season 4, episode 17, “tempus fugit”
many times the x-files cases just fall into our agent’s laps. the conspiracy some how finds them so they can find the truth. in this case it’s pertaining to someone from their past, max fenig. a woman interrupts mulder and scully out at a bar celebrating scully’s birthday saying she has information about max and a crashed commercial flight that he was on. last time we saw max he was taken right before mulder’s eyes. in the teaser of this episode we see him traveling on a plane looking very nervous and paranoid. paranoid with good reason. a man is watching him and then goes to the bathroom to construct a gun with which he intends to kill max. but, he is interrupted. some sort of alien intervention takes max right out of the plane in mid-flight.
“the x-files” handles abduction scenes phenomenally well. they are beautiful, yet terrifying. the way max floats out of his seat under the power of some unseen force is graceful and mysterious. when max’s colleague, sharon graffia, is taken from the hotel, it doesn’t seem redundant. it doesn’t show the hovering body, but it shows the earthquake-like shaking and blinding, dancing light beams. it’s mesmerizing to watch, but frightening, too, because you know how disastrous the outcome often is.
speaking of disasters, the production design on the airplane crash site and recovery scenes are as breathtaking as they are tragic. this show really pays attention to the aesthetic as much as the story and character development.
i don’t have too much more to say about this beautiful episode because it’s the second part on which i can go more in depth. but, this episode deftly sets it up and leaves us with an effectively tingly cliffhanger. this show knows what it’s doing.
wandering thoughts is an understatement when i think about the bar/birthday scene. so many questions. it’s just delightful to see them in a light atmosphere enjoying themselves, aliens and conspiracies be damned.
i love the way scully says “apollo 11” when she’s looking at the keychain.
how late was it at the bar? they get to that meeting at 4am?
mulder finding his own bloody business card with max’s remains is really frickin’ sad.
oh, what i wouldn’t give to have seen scuba!scully.
pendrell getting shot is so tragic. such a sweet guy with a crush on scully. he finally gets that drink with her even though he thinks she’s on a date. it gets you right in the FEELS.
did you know? behind the scenes facts:
tempus fugit means “time flies.” pretty clever.
the bar/birthday scene! duh! he plans a surprise for her. he has a gift for her! she’s embarrassed. they have some teasing, flirty banter about him remembering her birthday. mulder’s about to tell her why he got it for her when sharon graffia pulls a debbie downer on them. cock block much, sharon?
s: “you sure know how to make a girl feel special on her birthday.” i don’t think this is how scully saw the evening panning out when they were drinking at the bar.
m: “do you remember the last time you were missing 9 minutes?” scully’s all, “yeah, our first date, uh, i mean, case.”
s: “mulder, you have never remembered my birthday in the four years i’ve known you.” m: “that’s the way i like to celebrate it. it’s like every four years. it’s like dog years that way.” s: “dog years? thank you.” m: “your welcome. oh, i got something for you.” s: “oh, you’ve got to be kidding me.” m: “it’s just something that reminded me of you.” s: “what an alien implant?” m: “two actually, i made them into earrings.” s: “hmm. apollo 11.”
m: “does your policy cover the acts of extraterrestrials?”
m: “once i got a quarter off the deep end of the Y pool.”