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'X-Files' Fridays: How late does the Liberty Bell stay open?

Season 1 | Episode 6 | “Shadows” | Aired Oct 22, 1993

It’s been over two decades since The X-Files made its debut, but the series is as relevant as ever, and with talk of a revival in the air, there’s no better time to revisit it—or to discover it for the first time. Community assistant editors Andrea Towers, who watched in its original run, and Kelly Connolly, who was introduced to the show last summer, will be here each week to talk it out. Next up, Scully and Mulder willingly participate in a campaign of misinformation.

KELLY: So Mulder’s basically asking Scully to join him for date night at the Liberty Bell, right?

ANDREA: Basically. I mean, I guess there’s this whole thing about a suicide and a possible poltergeist, but … Liberty Bell!

KELLY: And that’s the episode! Recap’s over; see you next week.

But I suppose, if we want to talk about the suicide and the possible poltergeist (Scully: “They’re hee-eeeere!”), I should also mention that this episode does feature one of the first scenes, outside everything in “Squeeze,” to creep me out: Lauren waking up to a voice in her bathroom. As a ghost, Howard Graves—which is a ghost name I adore, because a) he’s in a grave and b) Howard—stops bringing any good scares pretty much right after that, but he should also be commended for forcing Mulder and Scully to get their car checked out, at which point Mulder undoes his tie and throws his jacket over his shoulder like the world is his runway.

xfiles shadows mulder jacket

ANDREA: This is true. Season one had a lot of good really genuine scares with things like Tooms and “Shadows.” It was really the horror show that it was meant to be, rather than the mythology show it became, even though mythology was obviously kind of set up in this season through the pilot and the aliens and Deep Throat. I mean, sure, you had your fair share of monsters in the rest of the seasons, but when you compare it to how dark season one tried to be, it kind of sticks out. I always remember Chris Carter’s quote about why he wanted to make The X-Files in the first place, how he would be creeped out by the TV show Nightcrawler and wanted a show that would scare the crap out of you. I think more than anything, these first few episodes did that.

KELLY: And what’s funny is that this is a monster-of-the-week episode that treats the characters like they’re in a mythology episode. I think the mythology arc works best when it feels like Mulder and Scully are up against a wall, and it’s just the two of them against these forces that would rather keep them down. We get that same setup here. They’re not doing that dance where one of them trusts the information they’ve been given, and the other one doesn’t, because they literally haven’t been given any information. Mulder and Scully know they’re being kept in the dark, and it puts them on the same page immediately, which I think is why their partnership feels so easy in this episode. Even when they disagree, it’s just banter.

ANDREA: Yes, this exactly. There are mythology episodes I love (season two finale/season three premiere?!) but that’s very much them against the government. I think this is the first MOTW episode where they’re more on equal footing for the reasons you stated. This is the first time they have to really deal with something unknown and having nothing to cling to, so they have to trust each other, and they have to support each other. If they don’t, nothing will get solved.

KELLY: I almost just said, “When we get to the Anasazi trilogy, we’re going to have to split it up into at least two posts,” but then I realized that it is in fact three episodes and maybe I need a nap. But yes. They’re on the same page from the start here. Scully even takes on Mulder’s role in the interrogation room when she tells Lauren that this is her chance to put Howard’s soul to rest. She’s already following his lead. And she’s mimicking him on two levels, I think; not only is she saying what Mulder would normally say, but I think he’s also the one who gave her the idea that she could lie to get information in the first place. He told that bartender in “Conduit” that he thought UFOs were just a bunch of crazy people howling at the moon, and Scully was watching. She’s always watching.

xfiles shadows scully shoulder

ANDREA: DANA SCULLY: SMARTER THAN YOU ON JUST ABOUT EVERY LEVEL. I like that. I also like that you pointed this out, because it’s true. She’s learning how to deal with this crazy world of Mulder’s by taking notice of her partner. And how he acts. She’s smarter than you give her credit for, which is why they put her with Mulder in the first place, although I don’t think they expected her to start supporting him. (Their fail.)

KELLY: Right? Scully’s hard to pin down, which is especially impressive given how straightforward she usually is. If she doesn’t share your opinion, she’ll tell you, almost always. I think that’s part of what makes her so complicated: She presents herself as someone who isn’t. And then suddenly she’s playing a different game. It keeps Mulder on his toes. Scully likes surprising everyone, but I think with most people it’s a form of rebellion, and with Mulder it’s an actual invitation to get to know her.

And I love that his response to all of this is just, “Well, we may have just sacrificed our best opportunity to observe spectral phenomena.” He really does miss what’s right in front of him sometimes.

xfiles shadows mulder glasses

TV Families | EW.com
Mark Harris
February 23, 1990 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Bradys are back, with a passel of 90’s hassles. Do they represent the typical American Family? Did they ever? Who does? Stare and compare!

