The X-Files: One Breath   Rewatch 
March 28, 2020 9:04 PM - Season 2, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Scully reappears at a D.C. hospital, comatose and in critical condition. Mulder tries to find out what happened to her and who is responsible for it.
posted by orange swan (5 comments total)
This was beautiful.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:38 AM on March 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

Langly: You look down, Mulder. Tell you what, you're welcome to come over Saturday night. We're all hoppin' on the internet to nitpick the scientific inaccuracies of Earth 2.
Mulder: I'm doing my laundry.

Mulder: I brought you a present: Superstars of the Super Bowl.
Scully: I knew there was a reason to live.

I never really believe in Mulder's anger or anguish when Duchovny is called upon to produce those emotions -- it always feels a little manufactured.

Mulder's lack of patience with or time for Melissa Scully's woo is amusing if hypocritical.

Frohike spiffing himself up in a three-piece suit and bringing a bouquet of flowers to visit the comatose Scully had its pathetic side.

Did Scully's doctors do a brain scan on her at all? Because if her brain was still active -- and all her coma dreams as well as her subsequent recovery indicate that it was -- I don't know why the doctor was claiming she wasn't going to recover.

Skinner is gradually declaring himself on Mulder and Scully's side, but I don't know why he had to go through that absurd mechanism for passing CSM's address to Mulder. Just... give it to him, dude. Skinner also suddenly has a "Thank You For Not Smoking" sign on his desk, though he still has an ashtray in his office. He's really astonishingly passive aggressive for an ex-Marine and senior-level F.B.I. agent.

We have a rare glimpse of Charles Scully in this episode, as a child. Charles, who is the youngest of the Scully children, might be present but unnamed at his father's funeral in "Beyond the Sea" (there is a man with his wife and two sons in the family group who might be him), but otherwise he basically doesn't appear in The X-Files oeuvre. When Margaret Scully is dying and asks for Charles, Scully says that Charles is estranged from the family and they don't know where he is. It's interesting that there are issues/tensions in the Scully family that the show never takes time to explore. Melissa also was not present for her father's funeral; there is a man and woman at the funeral service whom I think are supposed to be Bill Scully and his wife, who as yet have no children, though they were different actors from those who were ultimately cast in those roles.

From the X-Files wiki notes:

"This was the first episode filmed after Gillian Anderson gave birth to her first child. The filming of her scenes from this episode began on 5 October 1994, ten days after the delivery of her daughter, Piper. "It was rough," she admitted. "I was on Tylenol and codeine." (The X-Files Magazine Volume 1, Issue 3, p. 27) Anderson spent much of her time on the set lying on tables or beds in a hospital gown. Occasionally, she fell asleep between takes while filming these scenes. According to James Wong, the biggest problem in the creation of the episode was in postproduction, when the production crew, who unfortunately could do nothing about the problem, realized that signs of Anderson's recent pregnancy were highly noticeable."

The only thing I really noticed was that Anderson's, um, chest protruded considerably more than it did before. But hey, a temporary breast enhancement is not the worst possible side effect of abduction.
posted by orange swan at 11:48 AM on March 29, 2020 [2 favorites]

Gawd, Scully's new-agey sister.

Jebus, Mulder's jeans.

But I remember this being a super. serious. episode.

The ex-marines Skinner - well, there's by the book and the absolute chain of command. There are things that one doesn't do, but being creative and clever is good for downstream morale.

"Branched DNA" "Biological equivalent of a microchip" - and everything downstream of that is all complete bs. Including all the things immune and "Mulder, there's nothing you can do." To "designer antibiotics."

The trenchcoat fails again. Ninja don't look like ninjas they look like someone who belongs there.

"Morleys, not my brand."

CSM: "I'm in the game because I believe what I'm doing is right."
"You can kill me now, but you'll never know the Truth. That's why I'll win."

Too much to chew on, this episode. Skinner opening up. Mulder waiting to kill a couple of dudes - or not.
posted by porpoise at 10:31 PM on March 29, 2020 [1 favorite]

I really appreciate the scientific fact checking/context you are providing in these threads, porpoise. I don't have a science background (or for that matter, a technological or advanced math background), so I can't critique the show from that perspective, though I have certainly heard/read enough scientific types scoff at how bad the science is in this show. I would have thought they would have had consultants on the show who could have corrected for that.
posted by orange swan at 8:39 AM on March 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

The science isn't all bad, and I'm perfectly fine with unexplained paraphenomena, but the gobbledygook here is bad even for X-Files.

In fiction, it's often better to go full fantasy rather than use real terms to describe something. For example, I'm fine with Flukeman - they merely posited some sort of recombination between a human and a fluke in the context of radioactive waste, they didn't "prove" how it happened.
posted by porpoise at 1:41 PM on March 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

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