wendelah1: (The light at the end of the tunnel)
[personal profile] wendelah1 posting in [community profile] xf_is_love
I find I have nothing new to add so here is my post from last year.

I kind of hated this episode the first time I saw it. Here's why. During the scene where Mulder is holding a gun to the Cigarette Smoking Man's head and threatening to blow his brains out, I found myself chanting, "Kill him. Kill him. KILL HIM!" But Mulder doesn't do it. I held that against Mulder and the writers for a long time. Spender is evil. He deserves to die.

Then a friend explained that the episode is about Mulder turning away from the Darkness, away from his despair and self-blame, away from his loneliness, from the hopelessness of the past few months. At Melissa's urging, Mulder goes back to Scully's bedside. He can't tell Scully how he feels—maybe those feelings are too overwhelming—so he tells her instead that he's there for her.

Sometimes the only thing we can offer in the face of suffering is our presence.

 photo 2x08OneBreath_zps03a7f3d5.jpg


Writer: Glen Morgan, James Wong
Director: R.W. Goodwin
Originally aired: November 11, 1994 (in the US)

Synopsis: Her mother has got the gravestone already picked out when suddenly out of nowhere, Scully mysteriously reappears in the ER of a DC hospital. Comatose and on a ventilator, with a biological poison in her bloodstream, according to the doctor attending her, Scully is dying. The Lonegunmen reluctantly agree. Despite Mulder's objections, Melissa and Mrs. Scully agree to follow the terms of Scully's living will, and remove her from life support.

Most Memorable Quote:
MULDER: I feel, Scully...that you believe...you’re not ready to go. And you’ve always had the strength of your beliefs. I don’t know if my being here...will help bring you back. But I’m here.
(He sits back in his chair and stares at her solemnly. The clock reads 8:17. Wendy starts to sob.)

Links:
One Breath transcript
Autumn Tysko's review.
Sarah Stegall's review.
Nina of Den of Geek offers her Top 10 X-Files episodes. Don't you love it that everyone has a list?

Fanfiction:
Cannibals and Chlorine by Gina Rain. Mulder suffers separation anxiety after Scully's abduction and return. Also at Gossamer.
October Skies by Oracle. Post-ep, kinda. Mulder and Scully go to a Halloween party. It's adorable. I rec it every chance I get.

Since this is the only episode we are doing that deals with Scully's abduction and its aftermath, i.e. the cancer arc and the creation of Emily, I'm throwing in all the fics here. Well, not all of them, but a couple of major ones, because they should be celebrated, too.

Iolokus by [livejournal.com profile] mustangsally78 and [livejournal.com profile] rivkat. Summary: Painted across the barren and desolate reaches of Texas, the shadows of the Project put additional pressure on Scully and Mulder's already fragile relationship. After a hostage crisis raises more questions about the Project's breeding program, Scully begins her own investigation, leaving Mulder to choose between saving her and saving himself. Finally, the investigation leads to tragedy and Mulder and Scully find that more questions have been asked than answered. Brilliant and angry, an unforgettable story. All the warnings.

Arizona Highways by [livejournal.com profile] fialka. Summary: Visions of Melissa lead Our Heroes on a case confirming the existence of a series of Emilys. But does Melissa really have a message, or is it all in Scully's head? Set post Two Fathers/One Son, so technically a season six fic. But I'm not doing season six, so it goes right here. This is my desert island story, people. I would pay someone to turn this into a podfic. I'm not kidding.

And one more, my favorite cancer arc fic.
Isometry by [livejournal.com profile] syntax6. Summary: The story of a man, a woman and their lucky pickle. Season 4 cancer era. Rated NC-17.

Date: 2014-10-09 01:22 pm (UTC)
fueschgast: (The X-Files)
From: [personal profile] fueschgast
N'aw, Don Davis.

This episode's beginning hits me in the chest with a grave stone. Every time!

Heh, that photo of Scully right after the opening credits seems to creepily eye her X-file.

Holy shit, I only just realized that Melissa is also Gibbs's ex-wife (NCIS)!
Comatose Scully's mountainous boobs still weird me out. Are they that gravity-defying or is a bra to blame?

Heh, Frohike with the flowers and a suit.

