Theatre of the Mind ~ Requiem

"Requiem" - a Mass said for the dead. An appropriate title for what could very well have been the final episode of The X-Files. In fact, as the crew at 1013 began to shoot "Requiem," no one really knew for sure. They knew that FOX wanted the show back and they knew that Gillian Anderson still had a year left on her contract. They also knew that David Duchovny's contract was up, and that Chris Carter had said all along that he would not do the show without David. But negotiations continued. So Chris Carter set out to craft a script which could be the series finale, a cliffhanger to lead to an eighth season, or a cliffhanger that could lead toward a movie franchise. What he ultimately crafted was a bookend to hold seven volumes that chronicled the journey of two very different people who were thrown together in the basement home of the "F.B.I's most unwanted," but who learned to respect each other, care for each other, trust each other, and love each other. Two people who stood side by side, enduring triumphs and tragedies; two people who became first partners, then friends, then soulmates. Two who completed each other; two who became one. "Requiem" brought the story of these remarkable characters full circle, taking them back to the place where their partnership began, and taking us on an emotional trip down memory lane ...

1. Bellefleur, Oregon. Has it really been seven years? Seems more like nine minutes.

2. Seven years later, and still just a detective? Tsk, tsk, tsk.

3. 10-13 is the code for crash and burn? I'm not gonna touch that one with a ten foot pole.

4. Seems that time *can* still just disappear, especially in this zip code.

5. Ouch, that's gonna leave a mark.

6. If I Could Turn Back Time.

7. Ray Hoese is probably named for the same Ray Hoese whose name appears at the end of the Season One gag reel, but I still don't know who he is.

8. I hate those aliens and their senseless propensity for ruining defenseless footwear!

9. Nitpick: How come Detective Miles doesn't have an immediate eye-burning reaction to the green-goo-oozing Ray Hoese wannabe?

10. I knew all those Lariat car rentals would come back to haunt them one day.

11. TWC1: Woo hoo! They should be looking at his *assets*, not his expenditures!

12. If only Mulder had that "sharing rooms" idea seven years ago.

13. "Nothing has been resolved exactly." Boy, you can say that again.

14. Aww, he looks so sad looking at the report where he signed off that his sister was dead.

15. "So what exactly is left to investigate?" Perhaps whose bright idea it was to keep this thing going after Season 7.

16. It's Miss Bee Husbandry, who seems to have made a complete recovery since last we saw her. Even her lisp has disappeared.

17. Holy smokes! Just like a Rocky and Bullwinkle plot: Boris Badenov & Natasha Fatale together again, ready to inflict misery on Moose & Squirrel.

18. "A conspiracy of men who cooperated with alien beings to create human alien hybrids. So we could all become slaves of an alien invasion." Sounds like crap when you say it.

19. Setting up for the potential next season: Scully as Skeptical Believer.

20. That sound you hear is all the Ratboy Fans chanting: Pull the camera back! Pull the camera back!

21. Wow! The FBI moves fast on those audit reports! It gets turned in, reviewed, and sent back for more info all on the same day? Must be, since everyone is still wearing the same clothes.

22. TWC2: I'm not missing the point - he looks mahvelous!

23. See, this is why nobody likes a math geek. He tallies up the personal costs and the monetary costs, and can only see that you're overbudget.

24. And then I yelled .... THERE'S RICHIE!!

25. GPM1: No good phone moments in this one, so how about a Good Parallel Moment ("Pilot" to "Requiem"). Scully gazing at the IWTB poster, just as she did seven years ago, is a nice touch.

26. Ooh, Scully loves Caveman!Mulder. A manly man in the full bloom of his manhood!

27. Those of you who said we never had any inkling of Mulder's mysterious brain disease were obviously not paying attention. And you thought he massaged his temples in this scene cause he had a Chesty Short sized headache!

28. It's more surprising that Billy remembers them, since he was in a waking coma for most of the Pilot. I guess when Agent Scully examines your feet, you never forget.

29. It's not the alien-hunting that's fun, it's who you do it with! Off to the very plausible state of Oregon!

30. The Watergate? I guess the Fowl One's lease wasn't up when CSM had her rubbed out, so he decided to sublet. (And Nurse Greta looks a little like a blonde Fowley - ewwww.)

31. Looks like CSM had a bad reaction to that little science experiment that kicked off Season 7, but luckily, he's still got his finger on the pulse of the alien invasion plan!

