Season 4, Episode 5: The Field Where I Diedon February 7, 2014 at 12:01 am
Last semester I found myself explaining to a foreign student that the Moscone Center here in San Francisco is named after a mayor who was assassinated in his office, along with America’s first openly gay politician, by a rival politician who later successfully argued in court that he wasn’t accountable for his actions because he’d eaten too many Twinkies. And this was not even headline news in the state where it happened because it was on the same week that almost a thousand people, mostly from California, committed mass suicide after murdering a Congressman and several journalists in a South American jungle ambush. But the part about the cult members drinking poisoned Kool-Aid was an exaggeration. It was actually Flavor Aid.
That’s when I realized the 1970s had a lot of problems.
The “Twinky Defense” is a misnomer. The argument was not that the Twinkies caused the assassin’s mental incompetence, but rather they used the fact that the normally health-conscious man had been heavily consuming junk food as evidence of his existing mental problems.
I remember when people hated this one because Mulder had a soul mate who wasn’t *gasp* Scully. Oh don’t worry-like a million other story lines this Melissa chick will never be mentioned again and Mulder and Scully will hook up anyway. Called it!
I hated this one because Mulder had a soul mate who wasn’t *gasp* actually involved in his life in any way. If he and his soul mate are destined to be together in every single life, how much sense does it make for them to meet a total of once over the course of two days? None, that’s how much.
Not to mention that I never liked episodes where they come across the supernatural by coincidence. It hurts suspension of disbelief; if Mulder and Scully just so happen to come across something X-filey every time they work a completely unrelated case, go on vacation, or head out to the bank, what does that say about the prevailing amount of supernatural activity in the world, and how willfully blind must everyone else be to not be able to see it?
To be honest it is an episode I always skip and choose to ignore when I rewatch. According to my imagination it just didn’t happen. Boom. Never happened. But I do love this comic.
For me it wasn’t so much as “soulmate isn’t Scully”, as “soulmate has no mention or character impact on Mulder ever again”. You’d think a thing like that would leave a mark of some kind on a person, but nope: after the ep is over it’s as if she never existed.
Almost as if the producers themselves looked at it and said “Eeeeaagh, nope, can’t have that. NEVER HAPPENED. MOVE ALONG.”
At least Clyde Bruckman’s prediction to Scully sorta-maybe came true in a later ep.
“Soulmate has no mention or character impact on Milder ever again.” I know right? I love the show and all but it was sort of dumb to bring it up and then never mention it EVER AGAIN. Okay, so maybe I’m a little annoyed still. Someone once said this show never found a reset button it couldn’t wait to hit. Yeah, that seems about right.
COME ON MULDER. Let Scully have at least ONE sciencey thing.
“I hate missions ripped from the nation’s headlines.”
…If only they had done a crossover with Law & Order. It was in the same universe, after all*.
*X-Files/Lone Gunmen –> Homicide –> Law & Order Special Victims Unit/Law & Order.
Oh I laughed so hard and agree so much with Scully’s Catholic lines in this strip.. 😉
Excellent, back on form Shannon, I loved this one 🙂
I know! I love it when Scully gets her Catholic on. This was an episode where she got to be all Catholicy and Sciencie at once.
PS: I laughed so hard at this ENTIRE strip.
David Duchovny does a lot of acting in this one.
One plot point regarding this episode is that if they don’t find the cult’s cache of illegal weapons pretty quickly then they have to release everyone. (Being about to drink poison isn’t a good enough reason to detain anyone in the X-Files.) It seems weird, then, that when M&S go to the house to look around that it seems to be completely abandoned; would there be feds scouring the place looking for underground bunkers and the like?
On an unrelated note, there’s a chain of excellent bakeries in Providence called Seven Stars, so all those references to Seven Stars made me want to go get some delicious olive bread, or maybe an almond croissant.
“Did we ever bang?”
“Sometimes you were a guy.”
“You didn’t answer my question.”
One of the best funny moments EVAR.
“Older male authority figure”: specially relevant for the reincarnations in ancient Sparta. 🙂
Man, jokes about Scully’s Catholicism just never get old.
I remember that this is an episode that all of us watched-while-it-aired-Philes always ranked in the top three worst episodes (mostly because it’s either boring or ridiculous depending on the scene and really makes no sense in the scope of the whole show), but for some reason Baby Philes love it. Apparently it has something to do with the “I wouldn’t change a day” line that the writer basically admitted was just a ‘teevee’ line thrown in there to appease the shippers. It’s sad that this episode is so bad because it probably has the best cinematography of the whole show. In fact, I remember reading a review where the person said you should just watch this episode with the sound off to see the beautiful cinematography.
The thing that I always remembered about this episode is that it guest-starred Vansen from “Space: Above and Beyond” before she went on to play Laura Means in “Millennium.” Keeping the casting all in the family.
She also went on to become Glen Morgan’s wife–the writer of this episode and co-creator of S:AAB
(Keeping it *literally* in the family.)
I remember at the time it came out (I find it hard to believe either the Internet or I personally am old enough to have followed the online fandom in those days, but there it is!) there was a lot of backlash towards her, people claiming she was a horrible actress and was being shoved in people’s faces (having also appeared suddenly in Millenium) due to being in a relationship with one of the writers/producers.
I personally didn’t have a problem with her acting, but the dislike for the actress could have inspired extra-double-plus loathing in this episode, the betrayal that this person they already had a problem with was being slotted in as “Mulder’s Soulmate.”
Damnit, I can’t remember what the window looks like
‘Cult Atlas’ is a great subtitle.
One of the more interesting things about this episode is that even though Mulder accepts the validity of these past-life memories right away and remains convinced throughout the episode, the writers subversively have Mulder “remember” a past incarnation in a Concentration Camp where the Smoking Man is an SS officer, despite the fact the Smoking Man’s current incarnation would have already been born by then. This implies that Scully’s actually right this time and that Mulder and Melissa are not actually remembering their own past lives. (An alternate theory is that they are accessing Jungian racial memories that are subconciously available to all humans and have no specific meaning to them.)
It’s terribly H. Rider Haggard…
The guy that played the cult leader also played the receptionist at the bordello in Se7en. I don’t know why, but in a movie full of memorable bit characters, he always stood out in my memory, even more than the DA with the gold tooth and Lt. California.