I came into the movie having seen only some of the show's episodes. Thanks to a good friend who lived in on my floor of the dorms, I began showing an interest about four or so months before the movie released. As soon as I developed enough of an interest, I started taping episodes and watching them as often as I could -- meticulously trying to get a grasp at what the show was about, what it stood for, how to understand it the best I could. Needless to say, I knew enough to enjoy the movie as much as, or in some cases even more than, regularly committed X-Philes.
For one, this movie had great strong points in the thriller/action/horror categories. The images were gruesome, and surprises being thrown at you from every side.
Ice-Age men unsuccessfully battling some unknown creature with screams as horrifying as those in your darkest nightmare.
Mulder standing in front of a soda machine loaded with explosives, set to go off any minute. He senses something wrong with the whole situation and considers running back into the building with only seconds left on the timer. He only has Scully's insistence to get into the car before the entire side of the building exploded into a fiery skeleton.
Bronschweig discovers the virus has gestated and is on the loose, and is locked in with it when his crew discovers the horror.
Mulder and Scully follow unmarked tanker trucks which lead them to a mysterious field of corn crops, studded by two bright white domes in which they are suddenly exposed to millions of buzzing, angry bees, and chased through the fields by two very determined helicopters.
Scully falling ill to the bee sting, and subsequently being taken away in the same type of bio-containment dome used for the boy and the firemen, with Mulder unable to follow thanks to an unexpected gunshot wound to the head.
Mulder trudging through the endless glaciers of Antarctica, then into the chilling vastness of the alien spaceship where he must find Scully and give her the vaccine.
Then it was the race to get out of the ship before the aliens could get a hold of them.
Coming into the movie, I was very well aware of Mulder and Scully's working/personal relationship. There undoubtedly was a strong chemistry (that even *I* could see) between the two right off from the pilot. From then on, they only grew closer, working together, trusting each other, and looking out for one another (and I'll explain more of my Shipper-dom later), right on into the season finale where their intimate relationship was painfully obvious. (Like I said, more later.)
Here's where I think the BEST part of the movie was: the fact that it was very pro-Shipper. The movie was *jam-packed* with 1) exchanges between Mulder and Scully and 2) actions in response to feelings for one another that could only come from having had five years together. Here are just a few:
The prank Scully pulled on Mulder on the roof -- pretending the roof access door was locked, leading to Mulder to try the door for himself, only to find that it was open all along.
At the OPR hearing, Mulder tells Skinner that if they want someone to blame, it should be him because Scully doesn't deserve it. And Skinner tells him that she's in there saying the same thing about him.
Mulder: "Whatever you told him in there, Scully, you don't have to protect me." Scully: "All I told them was the truth." Mulder: "They're trying to divide us on this and we can't let them." Scully: "Mulder, they have divided us."
The look in their eyes and faces when Mulder figures out Scully is quitting. Scully feeling bad for having to tell him, and Mulder almost stunned silent at the thought.
Later, Mulder is in the bar, drinking away his misery. He's hurting that Scully would quit on him like she did. If that wasn't enough to tell you how much he's hurting, his line, "One is the loniest number," should say it all.
The way Mulder's eyes lit up when he saw Scully enter the FBI lab unit in Dallas, having thought she wasn't going to be there.
The way Scully's eyes communicated what she saw, looking up from the microscope. Mulder knew exactly what it was, without having to exchange any verbal communication.
How Mulder compromised his instinct to go left and Scully's to go right at the intersection. He chose to go straight ahead. Symbolic, in a sense.
Mulder's line, "Five years together. How many times have I been wrong? Never. At least, not while driving."
Scully could tell there was something more to this case than chasing white tanker trucks. She knows Mulder too well.
Running through the cornfields. When Mulder loses track of Scully, he repeatedly screams her name and, "Talk to me, Scully!" The intensity of both their voices as they charged through the fields was more than just getting away from the helicopters.
The hallway scene at Mulder's apartment. The fact that Scully hesitated about coming to tell Mulder about her reassignment herself showed a lot. She knew how much it hurt him that she quit, and let herself be reassigned. Mulder's voice cracks as he tries to persuade her to stay.
Mulder: "What's wrong?" Scully: "Salt Lake City, Utah. Transfer effective immediately.
