Monday, 6x14 Pics for this episode gathered from the wonderful image archive over at the Haven For The FBI's Most Unwanted Airdate: February 28, 1999 Bottom line: Great entertainment. A thought provoking episode that was funny and serious all at once. "And what if you had decided to stay in Medicine, Scully? You would have never joined the FBI, we never would have met... yada... yada... yada..."
In other words, it all comes down to fate, doesn't it? Or, as Mulder argued to Scully, free-will; the opportunity to make choices that will affect the outcome of the rest of our lives --- 'Because there are too many variables in Fate.' There are always split decisions and last minute choices; small things that we never think about which could ultimately decide our future, our "fate," so to speak.
Thus was the subject matter of "Monday," a largely introspective, thought provoking episode that really made us think about what we believe in. Fate?? Second chances?? Deja Vu??
"Scully," Mulder asks, as he sits in his office (Extrodinarily late for a meeting,) "you ever have one of those days where you wish you could just rewind and start all over?"
"Yes," she answers quickly, then continues, "Frequently. But then, who's to say that if I could rewind it, the outcome wouldn't be the same?"
Through the course of this episode, we saw a mixture of these two statements; Events playing out over and over, the same in so many ways, and yet different each time.
As it started out, (and we find that this is not the first time the morning repeated itself) Mulder's waterbed sprung a leak, shorting out his alarm clock, and causing him to be late to a budget meeting. And, if that wasn't enough, his landlord called him up (as poor Mulder tried to fix his rotten morning)--ordering Mulder to pay for the damages. Thus, Mulder had to rush into work and cash his paycheck (meanwhile missing his meeting almost completely)---so that the check he wrote to cover the damages wouldn't bounce. Eventually, Scully found him (in the basement) and somehow, each time, they ended up at the bank together--just in time to get caught in the midst of a bank robbery. And as this twisted "fairy tale" went, the bank blew up----every time---killing Mulder and Scully and all the bank's occupants in what was apparently a "time loop." --The same day repeating itself---like a record caught in a groove.
But there are, of course, many ways to look at this episode.
Because of free will (what Mulder believes in) not all the events of each "time loop" are the same. We see that in each repeated instance, certain details change as different decisions are made: For example, Mulder chooses the ATM over the bank in one instance, after Scully comes to him having been "pre-warned" against going into the bank that day. In another instance, Scully goes to the bank FOR Mulder to cash his check. In another instance, Mulder trips over his shoes and hits the floor, and in yet another, he steps over them, avoiding a fall completely. Sometimes he is shot by the robber, and sometimes he is not. Different decisions are made each time, different conversations are exchanged, and so in each "Time loop," the day is slightly different. Not one single time turns out at all the same as a previous time. So in this aspect, Scully is incorrect in her thinking ----that if you could, in fact, "rewind and start over," each time would turn out the same. As Mulder said, free will and personality would dictate that each time would differ. ---that there is no "fated outcome," because free will changes the situation each time.
But on the other hand, in the broad sense, each day WAS the same. They all had the same outline and (though not the same course towards it) the same ULTIMATE outcome: Mulder's waterbed breaks, setting up a chain reaction. Mulder has to pay for the damages. Mulder (or Scully) goes to cash his check, and a robber blows up the bank while they're in it. "Fate" made it that way. And if it was, in fact, fate, we could argue that Mulder and Scully had no control over it: We could look at this and say that the little details are inconsequential: that it didn't matter whether Mulder or Scully went in first, or whether Mulder walked in 5 minutes later this time than the time before, or how the conversation differed, because the outcome was always the same.
But then, this would ALSO be untrue, because the little details did matter: In one instance, Mulder repeated to himself, over and over, "He's got a bomb," right before the building blew up--hoping that he would remember it the next time around. And it was THAT small, split-second decision that changed his fate. it was only a small detail, but ultimately, it was his free will that saved him. (Free will and chance variables altered Mulder and Scully's fate, even though fate, itself, allowed them to alter events by having them repeat the day until they got it right.)
So perhaps both fate AND free will figured in somewhere.
And before I get to "the shippiness" I also want to examine another angle: how this episode ties in with "Tithonus," "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose," and "One Breath." But what am I talking about, you ask?
Well, let's pretend for a moment that what happened to Scully in Tithonus (looking away from death and giving it to someone else) meant that she doesn't ever die. That--combined with Clyde's statement to her in "Clyde Bruckmans's Final Repose"---"You don't die" of course, would mean that if the bank HAD exploded, killing Scully along with it, fate would HAD to have been altered so that she would not die. (hense, the repeating day) This, in turn, would mean that the focal point of all of this repeating was, in fact, SCULLY and NOT the robber's girlfriend. Because, each time, SCULLY *DID* end up at the bank with Mulder, (the first few times, getting killed) but in the end, the robber's girlfriend died instead. So what if this is only happened because someone HAD to die in Scully's place? (Like the reference to death in "One Breath"--- Nurse Owens telling Scully that "it wasn't her time yet." Maybe this all happened because it will never be Scully's "time." Thus, her "time" was given to the robber's girlfriend--to even out the situation because it was SOMEBODY'S time to go, only Scully wasn't allowed to die.)