32. I'm assuming CSM had Krycek thrown in the hoosegow for trying to sell the secrets he obtained from Michael Kritzgau's laptop. Or maybe he just wanted to keep an eye on him ...

33. Just when you thought you'd seen CSM smoke a cigarette every possible way there was - Surprise!

34. Just an observation: The aliens might want to consider offering a course in driver's ed in Alien High School since they seem to crash their crafts every time they visit earth.

35. Shake, rattle, and roll!

36. Well, Moose & Squirrel might have bigger flashlights, but they don't have a Hot Ass Flashlight like Richie.

37. Running up those Lariat rental bills again. Way to go, kids! They try harder!

38. TWC3: Look who's rolled up their shirtsleeves!

39. Billy's acting seems to have improved in the last seven years; but of course, he was a vegetable for the majority of the "Pilot," so I guess there was nowhere to go but up.

40. Why Scully's sudden interest in who's married and who has kids? I think you know.

41. Oh yes, Detective Miles remembers Agent Scully. The last time they met, he clunked her over the head in the forest!

42. GPM2: The orange "X" on the highway. Oooh, I just had a blue suitcase flashback. Not pretty. Apparently, the Plausible State of Oregon doesn't repave its roadways very often.

43. Guess Detective Miles did have a green goo reaction after all. And he just might believe that alien stuff now.

44. I'm not sure Moose & Squirrel budgeted for the "5 cent Garden Tour."

45. Mulder was able to recognize Teresa so quickly because her acting hasn't improved in seven years.

46. TWC4: "Oh my God!" Well, Teresa does know a good thing when she sees it.

47. Bet the Tourism Council folks in Bellefleur have their work cut out for them.

48. Kudos to DD once again for communicating so much without words. He displays such a wide range of emotions as he watches Scully holding Teresa's very cute baby and sees what she has really given up (or has been taken from her) in her life. Everything registers almost simultaneously - his wonder at seeing Scully as a mother (and she is very sweet with the baby), the guilt, sadness, and regret that he feels for Scully's losses because of him, and also a longing for what might have been for her *and* for him. Subtle but powerful. It's all said through his eyes and expressions without a word being spoken.

49. TWC5: Couldn't they have lingered on that crotch shot for just a moment longer? Black tee and tight jeans nearly rates a "Holy Flaming Cow" but not quite. Close, but no HFC.

50. GPM3: Just as in the "Pilot," Scully comes to Mulder's motel room scared and seeking comfort ... and she ends up in his bed. (It's just too bad they didn't implement that sharing a room thing!)

51. Scully must have some serious jet lag to be getting ready for bed at 8 p.m.

52. Needs warmth? I was told once that the best way to regenerate body heat was to crawl naked into a sleeping bag with somebody else who's already naked.

53. ::::sigh:::: He had me at the shoes. ::::sniffle::::

54. MSRM: You guys know this spooning scene by heart, so what more can I say? It's simple and sweet and shows how comfortable they are and the level of intimacy and love they have for each other [and is obviously after the events that occur in "Per Manum" in Season 8]. This is more than friendship, folks (and implies that they should have started sharing rooms ages ago!). He strokes her face and kisses her cheek, she holds his hand and lightly kisses his knuckles. He talks of what might have been and what has to be ... and she doesn't know what to say because she fears he's right. He's finally ready to get out of the car, but at the very least, he's ready to admit that the personal stakes are too high and that Scully deserves better. I, *never* thought I would see a scene like this on the X-Files, so I'm very grateful for every single second. And if you think about it carefully, this scene could have taken place without the spooning. It was there for a very specific reason.

55. Boris ... I mean Alex ... lurks in forest of Frostbite Falls ... I mean Bellfleur ... plotting with Fearless Leader ... I mean CSM as Natasha ... I mean Marita lurks in background. Perhaps spaceship is in need of Upsidasium for fuel.

56. I guess fish must be the pet of choice among perpetual abductees.

57. It seems like after you've been abducted one or two dozen times you ought to get some dispensation - like not being affected by the green goo anymore. And why wasn't the baby affected? Is there something special about the offspring of two people whose DNA has been tampered with?

58. That's always the first sign of alien abduction ... the door was open. Those sneaky aliens.

59. Did Scully faint because she's sick or because she just scared herself by saying that the toxin comes "from what is arguably an alien"?

60. Now the spaceship is the key to everything. Well, it's about time we got a new key. Those old ones were getting rusty.

