Episode Report CardJessica: B- | Grade It Now!
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Mulder and Scully pile into the police car, which peels off not a moment too soon. The agents turn around to watch the building blow sky-high. The force of the explosion propels their car up into the air and then right into a parked car, in a gale of broken glass and crunching metal. Cue expensive building-blowing-up shots. Mulder and Scully wearily emerge from their car, looking like hell. They silently survey the destroyed building, the front half of which has been totally obliterated. "Next time, you're buying," Mulder says, and walks out of the shot. Scully puts her hands on her hips and sighs to herself that Mulder's sense of humor isn't what it used to be. Then she wonders whether he meant that he wishes she would get trapped in a room with a bomb. And then she wonders whether he wishes that because he wants her to die, or because he thinks she might have been able to defuse the bomb and save them all. And then she wonders if they're ever going to be able to just cut the crap and get it on. FBI HQ; the Office of Professional Review. Scully sits alone in front of a panel of Federal bigwigs, including Blythe "Mother of Gwyneth" Danner, who's talking about the importance of placing responsibility for loss of life and catastrophic destruction due to terrorist activities. Pan to Skinner, who looks royally pissed. Is this back when we thought he might be evil? I don't recall. I do recall that the audience clapped when he came on screen. Everyone loves the Skinman! Blythe Danner tells Scully that Janet Reno wants to know exactly what happened in Dallas; five people died in the blast, she says -- three firemen, Special Agent Michaud, and a little boy. Mulder enters the room late, just in time to catch the tail end of this. He asks whether the firemen and the boy were found in the building. Blythe Danner snappishly tells him that, because he didn't do them the courtesy of being on time for this meeting, he's going to have to wait to give his report. She wants, she says, to speak to him separately from Agent Scully. Skinner grimaces and escorts Mulder to the door; Scully doesn't look at her partner, but she does make a pained face down at the table. Mulder sits out in the hallway, his elbows on his knees, eating sunflower seeds. Skinner comes out and tells him that Scully's telling the group her side of the story. Yada yada yada, Skinner pulls out the old "if it looks bad, it's bad for the FBI" line. They must teach that line at upper-level FBI management classes, because it's exactly what Kersh told Doggett in "Alone." Skinner looks at Mulder (who's looking at the floor) and basically tells him that, because it seems as though the blast could have been prevented, the Powers That Be are looking for someone to blame, and they're leaning toward blaming Mulder and Scully. Mulder looks harder at the floor and tells Skinner that the FBI ought to blame him, because Scully doesn't deserve it. Skinner informs Mulder that Scully's in there, telling the bigwigs the same thing about him. Mulder sighs and runs down all the reasons that he deserves the blame, including ignoring primary tactical rules and leaving Michaud alone with the bomb. Skinner glares at him and tells him that Scully just told the OPR that she was the one who ordered Mulder out of the building when he didn't want to leave Michaud.