This is actually feeling quite satisfying and warm, somehow. The show’s not going to be the same anymore — you can see it. Actually, X was, theortically, supposed to be over with this episode — before they, a few months ago, renewed, deciding in the process to move from Vancouver to Hollywood.
With all of that which happened therein, this episode really effectively ended the show. In order for a movie to work, it would have to be much more fast-paced and millitant, as opposed to the cerebral hover the show’s always tended to have. With the X-files destroyed, Samantha’s file in Cancer Man’s hands, and the “truth” all narrowed down to that one boy, the series has suddenly become strongly focused. From two FBI agents just running around covering cases, it’s turned into Mulder and Scully alone vs. the world.
Without the X-files as a tangible quest, a safe retreat in the basement and a path to follow, the two of them are forced to stop dinkering around, hopping from place-to-place randomly, wasting time, slowly investigating everything they see just in case it might be important somehow. It’s like that phase is over, now — the burning of the files was more symbolic than anything, because they are now, as of this episode, effectively useless to them, the path to Mulder’s “truth” right in front of them, outside of the FBI building. The files hold more an emotional value than a physical need for the agents, and the burning again helps to push Mulder and Scully to the action needed for the next step; now they’re motivated. Their “home” has been destroyed.
Also nice how the relationships amongst the characters have been cleared up. Okay; so Krycheck (or however you spell him. . .now I know why people call him “ratboy”) is in league with the “big guys” again, and Cancer Man is now their hired gun. Skinner is no longer Mulder’s boss, per se, but a connection within the FBI. Etcetera.
This episode was really effective in those two ways; cleaning up the plotline and spelling out in simple detail the characters and their associations.
The last few minutes of the show were almost a prologue to the movie. . .I felt all tingly. All I could think, aside from what Mulder and Scully were obviously thinking as they stood there, was “jesus. This is. . .this. . .this is. . .it’s over.” The fact there was no preview for the next episode — and, frankly, the title of the episode itself — kind of made my throat seize up a little. . .even though I know the show will now continue for at least a while longer (albeit, likely, in completely different way).