Clyde Bruckman: Buddy Holly’s plane crashed.
Scully: You prognosticated Buddy Holly’s death?
Clyde Bruckman: Oh, God, no. Why would I want to do that? But I did have a ticket to see him perform the next night. Actually, I was a bigger fan of the Big Bopper than Buddy Holly. “Chantilly Lace,” that was the song.
Mulder: I’m not following.
Clyde Bruckman: There’s… the Big Bopper was not supposed to be on the plane with Buddy Holly. He won the seat from somebody else by flipping a coin for it.
Mulder: I’m still not following.
Clyde Bruckman: Imagine all the things that had to occur, not only in his life, but in everybody else’s, to arrange it so on that particular night, the Big Bopper would be in a position to live or die depending on a flipping coin. I became so obsessed with that idea that I gradually became capable of seeing the specifics of everybody’s death.
Scully: Well, Mister Bruckman, I’m not one who readily believes in that kind of thing and if I was, I still wouldn’t believe that story.
Clyde Bruckman: I know it sounds crazy, but I swear it’s true: I was a bigger fan of the Big Bopper than Buddy Holly.
3) “Duane Barry/Ascension/One Breath” (2 x 05, 2 x 06, 2 x 08)
As excellent as many of The X-Files standalone episodes are, both of us felt that the top spot on our list had to go to one of the mythological arcs. Without Mulder’s quest and the multi-layered government conspiracy, there IS no show. Like any series that was forced to define its “rules” over time (Losties, you feel me.), the mythology of The X-Files did fly off the rails in later seasons. I personally stopped trying to keep track of it and just enjoyed each episode in blissful ignorance around Season 6. But Season 2’s “Duane Barry”/”Ascension”/”One Breath” trilogy became manifest in a time when the shady plotting of the powers that be was compellingly sinister, but still simple enough to follow.
Though I eventually conceded, this arc was my initial choice for the top spot for one main reason: SCULLY GETS ABDUCTED, YA’LL. Maybe by aliens, maybe by her own government, or maybe both. This is when shit gets REAL. One of Kim’s not at all baseless arguments against ranking these episodes at #1 is that Scully – one full half of the partnership – is hardly in them, and I get that. But it’s the ABSENCE of Scully that’s so powerful. The experience of losing her informs so much of Mulder’s relationship with her throughout the rest of the series. And, as I said in the last post, his choice to be with her at the hospital instead of using Mr. X’s information to come face to face with the people who are responsible for her abduction is a major character moment. These episodes show him truly understanding, for the first time, what it means to have involved another person in his crusade. Even as he checks out of life and goes a little nuts in “3” (which, though it comes in between “Ascension” and “One Breath” isn’t considered part of this arc), he’s wearing the cross necklace Scully left behind.
When I think about these episodes, I usually focus on the events of “One Breath.” But on rewatch, I appreciated that very real, it-could-happen-to-you terror of “Duane Barry.” Unfortunately, you don’t have to look farther than CNN to find real-life instances of people suffering from mental illness and their randomly selected victims. Duane Barry is no more capable of controlling his own actions, but his illness just happens to be alien-related PTSD. Scully’s ordeal is frightening because it doesn’t start with a supernatural element – it starts with a kidnapping. Who hasn’t had late-night fears of being home alone and seeing a face in your window?
Duane Barry is a just a pawn, of course, and even a victim. The real villains are men who will be revealed as the Syndicate. “Ascension” is where we find out for good that Mulder’s suspicious new partner, fan-favorite baddie Alex Krycek, is their errand boy. The Cigarette Smoking Man reveals more of himself here than he ever has before, and his conversation with Mulder is chilling. “I like you. I like her too, that’s why she was returned to you.” Goosebumps, every damn time.
The abduction arc sets the wheels in motion for so many future payoffs, including Scully’s cancer and fertility issues and CSM’s true ties to Mulder. And the sweeping plot is tempered with smaller character moments, from Mulder’s wrenching heart-to-heart with Scully’s mother to a tux-wearing Frohike showing up to Scully’s bedside with a bouquet of flowers to Skinner’s cheeky new “No Smoking” sign. (I am fangirling Walter Skinner so hard right now. It’s obscene.) There’s also that small matter of David Duchovny climbing out of a swimming pool in a red speedo. If Tumblr had been around when this happened, the internet would have collapsed in on itself, creating a black hole.
