Field Report ~ Season 5

Field Report ~ Season 5

Discussing Current Events on the Files



THE END - 5X20

"I think this time they may have won."

This is it, the cliffhanger we've been waiting months in anticipation for. OMIGOD!!

First of all, poor Scully!! For 5 years, the person she's been closest to is Mulder. Though strong and independant, she relied on him a great deal, often quietly seeking his approval. But suddenly Agent Diana Fowley steps into her life. Now here's a woman for whom Mulder holds deep sentiments, but she is also a person who shares many of his beliefs. They don't clash or come into conflict, and from her he gains approval. Scully can't help but feel rejected. Mulder's personal feelings for Diana aside, Scully knows that with her he could persue his work on the X-Files with a real ally, someone who would not object to or deny his claims. And Diana does seem to want back into Mulder's life. She even tries to convince him that she would be a better candidate for his partner. Scully can't help but feel she might be losing him. As they say, three is a crowd.
But Diana is suddenly and unfortunately removed from the picture (one note here: it is strange the way Gibson, the boy, referred to Scully, alluding to the fact that she "doesn't care", in other words, that she is perfectly honest. I think he sensed something in her - he liked her - and I can't help but think he had something to contribute to Diana's downfall. This could perhaps be yet another clue that Scully may have a sort of "divine aura"). Diana is most likely near death (even though we know better now *growl*). Scully feels no longer has to "compete" (for lack of another word :-)) for Mulder, but where exactly does she stand now?

Moving on, Krycek. The man who works only for himself is once again the errand boy for the Consortium. Why? Something is definitely up here. Maybe Krycek is not who he seems...

Next of course, Spender and Cancer Man. It appears now that Cancer Man favours Spender over Mulder. In the past, Cancer Man worked against Mulder, but at the same time he spared him. Where he could have killed him, he let him go. Where he could have shut him down indefinitely, he allowed him to continue. It was because, he claimed, Mulder had a role in the "greater purpose." What is that role now? Has it been forfeited in favour of Agent Spender? Even Skinner is convinced there is something up, after Spender's mysterious assignment to the case from an outside source, and his strong insistance that Mulder be kept away from it. It seems Cancer Man may want Spender for something more, perhaps his right hand man. Remember, he was open and direct in telling Spender who he was. This was an element of honesty he never granted Mulder. Now Cancer Man has destroyed Mulder in favour of Spender. If Mulder was so important to him, then Spender must be even more so, or Cancer Man would not have acted as he did. Only the reason has yet to be revealed.

And finally, The End. Even before the X-Files are destroyed, Scully and Mulder know that it's over. As Scully says, "this time, they may have won." Mulder's attack on Spender would be his undoing, the final result of a setup that Mulder insists he should have seen coming. But then again, it is not really over until the fat lady sings, or until the match is lit... or the Morley, rather. As we watch the X-Files engulfed in flames, we see Mulder's passion go up in smoke, 5 years of Scully's life gone. Mulder is shocked into an emotionless silence, Scully is devestated, completely understanding of Mulder's loss; a loss which she herself feels. She has to hold him up or he'll collapse. Mulder is numb. Now it's really over. It's really The End.

The End.... but Samantha's file is still out there...

Is it the beginning?

Squall's Rating: 8


FOLIE A DEUX

"Dial and smile."

It is quite apparant early on in this episode that the events are taking place shortly after those of the Pine Bluff Variant, as Mulder's still-bandaged finger would indicate. I thought this was relevant since we are not always sure exactly when or how the events usually happen in reference to one another. This is probably done as a lead into the movie, but it sets up the beginning of the episode, and Mulder's behaviour, quite well.

We initially see Mulder as being quite frustrated when first assigned to the case, and rightfully so, given his recent experience with the terrorists in PBV. He risked his life, enduring physical torture and a near-execution, and all for the purpose of a lie. Now, he is reluctant and almost opposed to accepting a case which he feels holds little relevance. In fact, he is so unwilling to take the case that he doesn't even bring Scully along with him. But it also must be remembered that Mulder's beliefs are still shaken and torn, this being apparant when he scoffs at the "paranormal overtone" mentioned by Skinner when he offered him the case. But Mulder quickly learns that there is more to this case than meets the eye. There really is a paranormal overtone: Gary's boss is actually a monster. Mulder saw it himself.

