December 2, 2017

The X-Files 6.14, Monday: Yesterday Was Monday, But Today Is Monday, Too!

Posted in TV tagged at 1:12 pm by Jenn

Sadly, this can’t play “I Got You, Babe”

Summary: Police are gathering outside Cradock Marine Bank when Skinner arrives to speak with a police lieutenant named Kraskow. A man inside has taken hostages, and two of Skinner’s agents are among them. Though he doesn’t name them, who else could it be but Mulder and Scully? A woman in the crowd yells at Skinner not to let this happen. He just wonders how she knows his name.

Inside the bank, Scully is trying to help Mulder, who’s bleeding from a gunshot wound and doesn’t look good. The other hostages are quiet. The gunman has a bunch of explosives strapped to his body, and Scully tells him things don’t have to end like this. As a SWAT team moves in, he says it does. Scully yells, “NO!” as the explosives detonate, filling the bank with fire and smoke.

Mulder wakes up in his waterbed, which has sprung a leak during the night. The water shorted out his electricity, so his alarm clock didn’t go off. His cell phone is also out of commission from the water, but his watch tells him it’s 7:15 on Monday morning. Mulder goes to get a pot to catch the water from the leak, but trips on a shoe on his way back to the bedroom to answer the ringing phone. His downstairs neighbor is also getting wet from the leak. Mulder isn’t even sure why he has the waterbed he’s not supposed to have; he thinks it was a gift.

At work, Scully finds Mulder in his office instead of in the meeting they’re supposed to be in together. He tells her he’s having a horrible morning and needs to go to the bank before he can do any work. If he doesn’t deposit his paycheck right now, the check he wrote his landlord to cover the damages from the waterbed will bounce. Scully remarks that she’s had a lot of horrible mornings, too, since she started working with him. She’s also surprised that he has a waterbed.

Mulder heads to the bank, where the gunman and the woman from the crowd (Pam) have just pulled up. The gunman, Bernard, says he’ll only be inside for ten minutes. When Mulder arrives, Pam comments to herself, “Right on schedule. Poor guy.” They look at each other before he crosses the street to the bank, which she says he’s never done before. Mulder gets in a long line to make his deposit, frustrated that he has to wait. Across the lobby, Bernard writes a note: “This is a robbery.”

At FBI headquarters, Scully’s back in the meeting, which is dragging along without Mulder’s report. At the bank, Bernard writes, “This is a robbery” over and over, then pulls out his gun and tells everyone to get down on the floor. He methodically robs each teller, not noticing when one presses a silent alarm. Mulder’s like, “My day somehow managed to get even worse.” And then things continue to go bad when Scully arrives to look for her partner.

Mulder tells Bernard that he forgot to lock the front door. Bernard rushes to do so, but Scully has already seen what’s going on. While Bernard is distracted by her arrival, Mulder goes for his weapon, but Bernard is faster and shoots him. Scully has no choice but to drop her own gun. Back at FBI headquarters, news of the hostage situation comes in. Pam waits until the SWAT team has moved in, then gets out of the car, almost as if she’s following a script. Just like we saw before, Pam addresses Skinner, this time telling him not to let the SWAT team go inside.

Scully tends to Mulder’s wound, telling Bernard that the authorities won’t call like he thinks they will. He won’t tell Scully his name, so she considers calling him Steve until he tells her he’s Bernard. She begs him to let her get Mulder out so he can get medical attention. Since the authorities can’t see Bernard, they don’t know about the explosives. If he just walks in front of the door and shows them the explosives, everyone will stay safe.

Bernard accuses her of wanting to get him killed. She says she just wants everyone to live. “You have control over everything that happens here, and it doesn’t have to end this way,” she says. As before, the SWAT team moves in, and Bernard says it does have to end this way. Scully yells, the bombs go off, and…

Mulder wakes up again in his flooded waterbed. That’s right, woodchuck chuckers: It’s Groundhog Day! Mulder’s morning proceeds the same way it did previously, only this time he doesn’t trip over his shoe until after he gets the call about his neighbor’s apartment. The phone rings again, but Mulder ignores it, missing a call from Pam.

Bernard catches her on the phone, but she won’t tell him who she was calling. He demands that Pam come with him to the bank. She encourages him to just go to work instead; he won’t get fired. Bernard doesn’t care, since he just mops floors anyway, so it’s not like he’d be making a big career misstep. He has a plan, and thinks by this time tomorrow… “Everything will be roses,” Pam finishes for him.

Mulder and Scully’s conversation proceeds differently from before; this time he asks if she’s ever wanted to rewind and start a day over. She says yes, but restarting a day doesn’t mean it’ll end up differently. He asks if that means everything is left to fate, and people have no free will. Scully says that our decisions and character have an effect on what happens. Mulder says that every decision changes your fate – not getting the waterbed might have meant he was on time to work, but Scully staying in medicine probably would have meant they’d never meet.

Scully says Mulder can change his fate by letting her deposit his check while he goes to the meeting. So Scully’s the one at the bank when Bernard writes his note, which this time says, “This is a holdup.” Mulder realizes he gave Scully the pay stub, not the check, so he has to go to the bank after all. Pam sees him walk by her car and addresses him by name, telling him not to go in the bank, since Bernard’s inside. He doesn’t know who she is, but she tells him that every day, he goes in the bank, and every day, everyone inside dies.

Mulder keeps a poker face as he repeats that he passes Pam every day. She tells him that the last time, he seemed to look at her like he knew her or remembered her. “Please remember me,” she says. They hear a gunshot from the bank, and Mulder runs across the street, finding Scully and Bernard in a standoff. When Mulder won’t drop his weapon, Bernard threatens to shoot Scully. Mulder asks what Bernard thinks Mulder will do then.

