CTP Episode of the Day - 07.06.06

Today's Cherished Episode: DeadAlive (8x15)
Original Air Date: April 1, 2001
Written By: Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz
Directed By: Tony Wharmby

Three months after Mulder is laid to rest, the investigation into his death is re-opened after a man who was abducted with him makes an impossible reappearance.

(Thanks to chrisnu for today's episode pics.)

"Anybody miss me?"

Some "DeadAlive" Tidbits and Musings:

-- The title of this episode is pretty self-explanatory -- Mulder is alive on the inside but decomposing on the outside. (There's a Beethoven joke in there somewhere, but I can't quite seem to find it.)

-- We never found out what connection the Mulder family (or more specifically Teena Mulder) had to Raleigh, North Carolina, but the Mulder Family Headstone that was introduced in "Within" made the trip. I wonder if Pa Mulder did too? (Since he was buried in Boston.)

-- There's no date stamp on this episode, but it's likely the teaser is supposed to be set around January 2001 (though assuming that the events of "Requiem" occurred "last spring" as referenced in "This is Not Happening," Scully should be about eight months pregnant by this point). This time frame would make snow on the ground during Mulder's funeral at least remotely plausible. Then if Doggett and Skinner return to North Carolina to exhume Mulder's body three months later, that would set the remainder of the episode approximately in April. But there's *still* snow on the ground in Raleigh when they make that trip -- not unheard of, but not likely.

-- Mrs. Scully (Sheila Larkin) makes her first appearance on the show since way back in Season 5's "Emily."

-- "And I don't truly believe that Mulder's the last." You go, Walter.

-- It took Kersh three months to write a letter of recommendation for Doggett? That must be some letter! < g > In the original script, Kersh apologizes to Doggett that the letter was so long in coming.

-- Showing at last! Appropriately enough, our first shot of truly pregnant Scully has her tummy in the foreground and the "I Want to Believe" poster in the background. That was priceless.

-- But again with the pregnancy timeline problems. Three months previous she wasn't showing at all. Now Doggett said she'll be going on maternity leave in six weeks. So she should be a little over 7 months pregnant at this point.

-- Billy's head in the morgue has a postmortem galvanic response. (You can't say I didn't learn anything from "Leonard Betts"!)

-- Larry Rippenkroeger, who played the Deckhand on the boat that "rescues" Billy Miles, is primarily known for his stunt work. He has served as stunt double for Bruce Willis in numerous films, most recently worked as a stuntman on Rent, Memoirs of a Geisha, and Poseidon, and also worked as a stuntman on DD's feature film Evolution. He is also a four-time World Champion Jet Skier.

-- As in "This is Not Happening," the body inside the exhumed coffin is not David Duchovny. It is a body double wearing a David Duchovny mask.

-- I remember when this episode aired, there was much debate on the internet about why Mulder had not been autopsied or embalmed. Some felt it was finally an acknowledgment that Mulder was Jewish. I tend to think it was because that would have screwed up Chris' plans for resurrection! (LOL) Whatever the reason, I guess Mulder should thank his lucky stars that Agent Scully and her trigger happy scalpel didn't get hold of him before burial (and also that she remembered his fear of fire and thus considered cremation out of the question!).

-- Krycek returns for the first time since "Requiem" with his nasty palm pilot in tow. He does get brownie points for taking Mulder's nameplate *out* of the desk drawer.

-- On the Season 8 DVDs, Cheri Montesanto-Medcalf (head of the Makeup Department) explained that her staff had to prepare many different versions of the bloated Billy Miles before his "extreme makeover." For the scenes in the morgue, they tried to make his skin appear shiny and wet, and they also had to apply the makeup appropriately so the actor would be able to move his mouth in the morgue scene. For the scene were Billy sheds his skin in the shower (which definitely upped the gross-out factor on the show), the makeup department developed skin-like appliances that were placed over the actor's real skin. The appliances were made of a gelatin type material, and the crew pumped warm water and a reddish "goo" that they created (which included, among other things, strawberry jam) between the actor's real skin and the appliances. Along with the water from the shower, this caused the gelatin appliances to begin to shred and melt, which made it appear that Billy was shedding his skin.

-- Cheri Montesanto-Medcalf and her staff won the 2001 Emmy for Outstanding Makeup for a Series for their work in this episode.

-- The scene where Doggett enters Mulder's hospital room and finds Scully with one hand holding Mulder's and the other resting on her abdomen -- just try to convince me that doesn't mean something!

-- Once again, Krycek's motives and alliances are unknown. Did he really want Scully's baby dead? Why? Or did he know that Skinner would never harm Scully's baby and would choose to kill Mulder instead, thereby saving Mulder?

-- The copy of the "DeadAlive" script that I have is a first draft, and in it, the last scene that's actually written out is Doggett trying to get the vaccine from Krycek. It describes the scene in the parking garage in painstaking detail, but it does not include Krycek breaking the vial of vaccine. After that, the script only includes general descriptions of the next three scenes: Scully explaining to Doggett that Skinner may have inadvertently saved Mulder by taking him off life support; Kersh telling Doggett that he has rescinded his offer of a transfer and Doggett is assigned to the XF permanently; and Scully at the bedside of a revived Mulder. Amusingly, that brief description says, "He makes a joke: Did anybody miss me? We laugh, we cry ... (Doggett may appear in this scene too.)"

-- Mulder didn't look too great in this episode, but he was still a sight for sore eyes. And returned with sense of humor intact. Our Mulder was back.

-- Did he or didn't he? There was (and still is) great debate over what, if anything, Mulder mouthed to Scully during his wake-up scene. I tend to think he didn't (maybe he was just wanting some ice chips; his voice had no raspy freezer burn this time around, but after all that time being dead, I'm sure he could have used a tic-tac or something!) But a big of funky editing in the scene seems to make it possible that he did say something (some people believe that he said "I love you"), especially because Scully gets a huge grin on her face right after Mulder's lips move and they cut away to the shot of her. Anyway, I suppose it's one of those "great debate" questions that we'll never know the answer to. Actually, maybe it's one of those questions we don't really *want* to know the answer to! We'd rather have our own version! (I still would prefer to believe that Mulder had Scully's necklace in "Requiem" rather than the truth we learned!)

-- After this episode aired, a lot of folks were also upset that Doggett had interrupted Mulder and Scully's private reunion. But I'm actually kind of glad that he did. The old Scully would have pulled away from Mulder when Doggett appeared, but we saw Scully tense but not pull away. IMBO, she was sending a public message that she loves that man, that they are inseparable, that he makes her a whole person. Her eyes say it all as she keeps her head on Mulder's chest: she's meant to be by his side and that's where she's going to stay.

-- I also remember distinctly the internet chatter when the spoilers for this episode were revealed. A dead Mulder resurrected? No way. We all figured there was absolutely no way Chris Carter would do something like that to bring Mulder back. And that fact that the episode was airing on April 1 made everyone skeptical that the spoilers were accurate. But of course the joke was on all of us when the spoilers were exactly correct.

Please share your first impressions, favorite (or cringe-worthy) moments, classic lines, favorite fanfic, nagging questions, repeating viewing observations, etc., as today we celebrate "DeadAlive"!