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The X-Files: Closure

Case: Mulder joins forces with a psychic to try to determine once and for all what happened to his sister.

Destination: Sacramento, California

“I guess I just want it to be over.”

For those of us who have not had the experience, it is impossible to comprehend what someone who has lost a loved one as tragically as Mulder lost Samantha lives with. We can, on the other hand, understand why he has been driven all these years to find her, to find the answers, and to understand precisely what happened all those years ago. We can also understand how tired he is and how much he wants it all to just end.

Which is why, I think, he is willing to believe, or at least badly wants to believe, Harold’s story. I get it. Harold is a believable guy. Although we learn that he has loads of issues, I can’t help relating to him. Losing a child would make what Mulder has gone through pale in comparison. Plus, he is telling a story that brings comfort. Not to mention that the spirits appear when he does call to them.

Scully mirrors many of the viewers points of view, certainly my own. She, too, is tired of the chase, is tired of watching Mulder turn himself inside out for answers that will probably never come. Her only recourse, she firmly believes, is to leave him to Harold. She no longer has the will to fight back with science or logic. The man she loves is just too far along the path anymore and she cannot continue to follow him down it.

She will, however, continue to search for answers in her own way. I love the scene where she is talking to Agent Schoniger. Listening to him tell her calmly and matter-of-factly that Samantha was most likely abducted and killed by a person makes all the sense in the world. It also makes sense that the older agent would not want it all dragged out into the open again – it was, after all, a failure of a case.

The story takes a few predictable twists from here (it wouldn’t be a mythology episode without CSM), but it all leads up to a very satisfactory ending. Even though, it turns out that we never really learn what happened. It doesn’t matter because this episode hinges on two powerful scenes at the end.

The first is Mulder reading Samantha’s diary to Scully. It is a quiet, simple scene, breathtaking in its emotional depth. It can be argued that her writing about her brother is a bit on the nose, but I buy it. It always makes me extremely sad. The moment when Scully simply places her hand on Mulder’s is one of the most romantic ever.

The second scene is when Mulder “sees” Samantha (how is able to do that is also never explained) and is able to hug her one more time. He is now able to understand that she is dead, that she has been dead for a very long time. It is the closure he has been looking for and it makes me cry.

Other Thoughts

-- The scene with the young kids climbing out of their graves creeps me out. Seriously, it is disturbing on so many levels.

-- The tagline is Believe to Understand.

-- Mulder’s haircut in 1989 is simply dreadful.

-- The reveal of Jeffrey’s name in the same concrete as Samantha’s is very well done.


Mulder: “I want to believe so badly in a truth beyond our own, hidden and obscured from all but the most sensitive eyes.”

Sully: “Mulder deserves closure, just like anyone.”

Scully: “Oh, yay. A seance. I haven’t done that since high school.”
Mulder: “Maybe afterwards, we can play Postman and Spin the Bottle.”
Any excuse to make out?

Scully: “Mulder, where did you go?”
Mulder: “End of the road.”

Mulder: “I’m fine. I’m free.”

Final Analysis: One of the better mythology episodes of the end of the series. While the truth is still out there, Mulder is finally able to get some peace.

ChrisB spends far too much time in front of a screen or with a book in her hand.


  1. Sure, I'm happy Mulder got his closure. This episode was well shot, scripted, and acted. Seeing Samantha again as a 14 year old girl was very nice. However, I'm not buying that starlight thing. Makes no sense. Are the souls of the children in Heaven, or are they mystically floating around the ether playing hop scotch? If some kids get taken that way, but not other ones who died sad deaths, that's not fair. I'm glad that we know when and where Samantha died, but starlight?? Um, no. I so wanted Samantha's story to make sense by now. The latest revival didn't help at all. I love Megan Leitch who played grown up clone(s) Samantha. She is in one of my favorite Stargate- SG1 episodes of all time, "Past and Present". She was great as Linea. The revival didn't address Samantha because like all the mythology on this show, it now makes as much sense as a snowman in summer. Cue Olaf singing his song.

  2. Chris,
    I have shed multiple tears when watching 'Closure'. Not least of all because of the fantastic use of that Moby song. I think I'm okay with this explanation in hindsight because losing someone is so destabilizing and shit, Mulder moving on is just the best outcome possible -- ethereal airy-fairy reason aside. Love Anthony "Dr. Chilton" Heald. And I love, love, love Scully in this one. Wonderful review. :)

  3. I like this one a lot, it's so satisfying and tragic to see Mulder finally get closure. It's also a mythology episode and can follow and that I enjoy, which is rarer and rarer!


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