After the standoff, Mulder is visibly shaken and Scully is concerned (poor Mulder just hasn't had it easy lately. Last week he gets tortured, this week he gets pistol-whipped). When Mulder insists to Scully that he saw the monster, she attributes his behaviour to the emotional stress of the situation, and Mulder substitutes the phrase "Folie A Deux", a madness sharred by two. But he can't shake the feeling, and persues the case, believing whole-heartedly that he saw a monster and it's "zombies" to the extent that it lands him in a institution for psychological assesment (*laugh* hey, it had to happen sometime! Mulder himself even jokes about it).

Though Scully is unwilling to admit that Mulder might be crazy, she has no other explanation for his behaviour. But when he askes he to re-examine the body of the shooting victim, saying that she is his "one in 5 billion chance" to prove him right and redeem him, there is no way she can refuse. This is a trend was previously known but unspoken in Mulder and Scully's relationship: Scully is the only person in the world who understands Mulder, and the only person who can really get through to his inner person.

Scully is surprised to learn that there may be method in Mulder's madness. Just as he indicated to her, she finds traces of a substance in the body, and the bite mark Mulder refers to (of course Scully insists that this is an injection point). But meanwhile, the monster has come to stalk Mulder, and there is nothing he can do but lay there helplessly, since the nurse has herself been turned into a zombie. When Scully arrives, she sees what Mulder saw in the nurse, and confirms the presense of the intruder in his room. She also convinces Skinner that Mulder is not insane, there is reason to believe that his belief are at least partially validated and his behavior the result of a folie a deux. But is Skinner convinced? He is definitely not pleased with Mulder's behaviour... Mulder must tread lightly.

Squall's Rating: 8


THE PINE BLUFF VARIANT

"Ooooo is this the Pepsi challenge?"

I can't remember the last time I was on the edge of my seat for an entire episode of X-Files. The suspense in The Pine Bluff Variant was almost too intense!

Contrary to what the spoilers suggested, Scully finds out relatively early on that Mulder is not working as a double agent, rather his activities are being backed by the CIA and the FBI. The terrorist group he is investigating uses a bio-engineered virus to wreck havok on unsuspecting individuals (just one note here: this bio-weapon could potentially be "the plague" that is supposed to be featured in the movie, however it is more likely that this will be the black cancer or small pox). The CIA initially informed the FBI that they suspected the bio-weapon was of Russian origin, which would not have been so far fetched given their involvement with the black cancer. However Scully discovers that the weapon is actually American in origin, and that Mulder has been selected by the terrorist group and set up unknowingly by the CIA as a pawn to distract the FBI and the public, thus preventing them from learning the true nature of the virus.

There are many aspects of this episode which serve to enhance the characters. Though Scully is initially suspicious of Mulder, she is more concerned for his safety and his motives rather than the fact that he may be defecting. Though things between Scully and Mulder have been somewhat edgy lately, this is proof of the underlying trust in their relationship; trust that is not so easily swayed. Mulder is also tested. His quest to learn the truth does not infringe upon his moral boundaries; he couldn't kill the innocent man in the bank even though refusing to do so would reveal his true motives to the terrorist group and would surely mean his death (though that part was especially angsty... I knew Mulder wouldn't do it, though we know from Grotesque that he is sometimes overtaken by his dark side). And one more thing: the old Mulder may be showing through again. When the CIA is confronted, Mulder states: "I want the public to know the truth."

On another interesting note, the terrorist who turns out to be on "the good side" states that Mulder "already knows my alias." Mulder looks confused at this point. Who is this man? An informant in disguise? Another one of Cancer Man's agents sent to secretly protect Mulder? Even Mulder is fooled. When the man spares him from execution, Mulder asks, "Who are you?" I think that's a question we're all asking at this point.

Finally, and I just have to say it, poor Mulder in the torture scene!! *sniff* That was just so horrible. I couldn't stand to see him like that :-) And the execution scene! Of course we knew that Mulder's life would be somehow spared, but X-Files has a way of playing things out dramatically until the last minute. All and all, I have to say PBV was a wild ride. If this is anything like the movie, we're definitely in for a treat.

