As Amy said on her "What's New Page," the CtP was back today for "anyone that missed it" (and I'd venture a guess to say that very, very many did). Thanks, Amy, for continuing to bring us these wonderful reminders of how we grew to love this show so much!

So, following in Amy's footsteps, for "anyone that missed it" (and I'd venture a guess to say that very, very few did), as promised or threatened (depending on how you look at it), the TOTM returns as well.

Theatre of the Mind ~ The Blessing Way

i. Wow! It's incredible to think that we have had to wait *all* summer to find out what was on the edge of that cliff they left us on at the end of last season's X-Files! Yet, the summer seems to have flown by! It seems like only a week or so ago that we were dissecting and analyzing the end of Season 2, "Anasazi."

ii. .Well, actually, it *was* only a week or so ago.

iii. Okay. Well, just in case you've forgotten, let's do a brief review. When last we saw the intrepid Agent Mulder, he was about to be deep-fried in a buried railroad car full of the bodies of aliens or humans or human/alien hybrids by the nefarious CSM. All this after being slowly poisoned, wrassling with his boss, seeing his father die in that most notorious of X-File locations-the bathroom, and being shot by his partner. But despite the fact that CSM assures us "nothing vanishes without a trace," Mulder seems to have done just that. Did he escape the inferno or will this be his funeral pyre?

iv. And what of the lovely Agent Scully? After saving her partner's butt (in a very unorthodox way, I might add), she hauled him cross-country to Farmington, New Mexico. (And BTW, what I wouldn't give to know what really happened on that road trip! FWIW, my favorite fic on this subject is "To Follow the Gypsy Rover" by Ten, which can be found at Her main man Albert has translated enough of Mulder's files for her to learn that her name is in those files, along with Duane Barry's and something about a test. And I don't think it means a paternity test, at least not at this juncture. (Check back in about 6 years.)

v. And then there's good old Chris Carter. What did he learn from the events of "Anasazi"? (Probably that he shouldn't give up his day job just yet.)

vi. Okay, everybody up to speed? Then I say, Season 3: Bring it on!

1. "Something lives only as long as the last person who remembers it. Memory, like fire, is radiant and immutable while history serves only those who seek to control it, those who douse the flame of memory in order to put out the dangerous fire of truth." Who do we know in this show who tries to control history? Well, anyway, this could be important later.

2. I think Scully hit the nail on the head when she said this "wasn't an exercise in subtlety." Think you got enough thugs to handle these three desperadoes, CSM?

3. But I gotta chuckle cause CSM looks just a little big desperate.

4. I thought Scully said she had to go back to Washington. Did she ever go, or did she come back already? I guess it really doesn't matter . . .

5. The important thing is she's there to drive out to the dessert, view the smoldering boxcar, look sad and all angsty, and call out his name: "Mullderrrrrr!!!!!" Ooooh, I just gave myself chills. Mulder will return the favor in Season 8! "Scullllleeeeeee!!!!!"

6. It's Season 8 deja vu all over again! Scully squints up into a big bright light, holding her hand up to cover her face!

7. They're taking the files! But Moose & Squirrel still have the tape . . . don't they?

8. Since CC wasn't present at this mini-session, I guess that means he was the only member of the OPC that didn't vote to suspend Scully. What a guy!

9. No pay or benefits? Ouch! I hope Scully's got a little put away for a rainy day.

10. "To the best of my knowledge, Agent Mulder is dead." She won't utter those words in Season 8; I can just feel it.

11. I always feel like Skinner tries really hard to gain Scully's respect, but he keeps messing it up.

12. "With all due respect, sir, I think you overestimate your position in the chain of command." Go Scul-ly, go Scul-ly!

13. She may not have a desk, but she knows all the hiding places in *his* desk.

14. Nice to know that CSM has to answer to someone too. And methinks he isn't being completely truthful to the "boys". Imagine . . . an untrustworthy CSM.

15. I always thought Mrs. Scully lived near Baltimore for some reason (or is that a fanfic thing?). Did Scully walk all the way from DC to Baltimore without any shoes? Traffic must have been light on the beltway.

16. But I love the shoes analogy! Our little Scully has run marathons in her high heels, but all of a sudden they're giving her blisters. ::::awwwww::::

17. To this day, I have never been quite sure what "mistake" Dana has made. Getting herself involved in this mess? Letting Mulder go the quarry alone? Falling in love with this man? Wearing these high heel shoes? I still don't know.

18. "Dad would be so ashamed of me." Another thing these two crazy kids have in common: They just want their dads to be proud of them.

19. A hand! Could it be? It is, it is! It's Agent Mulder! But he doesn't look so good! (Did you ever think I would say that about Mulder?) Come on, Fox. We are on #19 and haven't had any TWC yet! You've got to get well so we can have some TWC!

