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Recap / The X-Files S07 E17 "all things"

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Season 7, Episode 17:

all things
"There are things you don't know... things I'm not proud of."
Written and directed by Gillian Anderson

"Time passes in moments ... moments which, rushing past define the path of a life just as surely as they lead towards its end. How rarely do we stop to examine that path, to see the reasons why all things happen, to consider whether the path we take in life is our own making or simply one into which we drift with eyes closed."
Dana Scully

Scully faces a personal crisis following a chance reunion with an old flame.


  • Affectionate Gesture to the Head: Mulder brushes Scully's hair behind her ear after she falls asleep on his couch.
  • all lowercase letters: it was gillian anderson's stylistic choice when she named the episode "all things".
  • Beautiful Dreamer: Mulder gazes at Scully after she falls asleep on his couch.
  • Call-Back: There's a reference to the scene from "Tooms" where Mulder jokes to Scully "if there's iced tea in that bag, could be love," but that scene ends with her revealing she got him a root beer. This episode, Scully has a subtle Love Epiphany here, and makes Mulder tea.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Scully, after her dream.
  • Comforting Comforter: Scully falls asleep on the couch while talking to Mulder. He pauses to brush a lock of hair from her face and gaze at her before covering her with a blanket to be warm. A romantic example of the trope, since it's heavily implied they slept together for the first time later that night.
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  • Crop Circles: Agent Mulder plans a trip to England to investigate a case of highly complex formations of Crop Circles that keep appearing in a pattern. Agent Scully is of course not interested in tracking down some sneaky farmers who happened to ace geometry in high school.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: This episode seems to imply that Mulder and Scully did, with Scully dressing in Mulder's bathroom and then leaving, while Mulder nakedly slumbers in a rumpled bed.
  • Female Gaze / Male Gaze: An interesting example, as the opening shot of the episode starts with the Male Gaze (camera just below armpit level, directed past Scully's bosom) and turns into Female Gaze (Mulder asleep in bed).
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: The show came up with the Scully Box because David Duchovny is almost a foot taller than Gillian Anderson. In the few scenes that were shot without the box (or Scully in very high heels), Anderson barely reaches Duchovny's shoulder. "all things" included a funny nod to their height difference as they both sit with their feet propped up on a coffee table. Hers barely reach the middle and his are almost hanging off the end.
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  • Love Epiphany: For Scully, though not exactly explicit (as usual for the show).
  • The Mistress: What Scully was revealed to be, in her past with Dr. Waterston. Their affair went far enough to tear apart Dr. Waterston's family after Scully left.
  • Not Listening to Me, Are You?: Mulder to Scully who is preoccupied with her salad.
    Mulder: And I'm not wearing any pants right now.
  • Old Flame Fizzle: Scully and Daniel Waterston, though it wasn't mutual. He remained very much in love with her through the end of the episode, while she realized that over a decade had passed since she was a medical student seduced by her (very married) professor, and that she likes her life and who she is now. This realization also led to the start of Mulder and Scully's romantic/sexual relationship.
  • Relationship Upgrade: The show was never explicit about when it happened, but the leading candidate is this episode, which features Scully evaluating her past choices about life and relationships, leading up to a scene where she's getting dressed in Mulder's bathroom while he's asleep in bed, apparently naked.
  • Sleep Cute: Scully at the end, after falling asleep next to Mulder on the couch.
  • Teacher/Student Romance: Scully's previous relationship with Dr. Waterston.

"One wrong turn, and... we wouldn't be sitting here together."