61. Isn't the Alien = God theory the way Season 7 started?

62. OT: When you watch "Requiem," does anybody besides me just love to yell "GARY!"?

63. TWC6: And then I yelled, "MULDER! HOO-BOY!!"

64. I've always liked my Scully shaken, not stirred.

65. I think Ritchie went to look for that water ... and he kept right on going till he got to Montana and Season 8.

66. Aww, so sweet. He's so worried.

67. How does the Amazing Leaping Mulder know that the abductees are not coming back?

68. FWIW, I think Billy knew it wasn't his father. But he also knew there was no point in shooting.

69. "Drat! Those pesky FBI Agents again! I'm going to get rid of them once and for all!"

70. Wow, what do you know! Front door open = alien abduction. Who knew?

71. I guess everyone was abducted, so might as well go back to D.C.

72. TWC7: Oh my. Behind his desk, feet up, laid back, with basketball, poster in the background, great outfit, tie loose, shirtsleeves rolled up, great hair ... yes, this is the way I want to remember him. Holy. Flaming. Cow.

73. Fanfic Fodder: He called him "Walter."

74. Who doesn't like Mulder? Was there a vote on that? I didn't get to vote!

75. Boy, you can just *smell* the testosterone, can't you? It's a veritable manly man feast! I bet slashwriters' keyboards all over the world are going rat-a-tat-tat right about now.

76. Krycek still pulling Walter's strings.

77. Again, I marvel at the subtle acting of David Duchovny. So many wonderful facial expressions as Krycek spins his tale of the cloaked ship and the ABH. First the closed eyes ... I don't want to hear this; I just want it to be over. Then the jaw-clenching and lip pursing ... I'd like to kill this guy right now for all the hurt he's brought to me and Scully, but I can't; he's compromised Skinner; Scully could be in more danger if I don't listen to him. He knows he can't afford to trust Boris & Natasha ... and he knows he can't afford not to.

78. And then Krycek dangles the biggest bait of all: a chance to get CSM.

79. What I would be asking myself is, why did the ABH wait seven years to start eliminating proof of the tests? Just a big procrastinator? Too busy attending flight traffic school?

80. The religious overtones of this show might never be so well defined as in the scene in Skinner's office, which is a re-creation of Da Vinci's "Last Supper," with Mulder as Jesus surrounded by those who will more or less turn him over to his enemies. Da Vinci's painting portrays the moment after Jesus says that one of those dining with him will betray him; and the apostles all become agitated "while Christ, conscious of his divine mission, sits in lonely, transfigured serenity." This scene certainly mirrors that scenario, as those in the room argue about what needs to be done and Mulder says nothing, resigned to what he knows he must do, even if it is a trap. The description of the painting at the Official Site says: "Only one other being shares the secret knowledge: the traitor Judas, who is both part of and yet excluded from the movement of his companions; in this isolation he becomes the second lonely figure -- the guilty one -- of the company." Although some theorize that it is really Scully who is intended to be "Judas" (because she's standing in Judas' place in the painting, and that Mulder goes to his destiny *because* of her), I still think it's a case of where the obvious answer is the right one. Krycek has become a second lonely, guilty figure because he was also tapped for a destiny that put him on the same path with Mulder many years ago, just as Judas was fated to help Christ fulfill his destiny. In both cases, without the one, you would not have had the other.

81. So if this religious imagery continues to ring true, does this mean Mulder *knows* that his destiny is to be taken away, just as Christ knew that his destiny was to die on the cross, and so he goes to Oregon knowing he's not coming back? Let me think ... more on that later.

82. "I'm not going to risk ... losing you." You know this one by heart too. Once again, the intimacy is strategically placed. We are meant to know that this relationship has gone to the next level. Love the use of the XF theme during the hug too.

83. Did they spend the night together before Mulder left for Oregon? You better believe it. They made sweet, slow, passionate love, and before he leaves, she gives him a special coat/vest with two sparkly zippers. He vows never to take it off.

84. TWC8: I'd be glad to go snipe hunting with Mulder & Walter anytime. Oh my.

85. After all they've been through together, how appropriate that Scully would send Skinner to look after her man.

86. Gosh, it only took all season to revisit that anomalous brain activity. But personally, I find it hard to believe that Teresa Hoese had *any* type of brain activity. (That was mean, wasn't it?)