The image of Scully’s boat precariously tethered to a dock is a creative visual representation of her state that’s completely appropriate to the non-specific spirituality of the show. What is it that’s keeping her there, even after the cord is cut? And does the voice embodied by the mystical Nurse Owens come from outside Dana or in? Scully’s struggle with her faith is such a strong theme that it continues even when she’s unconscious.
Despite his late-night crying jags and violent attempts to avenge his partner, when she’s awake, Mulder characteristically deflects. In the world of The X-Files, “Superstars of the Superbowls” is just about the most romantic present (besides a NASA key chain) that anyone can receive. What does it say about us that we’re so attached to these emotionally stunted man-boys? Please don’t answer that.
Cigarette Smoking Man: Don’t try and threaten me, Mulder. I’ve watched presidents die.
Mulder: Why her? Why her and not me?
Cigarette Smoking Man: I like you. I like her too. That’s why she was returned to you.
Mulder: You should be the one to die.
Cigarette Smoking Man: Why? Look at me. No life, no family, some power. I’m in the game because I believe what I’m doing is right.
Mulder: Right? Who are you to decide what’s right?
Cigarette Smoking Man: Who are you? If people were to know of the things I know, it would all fall apart. I told Skinner you shot the man in the hospital, but I didn’t really believe it. And here you are with a gun to my head. I have more respect for you, Mulder. You’re becoming a player.
2) “Bad Blood” (5 x 12)
In a recent interview, Gillian Anderson named “Bad Blood” as one of her favorite episodes and said that the cold open alone, “brings such joy” into her life. Well, this just proves that we’re soul sisters (gurl, call me), because this episode makes me positively giddy.
“Bad Blood” is another one written by St. Vince Gilligan, the man who would break Walter White bad. The script, detailing Mulder and Scully’s misadventures in chasing down some Texan vampires, is stacked with zingers. But it’s really David and Gillian SELLING IT that elevates this episode to #2 on our list. They really don’t get enough credit for their comedic chops. The actors clearly had a ball acting out the two versions of events that Mulder and Scully try to pass off to each other as unbiased fact. Wikipedia would have us believe that the structure of “Bad Blood” was based on an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show where Rob and Laura tell their neighbors two accounts of the same story. Obviously, it’s just as funny here because MULDER AND SCULLY ARE AN OLD MARRIED COUPLE.
While “Clyde Bruckman” pulls humor out of darkness, “Bad Blood” is 100% light and goofy. Still, it sheds some light on the psyches of our heroes to learn how they really see each other, especially on days like these. Scully’s Mulder is a manic steamroller who ignores her every opinion, and Mulder’s Scully is tense and unyielding, taking joy in shooting down his theories. (And her bitch-face expressions are EVERYTHING. The whole episode is basically one long reaction gif.) “Bad Blood” couldn’t have happened too early in the series. By Season 5, the actors and the audience know the characters and their quirks well enough to make the distortion of them this bloody delightful.
Add Luke Wilson as the hometown sheriff (to Scully, chivalrous and dreamy; to Mulder, buck-toothed and backwoods – jealous, much?); Patrick “You’re killin’ me, Smalls” Renna as teenage pizza boy/vampire Ronnie; and some of the show’s grossest visual gags and you’ve got not only a classic X-File, but one of my favorite episodes of television ever. I mean, a doped-up Fox Mulder giving an impassioned performance of the theme to Shaft? How can I not?
I did play by the rules and narrow down to one favorite line, but I can’t resist throwing in a few more for good measure. This episode demands it. And Kim gave her blessing.
Mulder: Well, historically cemeteries are thought to be a haven for vampires. As are castles, catacombs and swamps but unfortunately you don’t have any of those.
Hartwell: We used to have swamps, only the EPA made us take to callin’ them wetlands…
Mulder: Agents Mulder and, uh… *snaps fingers three times*… Scully.
Scully: Begin autopsy on white male, age sixty, who is arguably having a worse time in Texas than I am, though not by much.
Scully: He had “big buck teeth?”
Mulder: He had a… slight overbite.
Scully: No he didn’t. And that’s significant…? How?
Mulder: I’m just trying to be thorough.
Scully: You’re saying that I actually hit him… two times?
Mulder: Square in the chest. No effect.
Scully: And then he sort of flew at me like a flying squirrel?
Mulder: Well, I don’t think I’ll use the term “flying squirrel” when I talk to Skinner, but yeah, that’s what happened.
Scully: Tonight? I just put money in the Magic Fingers!
