Theatre of the Mind ~ all things
After a short sabbatical and with a little hesitation, I'm back to restart the TOTMs. A little hesitation because (1) I'm out of practice and very rusty, so I'm not sure how this is gonna come out; and (2) I'm not sure if anyone is really even interested anymore. But for better or worse, the TOTMs and I are back. I doubt that anybody missed us, but since I'm missing Mulder and my old X-Files more than I can say, I'm going to forge ahead anyway as this is my own way of remembering (and celebrating) the past. So onward and upward.
1. A Scullylogue. Well, worse things have happened in the bathroom on the X-Files.
2. Drip, drip, drip who you gonna call? Not Mulder; he displayed his plumbing skills quite sufficiently in "The Goldberg Variation."
3. All this talk of fate vs. free will is reminding me of "Monday." And to quote the pro-fate Agent Scully from that episode: "I think that it's our character that determines our fate."
4. TWC1: Woo-hoo! I'd know that nekkid foot anywhere!
5. So this is *Mulder's* bathroom? Funny how we didn't even know Mulder *had* a bathroom until Season 7. Though I haven't quite figured out how Mulder's bathroom has a window and the opposite wall has a window ...
6. Scully's leaving? She must be going out to pick up breakfast ... or a plumber.
7. TWC2: Hoo-boy! Nekkid leg, nekkid arms, nekkid chest ... now, I know you expected a "holy flaming cow" about now but, no, not quite yet.
8. Poor baby, sleeping peacefully ... looks like he's all tuckered out, doesn't it?
9. It's beginnings like this that put the "tease" in "teaser"!
10. 63 hours earlier ... so it's one of those ones where the beginning is actually the end.
11. Written and directed by Gillian Anderson. You go, girl!
12. A slide show! Gosh, we haven't had a Mulder slide show since "Field Trip." (GA gets brownie points for nekkid Mulder feet and slide show in the first five minutes!)
13. TWC3: Love Bebopping!Mulder shaking his boo-tay to the Moby rhythm!
14. Scully, you party-pooper, you. Man, is she crabby today, or what?
15. Scully's Revenge No. 1: Mulder is wrong about the Jose Cuervo X-File.
16. The Mandelbrot Set that Mulder mentions in his slide show is one of the most widely recognized icons of the field of chaos, dynamics, and fractals. It is named after Benoit Mandelbrot who constructed (via computer) the first images of the set in 1978.
17. I can understand Scully's desire to stab her salad ... hardly as interesting as the Brown Mountain Lights or bumps on the back that look like bug bites or even exsanguinated Holsteins, for that matter.
18. TWC4: Not wearing any pants ... :::sigh::: if only that were true!! But love the gray long-sleeve. (And the no-pants thing *does* get Scully's attention.)
19. It's obvious from Mulder's look that only women understand the importance of taking a bath. (Though if I were Scully, I'd rethink the whole bath thing after the Donnie Pfaster incident girly girl.)
20. It speaks volumes to me that instead of getting mad when Scully balks at the trip to England (as he has in other episodes like "Never Again"), Mulder looks *really* hurt that she doesn't want to go.
21. Since when has being "remotely FBI related" been a prerequisite?
22. Poor Scully - even after Mulder leaves, his sandwich and his slide show mock her.
23. The mood she's in, I'm surprised Scully doesn't grab that tapping pencil and break it in two.
24. I guess you could say I wasn't paying attention, but this is the first time I've noticed that the blonde nurse who hands Scully the wrong x-rays is the same blonde who keeps popping up later in the episode to make sure that Scully is still paying attention. Call her Fate. Call her Destiny. Call her Kismet.
25. The first time I watched this episode, the "slow-mo-moments" really got on my nerves. But after watching it several times, I had a slow-mo epiphany. More on that later.
26. Just in case you weren't paying attention, there's a big sign that says "PAY ATTENTION" behind the nurse's station.
27. Not sure if I want to be a patient in this hospital if they mix up autopsy results with x-rays.
28. A man from Scully's past? One of those "father figures" she mentioned in "NeverAgain"?
29. Watching Scully duck behind a copy of "Feng Shui Life," wherever Melissa is, she'd better be smiling. (By the way, did you know that Feng Shui means "wind and water" in Chinese?)
30. I can see why Scully's impressed - someone else who can do that "one-tear" thing.
31. Great face work by GA as Scully is taken aback to learn her old professor has been talking about her out of school. Dana Scully - Teacher's Pet.
32. I guess Scully's apartment has been broken into so many times that she figures it's just easier to leave the windows open and save the perpetrators the trouble.
