REPOST - CTP Episode of the Day - 03.30.06 - Three Words

(The CTP for "Three Words" was lost when Haven was hacked. It was originally posted on March 30, 2006, and is re-created here.)

Today's Cherished Episode: Three Words (8x18)
Original Air Date: April 8, 2001
Written By: Chris Carter & Frank Spotnitz
Directed By: Tony Wharmby
Wrangling his way back onto an X-File, Mulder gets in over his head trying to expose further evidence of colonization.

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"I'm going to get dressed. For the first time I feel like getting back to work."

Some "Three Words" Tidbits & Musings:

-- Before the episode aired, Shippers everywhere were getting their hopes up that the "Three Words" referenced in the title might be an "I love you" between Mulder and Scully. But in typical 1013 fashion the title was actually a reference to the words written on a homemade CD that a census worker tried to deliver to the President of the United States. The three words written on the disk were "Fight the Future," which was also the tagline for the X-Files feature film.

-- "Three Words" was the 18th episode filmed, but aired 16th.

-- "Three Words" was part of the show's first mid-season trilogy -- Part 1 was "This is Not Happening" (8x15), Part 2 was "Deadalive" (8x16), and Part 3 was "Three Words" (8x18) as a trilogy. The show went on hiatus for a month between "This is Not Happening" and "Deadalive" during which Fox ran episodes of The X-Files' spin-off series, The Lone Gunmen in the X-Files time slot.

-- Tony Wharmby joined the show's directing staff in Season 8 and directed nine episodes. He is currently working as a director on Bones.

-- The resurrected Mulder said he felt like "Austin Powers," a reference to the British secret agent played by Mike Myers in the film Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery and its two sequels. In the spy spoof comedy, Powers was placed into cryostasis at the end of the 1960s in case a spy of his talent was ever needed again. When he was thawed out in the 1990s, like Mulder, he had a bit of trouble adjusting to his new surroundings. Two X-Files alumni appeared in the original Austin Powers film, Diana Fowley herself, Mimi Rogers, who appeared as Austin's original partner, Mrs. Kensington, and Seth Green ("Deep Throat") who played Scott Evil in all three Powers' films.

-- Maybe He Owned the Apartment Building? Scully took Mulder back to his apartment when he got out of the hospital. Everything was still there (except for one molly) and according to Scully, it was even clean! It must have served as Scully's home-away-from-home, since Mulder was supposed to have died three months earlier. Who paid the rent for all that time? Or maybe Mulder owned the building.

-- Mollies are very hardy fish and easy to take care of. A good selection for Mulder.

-- The Prison Trustee who delivered a book to Absalom called himself "Marion the Librarian." This is a reference to a character "Marian the Librarian" in the musical The Music Man.

-- In the Bible, Absalom was the third son of David, King of Israel. He was deemed the handsomest man in the kingdom and was known for having long hair -- as does the Absalom in this episode.

-- The book the Trustee gave to Absalom, hiding the newspaper article about the White House incident, was titled The Coming Apocalypse. In the X-Files film Fight the Future, Alvin Kurtzweil wrote books about the coming apocalypse.

-- "Impressive, sir? The only thing impressive about my work on the X-Files is that I even know what's going on half the time." Millions of Mulder fans wholeheartedly agreed.

-- "Agent Doggett is above reproach." Millions of Mulder fans threw up.

-- Absalom kidnapped Doggett to be the "Doubting Thomas to spread the word" that the alien invasion had already begun. Doubting Thomas is a term used to describe someone who refuses to believe something without direct, personal evidence -- a skeptic. The term is based on the Biblical account of Thomas the Apostle, who doubted the resurrection of Jesus and demanded to feel Jesus' wounds before being convinced (John 20:24-29). After seeing Jesus alive and receiving the opportunity to touch his wounds -- according to the Gospel of John -- Thomas professed his faith in Jesus.

-- Absalom's line to Doggett, "Certain men have gone out among you and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city saying, 'let us go, and serve other gods that ye have not known,'" is a rough translation of Deuteronomy 13:13 and refers to false prophets. Absalom, of course, is referring to the aliens who have taken over the bodies of humans like Billy Miles, also known in the series as replicants.

-- It's the Little Things: The picture of Samantha on Mulder's old desk; return of the Mulderisms; the Mulder/Frohike hug.

-- Mulder's line, "Just remember boys, this is America. Just because you get more votes doesn't mean you win," was a reference to the fact that George W. Bush became president of the United States despite opponent Al Gore receiving more of the popular vote.

-- As the Lone Gunmen helped Mulder break into the Federal Statistics Center, the Gunmen had more dialogue which was shown in closed captioning but not heard in the aired version. One of Langly's cut lines was, "This wiring must have been color coded by Helen Keller."

-- To the surprise of just about no one, the end of the episode revealed Knowle Rohrer to have the telltale sign of an alien replicant -- the peculiar bump on the back of the neck.

-- The role of the Prison Armed Guard was played by Dwight Hicks, former free safety of the San Francisco 49ers. He was the team's defensive captain from 1983 - 1985 and his outstanding play led him to four consecutive Pro Bowl appearances. He also led the team in interceptions in 1979, 1980, 1981, and 1983. In 1981, Dwight played a pivotal role in the 49ers first Super Bowl victory. In 1984, "Dwight Hicks and the Hot Licks" (the entire 49ers secondary) made the Pro Bowl and won Super Bowl XIX.

