Re-Opening The X-Files: Little Green Men

s2-01

I wanted to believe. But the tools had been taken away. The X-Files had been shut down. They closed our eyes. Our voices have been silenced. Our ears now deaf to the realms of extreme possibilities.

Little Green Men

While season three is probably my favorite season of the show, I can’t help but have a soft spot for season two.   Part of that comes from the run of the first seven or eight episodes that find the X-Files trying to work out of the cliffhangers from season one.  We’ve got to re-open the X-Files and get our heroes back together again.  The journey to that point won’t be easy and it’ won’t be resolved by the end of second episode of the season.

The pregnancy of Gillian Anderson only heightened this.  It forced the creative team to be even more creative — possibly keeping Mulder and Scully separated longer than was originally intended.  But it also set into the motion several key components of the on-going mythology that will pay huge dividends over the rest of the show.

This stretch of episodes is also why I have hope that the upcoming mini-series can be a good thing.  If those episodes can channel just some of what the start of season two had with its opening arc, it could be a wonderful thing.

(OK, yes, there is one clunker in there, but we’ll get to it.  And I tend to overlook “3” when I look at how great this run of episodes is).

Starting off the new season, we find that Mulder is being given grunt work while Scully has other duties.  Mulder has become more withdrawn, refusing to acknowledge Scully at the FBI and only meeting with her in a clandestine meeting in the parking garage of the Watergate hotel.   Unsure who to trust and frustrated by his lack of evidence and resources, Mulder is a at crossroads, doubting his crusade.

He’s given the opportunity to possibly rekindle that crusade when Senator Matheson alerts him that transmission from outer space have been picked up at the Arecebo satellite dish in Puerto Rico.   Mulder has about twenty-four hours to get down there and collect the evidence before the government will be there to destroy it.

And so he goes.

Anderson’s pregnancy limited her screen time but the story makes great use of Scully here.  Duchovny will get the lion’s share of the action in the first nine or so episodes, but it’s nice to see the stories can still find a way to use Scully effectively.  Even separated, these two work well together.  Watching Scully elude her FBI tail in the Miami airport is nicely done, though it doesn’t speak well of those assigned to follow her that she can elude them as easily as she appears to do.

The story gives Mulder all the evidence he could want but in classic mythology fashion takes it all away.  A tape with evidence of the alien contact is wiped clean and Mulder comes away with nothing — except putting his career further into the toilet.    Except one thing — he states he still has Scully to rely on.   If you know what’s coming, you realize that it’s all going to get a lot worse for both of our heroes before it gets better.

And while this isn’t the strongest of season premieres, it’s one of the few season openers not written by Chris Carter.  Morgan and Wong’s script feels a bit like an easy introduction to the series for those who want to jump on board with season two.

It’s also interesting to see a flashback to the night Samantha disappeared.    Yes, what we see here doesn’t exactly match what we heard in “Conduit” but I can see what Morgan and Wong are doing in having Mulder encounter the aliens at different points in his life.   The scene of Samantha floating out the window is a chilling one.  This also sets into motion the season two trend where we’ll find out more and Mulder’s family and its connection to the conspiracy.

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Filed under Re-Opening the X-Files, review, The X-Files, TV review

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