87. Even *I* know why the thing out in that field didn't want Scully: she has a contract for next season.

88. Scully figures out this is the 1.1% of the time that Mulder was wrong and he's not even there so she can gloat.

89. Scully hasn't fainted since she saw Ed Asner with a hole in his head. What can this mean?

90. Note to Chris Carter: Sometimes, when we least expect it, a neatly wrapped present just falls right in our laps. And we shouldn't question the what, or the how, or the why, we should just accept the gift and be happy. Thus, the expression, "Don't look a gift horse in the mouth." We know what we thought we saw. You didn't even have to confirm it for us. We were convinced we saw it. We didn't just *want* to believe - we did believe! We were bowing down to you and singing praises to your name. "What a genius Carter is!" we said. "He had Scully give Mulder her cross - the thing that represents her, that defines her, that *is* her. A symbol of her love and devotion and her faith and the one thing that no matter what she's been through over these past seven years has always found its way back to her! The piece of her that Mulder kept close to him during his darkest time - Scully's abduction. By placing it around Mulder's neck, she wasn't sending him alone; she would be right there with him all the way, and it would ensure that one day he would come back to her. All hail, Chris Carter! We will blindly follow you anywhere, secure in the knowledge that everything makes sense it its own way." That's what we said. And *all* you had to do was sit back, smile like the cat that ate the canary, accept the accolades, and say nothing. But you couldn't even do that. You had to burst our bubble, pop our balloon, and turn our golden cross into nothing more than a shiny zipper. Even though we were heralding you as the King, you just couldn't stand that *our* plot device, the one we were all convinced had happened even without your intervention, was what *should* have happened. You couldn't stand the fact that sometimes the fans are right and you are wrong, so it was more important to you to pull the rug out from under us than to just let us go on believing. Here's what I'm trying to say in terms you can understand: "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." Proverbs 16:18.

91. TWC9: Oooh, still dressing to the left after all these years. I hope those tight jeans are not too constricting for space travel. At least I'm glad that Mulder has some comfortable shoes for his journey.

92. It might not have been cost effective, but the red laser beams was still a pretty cool effect.

93. We've warned him over and over and over, but he just won't listen, so we knew it would end like this: You stick your fingers in stuff long enough, and one day it's inevitable - the rest of your body will follow.

94. Scully obviously forgot to instruct Skinner in the first lesson of Counteracting the Mulder Ditch 101: Don't take your eyes off him for a second.

95. Okay, I've thought about it, and here's my take on it: I think Mulder knew he was going to find his destiny in the Oregon woods, but I don't think he knew that included being taken until it was too late. At least that's the way I think DD plays it. When I look at Mulder's face as he is drawn into the force field (which I don't think he has a choice about), I first see realization - he sees the other abductees standing in the light, and at that moment realizes he had it figured all wrong, that it's him that they want. Then I see resignation - he knows now that this has been his destiny since he was born, and there's no point in putting up a fight; he has to go no matter what. Then I see sadness: Mulder has spent nearly his whole life searching for proof of the existence of extraterrestrials; and thanks to fate, lousy timing, or his incredibly bad luck, he finds that proof just at a time when he's finally ready to leave that search behind and embark on a new path and a new life - with Scully. And lastly, I see fear; when he sees the Mighty Morphin' Bounty Hunter, the "being" he has shared such a long and strange history with, there is genuine fear in his eyes. Because he now realizes this is not going to be a pleasure trip and that he was right about one thing: these abductees (including him) won't be coming back. Again, great work by Duchovny.

96. I like how all the abuctees in the circle of light seem calm and serene (except Mulder, since this is all new to him!) and how Billy and Teresa try to comfort him. I also think it's interesting to note that all the injuries sustained by those abducted (i.e., burning around the eyes, etc.) have been healed. So I suppose if you believe in that brain disease thing, it's not outside the realm of possibilities that it might have been healed when Mulder stepped into the circle.

97. And :::sniff::: just like that, Mulder is gone in a halo of light. Well, it looks like he is finally narrowing his search, going to look for the aliens where they are; I hope Agent Short is happy, and I hope Mulder keeps all his receipts.

98. Godspeed, Fox Mulder. Take care of yourself. Here's looking at you, kid. May the force be with you. Adios, amigo. Parting is such sweet sorrow. Happy trails to you till we meet again.

99. Continuing the "Last Supper" analogy, Skinner is probably being cast in the role of "Peter." Peter was the apostle who was with Jesus during most of the major moments of his ministry, and the one who took up Jesus' cause. Skinner can no longer walk the line; he becomes a believer and the one who promises to spread the word. (But just as Peter did, Skinner will deny Mulder in "Within" - but that's another story!)

100. I knew Boris and Natasha couldn't be trusted. Sorry, Ratboy lovers, but IMBO Krycek is just a dirty double-crosser. Maybe someday we'll learn exactly what Krycek's role was in this whole thing. But I'm not holding my breath.

