Theatre of the Mind ~ Redux

Aaah, Season 5. Back to those young and carefree days when I was a virgin . . . hey, hey, hey! Watch it. *Spoiler* virgin. In Season 5 I was still blissfully unaware of the joys and temptations of the wild and wanton Internet. So everything back then was a surprise. Back then I'm not sure I paid much attention to news about actors' contracts, but I do seem to recall hearing that David Duchovny did not want to return to the XF after Season 4. I'm not sure at the time I even knew they were making a movie. So the news delivered by Scully at the end of "Gethsemene" in Season 4 that "Agent Mulder died late last night from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head," had me suckered in hook, line, and sinker. I couldn't believe - didn't want to believe - that it was true; and if you thought the wait for Mulder to return in Season 8 was bad, it was *nothin'* compared to the never-ending, slow as molasses, summer and early fall of 1997. I had learned from past experience that the XF had no problem killing off important and beloved characters. But would they even stoop so low as to kill off the two leads? If Mulder had truly killed himself, and Scully was about to die of cancer, what would happen to my beloved show? Would it just feature stories about the Lone Gunmen? Who would watch that? So I was glued to my seat on November 2, 1997, popcorn (buttered, of course) in hand to see if the unthinkable, the unimaginable, would truly happen.

The word "redux" means brought back, returned. As in brought back or returned from the dead, maybe? Had I known the title of this episode was "Redux," perhaps I wouldn't have sweated out that summer and fall. But of course, I didn't know this episode's title was "Redux." Because I didn't have the internet. Because I was a virgin.

1. Well, here we are pretty much where we left off. Scenes from "Gethsemene." Scully says Mulder took his own life. It seems like I *just* saw it.

2. Time sure went by a lot faster *this* time when I was waiting to see what happened next. I guess it's true what they say: time does seem to go faster the older you get.

3. "24 hours earlier." In big letters. That must be important.

4. In case we forgot what happened at the end of last season . . . or over the last four years, for that matter . . . Mulder sums it all up for us so eloquently. "I've held a torch in the darkness to glance upon a truth unknown."

5. He's taking his clip, checking it twice . . . don't do it, Mulder! We don't want the journey to end!

6. Saved by the bell.

7. Don't you think it's kind of weird for Kritschgau to *call* Mulder on his home phone and tell him that he's being watched and his home phone might be tapped? Thanks for that tip off.

8. Didn't Mulder ever look up all those nights he was laying on his couch?

9. Oooh, I love it when manly man Mulder kicks in the door. And he's able to overcome that pesky fear of fire that he has.

10. I guess Mulder's neighbors are used to gunshots in the night. Nobody comes running.

11. New tagline: All Lies Lead to the Truth.

12. Poor Scully. No messages. Not even anyone to invite her over for cheese steaks.

13. "Keep going, FBI woman." You just keep thinkin', Mulder, that's what you're best at.

14. "Why are you sitting in my bedroom in the dark?" I say, why look a gift horse in the mouth. Go with it, Scully!

15. Yep, dead folks do start to stink the place up eventually. (Make note for future reference.)

16. TWC1: For a dead man, he looks pretty darn good. Even in the dark.

17. Mulder's life on tape. When is that coming out on DVD?

18. It appears to me that All Lies Lead to the FBI.

19. Mulder is sure very familiar with Scully's house. He knows just where all the light switches are.

20. I might know if they are pawns in the game if I knew what game they were playing.

21. I'm beginning to see a pattern developing here. This episode has lots of voiceovers . . . lots and lots of voiceovers. My question, though, is do Mulder and Scully know that real people don't talk this way? "Let the truth be known though the heavens fall." Perhaps they should write a book.

22. He's asking Scully to lie? I hope he's been giving her lessons. She can't lie her way out of a paper bag.

23. First big test: Skinner. The person she's *never* been able to lie to. As always, she can't look him in the eye. You did okay with the police detective, Scully, but you're flunking this test. He doesn't believe you.

24. It's 6:47 a.m. now. Just when could she have seen Mulder earlier this morning?

25. Now, we know Mulder couldn't go back to his apartment. Did he have that suit at Scully's place?

26. Good thing they got that swipe thing and nobody's checking photo ID's.

27. Despite all he did to try and save Scully, they're casting doubt on Skinner's loyalties again? If he's not "in on it," where'd he get that picture taken with the MulderCam?

28. TWC2: Woo-hoo. Good thing he's got the card. Don't leave home without it.

29. How to pinpoint when exactly your priorities change. When Kritschgau offers what he wants most desperately of all, there's no mention of Samantha. Only a cure for Scully's cancer. :::Aww:::!

30. CSM's just a little too creepy for his own good. Do you really think he's Mulder's papa?

31. Guess we know now why Scully favors those push-up bras. Better to smuggle things into the Hoover Building with, my dear.

32. I guess Holly got demoted for that whole unfortunate beating-Skinner-up incident. From computer records to telephone operator.