33. Appears that Scully was a little *more* than the teacher's pet. The plot thickens.
34. TWC5: I thought Mulder only watched porn and bad sci-fi. How nice to learn he's a sensitive guy who likes mushy black and white tearjerkers! And he's got a nice entertainment center/dresser combo goin' on there.
35. "You're breaking my heart." Did you hear that, Scully? Pay attention!
36. GPM: Even though the conversation takes a turn for the worse, I love the little touch of happiness in his voice when he realizes he has the real Scully and not the machine.
37. It's also somewhat comforting to learn that apparently Mulder practices for the Olympic Pencil Ceiling Toss at home as well as at work.
38. All those nice suitcases Mulder *apparently* has and he's throwing his stuff in that bag!
39. Slow-mo again with the tapping curtain pull. What does it mean? I'm gettin' to it!
40. Nice weaving of the Moby lyrics into the dialogue.
41. Aw, he's hurt and angry that not only is she not going with him, she also has other plans.
42. Not paying attention again. Wrong room. (Maybe that explains how she ended up in Padgett's apartment ... but I digress.)
43. Apparently not *everyone* loves Scully!
44. Ewww. I thought those kind of handholds were reserved strictly for Mulder.
45. Yes to the father figure - one who thinks the FBI was a bad choice - shades of "Beyond the Sea."
46. Hey, get your hands off her! She belongs to someone else!
47. The intimacy displayed between Scully and Daniel (as well as Maggie's reaction) certainly implies that the two had a sexual affair at some point. However, it's interesting to note that in GA's original vision, although there was an attraction, Scully left before they consummated the relationship because she did not want to be a homewrecker. In paring down the script (which as originally written was15 pages too long and had no fourth act), many of these intricacies of the story had to be scrapped. GA intended that Scully would explain these details in a fourth act conversation with Mulder.
48. Safety first: What about buckling up? And don't you know you shouldn't talk on your cell phone and drive at the same time?
49. TWC6: Nice footwear! BTW, this episode is somewhat Mulder-lite because DD was preparing for his own writing/directorial effort, "Hollywood AD".
50. "Don't roll your eyes, Scully." ROTFLMAO. Does he know her, or what?
51. Slow-mo time! You gotta pay attention!
52. Hey, I recognize that lady! Not from the hospital, that's Michelle Fazekas from "Detour."
53. Scully looks like she'd like to tell this lady where she can stick her theories about paying attention and being open-minded.
54. Slow-mo as the folder contents flutter to the ground. Annoying, yes, but Scully, no reason to shout into your cell phone!
55. Oh yeah, I'd seek the medical opinion of a pathologist.
56. So he followed her, has lived in Washington for nearly 10 years to be near her, and yet never contacted her? That's not flattering, that's just creepy. That's also what happens when people decide to "stay still".
57. GA's reading of the line, "I want everything I should want at this time of my life," is just awesome and open to many different interpretations. She might like the writing and directing, but GA, for our sakes, don't give up your day job!
58. Scully's been down this "maybe I want the life I didn't choose" road before. Well, sometimes you don't know what you've got until you take "the road not taken," so go to it.
59. She lays her head on his chest and he goes into cardiac arrest. Good thing Mulder was already dead before she got the chance to do that with him.
60. Every once in a while, when Scully is in Bossy!Doctor mode, don't you just wish somebody would say, "Excuse me, you don't work here." Especially when she barks out, "Who's paying attention?"
61. The role of Carol, Colleen's partner, is played by Carol Banker, script supervisor. (And the homosexual relationship portrayed in this episode is certainly a nice antithesis to the stereotypical one portrayed in "X-Cops.")
62. It's the return of Psychic!Scully! Where have you been? We missed you!
63. Heard of an "aura" before? Boy, has she ever. (And I love the Buddha peeking over Colleen's shoulder as she explains her beliefs.)
64. Just tea? Not a General Foods International Coffee moment?
65. Here's where I explain my Slow-Mo Epiphany. Colleen asks Scully if she has ever had moments when everything gets incredibly clear - when time seems to expand. [Insert light bulb over Polly's head here.] It finally occurred to me that the slow-mo moments in this episode represent these moments of great importance when time seems to expand hence the slow-mo. These are the important moments when fate takes a hand - when Scully is handed the wrong folder, Mulder's phone call that leads her to meet Colleen, the vision that saves Scully from the accident, dropping the contents of the folder Colleen gives her to see the heart chakra, etc. Maybe most of you figured this out the first time around; I didn't. I guess I wasn't paying attention!
66. Kudos also to GA for the use of sound throughout the episode: the dripping faucet, the swish of the ceiling fan, the pulse of "The Sky is Broken," the hum and click of the slide projector, the tapping pencil, the insistent beeping of the hospital monitors, the chime of the triangle, the tapping window pull, the rattle of the wheel on the gurney, the click of the turn signal, the whir of the lawn sprinkler, and the squeak of the swinging apothecary sign all help add clarity to those important moments.