The other reference to "Tithonus" would be, of course, the fact that in both epsiodes, the only characters who noticed noticed certain things "changing," were those that had cheated death. (Felig was the only one to see people turning black and white when they were about to die, because he had cheated death.) In this episode, the robber's girlfriend (The one who also cheated death--only in a different way) was the only one to notice the repeating day. Both characters experienced their own personal hell for cheating death. So does this mean that death gets angry when it calls and you don't come??
Alrighty, the SHIP:
This episode had quite a few shippy undertones. (some obvious, some not so obvious.) The obvious ones, of course, were the bank scenes where Scully held Mulder's lifeless body in her arms, one hand trying to stop the bleeding, the other caressing Mulder's face. The dialogue exchanged in these scenes was EXQUISITELY carried out by Gillian, who showed us many sides of Scully in a single instant: how "Strong Scully" had to prevail over "panicked, terrified Scully" because "Practical Scully" knew that if she truly loved Mulder and wanted him to live, she'd have to "make nice" with the terrorist and keep her tears at bay. But of course, through all of this, the "Scully that loves Mulder" was also here, breathing as if she were having a panic attack (deep labored breaths like she had run a marathon) because her entire universe was lying in her arms, dying. The look in her eyes---that of internal struggle---hatred for the man who shot her partner, the knowledge that she'd have to be nice to him and bargain, was offplayed nicely by a camera shot of her hand caressing Mulder's cheek . And the tremble in her voice, the tenderness and fear was obvious when she said, "I have to get my partner out of here." (How heart breaking was it when her voice cracked?)
We also saw that, in another scene, when someone other than Mulder was shot, Scully did not try to tend to their wounds--she merely took their pulse to make sure that they were alive. She didn't freak out and rip their shirt off---pressing her hands to the person's stomach to desperately try and stop the bleeding. She could have, but she didn't. Mulder was the only person who could have garnered such a reaction.
The more subtle scenes of shippiness were shown during the Mulder and Scully conversations. Mulder tells Scully how his day has been crappy--going on and on, briefly mentioning that his water bed sprung a leak. And rather than being sympathetic, we watch as Scully's features twist in thoughtful confusion---and she most likely misses the rest of his speech. And at the end, all she can say to him is, "When did you get a water bed?" Makes you wonder what she was thinking about, huh?
Also, throughout the episode, we watch as Scully frequently does things that display her caring for Mulder. For example: Mulder tells Scully he's going to be at the bank and late for the meeting. Now, theoretically, I'm assuming he can cash a check without any help. But Scully, of course, worries about him anyways. Throughout the entire meeting (every time it happens) we see our usually professional Scully not paying attention at all, thinking about Mulder. That she would walk out of this meeting to search for him--- even though she knows where he is---shows us how deeply she cares for him. And that she would suspend her faith in science and common sense---simply because Mulder asks her to do something for him (retrieve the robber's girlfriend) also shows us how much faith she has in Mulder. She trusts him without question, and she walks right out of an important meeting to do Mulder a favor without even knowing or understanding why. That goes beyond professionalism. She does it because he is Mulder, and he asked her to. When you care deeply for someone, you usually stop asking "why?" when they ask you to do something they say is important to them.
And what about Scully telling Mulder that she'll cash his check? Now, I don't know about anyone else, but I NEVER let my friends cash my checks. (Usually, only married people do this for each other, as far as I know) But then, Mulder and Scully are more than friends, even if they're not romantically involved. And here, it is MULDER who listens to SCULLY without question---letting her cash his check without even arguing. And she does it so nonchalantly too--like she does that sort of thing everyday. And it is also MULDER who runs out of the meeting, (rather than Scully) later on, (in another "time loop") when he finds out that Scully went looking for him at the bank. He rushes out to "save her," and races across traffic--- almost killing himself in the process---when he hears gunshots inside the bank. The re-assuring "look" he gives Scully when he gets inside and sees that she's alright is, most certainly, Mulder's heart falling back into his chest.
NOW, some neat things to "search for" when watching this episode (again.) Come on now--you KNOW you're gonna do it...
1: Noticed by Taryn: Look for conversation between Mulder and Scully during the second "Mulder is shot" scene. Scully seems to whisper something to Mulder when she sees how big his bullet wound is. I've heard all sorts of speculations, ranging from, "Oh god, uh..um.." to "Oh god, don't die. I love you."
2: Noticed by TooSerious: during the scene where Mulder was smacking his alarm clock, look for a large picture behind him on his dresser. Is it of Scully, or is it not? Hmmm....
3: Noticed by me: In the basement office scenes, observe the photos in the background on the bulletin board. Some of them looked as if they could have been of Mulder and Scully. Were they??
4: Where in the heck is Scully's desk and nameplate?? Diana Fowley had both when she worked the X Files with Spender. So where is Scully's??
5: And just what in the heck was Scully wearing?? Look at the scene where Skinner's secretary asks her out of the meeting for a phone call. She reaches for the phone and, low and behold, we see a glimpse of "Scully stomach/bellybutton." (Scully was NOT wearing a suit. She was wearing a suspiciously sleeveless-looking, slightly midriffed shirt that barely reached her waistline----her jacket looked more like an overcoat.) Hmmm... Scully getting more... daring, persay?
6: And, lastly (but CERTAINLY not least) my favorite special agent Mulder wearing nothing but sweatpants, sitting in a wet water bed. Oh lord in heaven, thank you so very much for this gift you have bestoweth on me....