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JanetMacklin

Season 6: Humongous Fungus Among Us

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I think Six is a surprisingly good season, especially given that DD seemed to be getting tired of his role.  But there was enough else to make the season stand out.

Arcadia - even though I'm not a Mulder/Scully shipper, this episode was fun.

Good mytharc episodes with SR 819 and Two Fathers/One Son, even if the writers had really started losing the plot by then.

Agua Mala and Monday are fun in the classic XF way.

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I convinced my mom to watch three episodes with me that she hadn't seen before: Milagro and Dreamland I and II. She really enjoyed Dreamland, which surprised me - the goofy episodes are often hit and miss with her.

 

Is it just me, or is watching the episodes with other people a completely different experience than watching episodes alone? I thought I was going to melt into the floor with embarrassment at "Special Agent Dana Scully had herself become simply aroused." While watching solo I find the show a lot scarier and am able to become immersed in the story, but when I watch with other people, I spend most of my time anxiously gauging their reaction. It's bizarre.

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I wish the Dreamland episodes had been condensed into one spectacular hour; I think they're good as two episodes, but could have been utterly fantastic as one.

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Um.... soooo.... apparently I had never seen Tithonus before.  So is this our explanation of why Clyde Bruckman told Scully she won't die?

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Ooh, Tithonus is one of my favorite episodes of the entire series!  I was just telling my daughter about the episode today (she brought up something about being immortal and how much it would suck, LOL).

 

So is this our explanation of why Clyde Bruckman told Scully she won't die?

 

CC & Co never came out and said that Scully won't die in the traditional way like Fellig, but they did say that the episode is related to what Clyde Bruckman told her, so......yeah. 

 

Somebody on the boards a while back said that maybe Samantha turns her into starlight.  I know people hate that storyline too, LOL, but I thought that was a nice thought.

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Oh geez... No Scully starlight. Lol.

I was just annoyed and frustrated by the end of One Son last night. I'm annoyed at Mulder for the Fowley nonsense. I know the reality of Triangle was questionable, but regardless, Triangle was at least in Mulder's head. So why now the leap back to Fowley? Argh. I'm mad at CSM for shooting Spender. For all his annoyingness, I feel for Spender. He's nothing more than a pawn in his father's game, and he lost his mother, the one person who truly loved him. I did like that this showed that Jeffrey is a better man than his father, and in the end he wanted to do the right thing.

And what was up with Mulder being all resigned and just planning to go to the hangar? Yay for collecting all of his friends to go with him, but good for Scully for getting hiss ass in gear to try to stop them. It just didn't strike me as Mulder-like to be so resigned and not care about oh.... The rest of the world.

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I'm annoyed at Mulder for the Fowley nonsense.

 

 

The very existence of Fowley is one of the most pointless and annoying turns this series ever took.   

 

 

Argh. I'm mad at CSM for shooting Spender. For all his annoyingness, I feel for Spender. He's nothing more than a pawn in his father's game, and he lost his mother, the one person who truly loved him. I did like that this showed that Jeffrey is a better man than his father, and in the end he wanted to do the right thing.

 

 

I love Two Fathers/One Son (as I do pretty much every episode with Krycek), but CSM shooting Jeffrey at the end almost ruins it for me.  I didn't like Jeffrey back when I watched the show on first run, but in re-watches I've grown rather fond of him.  My personal headcanon is that that shooting never happened.

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Fowley, they could have painted her in the best light possible and I'd still hate her. Just because she's not Scully.

One thing I didn't understand... Why does Cassandra tell CSM he can't save Jeffrey? Simply because Jeffrey wouldn't be willing to follow CSM anywhere at this point (the hangar)?

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Fowley, they could have painted her in the best light possible and I'd still hate her. Just because she's not Scully.

 

 

LOL.  Yeah, I suspect that's the reason most people hate her.  For me, I think I hate her more simply because I can't believe Mulder wouldn't have mentioned her earlier if there was such a person.  She was like Dawn from Buffy, but without the payoff.  Or like that missing brother from Happy Days, but in reverse.  

