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'X-Files' Fridays: Bring your mittens

Season 1 | Episode 8 | “Ice” | Aired Nov 5, 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 might not be who they are.

KELLY: Remember when Scully tackled a guy in her Alaska-chic oversize flannel?

xfiles ice scully tackles guy

ANDREA: Remember when Scully WORE an Alaska-chic oversize flannel? And it was the greatest moment ever?

KELLY: YES. And she pulled it together with an “I don’t care” ponytail. She’s so little. But she’s so tough, especially here. This is one of those episodes that moves us just a little closer to who Scully is. We’ve seen her pull her gun on people and fight for her life, but this time the danger is looming and quiet and hard to pinpoint, so she has to respond to it more thoughtfully. I love that moment when they’re all going to bed: She looks around the room for a second, pulls the desk in front of the door, then sits against the wall and hugs her knees. She’s always trying not to show her fear, but that doesn’t mean she’s not feeling it. But even when she’s afraid, she does something about it. She takes action.

ANDREA: I love this episode, which I know we’ve talked about off the record (a.k.a., in person and not over email), because it really gives us insight into who Scully is. This is, I think, the first time she’s out of her element in so many ways. She’s alone, and she feels alone. Mulder’s there, but at the same time, he isn’t. These people that they’re with are fish out of water. I think, for me, it’s when I really started to peel back the layers of her character and attach myself to her. (Though that longer-term attachment would take a while.)

KELLY: “Ice” is the first episode I couldn’t stop thinking about the next day, and that’s a huge part of the reason why: It’s a deep dive into Mulder and Scully’s relationship that works by separating Mulder and Scully. (I actually think that’s true of a lot of the best X-Files episodes.) That’s a good point that Mulder is there, but also kind of not. Even before they lock him in that storage room, he’s really in his own head. I love when they’re saying goodnight and she’s looking for some comfort, and he’s like, “Don’t forget, the spots on the dog went away.” That’s great, Mulder. So helpful. And by the time they’ve got their guns trained on each other (!), he’s not sure if he can trust anyone either, so he’s not giving her the assurance that she can trust him. Scully has to fight for Mulder by doubting him, and it winds up being a testament to the fact that she already knows him really well. She questions who he is right now, but not who he is at his core.

ANDREA: Oh, Mulder—the actual worst at interpersonal relationships (though he tries). But, oh man, the guns being trained on each other … that moment. That’s the first time it really has come down to trust. Sure, she’s trusted Mulder before—on random bits of information, or to show up at certain moments. But this is the first time it’s really tested.

xfiles ice guns

KELLY: It gets real here, definitely. There’s such a great paranoid edge to this episode as a whole, and to that scene in particular. She pulls her gun on him because she cares (won’t be the last time). And I think it works because neither one of them ever believes they’ve got anything to prove to anybody. They don’t put on a show—for each other or for anyone—so they argue even when everyone else takes anger as a sign that they’re infected. But what saves them is that they don’t easily hold things against each other. Scully never backs down from the fact that if Mulder is infected, it’s not his fault. She’d rather risk letting him hurt her than risk hurting him.

ANDREA: Adding a new thing to the list as we go through this: the number of times Mulder and Scully pull guns on each other. We could make an infographic. Anyway, you’re 100 percent correct. I think this scene speaks volumes about their relationship, especially if you look at it in the context of the other people there. She cares about him. She cares about him so much, she’s willing to let him hurt her! And this is how they respond to each other. It’s kind of a no-nonsense type of relationship, and no one else really understands. I really think the episode did a good job setting up a lot of sides of Scully in this: She’s scared, she’s tough, but also, she cares about her partner.

KELLY: And Mulder responds to that. He doesn’t have the best sense in the beginning of how to reassure her, but he knows that he needs her. (“I don’t trust them. I want to trust you.”) Scully and Mulder rely on the fact that no matter how much they disagree, they have each other’s backs. I’m impressed that we’ve both made it this far without discussing the TENSION between them when she locks herself in the storage room with him to try to figure out if he’s infected. They each want the other to be okay so badly, and naturally, the only way to be sure is to basically rip their shirts and massage each other’s necks.

xfiles ice mulder scully shirt

ANDREA: THERE’S JUST SO MUCH TO TALK ABOUT IN THIS EPISODE. And what better way to get intimate than to get close? I mean, the first time they ever spent alone time together, Scully pretty much ripped off her robe, so maybe there’s something to be said about that. But this whole episode is so tension-filled: between them, and between the people that they’re with, and the whole situation … it’s one of the best episodes of the first season. I’d say of the series, but I’d have to make a top-15 list.

KELLY: Add that to the list of lists! And I think it is one of the best of the series, or at least one of my favorites. It’s just a tight little thriller that turns into an early character study—and as much as we’ve talked about how great Scully is here, we get such pointed insights into Mulder’s character, too. He doesn’t care what people think of him, but he absolutely cares what happens to other people. When they lock him up, he’s only concerned that he’s leaving Scully alone with people who could turn on her. He refuses to risk infecting the population—he’s always thinking about this big ideal population. And he wants to keep the worm alive to study it, but as much as people always point to Mulder’s reckless curiosity, it’s not just curiosity that’s driving him. It’s a desire to find a cure. He wants to help so badly that it just blinds him, which is why he needs Scully. She can tell him when he needs to “leave it there.”

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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