season 1, episode 13, “beyond the sea”
when scully or mulder are in the teaser you know it will be an essential episode. this is such a good one to come back from after the christmas hiatus. if you were giving it one last try before deciding to continue, this episode surely will have made up your mind. the teaser introduces us to scully’s parents, shows scully witness a ghostly image, and getting the news that her father has died. that’s all before the opening titles! despite her personal tragedy, scully goes into work and confronts a concerned mulder who calls her “dana.” his use of her first name becomes a trigger that he is serious and worried. she reassures him she’s fine (never a good sign with scully, we will learn). mulder then tells her of the case he’s involved in and he admits that he is suspicious of the psychic abilities a death row inmate possesses. “do i detect a hint of skepticism?” scully asks. well, if mulder’s going to play the role of skeptic, then scully will have to fill in as believer. it’s the first episode where we see this role reversal.
this episode is really well put together. all the elements are at their peak. the editing, the camera framing and the use of foreground and background, the acting. geez, give gillian anderson something to work with and she’ll act the shit out of it. and brad dourif as luther lee boggs is super intense. the switch between mulder and scully as skeptic and believer caused some interesting friction for the agents, but then turns into a deeper understanding of each other. scully wanted to make her father proud and she similarly thinks by “opening herself to extreme possibilities” it will please mulder. he kind of scolds her at first, but then becomes considerate of her heightened emotions. she, in turn, does not keep any of her inner conflicts and doubts from him. she tells him that boggs has offered to give her a message from her father, but decides to sit bedside with her injured partner instead. oh man, the bonding with these two!
apparently scully is a good cook. her mom says, “dinner was delicious, as usual.”
love that don s. davis plays scully’s father. can’t get enough of those twin peaks connections.
making fun of mulder’s porn obsession: “last time you were that engrossed, it turns out you were reading the adult video news.”
her reaction to mulder calling her “dana.”
I like how david duchovny pronounces the word “detail.”
do they travel with those FBI coats just in case they have to wear them in a bust or does the local field office supply them?
i love profanity scully. she always swears when she means business and usually when mulder’s in danger. as a potty mouth enthusiast myself, i am in favor of this even in the restricted censored network television capacity.
only saint scully can show some compassion to a convicted serial killer.
did you know? behind the scenes facts:
the insert of the newspaper article shows it is written by g. morgan. glenn morgan was a writer and executive producer on the show.
m: “no, no, it was five hours of boggs’ ‘channeling.’ after three hours i asked him to summon up the soul of jimi hendrix and requested ‘all along the watchtower.’ you know the guy’s been dead for twenty years, but hasn’t lost his touch.”
s: “it may be a cold dark place for you but it’s not for mulder and it’s not for my father.”
s: “i’m afraid to believe.”