 

 

Why does Cassandra tell CSM he can't save Jeffrey? Simply because Jeffrey wouldn't be willing to follow CSM anywhere at this point (the hangar)?

 

 

Yeah, that's always bothered me.  I blame it on the fact that since the character never really caught on and they wanted to kill him off, they just decided to do it in whatever way would be shocking to the audience, and they didn't worry too much about having it make sense.  

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During my latest rewatch, I was pleasantly surprised to find that I actually kind of liked Jeffrey, more than I remembered for sure.  I think I was kind of lumping him in with Diana in my hatred before, because Jeffrey on his own seemed like he really just wanted to do a good job in the FBI, but he couldn't shake off the stigma of having a "crazy" mother and it colored everything he did.  Not to the point of complete blindness though, which is definitely a point in his favor.

 

I think I commented on this at TWoP, but during my latest rewatch I was really fascinated to watch the interaction between Mulder and Jeffrey, how even before they knew they were brothers they just instinctively took on the roles of antagonistic older brother/slightly wimpy younger brother with each other.  Poor Jeffrey was in Mulder's shadow long before he even knew who Mulder was.

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Have any of you seen Emmett Otters Jugband Christmas? All through Two Fathers/One Son I kept singing "Brothers" every time Mulder and Spender were on screen together. Lol

My heart broke for poor Spender when CSM told him he pales compared to Mulder.

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Ha!  I don't remember Two Fathers/One Son at all, but Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas I do remember.  That was a childhood tradition.

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I think for the most part I could have lived without Agua Mala. A few cute moments, but kinda gross. I think all of those early season 6 funny episodes have made me soft. That slime squicked me out more than Tooms. I haven't been so grossed out since 2Shy.

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Heh, agreed on Agua Mala.  The enjoyable parts were *really* enjoyable IMO ("Would you like to see my badge?!?") but the rest of it was very meh.  It's one that just too hard to get into.

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I liked Agua Mala, but I know it's not everyone's cup of tea.  My best friend hates the episode because she says she has to adjust the brightness on her TV to watch it and it bugs her.  But it appeals to my love of disaster storylines, however convoluted they may be.

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When I came home from the midnight opening of IWTB, Agua Mala was on whatever station was still airing XF in the wee hours at the time.  I realized that episode plays a lot better when watched under the euphoric influence of seeing M&S on the big screen again after many years.  Otherwise, Mulder is annoying and there isn't enough good stuff to make up for that; it's just sort of there.

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I can see how a big screen pre-Agua Mala experience could take the disappointment off the ep.   :)

 

Since the joy that wasn't Agua Mala, we've gotten through Monday, Arcadia, Alpha, Trevor, Milagro and the Unnatural.  Most of these I had seen before.  I do wish Alpha was more enjoyable to me than it is because of its shoutout to Over the Rhine, a band that I LOVE.  Although, given that they used the actual name of Karin Berquist, one of the lead singers of OtR, I'm still not sure why they changed Detweiler's name to Ian, rather than leaving it what it actually is, Linford.  

 

I still get all fangirl giddy watching Arcadia.  Mostly for the sheer enjoyment of watching the interaction between Mulder and Scully.  The rest of the ep, including the monster, I can take or leave.  Mulder really gets into his role of Rob Petrie, and Scully... well Scully looks like she could kill him so many times over.  lol

 

The Unnatural is just a great episode I love, which I'll have to come back to later, when I have more time to write about it.

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I wish Alpha was better too, but more because it just wasn't a very good episode LOL.  It had potential, but.....  *fizzle*

 

Monday is a personal favorite of mine, did you like it?

 

M/S in Arcadia are ALWAYS great.  I could watch it a million times and still love it.

 

Trevor was a pretty good middle-of-the-road ep to me.

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I don't even remember Alpha or Trevor.

 

Monday is one of my favorites.

 

The Unnatural is not.  Take out "oh, sorry, those last two are mine" and I'd love the baseball scene, though.  Oh, hell - I still kind of love it anyway, because they're just so damn cute and had fun filming it.  The opening scene in the basement is also cute, but it's pure David and Gillian rather than Mulder and Scully.

