Theatre of the Mind ~ The Sixth Extinction

For the past six years, our heroes have had their own separate belief systems—Mulder with his faith in the paranormal, and Scully with her faith in science and her religion. And now, just as these two worlds are finally beginning to come together at alarming speed, Mulder and Scully are physically and literally worlds apart—separated not by their beliefs but by oceans and continents. But though they may be separated corporeally, they are still together in mind and in spirit, one attuned to the other, one giving everything they have to try and save the other. And thus begins Season 7 ...

1. The episode title, "The Sixth Extinction" is taken from Scully's monologue at the beginning of "Biogenesis," the sixth season finale. She told us about the first five extinctions and noted, "Will we pass as those before us, into oblivion, into the sixth extinction that scientists warn is already in progress?"

2. Though this was the season opener, it was the second episode filmed. ("Hungry" (7X01) was filmed first.) It was still basically the first episode for GA and DD *together,* having spent a total of only two days filming "Hungry," and most of that time, they were *not* on set together. Of course, they're not together too much in this one either ... at least *physically*.

3. Dear Diary: Today my heart leapt when I got a Scully voiceover that sounded like an entry from her journal. Why, oh why, couldn't we have had a few of those in Season 8?

4. "Consume your beautiful mind." That’s why I like those Scully journal entries. She writes things to Mulder that she would never say to him in person (at least not yet!).

5. TWC1: The return of Scully!Glasses! Woo-hoo! I hope this bodes well for Mulder!Glasses later in the season!

6. Next Scully journal entry: Note to self—Next time in Africa, bring Bug Zapper.

7. You must be properly outfitted when stalking those reflecting primitive African men! Linen pants, tight white tee shirt, and don't forget the push-up bra! And since you have to leave your gun at home, always accessorize with a big machete!

8. I'm *sure* if you go in and turn the lamp down, all those insects will just fly away. Good plan.

9. Not. And while they're swarming, I'd be keeping my mouth shut if I were Scully.

10. What do you think Mulder is wearing under that short hospital gown?

11. I see where those episodes of aggression – sometimes against himself – were focused. What happened to all the beautiful hair he had in "Biogenesis"?

12. Aw, Skinner just wants to get him some fresh air.

13. Well, fresh air is highly overrated.

14. Even when pinned to the floor, Manly Man Skinner lets Mulder know he could snap him like a twig.

15. You know, you can get detention for passing notes in the neuro-psyche ward!

16. But Mulder does get kudos for excellent penmanship. Do you know how tough it is to write in blood?

17. You can't expect the stars to do the real work! 50,000 dead crickets, rented from a local entomologist, served as the dead bugs on the floor during this scene.

18: My Gawd!! Amina Ngebe must be related to WMM!

19. First I thought Scully was packing, but I guess she was just bathing to get all that bug gunk out of her hair ... and her teeth.

20. Amina plans to help Scully continue the work ... but I don't seem to recall her being invited.

21. Gee, thanks for those subtitles! I never knew that AHHHHHHHHHHHHH! was Swahili for "Help me." I guess Mulder was speaking Swahili too a minute ago.

22. There's the Dr. Scully we know and love! Telling the guys who don't speak English that we must get this guy to a hospital ... in English.

23. What is it with these hospitals in Georgetown? First Scully in "One Breath" and now Mulder. They can't afford a frickin' blanket to put over people's feet?

24. I thought *sure* the movie music would be destroyed in the Sixth Extinction. Guess not.

25. *Skinner* doesn’t have much time? And Mulder does?

26. TWC2: Aww, he looks so lost, so forlorn, so relieved that someone is finally there to help him. And when he taps his fingers—I hear bells!

27. Can he write? I'll have you know he went to the Teena Mulder School of PALM Writing While Incapacitated. (Except he needs to use less space between letters or he will run out of PALM.)

28. There was no paper *anywhere* in this hospital room? I guess it's stored with the blankets.

29. Okay, tell the truth. You thought he was gonna write K-R-Y-C-E-K, didn't you?

30. GVM: Mulder's not really up to answering the phone, even if Scully had one, so we'll have to make do with the Good Voiceover Moment. "I feel you slipping away," just proves how strong the connection is between them.

31. Eww, it's that mean Dr. Barnes, Krycek's new best friend.

32. What is Scully under suspicion for? Killing a bunch of locusts?

33. "You don't even believe in that." "Nor do you. But here we are." That pretty much sums it up.