-- Once & Future Retreads: Adam Baldwin (Knowle Rohrer) played the same character in "Per Manum," "Existence," "Nothing Important Happened Today II," and "The Truth." Nelson Mashita (Dr. Lim) played the same role in "Deadalive." Judson Scott (Absalom) played the same role in "This is Not Happening" and "Deadalive."

-- Mulder's line, "I have no idea where I fit in right now," seemed to echo David Duchovny's own sentiments about returning to The X-Files on a limited basis for part of Season 8. When the season was over, he was publicizing his movie Evolution when it was announced that the show would return for a ninth season. During his Evolution interviews, Duchovny made it quite clear he would not consider returning for any part of the next season.

-- "Fox Mulder is 'kissin' and runnin'," Duchovny said. "I'm done with the TV show. I don't think it's fair to me or the fans to do more cameos. But it's hard to walk away," Duchovny added. "I not only miss Mulder, but I miss the show. I miss having my own show. It's fun having your own show."

-- "I think the consciousness of the show was this quest of Mulder's and the core of the show was Mulder and Scully," Duchvony said. "When I came back at the end of this year -- by necessity, by my choice of not being on the show full-time -- other stories and other ideas had come to center stage. When I came back, I felt somewhat peripheral. Mulder's story was one of three or four stories that were going on and it didn't feel like the same show to me."

-- "When we were doing the last two episodes, I felt like, 'This isn't a resolution for my character,'" Duchovny said. "We were resolving things that had nothing to do with Mulder. I felt like it was a lost opportunity. I felt like the last two episodes could have been a real send-off for Mulder."

-- Duchovny also noted that he had very little warning that the eighth season would end with a kiss between Mulder and Scully. "They have this idea that stuff might get stolen and put on the Internet," he said. "It's frustrating to me because I'm an actor and I'd like to have the scene more than two hours before I play it. I think the scene was written that Scully gave Mulder a kiss on the forehead, but I didn't trust my own feelings about it at that point. I had so many personal feelings -- it was eight years of my life -- and I didn't know what would be an appropriate ending. Kim Manners and I were discussing it, and he said, 'We've done that a hundred times, the whole hand-holding and kiss on the forehead. We should do a real kiss.' And I thought, 'Yeah that feels right. At least it's something different at the end.'"

-- While Duchovny was grateful that fans were happy he had returned for part of Season 8, he said that to continue the cameos "felt cheap," and that it wouldn't be fair to the show's rabid followers. "I think to bring back Mulder peripherally is not fair to the character that I feel a lot of affinity for. I feel that fans respect Mulder as the center consciousness of the show. And to have him come back like Superman's dad or whatever -- it just feels cheap to me."

-- Duchovny said that his limited involvement at the end of Season 8 "made it weirder. It was almost like a stepdad was in the house ... and I still had my stuff in the house."

-- But he was quick to add that it wasn't weird on the set. "I loved working with Robert [Patrick]," he said. "I had a great time. In fact, for years I had said we needed more characters. Gillian and I were tired. And I would say there was no other show in the history of television that had the schedule we had, because every week we were doing an hour-long special-effects TV show with two people. No one had that kind of workload. I thought adding more characters or beefing up the roles of some of our other regular characters would help take the load off of Gillian and me, but that idea never seemed to catch on."

-- Fox executives said they would love for Duchovny to return for the ninth season, but the actor said he was not offered anything in particular to stay on the show, nor did Gillian Anderson, who was contractually committed to returning for the ninth season, try to talk him out of leaving. "Gillian did not try to convince me to stay," he said. "She's going through the same thing, she totally understands." (After the ninth season was announced, Gillian Anderson advised Chris Carter that it would definitely be her last.)

-- Asked about Duchovny's comments that Mulder's final episodes were a "lost opportunity," Frank Spotnitz said, "I think David was happy with his last scene with Gillian [the kiss]. But he spoke to us about his disappointment at the time. I think what happened was impossible to avoid. He left for 11 shows, and that wasn't our decision -- it was his. And we had to keep telling stories without him, and we had to redefine what the TV series was. The series was all about David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson's characters for seven years, and suddenly we had to find a way to make this television show viable. And that's what we did. We introduced Doggett and later Reyes. The show had changed and it was no longer just 'The Mulder and Scully Show,' and it couldn't suddenly just go back to being 'The Mulder and Scully Show' when David's character returned. I think what he was reacting to was the fact that he used to be it -- he was the driving force behind every story. And that just wasn't possible anymore given what the show had become and where it was going."

-- "We knew when we shot the Season 8 finale that David would not be back for another season," Spotnitz added. "We still hoped that he would come back in some way, shape, or form cameos or whatever -- or that he would at least be open to coming back at some point. He indicated he needed a break from the character and I totally respect that. There were no hard feelings whatsoever about that. The guy worked his ass off for a very, very long time. X-Files was a very hard show. But David had a standing invitation to come back at any time. After David left the show, he and Chris still talked all the time. The door was always open."

-- Of course, David Duchovny did return to the X-Files in Season 9, but not for cameos -- he directed one episode ("William") and after Carter announced he was pulling the plug on the series at the end of the ninth season, he agreed to appear in the series finale, "The Truth."

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(Thanks to chrisnu for today's pics.)

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

Polly