I already gave Skinner my letter of resignation." Mulder: "You can't quit now, Scully." Scully: "I can, Mulder. I debated whether or not to even tell you in person..." Mulder: "We are close to something here! We are on the verge --" Scully: "You're on the verge, Mulder. Please, don't do this to me." Mulder: "After what you saw last night, after all you've seen,
you can just walk away?" Scully: "I have, and I did. It's done." Mulder: "I need you on this." Scully: "You don't need me, Mulder. You never have. I've just held you back. [pause] I gotta go." [Scully goes out into the hall and Mulder follows her.] Mulder: "You want to tell yourself that so you can quit with a clear conscience? You can, but you're wrong." Scully: "Why did they assign me to you in the first place, Mulder? To debunk your work, to rein you in, to shut you down." Mulder: "But you saved me. As difficult and as frustrating as it's been sometimes, your goddamned strict rationalism and science
have saved me a thousand times over. You've kept me honest.
You've made me a whole person. I owe you everything, Scully, and you owe me nothing ... I don't know if I want do this alone... I don't even know if I can. And if I quit now, they win."
Mulder is pouring his poor heart out here, finally telling her what he's been feeling. And it obviously touches Scully deeper than either expected. Tears fill her eyes, and she doesn't even try to hide it from Mulder. They hug for a moment, and she kisses his forehead. And at that moment, that is all she expected from him, nothing more. Even when he moves to place his hands on both sides of her face, she doesn't think it's any more than him showing her how much he cares -- as a friend. But then, there is a slight, but obvious, change in her facial expression, one of surprise, as she suddenly realizes it's much more than that. Now, his gaze is of a much deeper intensity, one of anticipation. She realizes he's going to kiss her, and surprised as she is, she doesn't pull back or anything. In fact, she moves a little closer to him, until their lips touch, ever so slightly. Of course, that's RIGHT when the bee decides to sting Scully.
Okay, they didn't exactly kiss, but THEIR LIPS TOUCHED! And much more than that, now they are both aware of each other's intentions. If the bee hadn't stung Scully, the kiss most definitely would have grown into a full lip-locking. And now, even though it's no longer the subject at hand (thanks to the damn bee!), Scully knows Mulder would have kissed her, and Mulder knows Scully would have let him. THIS is the important thing here. They both know how they feel about each other.
When she breaks off the kiss, Mulder immediately says, "I'm sorry," thinking he did something wrong. Before he realizes that the bee stung her, he thinks she pulled away to break off the kiss. And there's a look on his face (I'm not sure how to interpret it) when he's aware that she pulled away because she was stung. Relief? Joy?
Then there was the ultimate panic when Scully had the reaction to the sting. And the determination when he set off in Antarctica to find Scully and give her vaccine.
Skipping to the end, after Mulder passes out on the ice, and Scully has regained some strength, she turns Mulder over and holds him in her arms.
In the park, when Scully meets Mulder there, he tells her that she was right to have wanted to quit. Her life is too much in danger in this work. She should get away from him, as far as she can. "I can't watch you die ... Go be a doctor, Scully." She said she will, but not anywhere else. And she turned the words he'd said to her before right back at him, "And if I quit now, they win." Then she reaches out to take his hand.
Humor has always been a small, but very important aspect of the show, and it certainly was not lacking in the movie:
Mulder: "Maybe we should call in a bomb threat to Houston. I think it's free beer night at the Astrodome."
(Scully tries the door, but it's locked.)
Scully: "Oh, no. Now what?"
Mulder: "It's locked?"
Scully: "So much for anticipating the unforseen."
(Mulder tries the door and is startled when it opens)
Scully: "I had you."
Mulder: "No you didn't."
Scully: "Oh, yeah. I had you big time."
Mulder: "You had nothing. Come on, I saw you jiggle the handle."
Scully: "I saw your face, Mulder. There was a definite moment of panic."
Mulder: "Panic? Have you ever seen me panic, Scully?"
Scully: "I just did."
Mulder: "When I panic, I make this face." (Completely blank expression.)
Mulder: "What'll it be? Coke? Pepsi? Saline IV?"
Mulder: "Scully, you know that face I showed you? I'm making it now."
Mulder (in the bar): "I'm the key figure in an ongoing government charade, the plot to conceal the truth about the existence of extraterrestrials. It's a global conspiracy actually, with key players in the highest levels of power, that reaches down into the lives of every man, woman and child on this planet, so of course no one believes me. I'm an annoyance to my superiors, a joke to my peers. They call me Spooky. Spooky Mulder, whose sister was abducted by aliens when he was just a kid and now chases after little green men with a badge and a gun, shouting to the heavens or to anyone who will listen that the fix is in, that the sky is falling. And when it hits it's gonna be the shit storm of all time."
