The X-Files' final hurrah in Vancouver began last night on the Orpheum Theatre's stage.
It was fond farewells for all as cast members appeared at the largest gathering of X-Files stars ever - a benefit for cancer research aptly named The Cure Is Out There.
Last night was a rare opportunity for Files fans to meet their television heroes and hurl praise and questions at them.
Today, those same fans and thousands more, will line up at GM Place at 5 p.m. to appear as crowd-scene extras in Vancouver's final X-Files episode, called "The End."
The two events mark the end of an era as the hit series heads south to Los Angeles at month's end.
Last night, a smattering of special agents broke cover, The Lone Gunmen came out from under, Cancer Man butted in on several occasions and Gillian Anderson herself bounced on stage with a warm hello. (Co-star David Duchovny was stuck working and was unable to attend.)
Two young sisters made the trip all the way from Germany just to be part of yesterday's X-Files fiesta, hosted by funnyman Dean Haglund (Lone Gunman Langly).
"We waited 2 1/2 years to come here," said Nicole Rehfeldt, 21, of Munster, Germany. "We're actually making a little documentary film for our local TV (station) and one for our friends."
Katja Rehfeldt said they heard about the show through one of Gillian Anderson's Internet fansites and plan to spend their remaining time in Vancouver hunting down set sites and X-Files stars.
"At home it's called Akte-X," added Katja, 19. "We have every single episode and tape."
"We like Scully," said Nicole. "She's very good, very famous in Germany."
The pair almost lost it when Chris Owens (Agent Jeffrey Spender) agreed to pose for a picture with them.
"Am I dreaming?" asked Katja of Owens, holding her shaking hands up for the actor to see.
Local actor Nicholas Lea (evil Agent Krycek) joined Haglund on stage and extended Duchovny's thanks to the hundreds of fans who came out for the benefit.
"He really loves this city," he said of his pal Duchovny, bringing a few skeptical guffaws from the crowd.
Vancouver's William Davis (Cancer Man) broke from his droll routine and joked about the warm, pink lighting he'll be suffering under in sunny L.A.
Mitch Pileggi (Det. Skinner) displayed an uncharacteristic sense of humor, appearing with Haglund in one of many gut-splitting skits that made for an evening of genuine good wishes, from both sides of the stage's edge.
(The Vancouver Sun only had a picture on the front cover ... they estimate there were only 1,300 people at the benefit - the theatre holds over twice that amount.)