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'X-Files' Fridays: This one's important to me

Season 1 | Episode 15 | “Lazarus” | Aired Feb 4, 1994

It’s been over two decades since The X-Files made its debut, but the series is as relevant as ever, and with a revival series on the horizon, 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, Mulder celebrates Scully’s birthday two months early.

KELLY: We were just complaining that Scully never gets to have any sex, and now we get an entire episode about her ex-boyfriend. Progress! She still can’t get any on the show, but I think “Lazarus” is a huge step up.

ANDREA: Oh, “LAZARUS.” Can we talk about the entire conversation where Scully tells Mulder about dating Willis? It’s quite amazing. Also, have we been keeping count on the number of times Scully gets kidnapped/held hostage so far in season one? This is definitely up there.

KELLY: This is either the second or third time she’s been kidnapped, depending on whether you’d count almost having her liver eaten by a mutant as a hostage situation. (Count it.) And I think this is an example of how to put Scully in peril the right way, because she’s never completely helpless. First of all, even when she’s handcuffed to a radiator, she’s got that look in her eyes that says she could absolutely end you if she really wanted to. But she’s also got enough knowledge of Willis to make herself useful in this situation, and she knows how to use it. They have a history. It’s a glorious history. Just the thought of Scully celebrating her birthday at a dive bar with a slanted pool table is enough to sustain me for days.

ANDREA: She comes such a long way when she celebrates it with a keychain a few seasons down the line … Anyway, I agree. One of the things I love about Scully is how resourceful she is. I mean, basically in every hostage situation, it’s not that she gets lucky because Mulder or someone else shows up. She figures out what she can use to her advantage, whether it’s knowledge from a relationship, or a file, or super-sweet fight moves WHILE IN HEELS. (Also, if there were a Dana Scully: Guide to Dating book, I’d read it. I’m just SAYING.)

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KELLY: YES. “Chapter 15: Guide to Dealing with Ex-Boyfriends Who’ve Been Possessed by Criminals.” Scully is so patient with Willis. She refuses to give up on him, and she refuses to accept that she can’t find the real Jack in the guy he is right now. The X-Files need a skeptic as well as a believer, and this is one of those times when Scully’s refusal to buy the supernatural explanation actually saves her life. And it’s not just the logical extension of her faith in science—it’s also proof of her faith in people. Scully really loved Willis, and in a way, she still loves him. She won’t stop reminding him of that, and it keeps her alive until Mulder can get there. Mulder is so worried about her too. What a puppy.

ANDREA: FBI AGENTS WHO ADORE EACH OTHER AND WILL GO TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH FOR EACH OTHER = my kryptonite. Seriously. I love when this show really plays up the skeptic vs. believer thing. Sometimes it’s sillier (like “Bad Blood”), and sometimes it’s more hard-hitting (like “Redux”), but this is one of those times when it’s a nice middle ground. Scully is more rational, more willing to take things at face value than Mulder, who will immediately go for the biggest and most overblown theory. (Or just stick his hand somewhere that he shouldn’t.) I think this is also a really interesting look into Scully as a person, seeing another side of her. I mean, I love her with Mulder and I love their dynamic. But it really adds layers to see how differently she acts with Willis.

KELLY: Everyone from Scully’s past is another piece in the puzzle. She’s drawn to people with authority; she goes to cabins; she forgot her own birthday while studying for her medical exams. I’ll take anything I can get. And so will Mulder. At this point in their relationship, he’s not threatened to know that she used to date this guy. He just wants to know everything he can about Scully, and her relationship with Willis gives Mulder more insight. (“The plot thickens.”) He’s paying so much attention—he wouldn’t be able to pull that birthday-card stunt if he weren’t. This episode is a great showcase for Mulder at his smartest and most competent. He figures out what’s going on right away, and he leads the charge to find Scully, even when people want to dismiss him based on his reputation. Actually,”It doesn’t matter what I think” is true of both Mulder and Scully in this episode. Mulder believes that Jack Willis is now someone else, but that doesn’t affect how he leads the manhunt. Scully believes that Willis is just traumatized, but she’d be trying to coax him back to her either way. The line between skepticism and belief is as strong as ever, but it just doesn’t matter.

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ANDREA: It really doesn’t. And that’s part of what makes the whole situation work. Most other shows would portray a male lead as being jealous or acting petty when something like this happens. And not to say that Mulder doesn’t have that reaction at some points during the series, but, you know, the show never tried to be about them as a couple. And that’s why it was so great to see them on cases like these. Their pasts don’t really affect them; they use it to their advantage to save people and get to know each other better. That’s what great partners do. That’s why their bond is so strong. We’re about halfway into season one, and their relationship has come so incredibly far that it’s insane to think about where they were before.

KELLY: I like that you say, “The show never tried to be about them as a couple,” because it is about them as a couple—it just doesn’t have to try. And they’re the most nontraditional couple out there, even in the first season. Everything is unspoken. All Mulder has to say is, “For those of you who don’t know already, this one’s important to me,” and everyone gets it. Even that presumes that most people in the office already know how important he and Scully are to each other. Mulder and Scully can have a whole conversation about skepticism, about things that defy explanation, and about how he’s not going to force her to believe until she’s ready, just in the exchange of a watch that’s stopped keeping time: “It means whatever you want it to mean.”

ANDREA: Exactly. And it’s so understated, and that’s what gave the show such a great foundation. It didn’t start out hitting us over the head with these types of things. It casually eased us into them. And thanks to Gillian and David having great chemistry, it grew into something more.

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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