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Thursday, July 24, 2008
I Want to Believe
I don’t even know where to start. First of all, this is not the review of the movie. That will come tomorrow, after I watch the movie at midnight tonight. Yup, my first midnight opening viewing ever. I am not a nerd. I swear.
It’s going to be me, and the seven other people that know/give a shit that an X Files movie is coming out. And my Fox Mulder action figure. Yes, I have a Fox Mulder action figure.
I’m not helping my cause am I?
Before I begin, let me say that this has been, by far, my most anticipated movie of the summer. And the most dreaded. I knew Hellboy was gonna rock, I knew Batman was gonna rock, I knew WallE was gonan rock, but there is a chance that the X Files will not rock. In fact, there is a chance that it may sink like a rock. Oh lord how I hope it doesn’t. I don’t think I have the emotional maturity to deal with such an event. More than any other show, the X Files has let me down. I think anyone who has ever been an X Files fan can understand that.
The X Files was like the girlfriend you thought was gonna be the one. Things just kept getting better and better. She revealed herself to you in new and exciting ways and just when you thought things could never get any better, they did. Every week. And then you came home one day and found her injecting herself with heroin. And your world shattered. Is this really the same person you’ve known all these years? All those times you shared ice cream and drank from the same straw, was she injecting herself with heroin in the bathroom? Was she always an addict, or was this a recent development? You asked her. She never answered you. You moved out. You kind of kept in touch. And the one day, she dropped off the face of the earth. And you tried to forget her.
That was my first runaround with the X Files. I got so invested in the story, the long running arc. It built up perfectly, raised the stakes, kept giving you just enough reveals, and then… it just became undeniably awful. Like, unbearably awful. And the story never ended satisfactorily. And I just sort of… stopped watching the show. Unthinkable.
I think this experience is what soured me to long running arcy serieses. It perhaps explains my pseudoish hatred of Lost. I just don’t want to be hurt again. Its easier to not give a shit.
When I thought of X Files, I thought of the awesome individual episodes. Home. Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose. The arc sucked. I hated it. It was too convoluted and it made no sense. Then, 2 years ago, a friend of mine lent me season 1. And I started watching it again. And it reminded me of the awesome chemistry between Mulder and Scully. And how subtle the arc was when it started. A glimpse of a spaceship. Reports of an extraterrestrial life form running around in the jungle. Mulder always a step too late.
I bought season 2. And then I bought season 3. And then seasons 4 through 6. And I remember how good that fucking arc was. Mulder’s proof always just beyond his reach. Him needing some closure on finding his sister, or even just finding out what happened to her. Is she alive? Is she dead? He just wants to know, either way. The first time I watched the show, I was Fox Mulder. I wanted him to get the proof that he so desperately needed. The second time through, I was Scully. I related with her crisis of faith, with her cyncism in the face of Mulder’s almost fanatical belief in the weird. And then her abduction by aliens raises the stakes on her internal conflict. Duane Barry has to be one of the best two parters in tv history. And the structure of that episode perfectly mirrors the structure of the arc and the way it developed and became bigger. It starts with a bank robbery, and ends with a fucking ufo. And I realized, she wasn’t always on heroin. She was perfect. She just got hooked on heroin 6 years in.
I watched all the way through season 6, and I realized where they could have ended the arc satisfactorily. And that, if I squinted, if I ignored certain things, I could convince myself that the show ended with season 6. The alien conspiracy is broken up, and the world is safe. And the X Files ends on a high note, instead of running itself into the ground with T 1000 and psychic FBI agents and… oh lord.
But there was still this nagging feeling inside of me. I never really had the closure I wanted. My quest for X Files closure mirrors Mulder’s quest for proof, for finding out what happened to his sister. And then I heard they were making a movie. And then I saw that preview form Comic Con. And the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end. And I felt exactly how Mulder must have felt anytime he got a call about a UFO sighting. Maybe this is it. Maybe this is when he finds his proof. And I know the movie is a one off, that it doesn't answer the specific arcy questions, but it doesn't matter. Its like the heroin lady called, and she promises she is clean, and she doesn’t wanna get back together with you, but she does want to meet up and talk, and explain herself. And I want so badly to have that closure, just like Mulder. Doesn’t matter if the sister is dead or alive, all it matters is that he, is that I, know.
Tonight I go to the UFO site. Tonight I find that closure. It may be good, it may be bad. But at least I’ll know. I am tired of squinting.