20. To this day, I have also never figured out how Mulder got out of the boxcar. I'm assuming there was some kind of tunnel or something (since Albert talks about finding the body so long ago, and we see one of the alien/human/hybrid bodies right next to where Mulder is found), but as I recall, when Eric closed the door Mulder was in complete and utter darkness and I think he was caught without his trusty Big A** flashlight. Yet, when the soldiers searched the car-poof! No Mulder. Perhaps he decided just to think outside the box(car) and magically transported himself to an underground chamber. Maybe he did that "I Dream of Jeannie" boink thing like in "Je Souhaite."

21. I'm sure I will probably have these same sort of questions when Mulder is returned in Season 8. But I guess my reaction then will be pretty much the same as it is in this episode: It don't make no never mind how he got back, HE'S BACK!!!!!!!!!

22. TWC1: Small yet amazingly pleasing TWC moment for Polly and her foot fetish: Mulder's hiking-boot-clad feet sticking out of the blanket he is being carried in. Woo hoo!

23. Tonight's educational moment, courtesy of the Encyclopedia Britannica: The Blessing Way is the central ritual of a complex system of ceremonies performed by the Navajo to restore equilibrium to the cosmos.

24. LOVE the fade from Mulder in the hogan to Scully tossing and turning in her bed.

25. Awwww, it's Frohike. "Do you recycle?" LOL!

26. I've always loved this little "bonding" scene between Scully and Frohike. It brings them to a new mutual respect after so much sexual innuendo. After seeing Frohike in the Season 8 trailer, I'm hoping he will pay a little solo visit to Scully again to reminisce about his pal Mulder, and that Scully will say something like "I know Mulder is alive, and I need you guys to help me find him. Mulder and I are going to have a baby . . . and I need him here." And Scully will cry and Frohike will cry and . . . well, it *could* happen.

27. "A redwood among mere sprouts." I love that line.

28. I don't want to nitpick here, but I think this Blessing Way ceremony thing would be *much* more effective if you removed those branches from Agent Mulder. He looks a little warm to me (not to mention the fact that he looks like he's asleep in a big old salad bar). (LOL)

29. TWC2: Okay, if that's all I can get . . . half-nekkid Mulder! Hoo-boy!

30. You said a mouthful, Albert. I fear that his spirit doesn't want to be healed as well.

31. Mulder is off on his Magical Mystery Tour . . . and he didn't even have any mushrooms (unless there were some in the salad bar).

32. Deep Throat has made nearly as many appearances dead as he did alive.

33. Deep Throat urges Mulder to return to fight the good fight; funny how in "Amor Fati" he is urging Mulder to give up the fight. Maybe dreams are answers to questions we haven't yet learned how to ask.

34. Slightly OT here, but CC must think an awful lot about death to write so many beautiful words about it. From Scully's opening voiceover in "Memento Mori" to Deep Throat's words here, he makes death sound so "lyrical." Just love DT's "I was first struck by the absence of time, having depended on it so completely as a measure of myself and my life." (I know some shippers who will be plotting *his* demise if he doesn't make the MSR turn out okay!)

35. The words of Bill Mulder haunt me still: "I did not dare hope to see you so soon nor ever again hope to *broker fate* with a life to which I gave life." Broker fate . . . is this a reference to his role in Samantha's disappearance?

36. "You are the memory, Fox. It lives in you. If you were to die now, the truth will die. And only the lies survive us." Remember what Albert said, Fox. I told ya it could be important later.

37. Whether a dream or a vision, I think Mr. Mulder's words show that he did love his son. I hope Fox figured that out, even if it was too late.

38. Another great fade from stars in the heavens to stars in the Hoover.

39. Love that Hoover Tour Guide. I think she's the same gal giving the Alamo tour in "Pee Wee's Big Adventure." (But she better not say, "There's no basement in the Hoover Building!")

40. Love Scully's response about coming in the front door: "For now." You go, girl.

41. We knew Scully had a "magnetic" personality. If only she could set off those bells and whistles in Mulder's detector. (Okay, out of gutter again.)

42. Skinner oughta have a revolving door in his office.

43. How Scully's life will change because of that second trip through the metal detector!

44. She's worn that necklace for the past 364 days but "not today"? How convenient. (And FWIW, even though it appears Scully is wearing "a" necklace in the Season 8 trailer, I'm still not giving up hope that I'll see that necklace around a certain Special Agent's neck when Mulder comes marching home. It could happen. I don't care what Frank said about a double-zipper jacket!)

45. Scully appears to still be in the Hoover but I thought she was suspended without pay and benefits? Wouldn't this preclude an FBI doc from getting under her skin?

46. TWC3: Boy, it's been a long time since the last TWC. Now we're getting somewhere! Sweaty!Feverish!Mulder. Woo-hoo! (Get him out of that salad bar! Can't you see he's burning up?)

47. Mulder awakens, gets some water, has a nice bath, and eats some cornbread (or something).

48. TWC4: And he's nekkid under that blanket! Better hold that cornbread with two hands! (hee-hee).

49. Hmm, Scully has seen this kind of thing before. She probably got banned from that grocery store after she ran the last one through the scanner.