Bernard shows off his explosives to let everyone know he’s serious. Mulder uses his name, realizing what Pam was trying to warn him about. A woman has been shot, but she’s still alive; Scully tells Bernard that means he’s not a murderer yet, so he can still end this without too much damage. A teller warns that the police are coming since she tripped the silent alarm. Bernard drops his gun, then moves to detonate his explosives. This time it’s Mulder who yells, “NO!” Outside, Pam sees the blast and cries.

Mulder’s in bed again, and soaked again, and this time knows what his first phone call is about. Scully calls his cell phone but gets a recording telling her the customer can’t be reached. Pam shows up to tell Scully not to go to Cradock Marine today, and not let Mulder go either. If they go in, they’ll die. Pam gets escorted out as Scully wonders what that was all about.

She goes to Mulder’s office to wait for him, telling him his cell phone isn’t working. Mulder gets a sense of déjà vu, as he did when he woke up in the leaky bed. He talks about the Freudian theory that déjà vu is the opportunity to “have a second chance to set things right.” Scully wonders what he’d be setting right. “Whatever’s wrong,” he replies. Scully asks if he really thinks he’s lived this moment before. Mulder says maybe he’s meant to do something different and change fate. But first he needs to go to the bank.

Scully tells Mulder about Pam’s warning that they shouldn’t go to Cradock Marine this morning. She describes Pam for Mulder, who doesn’t find her familiar. Scully decides that it could have been a prank. Mulder says he’ll use the ATM so he doesn’t tempt fate. Scully goes back to the meeting and worries about her partner while he tries to use the ATM but finds that it’s out of order.

He sees Pam across the street and recognizes her from Scully’s description. He asks her if they’ve met, and she says they have, more times than she can count. Their encounters are always different but end the same way – with his death. “Don’t you see?” she says. “We’re all in Hell. I’m the only one who knows it.” The first time around, things didn’t end the way they were supposed to, and now they’re stuck reliving the same experience over and over.

Mulder finally grasps that Pam is saying they relive the same day over and over. She says she’s tried everything to keep Bernard from robbing the bank, even going so far as to call the police on him, but it’s like he’s meant to come there. And Mulder and Scully always come as well, throw things into chaos, and get everyone killed. Mulder wonders why he doesn’t remember any of this but Pam does. She says he’s asked that at least 50 times, and she still doesn’t know.

After so many dozens of attempts to change things, Pam has realized that Mulder is the variable that makes everything end badly. That means he’s the only one who can make things end well. He just needs to walk away. So Mulder goes back to work…but Scully has left the meeting to find him at the bank. Moments after she arrives, Bernard kicks off his holdup.

Mulder shows up as Scully is reaching for her gun. Bernard sees her, and Mulder is able to get off a shot and take Bernard down. But Bernard still has the explosives, and the agents are no match for them. “He’s got a bomb,” Mulder says to himself over and over, trying to make himself remember when he relives the day again.

Waterbed, alarm clock, 7:15 on Monday. Mulder goes to the bank as Pam prepares for another cycle. Bernard asks why she’s always in a bad mood. “‘Cause nothing ever changes,” she replies. She and Mulder look at each other as he arrives at the bank, and he asks if he knows her, since she looks familiar. She doesn’t tell him anything. Inside, he sees Bernard writing his note and starts murmuring to himself, “He’s got a bomb,” remembering exactly what he wanted to.

Scully gets pulled out of the meeting when Mulder calls from the bank. He sends her to talk to Pam, telling her that Pam will know what they need to discuss. As Bernard writes, “This is a robbery” over and over, Mulder hands over his gun. He knows why Bernard is there, that he’s with Pam, and that he has explosives. Mulder doesn’t want anyone to die. He knows something bad is supposed to happen, and he’s going to prevent it.

Mulder tells Bernard that he can walk out the door and change his fate. Instead, Bernard uses Mulder’s gun to start the holdup. Scully enters with Pam, and Mulder tells Bernard that somehow, he’s making Pam live the same horrible day over and over. All of them are resigned to the same fate. Pam’s in Hell, and Bernard can’t want that for her. Bernard argues that he’s doing this all for her.

Mulder tells Scully to put down her gun, since Bernard has a bomb. She does, and Pam tries to convince Bernard to walk out with her. But the police are arriving, and Bernard thinks the agents have tricked him. He tries to shoot Mulder, but Pam jumps in front of him and takes the bullet instead. Devastated, Bernard drops to his knees, making it easy for Mulder to arrest him. “This never happened before,” Pam tells Mulder.

The next morning, Mulder wakes up on his couch. Scully calls from the office (“Mulder, it’s me,”), and Mulder checks the time, seeing that it’s now Tuesday. Scully and Skinner both want answers about the robbery, specifically how Mulder know about Pam and the explosives. They think Pam was an accomplice, but Mulder thinks “she was just trying to get away.” He sees in the paper that Pam died, making her the variable that changed fate and finally stopped the endless cycle.

Thoughts: I really love this episode. I wish it got more attention, but I think it gets overlooked because it’s buried between two more memorable episodes.

The late Carrie Hamilton is so good as Pam. The first time I watched, I didn’t know who she was; watching again, knowing she was Carol Burnett’s daughter, I could see the resemblance.

My recap title comes from the Supernatural episode “Mystery Spot,” in which Sam has the Pam role and Dean has the Mulder role. It’s funnier than this episode, but also has some very emotional elements.

If we take away anything from “Monday,” it’s that direct deposit could save your life.

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