So yesterday I found out that GOOD NEWS, EVERYONE, I don’t have cancer. As I noted on Twitter earlier, that thing they sliced off my leg two weeks ago* was just a butt ugly piece of shit that decided my leg was its new home and it was time to start throwing wild parties. I knew I should probably tell people that love me and care about me that I do not have cancer, but all thoughts of my own health and well-being were pushed so far to the back of my mind that they fell off the giant Cliffs of Dover way back in there and then they probably also fell into a river and started screaming help me, help me! i’m drowning! in their tiny little voices, because all my brain wanted to think about was that Mulder and Scully = True <3 IRL. And it’s all Jennie’s fault.
*In the process of being butchered, I had stitches, developed large ugly bruises all over my calf, and threatened to rip those stitches in half every five minutes when I was moving last weekend. I sent my dear friend Emily a picture of the hideousness and her response was to be jealous that she didn’t have a “rainbow” on her leg, and then she proceeded to photoshop lots of sparkles and unicorns onto the picture and sent it back to me with a smiley face.
Now, the rumours have since been squashed by David Duchovny’s killjoy rep, but for a glorious ten minutes, it was like my entire adolescence had reawakened and I was back in high school again, unable to think about anything else but whether or not Mulder and Scully would ever get together*. I wasn’t one of those people that wrote fanfiction about the actors (that is SUPER CREEPY behavior, by the way), and I don’t necessarily actually CARE one way or the other if GA and DD are boning each other, but for those ten minutes, it was like the story that shaped my entire adolescence had just come to life. I wasn’t even making thoughts, just noises — nothing but squirrels up in the noggin.
*Sometimes I would also think about what I would do if Mulder were real and he walked into my 2nd period European History class with his gun and his badge and whisked me away — the fantasy never got farther than the whisking, so who knows if I was being led away for romantical purposes or for questioning in a mysterious paranormal investigation. Either way probably would have been okay with me, honestly.
Anyway, so then I hijacked Jennie’s comments for a while with my typing farts when I had an idea to watch The X-Files again, but like not the whole thing, because a full rewatch took me six months the last time I did it back in 2009. This rewatch would consist of my favorite all-time episodes, the ones that used to make me want to roll around screaming on the floor and then die (I believe I actually did this during the seventh season finale) — The Good Parts Version, to steal a phrase from The Princess Bride. And then my brain was like, oh! LET’S MAKE A LIST. I love making lists, you guys, but you know this. So those of you who were expecting a quality post when you clicked through here today, I’m sorry but you can probably leave now because the rest of this post will be devoted to mindless X-Files nostalgia and list-making. Actually, if you’ve never seen The-X-Files before, this list might be a good place to start. Of course, if these are the episodes you watch first, it might be all downhill from here.
The X-Files: The Good Parts Version, for use in a Mini-Marathon, Weekend-Ruining Capacity
1X01 — “Pilot”: Special Agent Dana Scully meets Special Agent Fox Mulder, the FBI’s most unwanted, as she is assigned to the bureau’s black sheep unit The X-Files to spy on and reign in Spooky Mulder himself. She’s a skeptic, and he wants to believe, and he sucks her right in to his creepy, government conspiracy and alien-filled world.
3X04 — “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose”: Mulder and Scully meet a man who knows how everyone he meets will die. This man is played by Peter Boyle, and he is cynical and awesome.
3X17 — “Pusher”: Possibly the greatest X-Files villain, M&S chase serial killer Robert Patrick Modell, a man who can “push” people into doing or seeing whatever he wants using only the power of his mind.
3X20 — “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space“: The first time the show went meta — famous author Jose Chung writes a book about a supposed alien abduction and interviews Mulder and Scully about the events, both of whom give very different versions of the story.
4X14 — “Memento Mori”: Scully learns she has cancer thanks to the events of her abduction two years before. This is the opposite of what happened to me. (Also, I’ve never maybe been abducted by aliens/the government/whoever.) It is awful and heartbreaking and they totally cut the scene where Mulder kisses her. Also, during the infamous “hallway scene,” Gillian Anderson had to stand on a box. HA HA HA.
4X20 — “Small Potatoes”: The funniest/saddest episode this show ever did. Moose and Squirrel investigate a series of babies in a small town who are all born with tails. It involves Luke Skywalker, doppelgangers, and almost kisses. It is amazing.
5X01 & 5X02 — “Redux I,” “Redux II”: Scully is dying of cancer, and Mulder almost loses his mind trying to save her.
5X05 — “The Post-Modern Prometheus”: Creator Chris Carter’s black and white ode to Frankenstein, with a post-modern twist. It has a dude with two faces, questionable sexual encounters, and lots and lots of Cher. I used to teach it to my students when we did our “Monster” unit. They ate that shit up.
5X08 — “Kitsunegari”: Robert Patrick Modell has escaped, and this time he’s on a kitsunegari — a foxhunt. (Mulder is the fox because his name is Fox . . . get it?)
5X12 –”Bad Blood”: If “Small Potatoes” was funny/sad, “Bad Blood” is just plain funny. Mulder is accused of murder, and his only defense is that at the time, he thought the kid he’d murdered was a vampire. Mulder and Scully take turns telling Skinner their version of what happened, much in the vein of “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space,” except way way better. This is the most quotable episode the show ever did.