67. Colleen's story is of course somewhat similar to Scully's, at least in my eyes. Consumed by work, cut off from the world and yourself, in a relationship (professional) where you were afraid of what others your family and colleagues would think, then diagnosed with cancer. Colleen's cancer got her attention, and I think Scully's did too, though perhaps the process took longer. Skeptical!Scully has been more open to extreme possibilities; she has in many ways come to terms with her faith, she has explored her desire to have a family and a normal life and to "get out of the car"; she has been more truthful to herself and to Mulder, and she has finally let someone (Mulder) get through that "brick wall" that she built around herself (and which was so well illustrated in "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas"). Everything that has happened to her has happened for a reason.
68. You should really bring flowers in a vase when you come to the hospital.
69. Scully's science and conventional treatment didn't work Daniel's in a coma; Maggie is not happy.
70. While I better understand the slow-mo now, still not a big fan of the Scully Music Video portion.
71. But Fate in Beige and a Baseball Cap does lead her to a date with Buddha. Scully sure seems to have a direct connection to the higher powers; religion doesn't matter - if you're a spiritual being of any kind, Scully!Radar is on your frequency!
72. Let me be the one to save the wear and tear on your pause button. Here's the "important moments" from Scully's life that go rushing by during her vision, in order: her family at her father's funeral; her father as he appeared to her in dress whites in "One Breath"; her mother; Mulder; Melissa; CSM; herself at her first meeting with Mulder (with the IWTB poster behind her); Colleen Azar; herself holding Emily; herself and Mulder looking up at the UFO from "Deep Throat"; Mulder holding her in the hallway in "Memento Mori"; herself just before she was abducted by Duane Barry; and finally, a transparent Daniel with a black heart. Important moments all, when time expanded I'm sure, but there seems to be a recurring theme here.
73. "When convention and science offer us no answers, might we not finally turn to the fantastic as a plausibility?" Seems that Scully has finally accepted that challenge that Mulder offered so many years ago.
74. And again, I'm sure Melissa is somewhere smiling as the healer appears to be doing for Daniel what Melissa was trying to do for Scully in "One Breath."
75. "Dr. Scully, who do you think you are?" Well, that's sort of what this episode is all about, isn't it?
76. Scully's dream takes her from the comfort of her apartment (fuzzy slippers and all) into the sterility of Daniel's hospital room, only to see herself as the one who is dying. You know, sometimes dreams are the answers to questions we haven't yet learned how to ask.
77. Like just how many satin pajama sets does Scully have anyway?
78. Maggie certainly wins the Bad Phone Moment Award for saying "come quick" but not why.
79. I recognize that green sweater from the teaser. Has it been almost sixty-three hours already?
80. "That 'crap' may have just saved your life whether you're open to it or not." How far she's come! I can just as easily have heard Mulder saying this line to her at the end of Redux II.
81. So appropriate that Scully ends things with this man who has been running from the truth so she can finally commit herself to a man who has been running toward the truth.
82. Slow-mo again, important moment, right? Scully, pay attention. You're about to meet ... call her Fate. Call her Destiny. Call her Kismet. Call her Mulder.
83. And in that instant when she's surprised to see Mulder standing before her, Scully realizes that Fate has brought her exactly where she is supposed to be: by his side. :::sigh:::
84. TWC7: I dig the "Stonehenge Rocks" cap; but the beige jacket has gotta go. And I'm hoping I don't have any visions of my own of Mulder with a blonde ponytail. That might be worse than Flowbee!Mulder!
85. Scully's Revenge No. 2: Mulder is *also* wrong about the crop circles X-File. I guess two times in one episode constitutes that 1.1 percent of the time.
86. Everything happens for a reason but sometimes nothing happens for a reason too.
87. TWC8: Another footwear closeup! Woo-hoo! Don't you just love seeing those big gunboats parked right next to those little stockinged feet?
88. If Mulder has tea in his apartment, could be love. Aha! Fate doesn't always bring you root beer in a brown paper bag!
89. I think the fact that Scully is actually telling Mulder what happened to her as soon as she possibly can after it happened says a lot, a lot, a lot ... as does the fact that she's telling him about Daniel.
90. Note to 1013: Whatever you do, please, please, *please* don't make Will David Crosby's baby.
91. "What I would have missed." You can say that again. And what *we* would have missed as well.
92. MSRM: Maybe they never used to "really talk," but the way they are sitting on this couch sharing the moment and *really* talking, well, it looks to me like they've done this before. They look relaxed, they look like they are enjoying each other's company and the conversation, and best of all, they are comfortable with one another. All the choices that they have both made have lead to "this very moment."
