Destination: On the road to Pennsylvania
“She knows that I would find her no matter what.”
In French, the title of this one means “as a friend.” If you say it in English, it might sound different. Go ahead and try it, I’ll wait. Okay, so that’s pretty fitting for this episode because we spend the whole time wondering if the Smoking Man is being friend or foe.
When CSM decides to take a cigarette break in Scully’s car and says that he wants to help her get a miracle cure that will benefit all mankind, she is pretty skeptical. He also says that he is dying and wants to leave a better legacy for the world. Right, as if that old cockroach will ever die. It gets worse when she is told she has to go alone. Later on, Scully is talking into her secret recorder for Mulder and she says that she has weighed all the risks. I don’t think so, Scully. Take this sentence: CSM says, “Come with me and get a treat, Scully, but you can’t tell Mulder.” Now replace the words: CSM with Creepy Man, Scully with Little Sally, and Mulder with Mother. I guess Scully’s mother never told her to avoid taking candy from strange men.
I do like watching this story unfold, though. I like Mulder being worried about Scully and doing everything he can to find her. I like the Lone Gunmen helping out and Skinner getting caught in between when Scully won’t talk to Mulder on the phone. I like the way CSM had a whole office set up; complete with many security guards, men in suits, and ringing telephones. You have to hand it to the guy, he is very thorough.
There were a lot of awkward speeches in the car and later in the restaurant, with CSM getting pretty personal with Scully. CSM was also really smug at times, making it sound like he can cure who he wants and insinuating that they should feel grateful. He credits himself for saving Scully from her cancer, but wasn’t he a part of the plot that led to her getting cancer in the first place? He talks about being a “lonely man”, but if he wasn’t involved in things like torturing his wife and son, maybe that would help. He also says that Scully is drawn to powerful men. Well duh, should she be drawn to weak men? I’m drawn to nice men who don’t let me get shot at, myself.
When Scully falls asleep in the car and then wakes up in bed wearing pajamas, I would hope that a few more warning sirens were blaring in her head. Evidently not, she gets all packed to leave, but then doesn’t when CSM says that he was just trying to make her more comfortable. Come on, Scully, you are not this naïve; taking off your shoes or jacket, maybe, but a complete change of clothes? That’s not right. I’m not really sure of her motivations here. She must trust in her own ability to take care of herself and she must really want to get that miracle cure. It might have something to do with almost dying of cancer herself and wanting to help others, but I don’t really know.
This all ends badly, of course, as it turns out to be a con job and Scully winds up with a blank disc. My favorite part of this whole adventure is when Scully is back in Mulder’s apartment. Mulder is standing in the doorway, holding on to some kind of exercise bar at the top and looking very powerful, I might add. His pose was probably intentional; he looked very tall and pretty peeved. Poor Scully is sitting on the bed, sneaking sad glances in his direction, but every time she does, Mulder won’t even look at her. To make things even more confusing, CSM is shown throwing the real disc with the miracle cure into the lake. I tried to come up with reasons why he would do that, but it’s hard to imagine that he wouldn’t want something so important. Maybe the cure would have been worse than the symptoms.
This episode was written by William B. Davis, Ole Smoky himself. I gather that he thinks CSM is the hero of the story.
Gillian Anderson did not drive that boat in the lake. That was a stunt double. It’s probably a good thing, because that boat looked really rickety.
The brief visit with 118 year old Margery was a little weird. One minute she is inviting them in for some fresh baked bread and then our duo is on the road again, just talking about her. We never saw Scully get her bread.
As I watched Scully’s face when she was looking at that dress for a long moment; I think I saw that she knows that this little adventure has gone too far, but it is too late to turn back. I think she doesn’t want to face Mulder empty handed which, of course, happens anyway.
Manager: “Tenants like having an FBI agent in the building; gives them a sense of security.”
Mulder: “Do you know how many people have died in there?”
CSM: “You’d die for Mulder, but you won’t allow yourself to love him.”
Scully: “Wow, I’m learning a whole other side to you, you’re not just a cold blooded killer, you’re a pop psychologist as well.”
CSM: “How do you take your coffee?”
Scully: “Unadulterated, thank you.”
There are a lot of good things to enjoy about this episode, though it does have some pretty big faults, too. Overall, it is good to have a small glimpse into the heart of darkness; so this one is very appealing in its own weird way.
Four out of five slices of fresh baked bread.
Mallena loves her DVR, her Pug, almost anything in the sci-fi, fantasy, and supernatural genres, and her family. Well, maybe not in that exact order.
- Next episode
- The X-Files season 7
- The X-Files home
- Watch this episode or the entire season on Amazon now