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S01.E12: Fire

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Episode synopsis: Mulder and Scully join forces with an inspector from Scotland Yard when a man with pyrokinetic powers stalks members of the British aristocracy. Written by: Chris Carter. Directed by: Larry Shaw.


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Oh, man. If you thought this episode was kind of terrible, at least you didn't have to recap it for that project a few years ago. I'd still be having PTSD flashbacks now, if not for the fact that I also recapped First Person Shooter.

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Oh, man. If you thought this episode was kind of terrible, at least you didn't have to recap it for that project a few years ago. I'd still be having PTSD flashbacks now, if not for the fact that I also recapped First Person Shooter.


At least it wasn't Fight Club. 


I actually don't hate this episode. Mark Sheppard is sufficiently creepy as Cecil Lively.  Phoebe Green was awful, although I love Scully's reaction to her, especially in that first scene. Also her purple trench coat.  I hate how they bring up Mulder's fear of fire and then never speak of it again ever.  That sort of annoyed me.

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Poor Cecil Lively... I neither care about him or the plot... lol  It's not that he or the plot is bad, I'm just more entertained by all of the epic gold with Mulder, Scully, and Phoebe Green.


The many blessed faces of Scully:



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Oh, I loved this episode back in the day.  On re-watch it was way more cheesy than I remembered, but still good.  HATE Phoebe Greene, but Scully was funny.  Hate that they said Mulder was afraid of fire, then never used it again (kind of the like deus ex machina of him being red/green color blind from Wetwired)


I have a picture with Mark Sheppard from an XF convention in 1994 and he signed my script for this episode.  Of course I had no idea then that he'd end up in so many of my favorite shows and that I would end up *loving* Mark Sheppard SO MUCH (Firefly, Supernatural, XF, Leverage, Dollhouse, Battlestar Galactica, etc).  So funny that I first saw him here on XF.

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That middle gif is pure gold. Scully really is wonderful in this episode. She figures out Cecil Lively is the killer and has time to get up to Boston. Meanwhile all Mulder did was put on a tux and dance with Phoebe. She's definitely annoyed. And wonderfully snarky.

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Scully wins every episode. (Edit: Yes. Even 3, which she wasn't even in.)


She really does. =)


I just got done watching this episode as part of my own rewatch, and because it isn't one I watch very often (it's not exactly the best), I forgot how endlessly entertained I am by Phoebe Green. I love how in Mulder's face she is right away and her obvious glee at having scared both he and Scully in the car at the beginning...then she just keeps going after what she wants even though Mulder shoots her down. She's kind of fun, minus the whole deliberately pushing Mulder into a case that deals with his (apparently deep) fear of fire. Also, Scully's reactions to her are absolute gold.


Mark Sheppard is terrifically creepy in this, and the fact that Scully solves the case all on her own is great.


Oh, and my favorite exchange from this episode:


Scully: "So, Sherlock. Is the game afoot?"

Mulder: "Afraid so, Watson."




Lastly, a side note: anyone else think that GA looks incredibly young in the scene in the house when Scully is holding her gun on Cecil right before Phoebe douses him with the accelerant? I know she was in her (mid?) twenties at the time, but wow.

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So I rewatched this yesterday as part of my rewatch, and this episode is actually worse than I remember it being. (Like I remembered Jersey Devil being not that good, and lo and behold, it was still not that good on the rewatch, but no worse than I remember it being).


First of all, and this is just a minor quibble as someone who knows Cape Cod pretty well, but "Cape Cod, Massachusetts" is not a thing. The Cape has actual towns in it. I always laugh when they set episodes in Massachusetts, which they do a lot, because it's clear none of them ever spent any time here whatsoever, so why are they so obsessed with New England?  Plus, the reality is that Mulder grew up on Martha's Vineyard (why? who knows), and that was already established by the time this episode took place, so why not acknowledge that he grew up nearby.


Then there is the whole relationship with Phoebe, which just seems so uncharacteristic of Mulder. (As does the fear of fire thing).  I mean, granted, he would have been in his early 20s at the time, but so would she have been, and the notion that they had some twisty, angsty relationship just doesn't work for me. I just don't know that I buy him being so manipulated by her.


Anyway, the best thing about the episode is Scully walking in on Mulder and Phoebe kissing, and just rolling her eyes and letting them have their privacy.  I suspect that Scully's jealousy is somewhere between professional and personal.  I think at this point she finds Mulder attractive but isn't really thinking relationship. However, I also don't think she doesn't want anyone - especially another woman - trying to take her place or supersede her in importance to him.

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I've been rewatching season 1 for the first time since watching it live. I watched the show live right from the pilot and loved it, especially Scully. I had a massive crush on her for years.


DD's bad acting is driving me crazy enough I finally have to post. I never thought he was very good, but the rewatch is even harder to tolerate. Everything he says is just this drab monotone. It's particularly bad when they are supposed to be suggesting there is some chemistry between him and the Phoebe (like in the scene in the hospital when she gets close to him and talks about their last fling) and he is just like a block of cement. All I can think when I watch is I don't know why any woman would want him. Like I feel like Mulder himself is so drab he would douse fire. It also really takes me out of the scenes with Scully bc she is so awesome and he is so not. 


Anyway I had to get that off my chest!


ETA: Plot hole. Why wouldn't they have gotten the sketch of the guy ASAP? They seemed to have forgotten about it even though he seemed like a very good suspect. Dumb. I did like Cecil asking for a cigarette at the end.


I really only watch for Scully :) 

Edited by cleo
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