Theatre of the Mind ~ The End

1. Vancouver finally gets to play itself!

2. A roomful of Chess Philes? I think not. (These are actually about 12,000 X-Philes from the Vancouver area who were invited to participate in the goodbye party. Even though they weren't in the scene, DD and GA showed up to say goodbye too. :::sniff:::)

3. Didn't the assassin guy get eaten in the john in "Jurassic Park"?

4. The kid beat you, Russian guy. Don't be a bad sport by knocking all the pieces off the board. (Thanks to editing, he got them all back on the board pretty darn quick!) 5. The RCMP! For a second there, I thought it was Constable Benton Fraser and I had a whole different fan flashback!

6. Tagline Change: The End. (BTW, the end of a chess game, which occurs when one player captures the opponent's king, when one of the players resigns, or there is a stalemate [or tie], is called the end game. I guess this episode couldn't be called that, though, cause there was already an episode called that.)

7. CSM and Mulder have matching scars now.

8. Wow, that's some deterrent for Avon ladies and Amway salesmen. Probably doesn't work on Ratboys, though.

9. "You are here." I want to believe.

10. Mulder's bulletin board is a walk down the XF Memory Lane: pictures and clips of Duane Barry, Eugene Tooms, Leonard Betts, the young Eves, and the Japanese doctors from "Nisei" and "731" can be seen there, as can a nice pic of M&S working together. Memories, like the corners of my mind . . .

11. TWC1: Woo-hoo! You are definitely going places, baby.

12. I think Mulder is afraid Skinner might be looking for those tapes that aren't his.

13. Long-term plans? Well, this summer I think I'll be appearing in a movie, and even though I said I was leaving after five seasons, I do plan to be back here next fall for season 6 of the XF. Then I'm thinking about having a baby - in real life and on the show. How 'bout you, Mitch . . . er, Walt?

14. "What do you hope to find? I mean, in the end?" I hope to find out how "The End" leads in to the movie which leads in to "The Beginning." Is that too much to ask?

15. Specifically excluded from the investigative team? Not for long. *Very evil grin.*

16. Eww. Meet the Fowl One.

17. Is it important that the kid would have caught the bullet "in the back of the neck"? I wonder.

18. TWC2: Mr. Investigative Team Crasher. Nice.

19. CSM is one of the old gang again? Yes, I've seen. I've heard. I've read.

20. Hey, you two, stop that eye contact! Something fishy (or fowley) is going on here.

21. The Inget Murray Psychiatric Hospital is named for set designers Shirley Inget and Graham Murray.

22. I wish we did have a psychiatric hospital is Gaithersburg. It would make matters so much simpler.

23. TWC3: Mulder looks good. Doh! His jiggling is almost hypnotic.

24. I've always been curious why 1013 named The Fowl One "Diana," so close to "Dana." Probably that ambiguity thing again so if Mulder ever shouts out anyone's name in his sleep or during any other activity, they can say, "Oh he said 'Dana'. No, he said 'Diana'." Sure. Fine. Whatever.

25. I believe Scully agrees that Mulder has a dirty mind.

26. Turning off the Simpsons to play chess. What's the world coming to?

27. Please, Gibson, please, don't listen to him! Which girl is he thinking about? And which one's thinking about him??????? Spoilsport.

28. Everybody seems to be so busy thinking about each other, I'm surprised they have time to think about Gibson at all.

29. You should have told her you knew Diana, Mulder. That's a crappy way for her to find out.

30. If the shooter just spent six hours talking to Spender, he probably died of boredom.

31. "You're insulting me when you should be taking notes." What a way to win friends and influence people.

32. TWC4: Don't want to tell me why you think Mulder looks good? That's okay. I'm a pretty good guesser.

33. Mulder has a tough time relating to his peers, but those ruthless assassins warm up to him right away.

34. I bet those are the potato chips that Mulder saw Elvis in.

35. "Did you get anything?" "Just his attention." Oh, I miss that Mulder wit! And he hasn't said "dollars to donuts" once.

