The X-Files: Existence

Case: Agent Scully is ready to have her baby but a crew of super soldiers wants to intervene.

Destination: DC, Doggett's hometown (location never revealed)

It all ends here! Well, not all of it. Let me try that again. Lots of things end here in 'Existence'.

I kind of wish it did all end here, because the last scene of this episode would have been such a killer if it were the last image of Mulder and Scully we ever saw. I have a lot of love for this scene. It was the first thing I'd ever seen on television that rearranged my molecular system. I was doing cartwheels up my walls when I saw it. I seriously just lost my mind. I still sort of did, even in this rewatch. Some part of me back then, understood in those moments, that the relationship you have with characters within this visual medium can affect you to your literal core. Can you use the enduring devotion to a single scene to justify the source, cause and origin of an entire episode? What about an entire season? I wonder.

In the spirit of reviews, I want to acknowledge other key aspects of this season finale, as well. For better or worse, there are a few things that happened in 'Existence' that are burned into the psyches of X-Philes. For one, Krycek took a fatal bullet in the head from a gun connected to the hand of none other than Assistant Director Walter Skinner. Also a source of much confusion and laughter was Reyes' desire to incorporate whale sounds into Scully's labor experience. (I know EXACTLY how that went down in the writers' room once I saw that Chris Carter had recently become enamored with whale sounds, himself.) In the last act of the episode, there is that iconic re-imagining of our two trusty FBI agents in front of their superior, in this case, Doggett and Reyes in Kersh's office... The X-Files 2.0!

To do this episode real justice, it really should be watched with "Essence'. I don't say that often about two-parters, but these last two really are a movie. Sandy describes quite brilliantly how the tone and pacing of 'Essence' is a great set up for this finale. It's not as much as a shift as you think to go from a very tense escape for Scully to whale sounds when there is some fantastic garage action plus car chases, interspersed. Not to mention a metal spine that spins to rejuvenate itself.

Other Thoughts

* I haven't had a chance to weigh in on the super soldier mythology since the idea was fully introduced this season. I really hate it. Ha!

* Some of the issues people had with Reyes, at first, is totally the fault of the writing. You often don't know what she's thinking or feeling in any given dialogue of hers. I kept thinking, during that scene in the car, that her weirdness wasn't trepidations about delivery Scully's baby but rather that she was in nicotine withdrawal.

* The Lone Gunmen, bless.

* I was laughing out loud during the cold open thinking about the myriad metaphors at play about this series. Another autopsy, a box of barely human remains, a coroner too tired to care, a bullsh*t follow-up fax about the findings, despite the fact that there's a metal spine able to grow itself on the table.

Quotes

Scully: "From the moment I became pregnant, I feared the truth... about how... and why. And I know that you feared it, too."
Mulder: "I think what we feared were the possibilities. The truth we both know."
Scully: "Which is what?" (I really love her for saying this out loud.)

Final Analysis: Best final scene ever. Of anything. Ever.

5 comments:

Billie Doux said...

When I did my abbreviated rewatch before season ten, I'll admit I zipped through this one just to see Skinner kill Krycek and Mulder and Scully kiss at the end. I'd forgotten the Lone Gunmen as the three wise men. Laughed so hard.

Billie Doux said...

And congratulations, X-Files Team, on finishing season eight! Homestretch!

magritte said...

I'm afraid my eyes nearly rolled out of my head with all the people going on about the miracle baby, so I wasn't in a frame of mind to appreciate the ending.

Lamounier said...

Somewhat unrelated to the episode itself, I like that the names of this episode and the previous one match. Essence/Existence. The same goes for Within/Without and Providence/Provenance.

I like when a show plays with episodes' names, such as La Femme Nikita, which matched the number of the season with the number of words in the episodes' titles.

Mallena said...

This ending made me very happy, too. I loved Reyes in this and the whole episode. I don't think that I could do a handstand up a wall, though. I can't even do one on the ground.