Squall's Rating: 8


ALL SOULS

I finally got a hold of the ending of this episode (thanx Corine and Jenny!) after technical difficulties forced me to miss it the first time. Modern technology. Ha :-) Anyway, sorry for the delay!

First of all, this was a brillant episode! I'm glad that they're finally dealing with Scully's loss of Emily. I felt her death was severely underplayed from the outset; in fact it hasn't even been mentioned since Emily first aired back in December. This time however, the child Scully is to protect is not her own daughter, but a severely disabled girl and her three identical sisters. This seems to be a role that Scully was destined for; that of the protector. In Revelations she was "choosen" to look after Kevin, a boy whose life was endangered because he exhibited signs of stimato. It seems that this is a role she was meant to occupy not once, but many times throughout her life. Once again Scully's faith is put to the test, and once again it seems she is at the receiving end of a miracle.

In order to come to terms with Emily's death, it was imperative that Scully let her go. She did just that when she believed she saw that last girl's soul ascend to heaven. Whether an actual miracle or a figment of her imagination, the events which took place were intended to allow her to move on.

There is also a substantial development in Scully's character. She no longer hides her feelings from Mulder. When he expresses his concern at her seemingly unusual behaviour, she tells him exactly what is bothering her, failing to respond with her characteristic "I'm fine." It seems she has taken this cue from Elegy, when Mulder, obviously frightened by the grim prognosis of her cancer, warns her harshly not to keep the truth from him. Though this may have been viewed as an extreme and cruel reaction on Mulder's part at the time, I think it was something Scully needed to hear, and it was the only way that Mulder could really tell her that she didn't have to keep things from him. He was expressing his concern in the only way he knew how. Scully recognized this concern, finally opening up to her partner.

We also saw the return of Mulder the skeptic, the same guy who appeared back in Revelations. Though a true believer in the paranormal, Mulder scoffs at religion for reasons that are still unclear. But it is also interesting that Scully, while being such a skeptic, can have such a strong faith. In this case their roles are reversed.

Scully seems to be quite the magnet for miracles. In Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose, Scully askes how she will die. Clyde Bruckman replies, "You don't." Perhaps she is something more than she seems....

Squall's Rating: 7+


MIND'S EYE

"Skeptic?..." :-)

My first impressions of this episode: Scully-light, but very touching. We caught a glimpse of a side of Mulder we seldom see, coming through in his empathy for Marty. It was the same aspect of Mulder's personality which was revealed Oubliette, when he reached out to Lucy Householder. What I found interesting was Mulder's reaction when he informed Marty that the man who's eyes she had seen through was actually her father. He held her stare for a long moment, as if it was a shared experience; Marty did not approve of her father, and this was a painful revelation for her. No doubt Mulder knew exactly what she was going through; he had those same feelings when it was first revealed to him that Cancer Man could in fact be his father. Could this be another clue?

On another note, it was refreshing to see the way Mulder scoffed at being labelled a skeptic. Perhaps his faith has been restored?

There was one other thing that I did happen to catch. At one point, when the agents are discussing Marty's stubborness and indifference to the interrogation proceedings, Mulder makes the point that "She wants us to think that she's strong." While saying this, he is looking at Scully. I take it that he is aware of and admires her strength and the battle she fights with herself to keep her composure. Just thought it was interesting, though shippers will especially like this one... :-)

*Humourus link: there may be another reason why Mulder reached out to Marty the way he did. As many of us will recall from Small Potatoes, Marty is actually the alias Mulder uses when he calls his 1-900 party lines :-) Coincidence? Maybe...

Squall's Rating: 7


TRAVELERS

I don't know if anyone is qualified to draw any sort of conclusion at all from this ep, but there are a few things worth mentioning.
First thing's first, and this was probably the thing that stuck out the most in this ep. Was that a wedding ring on Mulder's hand, one that they were deliberately trying to show us?? It's not like they were exactly attempting to hide it. Hmmmm...
Mulder, smoking? Well Scully did once. We never actually saw him take a drag on the cigarette, but he definitely exhaled. This could be interpretted as another link between him and Cancer Man... like father, like son.

