CTP Episode of the Day - 06.07.06

Today's Cherished Episode: Providence (9x11)
Original Air Date: March 10, 2002
Written By: Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz
Directed By: Chris Carter

Scully's baby becomes a bargaining chip for a psychotic UFO cult that feels the baby is ultimately connected to a UFO they have uncovered.

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

SKINNER: Kersh protected you by not telling you reports of Mulder's death. As did Follmer. As did I.
SCULLY: You call it protection. I call it a systematic effort inside the FBI to eliminate us.
SKINNER: You accuse anyone of anything in the FBI, you have to accuse me along with them. Scully, where are you going?
SCULLY: To find my son.

Some "Providence" Tidbits & Musings:

-- Providence means divine direction or intervention.

-- Oopsie! After the above dialog takes place, Scully turns and walks away. In the wide shot visible on the DVD, as Scully walks away you can see a crew member crouched behind a trash can trying to avoid being caught in the shot.

-- Nitpick: When the LGM get a fix on the location of where the Overcoat Woman is taking William (thanks to the hidden car seat phone), wouldn't it have been a good idea to call the local authorities, and have them pick her up? Or at least keep an eye on her? Instead, Scully and Monica drive 103 miles from Washington, D.C., to Warfordsburg, Pennsylvania, which takes approximately 1 hour and 53 minutes, and then seem surprised when Overcoat Woman isn't sitting in the car with William playing a mean game of peekaboo.

-- Another nitpick: When Monica gives Scully the "JACKET" clue written by Comer, Scully refuses to tell her what it means so as not to compromise her integrity. Two seconds later, with practically no prompting at all, she tells Monica the whole story anyway.

-- As an avid XF watcher for nine years, I'm used to Chris Carter's convoluted conspiracies, mythology, and tall tale telling. But the prophecy Comer relates about Mulder and William and who must live and who must die has to be the most confusing pile of mumbo-jumbo that Carter has ever conjured up in his twisted little brain. This prophecy needs a flow chart.

-- If you needed proof of how the character of Dana Scully has been the assassinated in Season 9, you needn't look any further than the scene after Comer lays out the confusing prophecy: Scully, the poster girl for Skeptics-R-Us, takes Comer's word as gospel and falls apart. That's not the Agent Scully I know.

-- Scully blubbering all over the comatose Doggett was another of those scenes that caused M&S fans to seethe. But I do tend to give Scully the benefit of the doubt here, since she had pretty much reached her breaking point, and she did mention *Monica's* feelings for Doggett in her little speech.

-- Yet another nitpick: The cult leader Josepho calls Scully on her cell phone to offer her a chance to get William back; but how exactly would he get that phone number?

-- Oopsie! Back to Sunday School for Scully and Josepho! The Bible passage that Josepho quotes to Scully (also heard in the teaser), "Behold, a whirlwind came out of the north and a brightness was about it. And out of the midst came the likeness of four living creatures and they had the likeness of a man" is from Ezekiel, not Ephesians as Scully states. The actual quote is: "And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the color of amber, out of the midst of the fire. Also out of the midst thereof came the likeness of four living creatures. And this was their appearance; they had the likeness of a man." -- Ezekiel 1:4-5

-- Josepho tells Scully he will return William on one condition: "Bring me the head of Fox Mulder." Perhaps Josepho was a Sam Peckinpah fan. "Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia" was a 1974 low budget film directed by Peckinpah, widely considered his darkest and most personal film. It stars Warren Oates as Bennie, an American piano player living the low life in a Mexican brothel. Bennie stakes everything on a bounty set by a Mexican patrone on the head of Alfredo Garcia, the man who impregnated his daughter.

-- But Josepho's offbeat directive to Scully might be a nod not to Pekinpah but to the Bible -- "Give me, served up on a platter, the head of John the Baptizer." (Matthew 14:8.) In Chris Carter's world of religious imagery, it's conceivable that John the Baptist is to Jesus as Mulder is to William.

-- As I've said before, Mulder, Scully, and William should have been allowed to live happily ever after at the conclusion of Season 8, and this should have been Doggett and Reyes' year to sink or swim on their own. So any Season 9 episodes that try to incorporate or make sense of the *old* mythology at this late date are pointless, IMBO, and this one is no exception. In the end, we don't know if Josepho's prophecy is true or just the ramblings of a madman, so we don't know if William is destined to lead the aliens, fight the aliens, or not even care when the brothers from another planet come calling. It's most distressing to me that the episode *implies* that William has some sort of connection to the alien menace, but I prefer to believe that the ship reacts the way it does because William is a threat, not a collaborator. In spite of CC's best efforts to the contrary, I still want to believe that the reason the aliens are so interested in William is because he is a miracle, conceived the old-fashioned way, born to a supposedly barren mother and a recently resurrected father. He's something the aliens can't replicate. He is proof that there is a greater power somewhere out there -- a power that can create miracles. And he's proof that love between two consenting adults (albeit with very special DNA) can conquer all.

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

Polly