 

Things like Arcadia, where people who have to go undercover act like caricatures of the roles they're supposed to be playing, tend to really bug me, but with M&S it sort of works because by this point they're so in their own little world that they really may be that out of touch.  It took me a long time to come around on that episode, and there are still too many gender clichés on display even when they're not pretending, but it's now enjoyable to me. 

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I enjoyed Monday, although I don't think it's a personal favorite of mine.  Trevor was just kind of OK, just there.  It doesn't stick out to me good or bad, rather forgettable.  :)  I didn't realize until I looked it up that the girl in Monday is Carol Burnett's daughter.  Too bad she died so young.  :(

 

The opening scene in The Unnatural is sooo not a typical interaction between Mulder and Scully.  It's total over the top flirty (for them), Scully is way more "smiley" than normal.  I do suppose it's more David and Gillian, but I find it totally adorable nonetheless.  The end scene is cute too.  I still have the same reaction to it that I had 15 yrs ago (I feel old just typing that).  I wanted to, and still kinda want to, yell at screen to just get together already!  Takes me back to The Rain King and how everyone can see how they're like a couple, except Mulder and Scully.  Deny, deny, deny.  I also loved how Duchovney took shots at Mulder and his faults.  "It's official.  I am a horse's ass."  hahaha.  Oh Mulder.

 

Can I also say how much I love Josh Exley?  I loved his character.  I love at the end he was so pleased to bleed red blood, human blood.  I was sad to see him die.  :(

Edited by queequeg

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Monday is one of my favorite episodes of the season.  Something about time-loop stories always intrigues me.

 

I like Arcadia.  It's got most of the things I like in the lighter XF episodes - a MotW that's OTT, a setting that's suitably creepy (no offense to people who live in planned communities, but the need-to-conform requirement in Arcadia is downright unsettling to me), and some good banter between Mulder and Scully.  And I like the way it pokes fun at things without being mean about it.  

 

I can take or leave The Unnatural.   Alpha I only remember as "the dog episode" and can't recall much about it.  Trevor?  I got nothin'.   I looked up the episode description and still can't remember it. 

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More eps!

 

Three of a Kind - I really liked this episode, and drugged Scully was hilarious.  I seem to like Lone Gunmen focused episodes.  I also really liked Unusual Suspects, although in both episodes Suzanne Modesky did nothing for me.  Something about her, and Byers' infatuation with her, annoys me to no end.

 

Field Trip - A nice feel good ep, as much as a fungus episode can be.  The hand holding at the end... too cute.  I loved how Mulder and Scully figured everything out when told what they wanted to hear (aliens or there's a logical, simple explanation).

 

Biogenesis/The Sixth Extinction/The Sixth Extinction: Amor Fati - I'm not sure how I missed in my first watching of Season 6 years and years ago so many references to the more human than human, more alive than he's ever been, blah blah and parts of Mulder's temporal lobe being active that normally wouldn't be.  But I've finally resolved my ponderings about William that have bugged me for years.  Alien baby?  Human?  Alien and human?  Well, I've decided he's (William) human.  As human as any of us are, just with parts of his brain activated, like Mulder or Gibson Praise.  Although technically, per X-Files we're all alien!   I'm still not sure how miracle boy (William) came to be (I believe the whole lonely night bit, but still... egg?), but at least I feel like I've partially resolved that mess for myself, as much as you can. 

 