34. Now the spaceship is the key to everything. "Everything" has more keys than a piano.

35. A plague of locusts, a boiling sea, a sea of blood. I would say these are all signs of Biblical proportions.

36. I think Mulder must have had an erasable pen cause now there's a lot less space between the "K" and the "R".

37. Ooopsie. Kritschgau says it's 6 in the morning, but the legend just said it was 5:05 a.m. (And I'm not sure why Kritschgau is so testy; he sure answered the door in a hurry, so it's not like he was asleep or anything ... unless Skinner has been knocking since 5:05 a.m.)

38. I think Kritschgau's memory needs a little refreshing. Wasn't Mulder trying to help *him* find a cure for *his* son?

39. Haloperidol is used in the management of manifestations of acute and chronic psychosis, including schizophrenia and manic states. It may also be of value in the management of aggressive and agitated behavior in patients with chronic brain syndrome.

40. TWC3: I'm admiring his beautiful mind among other things. Hoo boy!

41. Skinner and Kritschgau should work at this hospital. They couldn't get him a robe?

42. Phenytoin (brand name Dilantin) is used for the control of generalized tonic-clonic and psychomotor (grand mal and temporal lobe) seizures and prevention and treatment of seizures occurring during or following neurosurgery.

43. I thought "remote viewing" was what I did on my couch with a soda and a bowl of popcorn.

44. TWC4: If Mulder is now effectively "all brain," it’s true what they say: smart is sexy.

45. Skinner has a temporary recovery of his balls; I love it when he bosses Fowley around.

46. "No doctors. Get me Scully." I don't think he meant that the way it sounded.

47. Sure saves time just to have Mulder read everyone's mind and tell us what they're thinking.

48. TWC5: And after all he's been through, he can still give us that crooked smile. Awww.

49. Today's science lesson: A DNA molecule consists of two strands that wrap around each other to resemble a twisted ladder whose sides, made of sugar and phosphate molecules, are connected by rungs of nitrogen-containing chemicals called bases. Each strand is a linear arrangement of repeating similar units called nucleotides, which are each composed of one sugar, one phosphate, and a nitrogenous base. Four different bases are present in DNA: adenine (A), thymine (T), cytosine (C), and guanine (G) (the words that Scully is translating from the craft). The particular order of the bases arranged along the sugar-phosphate backbone is called the DNA sequence; the sequence specifies the exact genetic instructions required to create a particular organism with its own unique traits.

50. However, either the aliens or Scully can't spell. It's "adenine," not "ademine."

51. They're translating the top portion of the craft and trying to read the bottom of the craft. My question is why haven't they tried to get *inside* the craft?

52. 24 chromosomes is correct. DNA in the human genome is arranged into 24 distinct chromosomes--physically separate molecules that range in length from about 50 million to 250 million base pairs. All genes are arranged linearly along the chromosomes. The nucleus of most human cells contains two sets of chromosomes, one set given by each parent. Each set has 23 single chromosomes--22 autosomes and an X or Y sex chromosome. (A normal female will have a pair of X chromosomes; a male will have an X and Y pair.) I hope you’re paying attention. There will be a quiz later.

53. "It's like ... it's the most beautiful, intricate work of art." I wouldn't expect Scully to describe it any other way, this meshing of religion and science—her Holy Twosome. But Scully can't take time to be in awe of this discovery—its only importance at the moment is in saving Mulder.

54. Dr. Barnes doesn't look so hot. Mulder might be getting a roommate real soon.

55. Hey, keep your hands off my machete! Unless you've got a push-up bra to go with it.

56. "I'm only here to help my friend." Friend, partner, lover, constant, touchstone. What's in a name?

57. Obviously whoever handles the blanket distribution in this hospital also handles security. Skinner and Kritschgau break into the hospital's drug supply *and* cart in all this equipment and no one even inquires as to what they are doing?

58. "Who ya gonna call?" Okay, Mulder, that might have been funny in "Hell Money" but ... okay, it wasn't funny then either.

59. TWC6: Oh, let him try again. He can do better!

60. If Mulder can't get back in the Bureau, he can always get a job playing the bongos. He's got a good beat, *and* you can dance to it! (Love the image of the fox on the monitors too.)

61. The fish come back to life, so it is surmised that the ship can regenerate life. “It *is* power.” Was her proximity to the ship how Scully's fertility was restored? That's one theory.

62. That'll teach you to mess with a girl's machete, Dr. Barnes.

63. I'll admit, I'm not really sure of the significance of the primitive African man who keeps appearing to Scully, but I think it is noteworthy that in her opening journal entry, Scully said, "I feel this was meant not for me to find but for you ..." Now the African man tells her, "Some truths are not for you." Perhaps this vision of the man is for the intended purpose: to send her home to Mulder, where they need to find the truth together.

