7X03 . The Sixth Extinction

The first thing to note about this episode was Scully Angst. We see Scully spending a lot of time in Africa where rubbing was taken and where we last saw Scully last season discover the alien ship. Right from the opening monologue, she explains her intentions and the underlying emotions fueling her actions. This is how much she cares about Mulder: she says that she came to Africa to look for something that she didn't even believe in, and yet, she was there. She put aside all her beliefs and disbeliefs -- she didn't care if the answers to Mulder's illness defied the laws of science. As long as there was the possibility of finding a cure, she would go to the ends of the Earth to do so.

We learn several things important to the mythology arc. First, Mulder's psychotic-then-comatose condition was caused by his brain being in a hyperactive state. He can actually read people's minds, and can predict the future. Only with a dose of a certain kind of drug can those impulses be slowed down enough for him to be outwardly coherent. Scully tells Skinner when she comes back from Africa that this doesn't mean that Mulder is dying. In fact, she says that "he's never been more alive" and that the cause of this is possibly extraterrestrial.

Second, from Scully's study of the writing on the ship, we learn something that has yet to be pieced together into an explanation that truly makes sense. The symbols on the surface of the ship resembled and could be deciphered by an ancient Navajo alphabet provided by Dr. Barnes. Scully found that they coded for the nucleotides in genetics: adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine. There were 24 panels with this information on it, and Scully surmises that they code for each of the 24 human chromosomes (22 for the 22 autosomes, and 1 for each of the sex chromosomes). This was possibly a complete human genome. Also, the woman working with Scully to decipher the ship found that some of the writing translated to a passage from the Koran. This is what doesn't make sense -- and I assume it's not intended to. But for some reason, all this triggered something in Mulder, causing his brain to go into hyperactivity.

One painful scene to watch was when Diana Fowley came to visit Mulder (just before Skinner and Kritschgau were about to break him out of the hospital). Why can't this woman just die already?! She sits down next to Mulder's bed, and seeing him back in his waking coma, begins to speak. She admits her alliance to not just him, but to CSM as well. She doesn't say this directly, but it's clearly implied and we saw in Two Fathers/One Son this alliance being formed. Then, what nearly killed me, was Diana saying the "L" word. She professes her love for Mulder now, vowing that she will protect him forever.

Augh! I just wish we knew a sense of what the heck Mulder was thinking in response.

But all hope is not lost. In the next couple of scenes, Scully returns to Washington, D.C. and urgently needs to see Mulder. In an exchange with Skinner, we learn that Mulder is in fact not dying, but that his brain has become so fired up with activity that his body simply cannot keep up. She dismisses Skinner's attempts to keep her from going to see Mulder, to protect her, I would assume, but she is adamant. At the hospital, she literally begs the doctor and security guards to be let in. Mulder, in the meantime, is hearing the many voices in his head again, but one in particular stands out, and he turns his head towards where Scully is.

Scully finally enters, and sits by Mulder's bed. This is one of the very few times we Scully on the verge of breaking down into tears, showing as much emotion as she does here. She begs for Mulder to hear her, that there is hope of saving him if he would just hold on a little bit longer. Unfortunately, there is no response of any kind from Mulder, either physical or verbal.

7X04 . Amor Fati

7X01 . Hungry

7X05 . Millenium       [ updated 01/02/00 ]

Oh my god. It happened.

Okay, I know it's been a very long time since I updated this thing, but after tonight's episode, there was no way I was going to let this one go without an immediate response.

So, the kiss. I was shrieking, curling myself into a ball on the couch, and nearly hyperventilating. It actually happened. Mulder and Scully finally kissed. On the lips. And there was no hesitation from either of them.

I was reading some e-mail from my little AOL e-mail group, Cabin X (yes, Cabin X-ers, I still read my mail!), and many of them didn't like the kiss as much as I did. They felt it was out of place, and had no lead-in to it, or any follow-up.

I tend to disagree about it being so bad, and here's why.

If you listen carefully to what Dick Clark was saying on the TV in the last 30 seconds before the New Year, it makes the kiss fit in just fine. He says, "Hug your friends and loved ones tight, or -- what the heck -- whoever the person is next to you. No time like the present."

No time like the present, indeed. This thing between Mulder and Scully has built up and worked from here to there over the past six years, and, especially in the recent year or so, a definitive escalation of their relationship has approached the element of romance. I am willing to bet that Mulder was listening to Dick Clark's words, and decided it was going to be now or never. There is no doubt that Mulder cares about Scully, and he knows that she more or less reciprocates. And the latter was evident in the way Scully responded to his leaning in closer to her.

Mulder's gaze turned slowly from the TV to Scully, and his expression changed to one of thoughtfulness and unbridled affection for his partner, just like he did in the movie. And as he leaned into Scully, she turned to him as if she expected this to be happening. No hesitation, no wondering about how this was going to affect their relationship as good friends. And their lips touched.

It lasted for a good eight or so seconds (I'll have to go back and actually time it!) before they broke it off. (Actually, it looked like it was Mulder who pulled back, as if Scully wanted it to last a bit longer.) And then, they just looked at each other for a long time. Mulder's expression was classic -- that almost dreamy, still very thoughtful look on his face.