Back to these specific episodes, can someon explain to me what the hell is going on?  So Mulder reacted to the alien pieces b/c of his exposure to the black oil.   But why did he react, and not Scully?  She was exposed in the movie.  Was her vaccine better than his?  Did the Syndicate improve on the vaccine after they got their hands on it?  And what is up with the brain surgery?  I get the purpose is that CSM wants whatever Mulder has so he's immune to the alien virus, but how does digging around in the brain help?  Is it housed there?  In the temporal lobe?  Why is Mulder OK after the surgery?  Is Mulder still immune post-surgery?  What cross is CSM going to bear and how does it help humanity that he (CSM) is immune to the virus.  Cause uh, Mr. CSM, planet earth doesn't care that you're immune... just saying.  Also why does skanky lady (Diana Fowley) take her shirt off?  I choose to believe nothing happens there 'cause Mulder is a hot, incapacitated mess.  Yet I'm supposed to believe they got it on?  Uh, no.  Ooorrrr... maybe doing the naked pretzel with her pushed Mulder over the brink.  Food for thought...   I'm also glad all that other crap with Mulder and Fowley were a dream/hallucination.  Also, the kid on the beach in the dreams?  I'm still going with that's William.  I have nothing to base that on, but I'm running with it b/c it makes me happy.   And what does "The child is father to the man" mean?!?!?!?  

 

I'm feeling like I must have missed the answers to these questions by avoiding huge chunks of Seasons 8 and 9 the first time.  :\

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I also really liked Unusual Suspects, although in both episodes Suzanne Modesky did nothing for me.  Something about her, and Byers' infatuation with her, annoys me to no end.

 

For me, it's the actor.  Other than an episode of L&O: SVU, Signy Coleman has annoyed me in everything I've ever seen her in.

 

Back to these specific episodes, can someon explain to me what the hell is going on?

 

Certainly not me.  The mytharc registered as white noise in my brain by then, and all I remember from those episodes is Machete!Scully looking mighty fine and the face snuggling at the end.

 

Field Trip, I freakin' love, though.  Everything I like in a MOTW episode.  I have to believe Vince Gilligan wrote 99% of it and John Shiban walked by an added a sentence or something.

 

"Mulder, can't you just for once, just for the novelty of it, come up with the simplest explanation, the most logical one, instead of automatically jumping to UFOs or Bigfoot or...?"

 

Heh.  Of course, it leads into that "How often have I been wrong" crap (hey! I found John Shiban's line! <g>), but I love that.

 

Mulder and the alien.  "I abducted him."

 

The episode is just such a wonderful trip.  The sherriff mirroring Scully's words, Skinner and The Gunmen all praising Scully's report that she hates ("What the hell is wrong with everybody?!"), both of them realizing things were not right because their original idea was being vindicated by the other (heh) ... and I got chills when Scully asked, "What if we're still in that cave?" 

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I choose to believe Scully's fertility was restored by her proximity to the ship.  If it can bring a dead man back to life it can regrow some ova, IMO.

 

So Mulder reacted to the alien pieces b/c of his exposure to the black oil.   But why did he react, and not Scully?

 

 

This is just my opinion, but I think that since the black oil is sentient, in the same way that it chooses who to infect and who to leave alone, it also chooses how to "come alive" in each person.  William reacted differently to pieces of the ship than either Mulder or Scully.

 

Field Trip, I freakin' love, though.

 

I really want to love FT as much as you do, Bastet.  Maybe I'll go watch it again tonight, it's been a while since I've watched it.

 

*****

 

Okay, I did go watch FT.  Still didn't love it, but honestly I tried LOL.  I think I just can't get into it because I spend the entire time shaking my head, trying to just figure out what in the world is going on, what is real and what's a hallucination....beginning with the Schiffs' skeletons being found above ground, in an embrace.  Whaaa?  Did the fungus expel them like that?  Or was that somehow part of the hallucination?  If so, who was having it?  The Schiffs were both dead.  Did we stumble into the hallucination of one of the team that found them and that was just never made clear?  But no, they were in the picture like that in Mulder's slideshow, weren't they?  Argh.

 

Help me love this episode!  LOL.

Edited by Taryn74

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I choose to believe Scully's fertility was restored by her proximity to the ship.  If it can bring a dead man back to life it can regrow some ova, IMO.

 

Although, that dead guy looked a bit like a zombie in the eyes.  Zombie ova?  lol

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Although, that dead guy looked a bit like a zombie in the eyes.  Zombie ova?  lol

 

HA!  We may have just figured out the real truth behind the William arc!