Bartender: "Well, I think that just about does it, Spooky."
Mulder: "Listen, son, we don't have time to dick around here, watching you demonstrate your ignorance in the chain of command. The order came direct from General McAddie. Call him. We'll conduct our business while you confirm authorization."
Security guard: "Uh, why don't you go on ahead down, and I'll confirm authorization."
Kurtzweil: "Somebody knows I'm talking to you."
Mulder: "Not according to the men in blue."
Kurtzweil: "Well, what is it this time? Kiddie porn again? Sexual battery of a patient?"
Mulder: "They want to discredit you, for what?"
Kurtzweil: "Because I'm a dangerous man. Because I know too much about the truth."
Mulder: "Oh, that end-of-the-world, apocalyptic garbage you write?"
Kurtzweil: "You know my work?"
Scully: "I think you'd better tell us."
Boy: "We don't even know you."
Scully: "Well, we're FBI agents."
Boy: "You're not FBI agents."
Mulder: "How do you know?"
Boy: "Because y'all look like door-to-door salesmen."
Mulder (pulling out his wallet): "Wanna buy a badge?"
Boy: "They all left twenty minutes ago. Going that way." (All three boys point in the same direction.)
Scully: "This is weird, Mulder."
Mulder: "Very weird."
Scully: "Any thoughts as to why anybody'd be growing corn in the middle of a desert?"
Mulder: "Not unless those are giant Jiffy Pop poppers out there."
Mulder (waking up and seeing the LGM): "Oh god ..."
Langly: "What's wrong?"
Mulder: "Tin man ... Scarecrow ... Toto ..."
Well-Manicured Man: "Get out of the car, Agent Mulder."
Mulder (thinking he's going to be killed): "Why? The upholstery's already ruined."
When Scully realizes Mulder is right about the bomb being in the vending room, she storms out to the lobby.
Scully: "I need this building evacuated and cleared out in ten minutes! I need you to get on the phone and tell the fire department to block off the city center in a one mile radius around the building."
Security chief: "In ten minutes?"
Scully (shouting): "DON'T THINK! JUST PICK UP THE PHONE AND MAKE IT HAPPEN!"
Dude, you do NOT want to get on this lady's bad side. This scene was great, showing the strength in Scully's character and her ability to take command of the situation.
Kurtzweil: "According to the newspaper, FEMA was called out to manage an outbreak of the Hanta Virus. Are you familiar with what the Federal Emergency Management Agency's real power is? FEMA allows the White House to suspend constitutional government upon declaration of a national emergency. Think about that! What is an agency with such broad-sweeping power doing managing a small viral outbreak in suburban Texas?"
Mulder: "You're saying it wasn't such a small outbreak."
Kurtzweil: "No. I'm saying it wasn't the Hanta Virus."
This scene is a pivotal moment in the movie when Mulder figures out some of what Kurtzweil is feeding him. He realizes there's something much deeper going on than meets the eye, and prompts him to head out to Dallas.
If the opening scenes of Ice-Age North Texas wasn't enough to convince you of the power of the alien beings, the scene where Bronschweig discovers that the virus has gestated is enough, in addition to his crew's horrified responses -- and locking Bronschweig in the cave with the alien. "So much for little green men," he mutters when he first catches a full glimpse at the alien being.
Following that, we see Mulder and Scully approaching the dig site, only now the entire area has been cleared out and covered by a new patch of grass along with a new set of playground equipment. Having seen the ordeal with Bronschweig, we as the audience become appalled at the cruelty that happened. The people working here had that much fear of the organism that they could clear out the area in such a short time and with such haste.
Scully: "Mulder, when a terrorist bomb threat is called in, the rational purpose of providing that information is to allow us to find the bomb."
Assistant Director Jana Cassidy: "Five people died in the explosion. (pause as Mulder enters the room) Special Agent In Charge, Darius Michaud, who was trying to defuse the bomb that was hidden in a vending machine, three firemen from Dallas and a young boy. Now, I'd like to begin this interview ..."
Mulder: "Excuse me, the firemen and the young boy, they were found in the building?"
Scully: "You're saying that this is a coverup? Of what?"
Mulder: "I don't know, but I have a hunch that what you're going to find here won't be easily categorized or referenced."
Well-Manicured Man: "Kill Mulder, we take the risk of turning one man's quest into a crusade."