Theatre of the Mind ~ Beyond the Sea
(quite possibly the best episode of Season 1)

1. Scully certainly knows how to get in the Christmas spirit - for a single woman, she has more Christmas decorations than I've ever seen!

2. Makes me glad to know that Christmas once brought such joy to Scully-and makes me sad to think that maybe now it brings bittersweet memories (BTS, Emily).

3. Though ghostbusting with Mulder wasn't such a bad way to spend the holiday; at least it ended nicely!

4. We meet Ma and Pa Scully for the first time, and see what a warm and loving relationship Scully has with her folks. What a contrast to Ma and Pa Mulder who we won't meet till Season 2 (the family who put the "fun" back in dysfunctional!)

5. "Treat yourself." That phrase is used a lot in the XF and I just find it odd.

6. Love the salute and "smooth sailing, Ahab."

7. This scene where so much is left unsaid says so much.

8. Time out for very frightening vision: Ron Popeil infomercial. $39.92 for spray paint to cover your bald spot. Maybe it can also be used to paint X's in roadways.

9. After her vision of her father, then her look of complete and utter disbelief when she learns of his death, we know Scully's belief system is in for a roller coaster ride.

10. You can't say that Scully hasn't noticed Mulder's pornography fascination.

11. Dana, Dana, Dana. Funny how it sounded false to Scully way back then, and it certainly sounds false to us now.

12. For the first time, role reversal: Mulder is become skeptical; Scully is become believer.

13. As will become her trademark, Scully must bury herself in work when she is suffering the most.

14. Dana sounds false, but cupping of the cheek is genuine and intimate.

15. You can almost see Scully's internal debate: should I or shouldn't I look at this file?

16. I am seriously worried about Mulder's filing system. Why is "Visionary encounters with the dead" in the top drawer? Is everything else filed under "X"?

17. Looks like everyone makes an appearance at the funeral except Melissa. I'm assuming that's Charlie and wife and two kids, and Bill and Tara. It is "just the family" after all.

18. Which I was glad to hear, because I wasn't going to forgive Mulder for not attending.

19. While her family grieves, Scully only wants to know one thing: was he proud of me at all?

20. Kudos to Brad Dourif; he oozes the definition of creepy. When he says "Fox . . . Dana . . ." it just sends chills up my spine.

21. Chills of another sort: Mulder's whispered, "I tore this off my NY Knicks tee-shirt. It has nothing to do with the crime." But then I giggle as I think of Clyde Bruckman.

22. Scully's look is perfect when she hears "Beyond the Sea".

23. Love Protective!Mulder. "Did Boggs say something to you?" I'll go in there and rip his head off!

24. How much has the tide turned? Skeptic!Scully sits in her hotel room and tries to conjure up the vision of her dead father.

25. Great Mulderism: "After 3 hours I asked him to summon up the soul of Jimi Hendrix and requested All Along the Watch Tower. You know the guy's been dead 20 years but he still hasn't lost his edge."

26. As we'll learn in later years/episodes, Scully has father figure issues with powerful men (like Mulder). First glimpse here as Scully transfers her need to please her father to a need to please Mulder. "I thought you'd be pleased that I'd opened myself to extreme possibilities."

27. Not sure what I think of Mulder in this episode. He has shown us that he believes in anything and everything, but he is adamant not to believe here. Worse yet, he seems to be chastising Scully for daring to believe when that's what he's asked of her time and time again up to this point. I feel like he's kicking her when she's down.

28. Love the scene on the bed when Scully becomes almost as tall as Mulder.

29. "Turn off that phone!" Oh, it's mine? Better answer it then.

30. FBI raid-wear is looking good!

31. Psychic!Scully just knows that it's Mulder who's been shot.

32. For all those debating whether Mulder is or he isn't as we lead up to S8, please note that at least at this point, Mulder is bleeding RED!

33. And the Emmy goes to . . . well, it should have. Some of the finest acting GA has ever done on TXF. She has come a long way in 13 short episodes.

34. And I quote: "You set us up. You're in on this with Lucas Henry. This was a trap for Mulder because he helped put you away. Well, I came here to tell you that if he dies because of what you've done, four days from now nobody will stop me from being the one that'll throw the switch and gas you out of this life for good you son of a bitch."

35. Scully transforms from tough G-woman to little girl and back again in the span of about 3 minutes. Simply awesome.

36. Starbuck . . . and she melts.

37. Boggs' memories of his gas chamber near-miss are frightful.

38. "It might be a cold dark place for you, but it's not for Mulder, and it's not for my father."

39. The first of many hospital bedside vigils/conversations.

40. Guess what, Mulder? It's not always about you.

41. I'm sure the other agent in the raid appreciated getting to go up the stairs first so he could get smacked in the head with a bucket.

42. As evil as Boggs is, in the end we feel some compassion for him because he helped save our Scully. Perhaps she helped save him as well.

43. Maybe it's just me, but I think I could come up with a better menu than fried chicken, potatoes, peas, pie, and beer for my last meal. And Boggs orders it not once, but twice! Must love that chicken from Popeyes!

44. In the end, of course, the roles cross paths again and Mulder is once more the believer while Skeptical!Scully tries to rationalize and explain away what has happened to her.

45. Purely selfish and self-serving comment: Mulder looks pretty damn good in that hospital bed!

46. And that last exchange: "Dana, after all you've seen, after all the evidence, why can't you believe?" "I'm afraid; I'm afraid to believe." "You couldn't face that fear? Even if it meant never knowing what your father wanted to tell you?" "But I do know." "How?" The slight smile. "He was my father." And then the shoulder grab. :::sigh:::

47. Hope you're enjoying these TOTMs as much as I'm enjoying bringing them to you when filling in for Paula. Like Scully, "I love this job."