The X-Files: This is Not Happening

Case: Scully and friends are getting really close to finding Mulder’s current location.

Destination: Helena, MT

Scully’s speaking about starlight: “It won’t die, that light… maybe that’s the only thing that never does. You think that’s where souls reside?”

The promos blared: The search for Mulder is over – in the television event of the season! Okay, I do remember being excited for this one, back in 2001. I’m trying to decide if I should review this one as if I was watching it for the first time, or if I should use my hindsight to acknowledge where the story is heading.

The first time I watched, I was anxious to get to the part where Mulder turns up, and so sorry that Scully was having such a hard time. I thought that Doggett was just a distraction and still wanted him to go away, and I remember liking Agent Reyes right from the start. Well, it helped that Annabeth Gish plays Monica; I was a fan of hers in other roles. I’m sure I didn’t like the ending, at all, and there was lots of outrage on the message boards, I can tell you that.

Now, though, I can appreciate this episode more and enjoy it for what was onscreen, and not worry about what will come. Actually, from this point on, I’m probably going to forget that there was an (terrible, for me) additional season in 2016. I’m just going to pontificate on my admiration for the team of Doggett, Reyes, Scully and Mulder (when he decides to show up in an episode) and dwell in the past. It was safer back there.

Scully is told that she gets to go to Montana with Skinner and Doggett because abductees are showing up there. She is shocked and scared when she finds out that they have found Theresa Hoese in terrible condition: barely alive. Theresa was that lady with the infant in Oregon, the chubby baby girl that Scully got to hold for a few moments. Anyways, Scully doesn’t like being reminded that Mulder could be found in the same condition, or worse. She is quite upset for most of this episode and Gillian plays her so well. We see a lot of emotions from Scully here: hope, fear, and dread as she wants to find Mulder — just not face down in a field. Doggett also has some good scenes with Scully. He is more hostile to the people he thinks are the perpetrators, but he still has time to feel bad for what she is going through. He also thinks about the son that he lost to abduction: the way that he wanted to find his son so badly, and was so destroyed when he found the boy the way that he did.

Now, about Monica Reyes: I love her character. Yeah, she might have been a little perky amid all the solemn goings-on, but she is also a breath of much needed fresh air for this series. Doggett really starts becoming more relatable for me when he pairs up with Monica. I also love that they use their first names a lot of the time. All this “Scully and “Mulder” gets a little impersonal, sometimes. Skinner called Scully “Dana” this episode, and it’s just nice to remember that the characters are more than FBI agents – they are also normal men and woman who need some personal contact occasionally. Monica is a ritualistic crime expert who is ‘sensitive to the energies in the universe.’ I think that she brings a sense of wonder and hope to the episodes that she is in. She also knows John pretty well and she is someone that he can talk to about his son. That also helps to humanize Doggett, especially when he is so stolid much of the time.

By the end, we did get many great emotional scenes with everyone trying their darndest to help Scully. We also got to visit Jeremiah Smith, who is an interesting fellow, and we got to meet Absalom who used to be a cult leader who was waiting for the aliens to show up at the millennium. Absalom did get his alien dreams fulfilled — just not in the way that he thought. We also get Mulder back, but not in the way that most fans wanted. Poor Scully, she was so distraught to find him so broken and then she also lost Jeremiah Smith… her last hope.

Other Thoughts:

Doggett was very good in this one, as he remembered his own heartbreak, and tried to help Scully cope with finding Mulder. I don’t know what would be worse: having a loved one disappear and never knowing what happened, or finding the body and giving up all hope.

There were some cool visuals of flying objects and spooky landscapes. This show does night scenes so well. They are always beautifully lit, and we can actually see what is going on, unlike some other programs where I am squinting at the screen, trying to see what the heck is going on in the black.

I liked the scene with Monica in her car. She is pulling a Marley (ooh, bad vibes) out of a pack to smoke when her car stalls and she sees something inexplicable. I loved the expression on her face and her saying: “No frickin’ way.” She is also a black sheep in her field office, a la Mulder. You know, she would have made a great partner for Scully. She could be the believer, with Scully remaining the skeptic.

Quotes:

Monica: “You're hurting for her, I know — Agent Scully.”
John: “I don't know how she's doing it in there. With everything she's feeling. What she's afraid of.”
Monica: “You know all too well.”
John: “Let's leave the past in the past.”
Monica: “It was your fear, too. Those three days we looked for your son. The fear of finding what we did. I understand. That's why you're so determined to find Mulder alive.”

Scully: “Do you have any feelings about Agent Mulder?”
Monica: “I don’t know Agent Mulder and I don’t have any feelings about him, but I am feeling your fear… and fear’s not going to help you find him or anyone else.”

Scully: “No... No! This is not happening! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Final Analysis: Even though this episode didn’t turn out exactly as I had wanted it to, it was still a very good story with lots of great scenes. There was so much love and support from everyone involved, plus heart wrenching scenes of fear and loss. Poor Mulder and Scully. Together again at last… but not happily ever after.

Four and a half out of five Mystic Pizzas. (If you don’t get the reference, just google it.)

Mallena loves John and Monica.  Shipping is fun.

3 comments:

Lamounier said...

Scully: “No... No! This is not happening! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

Lines like that can be terrible if not well delivered. Luckily, Gillian Anderson is amazing and she turns it into a powerful moment.

magritte said...

I was never really a big fan of Monica. For me having Scully become the agent more open to extreme possibilities was an interesting development, whereas Monica just seemed like a straight-up replacement for Mulder, and on some level I could never really take her seriously.

I'm sure it was partly because I resented the fact that the X-files best character was relegated to a secondary figure fretting about her pregnancy/baby for so much of the remainder of the series. Which wasn't really the fault of the Monica character.

Mallena said...

Having Scully spend so much of the season freaking out about her baby and whatever weird twist the writers felt like putting her through weekly, wasn't much fun. I never did compare Monica and Mulder, though. Mulder was so serious about his beliefs, when Monica was so light-hearted. Mulder always thought the sky was falling every moment, but Monica was more positive about things. She was also another female for Scully to talk to, which was nice.