A brief note: I'm well aware that a submarine plays a crucial role in this ep, so I apologize in advance for any submarine jokes here, in light of the recent tragedy regarding the Russian sub. None are intended to be in poor taste, and I apologize in advance if any appear to be, as I *am* trying to make a conscious effort to stay in good taste. Okay, without further ado, here comes:

Theatre of the Mind ~ End Game
By BearBerg

1. Okay, quick recap on everything you probably missed on "Colony," just to bring you up to speed and make sure you're not *too* confused -- or at least not as confused as you were before.

2. If you're *still* confused, don't worry -- you're not alone. If you're *more* confused, sorry, the only help we can offer at this point is the professional kind, and I'm not even sure if *those* guys could help! (And no, they can't hollow out a dime at 200 yards -- sorry!)

3. But hey, quick overview for the heck of it -- a bunch of guys on a boat watched a spaceship crash, a big mean guy (ABH) killed some doctor, Scully said something about clones, a bunch of clones begged for help, Mulder watched his mom cry as Dad told him she was talking to Little Sister, Little Sister told Big Brother she was in danger, some guy stomped on some green thingie, a bald guy in a trenchcoat morphed into the mean guy (ABH), and Scully got a call from Mulder, who was standing right there! Okay, I think that about covers it, let's move on…

4. Ah-ha, we're around *Deadhorse, Alaska,* where "Boy Wonder" was found at the beginning of "Colony!" We're getting closer, guys -- hang in there!

4. And you guys thought the *Titanic* was bad -- at least *that* was just one lousy iceberg! There's ice all *over* the place here, and it's *cracking!* They just *don't* make ice like they used to…::sigh:: (And, as we see in the movie three years later, the stability in ice *really* hasn't improved much over time, despite the fact that it's pretty much on the *other* end of the globe! So much for progress…)

5. Geez, the cruising depth is a good 1,000 feet and they're *still* cutting the ice? *Surely* they could do better than that!

6. Hmmm, wonder if the captain even *noticed* that officer doing that salute? He certainly seemed to be in something of a hurry there!

7. Ah, here we have another young, attractive officer who's reminding me of Krycek! Sheesh, I've *still* got him on the brain, even though I know we won't see him again until "Anasazi?" Either that or those clones are getting around even better than we thought!

8. I like the fact that our latest "Krycek-clone" decided to throw in that the mysterious object in the ice was "noisy." Wouldn't you think that the captain would eventually pick up on *that* little item?

9. "Noisy, how?" Nope, guess not. Sheesh, do these guys have to explain *everything* around here? Guess so…::sigh::…um, Captain, the object is *noisy* because it *makes noise*! Duh!

10. Uh-oh, the captain's just gotten on the phone! Too bad he didn't have a chance to observe our dynamic duo's trouble in *that* little area!

11. Am I the only one who envisions the admiral's end of the line as what I personally like to refer to as the "Wa-Wa Adult Voices" you hear in all those Charlie Brown specials? You know -- "wuh-Wa-wuh-Wa-wuh-Wa-Wa-Waaaa…" (Hey, you can only depict so much with a keyboard!)

12. I like the way this "Krycek-clone" thinks -- "Captain, shouldn't we at least attempt to identify this object first?" Unfortunately the orders seem to be coming from a shoot-first-ask-questions-later mentality of authority. Too bad that mentality hasn't worked on ABH thus far…

13. BZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! Hey, Captain, is *that* noisy enough for ya?

14. Uh, Houston, we have a problem with the power! Hope the boys checked the batteries before they left, since they're on battery power there! (You know, so they can keep going and going and going…)

15. "Surface into what? We're under 32 feet of glacial ice!" Funny, that seemed to be the opposite problem of the Titanic!

16. And now back to our "Boy Wonder" -- when last we left him, it appeared he had achieved his lifelong dream of being two places at once, being both *with* Scully in her hotel room and *away* from her, on her cell phone. (Try not to think of *that* one too much -- you'll just get a headache worse than the one Mulder will suffer four years later in "BioGenesis!" Trust me!)

17. You know, the more I think of it, the more I think our "Boy Wonder" could actually get more done that wa…uh, never mind, I think my mind just slipped in the gutter again!

18. Uh-oh, *both* Mulders are getting suspicious! Will the real Fox Mulder please stand up? (Or *speak* up, as the case may be…)

19. Oh, geez, she's dismissing the *real* Mulder as a *wrong number*?!? Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't that sort of count as a ditch?

20. TWC#1: Nice authentic "bedhead" messy flop forward from the ponytail, considering that "Mulder #1" pretty much woke her up!

21. Oooh, *here's* the moment we've been waiting for -- Scully's turning her gun on Mulder, or at least *a* Mulder! I think she pretty much knows it's not him; otherwise, she'd go ahead and shoot! (See "Anasazi.")

22. Okay, so she's pulled a gun on Mulder! It's not the first time, and it won't be the last!

23. "Don't shoot me -- I got shot once, and I didn't much care for it." Hmmm, the ABH must have a nice ear for detail -- he probably knows of Mulder's little incident in North Carolina in "Beyond the Sea!" Either that, or he's referring to his own experience with Weiss!

