Theatre of the Mind ~ Existence

I'm back. Did you think I fell off the face of the earth or something? Well, I nearly did. But here I am, and it's time to finish up Season 8 of the Theatre of the Mind reviews. Hard to believe, but the final hour is nigh: The final hour of The X-Files. Well, at least the X-Files as most of us grew to know it and love it. Eight wonderful years, and it all comes down to this. One hour to reflect on and celebrate something very special. One hour to say goodbye.

But first a quick "Essence" recap: Billy Miles has developed a nasty karate chop. Ratboy returns. Alien replicants. Neck checks needed! Miracle Mom Scully in danger. We need some Reyes of Sunshine! The Scooby Gang has a plan and Billy's "crushed" that he's not part of it. There are more where he came from; most are at the FBI. The end of "Essence" is really a metaphor for the entire series: one of the Dynamic Duo is leaving; and the other is left behind.

1. If I'm going to get a "parental discretion advised" warning at this point, it should be for sexual content.

2. Let us pray: Now I sit me down to watch, with chocolate, tissues, and a bottle of scotch. Oh, dear Lord, let this all end well - or send Chris Carter straight to hell! (Hey, the promos told me to pray for Scully's baby; I always do as I'm told!)

3. Le Billee Puree.

4. Why do the words "Pandora's Box" come to mind?

5. Dreidl, dreidl, dreidl, I made you out of steel ... I feel a sudden urge to yell "Yahtzee!"

6. Round and round she goes, where she stops only the replicants know!

7. TWC1: Gee, now that I know I'm not gonna see that awful ID picture in the credits ever again, it's kind of grown on me. :::sniff, sniff, sniff:::

8. In retrospect, a sign that the apocalypse was upon us: Not one single solitary tag line change in the entire season.

9. Totally OT TWC: "Evolution" commercial. DD rocks my world!

10. Scully & Reyes Road Trip. Georgia on my mind.

11. One don't know nothin' about birthin' no babies; the other don't know nothing' about havin' no babies.

12. TWC2: Skinner's office; so much testosterone, so little time.

13. Krycek inherits Deep Throat's old job of showing up just in time to explain it all.

14. A new kind of alien. Boy, you can't tell the aliens around here without a scorecard.

15. Interesting company you keep, Agent Doggett. Has anyone checked the back of his neck lately? How about behind his ears?

16. The Road Trip pulls into Bethlehem ... I mean Democrat Hot Springs.

17. Right now Scully is wishing that Doggett's birthplace had been a Best Western.

18. Karma Chameleon Reyes selects the Water From the Rock Maternity Ward. Getting water from a rock would be a little like getting a baby from a barren womb, wouldn't it? Do you believe in miracles? Where's Al Michaels when you need him.

19. Exodus 7:16 on the window: "And thou shalt say unto him, The Lord God of the Hebrews hath sent me unto thee saying, Let my people go, that they may serve me in the wilderness: and behold, hitherto thou wouldest not hear."

20. I thought sure there would be no room at the inn.

21. Scully, please curb your enthusiasm. I'm not sure whether you're going to have a baby or hook up your stereo system.

22. Smoke 'em if you got 'em.

23. Do you see what I see? Way up in the sky, Agent Reyes? (Religious imagery abounds!)

24. Knowle says Scully's chip has been gettin' some. Like I believe him.

25. IMBO: The chip in Scully's neck always had the ability to restore her fertility; it just needed the right "stimulus" and the right "raw materials" if you get my drift. I say: "The baby is a Mul-dah, not a SuperSol-diah!"

26. Too much knowledge could be a dangerous thing.

27. TWC3: Impatient!Mulder. Hoo boy. Stairs were a good choice.

28. Ratboy doesn't recycle.

29. Skinner needs to be saddled with Krycek like he needs a hole in the head. Um ... oops.

30. Perhaps the parental warning was for sexual content after all. Is Mulder holding Skinner's hand? Have Chris and Frank been reading too much slashfic?