64. Scully has been the X-File twice already; Mulder's just trying to catch up.

65. "How far would Mulder go?" That’s a good line. Let's save that and use it again in Season 8.

66. There's that movie music again. Can't we hide that CD?

67. Was Fowley a teacher in Catholic school in some former life? "Let me see your hands. Hands!"

68. Seems that Skinner has misplaced his balls again. Remember who's the boss here, Walter!

69. As Mulder goes into convulsions, Skinner holds his head while Fowley goes right for familiar territory—his crotch.

70. Dr. Barnes has really lost it. Maybe Fowley could go over and hold his crotch for awhile.

71. It's the relationship that dreams are made of: you'll be catatonic and tied to the bed, but we can be together forever! "Fox, I love you." Excuse me while I get my barf bag!

72. If it's been known for so long what is "inside him," why haven't they acted on it before now?

73. Maybe other women are attracted to Mulder's forehead as I am attracted to his feet ...

74. Oooh, that little Fox was playing possum! Very clever!

75. Scully's plane lands at 9:25, probably a reference to GA’s daughter, who was born on 9/25.

76. Everyone's giving Scully a wide berth. I bet she's so ripe, she's rotten.

77. If she was in such a hurry to see Mulder, why didn't she go to the hospital first?

78. These two former skeptics agree that what is affecting Mulder "may be extraterrestrial in origin" and neither one bats an eyelash. Wherever Mulder is, he'd better be smiling.

79. They might not deny Scully access as his doctor, but they might wonder why his primary care physician is a forensic pathologist. Of course, they don't know Mulder like we do!

80. If Dr. Barnes killed the driver to see if he would come back to life ... congratulations! The experiment is a success. But some folks don't like being used as lab rats ...

81. TWC7: Mulder isn't exactly Mr. GQ in this episode, but Holy Flaming Cow—Scully's voice just brings out the best in him. And isn't it sweet how he's able to block out the cacophony and zero in only on her?

82. "Mulder, it’s me." Isn't it nice to hear that again?

83. MSRM: This scene is a good reminder that sometimes we are all too paranoid for our own good. Remember when the promos were running for this episode—and they made it appear that the hand that was grasping Mulder’s belonged to The Fowl One? Overreact much? Us? How relieved (and happy) we were to find that the handholding was between our own Moose & Squirrel. And even though Mulder seems unable to respond when Scully asks for a sign, it's obvious that she feels she is getting through to him. How? I think you know. Besides. She's seen his panic face.

84. And Fowley may have gotten a forehead kiss and Scully got bupkus; but just remember: good things come to those who wait.

85. It's nice to hear Scully implore Mulder to come back because the pieces are there for "us" to put together, stressing to him that she's part of the team and she's not going anywhere.

86. What a surprise! Much to Dr. Barnes chagrin, I'm sure, the craft is gone. Flown away? Drifted away? Taken away? Gone, nonetheless. Just like in the movie: "All our evidence, gone. How many times have we been here before, right here, so close to the truth? And now, with what we've seen and what we know, to be right back at the beginning with nothing."

87. My God! I'm turning into Mark Snow. To be continued ...

To me, "The Sixth Extinction" was not the typical middle portion of the trilogy, which is usually not quite as satisfying as the beginning and end and only serves to move the action along toward the conclusion. "The Sixth Extinction" offers some great moments for GA as we see her internal struggle between making sense of her discoveries and her focus on finding a cure for Mulder. And though Mulder doesn't have a lot to do except look glassy eyed and favor us with musical selections, we do learn that he might just be a pawn in this game after all. And their separation throughout the episode only makes their reunion scene all the more poignant.

And so Season 7 is underway, slowly but surely. If you think this took too long to make it's way to you, just remember that "The work here is painstaking—a slow and tedious piecing together." I'm sure some of you thought that—no, probably *hoped* that—once I completed the Season 6 TOTMs, that would be the end of it. That I wouldn't continue with these embarrassments to the spirit of the X-Files. You hoped these works would remain shrouded in secret, never to be found as they might tarnish the image of the show that we have all loved so much.

But carry on I will, despite your wishes. "I've ignored warnings to quit this work, remaining committed to finding answers, afraid only that our secret here won't last and that I might be too late." So I offer you my apologies, as always, and don't mind me. "I was just feeling to see if you were still alive."