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Okay so I can't get Field Trip out of my mind now since rewatching it the other day.  I wish I could understand it and enjoy it better.  Do you guys think we're supposed to "get" that the Schiffs died laying on top of the ground rather than inside the cave, or did their skeletons somehow get expelled in that position?  Because quite frankly, neither scenario really makes any sense to me LOL and it bugs me that I have to spend the rest of the episode trying to figure that out.

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I think I assumed that the fungus expelled them when it was done digesting, but I can't really understand how they got in that position. The lady is shown in the intro and appears to be upright and alone in the cave/goo, like Mulder and Scully later in the ep. So how they got as they were found is beyond me.

I assume the whole expelling thing, because while we see Mulder (maybe) enter the cave, we never see Scully go in and yet she ends up underground anyhow. So my assumption is based on my other assumption of it sucking her underground. Lol

Edited by queequeg
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Field Trip is one of my favorites.  Although I did not get the title for the longest time.  Doh.

 

I always assumed that the hallucination in the teaser was the Schiffs' hallucination before they died and that the bodies were actually in that position both before and after being expelled by the fungus.  Like either Mr. or Mrs. Schiff were hallucinating lying in bed like that together and so they actually assumed that position while ensnared by the fungus, if that makes any sense.  Kind of like when you're half asleep and dreaming and the ringing phone becomes part of the dream? 

 

Scully must've tracked Mulder to the cave and entered it. Didn't we see her releasing a cloud of spores too, or was that only Mulder?

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Scully must've tracked Mulder to the cave and entered it. Didn't we see her releasing a cloud of spores too, or was that only Mulder?

 

Yes, Scully stepped on the mushrooms also, the first time she went to look for Mulder.  Which.....I guess ends up being the beginning of her hallucinations, so she never actually goes back to the lab or anything, does she?  Dammit, now I'm confused again LOL.  Here I thought I was getting on top of this one. 

 

Maybe I just need to go watch it again.

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I wonder how quickly the magic shroom dust goes into effect? Cause we're kinda left guessing where the fine line between reality and hallucination is. Like we never see Scully enter the cave. Does she and we just don't see it? Does she not? At what point does she begin hallucinating? Do they have to enter the cave or does the magic dust just knock them out and the shroom pulls them under?

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queequeg, those are all good questions. I always thought the mushroom spores contained the hallucinogen and that's what makes the people go in to the cave to begin with.  Kind of like the Cordyceps zombie ant fungus that takes over the ant's behavior in order to help spread the spores. (Youtube that video if you have not seen it - nature is nuts.) The fungus in this case makes the victims hallucinate so they'll go underground by entering the cave where they can be ensnared and digested by the giant fungal mycelium.  Or perhaps the biologist part of me is overthinking this too much. 

 

I guess we all have to go watch the episode again.  Such a  hardship...

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I always thought the mushroom spores contained the hallucinogen and that's what makes the people go in to the cave to begin with.  ... The fungus in this case makes the victims hallucinate so they'll go underground by entering the cave where they can be ensnared and digested by the giant fungal mycelium.

 

As much as I love the episode, it has been quite a while since I last watched it, so I'm a bit hazy on specifics, but that has always been my general understanding of it as well.

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We've had a lot of fun doing this for S1, so why not tackle the same challenge for the remaining seasons: What are your five favorite and least favorite episodes of the season...and why?!

 

I have to warn you guys that I'm among those who loves Season 6 more than is logical. The mytharc is an unholy mess by then, but otherwise this season is just brimming over with trippy comedy, shippiness and giddy fun for me! 

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My favorite episodes this season are highly ranked in my weighted analysis, giving this season a fairly high slot on my ranking of seasons, but there are also a lot in which I have no interest.

 

Favorites:

 

Monday

Field Trip

How the Ghosts Stole Christmas

Tithonus

Rain King

 

If the Dreamland episodes had been condensed into one, that would knock Rain King out of its spot, and as it is I'd have to put them as tied with it for that last slot.

 

Least Favorites:

 

Five of the rest of the episodes that I can barely remember, I suppose -- especially the mytharc ones.