5X19 — “Folie à Deux”: Mulder drags Scully to check out the claims of a man who believes his boss to be a murdering monster. The perfect example of The X-Files monster-of-the-week format at its finest: Scary monster, great character work for Mulder and Scully, and a hell of an ending. (Plus also a scene where Mulder tells Scully she’s his one in five billion.)
5X20 — “The End”: Psychic chess prodigy. Mulder’s evil, horrible ex-girlfriend. The X-Files closed down and burned to the ground. Sigh.
The X-Files: Fight the Future — I know every line of this movie by heart. Fucking bees.
6X03 — “Triangle”: The X-Files meets Wizard of Oz meets World War II on a boat. You were there, and you, and you . . . but was it a dream? This episode has some of the coolest camera work in the series, including an impressive long take set to jazzy, trippy 40s music.
6X04 & 6X05 — “Dreamland I,” “Dreamland II”: Mulder switches bodies with Michael McKean, and Michael McKean doesn’t want to switch back.
6X14 — “Monday”: Groundhog Day, a la The X-Files. Mulder is stuck in a time loop that starts with a leaky waterbed and ends with a disastrous bank robbery gone wrong, and he and the bank robber’s girlfriend are the only ones who know it’s happening. The loop won’t stop until they get the ending right. Notable for the scene where Mulder is shot and dies in Scully’s arms. I rewind that scene like five million times every time I watch this episode. (Sad ending, though :( An ending which was echoed in real life, when the actress who played the bank robber’s girlfriend — Carrie Hamilton, Carol Burnett’s daughter — died of lung and brain cancer.)
6X15 — “Arcadia”: Mulder and Scully pose as a married couple in the suburbs. That’s really all you need to know. Also, “Woman, get back in here and make me a sandwich.”
6X18 — “Milagro”: A writer whose imagination brings words to life becomes obsessed with Scully. but the important part is when he gets all upset that she can’t love him because she’s totally already in love with MULDER. Let me get all Britta up in here when I say, “Da doi!”
6X19 — “The Unnatural”: David Duchovny wrote and directed this ode to baseball, about an alien who’s greatest love is playing ball, but let’s be honest, as great as the middle parts are, I really only love it for the opening and ending scenes. Duchovny writes verrrry flirty Mulder/Scully.
7X21 — “Je Souhaite”: Mulder is convinced that a genie is responsible for a series of deaths. Scully encounters an invisible man; Mulder gets three wishes and tries to make the world a better place. I’m not sure why, but I just LOVE this episode.
7X22 — “Requiem”: The aforementioned seventh season finale that punched me in the face so hard, but before that even it was great because the whole thing brought the show full circle back to the pilot episode.
8X14 — “This Is Not Happening”: Scully’s search for the missing Mulder finally comes to end, and it’s not the happy ending she was looking for. The last ten minutes of this episode are completely unbearable in the best way possible.
8X15 — “Deadalive”: But don’t worry! Mulder is like Jesus — he rises again. Both of these episodes are totally worth it just for that moment when Mulder first opens his eyes and Scully smiles back at him.
8X19 — “Alone”: A tribute to well-known fan and fanfic writer, Leyla Harrison, who died of skin cancer earlier that year. Young FBI Agent Harrison is Mulder and Scully’s biggest fan, but she’s in way over her head as the newest X-Files agent. It’s schmoopsy and sentimental, and I absolutely love it.
9X19 & 9X20 — “The Truth”: Mulder is put on trial for the murder of a man who can’t die, and his whole career is called into question. A lot of people don’t like this episode, but I love it because it give me two things: 1) Mulder and Scully making out and for the love of God finally acknowledging their romantic relationship, 2) An absolutely pitch-perfect final scene that always makes me cry.
If you have more than a weekend to
wastefill, also add in: “Squeeze,” “Ice,” “Eve,” “Beyond the Sea,” “Jersey Devil,” “Tooms,” “Duane Barry,” “Ascension,” “One Breath,” “Irresistible,” “Humbug,” “Paper Clip,” “War of the Coprophages,” “Quagmire,” “Home,” “Paper Hearts,” “Leonard Betts,” “Gethsemane,” “Detour,” “Christmas Carol,” “Emily,” “Kill Switch,” “Drive,” “How the Ghosts Stole Christmas,” “The Rain King,” “Tithonus,” “Three of a Kind,” “Millenium,” “The Goldberg Variation,” “Sein Und Zeit,” “Closure,” “all things,” “Within,” “Without,” “Badlaa,” “Essence,” “Existence,” “John Doe,” “Jump the Shark,” “William,” “Release,” The X-Files: I Want to Believe
Under no circumstances watch: “3,” “The Field Where I Died”
I was going to add in a little list with the best MSR scenes (Mulder/Scully Romance, for you noobs), but then I decided that I should probably just make that a separate post, because I’m pretty sure I can find the elaborate spreadsheet I concocted in high school listing out EVERY SINGLE ONE because that’s the kind of thing I did all the time back then instead of dating. And then I realized I could make an endless amount of lists about this show, and I could probably do them all from memory. (If anyone would actually like me to do this, just let me know — I’d be happy to
waste even more time oblige.) I guess what I’m saying is, it’s important that ya’ll know my priorities are straight: Mulder and Scully > Not Having Cancer.
Also, I’m going to be watching a shit ton of X-Files this weekend.