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Interlaced in the middle of a series of loners all more offbeat and delirious as each other, As a friend takes over an atmosphere of a distant X-files for the least tossed by the changes she had undergone. The man with the cigarette gives the story of the chip on the carpet, decided to win by all means Scully's confidence. "Mulder is too stubborn," he tells us. The truth is that he feels a sort of remorse and admiration for Scully, that he offers himself here an ultimate chance of redemption. He takes out his last card before the end of the game.
The plot itself is pretty well done, in that it stays true to the character of CSM. By pretending to be Scully by e-mail, C.G.B. Spender contact a so-called cobra who would hold the information on a CD-ROM, this in order to make meet Scully and not him, to be supposed to "transmit" his knowledge before dying. We can imagine that this is also a great opportunity to spend time with her. Especially since in the end, what was to be a gift, a capital transmission, turned out to be a ruse, a lure, a breach of trust. Our brave agent Scully was too seduced by apparent remorse so well suggested by CGB. Scully finds himself, at the end of the episode, ridiculed by this man, when we know the effort she had agreed to make to give him confidence. It is also that our man knows very well how to support or it hurts: cancer, miracle cure, pseudo statement of admiration, he knows how to talk to women ... Which brings us to the main interest of this episode.
It is, as everyone knows, at the express request of William B. Davis (who himself participated in his writing) that this episode was born. And it was not a luxury for the show's credibility to confront two iconic characters. Scully and CSM had only had very short scenes together, and then there was Mulder. The real first scene took place at Scully in Closure and lasted only two minutes. This is why this episode fascinates, because for one as for the other, it forces them to play on another relational register. From minute to minute, we are witnessing the evolution of a premium Scully aboard refractory (as often!) And which gradually drop the guard for the pleasure of CSM (and its fans, like me! ). Similarly, we also see how by taking the time to listen to this man, he can confide. The excuse of the end of life, of the disease due to its operation, is used here only for the purpose of softening Scully and it works perfectly. Of course, knowing Scully difficult to convince, it was necessary to prepare all the pageantry. That is to say that this episode is really to consider (watch) as a game of tracks. In addition to his personality, he needed all the arguments to convince her:
-First argument: the scar at the base of Jason's shot and his story.
-Second: the paper left on the armchair with its coordinates marked on it.
-Third: the big office in the building of DARPA, with the eternal chorus / blackmail: "Here, people would kill me if they knew what I am telling you, they would kill you in the minute following"
-Fourth: the dramatic twist of the presentation to "Margorie Butters, 118 years old, gardening champion", always with the scar at the base of the neck.
Fifth: the purchase of a superb evening dress and the interrupted dinner. Great twist to make Scully want to feel sorry for herself, and leave just after to leave it in the last good impression ...
-Sixth: the meeting with Cobra, his assassination, and the escape in extremis (de Scully).
-Septem: the fake gift of the CD-rom exchanged for a virgin. "Here, it's for you".
The return to Mulder with the LGM shows us a septic Mulder and a credulous Scully.
But the trio and their computer spoke: "There is nothing above it!" Scully was fooled as ever, put his trust in the hands of this man back to his heart, and all that to end up at the conclusion of Mulder, who is also mine: "He made you see everything that it was necessary for you to believe in it ". But I remain just as Scully persuaded that: "there was something else in his look" ...
Since the time we waited for a face to face with the man to the cigarette, for those who waited for it, we are not disappointed. It is difficult indeed to note a negative note of this episode. If, only one then: the shot of scully who wakes up in pajamas ... A little huge. He is supposed to have drugged him, but how? Nothing is shown. He could not have undressed her without awaking! Short.
Apart from this detail, I try to see what may have disappointed. Scully lowered, ridiculed? CSM twisted and hypocritical (is this a surprise given the character?), Mulder too absent (for once!), The incoherence of the scenario (why he will not just take the cobra CD and the bute after?) at this moment the episode no longer exists, nor the confrontation with Scully!). One could say a lot for the bureaucrats of the detail, the ant on the lookout for the imperfection, the bad fanatics not understanding that X-files is not X-files without CSM, even in this way.
The conclusion is frustrating, of course. But then you have to focus on everything else. Personally I had a great pleasure to see CSM for a long time trying to become "nice", and to see Scully try to accept his offer. On the other hand, the writing of this episode is not so bad. When CSM tells Scully that she is attracted to men of power but fears their power, it can not be denied. Add to that a good realization, a pre-generic rainy scene, and a paranoid atmosphere whether for Mulder kept apart, or for Scully very suspicious. The scene in the toilets of the gas station is uplifting.
Finally, more personally, I take this review to give my point of view on the psychology of CGB Spender. Although I know that everyone already has their idea on the subject and that I will not contribute anything by doing so, it is also the purpose of a personal analysis; everyone does not see things the same way, does not it?
For me it is a man who can only live in extreme loneliness, as evidenced by Musing of the cigarette smoking man. He does not hesitate to kill, certainly, but his murders are always acts necessary to protect his Great Project. He is whole, false, inveterate liar, murderer is sadistic. These are defects that I like to see in the character of a "villain". And the most interesting in the background, is to see its evolution throughout the seasons and see little by little what is his life; understand why he does what he does. A character from the shadows, who can only live in the shadows (especially since he committed the assassination of JFK!) And then, dare I say, I think he kills with a great class . Yes, it's his class that I actually like. Well aware that it's a bastard first, I like to put in his place. Because of its place, we can see M & S struggling in their lives from another height, the height of the one who holds the reins. We share, in a way, his power. That's why when he becomes emotional or shows a more human aspect of his personality, it's even more touching. His heart had hitherto untapped riches, and shows us a facet of a fallen father (by his fault of course), a leader of the consortium over, a man aware of the evil he has done, and falling the mask in front of him a woman he almost killed, it's huge for him to have done that. Even if it was only comedy, one also knows that it lays in him a great depth and an almost philosophical reflection of the life. We must listen to his tirade on the chocolate box in the episode "Musing of the CSM": great! although already used in Forest Gump ... Another example of his honesty in cruelty, in the One sound episode. The conversation with Mulder at Diana Fowley's. Very emotional.
All I want to raise is that when a "bad guy" comes to good person, or "nice", it's even more touching because it's not his role. and it is this ambiguity which makes the character so interesting and which, in my case, justifies me putting myself in his place from time to time.
In short, it's an episode that uses mythology as a pretext, to finally show us CSM under its best and worst day at a time. Music is always part of the game. The sets are beautiful. We travel almost with them. And morality, although frustrating, restores the character in his just nature. I leave the good care of the critics, pointing finger of the defects to those who did not like it. But as far as I'm concerned, fortunately this episode exists because it comes to raise the level sometimes a little fair of this 7th season.