31. One last pissing contest for old time's sake.

32. Mulder doesn't want to know where she is ... that could be hazardous to his health.

33. Monica brings some Reyes of Sunshine to the little fixer-upper. Who knew there was a Pottery Barn just around the corner?

34. Whale songs? How about a rousing rendition of "Muskrat Love"? (OT: During this rewatch, when Reyes did her Orca-song, my dog jumped up from his nap in front of the TV and just stared at the screen. I think he even did one of those Scully eyebrow things.)

35. I'm seriously thinking that those tapes that aren't Mulder's belong to Chris and Frank.

36. If Missy were there she'd be telling Mulder to get his butt down to Georgia PDQ. She'd say, "Why is it so much easier for you to run around trying to get even than just expressing to her how you feel? I expect more from you. Dana expects more. Even if you don't get there before the baby's born, at least she'll know. And so will you." I miss her. :::sniff:::

37. Wow! She goes from The Whale Singer to Pistol Packin' Monica in 10 seconds or less.

38. MMM: Sorry, Johnny. The Manly Man Moment Award for this ep goes to Monica for facing down the speeding SUV. (Why did you lose? I think you know.)

39. "Untoward"? Sure. Fine. Whatever.

40. Forensic pathologists make the best kind of birthing coaches.

41. "Swaddling"? Who talks like that? Probably people who are "untoward."

42. In watching this again, I'm convinced that there's really only one thing wrong with this episode: the couples. If only Mulder had accompanied Scully to Georgia and Monica had stayed behind to hunt down alien supersoldiers with Doggett, I think this would have been a pretty good episode. (As a matter of fact, I would have loved seeing Mulder boil water and croon whale tunes!)

43. Why does Doggett always get to drive? Cause he's the big macho man? Besides, Mulder only wanted to partner up so he could get one last ride in the truck!

44. Heart to heart time. Doggett questions Mulder's magnificent obsession.

45. TWC4: Gray tee, leather jacket. My oh my. No wonder Doggett finds him so dog-gone attractive.

46. How long can he keep this up? About another half-hour. Then he's outta there. :::sniff:::

47. Chris, Frank, and FOX are certainly hoping that it doesn't end.

48. Put your head on my shoulder ... all this time I was worried about DSR and I should have been worried about MDR.

49. Ratboy and Rohrer. The plot thickens.

50. Back at the slumber party ... "This Is Not Happening" music. How appropriate. That's just what I was thinking.

51. Agent Reyes, are you trying to seduce me? (*Everybody* loves Scully!)

52. The star drew nigh unto the southwest, o'er Democrat Hot Springs it took its rest ...

53. Look out, Monica! Good thing when the Devil Went Down to Georgia he left his pitchfork.

54. Bam! They don't call her the Game Warden for nothing.

55. The Scully Waddle.

56. The bad guy has a lumpy neck. Could be important later.

57. A contraction??!!?? Get some water! Get some clean sheets! Get some whale mood music. But most importantly ... GET MULDER!

58. It was fun while it lasted, guys, but it's time for everyone to follow his old nemesis. Dance with the one that brung ya, I always say.

59. Stair sprinting - good try, but no MMM.

60. Keeping with the theme of this episode so far, I'm not sure if Rohrer, Crane, and their Mystery Date are having a tête-à-tête or a ménage a trios.

61. TWC5: I'm a one-man woman, but Skinner in sweats is pretty pleasant.

62. They can't bug phones at the FBI? Walter, have you been paying attention for the last 8 years?

63. They know where she is! Gotta get to Scully now!

64. Don't be silly, Agent Doggett. If you put an end to it, you won't have a show next year.

65. The rat sprang the trap. The cheese stands alone.

66. GPM: Careful, Ratboy, he has to pay for those phones now. (If Mulder can't share a good phone moment with Scully, then he might as well share it with the other person who has kissed him.)

67. You sorta knew it would come down to this standoff one day, didn't you?

68. When Krycek called Mulder "brother," I'm reminded that I used to believe they *were* brothers. I used to believe that CSM fathered just about everyone on this show.

69. TWC6: The leather jacket, the tight jeans, the hard ... stare. Lord have mercy.

70. Krycek's lips say he must kill Mulder, but his eyes say, "Mulder, I've loved you ever since I first saw you in that red Speedo."

