Theatre of the Mind ~ Redux II

I find it strangely appropriate (and somewhat spooky) that the TOTM for "Redux II" should occur just before the return of Mulder from the dead (once again) in "DeadAlive" in Season 8. It certainly wasn't by design; so I guess all things do happen for a reason.

1. "Redux II" is the 100th episode of the XF filmed.

2. Certainly very helpful staff at this hospital.

3. Mulder does a "One Breath" redux. Wish he'd been wearing the same outfit as "One Breath."

4. TWC1: Good lord, look at those sideburns!! Season 5 hair rocks!

5. If Skinner thinks Mulder looks good for a dead man *now*, he ain't seen nothin' yet.

6. Mulder can't believe what's happened to Scully while he was on his "search for the cure" snipe hunt.

7. Hypo-volemic shock? We only saw three drops of blood. There must have been some gusher after we last saw Scully in the hearing room.

8. Awww, looking at her as he's taken away. :::sniff::: better get more tissues.

9. Skinner gets to bring everyone to sit in the Blevins hot seat.

10. Fox, everybody needs a buddy.

11. TWC2: "Hey, I saved your ass, Agent Mulder." And a fine ass it is, too. And very worth saving.

12. Remember who you can trust. That's easier said than done.

13. Why does everybody comes to the track to watch TV? Free cable?

14. CSM looks a little too much like the proud papa, gloating about Junior. Ewww!

15. Oh, oh. I think CSM is in a little trouble for not eliminating the Mulder problem when he had the chance.

16. Well, Scully is finally looking like she might actually have a life-threatening disease.

17. What a sweet, goofy grin when he sees her. And that friendly kiss on the cheek and the lovely hand-hold. Touching her face and her hair. That's soooo sweet.

18. I would be remiss in not addressing this serious character flaw in Mulder. No self-respecting boy from the Vineyard would forsake the Red Sox to root for the Yankees. I *can* forgive Mulder almost anything, but this is the one thing I *cannot* forgive him. And I don't think that being a lifelong Orioles fan has anything to do with my bias on this subject. And that's all I have to say about that!

19. So Scully thinks Skinner is "The Mole," but Mulder doesn't. Somewhere an ABC studio exec gets an idea for a series . . .

20. They might not be able to say the words, but there's not really any greater act of love than offering to sacrifice yourself for someone else. If that's not love, I don't know what is.

21. And the look on his face when she makes her offer: like, God, this woman never ceases to amaze me! What did I ever do to deserve her?

22. TWC3: Hoo-boy, perched on the edge of that bed greeting Ma and Bill! And Mrs. Scully still gets to call him Fox.

23. Another kiss goodbye. He's getting closer to her lips, anyway.

24. No, you guys have never met, and after this is all over, you'll probably wish you never had.

25. "Let her die with dignity." Mulder looks stunned. It's suddenly sinking in that he has not been able to find a cure, and there's a distinct possibility that she's going to die.

26. Guns in professional carrying cases are not a good sign.

27. TWC4: Have I mentioned those sideburns? Good lord!

28. "Please tell me you're here with severe chest pains." ROTFLMAO.

29. What? He did find the cure? Tell us more!

30. Now CSM wants to be Mulder's friend. Well, a guy can never have too many friends.

31. You can always tell when Mulder's thinking really, really hard. That bottom lip really gets a workout.

32. "He promised me it would be in here." You expect CSM to keep his promises? Whatever happened to "Trust no one"?

33. TWC5: Holy Flaming Cow! Love the explanation of Scully's implant complete with hand gestures.

34. These FBI folks seem to love these internal investigations. So what took them so long to catch that agent that was spying for Russia, do you suppose?

35. Poor Kritschgau. Despite all he did, there was no cure for his son to be found on Level Four.

36. Bill Scully gets the "science fiction" line in this episode! Hopefully, Dana will be up and around and able to utter it herself soon.

37. TWC6: Woo-hoo! Who else would she put her faith in? (And did I mention the sideburns?)

38. Boy it's taking a long time to put that gun together. Probably just like a man . . . won't read the directions. (Next time, go for "no assembly required.")