Aw, a mention of Earth 2. Nitpicking TV shows - 20 years later that's still what we do on the internet. XD

Skinner has a "thank you for not smoking" sign now, ha! Of course the Smoke Monster CSM (you know, I'm a bit disappointed that they made his initials CGB instead of CSM) doesn't care. He also doesn't care much about money, because otherwise he wouldn't stub out cigarettes that aren't down to the filter yet.

Aw, Skinner motivating Mulder with his speech about his near-death experience.

"Why is it so dark in here?" - "Because the lights aren't on."

Date: 2014-10-13 02:50 am (UTC)
fueschgast: PotterPuffs-style drawing of me in Hufflepuff robes, text reads "Hufflepuff pride". (FueschPuff)
From: [personal profile] fueschgast
I had no idea that there are bras especially for nursing!
Ugh, yeah, it bothered me too that no one bothered to put the blanket on Scully.

Hahaha, I loved Melissa's look!

Date: 2014-10-09 03:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mosinging1986.livejournal.com
I love Maggie Scully's opening voiceover and the flashback to the story about the snake. It's really the ending of innocence when you realize you've killed a living creature (for no purpose other than "fun") and that there's nothing you can do to reverse that act.

Wow, yet another Scripture mess up? (And I just happened to look it up because I wouldn't have known this one otherwise) It's 1 John 5:6, not 5:7. Sheesh, people.

I love Mulder in that sorta-turtleneck, but tucked into jeans? Was that a thing in the 90s?

I love the entire look of this episode, and especially Scully in the boat. It feels cold and eery and dreamlike. (And GA is so adorable with her freckles showing!)

I never understood the taped X on the windows thing. Did they ever explain how it works? Does everyone just monitor his apartment 24/7 to wait for it? Or do I just smile and nod and not think about it?

Aw, Frohike in his suit and bow tie. ('cause bow ties are cool!)

Hm, Byers says her immune system has been decimated. If that's true, wouldn't she be in isolation to protect her from the zillion germs roaming about in a hospital? Am I thinking too much again?

I loved watching Mulder run.
/random

I've watched so much of this show that I can't pass by or be inside a parking garage without thinking of it, or expecting something bad to happen. (Because bad things ALWAYS happen in parking garages.)

I'd never noticed the coat Scully's wearing when she's on the boat. It looks like something a grandmother would wear.

Skinner's 'Thank you for not smoking' sign on his desk. (Which CSM promptly ignores. Jerk.)

Skinner's looking oh-so-mighty-fine here!

Aw, Ahab! That speech gets more poignant to me with each passing year...

Love Mulder slapping that cigarette out of CSM's mouth. How many times have we wanted to do that? Or maybe it's just me.

I never realized it, but this ep is full of speeches that I love. I love Skinner's story about Vietnam.

Mulder looks SO very young here.

Why is it that Mulder can believe just about ANYTHING, but he's cynical to the point of open hostility towards Melissa's beliefs? I've never understood that one.



Oh, Show. The mysteries under mysteries, the "I know the truth but you don't" routine, the teasing us with puzzle piece after puzzle piece, the stringing us along week after week, season after season... sigh.

And still, we love you.

Date: 2014-10-11 09:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] badforthefish.livejournal.com
Why is it that Mulder can believe just about ANYTHING, but he's cynical to the point of open hostility towards Melissa's beliefs? I've never understood that one.

Me, either. His hostility toward Scully's return to Catholicism irks me, too.


*cracks knuckles* Please allow me to bring my humble atheistic POV to this conversation (I apologize in advance if I offend anybody, this is not my intention.)

A) Mulder is hostile towards Melissa's beliefs because he believes psychics, crystals and other new-agey hocus-pocus Scully's sister seems to be so into are a whole load of BS, exploited by charlatans who prey on the vulnerable and weak-minded. Mulder believes in aliens and phenomenons that cannot be (yet) explained but I think there is a very clear line in his mind where the unexplained stops and the Great Yappi's bread and butter begins, so to speak. He is hostile towards Melissa because he thinks she's a crackpot. So when she says she can 'hear' Dana, he thinks she's either delusional, or worse, cruel. Of course that would piss him off! To him, what she's doing, raising false hopes this way, is akin to blasphemy.

B) Mulder is irritated by Scully's return to Catholicism because he despises organized religion and thinks that Scully, as a scientist, should know better than to believe in something as intangible as 'God'. Obviously Mulder does not understand Faith as part of the religious experience. I guess somewhere there is a part of him that is disappointed in her for believing in something he cannot endorse nor respect, a part of him that resents this irreconcilable chasm between them. And this translates into hostility.