Edited by Bastet
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Favorites:

Triangle

How the Ghosts Stole Christmas

The Rain King

Three of a Kind (weird one to love, I know, but drugged Scully was hilarious to me and who doesn't love the Lone Gunmen?!)

Field Trip

 

Least Favs:

Terms of Endearment

Alpha (this makes me sad b/c I really wanted to love this episode b/c of my love for Over the Rhine  *sniff*)

Trevor

Milagro (I realize I'll be odd man out on this one, but it's weird and Padgett gives me the heebie jeebies)

 

Couldn't come up with a 5th least fav.

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My favorite episodes this season are highly ranked in my weighted analysis, giving this season a fairly high slot on my ranking of seasons, but there is also a lot in which I have no interest.

I feel the same way.  I also have somewhat mixed feelings even about those episodes I really love because enough of them are of the sort where all or most of the events didn't really happen or were somehow erased, meaning that they're removed from the timeline.  I don't mind that happening from time to time, and on a case-by-case basis I seem to love those episodes, but it bothers me a bit that there are so many of them crammed into this season.  

 

Having said that, here are my favorites:

Triangle

Dreamland/Dreamland II

How the Ghosts Stole Christmas

Monday

Field Trip

 

Notice how every one of those qualifies as the type of episode I was talking about.  And those aren't even the only ones.  Like, The Unnatural is one where most of the episode is just a story that's being told that's presumably not actually true.  That, by the way, is an episode that I find extremely charming and very rewatchable, but I take enough issue with the fact that it's basically divorced from the XF universe and for the small parts when Mulder and Scully are in it, lovely though those parts are, they don't really seem to be in character that I didn't list it in my favorites.  Essentially, I love the episode if I don't think of it really as an episode of XF.  I guess I give it an honorable mention.

 

Other honorable mentions: Drive, The Rain King (soooooo silly, but fun), Tithonus.  And I also actually like Two Fathers/One Son and think it should have represented the end of the Mytharc.

 

Least Favorites:

The Beginning

SR 819

Alpha

Agua Mala

Biogenesis (this is where I basically lose complete track of the Mytharc)


Three of a Kind (weird one to love, I know, but drugged Scully was hilarious to me and who doesn't love the Lone Gunmen?!)

I do really love drugged Scully.  And actually...now that I think about it, I think that's a really solid and interesting episode.  Honorable mention to that one as well, then!

 

So it seems I really do like most of the episodes of season six.  But at the same time, I think the season as a whole is lacking any real heft, stopping it from being named as one of my favorite seasons.  Taken as a whole season, in fact, I think I actually prefer season seven even though there are probably fewer individual episodes that I love.

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Like many of you, I can happily do without many episodes from this season. But the ones I do love are ones I love A LOT and find eminently rewatchable. 

 

How the Ghosts Stole Christmas

 

I love this one beyond the telling of it. I was going to say that I'm guessing my new Christmas tradition will be to watch this every year, but I have a feeling I'll be rewatching it the other 11 months of the year as well. 

 

My five favorites:

 

Triangle 

Dreamland (can we count both parts as one? We can? Awesome!)

How the Ghosts Stole Christmas 

Monday 

Arcadia 

 

Just missed the cut: The Unnatural, Field Trip, Drive 

 

Least Favorite:

 

Alpha 

The mytharc episodes

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I was going to say that I'm guessing my new Christmas tradition will be to watch this every year, but I have a feeling I'll be rewatching it the other 11 months of the year as well.

There's certainly no reason to restrict it to Christmastime, but I can tell you that it is a firm tradition of mine to watch at least once every December.  Sometimes friends and I will simulwatch while chatting about it online.  

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I disliked season 6, but to echo all of you, the episodes I like are incredible.

 

Favorites:

How The Ghosts Stole Christmas: Interestingly, my parents who watched the show in its original run, were not as affected by this episode when they first saw it as I was to see it for the first time. Perfect episode. Funny, charming, revealing.

Monday - On currently airing television I've gotten used to the Groundhog Day premise but for some reason, this really worked. Maybe because they were so bold as to include a central character's death. And to make the  feeling of profound loss and frustration work, every time.