71. Note to Krycek: If it's so important that Mulder die, why did you save him from certain death in the last episode? Are you a good witch or a bad witch? At this point, I don't think even Chris and Frank know for sure.

72. Krycek makes the mistake that plagues all good villains about to waste the hero ... he spends too much time talking and not enough time offing. Probably distracted by Mulder calling him "Alex" one last time. Skinner Interruptus ... and he has the little matter of the Palm Pilot from Hell to settle.

73. Why does Mulder have to die? Why will killing him save 1,000 lives? Why am I still trying to figure this out? Bye, bye Ratboy. You made me love to hate you. (But I still expected him to dissolve into a puddle of green goo.)

74. Mulder off to find Scully (finally); Skinner's on Krycek clean up.

75. They're two minutes apart! Scully making noises of her own. Noooo! Taking off her shoes is Mulder's job! This is not happening!

76. Reyes' offers Scully Mulder's gray tee shirt to wear while giving birth ... :::sniff:::! (Hey, I still believe the zipper was a cross so don't try to talk me out of it!)

77. Oh, shi ... Game Warden has a bumpy neck. This certainly looks untoward big time!

78. Snoop Doggy Doggett looking for his home boys, Mutt and Jeff. Watch out, he's prepared to use force!

79. ROTFLMAO. (See #38.)

80. Lucky for Doggett he meets up with a real Manly Man!

81. Throw water on the replicants! Good try! It worked for Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz.

82. Replicants. Lots and lots of replicants. Should have bought more chairs at Pottery Barn.

83. Everything dies? Not Billy Miles, apparently.

84. Why does Skinner always get to drive? (Cause he's the *biggest* macho man and he *really* knows how to use force!)

85. These replicants are a lot like Weebles ... they wobble but they don't fall down!

86. Agent Crane thought he would just poke his head in and say "hey."

87. Tension with a capital T: Garage chase! Labor pains! Get him off! Push! Hold on! Push harder! Keep driving! Keep breathing! Splat! Squish! Crashing! Crying! Flames! Babies! I'm exhausted!

88. More "This Is Not Happening" music. That's right; it's not. Mulder's not here yet!

89. If only Scully had remained as determined to keep her baby as she was at the moment of his birth.

90. The shepherds ... I mean the replicants ... determine that Scully's baby is really nothing special after all and leave Bethlehem ... I mean Democrat Hot Springs ... to return to their flock. They just knew.

91. Mulder made it to Georgia in record time, but still not fast enough, damn it.

92. TWC7: Footwear and leather jackets and gray tee shirts and screaming for Scully (I'm having Fight the Future Flashbacks!!).

93. CC cheated us out of seeing on screen most of the big moments in the series' history, so I wasn't expecting this one to be any different. But I think in a way he knew that those big moments were better left to our imaginations (and to the fanfic writers). So thanks, CC. Thanks for nothing ... and thanks for everything.

94. So Kersh was the Mystery Date. I knew someone should have checked his neck long ago.

95. Doggett gets his "This is where you pucker up and kiss my ass" moment.

96. It's the Doggett and Reyes X-Files now. As they were standing there together, leaving Kersh's office, for just a moment, I saw *something*. Something that made me think I might give the new kids a chance in Season 9. But I'll have to think about that later ... much later.

97. MSRM: Some felt the X-Files should have ended with "Existence." For some, it did. For others, it ended much earlier. Others stayed on until the bitter end. However it was for you, here's a piece of advice. When you sit down to watch "Existence" in years to come, and you will, forget what you know. Don't think about what could have been, or what should have been, or what will be. Don't lament the screen time these two characters *didn't* share in this episode. Celebrate the time that they did. Because this is a sweet and special moment and it shouldn't be forgotten.

98. He uses *his* key to enter *her* apartment. And he put it back in *his* pocket. :::sigh:::

99. It's the Lone Gunmen! Three wise guys. Bearing gifts. Hmmmm ... (I wonder how they got out of that building they were trapped in at the end of their own series? I wonder if anyone told them their show was cancelled? I wonder what's in those nicely wrapped packages?)