As usual, Flawless Ginger Queen Gillian is flawless in her taste and opinions. “Bad Blood” is our #2 greatest episode of all time. Take us home, Kimmie.
Mulder: (voice over) I went back to the motel and that’s where I ran into you.
Scully: What do you mean, you want me to do another autopsy? And why do I have to do it right now? I’ve just spent hours on my feet doing an autopsy, all for you! I do it all for you, Mulder! You know, I haven’t eaten since 6 o’clock this morning and all that was was half a cream cheese bagel and it wasn’t real cream cheese, it was light cream cheese! And now you want me to run off and do another autopsy? What the hell happened to you?!
Mulder: (voice over) FINALLY, you left.
Scully: Don’t you touch that bed!
1) “Anasazi/The Blessing Way/Paper Clip” (2 x 25, 3 x 01, 3 x 02)
Once we had our shortlist of episodes for this post, I looked over it, searching for what I thought should be number one. It didn’t take long for me to figure it out. The season two finale “Anasazi” and the season three opening 1-2 punch of “The Blessing Way” and “Paper Clip” are the greatest episodes of the entire series. They are the ones that, back in the day of me locking myself in my room and marathoning the Blockbuster tapes, made me sit up and scream “WHAT???”. These are the episodes that, when my mom asked me about the show, I replied, “Oh my GOD, Mom, this conspiracy is SO HUGE”, as if it was real life. (Totally not making that up by the way)
While we had had hints to the extent of the global conspiracy Mulder and Scully were fighting against in previous episodes, the “Anasazi” arc is the one that brought it all out into the open. SO MUCH HAPPENS in these episodes, especially in “Paper Clip”, which moves at such a break neck pace you barely have time to stop and take a breath much less try to understand what’s going on. Here are some of the highlights: Mulder gets his hands on a digital tape (TAPE YOU GUYS! Oh, the 90’s!) filled with Top Secret Files. Mulder’s father, who we learn is INVOLVED in this conspiracy, is murdered by Alex Krycek. An increasingly unhinged Mulder beats up Skinner in the halls of the FBI. Scully shoots Mulder. Mulder finds a boxcar buried in the New Mexico desert filled with bodies that look like aliens. We finally meet some of the shadowy men that CSM answers to. Scully discovers a microchip planted in the back of her neck and removes it (setting in motion the course of events that will lead to her cancer). Melissa Scully is murdered with a bullet meant for her sister. Mulder and Scully discover a warehouse in a mountain filled with files (“lots and lots of files”), including files on Scully herself and Samantha Mulder, cataloguing people as if they were merchandise. Walter Skinner finally shows where his allegiances truly lie.
And oh yeah…at one point Mulder DIES.
It’s a LOT. No wonder my head exploded the first time I watched it. I’m still overwhelmed by it even now.
One could argue that the sheer amount of shit that HAPPENS in this 3 episode arc would merit its placement at number one alone. But there is so much more to it than that. This is the arc that truly sets the course for the rest of the series (well…until they blow it all to hell in Season Six’s “Two Fathers/One Son). This arc gives faces to the enemies that Mulder and Scully have been fighting against. This arc shows that Fox Mulder has been destined to fight this fight since he was twelve years old. This is the arc where things get really fucking personal for Dana Scully (as if they weren’t already after her abduction) and she takes a truly active role in the pursuit of the truth. The lines between good and evil are drawn in this arc and all the players prove which sides they are truly on. It’s truly epic storytelling.
Yesterday I started talking about the Mulder/Scully/Skinner relationship and how it developed over the course of the series. The “Anasazi” arc is the first time Skinner truly takes a stand and finally declares where his true loyalties lie…and they lie with Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. Up until this arc, while you could see his respect for his two most unruly agents (all his interactions with Mulder in “One Breath” are particularly touching), Skinner still kept his distance, both because of his title and because of his close interactions with CSM. He starts to get cheeky with CSM during “One Breath” by adding the no smoking sign to his desk, but still he doesn’t fully stand up to him. He still allows to CSM to openly dictate his actions. By the “Anasazi” arc, he has had enough. Because if there is one thing Walter Skinner is, aside from a sex god, it’s a man of HONOR. Skinner is an ex-Marine and has a deep moral code and likes to do things by the book (which is usually the source of friction between him and Scully and Mulder) and he KNOWS his dealings with CSM have been dishonorable. So he sets out to right those wrongs and earn the trust that he deserves. Because of course Scully and Mulder don’t trust him! Why should they? The Scully/Skinner stand-off that ends “Blessing Way” and then turns into a three-way (not THAT kind, you perverts) stand-off to open “Paper Clip” is X-Files at it’s most thrilling. And once Skinner has tangible proof in form of the digital tape AND Albert Hosteen’s memory, he sticks it to CSM in the best way possible. It’s a line so memorable that it is usually used to introduce Mitch Pileggi at fan conventions…”This is where you pucker up and KISS MY ASS.” I cheered at that moment in my rewatch.
