season 3, episode 2, “paper clip”
well, if i was impressed at the writers maintaining great drama over the finale and the premiere, then i am equally impressed that they could sustain it for another full episode. “paper clip” is full of angst, conspiracy, and partnership. all the great things this show has come to incorporate and thrive on. we pick up at the the stand off between scully and skinner and the reveal of who is outside the door is so great. it’s a scene that is pure adrenaline. so many things to think about. oh my god, it’s mulder! scully’s surprise. skinner thinking they’re tricking him. mulder walking into the stand off and immediately siding with scully and training his gun on skinner. skinner has the digital tape. it’s just a whirlwind of emotions and reactions. skinner convinces them to let him keep the tape and mulder tells scully that they are leaving. she says “where?” with so much behind it. she’s been lost without him and without her job and she finally has someone she trusts to ask a question to and who has some plans of their own on how to get to the truth. it’s a mixture of relief and defeat and faith in her partner.
the two agents have so much to say to each other, but no time. they share a moment in the hallway and scully tells him “she just knew” he would be ok. they learn other things along the way, like scully’s sister has been shot and mulder’s father participated in the conspiracy and they don’t have time to process any of it. they are running around meeting with nazis and finding a catacomb of “lots and lots of files.” oh, and aliens and spaceships, of course. let’s not forget those.
meanwhile, all the supporting players are dealing with their own shit storms. csm is becoming unhinged over the missing files and trying to play it cool to the syndicate. i love how he gets in trouble for krycek’s fuck-up. he’s playing games with skinner and not making deals. skinner is trying to make deals and getting the shit kicked out of him by krycek. krycek is being a hit man, but then realizes they’ve turned on him for making the mistake of killing melissa instead of scully. mrs. scully and albert hosteen are sitting vigil at melissa’s bedside. see? so much is going on!
skinner thinks he can make a deal to ensure their safety and their reinstatement to the x-files. mulder doesn’t want to deal. he’s so “intense that sometimes it’s blinding,” to quote scully from season one’s “ebe.” super rational scully can see the bigger picture and she makes a good point. good enough for mulder to trust her to make the decision to take the deal or not. “those answers mean nothing if we are going to be hunted down like animals. we’re operating so far outside the law right now. we’ve given up on the very notion of justice. we’ve turned ourselves into outsiders. we have lost our access and our protection.” she’s seen what it’s like to fight for the truth without the resources the FBI provides and she sees it as futile. now that they seem to really have skinner in their corner, maybe they have a fighting chance. mulder responds with “what makes you think there’s any such thing as justice, scully?” and she responds, “then what good are those answers to anyone but you, mulder.” goddamn, scully, how are you so level-headed in all of this?
their current fate at ease, scully is finally able to see her sister who slips away shortly after. mulder goes to scully and tells her that he believes the answers are in the x-files. they basically vow to each other to continue the fight together.
i was kind of sick of the navajo stories, but i have to admit the white buffalo story paralleling melissa’s condition was well done. and i loved having albert back. and how bad ass was he in the end with skinner? hooray for the ancient tradition of oral history!
i love scully busting klemper’s nazi balls.
total goosebumps when they find scully’s file with a recent tissue sample and when they find samantha’s file and mulder’s name is underneath.
i don’t like when they get separated. it kind of had a cornfield feel to it, no?
skinner barely has patience for mulder’s passions.
the insert of the bee in klemper’s greenhouse. a precursor to “fight the future?” did he develop that?
scully takes being called an abductee like an insult.
did you know? behind the scenes facts:
we learn that mulder was born in ’61, scully in ’64, and samantha in ’65.
they are each worried about the other and supportive of the other in their times of grief.
m: “i was a dead man. now i’m back.” kick ass.
m: “there are truths out there that aren’t on that tape.”
skinner: “this is where you pucker up and kiss my ass.”
m: “we’ve both lost so much… but i believe that what we’re looking for is in the x-files. i’m more certain than ever that the truth is in there.” s: “i’ve heard the truth, mulder. now what i want are the answers.”