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The move from Vancouver to Los Angeles, and the overall departure of the show's "Darkness" had lost a lot of fans. The feature film had a role to play in that as well, history shows a significant loss of ratings (and awards) between Season Five and Season Six. While many saw this, and other factors I will discuss throughout this season, a start of a sinking ship, myself among many others saw a third level of the MSR start to develop. The science fiction aspect of the show was starting to be overshadowed by the drama... and that scared a lot of people away. It seemed from episode to episode, the camera seemed to revolve around how these two were dealing with the feelings that were clearly out there floating around. And somehow the writers were still making room for monsters, evil, conspirators, and kooky plot lines.

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The Beginning: I have to write about this episode only because it followed the movie. Everyone is trying to get back on track from Adventures in Antarctica. And science is in the way. Diana is back... and Mulder insinuates she has stabbed in right there in the middle of the back. Maybe so, but Scully herself is being obnoxiously stubborn about not turning the reigns over completely to Mulder on this case. She quotes "the hallway scene" (THS) proving she has a memory about him saying her science made him a whole person. But Mulder is in full blown tiffy and claims this time her science is wrong.

Gibson returns and reads Scully's mind again... and blah blah blah. I never liked this episode in the first place, so I'm just going to let it go off into the catacombs of episodes shelved for me to never write about or talk about again. Why oh why would I doom this episode to there? It's like the writers were so busy with the release of Fight the Future that they didn't have much brain power to thoroughly think this one through (in my humble opinion). The bottom line... we gather a couple things from this episode: Diana Fowley is going to continue to torture us, Skinner is going to get less screen time, and a simple bee sting is apparently going to have these two acting like a couple of 11-year olds.

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Triangle: Now I must say, all those fans who complained about Season Six not being dark enough... it doesn't get much darker than Triangle! I literally could not see a thing!!! All joking aside, Nazis, the Wizard of Oz, and parallel universes, this classic brought on the L word. No, not lobotomy, but Luuuuuuuurve. And I can admit I was not there in avid X-Philes Land (AXL) in the fall of '98 so I'm not sure if fans expected this or not... but assuming they hadn't... wow. I did not see that coming. So random, Mulder, so random. Why he thought that moment was the best time to admit this to her... is beyond me. But hey, so is their relationship. Whack. But YES!!! A victory for all shippers across the planet! Finally he admits his feelings! Nomoros are now flocking for the door. Who's ship is sinking now, huh?

Then there is the kiss. The second kiss Mulder goes for in a matter of... like two seasons. If he keeps it up at this rate, maybe he will accomplish A) Not getting interrupted by an insect, animal, or person. B) Actually her being Scully in person and in the present time, and C) Not being a dream. At least he put a better effort than in THS (the Hallway Scene). I'm sure many other reviewers have actually timed his approach in both scenarios... but I will spare you. I have better things to do. It was faster, trust me.

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Dreamland 1 & 2: As I had mentioned in "Home" from Season Four, and Christmas Carol/Emily from Season Five, this is the third mention of Scully thinking she is a woman who wants children. Now she presents Mulder with this question to see if he may have something to say about sharing her dream of a pool and a dog. This is a wonderful episode because it addresses exactly that. Yes, the whole Area 51 thing is fun too, but this episode (which neither of them will remember) shows Philes how Mulder may handle the "normal family life". This is where he is clearly uncomfortable at picking up milk for the missus and answering to a teenage girl. What fun!

While Mulder is also clearly having a blast runnin' around with government suits, he also now mentions Scully in his sleep. Who wouldn't? I have dreams about work all the time! So what? So what indeed. Meanwhile when Scully sees Morris Mulder fooling around... she is clearly pissed. "This is not the Mulder who wants a pool and a dog like I do!" No, this is nightmare Mulder, and Scully...

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In the second half it's pretty painful to watch Morris Mulder make a debauchery out of Mulder's character, and it surely is clear on Scully's face that this is not the Mulder she knows and loves. And yes, she would "kiss him if he weren't so damn ugly". Aha! I knew it! She thinks Mulder is the opposite of ugly! Wrapping it up, everybody gets put back where they belong, Mulder gains a water bed, and Scully once again is content with her weird life with her one and only FBI partner.

How the Ghosts Stole Christmas: As I go down the list of episodes this season, it was difficult to leave some of them out of this review. Almost all had some noteworthy scenes or aspects. I almost left this one out! Which tells us something about Season Six, indeed. Wherein my previous season reviews I had only about five episodes to include, this season I have at least nine!!! (See honorable mentions) I was serious when I told you just about every episode seemed to revolve around this topic/be an ever-present side-focus. What do I mean by "side-focus"? I mean that every scene where Mulder and Scully are alone, a whole new vibe takes place. Different from all the previous seasons. I can literally feel this, for lack of a better term, "energy" through the screen. The first time around watching this, (I'm ashamed to admit, I started watching weekly I believe at this very episode! What a coincidence that I would admit this right as I'm writing about it!) it was this "energy"... or I'll call it now, a "force" which drew me to keep watching... and root for Scully.