33. Is Holly sorry that Mulder is dead? Or that Scully has cancer? Or that she got demoted to telephone operator?

34. TWC3: Sorry, the whole stock footage of stuff that's happened between 1947 and 1997 while Mulder and Kritschgau walk along just doesn't work for me. But thanks for sharing. I'd much prefer to be looking at Mulder while Kritschgau tells us everything that's happened so far, cause Mulder deserves a big hoo-boy!

35. I'm glad they got that shot of "Abductee" magazine with Amy Cassandra as its cover girl in that montage, though. Hate to see a perfectly good prop go to waste.

36. Since Scully is otherwise occupied, Kritschgau gets to utter the "between science and science fiction" line for our benefit.

37. Yes, Scully would have known the alien body was a fake, so I mention once again, why didn't you have her witness the autopsy? Okay, I'll get past that and move on.

38. Mulder gets the keys to the kingdom, or at least to Level Four. It seems that Kritschgau is getting an invitation to be a contestant on "Boot Camp."

39. Seems the old Consortium boys don't trust CSM either.

40. "I created Mulder." Figuratively or literally?

41. Scully and Dr. Vitagliano have created an unknown life form. Figuratively or literally?

42. Mulder ought to get a spot on Let's Make a Deal. He certainly knows which door to pick! What a lucky guess.

43. Guess practice makes perfect when you're creating those alien hoax bodies.

44. Scully says she had no way to reach Agent Mulder. I guess his cell phone was revoked since he is technically dead.

45. TWC4: Mulder in that strobe light is mighty fine!

46. I guess they got tired of working on the female test subjects in those train cars and just decided to put them all in one big room with those funky diamond lights.

47. Scully must be like the proverbial sailor with a girl in every port: she's got a scientist in every lab just waiting to do her bidding. You know Pendrell would be right there with her if he could.

48. A Southern Blot is one way to analyze the genetic patterns which appear in a person's DNA.

49. For some reason, I always giggle when the Science Guy says, "Not unless we have a blazing hot probe." I'm in the gutter quite frequently.

50. I'm surprised the FBI has time to find any bad guys since they spend most of their time following each other.

51. Skinner wants to know why Scully is lying for Mulder and what her lie leads to. Let's see: a) abduction; b) the tests; c) exposed to something against her will; d) put on a table and having something implanted in her; e) having memory stolen; f) getting memory back along with a fatal disease. And Skinner says, "That's your justification?" My God, how much more justification does the girl need?

52. More voiceovers as Mulder wanders around the Pentagon basement and Scully does a lot of scientific measuring and mixing. I'm barely able to contain my excitement!

53. I'll say one thing about these conspiracy guys. When they file, they don't mess around.

54. TWC5: Good golly, Mulder is looking good as he wanders the Pentagon tunnels. Good thing he's a good speller.

55. CSM proves he means it when he says he doesn't underestimate Mulder.

56. Blah, blah, blah, lots more voiceovers and Scully finds the truth is in her after all.

57. Mulder, take a couple of vials just in case!!

58. How many times have we seen this joint FBI panel scene now? Oooh, but this time we get flashbacks!

59. Oh, oh. I think Mulder's card has expired.

60. Whew, escaping just in the nick of time! But with CSM's blessing? Ewww.

61. It's nice to know that ETAP has branched out from making film and is making security monitors now.

62. Scully's been practicing her lying and she gives an Oscar-worthy performance here . . . until Skinner enters with the autopsy results. But this time, she's ready for him!

63. Three drops of blood and she swoons? She's looked pretty healthy all day.

64. Scully fingers Skinner as the bad guy, but unfortunately (or fortunately), nobody hears.

65. Luckily, Mulder is still as paranoid as ever and needs a confirmation from the LGM.

66. TWC6: Holy Flaming Cow! Love how he worries that lovely lower lip with his teeth while waiting for the test results.

67. Water? Enduring all those voiceovers for a little vial of water? Say it ain't so!

68. MSRM: Okay, maybe it's a cop-out, but this whole episode is an MSRM. He's doing it all for her, she's doing it all for him. Not a whole lot more to say.

69. To be continued . . .

A while back I waxed poetic on the problems usually found in the middle episode of a trilogy, and I think that pretty much applies here. What really happens in Redux? Besides a lot of lovely soliloquies, Scully science experiments, and Mulder playing hide and seek, not a whole hell of a lot. This is one trilogy that I think would have been better served as a two-parter. Once we found out that Mulder was alive and that he and Scully were pulling a scam, we could have forged ahead. In the end, they probably had a little too much for a two-parter, and not enough for a trilogy, and therefore, we get lots and lots of filler.

So was it better to be a virgin than it is to be a seasoned spoiler 'ho? Sometimes, I think it would be nice to go back to those days when you didn't know what was going to happen hours, days, or sometimes weeks before the episode actually airs. Back when you could be shocked, surprised, delighted, infuriated, spellbound . . . whatever . . . as it happened. Of course, those days aren't gone; if I had any willpower at all, I *could* revisit them whenever I want to. But I have no willpower, and I know the spoilers are out there . . . you just have to know where to look. You know how it is when you lose your virginity . . . I just hope you'll still respect me in the morning.

With apologies as always,