season 5, episode 1, “redux”
“redux” is more of a middle informational episode within this three part mytharc rather than a fully realized season premiere, but it works. you couldn’t cram the events of “redux” with everything that goes on in “redux II.” the height of scully’s illness deserves its own episode. they couldn’t jump from the mulder suicide cliffhanger to scully being hospitalized. they needed this episode of exposition to keep the story moving.
it starts out reminding us of the nightmare that ended season four. scully actually debunking agent mulder’s work and stating that mulder had killed himself. then it takes us through the 24 hours that preceeded those events. and thank god they don’t make us think mulder is dead for too long. we learn that mulder found out that he was being spied on and in a struggle with the spy, mulder shoots and kills him. he goes straight to scully, the only person he can trust and surprises her in her darkened bedroom. they find that the only way to fight the lies is with lies of their own. “a lie to find the truth.” scully is to identify the spy’s body as mulder’s to buy them time to find out who the mole in the FBI is.
the bulk of the episode is scenes of mulder and scully doing their respective investigations stitched together with their voice-overs. scully gets called into the FBI panel and mulder breaches the pentagon with the spy’s credentials. mulder runs into kritschgau and he guides him to where he can gain level 4 access and along the way gives him a paranoid history lesson, laying out all of the government’s deceptions and cover-ups since the 40s. we learn in this narrative that scully was probably the only one who could prove the alien body was a hoax and was never meant to have been alive to test it. meanwhile, scully is trying to find out who has been the spy within the FBI and all signs keep leading to skinner. she has several heated conversations with him further deepening her belief that he is dirty.
csm was apparently left out of the loop on the order to spy on mulder and it seems he’s being pushed out of the syndicate’s confidence. he shows up at mulder’s apartment and sheds a single tear looking at a photograph of a young mulder with his sister. he confronts the elder about being in the dark about mulder and doubts that he really killed himself. he tells the elder to not underestimate mulder. that he never did. when he finds out that mulder had not committed suicide he takes the opportunity to put into motion a plan to have mulder come to the dark side. he sees to it that mulder gets out of the pentagon evidence room unnoticed with what could be the cure for scully’s cancer.
scully prepares for her FBI panel by doing a southern blot, testing her own DNA against the chimera found in the ice samples. her DNA hybridizes with the chimera just as she had hypothesized. with this as seemingly some sort of proof and her conviction that skinner is the mole, she goes into the FBI panel. she lies about mulder’s suicide and is just about to reveal the DNA proof and her suspicions of skinner when he walks into the room. she stands about to make her statement when her nose starts to bleed and she falls faint into skinner’s arms. she almost inaudibly whispers “you” to a shocked skinner. this season premiere leaves the viewer in as much distress as the season 4 finale, except instead of worrying about mulder’s fate we are concerned for scully’s.
scully has a framed tomatoes poster in her kitchen. wtf?
the scenes with the ice core scientist were so similar to “the erlenmeyer flask” that i was fearing for dr. vitagliano’s life.
mulder sees hundreds of alien bodies and pregnant women undergoing experiments on the level 4 biological quarantine wing. super creepy and also echoes seeing the men in fish tanks in “the erlenmeyer flask.”
a nice shot of mulder walking down the aisle of the massive evidence room under the pentagon. it mimics the shot from the end of the pilot episode of csm walking towards camera in the same room. like father, like son.
scully, as always, looks flawless in this episode and her freckles are showing and it’s beautiful.
scully refers to her cancer like it’s voldemort, “one which cannot be cured.”
flashback chills to scully getting assigned to the x-files.
did you know? behind the scenes facts:
the scenes of scully performing the southern blot are true to life although the procedure cannot be done in three hours as portrayed in the episode.
mulder surprises scully in her room. she starts to undress and he says, “keep going, FBI woman.” “mulder, why are you sitting in my bedrooom in the dark?” oh, scully, just go with it. “i’m not kidding, mulder.” that’s sexual frustration, right there.
he’s down on one knee when he says, “i will not allow this treason to prosper. not if they’ve done this to you.” sounds like a vow to me.
kritschgau says he can find what he wants most desperate of all and without the slightest hesitation, mulder says, “a cure for scully’s cancer.” the most important thing in life has gone from finding his sister and proving the existence of aliens to scully’s well being.
m: “if only the tragedy had been mine alone.”
s: “mulder, how long has this been going on?” m: “maybe since the beginning, since you joined me on the x-files.” s: “that would mean that for four years we’ve been nothing more than pawns in a game.”
kritschgau: “the timing of the hoax was planned so that agent scully wouldn’t be alive to do the examination.” ouch. fucking ouch.
m: “as they lie to us, we can lie to them. a lie to find the truth.”
m: “i have never seen her integrity waiver or her honor compromised, but now i ask her to lie to the people lying to us.” it really is them against the world.
skinner: “when you compound the lies, you compound the consequences.” s: “all lies lead to the truth.”