As for Bill Mulder, things are sketchy at best. I was hoping for a more detailed look into his past, one which would reveal his role in the project, perhaps something to do with small pox or the black cancer, as this was first implied in Anasazi. This was definitely missing, replaced by the almost cliche alien/creature-coming-out-of-the-mouth that we've seen so many times in countless other sci-fi shows and movies. It just doesn't seem to fit into the big picture. The only common ground was the reference to Nazi experimentation, first brought up in Anasazi. It's possible that the 'xenotransplantation' they referred to was just the beginning in a string of experiments conducted in the United States based on war-time German technology; experiments in which Bill Mulder seems to have played a part, or was at least linked to. Also missing from this ep was any indication of Mulder's lineage. That in itself remains up in the air.

I found that the content of this episode strayed so far from the X-Files' general themes (ie: small pox, the black cancer, killer bees), that it is impossible to guess at how it may factor into the whole. In sum, we know less now than we did before it started.

Squall's Rating: 1


PATIENT X/THE RED AND THE BLACK

I decided to wait until I saw both parts to comment on this one. I think I have just one thing to say... Oh my God :-)
It seems that the mythology world of the X-Files has taken another intricate series of twists (anybody else feel a little dizzy?). The first thing that really strikes me is Mulder's loss of faith. His entire belief system has been uprooted, and he seems now to be very lost and confused, to say the least. He distrusts his own memories of his sister's abduction - the memories which have fueled his 5 year search for the truth, a search which he now considers to be a lost cause. He doubts Scully's recollections of the events that took place on the bridge. Even after his visit from Krycek and his subsequent viewing of the clash of the two alien species, it is impossible to tell whether these events have really rekindled his faith, or simply caused him more confusion (though I suspect that there is a small glow beneath Mulder's cool exterior :-))
Scully, on the other hand, seems almost at the point where she is willing to accept more extreme possibilities. Yet she is just as confused as her partner. Her ground has also been shaken, and her beliefs torn, so much so that she almost withdraws from Mulder: "I can't follow you. I won't follow you." I think she recognizes that following Mulder on his "lost cause" would be just as devestating for her as for him. She needed answers in order to continue - answers which she received when she underwent hypnosis. She doesn't doubt her memories, but I don't think that she's ready to fully believe them either. Like Mulder, Scully has reached a critical point. I'm interested to see where both of them will go from here.

Now, Agent Spender. Isn't this just a lovely little turn? :-) It was a bit too obvious when they cast Chris Owens (who of course played young Cancer Man in Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man) for the role. There obviously had to be some connection!! Not only is Cancer Man alive and well and living in Quebec (like anyone thought he was really dead), but he has yet another illegitimate child - possibly Mulder's brother. But Spender wants nothing to do with either Mulder or his father. Unfortunately for Spender, it is more than likely that he will cross paths with Mulder again, especially now that his mother, abducted from the bridge and still missing, has an X-File open for investigation. And it is equally as likely that Cancer Man will try harder to track him down. But I wonder why it is so imperitive for CM that he reach Spender? Just what exactly does he know, and where does he fit into the big picture? Whatever the answer, I guess we can expect Spender to surface again in the near future.

Marita - she still makes me cringe - but I think her life is in danger now, even if she has been cured of the black cancer. As Well Manicured Man put it, her alliance with Krycek and with the Consortium was misguided and risky. Still, it seems that she has ties to almost everyone: the UN, Social Security, Krycek, the Consortium, Cancer Man, Mulder and Skinner... it makes you wonder just what her motives really are, or what exactly it is she is trying to do. At any rate, her life now may be in jeopardy. The Consortium has her, and at the moment she does not rank high in their favour...

Well, this two-parter left everything unresolved and nothing solved...
Like how the heck did Krycek get off the boat? I'm still trying to figure out how he got out of the silo in Apocrypha... Oh, and he managed to tackle Mulder just fine with one arm. I didn't think Mulder was that weak... :-)
and wait a minute... just which alien did Mulder shoot? The Pilot or the faceless alien?....

