CTP Episode of the Day - 08.07.06

Today's Cherished Episode: Redux II (5x02)
Original Air Date: November 9, 1997
Written By: Chris Carter
Directed By: Kim Manners

While Scully, dying from cancer, undergoes the desperate treatment her partner has stolen for her, Mulder penetrates the inner circle of the Syndicate-FBI conspiracy. He finds many of the truths that have long eluded him -- as well as disillusionment, despair, and danger.

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" We all have our faith, and mine is in the truth."

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

Some "Redux II" Tidbits & Musings:

-- As noted in "Redux," in most uses, the word "redux" means "brought back, revived, restored." But it also has a specialized medical meaning, indicating the return of an organ or organism to a healthy state. It's an appropriate title, as in "Redux" Mulder is "brought back" to life, and in "Redux II," Scully's health is restored.

-- Redux II" is the first time that two parts of a two-part (or more) episode have had the same name, with just a number added ("Dreamland" will be the second).

-- Time Oopsie! When Mulder enters Trinity Hospital at 5:13 a.m., the clock over his shoulder reads 5:30. Later in the scene, it is back to 5:13.

-- By eliminating all lip color, applying shading to hollow out her cheeks, and mixing a little gray into her face powder, makeup artist Laverne Basham gave Gillian Anderson the proper death's door appearance for her later hospital scenes. "She was pretty thin already, so we didn't have to do much to change her look there," said Basham.

-- IMBO, Scully's willingness to destroy her reputation as a last gift to Mulder and his flat refusal to let her do so says more about their relationship than any emotional declaration ever could.

-- The part of the assassin had originally been written for a recurring character, The Gray-Haired Man played by Morris Panych (who appeared in the movie and several episodes -- he was offed by CSM in "En Ami"); but he had a previous theatre commitment and was unavailable.

-- The producers cast Willy Ross in the role of the assassin. Ross (whose real name was Steve Allen -- like the comedian/talk show host) was trying to make it as an actor after many years in many different professions. First, he was a police officer in Toronto who eventually grew bored with his job in the notably low-crime city. He signed up for an improvisational comedy course given by the famed Second City comedy troupe, and after a few classes was invited to join the group's most advanced seminar, a steppingstone to a professional career, in a remote Northern Ontario resort town. But his police duties prevented him from attending. He thought about it for a little while, then quit the police force, took his pension money in one lump sum, and went to Europe for six months. When he returned to Canada, he moved to Vancouver and supported himself with a new job: painting murals, usually on the walls of restaurants and young children's bedrooms. Several years later, attracted to a comedy course taught by two visiting Texas comedians, he launched another profession -- stand-up comedian. Then, in 1997, he decided to try and make it as an actor.

-- Ross' agent believed he would have some success auditioning for small cop roles on shows filming around town, but nothing happened. Then fate stepped in. The X-Files casting staff has pre-screened Ross previously and casting director Coreen Mayrs recalled there was something about him that stuck in her head. So she decided to audition him for the part of the assassin in the middle of all the other actors auditioning for the role. At the end of the session, Chris Carter said to her, "I liked this guy"; so she told him the actor's name was Willy Ross and that he'd never really done anything before. And Carter said, "That's okay. He can be Quiet Willy." It became a joke around the X-Files production offices, the name stuck, and the part of the assassin was rewritten -- without any lines.

-- Best Mulderism: "Please tell me you're here with severe chest pains."

-- Time Oopsie Redux: It's 9:33 when Samantha and her "father" arrive at the diner, yet it's 10:13 when she and Mulder get around to the heart of their conversation. Were they just sipping coffee all that time?

-- But it does allow for a 10:13 reference: The time shown on the clock when Mulder and Samantha are talking in the diner is 10:13 (Carter's birth date is 10/13).

-- The scene between Mulder and Samantha was just terrific, even though later we would find out it was a lie. But at the time, it foreshadowed the fact that when Mulder did finally find the thing that he had been looking for, it didn't mean the story would have a happy ending.

