5X20 THE END
• Kid chess player reads minds and Mulder and Scully figure out that the kid
is more than a prodigy, that he's actually using parts of his brain we are
only just now learning about .. Though Mulder never says it, I think he
concludes Mulder the kid is likely a result of ""the project.'' Both he and
Scully believe the kid is the potential answer to all XFiles and are willing
to risk all to find out, including giving immunity to a killer to confirm
their theory. CSM lives and the consortium again wants him to clean up their
mess. Kill the assassin who botched the job of killing the kid and bring the
kid alive to the consortium. (which he does) Diana Fowley is Mulder's former
partner and indeed former lover who has returned to the US from abroad to
""get back to things she left behind.'' When she says this line, she and
Mulder exchange looks in the rear view mirror. ARGH! The green-eyed devil does
indeed bite Scully, but she maintains an persona of cool, though she's
seemingly upset when she's alone. She sees Diana clasping his hand she walks
quickly back to her car, pauses for a good 15 seconds (trying to get a grip)
and then calls Mulder on his cell and tells him to meet her at the office
(gets him away from her clutches.) In a conversation between M&Diane Fowley
Mulder tells her that Scully makes him work for the answers. Diane says things
might have been easier if "like minds'' worked together on the XF. Mulder
tells her ""I've done OK without you.'' Krychek has a minimal role, playing
fetch boy and chauffeur for the consortium folks. Skinner has more of a role,
making sure Mulder is assigned to the chess match shooting (though Spender is
in charge of the investigation and doesn't want Mulder involved.) Fowley is
shot while she is taking care of the kid. She's near death (but not dead) at
the end of the episode. M&S realize that they've been set up in all of this.
It was strategized and the XFiles are compromised. When the kid disappears
(CSM takes him to Well Manicured Man) and the assassin is murdered, the
Justice Dept. begins talking of reassigning M&S and closing the XF. CSM's
final act is to go to the XF office, pull Samantha's file and light a
cigarette. He meets Spender in the hall upstairs and Spender asks who he is.
He tells him he's a man with access, a man who can help him. He is his father.
Fire alarm goes off. CSM leaves. Mulder's office burns. Final scene is M&S in
his office. He is dumbfounded and in shock. His arms are limp at his side.
Scully walks up to him. Puts her arms around him and her head on his chest.
Fade to black.
FILMING THE END
Less than 24 hours after what seemed to be
Vancouver's final interaction with its favorite
television series, the producers and crew of TV's
most popular science fiction series, The X-Files,
invited approximately 10,000 to 15,000 eager fans
to visit the G.M. Place stadium the next day to
watch, and participate in, the filming of a scene for
the series' fifth season finale, "The End."
"It's a big chess match," executive producer Robert
W. Goodwin told the audience at the cancer
research charity fundraiser, THE CURE IS OUT
THERE. "It's the chess equivalent of the Three
Tenors. There is acting required. Something really
bad happens in the course of this chess match and
people will have to react automatically. If you want to come to G.M. Place
to be a spectator and get your picture taken, we want to get close-up
As the doors of the stadium opened the next day at 6 p.m. sharp,
thousands of people from all over the world crowded around the stadium's
entrances like ants entering a molehill. Lines of excited fans were backed
up into the surrounding streets.
Inside the giant arena, used primarily for basketball and hockey games,
emcee Howard Blank hyped up the anxious audience and announced
prizes. In quite probably the largest physical space in which it has ever
been played, Mark Snow's trademark X-Files theme haunted the air
Beyond the fact that this was merely the shooting of a scene for The
X-Files, a scene in which Scully and Mulder do not appear, the G.M.
Place was very much a stage show involving special guests, prizes and the
added bonus of Hollywood action!
As Blank announced that many X-Files actors would be making
appearances at the event, this cheered the audience, but when David
Duchovny's name was announced, a mix of cheers and jeers were heard.
Apparently, many fans remained sore at Duchovny because they felt he
was responsible for the show moving to Los Angeles and for the fact he'd
complained about the amount of rainfall in the city.
As the X-Files production crews prepared for their shoot, the audience
peered closely. When they were ready, director Goodwin walked the
audience through what was going to take place. There were two chess
players, he said, a Russian Grandmaster and a 12-year-old prodigy named
Gibson Praise. At the end of the game, the child places his opponent in
checkmate, pushes himself away from the table, after which a gun shot
rings out from the stadium rafters and the Russian falls over dead.
The audience was
introduced to the two
players and the child, Jeff
Gulka, who's also appeared
on Millennium, bowed and
waved to the immense
crowd. Assistant Director
Tom Braidwood made sure
that the kid knew exactly
what he needed to do for
the shot and patiently went over the details. It was obvious that Jeff didn't
need any coaching. He had it down cold.
And so, the take began. The audience was instructed very carefully to
watch what happens during the game, and then at appropriate times,
murmur assent or displeasure at each chess move.
At this point, the emcee Blank stirred the audience
up by declaring that Duchovny was indeed in the
building and was anxious to make his appearance.
Upon his arrival in view of the thousands of fans,
Duchovny was greeted with a standing ovation and
a phalanx of electronic media with large spotlights
watching his every move.
