Another work lull, have some ramblings.
Last night I got as far as "Never Again". For some reason I always think that episode comes in between "Leonard Betts" and "Memento Mori", and I'm led to believe by my own remembrance that perhaps Sky One initially showed the episodes in that order. Odd. I actually caught a bit of "NA" a while ago when it was repeated, but this is probably the first time I've watched it all the way through properly since the first airing.
It's never been a favourite episode of mine, though having said that, the reason I got my first tattoo on my lower back was entirely because of where Scully got hers, even though the design is different. (You can blame my rose design on Carrie 2; awful film, but her tattoo was pretty.) Perhaps one of these days I'll get an Ouroboros somewhere as a reminder of those good old days; like Scully, I'm beginning to see the appeal of the design. "Two steps forward and three steps back", indeed...
(It goes to show, again, how much this show consumed my life, even though I'd stopped watching by the time I got my tattoo. I told Paul the reason behind my "BeX" nickname, or rather, he jestingly guessed and has since found it endlessly amusing. Obsession, people: it's not just for Christmas.)
Anyway. My reason, as ever, for never really liking the episode much, was because of the lack of Mulder/Scully interaction. This is one episode which has definitely benefitted from a more mature perspective. Scully even explains her reasoning to Ed Jerse within the episode: she craves the approval of the 'father figure' but at the same time wants desperately to rebel in order to regain her own independence. Given the point in the series where this is set (just before the 'cancer arc' begins), it's oddly pre-emptive that she's trying to escape from Mulder's overbearing presence and her entanglement in the X-files themselves. That Mulder completely fails to grasp what she's trying so desperately to put across only gives her more reason to rebel.
It's kind of odd how Mulder's character switches constantly from being the understanding best friend to overbearing, self-centred and possessive ("Paper Hearts" being an example of the latter, with "Memento Mori" the former). His reaction is to snark, or dump menial admin work on her whilst he goes on holiday. I think I'd be pissed off with him, too. The exchange about her not having a desk wraps the deeper meaning up in a blanket of dark humour, but the message is clear nonetheless. They don't just share an office, and Scully feels like her life is not her own any more.
Perhaps I appreciated it more because I've been there. Not in exactly the same way, but I can certainly relate to that feeling of trappedness. I got my first tattoo whilst on my occupational therapy placement, and it was basically a catharsis. I needed the physical pain to block out the feeling that my life was spiralling into a place I didn't want to end up. (They've opened a tattoo and piercing studio two doors down from my office building; I fear this can only be temptation the next time I'm having a bad day... :P)
My only gripe with the episode is that the tattooing scene itself is absolutely rubbish. It misses out the entire process of doing the outlining, and even though they made a valiant effort to at least make the skin look red and angry a couple of hours later, it's not that convincing without the puffiness and bleeding. I'm pretty sure that they weren't going for realism in that sequence, though... ;)
The ending sums it up. Mulder approaches the situation with sarcasm and fails to diffuse the atmosphere; they sit on opposite sides of his contentious desk and the following conversation ensues:
M: So, all this because I... because I didn't get you a desk?
S: Not everything is about you, Mulder. This is my life.
M: Yes, but it's m-- [trails off]
I wonder what he was going to say? "It's my life, too", perhaps? The silence which follows is quite telling.
I'm hoping to get to "Memento Mori" today, an all-time favourite. Obvious reasons. :)
This entry is brought to you in lieu of doing a proper one, as my brain is making annoying noises at me today and I don't want to give it an outlet in any kind of reality, so fandom musings are what you get instead...