And on the flip side of good and evil, we meet my favorite member of the Syndicate in “The Blessing Way”, the distinguished Brit known only as “Well Manicured Man”. Why was WMM my favorite? He always seemed to be the only bad guy with a conscience, that’s why. He seeks out Scully at Bill Mulder’s funeral to warn her. He always seemed to be a little bit appalled at the actions of his Co-Syndicate members. It always felt like he respected Mulder and Scully’s crusade and wanted to help them, down to him pointing Mulder on the path to save Scully’s life in Fight the Future at the cost of his own life. So, cheers, WMM! For a guy involved in a global conspiracy against mankind, you are pretty awesome.
And what of our heroes in this episode? Like I said earlier, this arc is where it gets personal. Mulder loses his father. Scully loses Mulder, as unlike “Gethsemane” where she helped him fake his death, she truly has no reason to believe he is alive, except for a feeling in her gut. The rare times in these early seasons where Scully shows belief in what she can’t explain are truly wonderful. She goes to Mulder’s father’s funeral in a way, I think, to be close to him. Because she would have gone with him anyway. It’s where he would have wanted her to be, so she goes. And she freaking comforts his mother and tells her that she thinks Mulder is okay. How does she know? She JUST DOES. Because she would KNOW if her soul mate had died. The look on her face when Mulder bursts into his apartment at the beginning of “Paper Clip” is shipper heaven.
But what is just as maddening about Scully is when she DOESN’T believe, especially when faced with concrete evidence like a freaking microchip in her neck. As her sister says, Scully doesn’t admit to remembering or believing what happened to her when Duane Barry took her because she doesn’t WANT to remember. Because that would make it real. Well this is the story arc where Scully is forced to admit things are real and that things were done to her. She’s in a file in a giant warehouse. Her name appears in encrypted documents. Her sister is murdered because they thought Melissa was Dana and that she had the documents. This is the arc where she becomes as invested in this quest as Mulder is…making them an all together more dangerous duo than the Syndicate ever intended them to be.
And Mulder? Mulder finds out the consequences of learning the truth in this arc. How do you go on when you find out that you were marked for this quest from the moment your father chose to sacrifice your sister instead of you? How do you react when you learn that your father knew the answers to everything you had been seeking the whole time? Because, unlike his father, Fox Mulder is a man of character, he chooses NOT to let this truth defeat him. Mulder could not be any less his father’s son if he tried. Bill Mulder was a coward and he was a man willing to sacrifice his marriage and his children to pursue the shadowy goals of the syndicate. At any point, Bill could have tried to get out and he didn’t. He was a man who was dominated by his fear. Sure, he tried to make amends and was killed before he could, but it was too little too late. Fox is the complete opposite. Fox is a man who is willing to die for his ideals and his quest for the truth. He’s not willing to take anyone down with him either, which is why he puts the choice of whether or not to take the FBI deal into Scully’s hands. It’s why he refuses to let Scully take the fall for him in Redux II and it’s why he turns down CSM’s deal in the same episode. Fox Mulder is a man of integrity, and while he may do crazy things in the name of his quest for truth, he will never sacrifice that. He’s ten times the man his father was.
And so Mulder and Scully, both having lost so much at the end of this arc and both will still have more to lose before their quest reaches its end, once again find themselves at a hospital bedside at the end of this episode. They are more united than ever. Because as they have proven TWICE now…not even death can separate them.
Also Sage, I see your red speedo shot and call you a boxer brief shot. Also…he was FULLY CLOTHED when Scully put him in that bed. Just saying.
Scully: I need something to put my back up against, Mulder.
Mulder: I know. I feel the same way. I feel that we’ve lost so much… but we’ve got The X-Files, and I believe what we’re looking for is in them. I’m more certain than ever the truth is out there, Scully.
Scully: I’ve heard the truth, Mulder. Now what I want are the answers.
WHEW!! Those are our top 5! And now I shall sleep for days as these posts have been both exhilarating and exhausting. Till next time, dear readers remember…deny everything.