36. Thanks a lot, Gibson. You can't tell us who Mulder is thinking about, but you can tell us that the two girls are thinking about each other. Like you had to be a mind reader to figure *that* out.

37. Smiley Face. "Evolution" plug. Play that funky music, white boy.

38. I can see why the boys at 1013 don't write "girl talk" very often.

39. "Agent Mulder and I spent some time in psychiatric hospitals." Well that explains a lot, a lot, a lot.

40. Gosh, I wish Scully had been in on that "breakfast" test. Gibson: Omelette. Coffee and a cruller. A half a cream cheese bagel, but it wasn't even real cream cheese, it was light cream cheese.

41. Scully, haven't you learned anything from Mulder? It's not a ditch if you announce it first.

42. No passing notes in the detention facility. Especially threatening ones.

43. I guess now we know the answer to the age-old question: Does Frohike sleep with his kevlar vest under or over his pj's?

44. Do you think Scully really went to the Gunmen to get their help with the case or to find out what they know about Mulder's little chickadee (love those "fowl" references)? Byers' comment wondering why Mulder & Fowley split up certainly makes her uncomfortable.

45. Good looking? I thought Frohike had taste. Well, at least he didn't say she was "hot."

46. The Silver Surfer? Could that be a reference to anyone we know?

47. TWC5: Except for who he's talking to, it's a major hoo-boy scene!

48. He's done okay without you, Fowl One, so back off. He's got a new "one in five billion" now.

49. Great work by GA as she makes the quick walk-by and U-turn in the hospital hallway after seeing some hand-holding, and then about 15 seconds of silence and a deep sigh while sitting in the car. As usual, she speaks loudest when she says nothing at all. Why is Fowley bothering her so much? Is it because Mulder never told her about this woman? Or because she never stopped to consider that there was once another female partner in his life - personal and/or professional (one who gets to call him "Fox")? Or is it that she's now wondering if maybe she does have feelings other than "just friendship" for Mulder that she's been pushing aside, only to have them surface when a threat is at hand?

50. "Mulder, it's me." Thanks, Scully, we needed to hear that.

51. "I was hoping I could show you something." All right, Scully! You go, girl! Oh, darn, I don't think she's gonna show him what I was hoping she was gonna show him.

52. Jeffrey meets his benefactor - little does he know it's dear old dad.

53. This episode is certainly a turning point for Scully. She's not only questioning her relationship with Mulder and her place in his life, she's also questioning her own beliefs because of what she's found through her safety net - her science.

54. "I hope I'm not going to hear that this kid is the next Christ child." No, that's coming in Season 8.

55. There have been a lot of "keys to everything in the X-Files." Gibson's just the latest in a long line.

56. Genetic proof, more human than human, prehistoric evidence of alien astronauts. I have a feeling this is all going to be important later.

57. I guess Krycek got a chauffeur gig out of that whole Dimitri/black oil/Marita fiasco.

58. I'm glad Gibson likes all those FOX animated shows. That's the only channel available apparently.

59. Scully's curiosity gets the better of her with Gibson much as it did with Clyde Bruckman. She needs to know how he does it.

60. Gibson points out that Scully is still busy thinking about Diana. Why does she care what Diana thinks? I think you know.

61. Scully is so busy worrying about what Diana thinks that she's doing a bang-up job of guarding the room. Diana just knocks and walks right in. Good thing it wasn't another assassin.

62. I told you, nothing good ever comes from passing notes. See?

63. Diana is just about as effective a watchdog as Scully. She falls asleep, and then she stands up in front of the window in plain sight. I feel much safer knowing she's no longer on terrorist detail.

64. Oh, The Fowl One got shot. Gee, that's um . . . um . . . too bad, I guess.

65. This is nice music; they should use it in a movie.

66. I guess it's okay if he holds her hand for just a minute. Okay, that's enough.

67. TWC6: I know it's probably rude to think about good-looking Mulder when Diana might be dying, but, oh well! I can't help it!