24. Yikes! *there's* something we haven't seen yet -- Mulder *slugging* Scully! Here's hoping we don't see that again too much in the future from the *real* Mulder -- this is hard enough! ::shudder::

25. Boy, our "Boy Wonder" *really* has been working out lately, hasn't he? sure, Scully's a relative lightweight, but *still*, being able to pin her against the wall *and* lift her at the same time? Can you say "Incredible Hulk"?

26. Well, so much for the nice glass table! Looks like the "Vacation Village Motor Lodge" is living up to its reputation after all!

27. Well, the *real* Fox Mulder seems to have his usual timing -- the place is deserted! (Wonder if he had yet another conversation with that hotel manager? ::shudder:

28. Hmmm, those unshaded lamps seem to make for very effective flashlights, don't they?

29. Okay, brief gutter moment -- notice the state of disarray in which the bed is now in, and the fact that "Boy Wonder" actually bothered to check! Draw your own conclusions from *that* one, cause I'm *not* going there!

30. "She might have let him in; she might not have known who she was, she might have thought it was you!" Isn't it just annoying having a know-it-all for a little sister? ::sigh::

31. Ah, and Little Miss Know-It-All knows that the only way to kill good old ABH is by piercing the base of his skull *precisely*. No pressure, Mulder…

32. "I'm fairly sure it will work." "*Fairly* sure?" Um, *pretty* sure? Well, so much for being Little Miss Know-It-All!

33. "Now how do we find him?" "We don't -- he'll find us." Oh, good, I was afraid we actually had a fighting *chance* there for a second…

34. TWC#2: Doesn't our worried, confused Mulder in his black trench coat and suit just look entirely *too* dashing with the light against that growing-out buzz cut? Whoo-boy!

35. I just realized that both the Alaska ER doctor and "Samantha" have what appear to be moles or zits or something at the tops of their foreheads. Could they be related in Real Life, perhaps? or is this a *deeper* plot that has yet to be revealed? stay tuned…

36. Hey, Mulder's alarm clock has those two dots on the left side, just like mine! Cool! Heehee…

37. Why does the site of Mulder pacing up and down in his own apartment waiting for the call remind me a bit of an expectant father? (Hmmmm…maybe he managed to release some of that anxiety by moving the computer to his desk!)

38. Ah, some of Mulder's frustration over the whole situation is surfacing -- could he be having some doubts about his "sister?"

39. Hey, the plot is starting to tie in a bit! Turns out the folks "Samantha" is trying to save are clones identical to her adoptive parents! Sure, that makes sense…I think…

40. How did Little Sister get to be so much smarter than Big Brother, anyway? she sounds as though she's reciting a memorized script again!

41. "That's a good story, but I've heard a lot of good stories lately." Hmmm, are we beginning to hear a shade of skepticism?

42. "I'm your sister, Fox. You have to trust me." See also Scully in the Pilot and Scully again in "Demons." This chick has *definitely* been boning up on Scully's dialogue, *that's* for sure! (This will be important later, no doubt!)

43. Wouldn't you know *that* would be the exact moment for a pesky knock at the door?!?

44. And of course, it just *happens* to be LeBoss, whose mood doesn't appear to have improved since, oh, about his first scene in "Colony"? Guess Mulder's uncharacteristically cordial yet cautious "Who is it?" didn't exactly make the best impression!

45. Another classic Mulderism: "Why are the lights out?" "Orders from my optimologist." Gotta love *that* one, though I think it's safe to say that personally, if *I* were his optimologist, I'd insist he'd wear those glasses more on a regular basis, straight through to Season Seven! Heeheehee…

46. "I've been trying to reach you and Agent Scully!" Ack, again with the phone problems! Will this *ever* abate? Okay, everybody, all together now -- DOH!!!

47. Here's hoping for Mulder's sake that he's not up for reviews! On top of the lousy week he's *already* been having with Skinner, I *seriously* doubt pulling a gun on him at this point is going to make the very best impression career-wise!

48. How convenient Scully call Mulder *right* after he just finished telling Skinner she was missing! Guess she's not *that* missing after all! (Apparently, they've also finally worked that silly "phone bug" out!)

49. Well, poor old Scully's looked better, even at the hands of Donnie Pfaster! (Word of advise should you perchance get beaten up by an ABH: do *not* wear white! Those blood stains are absolute *murder* to get out, no pun intended!)

50. Am I the only one getting dizzy watching the camera circle around Scully in that phone booth? Round and round and round she goes…

51. "If I ever needed your help, your *trust*, I need it now." Oh, yeah, sure, Agent Mulder, after you get a field agent killed, go behind my back disobeying a direct order and, on top of *that*, pull your *gun* on me? *trust* you? Sure, why not? I gotta hand it to Skinner, he's a *lot* more understanding than *I'd* probably be in this type of situation! If I were Skinner, I think Mulder would be on his way to the Hoover mail room by now!

52. "Old Memorial Bridge is falling down, falling down, falling down…" Seriously, what *is* it with these aliens and bridges and dams? Are they just hoping to catch up on their swimming while here on Earth, or what? (See also Season 5, "Patient X/The Red and the Black")

53. Call me crazy, but that one so-called sharpshooter next to Skinner makes me a tad nervous. I don't know why, but he just cracks me up for some crazy reason!