He said to Scully, "The world didn't end." And she responded with, "No, it didn't."

At face value, they could have been talking about the year 2000 and how it was supposedly going to be the end of the world. But I couldn't help thinking if they were implicitly referring to the fact that their "world" didn't end because they'd finally kissed.

I think this had a lot to do with why Mulder and Scully never bothered to pursue a romance earlier. Their easy rapport, ability to work together professionally, and their very close friendship could possibly -- but not surely -- be jeopardized in the event a romantic relationship was established. They didn't want to take that risk before, but now, in the heat of the moment, those fears were cast aside and they decided to live in the present, and see what would happen from there. So, Mulder saying, "The world didn't end," was him trying to acknowledge those fears that may have been there.

It was so very adorable how they said "Happy New Year" together, and then walked down the hallway to leave. Mulder had his arm around Scully's shoulders, and while we've seen such a gesture from him before, it seemed a little different this time -- almost as if it was possessive.

We'll have to see if this is going to be followed up on in future episodes. Heck, Chris Carter might not even have intended this kiss to be as I interpreted it, so I guess only time will tell.

Okay, originally, the review ended here. About a week after this episode aired, I began having some major problems with the kiss that I felt my unconscious mind hinting at even right off the bat, but the excitement about the fact that it happened covered up everything else. Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to add an addendum to this review until now, several weeks later.

As much as I wanted to see Mulder and Scully locking lips for the first time, this wasn't what I had in mind. This wasn't in as romantic a context as I'd hoped for their first kiss -- I thought there would be much more deeply felt emotion for both of them, and expression and release of the sexual tension that has been building up over the past several years. But this wasn't the case, and if this is to be their official first kiss, it was dreadfully disappointing.

However, I still stand by part of what I said above -- the part about Dick Clark saying, "Hug ... whoever the person is next to you. There's no time like the present." At this point in Mulder and Scully's relationship they are close enough to, but not crossing, the line between being very close friends and having a romantic relationship that Mulder can kiss Scully in the context of it being New Year's Eve, and still be able to carry on with their lives without much hindsight. This is just another indication of how they're slowly approaching that line.

More later ... ?

7X06 . Rush

7X02 . The Goldberg Variation

7X07 . Orison

7X08 . The Amazing Maleeni

7X09 . Signs and Wonders

7X10 . Sein Und Zeit

7X11 . Closure

7X12 . X-Cops

7X13 . First Person Shooter

7X14 . Theef

7X15 . En Ami

7X16 . Chimera

7X17 . all things

Grr ... I had a good review here but then I had to be stupid enough to overwrite the file accidentally. Let's see what I can remember ...

Following David Duchovny's writing and directing steps outside of just acting, Gillian Anderson wrote and directed this episode. I'm curious, however, about how much of this episode's story were her ideas, or if they were suggested by Chris Carter. And if you saw this episode, you would know what I'm talking about.

Yes, I'm talking about what was implied to have happened between Mulder and Scully. Did they sleep together, or did they not? That seems to be the question that is most prominently brought up following this episode.

A brief summary: In the teaser, we see Scully in a bathroom, getting dressed in the morning. But as she leaves, she passes by the bed where we see Mulder still asleep. (Alarm bells going off??) After the opening credts and commercial break, the episode jumps backwards in time, a couple days if I remember correctly. Scully happens to encounter an old med school professor of hers in the hospital, and when she goes to talk to him, we immediately learn that these two have some sort of history together, much more than just a professor-student relationship. (More alarms sound?) Though it is never explicity said, it's implied that they had an affair, one that ended up tearing apart the professor's family at the time. And now, years later, when Scully is at a point in her life where she is unsure of how she feels about her career and social life (such that it is), she is tempted by this man to be with him again, and to settle down, in a sense. After some thought, she realizes she's happy with her job even though it wasn't what she'd planned, and she has a strong relationship with Mulder that she values too much to simply walk away from now. In fact, at the end of the episode, she tells all of this to Mulder. All of it, including the affair and this decision she ultimately comes to. She ends up falling asleep on his couch at his apartment and the episode ends there, leaving lots to the imagination.

So? Did they? A lot of people would automatically say no, that just because she fell asleep on his couch, it doesn't mean the slept together. But ... if that was true, that she fell asleep in her clothes, why would she be putting them back on? She didn't take a shower or anything. Hmm? And in later episodes, particularly in the season finale, Requiem, it not only becomes plausible, but it also becomes a likely explanation for what happens.

I thought it was interesting that Gillian Anderson decided to write such a past for Scully. Over the past seven years, we haven't learned too much about Scully's life before she joined Mulder on the X-Files and there was a lot of room to include something darker, something that Scully would want to put behind her as she moved on in life. It gave me the creeps, sort of, to think that Scully would have an affair with her professor while she was in med school, but it was a nice twist to things -- to show that Scully, too, isn't perfect. She has her flaws. She's human.

7X18 . Hollywood A.D.

7X19 . Brand X

7X20 . Fight Club

7X21 . Je Souhaite

Okay, how many people saw this episode and thought, "Aladdin!" ::hand shoots up:: Me! And I don't think it's just because I used to be an obsessed Aladdin fan. Too many parallels, and it was bordering on too predictable.

7X22 . Requiem