50. TWC5: But I love that ponytail Scully! Maybe her hair will be long enough in Season 8 . . .

51. Melissa's scene with Scully reminds me so much of her scene with Mulder in "One Breath." Funny how this girl is the only one who can get M&S to look inside themselves. I hope she'll be around for a long time. She might finally get these two together!

52. What do we learn about Scully's abduction? Lights, men, noise, an alarm . . . that's helpful (not).

53. Skinner leaving Scully's apartment? This is how rumors and Scully/Skinner fanfic get started!

54. "Must not do any work, change clothes, or bathe for four days." That's how I'd like to spend my next long weekend.

55. Kudos to DD on his expression when he is given the sunflower seeds. I see so many things in those few seconds of screen time: amusement, a happy memory of his father (see "Aubrey") and then sadness that now his father is gone. Just wonderful.

56. "It wasn't a dream?" "Yes." Yes it *wasn't* a dream or yes it *was* a dream? I'm really confused!

57. TWC6: Last shot of Mulder in that blanket with his nekkid knee sticking out. I really like seeing his nekkid leg protruding from the blanket. Hope to see it again sometime.

58. Mulder pays a late-night visit to Scully's apartment. (Too bad his body wasn't along for the ride. On the plus side, he looks good in half light/half darkness. He should do more of that.)

59. Was it Psychic!Scully or just a dream? I vote for psychic. Love the "you were here today . . ." referring to her hypnosis; and the line "binds us together in dangerous purpose."

60. I'm glad Scully went to Mulder's dad's funeral, even though he didn't attend Capt. Scully's. (Forgot-that was family only! He wasn't family yet then.)

61. Do you think we'll *ever* find out what Mrs. Mulder's first name is? She must have one. You don't suppose it's "Mrs.", do you?

62. "I have a very strong feeling that your son is going to be found." I think Scully will get this "very strong feeling" again in Season 8. I just have a very strong feeling about that.

63. Even though Scully doesn't get the "creeps," I would think it's pretty creepy being told that you'll be killed in one of two ways in a cemetery. Well, at least it's multiple choice.

64. "You want something they don't. Justice." Well said.

65. "We predict the future and the best way to predict the future is to invent it." But some people just gotta fight the future.

66. I think poor Mr. Mulder got all the bad photos of his family in the divorce settlement. Or if the copies Mrs. Mulder had looked like that too, no wonder she burned them in "SUZ".

67. TWC7: And tonight's Holy Flaming Cow Moment: Mulder returns and he's looking none the worse for wear, despite his salad bar experience! Woo-hoo!

68. I'm sorry your mom can't remember those men in the picture, Mulder. Let me try. One is your father, one is CSM, one is Deep Throat, one is the Well Manicured Man, and two or three are those Elder guys who keep popping up in these episodes. Call me for assistance anytime.

69. TWC8: Mulder is looking fine during this little exchange with his Mommy-With-No-First-Name.

70. And for a nice bit of continuity, this looks like the same gun that Mulder remembered in his Samantha abduction flashback in "Little Green Men."

71. It's nice to know that Melissa has moved to DC and settled down in an apartment nearby Scully's. I got the impression from "One Breath" that her family didn't always know where she was.

72. Oops, big boo-boo, Scully. They're calling to check and see if you're home. You should have remembered not to have Melissa come over there! Better head her off at the pass!

73. Oops, now here's Skinner wanting you to come with him. The WMM told you they'd kill you one of two ways. Looks like they're trying to kill you *both* ways! What to do?

74. I guess since Scully is out of the FBI she can't wear her trenchcoat with the big pockets and must carry a purse now.

75. I always LOL when they go to "talk in private" at Mulder's apartment. Hello! Someone is supposedly trying to kill you Scully. You might want to insist on meeting in a public place!

76. But I guess, as always, our little Scully proves she can take care of herself. Good fakeout!

77. Now we see why she doesn't carry that purse. It's always in the way!

78. "You've got the rest of your life to give me answers." Is Scully threatening to commit murder? Our Scully?

79. Melissa! Don't go in there! You're the only one who can speed this MSR along! Curses, foiled again!

80. XF Trivia: How many times has Scully called Skinner a liar?

81. Someone's at the door. OMG, it's an Alexandria Standoff!

82. To be continued? You mean there's more? A three-part cliffhanger? Gosh, I hope they never do *this* again!

83. Since this isn't the end I assume I'll see you tomorrow with another TOTM. If you want me to, that is. I guess I shouldn't have assumed. "Pardon my presumptuousness."

Well, what can I tell you. I had a week's layoff *and* I had to follow up BearBerg's wonderful effort for "Anasazi." Two strikes before I even started (I like baseball too). Well, I did my best but in honor of the infamous XF "trilogy," I'll send along apologies in duplicate tonight, triplicate tomorrow.