54. Well, so much for those good old Fords -- I just realized Mulder and "Samantha" pulled up in an old-fashioned Buick! Daddy's car, perhaps? Hey, maybe Daddy Mulder's not as cold as we thought if he let the kids borrow the car! Either that, or he was just trying to give them some time to catch up on old times, like remembering just how many nicknames they could come up with associated with the word "butt" for instance! (That one's for you, Polly! ::vbg:

55. "These guys can hollow out a dime at 200 yards." Um, Mulder, we *are* talking about that guy with Skinner, right? I mean, call me paranoid, but hey, I'm from the "Show-Me State" -- I *gotta* see the dime, darn it!

56. Hmmm, the arrangement for the trade reminds me a bit of the famous showdown from "High Noon" for some reason! I'm a little surprised we don't have a black car vs. a white car!

57. Oh, wait, it *is* a black car vs. a white car -- ABH has the black car! (I'm *assuming* Mulder's Buick is white, though it *could* be a light blue for all I know…)

58. Aww, how sweet! ABH actually cleaned up Scully a bit for Mulder! (Guess he had to make the package halfway presentable for the trade…) Now if he would just let her *breathe* a little bit while he's holding that gun to her head, I think we'll be in business!

59. Ah, the "Killer DD Emotion-levels" strike again as ABH demands that Mulder bring "Samantha" out of the car! Nasty little flashback to the first time Fox lost his little sister…::sniff::

60. TWC#3: I *must* say that the Mark Snow score here adds a nice bit of tension to the standoff -- classic!

61. Great CC Commentary on this tape: The explanation as to why Mulder, forced to choose between his sister and his partner ultimately elects his partner is due to the fact that he's not 100% sure that the woman even *is* his sister, but is *very* sure that it's the real Scully, and of course, he *trusts* Scully! My input: in addition to that, I think it's remotely plausible that Mulder thinks Scully is hot!

62. Gotta hand it to Scully -- when Mulder asks her if she's all right, she opts for "I'm okay" rather than the usual "I'm fine." Guess she figured it was time for a change of pace…

63. "I lost the shot." Another line I'm tempted to add "dude" or "man" to the end of; must be the CC surfboard mentality…

64. "We've got both sides of the bridge covered." Um, did I miss something? I only saw *one* side of the bridge covered! Did that sharpshooter clone himself, or what? (If so, I think we're in more trouble than we initially realized!)

65. And they both tumble into the freezing water below, leading to the *ultimate* devastation for Mulder as he stared in disbelief at the water and cries out his sister's name in despair, leaving a shocked Scully in the car to realize she's just been traded by her partner for his own long-lost sister. And of course, as always, both DD and GA pull it off just *beautifully!* ::sniff::

66. Ah, the sight of a desperate Mulder hunched over the bridge watching the divers searching for bodies as one of those good old-fashioned light teal Ford Tauruses eclipses the dark blue Taurus already there. Have I mentioned just how much I *miss* the days of the Fords on this show? ::sigh::

67. TWC#4: I like the way the blood on Scully's clothes is nice and dry-looking, an appropriate dark-brown -- very realistic! Kudos to the boys at props -- or is that the costuming department? Whatever…

68. Poor old Mulder, *desperately* trying to convince herself that perhaps his "sister" *did* survive the icy plunge -- "Maybe she went into hypothermic shock -- I've heard about people who've lived after being stranded in water like this, eight to ten hours." And poor Scully is torn between reassuring Mulder, trying to understand why he traded her for someone he lost long ago, that he once said nothing else mattered, and as always trying to understand the whole darn situation.

69. "Are you sure that it's your sister?" "Why would you question me on that?" How interesting it is that Mulder should snap at Scully when she asks the million-dollar question to which, in all honesty, the answer is no! *Who* is this guy trying to fool, anyway?

70. "Because back at the motel, Mulder, it was you, but it *wasn't* you!" For some crazy reason, this line reminds me of that line from that Garth Brooks song "The Fever" -- "We're all here cause he's not all there tonight." Guess that would explain the rather large plethora of MulderFans, wouldn't it?

71. Of course it goes without saying, but yet *another* incredible scene between our dynamic duo! Need I once again mention how much I'm going to *miss* this during Season Eight? ::sniff::

72. "I already told Skinner, that was the easy part -- now I gotta tell my father." Sheesh, considering the mood Skinner has been in all along, if Mulder considers *Skinner* to be "the easy one," I can just *imagine* how tough it'll be with Dear Old Dad! ::shudder::

73. "You didn't have me come all this way to give me good news." Um, hello, who flagged down whom about the "family emergency" to begin with, Pop? (Well, I see where Mulder gets his "Pot vs. Kettle" methods in arguing…::sigh:

74. Yet *another* electrifying scene, this one in Mulder's apartment! I *dare* any Net Newswriter to watch DD struggle with the tears in this scene, an adult coping with guilt in front of an unforgiving father reducing him to a ten-year-old boy, and *then* try to say "David *who*?!?" Not bloody likely!!!