Dreamland II: When Mulder hands her the sunflower seeds because he thinks the change is a permanent one. 

Field Trip: The funeral scene where Scully is losing it because no one's reacting to her just kills me. I have a feeling it's supposed to be just another hallucination, but you can see her processing grief and sadness there, too. I think, anyway.

Rain King - It's a silly episode, and perhaps fan service, but it's got its heart in the right place.

 

Least Favorite:

Milagro - the prose is so incredibly purple. Which I suspect is the point, but I do not want to listen to it in voice over for 45 minutes. Plus it is so male-gaze-y.

The Unnatural - save the Scully bits that bookend the episode, I can't stand it, guys.

S.R. 819 -Krycek is messing with Skinner, why? Nevermind, I don't care. And I usually care very much about Skinner and episodes that feature him. And I adore Krycek. But this was just..what.

Alpha - I have slept through this every time I've watched it. So it's a least favorite and a bad mystery.

Edited by ScullyInApt42
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I feel the same way.  I also have somewhat mixed feelings even about those episodes I really love because enough of them are of the sort where all or most of the events didn't really happen or were somehow erased, meaning that they're removed from the timeline.  I don't mind that happening from time to time, and on a case-by-case basis I seem to love those episodes, but it bothers me a bit that there are so many of them crammed into this season.  

 

How have I never made this connection?  Those are some of my favorites as well. 

 

I was going to say that I'm guessing my new Christmas tradition will be to watch this every year, but I have a feeling I'll be rewatching it the other 11 months of the year as well.

 

I rewatch this at least once every holiday season. 

 

Favorites:

Field Trip - see, now this is another episode where we don't know exactly wtf is going on, and unlike Jose Chung, I freaking love it beyond all reason.

Monday - I'm going to fanwank, this episode, Clyde Bruckman and Tithonus and say that as long as Scully was in the bank when it blew up, the day had to keep repeating because she couldn't die.  I felt so badly for Pam in this episode, living the same day over and over and over again, but I loved watching the same thing replay over and over with only minor changes. 

Dreamland (both of them) - "I'd kiss you if you weren't so damn ugly."

Drive - just a fantastic suspensful episode.  The chase at the beginning totally had me yelling at my tv until I saw the X in the corner of the screen. 

Tithonus - just a fascinating idea to me. And it was interesting that without Mulder, Scully was more Mulder like.  If that makes sense.

Honorable mentions to How the Ghosts Stole Christmas for Ed Asner and Lily Tomlin and crawling through a pool of blood to the tune of Have Yourself a Merry Christmas.  Festive!

And of course the Unnatural.  I loved the character of Exley.  

 

Least:

Only Alpha and Trevor, and only because I couldn't think of anything else. I'd watch them, though neither would be my first choice by any means.

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After refreshing my memory on the basic plotlines of the episodes I couldn't remember, let me take a stab at an actual Least Favorites list:

 

The Unnatural - The opening scene is cute, but it's DD and GA rather than Mulder and Scully.  And as much as I love DD and GA when they're being goofy, when I'm watching the show I want to see Mulder and Scully.  The baseball scene is just lovely, but profoundly marred by the horrid "those last two are mine" and "ticking of your biological clock" lines.  And I can't muster up any interest in what happens in between.

 

Triangle - All hat and no horse.  Not among the five worst, but among my five least favorite because it's such a waste of a great concept.  Four Scully eyebrows arched in unison is pretty damn cool, though.

 

SR 819 - John Shiban strikes again.

 

Two Fathers/One Son - Blah, blah, mytharccakes.  And Fowley.  And the Spender family, who I should care about but don't because they're part of something that makes no damn sense.

 

Alpha - Disturbing characterization and just a dumb story

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If I had to nail down a most favorite season, it would probably be S6.  Just looking over the episode title list makes me smile.

 

Favorites:

 

Tithonus - I love this episode more than I can express.  Everything about it works for me.  I love the grudging respect that Scully has for Fellig once she figures out what's really up with him, and I love how he makes her examine her deepest feelings about life and death.  And the expression of pure joy on his face at the end when he finally gets to die?  I might tear up right now.