Kind Of Family
TheBradyBunch 1969-74: Blended
The Bradys 1990-: Enormous
Married…With Children 1987-: Postnuclear
Thirtysomething 1987-: Extended
The Flintstones 1960-66: Modern Stone Age

Family Pet
The Brady Bunch: Tiger
The Bradys: Alice
Married…With Children: Buck
Thirtysomething: Grendel
The Flintstones: Dino

Typical Guest Star
The Brady Bunch: Davey Jones
The Bradys: There’s no room
Married…With Children: Sam Kinison
Thirtysomething: Carly Simon
The Flintstones: Ann Margrock

Expression Of Joy
The Brady Bunch: Groovy!
The Bradys: Ritual hugging
Married…With Children: ”Oh, great.”
Thirtysomething: ”Of course I’m happy for you. Really. But what about me? Why does it always have to be about you?
The Flintstones: ”Yabba-dabba doo

Expression Of Rage

The Brady Bunch: ”Hmmm…”
The Bradys: ”If you back away from something you really want, then you’re a quitter!” (the angriest any Brady has ever been)
Married…With Children: ”Aaagh, God, take me from this miserable life!”
Thirtysomething: ”I’m not angry, OK?”
The Flintstones: ”Willllmaaaa!”

Typical Problem
The Brady Bunch: Marcia and her rival both want to be the prom queen.
The Bradys: Bobby gets paralyzed.
Married…With Children: Al doesn’t buy his family Christmas presents.
Thirtysomething: Nancy gets cancer.
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney are staying out too late.

Typical Solution
The Brady Bunch: The prom committee decides to have two queens.
The Bradys: Bobby gets married.
Married…With Children: They hate him.
Thirtysomething: If only we knew…
The Flintstones: Wilma and Betty decide to follow them.

House Style
The Brady Bunch: Conservative but mod, circa ’69
The Bradys: Conservative but mod, circa ’90
Married…With Children: Roach motel
Thirtysomething: Enviable
The Flintstones: Suburban cave

Clothing Style
The Brady Bunch: Early Osmonds
The Bradys: Made in the USA
Married…With Children: Flammable fabrics
Thirtysomething: Eclectic earth tones; nice ties
The Flintstones: One-piece

Most Annoying Character
The Brady Bunch: Alice’s cousin Emma, the substitute housekeeper (too strict)
The Bradys: Marcia’s husband, Wally (chronically unemployable)
Married…With Children: Steve (supercilious)
Thirtysomething: Ellyn (goes through Hope’s drawers, babbles, changes hairstyle every other week, generally mistreats her friends)
The Flintstones: Mr. Slate (bossy)

Attitude Toward Sex
The Brady Bunch: Never heard of it
The Bradys: Omigod — even Cindy does it!
Married…With Children: Peg: Yes. Al: No.
Thirtysomething: They didn’t get all those kids by accident.
The Flintstones: Prehistoric

How Spouses Fight
The Brady Bunch: They don’t.
The Bradys: Infrequently, but it happens
Married…With Children: Tooth and nail
Thirtysomething: They stop talking
The Flintstones: Fred and Barney go bowling while Wilma and Betty max out their charge cards.

How Kids Get Into Trouble
The Brady Bunch: Greg takes a puff of a cigarette.
The Bradys: Carol’s grandson steals her business cards and sticks them in the spokes of Bobby’s wheelchair.
Married…With Children: By committing felonies
Thirtysomething: Ethan plays with a forbidden toy rocket.
The Flintstones: They don’t.

How They’re Punished

The Brady Bunch: ”It’s not what you did, honey — it’s that you couldn’t come to us.”
The Bradys ”Next time, ask.”
Married…With Children: By the authorities
Thirtysomething: It blows up in his face.
The Flintstones: They’re not.

What Family Does For Fun
The Brady Bunch: Takes special three-part vacations to Hawaii and the Grand Canyon
The Bradys: Has flashbacks
Married…With Children: Exchanges insults
Thirtysomething: Talks
The Flintstones: Attends showings of The Monster at the Bedrock Drive-In

Unsolved Mysteries
The Brady Bunch: How exactly did Carol’s first husband and Mike’s first wife die?
The Bradys: What’s with Marcia’s new face and Bobby’s blonde hair
Married…With Children: What kind of hair spray does Peg use?
Thirtysomething: Why did Nancy take Elliot back? What do Gary and Susanna see in each other?
The Flintstones: How does Barney’s shirt stay on if he has no shoulders? Where do Fred and Wilma plug in their TV?

Worst Behavior
The Brady Bunch: The Brady children once made Alice feel under-appreciated.

The Bradys: Marcia’s son Mickey watches Bobby’s car-crash tape for fun.
Married…With Children: The Bundy’s kill their neighbor’s dog.
Thirtysomething: Elliot has an affair and talks about it.
The Flintstones: Characters don’t wear under-clothes.

Best Reason To Watch
The Brady Bunch: This is what life should be.
The Bradys: They’re all grown-ups now!
Married…With Children: Terry Rakolta hates it.
Thirtysomething (Tie) This is your life. This isn’t your life.
The Flintstones: This is what life might have been.

Best Reason Not To Watch
The Brady Bunch: Blurred vision from rerun overdoses.
The Bradys: You’re all grown-ups now.
Married…With Children: She has a point.
Thirtysomething: After a while, you think it’s real.
The Flintstones: The Simpsons

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