Squall's Rating:
Patient X: 6
The Red and the Black: 8


CHINGA

Now before I start, I have to say that this one had the best one-liners I've heard in a while!! I cracked up uncontrollably at that "Scully, marry me" line :-) And the pencils on the ceiling... !!!
But other than that, there were some discrepancies I have to point out, especially the character role reversal of the believer/skeptic. It worked really well in Revelations, but this one just seemed wrong somehow. This could be because there really wasn't a significant reason for Scully to adopt the role of the believer. It just didn't quite seem to fit.
On another note, I do think it's interesting how lost Mulder seems to be without Scully, even if it was only for a weekend. It's almost sad in a way :-)
All in all, I'd say this was a stand alone. The Stephen King element was good, but predictable. But that could also be CC's interference... remember, he rewrote some of the episode. Still, this one is definitely worth a second look.

Squall's Rating: 4


A CHRISTMAS CAROLE/EMILY

I can honestly say that I was slightly disappointed in the outcome of this two-parter. But I can't dwell on the negative. What is important here are the implications.
Obviously, Emily is not Scully's only "child". Since all of her ova were extracted, it is conceivable (pardon the pun) that she has many more children - possibly an entire string of Emily clones. However, as with all the other clones which have been encountered on the series, their exact purpose is unknown... they fit somewhere into the "greater purpose"; The Project mentioned so many times by Cancer Man. This one is definitely hard to call. Perhaps there is one real Emily from which all the others originated; maybe Scully will devote her time on the X-Files to searching for this one child. Perhaps the Emilys hold the key to the answers which have been eluding Mulder and Scully...

Bill Scully is up to his tricks again. I'm sorry but I despise the man. I'd still like to see Scully tell him off sometime soon :-)

Squall's Rating:
A Christmas Carole: 7
Emily: 6


REDUX I & II

All I have to say is.... WOW!! That was my general reaction to Redux.
Ok, so let's take a look at what we have here. Probably the first thing that stands out (besides the fact that Cancer Man is apparently dead), is Scully's cancer. Remission!! But questions do come to mind. Will the cancer recur? How was it really cured? The microchip? Scully's faith? I guess it's up to viewer interpretation. The next thing that surfaces now focuses more on Mulder than it does Scully. It was obvious from the beginning that he blamed himself for her condition; we saw that guilt carry over in various scenes of Redux II. What will be interesting now will be to see how he deals with his guilt; just because Scully's Cancer is in remission does not mean that Mulder's guilt will be. I think this is something that will surface this season. It will be interesting to see where it goes.

Next, is Cancer Man really dead? There was no body, and we never heard the gunshot. I also find it hard to believe that CC would kill off such an important character, especially one who holds the key to the truth. This may actually be a strategic move; if Mulder thinks Cancer Man is dead, this may radically alter the way in which he conducts his investigations. It is possible that Cancer Man may just be laying low for a while, too... to trick Mulder, perhaps? There are many directions this particular twist in the plot could take. We'll just have to wait and see.

Samantha It is hard to believe that the woman who came back is actually Samantha. Remember, last time she surfaced in Colony, she was a clone. I think Mulder had this in mind; he was obviously skeptical at their meeting. Now this stirs up many questions concerning the identity of Mulder's father. It seems possible now that Samantha is Cancer Man's daughter, but again it is still quite possible that Mulder is his son. It could be that "Samantha's" claim that Cancer Man was her father was yet another trick to throw Mulder off - a final attempt on Cancer Man's part to conceal his true identity. Now moving back to Samantha, I believe that Mulder will try harder than ever now to find her. Though he has his doubts that the woman he met was actually her, he will want to know for sure, and so will persue this quest to it's fullest.

Bill Scully Now this guy really has something wrong with him, blaming Mulder for not being supportive of Scully and basically destroying her life. Talk about kicking him when he was already down!! But where has he been these last four years?? He hasn't exactly been Mr. Supportive himself. And once again, Scully has remained with Mulder not because he forced her to, but because she wanted to. It was her choice, and she had ample opportunity to step away. I think that she needs to set her brother straight on the matter... and I think she should be frank about it, to put it mildly :-)

All in all, this season has really started off with bang. As far as I'm concerned, it could go in a million directions...

Squall's Rating:
Redux: 8
Redux II: 9


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