39. Here comes Bill and Mulder's got nowhere to hide. You can just smell the testosterone, can't you?

40. She's his big defender . . . doesn't want to disappoint him. Awwww!!!

41. TWC7: "If it works, I don't care what you think she thinks." Can I say Holy Friggin' Cow?

42. Sometimes it's hard to hear the truth: he is to blame for this family tragedy because of his quest.

43. "You're one sorry son of a bitch." Thanks for adding to the guilt scrapbook, Bill.

44. I guess this was back in the day before they prohibited cell phones in hospitals.

45. If I were alone with Mulder in a diner, I'd find more to talk about than Tabasco.

46. What's the next surprise that Mulder's New Best Friend CSM has in store? It's Samantha! With much improved hair from her last appearance! Is Season 5 the Season of Good Hair, or what?

47. Her father? Eww, eww, eww! Mulder looks repulsed! His mommy was sleeping with the enemy?

48. Samantha arrived at 9:33; it's now 10:13 and they're just now getting around to talking? What have they been doing? Eating pie?

49. Awww, a 23-year search might be over and Mulder is overcome with emotion. And he wants him to let her go? After 23 years, that's certainly the one thing he cannot do.

50. In retrospect, the fact that Samantha didn't want to go see "Mom" or tell Mulder where she could be found could have been the tip-off that this wasn't the *real* Samantha. Or maybe it was the good hair.

51. How heartbreaking that Samantha (if that *is* her real name) now has the family that Fox has tried so hard to restore for himself. She is living in the present, moving on with her life, and he has been living in the past. And how heartbreaking that the reunion is not all he has dreamed about for so long. Reality very rarely lives up to our high expectations, don't you think (wink, wink)?

52. Scully's looking really bad now, but I'm glad to see the little gauze patch on the back of her neck. Never give up on a miracle, Scully.

53. Well, the shooter *finally* got his gun assembled. Is he gunning for Mulder or CSM or both?

54. "You give me these things, the only things I ever wanted . . ." :::sniff:::!

55. Why is CSM talking like the ABH? "He's seen but scant pieces of the whole."

56. CSM wants Mulder in the "family" business, perhaps? Is this a like father, like son kind of thing?

57. No deal, and BTW, if Scully dies, I'm gonna kill you. Have a nice day.

58. Scientific, analytical Scully questioning her faith at last, and finally ready to re-embrace it.

59. No improvement. The die is cast. Ma Scully is there to pick up the pieces, to offer hope and faith.

60. Skinner does his Forrest Gump impression at the hearings on cloning.

61. Awww!! Pass the tissues, PLEASE. I'm getting all verklempt.

62. SCULLY, WAKE UP!! Goodness, the girl could sleep through a train wreck. I think Mulder was getting ready to bite her hand, but thought better of it! (LOL) He's lost, all right! :::sob:::!!

63. So, they're trying to turn him against Skinner. Hmmm . . .

64. TWC8: Back in the hot seat in Blevins office; "The man was *spying* on me!" With those pursing lips while he's thinking really, really hard again. Hoo boy!

65. Now *Blevins* wants to be his friend. Mulder has never been so popular!

66. Pass those kleenex again! Here it comes. The BIG MSRM to end all MSRM's!!!

67. "Came by for what?" Um, maybe he like *LOVES* you, did you ever think of that, Scully? Duh!

68. She still wants to take the blame, willing to destroy her reputation to save him. But he won't let her.

69. Mulder is the first to restore his faith. "We all have our faith, and mine is in the truth."

70. TWC9: Oh, that huge grin that makes my heart just melt (and maybe Scully's too).

71. "Because I knew you'd talk me out of it if I was making a mistake." Mulder doesn't need any more friends. She's his one in five billion.

72. Enter Father McCue, and now Scully must face restoring her faith.

73. One of my favorite Mulderisms: "Have the Father say a few hail Mulders for me, okay?"

74. Cue the end of the MSRM: A nice kiss, she doesn't want to let go of his hand. "You'll be in my prayers." Yes, we all have our faith.

75. Mulder late for a hearing? Imagine that . . .

76. TWC10: Woo-hoo, that FBI hearing room lighting just does something for him!

77. Skinner is squirming. Is he about to be exposed?

78. Just let me say that I feel the next few minutes are some of the best in the series history. Mulder's narration as the scenes cut back and forth to the action . . . Scully at death's door saying the rosary, the tension in the hearing room, CSM looking with longing at the photo of Fox and Samantha, Mulder making the big leap with his startling revelation, CSM shot, Blevins shot by the guy with no actual purpose until now, and CSM pulling the photo to him with his dying (note: don't bet on it) breath. The editing, the music, the writing, the acting, everything just comes together to give it just the right amount of suspense. Terrific.