75. Having said that, Peter Donat is no slouch either -- ooh, that scowl gives me the absolute *chills!* ::shudder::

76. Not that he plays "Big Bad Daddy" all through the scene -- watch PD toward the end, having finally reduced Mulder to tears, as he struggles with his own emotions to inform him that "his sister" left an envelope for him at the house. Specifically, listen to the way he chokes on the word "sister," how he can just barely seem to get it out. The "death-scowl" is still very much in place; you have to listen to the tone of voice. And throughout the whole scene, you'll occasionally see a twitch here and there, almost as an indication that he's struggling to conceal his own emotions. Unbelievable!

77. And here Mulder finds himself at yet another clinic, thanks to a cryptic note left by his "sister" *just* as his phone rings -- apparently we're finally back on track in *that* department, thank Heavens!

78. So naturally, it's Scully with bad news -- they found "Little Sister." At least she *tries* to help by saying "…whatever you're feeling, you can't blame yourself. I think both she and the rest of the audience realize by now that is *exactly* what he's feeling and doing at that point; of course, the fact that it followed up the little tete-a-tete with Daddy didn't exactly help matters!

79. You know, those FBI jackets with the white Helvetica letters are interesting and all, but somehow I'm rather spoiled by those *great*-looking yellow Impact-esque letters from the movie! JMHO…and yes, there *will* be a quiz on this at the end of this TOTM! ::vbg::

80. For some crazy reason, when that one medic is informing Scully that something strange is happening to the body they pulled from the water, that guy at the top of the hill just standing there looking on for no apparent reason cracks me up. Maybe the director got him up there not for any particular function, simply to balance the shot? Also, is it just me, or does that guy look an awful lot like a young Charles Martin Smith with hair? (See "F. Emasculata.")

81. Look at Samantha! she's meeeeltiiiing, meeeeltiiiiing…(Hmmm, whomever was impersonating her must have been using silly puddy for a mask!)

82. Meanwhile, for whatever reason, Mulder has decided to go ahead and check the place out with the key "Samantha" sent him. You gotta love this gal -- she was obviously planning ahead here with a key, address and everything!

83. Gee, Mulder, you never told us you had twin sisters! (Apparently from the look on his face, he didn't know either!)

84. Hmmm, here we go with those cannisters again…sort of looks like vats of lime jello, or tapioca pudding, though I haven't decided which yet…

85. Oy, vey, Samantha is now *triplets*?!? or is color-blindness the least of Mulders optical problems at the moment? Looks like he would have done well to follow the orders of his optimologist after all!

86. "It was all a lie." Arggh! the look of complete anger on Mulder's face when he realizes he's been betrayed! *Fantastic!* I *have* mentioned how *fabulous* DD is in this ep, haven't I? heeheehee…

87. Isn't it funny how they all know his name? Ah, and for creatures with no emotion, they seem to have pinpointed *his* emotional Achilles heel -- "She was the first. The one from which we all came. The one you must save." (*Please* don't ask me how this relates to what we find out about the *real* Samantha in "Closure," I have *no* idea! I'm just trying to handle this one step at a time here!)

88. Am I the only one that finds the dialogue over Mulder's *choice* ironic considering this scene takes place in an abortion clinic?

89. BRRRRRRRINGGGGG!!! "He's here." Awww, maybe we're wrong about ABH, maybe he's not so bad! I mean, hey, he *did* use the doorbell, right?

90. Ah, SuperMulder strikes again -- fearlessly barrelling down a smoke-filled hallway, valiantly ignoring his fear of fire, plunging onward…right into the fist of our dear friend, the Alien Bounty-Hunter! So much for giving ABH the benefit of the doubt; he's definitely a creep!

91. TWC#5: Okay, maybe it's the sick MulderTorturist part of me, but there's just *something* about our "Boy Wonder" lying semi-conscious in that smoke-filled hallway that just gets to me for some crazy reason! ::sigh::

92. Meanwhile, the Cavalry arrive just in time to save Mulder from turning into "Barbequed Fox;" Scully types up her report about Mulder's unsuccessful attempts to find the "Samanthas" (presumably on the Mac Mulder's been using in the office throughout the ep; it's in the x-files office, apparently, but does that mean much at this point?), and Scully makes a lovely little discovery about Weiss (*beyond* the BVDs, thankfully -- whew!) and the virus that will help her out later in the long run! ::vbg:: (BTW, *love* that bright blue representation of the retrovirus against the red background -- *very* attractive indeed!)

93. And speaking of red, is it just me, or is Scully a bit more blond in that scene? hmmm, could that be the *real* Scully, or has someone found a way to imperfectly clone her hair?

94. Whoo-hoo-- X in a tux, and he delivers a *great* line quite stylishly: "How was the opera?" "Wonderful -- I've never slept better!" You da man!