68. ROTFLMAO! CSM and Gibson are standing exactly alike as they wait for their contact. "Just call me Mini-Morley."

69. You know, I have never noticed it until this viewing, but when Krycek offers to throw in a freebie and take out CSM, WMM says, "No. He's useful. And *you* may need him in the future." Not we. You. Did WMM know his days were numbered? Or is Krycek more important than we know? (I do give Krycek a thumbs-up for that near-miss hit and run.)

70. Old Smokey and Young Butt working together? Naw, I can't picture it.

71. MSRM: As Skinner calls with bad news upon more bad news, it's never more apparent that these two are just "you and me against the world" now. Defeated, dejected, faced with possible reassignment, and the closing of the X-Files, they still seek quiet comfort from each other, drawing strength from each other, and they're still in it together.

72. I love the fade from Mulder's face to CSM's flame. Fallen hero to hollow victor.

73. Is Samantha's middle initial "T" or "A"? Make up your mind, boys. Why is it so difficult for you to figure out the "T&A"? (I don't think that came out quite right.)

74. Old Smokey must have been a busy boy. He seems to be everyone's father.

75. You'd think they'd have a sprinkler system in the Hoover, wouldn't you?

76. TWC7: Holy Flaming Cow! The gray tee, the look of shock and disbelief. I just want to hold him and make it all better. Okay, go ahead, Scully. Be my guest.

77. Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse for our heroes, what a haunting image to be left with. As the emergency lights flash, with vacant eyes they stare in silence at the destruction - their work, their faith, their lives gone up in smoke. Scully providing comfort but Mulder too traumatized to respond. But still together. This may be the end, but it may also be a new beginning.

78. (Darn it, I hate to be shallow at a time like this, but that last shot with Mulder's back to the camera? Not DD. I'd know a DD back and butt anywhere, and that ain't it.)

79. Fade to black, but no "to be continued." Frankly, I'm surprised it didn't say, "Coming to a theater near you this summer."

80. Of course, the chess game between Gibson and his opponent in the teaser of this episode was just that - a tease for the larger chess match that is the X-Files. In this game, CSM sees himself as the grandmaster moving and manipulating all the pieces--and he gives us clues to the strategy throughout: "Control the board. Know which men to sacrifice and when." "It's all a game. You just take their pieces, one by one, until the board is clear." And in the end, Mulder says, "This was all strategized - every move." Just like chess. In this chess game, I would assign the pieces this way: The Consortium guys are the Rook - the most powerful piece on the board, except for the Queen. Krycek is the Knight, because the Knight is the only piece that can jump over other pieces to work toward the objective. I'll make Skinner the Bishop, since you have one light square Bishop and one dark square Bishop and sometimes it's hard to tell just which side Skinner is on. In chess, the Pawn is the least powerful piece on the board, but it has the potential to become equal to the most powerful. Gibson Praise, Diana Fowley, Jeffrey Spender, and countless others - they are all Pawns in the game. Mulder is, of course, the King - the most important piece; when he is trapped, his whole army loses. And Scully is the Queen - the most powerful piece on the board, a place Scully occupies for many reasons. The ultimate aim in the game of chess is to win by trapping your opponent's king - checkmate. The definition of checkmate is "utter defeat."

81. When I look at Mulder's face at "the end" of this episode, I can only think of one word--checkmate.

"The End," of course, marked not only the end of Season 5 but the end of so many other things. It's "the end" of the X-Files since they're being closed, the end of the show being filmed in rainy Vancouver, the end of the X-Files' most beloved prop (the "I Want to Believe" poster), and the end of the X-Files' inner sanctum - Mulder's office (pretty clever burning down the set so you don't have to try to duplicate it in sunny California). If you can set aside "The Fowley Factor," which I admit is quite hard to do, "The End" is actually a pretty good and satisfying season finale and leads us nicely into the big movie. Will the movie answer all the questions as promised? Will we finally be able to make sense of the black oil, the bees, and the government conspiracies? Will M&S *finally* get it on? "I don't know. I'm not the mind reader."

Guess what? I'm not even gonna apologize. I'm taking "a walk on the wild side."