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 The X-Files > Season 7

The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati

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- David Duchovny and Chris Carter wrote the script of this episode.
- David Duchovny has always had a worm spot in his heart for Nikos Kazantzakis's novel The Last Temptation of Christ. That it could be translated into a compelling X-File that he could cowrite with Chris Carter was an exciting possibility. "For David, there was the strong desire to play something different as Mulder," explains Frank Spotnitz. "He saw a lot of parallels between The X-Files and The Last Temptation of Christ that he felt he could bring out." "'Amor Fati' was something very personal to these characters but, in particular, to Mulder," reflects Carter. "The big question was, had he made the right choice in deciding to pursue the aliens all these years through the X-Files? I think it had some very personal issues in it for David." The story conferences were typical in that everybody fought hard for what they felt was important to the story. Particularly vocal in his defense of the storyline was Duchovny. "We all knew it was an important script and that a lot of the new mythology and the direction of the show for the rest of the season would hinge on it," says Spotnitz. "Everything about this story arc was a risk and 'Amor Fati' was quite possibly the riskiest element of the three episodes. As the cowriter, David had a particular stake in it being as good as it could possibly be." The tight schedule would add additional challenges to the "Amor Fati" writing process. "Chris had only just begun writing 'The Sixth Extinction', "says Spotnitz. "David had written half the script for 'Amor Fati', but there were blanks that Chris was supposed to come in and finish but couldn't because he was still writing 'The Sixth Extinction.'" But enough of the "Amor Fati" script had been written to know that it was going to contain a who's who of X-Files episodes past. Brought back for elements of Mulder's alternate future were Jerry Hardin as Deep Throat and Megan Leitch as Samantha Mulder. Also making appearances were Rebecca Toolan as Mrs. Mulder and Floyd Red Crow Westerman as the inscrutable Albert Hosteen. "It was like one big flashback," says casting director Rick Millikan. Casting the little boy who appears to Mulder on the beach was perhaps the toughest part of the episode for Millikan. Originally, the son of a neighbor of producer Paul Rabwin came in, read for the part, and seemed perfect. But with the script and shooting schedule under time pressure, it was finally determined that all of the child's shots would have to be done in one day. This caused a problem in that child labor laws limit the number of hours a minor can work. Rabwin recalls that the problem was finally solved by going out and hiring twins. William Davis was quite happy with the episode. "For me the episode was terrific to play because they ended up making Cigarette-Smoking Man a little tougher. We have seen so much softness in him; it was great to play that tough side." But the down side for Davis turned out to be the sequence in which he and Duchovny were strapped won on adjoining gurneys for the transplant procedure. "I remember being totally uncomfortable lying on those tables. There was this metal strap that was pressing right into my shoulder blade. The only upside of that was that the author was lying right beside me, feeling equally uncomfortable. I wonder if David would have written it that way if he had known what he would have to go through." "Amor Fati" worked as an X-File and Frank Spotnitz marvels at the fact that the underlying theme, aliens as God or as the creation of God, did not result in any flack from the religious communitay. "We knew going into 'Amor Fati' that we would piss off some faction and we probably have but we haven't heard anything from anybody. Often in the past we've done stuff where I was sure we would get angry letters. But we rarely do. And the reason is because of the way we handle things. In 'Amor Fati' we treated the religious side with respect."
- A scene that did not make the final cut of the episode had Mulder watching himself as he aged.
- The sequence in which Mulder looks out a window and sees Armageddon was accomplished through the use of a matte painting and special effects explosions created behind the cemaera and reflected in the window. Amor fati is a Latin phrase that loosely translates to "love of fate" or "love of one's fate". It is used to describe an attitude in which one sees everything that happens in one's life, including suffering and loss, as good. That is, one feels that everything that happens is destiny's way of reaching its ultimate purpose, and so should be considered good. Moreover, it is characterized by an acceptance of the events that occur in one's life. The phrase is used repeatedly in Nietzsche's writings and is representative of the general outlook on life he articulates in section 276 of The Gay Science, which reads, "I want to learn more and more to see as beautiful what is necessary in things; then I shall be one of those who make things beautiful. Amor fati: let that be my love henceforth! I do not want to wage war against what is ugly. I do not want to accuse; I do not even want to accuse those who accuse. Looking away shall be my only negation. And all in all and on the whole: some day I wish to be only a Yes-sayer."


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Written by Jack Anderson on 2017-09-10

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