93. Snoozing!Scully I hope she didn't drool on him!
94. TWC9: Holy Flaming Cow! You think you do not *gaze* at Agent Scully? Think again.
95. How appropriate that the final slow-mo sequence is an important moment for *Mulder*; so much clarity in his gaze and time expands as he lovingly and carefully takes care of the woman he loves with all his heart a woman who perhaps now is ready to give her heart to him and let herself love him back. In a gesture that we've seen before, he tucks her hair behind her ear, then covers her with his blanket and gently and sweetly tucks her in. One last tiny smile of great love, devotion, tenderness, and happiness, and he slips away. And the fish, the UFO bobber, and the Buddha are smiling too. And so are we. Cause remember, this isn't the ending ... it's really just the beginning.
96. In some ways, I thought I was seeing more "Gillian Anderson" than "Dana Scully" in "all things." But the story that used many of Gillian's interests and philosophies was still true to Scully. It wasn't like this was the first time that Scully has opened herself up to "extreme possibilities"; it's just another part of the long and arduous journey. And it's not like Scully hasn't had visions before either. She's seen angels and devils and dead people everywhere! Gillian was able to weave bits and pieces of her own experience and interests into the life of Dana Scully and did an admirable job in her first outing as writer and director.
This episode raises lots of philosophical, metaphysical, and theological questions that we could discuss, debate, and dissect for hours. But when it was over, there was only one question on the minds of X-Philes everywhere: Did they or didn't they? To me, there's no discussion or debate necessary. It's a no brainer. They did. I believe the facts support that quite clearly:
a. If Scully awoke on Mulder's couch in the middle of the night and decided she needed a trip to the potty before heading home, why was she pulling on her lovely green sweater and zipping up her skirt? No need to undress to do your business ... unless you have an incredibly poor sense of aim.
b. The pantyhose factor: *On* when sitting on the couch, *off* when zipping up the skirt. All the ladies know that once you've wriggled out of those things, you're not wriggling back into them. And why would you remove them just to go to the bathroom? (Unless it's that poor aim thing.)
c. If you're just going to the bathroom, would you do it with the door wide open when you know someone is sleeping just outside? I don't care if he is your constant and touchstone ... no one needs that much togetherness.
d. If you've tried to convince yourself that Scully had removed her clothes to shower or freshen up, why if she was leaving anyway? Maybe after she fell asleep, she woke up to find that Mulder had dressed her in a set of satin pajamas, since that's what happened the *last* time she fell asleep in the presence of a man. Maybe it's a like father, like son thing.
e. Though it is tough to tell, the covers look "pushed back" on the empty side of the bed like when someone gets out of it. And I still say there's an indentation on the empty pillow.
f. Most every time we've seen Mulder in bed or preparing for bed, he's been wearing pajama bottoms and a tee shirt (not *every* time, I'll grant you, but most of the time). So tonight, of all nights, with someone asleep in his living room, he decides to sleep in the buff? I don't think so. Suppose you sleepwalk or want a drink of water in the middle of the night or something? I guess you could *conceivably* say that he's not in the buff, he's wearing boxers (which we have seen him wear to bed before), but then I'd say you need to work on your imagination.
g. Mulder's sleeping like a satisfied man. And don't try to tell me that's just jet lag.
h. And last but not least, if you were a healthy, red-blooded female who found the male of the species attractive, and you were standing there, gazing at that nekkid leg poking out from under the comforter, looking at that lightly furred chest and that beautiful face sleeping peacefully, would you have been able to leave that apartment without getting some of that? No. Now of course, if you'd already *had* some of that, you might be able to tear yourself away.
I rest my case.
And if you believe that they *did*, the only question then becomes: Was it the first time? Again, for me, a no brainer. It wasn't. But it *was* the first time when they were both finally free of the ghosts that haunted their pasts and able to give their hearts fully to each other. "all things" was to Scully's character what "Closure" was to Mulder's. Each episode in its own way brought each character an end to a painful chapter in their lives, and allowed each of them to finally be able to move forward. They will at last be ready to "take stock of each precious moment" as they now proceed down life's path ... together. We knew that when she first shook his hand in the "Pilot"; they just had to find it out for themselves.
Well, I warned you that I was out of practice, so I'll start by apologizing for that, and for the monster length. I definitely need to bone up on my editing. Of course, there's a lot more I could apologize for, but that's probably more than we should be getting into at this late hour. And if I didn't include all of this, I wouldn't know what I'd be missing. The bottom line is everything happens for a reason.
"Well, why didn't you just say so in the first place?"
Apologies as always,
Jan. 6, 2002