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So back to the episode, yes, this episode had the Force pretty much the whole time. And it also had two ghosts meddling into their personal lives! How rude! They just want Mulder and Scully to spend eternity together! So when you look at this episode at face value... it's a good ghost story with a Christmas twist. Fluff. But on a deeper a level, which all of you are here for, it is another chapter in CC and Company's Book of How Are We Going to String This Beautiful Love Story Out For as Long as Possible? This Chapter is titled "How Mulder and Scully react to the idea of them forming a 'lovers pact'" I'll tell you how they react — they ditch their families and hang out at Mulder's apartment opening gifts.

The Rain King: Oh dear, more fluff... and another episode where the locals are constantly mistaking them for a married couple. This is not something that happened in the earlier seasons. And it's not just because this is a small, old-fashioned town in Kansas. It's because these two are starting to radiate the force to complete strangers — not just us giddy shippers.

I like it when Scully is forced to struggle on screen when Sheila confronted her about her feelings for Mulder. The squirm factor is off the charts... but then Scully gives her a very honest spiel about how one falls for their best friend. Umm... hello Scully! Look in the mirror, please!

The last 20 minutes are like one big soap opera. These six characters involved in this weird love-pentagon is hilarious to watch unfold like a bunch of adolescents. "I'll show you good lookin'!"

Oh please, we can't have every episode filled with desecrations and autopsies... I'm surprised the writers didn't throw in a cute little dance at the end ala post-modern prometheus.

Arcadia: So this episode is a hoot. I can't believe it took this series over five seasons to get these two to go undercover. I mean come on, they can't at least go undercover once a season? OK... every other season?? Well, alas, I believe this is the only episode they do... and we cherish it!!! My oh my, how do I keep this review original?? How do I add another aspect to it that has not already been written about? Well, I could sift through 546 different writings on this and wrack my brain for something they have not said... or, I can just comment on it without diving too deep and searching too wide for some deeper meaning.

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This episode pretty much rocks harder than Redux II and Memento Mori put together. Why? Because it was fun. Fun that these two never get to have! Ok, I know that statement may be blasphemy... you can't really compare Arcadia with Memento Mori. Psh! please... but come on! "Honeymoon video"? "Little baby cats"?! This is Gold! Scully (like Mulder in Dreamland) gets to "play house" and in the end, it ends up bloody and sad. In true X-Files fashion. These "lighter" episodes may seem so, but they do have a sinister element to them for sure. And that is that even though Mulder and Scully may eventually be together... their story will still include many tragedies and heartaches along the way. And that is what will keep this series honest to its roots even to the end of the ninth season.

Milagro: OK so now Mulder has a neighbor. What?? OK, I'll buy it for now. But this neighbor isn't being very neighborly- he is writing about Scully. Padgett narrates his novel throughout, making some keen observations. 1) Scully wants to let someone into her heart. And he wants it to be him! When he confronts her at the church, she is clearly not flattered like she has been in the past seasons. She is clearly annoyed when she relates her encounter to Mulder. She goes a step further and gives him back the pendant, and tells him not once, but twice, that she cannot return the gesture. Keen observation #2) Padgett calls her out on her loneliness, to which she replies "loneliness is a choice" with a clearly pained face. Ouch. Gillian Anderson is good. But she says yes to coffee. Insert the most awkward coffee visit in the history of the world. You can almost read her every thought about how creeped out... yet intrigued she is. And then Mulder busts down the door! Very reminiscent of Small Potatoes, indeed!

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So then we have Mulder questioning Padgett in jail. Mulder seems to have an elevated level of annoyance during this scene... and it spills over to the next part when he tells Scully about the adult content the book writes about her. Her reaction is priceless.

Upon release from jail, Padgett makes another huge keen observation: 3) Agent Scully is already in love. Bam! And he says it right to their faces, showing courage not seen on this show for quite a bit. Courage of both this fictional character and the writers of this episode - Shiban and Spotnitz. And don't even tell me that this season isn't dark. Holy Moly! Scully just about gets her heart ripped out! Literally.

Honorable Mentions

Alpha (dog lady jealousy)
The Unnatural (excessive baseball flirting)
Field Trip (ambulance hand holding)

Recap

OK, so so much has happened in these twenty-something episodes that I'm sure you are lost. Lets recap! Pretty much every single episode has a noteworthy mention or addition to the MSR, including: public handholding, private handholding, proclamations of love, talks about family life, faux-kissies, dream kissies, gazing, huggies, batting cage snuggles, and most noteworthy — secondary and tertiary characters calling them out on them dealing with their unspoken lurve. More than three times. This season is setting up for a season where literally, every second is going to count in AXL (avid x-philes land). With the death of the consortium, the rest of the series is going to deal with three things. Samantha, the coming alien invasion, and the MSR.

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