95. Another great X line, though I'm *still* trying to figure out if he's referring to Mulder's situation or the opera: "It's over. The fat lady is singing." (Quick possible reference: the expression "It ain't over till the fat lady sings" most likely hails from the likes of "La Traviata," where the lead, Violetta, ill with consumption, joyfully declares that her health has returned, only to collapse to her death. In early productions of "La Traviata," Violetta, in the grand tradition of operatic leads, was usually played by a rather endowed soprano with a powerful voice, thus making it a bit hard for the audience to believe this character could actually be ill with consumption. Thus, the expression can also be explained as "It's not over until everyone's dead," referring to opera's reputation of killing off half the cast by the end. There could also be something of a metaphorical parallel here to the situation here as well, as X goes on to explain that Mulder must choose his battles wisely, adding, "This is a battle you can't win." The last, of course, is just my own observation…)

96. Ooh, I just *love* the way X narrows his eyes after he tells Mulder that he can't win this battle! ::shudder::

97. Observation #1 on Newspaper-Stack: Considering how close she's standing to those two papers at Mulder's doorstep, how come it took Scully so long to realize they were actually there? and while we're on the subject…

98. Observation #2 on Newspaper-Stack: For someone who's supposedly notorious for being paranoid, wouldn't you think that Mulder would have enough sense to have someone like, say, the Gunmen to come collect his papers so as not to telegraph to the entire building that it's been awhile since he's been home? just a thought…(Then again, maybe he's *so* paranoid, he doesn't even trust the *Gunmen* with his *newspapers,* I don't know…)

99. Apparently sometime between the adventure with his "sister" and his visit with X, Mulder has found time to move his computer from whatever room he was keeping it in to the desk in his living room, next to his handy little "X-window." It amazes me how easy it is apparently for these characters to ever-so-casually move their computers all over heck's half-acre, not to mention switch from Macs to PCs from time to time whenever the moment suits them. Evidently alien-hunting on behalf of the government pays quite well to accomodate these sorts of things!

100. Mulder's computer really *is* a machine of utter amazement! To turn it on, simply press *only* the monitor button, and the *entire* system will start, conveniently skipping that annoying little "Microsoft Windows" screen, and *immediately* dialing up the Internet (which somehow manages to skip what Dave Barry once referred to as "what sounds like a duck choking on a kazoo" -- heehee, how true!) for an *instant* email check! If *anybody* has a computer like this at home, I wanna talk trade!

101. TWC#6: For some crazy reason, I *love* those little "dingy noises" Mulder's computer makes as it's starting up and after it's logged on to the Internet!

102. I just *love* the way Scully only clicks on the "Message Waiting" line *once*, and the entire email message pops up! Checking email should be *this* quick and easy…::sigh::

103. Inside Joke Alert: Observing what is apparently our dynamic duo's email addresses at the time (and just how the heck did they get off leaving out the @ symbol? oh, well…), Scully's address, "001013," is of course the birthdate of not only "Boy Wonder" in the show, but also CC in real life. Mulder's address, meanwhile, 000517, is the birthdate of Frank Spotnitz's wife.

104. Too bad Mulder didn't write his "Dear Scully" email note in the days of HTML email -- he could have actually given Scully something of a visual representation when he got to the line, "You said a line had to be drawn somewhere, and I'm drawing it for you here." Oh, well…

105. Methinks Mulder's computer has something of an identity crisis -- while clearly a Windows format, the fonts used on both the "window bars" and in the actual note itself are either Charcoal or Chicago, which pre-Mac System 8.5 users such as myself might recognize as the *only* options for fonts used in "window bars" before System 8.5 provided a wider, cooler range of fonts to choose from. Maybe Scully's more or less converting Mulder into a Mac mentality or something, between that and the Mac used in the office.

106. Oh, *nice*, Scully -- just walk into the guy's apartment and flip on the computer without bothering to flip it off? I mean, hey, it's bad enough the guy will most likely be coming home to a tank full of dead fish -- are you trying to kill off his computer too while you're at it?

107. Little note on Scully's wardrobe -- correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't that the same ribbed shirt she was wearing the night Mulder got shot on the docks in "Beyond the Sea?" a little relevence there on the part of CC&Co., perhaps?

108. Another little observation on this whole scene -- compare the relative calm of Mulder's note with the panic on the message Scully left on Mulder's answering machine in "Duane Barry" and "Ascension," and how *both* reunions more or less wind up in hospitals in the long run. (*No*, I haven't given anything away -- it was in the teaser of "Colony," remember?)

109. Ah, the scene where Scully more or less throws herself at the mercy of Skinner, who's been less than thrilled with Mulder throughout most of the episode, and implores him to aid her in her search for Mulder using "unofficial channels." (Oh, *please* tell me they'll resort to "unofficial channels" just *once* in Season Eight, Kersh or no Kersh!)