101. Wow, Marita has that Vulcan death-pinch perfected!

102. CSM implies that he and Mulder have a connection and the power to save the world, and that Krycek is dooming the human race by eliminating both of them. Is that the truth? Does CSM already know that there is another? I guess we'll never know ..

103. Or maybe we will. Krycek should know by now that you should always check for a pulse before you walk away.

104. Sorry, CSM lovers, I think CSM *should* be dead this time. He's done everything he can possibly do and then some. Time for the New Consortium (Boris & Natasha, Inc.) to take over.

105. Yoo-hoo, Chris, she's not wearing her cross in the hospital. And you wonder how we jump to these conclusions!

106. I've given Duchovny lots of kudos, so let's not forget Anderson and Pileggi too. Skinner and Scully are always good together, but they are wonderful here. The pain for both of them is evident, in their faces and in their voices, as they talk about the loss they have both suffered. Great work.

107. Scully's "announcement" is a mixture of sadness and happiness (and just about makes Walter swallow his teeth!). But if you take it as it's played, then I think GA makes it abundantly clear: she's having a hard time explaining it and believing it only because she thought it wasn't possible for her to get pregnant (which works for the natural method or the IVF method that we'll hear about next season), not because she has any doubts who got her that way. Scully's simple, "We will find him. I have to," says to me unequivocally that she needs to find Mulder not just because he's her partner or her friend but because he's the father of her child. If Scully felt there was no way she *could* be pregnant, she would deliver this news to Skinner in a panic, repulsed at what else might have been done to her and how she might have been violated once again. Of course CC can take it all back next season (and he just might), but for now I think it's pretty clear that Dana Scully and Fox Mulder are infanticipating!

108. But no "To be continued"! Say it ain't so! You *can't* leave us like this!

The Season 7 episode guide says that TPTB at 1013 had been planning for this pregnancy all season, but they did their darndest to keep it a secret. They knew the fans would probably figure out that Mulder was going to be abducted, but they wanted Scully's big news to be a surprise. And actually, they did a pretty good job of maintaining secrecy. Chris Carter wrote the final paragraph of the script on the last day of filming for the season, and delivered it to the set in person ... and as I recall, although there was a lot of speculation that a pregnancy might happen, no one really believed it would. Yes, it was a time of great anticipation and anxiety, lots of nail-biting, sweating, and cursing - and that was before the season finale even aired! Fans were anxiously awaiting word of whether the XF would return for another season, and whether David Duchovny was gone for good. It seemed like only yesterday that it all began, and it was hard to believe that it could really be finished - although it did seem to be time for the show to end.

But it wasn't. For better or worse, depending on your point of view, only days before "Requiem" aired, FOX announced that that The X-Files would return for an eighth season, with David Duchovny signed to appear in a total of 11 episodes. I suppose "Requiem" *could* have been the end of the series, but it would have been an unsatisfying end for me. Mulder gone and Scully pregnant, with perhaps no hope of ever seeing their stories (individually or collectively) resolved would not have been the way I wanted the show to say goodbye. I wanted the show to "leave the stage" the way all great ones should - with lots of fanfare, with many retrospectives chronicling how the show changed the face of television, and with a final bow from all involved because they knew it was the right time to go. Great shows shouldn't just *end.* And so with the commitment of an eighth season, and the announcement that DD would be back for the second half of it, as I watched Season 7 fade to black I was overjoyed that now the gang would have the *chance* to do it up right, pull out all the stops, and send the X-Files out in a blaze of glory. In the final assessment "Requiem" was a season finale that was very well done, that included some great MSR, and that managed to get me a little excited about the prospect of watching a semi-Mulderless Season 8 (something I thought would *never* happen). It had great performances, great effects, and some surprises and in keeping with the theme - it was like old times.

And of course, I got to yell "GARY"!

I don't know why it took me so long to finish this one except to say that I kept opening doors which lead to other doors. And along the way I've seen things that I cannot deny - like Season 9, for example. But oh heck, let's not think about that today. Let's think about that tomorrow. Next up is the Season 7 TOTM Summary and then it's on to Season 8 and the countdown toward the return of Mulder (in more ways than one). I know what you're thinking: "That sounds more like a threat."

Oh, come on! Where's your enthusiasm? Just think we have Patience and Roadrunners and Salvage and Surekill and Badlaa and ... "I think I'm in big trouble."

With apologies, as always,