"Okay, okay, we're staying! We're staying!" he
joked as he walked around greeting fans. In a quick
series of questions with fans, Duchovny's
characteristic trademark humor bled through his
Do you believe in conspiracy theories?
"It depends. Some are closer to me than others."
Favorite show other than X-Files?
"The X-Files in syndication!"
What's your fantasy X-Files ending?
Stumped, Duchovny hands
microphone to a fan in the
front row and asked her
the same question. The
response was "The same
one everyone wants, you
and Gillian in bed
After drawing winning
tickets from a prize barrel
and hugging the winner, Duchovny begged to go back to work. He
thanked everyone for supporting the show for five years. "We'll always
think fondly of Vancouver."
Between camera setups Howard Blank continued to offer prizes and
surprises. In the audiences' next task, their job was to look confused and
strongly react to the gunshot that fells the Russian grandmaster, then to
flee in panic toward the aisles for safety. Each scene was shot from many
angles. Because the smallest thing could have spoiled the entire take,
Goodwin was very explicit describing what he wanted from the audience.
He didn't want too much panic as he was afraid someone might get hurt,
but he did want, and got, mass confusion.
In the middle of this take, Goodwin explained that he needed to exchange
the Russian's clean jacket for a blood-soaked copy, to simulate the
The filmed take went like this: The kid pushes away from table, the gun
shot rings out, the audience reacts by jumping up or looking around for
the source of noise. The Russian player falls over. The director yells,
"Freeze!" The audience holds position as the crew rushes in to change the
jacket on the victim. Next, Goodwin yells again, "Action!" And a massive
collection of bodies hurries to get away from the potential danger with
their spouses, protecting each other from being crushed.
Several takes were done of this moment and
everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. It was
amazing to watch massive crowds working in
unison, and on cue, too! Goodwin seemed pleased
with the results.
To keep the crowds excited during this long
evening, a parade of assorted actors greeted the
At different times, William B. Davis (Cancer Man),
Nick Lea (Krycek), Bruce Harwood (Lone
Gunman Byers), Rebecca Toolan (Mrs. Mulder)
and Chris Owens (Jeffrey Spender) all did a Q 'n A
with the crowd.
Hilariously, each actor who appeared was asked, "Do you like boxers or
briefs?" Every man declined to answer but when it was Gillian's turn she
smiled demurely and said, "Boxers."
In Nick Lea's appearance, someone asked, "What do you think Krycek's
true feelings for Mulder are?"
Lea quipped, "They are buried so deep I don't think even Krycek knows
what they truly are."
This is, of course, a reference to the recent episode "The Red and the
Black" in which Alex Krychek inexplicably gave Agent Mulder a big, fat
wet kiss on the cheek.
In series creator Chris Carter's appearance, he was asked, "What kind of
plots are you going to have when you film down in California?"
"There are a lot of scary places in LA. Some scary things can happen in
the desert," replied Carter.
But the hit of the evening was Gillian
Anderson. Her entry lit up the smoky
atmosphere as she blushingly accepted her
enthusiastic standing ovation. She stayed for
a long time and signed autographs, stood for
pictures and clowned around with the crew.
It was obvious that they loved her and
treated her with a great deal of respect.
What did you do before X-Files?
"Nothing! Well, theater. I did a lot of theater
and an independent film that some say was
x-rated but that's not true."
Do you believe in the paranormal?
"I could never hear that question again for the rest of my life and I'd be
Will you be my wife?
Will you marry me?
"How old are you? Fourteen? That's not legal."
Do you think your daughter will want to become an actress?
Gillian recounted how the production staff approached her to see if she
would allow Piper to play her daughter in an episode ["Christmas Carol"]
where Scully learns that she has a biologically created daughter. Gillian
declined to allow Piper to act in the show thinking that it would be too
stressful. During the shoot Piper was on set the whole time watching the
other little girl interacting with Scully. At the end of one take, Piper asked
Gillian, "When can I work with you, Mommy?"
Anderson concluded her appearance by declaring that Vancouver would
remain an integral part of her life. She had no plans to sell her house.
Anderson revealed that she felt Vancouver was her second home and she
was very sorry to be leaving it and the Canadian film crew behind.
Every speaker emphasized the professional and high standards of the
Canadian production crews. Because many crew members were not
allowed to go to Los Angeles, due to union regulations, there was an
obvious sorrow on everyone's part to break up such a dedicated group.
Chris Carter did say that Millennium would remain in Vancouver.
By 10 p.m. the crowd grew weary and the emcee had to work harder to
keep the audience pumped. He promised close-ups. There was a very
long pause while the cameras went up into the rafters for the assassin's
P.O.V. shot. Goodwin took the time to explain how critical this shot was
and that this was the main reason why so many people were brought into
An hour later, the shot was completed and everyone was ready to go
As each and every fan stepped through the stadium's exit doors and into
the darkness, they went home with the satisfaction of knowing that frozen
inside the Panavision film camera magazines were images of them, and
not someone else. It's believed that this event is the largest ever promoted
audience for a television episode.
The X-Files may be moving to Los Angeles for two more years of
conspiracies and eerie adventures, but Vancouver's contributions to the
show remains forever frozen in a catalog of five years and 117 episodes.
"The End" airs on Fox Television in May 17.
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