The X-Files: Field Trip   Rewatch 
December 13, 2015 7:58 PM - Season 6, Episode 21 - Subscribe

A mystery involving two skeletons leads the agents on a journey in which nothing is quite as it seems.
posted by town of cats (3 comments total)
In my headcanon, Mulder and Scully died in this episode and the remaining three seasons and movie are a long, complex shared hallucination they created together in their death throes.

Really, though. This episode could have been the series finale of this show and I don't think I would be upset about that. I mean, at the time I would have been upset about it because X-Files was my fucking life and I wanted it to last 100 years, but in retrospect, ending the show with an episode that follows the X-Files formula so perfectly (even beginning with a grisly slideshow!), meditates on exactly what it was about Mulder and Scully's relationship that made it work so well, made them need one another so badly, made them a great investigative team, a great friendship, and damned fine television for six incredible years...and then kills off the leads of a show about paranormal phenomena with nothing more than sheer bad luck with a carnivorous fungus? Would have been an insanely ballsy move. This would have been a legendary series finale. And X-Files would have gone out at the very top of its game.

I mean, I'm not saying the episode as-is would have been a completely satisfying end to the show. But I am saying that the episode as-is would have been a more satisfying ending than the one we got.

Instead the show limped along three more years and another feature film, partially shedding both leads and much of the creative team and a huge chunk of its audience, snowballing an increasingly incoherent and byzantine mythology, and offering unsatisfying answers to questions many people were no longer interested in asking. I literally went to my room and cried after a few of the episodes in season 9, and vowed that the single time I watched the series finale would be the only time. I stuck with this damn show to the bitter end out of loyalty and stubbornness, not because I was having fun, and not because anyone else seemed to be, either.

So yeah. As far as I'm concerned, the show ends here. And I'm glad, by total random luck of the draw, that this episode ends my own personal planned rewatch. Couldn't have picked a better one if I'd tried :) and while I'm sure I watched this episode when it aired, I had only the vaguest recollection of what it was like.

Thanks to all the Mefites who've beanplated the show with me for the last few months! Hope to see you in the inevitable FanFare threads about the new episodes next month :)
posted by town of cats at 8:01 PM on December 13, 2015 [6 favorites]

Plausible. ish. I could but won't nitpick the lab science this episode.

Mulder and Scully died in this episode

In retrospect, yeah totally. They even begin the episode with Mulder and Scully going "through this perfunctory dance" and Mulder conceding that Scully is right 98.9% of the time.

Vince Gilligan has admitted that he ended 'Breaking Bad' when he did because he didn't want it to drag on like 'The X Files.'

Jim Beaver! In a non-scruffy role!

Some excellent emoting by Anderson.
posted by porpoise at 3:02 PM on July 14, 2020

The interesting thing about Mulder and Scully's hallucinations in this episode is that it's not always clear which one of them is having them. Mulder's hallucination is quite clearly his own -- he finds the Schiffs, they give him accounts of having been abducted that sound exactly like accounts we've heard people tell him before (Wallace sounded strangely like Crump from the "Drive" episode), and then he finds an alien and brings him home to his apartment, and Scully acknowledges he's right, which tips him off to the fact that something is wrong.

But then we move into Scully's hallucination, which instead of being wish fulfillment fantasy like Mulder's, is her worst nightmare: Mulder is found dead. It's her thing until Mulder walks into his apartment during his wake, and from there it seems more like a shared hallucination than something Scully is experiencing on her own.

We don't know if the Schiffs experienced a joint hallucination, of course, but it would be pretty cool if Mulder and Scully shared such a deep bond that they even experienced this hallucinatory trip together.
posted by orange swan at 6:01 PM on July 16, 2020

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