110. TWC#7: Watch how Scully shifts from side to side at the beginning of this scene -- she *knows* she's asking an *awful* lot from Skinner at this point. Reminds me a bit of the story of Esther risking her life to see the king in the hopes of saving the Jews! (And yes, the king was her *husband!* Times were tough back then; oh, well…)

111. Ah, beneath that gruff exterior that has defined Skinner throughout this entire ep and the one before, MP allows just the *slightest* amount of softness in the eyes throughout his steely gaze directed at Scully, indicating a bit of concern for the whereabouts of his wayward agent! Oh, and let's not forget that pen-slam on the desk that ends this scene -- whoo-boy! (That one's for you, Frogdoggie! Heeheehee…)

112. This woman is desperate -- she even said *please!*

113. An "X-Files" first -- seeing Scully call for X via the tape in Mulder's window and the light!

114. Aw, man, the fishes have died *already*?!?

115. ::Ahem:: Nice little shot of Scully's legs there as she dozes on Mulder's couch. Anybody besides me curious as to who decided to shoot the scene that way? (Not that there's anything *wrong* with Scully's legs per se, but wasn't it rather convenient that she was wearing a *skirt* rather than *slacks* for this particular scene? makes me wonder which of the two she'll be wearing in a certain rumored scene for the season premiere, heehee…)

116. Another interesting comparison to this and Scully's predicament a few months prior, specifically in "One Breath": the scene after Scully's discovery where Mulder attempts to summon X, waits all night in his apartment, and is seen finally dozing on his couch, clutching Scully's cross, after what has obviously been a fruitless wait. Fortunately for Scully it ends differently -- *she* actually gets to *meet* X, for the first time if I'm not mistaken!

117. Ah, yes, it's the Skinner scene we've all been waiting for -- after spending the majority of the ep snapping at Mulder, we get to see him *literally* butting heads with X on Mulder's behalf! Who needs WWF? (Too bad this wasn't what the boys at 10-13 were thinking seventh season when they came up with "The Fight Club," but anyway…)

118. "I've killed men for far less." ::shudder::

119. "You pull that trigger and you'll be killing two men." Go Skinner! (Of course, I suppose he feels badly enough by that point to wish he's actually dead, lol…)

120. And the winner and new champion *is*…well, Skinner, from the looks of his getting back to Scully, though he *did* get a bit bloodied up in the process from the looks of him.

121. Though I *must* say, I *am* a tad curious -- how the heck did Skinner know Scully was in the process of summoning X in the first place? Think CC will be answering that question this season, among others, regarding how Skinner seemed to know so much about the Consortium's plans on a regular basis?

122. Interesting that Skinner mentioned that Mulder "used his F.B.I. credentials to charter a Rollagon all-terrain vehicle," yet "…it's still a ten-mile hike across the ice." Hmmm, guess that "ten-mile hike" came by virtue of the fact that they couldn't exactly afford to *show* Mulder in that "Rollagon all-terrain vehicle;" after all, it's still a good three years until the movie version shows us Mulder plodding across Antarctica in a semi-trusty sno-cat!

123. "Where did you get this?" "Unofficial Channels." Ah, so Skinner gets the Wrestling Channel?

123. Ah, Mulder *still* gets one ofthose little "digital control thingies" we get to see later on; the more things change…::sigh::

124. And here we have what, if I had to name *anything,* *has* to be *the* most memorable image of the second season, at least imho -- the shot of the submarine tower protruding through a floor of ice! (And the x-file of the hour: just *why* in the heck do the packaging artists at Fox keep choosing *warm* colors like *yellow* and *brown* to depict this defining moment?!? The silly thing should be *blue*, or at least green or purple -- it certainly looks blue here to me!)

125. According to CC, apparently this scene using all that ice and such with the nighttime backdrop suggesting Alaska was actually shot *in the studio,* despite protests that it was an impossible task! Guess this means this type of scene could perhaps be accomplished on stage, using ice and similar lighting, though I'd think the audience would want to bundle up for that one, heehee…

126. Am I the only one who looks at that conning tower and thinks of that shark fin from the original "Jaws"? Bump-bump-bump-bump…

127. Let's hear it for "Boy Wonder" -- climbing that ladder all by himself with a *huge* flashlight in hand! Who-hoo! (Okay, minds out of the gutter, people -- *especially* you, Nut! )

128. What *is* it about a coat with a hood that makes a tall guy like Mulder look smaller than usual? hmmmm…

129. Once again, Mulder is following standard FBI protocol -- he just opens up the door without knocking first.

130. From the looks of things, since this is the same sub we saw at the beginning of the ep, I'd say the batteries finally went out. Well, it took them pretty much the entire episode, I'll give them that!

131. Well, well, well, if it isn't the "Krycek-clone" we saw at the beginning of this ep! Certainly a brave little cuss, isn't he? (Well, since "Boy Wonder" is screaming and has a gun aimed at him, I guess I can't blame him *too* much…)

132. And here we have a unique little variation on an "interrogation room" sans power: Mulder simply leaves his flashlight so that it's pretty much smack-dab on "Krycek-clone" while keeping his gun trained on him and seating him at what looks rather close quarters. Can't say *I'd* be terribly comfortable; and Mulder expects to get some straight answers from this guy? No wonder he's acting like such a wuss!

133. Is this guy laughing or crying? it's a bit hard for me to tell. No wonder Mulder's getting progressively more ticked-off by the minute!

134. Whoa, the power's back on! Guess the crew picked out Energizer batteries there after all!

135. No offense, pal, but if the "metal bracelets" are any indication, I don't think Mulder bought your "playing dead" story!