I won't lie, from my standpoint it makes Mulder infinitely more relatable to than Scully because of that very character trait. No matter how respectful you try to be of other people's beliefs there will always be that small part of you that experiences disappointment, a sense of being let down, when the people you care the most about do not happen to share your most fundamental belief about the nature of Life the Universe and Everything. There is no middle ground, no mutual Understanding. You can't explain God to someone who has no religious faith, just as I suspect you can't experience the utter sense of peace not believing in God brings if you're not an atheist - and this, is in a way, heartbreaking.

Mulder and Scully for all their love, insane sexual chemistry and intellectual bond will always be divided on this most fundemental level and it would irritate the hell out of Mulder. I get his reaction perfectly. Her faith is like this stone between them he will never be able to shift.

Anyway, that's my take on it. Peace out.


Edited Date: 2014-10-11 09:14 pm (UTC)

Date: 2014-10-12 09:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
I do think you might be projecting a bit. Is Mulder irritated about Catholicism in this ep? Melinda's crystals and stuff, yeah. But as I recall he hands Scully, at her resurrection, a cross and a football video.

Teasing a bit here. Yes, I am a Christian--not a Catholic, on account of how Luther was treated--but that is beside the point. I don't believe in debating that stuff. But neither do I believe that love can't transcend a difference of opinion. I've lived with a very neurotic guy it seems like all my life who escaped from a Presbyterian manse severely emotionally damaged. We love each other, but things have been hard. It doesn't really stem from the fact that he is an atheist. It has to do with the fact that his mommy was crazy. But--you know--my faith has been very helpful as his has been very absent.

I just want to say that love is the thing. It was Christ's thing. We can almost forget the rest, although there are helpful and beautiful aspects of the tradition. Scully and Mulder love each other. You really think her going to mass is going to make him irritable? (There was a fic about that; anybody remember?) Yeah, it might. But he's not going to like being a reliable lover or husband or--considering diapers--a father. Life is irritation. But it's possibly all we've got.

I wouldn't have responded at this length normally, but the crazy fundamentalists here are making vicious fun of inoffensive church-goers. I know the French are mostly irreligious. Good for you. I think I remember that Pere LaChaise (??) was the first atheist cemetery. Hey, we all have our own traditions.



Date: 2014-10-10 02:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
I've always adored this ep. I love playing with contrasting realities and I love mysteries that can't actually be solved (which may be why I stick with my religion). I love Mulder's hysteria and the shot from Scully's pov watching him on the dock with Nurse Whatsername. And I really love the scene--again from S's pov--in which she lies in bed seeing a busy hospital scene bleed through a peaceful forest. Financially low-level as they were, The X-Files managed some beautiful effects.

I've never been particularly fond of the actress who plays Melissa. There's a kind of built-in snarkiness there. But that's just personal prejudice. It militates, however, against me taking any Mulder/Melissa pairing seriously.

Basically, I love it all. And I sense the series climbing higher and higher on a hillside of intellectual fascination.

If only they had taken the time to figure out a better fate for Samantha.

Date: 2014-10-11 08:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] badforthefish.livejournal.com
I have yet to rewatch this one as well (consider my head suitably hanged) but this was such a defining ep wasn't it? The Helen of Troy of X-Files. The ep that launched a thousand arcs.

I think my favourite shot is when Scully wakes up, the transition from the woodland dreamscape to the reality of the hospital room - such a genius take.

And I could totally see Melissa and Mulder hooking up - a one night stand of mutual grieving. I even had an embryo of a story on that theme. He comes out of the hospital, Melissa is outside smoking a cigarette. She offers him one, he accepts it. She asks about her sister, says they've grown apart, wants to know what her life has been like. He begins to tell her. They end up in a bar and you know, they start bonding.

Date: 2014-10-12 08:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] estella-c.livejournal.com
Well, if you must. I read it because you're you.

Date: 2014-10-14 08:51 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] chinapatterns.livejournal.com
Frohike turning up always makes me ge get lump in my throat.

Is it me or do Mulders curtains look like a gift from Langley?

Mulder seems to blank nurse Owens, I've never noticed that before.

Wouldn't somebody have noticed gun shots in a hospital basement?

Skinners speach is so touching and he looks so much softer without his glasses.

Scully looks very young in her hospital bed, I forget that Gillian was only 26 when she filmed this

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