100. He followed a light in the sky. And, God, I'm as sappy as CC: it's my theory that the starlight that guided Mulder to the end of his journey represented Samantha.

101. TWC8: Holy Flaming Cow, he's a natural born father. Filled with awe and wonder, and with love for his woman and their beautiful bundle of boy. Who else is singing "With Arms Wide Open"?

102. Humming!Mulder, I'm gonna cry!

103. In Old Irish naming patterns, the first son is named after the father's father. Nuff said.

104. He does gaze at Agent Scully. And she gazes back.

105. Skinner? No, I think he looks more like John Shiban. (William was played by co-executive producer John Shiban's baby boy Jerry.)

106. "... they came to take him from US ..." That's "US" as in you and me, we together, Moose & Squirrel, we two. Nuff said again.

107. IMBO, Mulder becoming a father and sharing this moment with Scully was an important part of bringing his story to a close. Fox Mulder's quest was never about proving the existence of extraterrestrials or government conspiracies against the American people. It was never even really about finding his sister specifically. It was about restoring what was lost - his family. That dream was denied him, as he lost first his father, then his mother, and eventually learned that Samantha had died long before he even started searching for her. This moment brings Mulder full circle - the son has now become the father and he has a chance to succeed where his father failed. I've always felt that the "truth" in this story is synonymous with "love" and Mulder has finally found the "truth" that was out there, the "truth" that eluded him for so long. His quest is finished.

108. The Haunting Suffering Scully Theme, though still a slow dirge, sure seems a lot happier now.

109. A perfect ending to this story: The aliens left William behind because in their eyes he was "nothing special" as they had thought. They didn't realize that William's power to save the human race is not because he is a "superbaby" created expressly for that purpose. It is simply because he is totally and completely human - and it is that fact that will ultimately save us all. William is indeed a miracle, created from the love of two people who didn't stop believing in miracles. A "union of perfect opposites." A product of love. And as Jeremiah Smith said, "You can't kill their love, which is what makes them who they are, makes them better than us ..." Love can conquer all. With love, all things are possible. And that's how the human race will prevail. After such a perfect ending, what a pity that CC couldn't leave well enough alone. But I said I wasn't going to think about that now, didn't I? Remember, enjoy the moment for what it is.

110. They feared the possibilities, but the truth they both know. Just in case the audience doesn't, Scully asks Mulder to please clarify.

111. A picture's worth a thousand words. The Kiss. The Tongue. The Family. The End. Woo-hoo! There's no doubt about this kiss - it is a lovers kiss, with a baby cradled in between, a baby that represents the future and the hope of mankind. A kiss between two people who have found the truth. Who have found love. It's a perfect and fitting final image of this partnership, this relationship, this friendship, this "union of perfect opposites." They went and saved the best for last:

Sometimes the snow comes down in June, sometimes the sun goes 'round the moon. I see the passion in your eyes, sometimes it's all a big surprise. 'Cause there was a time when all I did was wish you'd tell me this was love. It's not the way I hoped or how I planned, but somehow it's enough. And now we're standing face to face, isn't this world a crazy place. Just when I thought our chance had passed, you go and save the best for last. 'Cause how could you give your love to someone else, and share your dreams with me, Sometimes the very thing you're looking for is the one thing you can't see. And now we're standing face to face, isn't this world a crazy place, Just when I thought our chance had passed, you go and save the best for last.

Yes, the series will go on. But the Mulder/Scully story has come to an end (for now). Thank you, CC, David, Gillian, and all the wonderful people at 1013. You went and saved the best for last.

"Something feels off." Oh yeah, apologies to Ray Charles, Margaret Mitchell, Boy George, Moses, Al Michaels, Pottery Barn, Frank Baum, and Vanessa Williams. And to all of you. That's it. "End of the road." (Except that for those who care, after completing the Season 8 Summary, I will do the TOTM for "The Truth." After that, for those who still want to receive them, I will go back and finish the TOTMs for Season 9.)

"Then there really is no God."