-- I always chuckle at Skinner doing his Forrest Gump impression at the hearings on cloning.

-- It seems like folks either really love or really hate Mulder's late-night visit to Scully's bedside. I think it really evokes Mulder's "quiet desperation" (and confirms the fanfic notion that Scully sleeps like a rock!) as all the emotions come pouring out, albeit silently.

-- This episode provides a wonderful parallel between our two heroes regarding the issue of faith. When the episode begins, both Mulder and Scully have lost their faith; but eventually, both decide to trust in that simple faith -- Scully in her religious beliefs and Mulder in the truth -- and that trust saves each of them in its own way.

-- Another favorite Mulderism: "Have the Father say a few hail Mulders for me, okay?"

-- Just let me say that I feel the next few minutes that follow that last exchange between M&S are some of the best in the series' history. Mulder's narration as the scenes cut back and forth to the action . . . Scully at death's door saying the rosary, the tension in the hearing room, CSM looking with longing at the photo of Fox and Samantha, Mulder making the big leap with his startling revelation, CSM shot, Blevins shot by the guy with no actual purpose until now, and CSM pulling the photo to him with his dying breath. I think there wasn't one among us who believed that CSM was dead; but the editing, the music, the writing, the acting, everything just came together to make it one of the finest moments ever. Terrific.

-- So what saved Scully? Was it faith? Divine intervention? The chip? Pure science fiction?" In true XF fashion, we would never know.

-- Also in true XF fashion, we were cheated out of the Mulder/Scully reunion after they find out that her cancer has gone into remission. We see Scully having a joyful reunion with her family, and to some extent, even a reunion with Skinner (who can forget the bloopers of this scene). But not with Mulder. Well, in some perverse way, I almost prefer we didn't get to see that reunion (please don't throw things). Reality very rarely lived up to our expectations, and I'm sure most of us could imagine just what such a reunion was like for the two of them. And I'm sure it was better than anything Chris Carter might have dreamed up. Some will say Chris Carter took the coward's way out; but I'm kind of glad that I got to use my imagination about what they might have said to each other, how those little hand-holds and sweet kisses might have escalated to hugs and even sweeter kisses, and about the tears they shed together as they celebrated her remission and as he told her about seeing and then losing Samantha.

-- The name Roush is probably a reference to TV Guide writer Matt Roush, who wrote many, many favorable articles on the X-Files. It is also interesting to note that "Rouche" is German for "revenge" and "Rauch" is German for "smoke".

-- When this episode first aired, many X-Philes attempted to go to [url]www.roush.com[/url] in an attempt to see if this would shed any light on where Carter got the name "Roush." The address took folks to the Pillsbury Home page. A few days later, Pillsbury replaced their original front page with a new one -- one with an X-Files-ish font that read "Believe the Pie" (a take off on the X-Files tagline "Believe the Lie")! A few days later, the page returned to its original format.

-- Once and Future Retreads: In addition to the other actors who appeared in one or both of the first two parts of this trilogy, Megan Leitch appeared as the grown-up Samantha Mulder. Brent Sheppard (who played a doctor) played the Prosecutor in "Pusher." And Willy Ross (Quiet Willy) showed up again in "Patient X" and "The Red and the Black."

-- Frank Spotnitz said, "'Redux II' was one of my favorite episodes. I think the story had a crystal purity and clarity and it just came to a perfect point for me." Chris Carter thought Redux II was one of the best episodes the show had ever done. And Gillian Anderson said, "I thought it was a terrific episode, especially the scenes in the hearing room, and the whole progression of Scully praying. How it was written and shot and how it was edited. Fabulous."

-- "Redux II" was the series' 100th episode filmed.

-- It's no coincidence that "Redux II" is our CTP Episode of the Day today. It was chosen specifically to be the Episode of the Day because ... this is the 100th Cherish the Past Episode of the Day that we've done since we started this little project to remember and celebrate the past! So thanks for sharing the memories! And now we have a little over a 100 episodes to go!

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

Polly