Don’t you feel like we’re on a train to Shitsville and no matter what we do, no matter how comfortable the ride is, no matter how many tasty snacks they give us along the way, or how much they string us along with the promise that we’re actually going to paradise, the truth is we’re still going to Shitsville, so it’s all for nothing? Because I do.
All in All, “Rm9sbG93ZXJz” is a pretty fun episode, and it’s not even that strange, by The X-Files standards. This is the series, after all, that gave us “First Person Shooter,” “Babylon,” “Hollywood A.D” and “Fight Club,” among others. I’m just gonna assume anything I liked about it had to do with Kristen Cloke/ Shannon Hamblin and not Chris ‘Mulder and Scully are Platonic’ Carter, though, because that’s how we roll in this house, okay?
But, despite the fact that, as I said, this is a really good episode, and the information we have makes me think the next two might be fun as well, there’s always the shit at the end of the tunnel, aka Our Collective Struggle, aka the season/series finale, and knowing that, knowing that CC hates happiness, thinks Mulder and Scully are platonic and medical rape is okay, how can I have hope?
How can I enjoy the journey?
Oh, right. I can’t. All I can do is shade. Because apparently, I can’t even quit this show. I’ve already dedicated too much of my life to it.
But hey, after it’s done, you bet your ass I’m gonna choose my ending and just forget about everything that came after, and by everything I mean Chris Carter. At this point, I’m even willing to forget about Mulder and Scully, or at least come down with a severe case of selective amnesia. Remember the good and all that. Remember that handhold at this end of this episode. Forget about all the struggles, literally and metaphorically.
The train is still going, though, so while we’re in it, let’s talk about “Rm9sbG93ZXJz” and why women should have been writing this show from episode 1.
THE PERILS OF TECHNOLOGY
Sometimes, often times, really, The X-Files tries to do social commentary and gets a little lost on the delivery. This is not one of those episodes. I think the social commentary is a little too on the nose to be truly effective, but the episode is still both incredibly creepy and surprisingly fun, and the message, if you can separate it from the less than subtle way the episode is selling it, is still pretty valid.
Technology rules us, sometimes, to our detriment. And as much as we still rule technology, we’ve all read the same sci-fi books, and they all teach the same lesson – be wary of machines that you program to be smarter than you.
In the end, though that is a message, it’s not the message, and that’s why ultimately, this all works. The message is just – don’t let technology become everything. Take the time to hold the hand of the person you love. Be present. Enjoy the things that make you human, the things that make you feel. Technology will, after all, always be there.
The person you love, however, might not.
(Please, let this not be foreshadowing. Let this not be foreshadowing. Let this not be foreshadowing).
WOMEN DO IT BETTER
Does it surprise anyone that the first episode of The X-Files ever to be written by two women ended up being a smart, creepy and innovative episode that nonetheless managed to send a message AND provide us with the Mulder and Scully we remember and love? It shouldn’t.
This show, a show that managed to create a feminist icon DESPITE the men, and not because of them, should have always been a female-friendly show. It never was. It still isn’t, if you consider the story-lines CC deems acceptable, but hey, there are little rays of sunshine everywhere. This episode is one of them.
Since it looks likely we won’t ever get another ray of sunshine like this one, let’s just remember this episode when the fanboys tell us that The X-Files is a boy’s club. Because that was always a lie, and we always knew it, but now, we have more proof on our side.
Not that we ever needed anything other than our countless Scully gifs. Not like the fanboys deserve anything else.
WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BELIEVE?
What you want? What is true? How do you even know the difference between one and the other?
Is that you, CC? Are you trying to tell us something? Because I know exactly what I want. I want Mulder and Scully together forever. Happy. I don’t care if they’re married, I don’t even care if they have William – though I think the happiness would always be somewhat incomplete without their kid, so yeah, William. I don’t care about the aliens, I don’t care about the conspiracy, and I certainly do not care about the CSM. All I care about is them.
So that’s what I believe in. I believe in Mulder in Scully. And, the rest, what you create, what you tear apart, it doesn’t matter. I know what I believe in. I know what this show has given me. And that’s really all that matters.
Other things to note:
- I know who Scott is, thank you very much. No need to explain. It’s called HUMOR.
- The title of the episode: “Rm9sbG93ZXJz,” is Base64 code, which is used to encode binary text information so it can be transmitted digitally. The translation is: Followers.
- Was the intro supposed to be creepy?
- This date night is a little weird, I ain’t gonna lie.
- Why is there only one menu?
- WHERE’S MY OH SCULLY, YOU CUT YOUR HAIR, IT REMINDS ME OF OLD TIMES? WHERE?
- I know this is supposed to be commentary on how people use technology so much they don’t even talk to each other, but come on, they could have at least said one or two words during that creepy ass date.
- Scully the paranoid one, I love it.
- WTF is that creepy fish? No thanks.
- Goofy Mulder and Scully is my aesthetic.
- Scully mocking Mulder by savoring her food is also my aesthetic.
- Ah, Mulder, you treating your totally platonic business partner! How cute.
- The rest might not have been creepy, but please do not hit the machine IS.
- Trapped inside the sushi restaurant sounds like a dream, not a nightmare.
- Note to self: Never get machines that are smarter than you.
- You’re an adult, Mulder. When adults date, they drive their date home and don’t leave, especially after they’ve been “together” for 45 years.
- DRIVERLESS MY ASS.
- “You suck, Mr. Phone”
- Who has maps in the car? Who?
- Scully doesn’t have a house. This is a lie. I do not accept this. She lives with Mulder and they have sex every night. The end.
- Your birthday, Scully. Really?
- Okay, let’s be honest, this turned creepy FAST.
- Personal massager? That what we call it now?
- But just the fact that it exists is proof that women wrote this episode.
- “Salad dressing is low. Buy Caesar again?” Caesar is the worst dressing. FIGHT ME ON THIS.
- “Why celebrate birthdays? Is life so important?” We just want reasons to party.
- DON’T DEFROST THE CHICKEN FOR SCOTT, YOU TREASONOUS APPLIANCE.
- Mulder/Scully don’t need words, come oooon.
- In conclusion, always leave a tip.
- Hey, Mulder, she lost her personal massager. You might have to lend a helping hand. A girl can’t live without her massager, we all know this.
- Okay, so, I still make inhuman noises when Mulder and Scully hold hands. I’m not necessarily proud of this fact.
The X-Files airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on FOX.