136. "What are you, crazy?" "No, I'm just tired." Yeah, I would be too if I had to climb that huge ladder *and* lug around a lot of extra equipment!

137. "…you're not getting back to your ship?!?" Um, Mulder, don't you think a submarine sort of *counts* as a ship?

138. Whoa, our "Krycek-clone" lieutenant had a sudden attack of puberty there -- not only is his voice changing, but he's actually able to swing "Boy Wonder" around by the handcuffs!

139. Hmmm, well, it looks like I was half-right on the "clone" theory -- it's none other than Alien Bounty-Hunter! Looks like our "Boy Wonder" has had it now!

140. "If I wanted to, I could have killed you many times before." Yeah, our alien friend is certainly the hospitable one, isn't he? Instead, he's just bouncing Mulder off the walls -- yeah, *much* better alternative there, Pal!

141. "Just tell me where she is!" *Major* kudos to DD for this transition -- from furious, screaming tough guy to whimpering, pathetic, defeated little boy, if you'll excuse the expression, Holy Flaming Cow!!! You da man, you da man!

142. "She's alive. Can you die now?" Apparently *this* little line slipped CC's mind when he *finally* revealed Samantha's ultimate fate in "Closure." Unless, of course, he knows something I don't know…(but *that* wouldn't be possible, now, would it? )

143. Uh-oh, a little trickle of "kryptonite blood" there has caused "Super!Mulder" some *nasty* little discomfort there! Enough for the poor guy to forget his gun… (I don't think ABH was too happy about it either, from the look on his face.)

144. I gotta hand it to Mulder, though -- at least he didn't "shoot first;" he'd pretty much gotten all of his questions out of the way by that point.

145. Okay, be honest, fellow Mulderists -- *especially* you, Nut, heeheehee -- isn't this more or less what we've all wanted to be able to do at one time or another, dragging a poor helpless Mulder to our destination at will?

146. Oh, so *that's* all you have to do to break a link to a pair of handcuffs -- just slam the hatch of a submarine down on it as hard as you can! Very valuable tip -- I'll remember that!

147. As much crowing as I've been doing over the performances of DD and GA all this time, I think I should also mention DD's double, who does himself proud here in this "Mulder falls off the conning tower" bit -- that final slam on the ice below just *had* to hurt! Ouch!

148. And following this great bit of "Boy Wonder's" plunge onto the ice are a couple of shots of what appears to be some pink amoeba thingie -- in other words, it's something of an x-file to me, as I am *still* trying to figure out what the heck that's supposed to be! It's either Mulder's POV, or it's a *very* intense close-up shot of Mulder on the ice. I don't know, take your pick…

149. Okay, guess it's the latter -- I actually saw an eye blink. (Either that or one of the guest stars of "Humbug" made an unbilled cameo…::shudder:

150. Ah, ya gotta love the nineties -- they'd really renovated those guillotines, complete with electric lights on the ends! (Guess Mulder's not too impressed with the electric light part…)

151. Ah, not to fear, my little "Bat-Friends" -- "Boy Wonder" has managed to roll over just in the nick of time! Who-hoo! (Here's hoping for some equally impressive stuff come eighth season from the few times we see "Boy Wonder," heehee…)

152. Now, where do I get the very distinct impression that I've been here before -- oh, yes, it's "when last we left our Boy Wonder in a tub in his boxers!" *How* could I *possibly* forget? Interesting that we pick up where Scully plowed through -- guess now that we're up to speed, we're getting *her* POV here. (Of course, we'll be getting "different prospectives" in "Bad Blood" later on, but in an entirely different format, of course…)

153. "I want you out of my ER right now!" Oh, so now it's *his* ER?!? Geez, these doctors can get *so* possessive! ::sigh::

154. "Now, if you do not do what I say, you are going to kill him!" And then I'm going to kill *you* and sue you for malpractice, in that order! (Ever get the impression from the doctor that was *exactly* what she was communicating there? heeheehee…)

155a. Remember that old adage about how "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach?" Well, in the case of our Dynamic Duo here, I think it's safe to say that the way to *this* man's heart is by way of a defibilator! Which strikes me as a bit shocking but, well, whatever floats your boat, as they say, no pun intended…

155b. And somehow during the intensity of this moment, the nurse in charge of "Boy Wonder's" oxygen apparently managed to restrap that little oxygen mask that somehow had managed to come undone as the gang was busy removing Mulder from the tub! Not sure what the initial distraction was -- the fiery partner or the boxer shorts, heeheehee! (Thanks for the heads-up, Shaker! )

156. Amazing how quickly Scully got promoted to the role of "Doctor" once she finally got Mulder's heart going, isn't it? Would you like fries with that frozen plasma, Doctor Scully?

157. Okay, maybe it's the sick romantic in me, but as effective as shocking the guy back to life was, I *really* think the running of Scully's fingers through Mulder's hair probably gave him something of an incentive to live there! Sure, Scully, go ahead and say it was *science* that saved Mulder's life -- we know what *really* saved him, and it's got red hair and rhymes with "gully!" Heeheehee…

158a. You know, despite the fact that this military hospital in Alaska seems to be decidedly less luxurious than the "Vacation Village," I think *Mulder* got more pampering during *his* little state of unconsciousness than *Scully* did during *her* post-abduction hospitalization -- for *one* thing, *he* actually gets a blanket *and* manages to get out of getting his eyes taped shut, though he *does* have to have that nasty tape around the mouth and the tube down his throat! Oh, well… (Note to Scully: the next time you go into a coma, try to burn your eyes as badly as possible so they don't get taped shut!)