79. Note to self: Must send a thank you note to CC for killing off Blevins instead of someone that we actually cared about. After Deep Throat, Papa Mulder, Melissa, Mr. X, Queequeg, Max Fenig, and Agent Pendrell, this was such a relief!

80. Mulder sure gets a lot of visitors when he parks himself in that chair. But Bill didn't want to be his buddy (he was about the only one).

81. CSM dead? But no body? As I said, if you think CSM is dead, you're deluding yourself.

82. Mulder proves that guessing that password in "Memento Mori" wasn't just a fluke.

83. Another BIG grin. Scully's cancer's gone into remission. Not cured, mind you; so of course, the possibility of it reoccurring will hang over us like the Sword of Damocles. But for now? At this moment? All is right with the world.

84. So was it faith? Divine intervention? The chip? Pure science fiction? "I don't think we'll ever know." (And OT note for Season 8: I believe we *will* know that Mulder is Daddy, but as for how it all came about, I think this same rule will apply; "I don't think we'll ever know.")

85. Even though Mulder assures Skinner that Scully would love to see him, Skinner doesn't look so convinced. Scully did think he was dirty, after all. And she tends to pull guns on people.

86. Awww, but the look on Scully's face says, "All is forgiven" as she's got that mixture of thank you for all you did for me and I'm sorry I doubted you all rolled into one.

87. I just can't watch this scene now without thinking of the blooper reel. After "Kumbaya," do you think they sang, "Michael, Row the Boat Ashore"?

88. And now the tears flow; not just ours but Mulder's as well. So many emotions hitting all at once. The joy that Scully is saved, but the despair that now he may never have the chance to find Samantha again. And even if he does, can the reunion finally fulfill his hopes and dreams?

89. Speaking of reunions, I guess you could say that we were cheated out of one in "Redux II." We see Scully having a joyful reunion with her family, and to some extent, even a reunion with Skinner. But not with Mulder. Well, in some perverse way, I almost prefer we didn't get to see that reunion (please don't throw things). I'm sure this was an intensely private moment, between two very private people, and I would have almost felt like an intruder (I did say *almost*). And anyway, remember what I said about expectations: reality very rarely lives up to them. No matter how CC wrote a reunion scene between M&S, it could have *never* lived up to our expectations. Some will say he took the coward's way out; but I'm kind of glad that I got to use my imagination about what they might have said to each other, how those little hand-holds and sweet kisses might have escalated to hugs and even sweeter kisses, and about the tears they shed together as they celebrated her remission and as he told her about seeing and then losing Samantha. And although I'm looking forward to the reunion in "DeadAlive," it'll still be more fun to imagine what they are saying to each other, and how they are reacting to each other, after the cameras stop rolling and we've all stopped intruding in an intensely private moment. :::sigh:::! Time to stock up on more tissues. (But if Mulder would only say, "I'm officially among the undead," just to preserve some continuity, I wouldn't complain!)

90. Now that all this life and death stuff is out of he way, I guess we can get back to the quest and the conspiracy. So is proof of the existence of extraterrestrial life all a hoax as Kritschgau has proclaimed? Or has Kritschgau only spun "beautiful lies" as CSM asserts? To quote my favorite G-Man: "I don't think we'll ever know."

91. Wow, this was a really long TOTM, wasn't it? Once again, remember what I said about reality very rarely living up to expectations. In retrospect, perhaps I should just trash this whole thing, cause "Redux II" could basically be summed up in two words: That's entertainment.

"Redux II" is the first time that two parts of a two-part (or more) episode have had the same name, with just a number added ("Dreamland" will be the second). But that title was oh so appropriate. "Redux" marks the return of Mulder from the dead, and "Redux II" marks the return of Scully from that same fate. Their archenemy may be dead (or maybe not), but the kids are alive and well and ready to take on the world and the universe again. And best of all, EVERYBODY's got good hair! Well, except Skinner.

I'm sending my apologies; have the Father say a few Hail Marjies for me, okay?

Sorry. Just one sorry son-of-a-bitch speaking.