season 2, episode 8, “one breath”
this emotional episode is the conclusion of this very important three part mytharc. it starts out with mrs. scully telling a story of dana as a young girl. it sounds like she is reconciling the situation for herself, to accept that her daughter is gone. mulder tells her it’s too soon. he hasn’t lost all hope yet. they look at the grave prepared for scully. it has “the spirit is the truth” etched on it. and that feeling is echoed in the ending resolution in what we are led to believe ultimately brings scully back from the brink: the power of her and mulder’s beliefs, their collective belief in the truth.
scully mysteriously shows up comatose in a hospital. no one knows the details of her admission. either these aliens and/or this covert government agency are very sneaky. the doctors can’t diagnose what is wrong with her. mulder is enraged, demanding answers even though he knows they don’t know anything. he spends the rest of the episode frantically running around searching for the truth of what happened to her and a way to heal her. he “owes her” more than sitting around prematurely mourning. scully’s sister, melissa, is spouting off spiritual mumbo jumbo and reading auras. you’d think mulder would be open to that and he is a little, at first, but then he knows a bit more about the shady circumstances of her abduction. he knows that certain people can tell him what has happened. he encounters the lone gunmen, mr. x, skinner, and even the cigarette smoking man in his mad search. skinner arranges for mulder to get csm’s address. he had to have known he wouldn’t get any answers from him, but it was finally the opportunity he’s been waiting for, to confront him. the audience is as satisfied as mulder that he gets this chance. of course, cancer man is cryptic in his responses. “i like you. i like her, too, that’s why she was returned to you. you’re becoming a player.” he knows mulder won’t kill him. the truth is too important to mulder and he knows that he holds the cards when it comes to the truth.
meanwhile, scully is struggling between letting go and fighting to live. melissa was able to feel that. she’s floating in a boat sensing the people visiting her. her father visits her and tells her they will be together someday, but not now. this monologue is quite moving and where the episode gets its name. he conveys what the characters are feeling and what the audience is feeling. it’s all happened too fast. mulder and scully need more time. there are more truths to uncover. more people can they save. and more questions for them to answer. their time together has “felt as if it had been the length of one breath, one heartbeat.”
mr. x gives mulder the opportunity to get revenge. he says men will show up at his apartment thinking he is gone. if he’s there, he can ambush them. melissa comes to mulder and pleads for him to go to scully. knowing that scully needs to know he is there if she is deciding whether to stay or go. mulder chooses to go to scully. revenge will not get him the truth and it won’t bring scully back. in another moving visitation scene mulder tells her “i don’t know if me being here will bring you back, but i’m here.” he sits with her while his apartment is trashed by the men mr. x warned him about. he comes back to his apartment and finally breaks down. finally stopping to feel the affects of what has happened. scully comes out of her coma with no memory of anything after duane barry. she tells mulder that she had “the strength of your beliefs.”
i found this episode hard to review. there’s a helluva lot going on. it warrants something more indepth. a dissertation, perhaps? i didn’t even mention nurse owens or mr. x killing the man who steals scully’s blood or the branched DNA stuff.
frohike and the tux and the flowers? adorbs.
mulder gets the clue to csm’s location in a sealed morley pack. sealed? whaaaa?
i don’t know why, but i always kind of space out during skinner’s monologue. there’s so much going on in this episode that my mind is racing on everything else that i can’t focus on what he’s saying, nor do i really care. i love skinner, it’s just that this story doesn’t engage me much.
we finally see mulder’s front door and it is just a 4. did they always intend for it to be 42 and the two had fallen off or did they change it to 42 after this episode? i always LOVED the fact that mulder lived at apartment 42 because of “hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy.”
did you know? behind the scenes facts:
first mention of the thinker, who becomes key in the finale, “anasazi.”
first time mulder uses the ‘x’ tape on his window to contact mr. x.
gillian anderson had very recently given birth by cesarean section and is quite possibly asleep during some of her scenes.
i’ve read that melissa was considered to be a romantic interest for mulder, as was phoebe green from season one’s “fire,” coming back to be a regular character. the relationship that formed between the characters from the beginning prevented these things from happening. the characters that chris carter created took on a life of their own and the chemistry that anderson and duchovny had made additions like that unnecessary.
he signed her will as her witness.
mrs. scully says “this is a moment for the family, but you can join us if you want.” mrs. scully ships it.
melissa tells mulder to go to her. melissa ships it.
mulder’s intensity when he sees her in the hospital.
mulder’s visit to her when he could be exacting revenge. him wanting her to know that he’s there.
it is heartbreaking when he breaks down at his apartment.
his relieved smile when he gets the news she’s ok. it’s as if he was on the brink himself.
he was one of the reasons she decided to come back instead of slipping away.
melissa: “i’ve been told not to call you fox.”
m: “is this about the tooth found in the cafeteria jello?”
csm: “i’ve watched presidents die.”
melissa: “why’s it so dark in here?” m: “because the lights aren’t on.”
s: “not fox. mulder.”
m: “i brought you a present. a video. superstars of the superbowl.” s: “i knew there was a reason to live.” scully’s back and with her sarcasm. yes!
s: “i had the strength of your beliefs.”