158b. Another note about that blanket -- they even bothered to cover his feet here, unlike the doctors in "Sixth Extinction," but *that's* for *another* TOTM somewhere down the road…

159. I just *love* that little expectant look on Scully's face as she enters Mulder's room the third time, only to have it fall as she takes her vigil at his bedside, almost as though she was instantly expecting him to be awake at that moment, yet rather disappointed when it was apparent he wasn't.

160. TWC#8: I just *love* the way Mulder looks in that little shot as Scully starts to take her seat -- the guy just looks like a little ten-year-old at the end of a hard day of playing, doesn't he? ::sigh:: (Though I suppose in the case of the submarine, he was playing a bit *rough*, but moving right along?)

161. Okay, you fellow "Amor Fati" lovers of *that* scene ("You help me") are going to *love* this observation, which I made by having to back up the tape to double-check, as this somehow eluded me the first two times I saw this ep -- it is *right after* Scully finally places her hands on Mulder's arms -- almost at that *very minute* -- that we start seeing him blink himself back into the conscious world, almost as though he's drawing strength directly from her and responding to her touch! How ironic that *this* is during the "science saved Agent Mulder's life" speech! Sure, Scully, fine! Whatever! Now *we* know the truth! Bwa-ha-haaaa…(okay, I'm fine now, let's move on…)

162. Ack! It's *that* killer smile! I get the impression this is the main reason Mulder gets hospitalized every so often -- it's just a good excuse to wake up to *that* smile! (Of course, if a guy with enough strength to make Arnold Swarzennegar look like Pee-Wee Herman bouncing you around in a submarine then dumping you on the ice was the last thing *you* remembered before waking up to "the smile that launched a thousand ships"…well, can you blame him? )

163. I also get the impression that, even in his weakened state, Mulder is now *completely* positive he made the right decision, trading "his sister" for Scully. Notice that, in comparison with the next-to-last scene in "One Breath," where Mulder visits a Scully surrounded by her mother and sister, Mulder is *completely* alone, save for Scully -- even though his parents are still alive, Scully is apparently the only one who cares enough to literally be by his side and will him back to health! (Oh, I'm sure Skinner cares too, but he's got an office to run, places to go, people to intimidate, etc. -- sorry, Frogdoggie!)

164. Much as I *love* GA's smile, once again, I *have* to give DD kudos for doing "so weak you more or less have to struggle to move your head or talk" -- *very* convincing indeed! He even looks as though he's testing his lips to make sure they still work! (Too bad these two have to wait five *long* years to find *that* out by "Millennium"…::sigh: Is it any wonder so many of we MulderTorturists are at large?

165. Once I read a story about how my personal fave, Jimmy Stewart, while filming the final scenes for "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," had his throat sprayed with mercury chloride to affect an exhausted, hoarse voice. Wonder if DD went to similar measures to affect this hoarse whisper of Mulder, or if he just does it all on his own? The same goes for those scenes from "Brand X."

166. One of my personal favorite Mulderisms: in response to Scully's inquiry of how he's feeling, the answer is "…like I got a bad case of freezer-burn." Don't complain *too* much to this woman, Mulder -- she *did* let you get a blanket this time! (Of course, the line about being attacked by a dust-buster from "Brand X" ain't no slouch either, heeheehee…)

167. TWC#9: I *love* the look on Mulder's face following this classic line as he takes a brief rest between lines to gather his strength. Makes me just want to scoop him up and squeeze the heck out of him! (Unfortunately for me, I get the feeling, especially from the look on Scully's face, that she's feeling the same way! Oh, well…)

168. Again, *major* kudos to GA -- in response to Mulder's "I couldn't let you risk your life on this," she just has the *best* stung expression I have *ever* seen, though it's ever-so-subtle!

169. Just look how far apart his legs are in the bed! What kinds of exercises did those nurses perform on him during his coma, Tae-Bo?!? No wonder Mulder's so worn out!!!

170. Also, a little subtle Mark Snow touch: listen to the slightly unsettling final minor chords ending what has more or less been a relatively soothing, uplifting score up to this point, almost suggesting a certain incompleteness of sorts. Very interesting indeed, wouldn't you say?

171. "I found something I thought I'd lost -- faith to keep looking." And on that classic line, as we go scrambling for more Kleenex boxes, we finally leave our Dynamic Duo at the end with their faith once again restored, having been to heck and back once more to emerge none the worse for wear , preparing to battle the truth once more…and somehow eventually winding up at a zoo battling alien gorillas and elephants! Oh, well, these things happen…

172. Polly, Girl, I believe that's your cue -- thanks for handing me the reins this time around! Hope you like it, and here's hoping "Anasazi" is as good, if not better!

BearHugs from the BearBerg, and again, thanks for the wait!