 

Monday - another one that I deeply love.  Again, everything about this one just works.  I get a perverse kick out of the fact that in one of the resets, Bernard did shoot that annoying screechy "Don't killlllllll usssssss!" woman.  And I totally agree with janestclair that Scully being in the bank was the problem the whole time.  I shudder to think what would have happened if she had not gone to check on Mulder just once.

 

Dreamland I/II - aside from the totally doofus mirror dance (although Mulder "covering" by switching over to.....whatever the heck he was doing when Joanne walked in.....was many shades of awesome) I love all of this one.  "Hey, Grandma Top Gun, will you shut the hell up?"  Hee.  HEE.

 

Rain King - I get why some people hate this one, I really do.  I know Sheila is extremely annoying, but one of my favorite things about this episode is that Holman loves her anyway, and in the end he gets the girl and his life becomes everything he dreamed it could be.  I just flove that.

 

Ghosts - Lily Tomlin and Ed Asner are comedy gold together.

 

Leasts:

 

Terms of Endearment - blargh.  Stupid storyline, badly done.

 

SR819 - meh

 

Alpha - just too weird.

 

Milagro - interesting idea, but it's just so overdone.  It moves beyond being interesting and enjoyable to just....stop already!

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That Rain King makes my favorites list is pretty unusual, given I hate Victoria Jackson in anything, can't stand Sheila, and hate the sappy "happy ending always equals marriage and baby" ending for its repetition.  But it's just so fun.  "I brought you a leg."  And "He's my partner, and we prefer separate rooms."  Swaying to the music.  Cheese can be good.

 

Terms of Endearment is one of the several I don't remember well, but I'm thinking it should have made my least-favorite list because I remember it actively offending me rather than just being more benignly crappy like some of the others.  I should watch it again to find out, but whenever I attempt a rewatch I stall out on the "must watch every episode" mantra early in season five and never make it. 

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So, way back when, before there was even something called Google, there were message boards on places like Lycos. I remember there being a pretty robust X-Files community, and when Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose aired, there were of course all kinds of speculations going on. What did he mean when he said: "You don't" in reply to Scully's question about how she would die?

 

We were still four seasons away from Tithonus. Some people took One Breath to be the "answer" to Bruckman's assertion that Scully wouldn't die (which didn't make much sense, since One Breath preceded Repose). But did it all mean that Scully was immortal? There was even a tongue-in-cheek "Agent Scully of the Clan Scully" thread (in reference to the Highlander series and how Duncan McLeod would always introduce himself). 

 

I also remember there being some harsh criticisms of Tithonus: as if someone could "escape" death by just not looking it in the eyes! Ludicrous! Well, this is the X-Files we're talking about; of course things are going to stretch the bonds of reality. I personally never had a problem with the premise, and would also place the episode on my top 5 list. 

I also really should re-watch the show, though I'll probably stop at the end of Season 7, which is pretty much where I stopped during the original run because I just got too frustrated with the meandering mytharc nonsense. 

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I also really should re-watch the show, though I'll probably stop at the end of Season 7, which is pretty much where I stopped during the original run because I just got too frustrated with the meandering mytharc nonsense. 

 

It's actually a bit less annoying on re-watch, especially if you're doing a bit of a marathon. The fact that you're not waiting for a new episode weekly makes it easier to take somehow. At least that's been my experience with it. 

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Today's moment of TV foreshadowing hilarity: "Only Happy When it Rains" is played a couple of times in Terms of Endearment. The very next episode? The Rain King.

 

I'd also agree that the mytharc is a lot less painful upon rewatch. I just watched Two Fathers/One Son yesterday and the only things about it I don't completely understand are the plotholes around the faceless rebels that I know never get answered. Such as: If you can peel their face off to reveal the "real" face beneath, how can they talk while appearing as another person?

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Update: Trevor is way better than it has any right to be considering it's both (1) another "normal person gets comic book superpower and uses it to kill" story and (2) written by someone who isn't a career writer.

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