Re-Opening The X-Files: Revelations, War of the Coprophages


Mulder: Bambi also has a theory I’ve come to acro…
Scully: Who?
Mulder: Dr. Berenbaum. Anyway her theory is…
Scully: Her name is Bambi?
Mulder: Yeah. Both her parents were naturalists. Her theory is that UFO’s are actually nocturnal insect swarms passing through electrical air fields.
Scully: Her name is Bambi?


I recall loving “Revelations” a lot more when it first aired than I did on watching it again this time around.

Part of that may because this episode is just one more step in Scully’s journey back to embracing her faith.  And part of it could be that I have jumbled together elements of this one and “Oubilette” into a single, better episode.

A serial killer is targeting people who claim to be stigmatics.  He’s killed eleven of them, including a memorable preacher in the teaser played by R. Lee Ermey.   The twelfth is a boy who may be the real thing.  He’s shown signs of this before, causing questions to be raised about his parents.   His father ended up in an institution and Mom is taking care of him now.

I like that it’s a serial killer case that brings Mulder and Scully to the scene.   And I like that we get a bit of role reversal here with Scully believing and Mulder being skeptical.

But what bothers me about this is how much of a jerk Mulder becomes when Scully tries to engage him in a rational debate and express why she believes.  He’s very dismissive of her belief and her faith.  Yes, I realize that she was initially dismissive of his belief and sent in to debunk his work, but at this point in their partnership he should be willing to cut her a bit of slack or at least try to understand where she’s coming from.

I know he’ll get better as we go along, but this is not Mulder’s finest hour.  (I also can’t help but wonder if based on reports for the upcoming revival is this conflict might not continue and be the reason that….well, we’ll get there).

Overall, I kept finding myself wanting to like this one more than I did this time around.  I think my memory was cheating me a bit on this one.

War of The Coprophages

Despite the love of the fan community for this installment, writer Darin Morgan says he’s not a fan of what made it to the screen.  And while I’d argue that this is probably the weakest of his four contributions to the show, it’s still a pretty darn good episode.

Part of what Morgan may not like is that the episode kind of runs out of gas somewhere in the third act and just coasts on fumes to the end.

Morgan once again pokes at the series and how seriously some episodes take themselves.  He also seems to be saying that we’re all just animals, operating on our base instincts to eat, sleep, poop and reproduce.  While we may see the cockroaches as things to be exterminated or studied, it’s likely that any alien visitor that could come to our planet might see humanity in the same way.

I think Morgan is being too hard on himself and the episode.   It’s still a lot of fun and it shows that The X-Files can have a great sense of humor.   It also underlines Chris Carter’s point that the show could never happen without cell phones.  Watching Mulder and Scully call each other as Mulder slowly looks into a town that may be infest with killer cockroaches is fun.  As are the subtle shout-outs to previous installments — like Scully giving the dog she inherited in “Clyde Bruckman” a bath or Morgan’s setting up a joke for “Jose Chung” later in the season.

Once again, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are having a ball doing a bit of comedy and showing some good chops for it.   I know this is one that feeds the fires of shippers with Scully’s attitude toward and apparent jealousy of Dr. Bambi (who Mulder is clearly attracted to but she ends up with the Stephen Hawking stand-in at the end because “smart is sexy”).

And let us never forget the moment when the episode breaks the fourth wall with the cockroach crawling across the screen.  Great stuff.

It’s a fun hour of the show and one of the gems of season three.


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

3 responses to “Re-Opening The X-Files: Revelations, War of the Coprophages

  1. is that the one with the Planet of the Apes reference?

  2. Ben

    I will always remember the horror of the cockroach episode. When the boy sees it under his skin. I remember watching this when it first aired and itching for the rest of the night. Great episode.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s