October 14, 2020 · 3:38 pm
At this point, The X-Files seems to be spinning the wheels a bit when it comes to the mythology. The series had moved to Sunday nights and maybe the point of this one was to introduce viewers to the larger mythology of the series, all the while not necessarily pushing anything forward in any significant way. The elements of a good conspiracy episode are here – the black oil, the Syndicate, Krycheck etc.
But all those pieces never add up to anything that feels all that significant.
Part of that is that it falls into the trap of a lot of the mythology episodes by giving us a sweeping canvas but having to somehow hit reset by episode’s end.
A diplomatic pouch with an alien rock in it shows up, along with Krycheck. If you’re a fan, all of these things are familiar. I do wonder just how Mulder manages to keep his job when he’s repeatedly assaulting Krycheck (Skinner too for that matter). Or even taking him to Russia only to let him escape. A lot of these episodes are excuses for Mulder to hit Krycheck. Continue reading →
October 13, 2020 · 10:16 am
Early in this episode, Frohike warns us that we shouldn’t take everything that we’re about to see and hear at face value because information about the Cigarette Smoking Man can be contradictory and unreliable. So, if you take this episode with that huge grain of salt, you can an enjoyable episode that does a much better job telling a story about a supporting character than we got with the Skinner-centric, “Avatar.”
The biggest insight of the episode seems to be that the CSM is a frustrated author who can’t get anyone to believe the endings he creates for his action-adventure stories. At multiple points, we see the CSM working on a story, only to be told it isn’t up to the standards of publication. Even when he finally sells a story to a magazine, he has his original ending re-written. Continue reading →
September 23, 2020 · 10:16 am
The Field Where I Died
Even if I knew for certain, I wouldn’t change a day. Well, maybe that Flukeman thing. I could’ve lived without that just fine.
“The Field Where I Died” feels like it’s trying to do a lot of things. It feels a bit like an Emmy bait episode, with a showcase role for David Duchovny as Mulder but also for guest actress Kristen Cloke. Seeing the multiple personalities that flow so quickly and effortlessly out of Melissa via Cloke also seems to scream “award nomination please” in flashing neon letters.
Written by Glen Morgan and James Wong, the episode also feels like it wants to make all of us who didn’t watch Space: Above and Beyond that the show had really great actors and we just missed it.
The episode also feels like it’s taking things up a notch in terms of the direction. The pre-credit sequence of Mulder in the field is a gorgeous shot, feeling almost cinematic. Continue reading →
September 10, 2020 · 12:16 pm
Scully: Where are you going?
Mulder: To find someone who I know who plotted to deceive, inveigle and obfuscate.
The final episode of The X-Files to air on a Friday night, “Teliko” isn’t one that necessarily connected well with me then or now. It’s not a terrible episode, per se. It’s just one that feels a bit by the numbers and ends up falling flat. Continue reading →
September 4, 2020 · 11:01 am
Scully: The angle of movement and deeper indentation on the right side of the mark suggest a left-handed individual. I’ve collected soil specimens and although numerous shoe impressions remain from the sandlot game, I think a couple of stone casts would prove invaluable to the investigation. Meanwhile, I’ve quit the FBI and have become a spokesperson for the ab-roller.
Mulder: Smell that. It’s perfume. God this brings back a lot of memories of my sister… All-day pickup games out on the vineyard. Ride your bikes down to the beach, eat bologna sandwiches. Only place you had to be on time was home for dinner. Never had to lock your doors. No modems, no faxes, no cell phones.
Scully: Mulder, if you had to do without a cell phone for two minutes, you’d lapse into catatonic schizophrenia.
“Home” is one of the more infamous hours not only of The X-Files, but all of television. I was fortunate enough to record it and archive it to my collection of off-air VHS tapes when it first aired. This would turn out to be a good thing since the episode was then “banned” by Fox from airing for three years (though it would be included as part of the first wave of VHS tapes for season four). I recall the scrambling done on fan forums to obtain a copy of this episode when Fox refused to air it again. Continue reading →
September 1, 2020 · 9:05 am
The fiercest enemy is the man who has nothing left to lose.
After the season finales for seasons one and two, “Talitha Cumi” and “Herrenvolk” seem almost tame by comparison. After shutting down the X-Files and then possibly killing Mulder to end the previous two seasons, the cliffhanger of the alien bounty hunter arriving to eliminate Jeremiah Smith seems positively tame by comparison. But while the stakes may seem a bit lower for the cliffhanger, at least you had an idea of where things might go immediately upon the series’ return the next fall.
“Talitha Cumi” feels like the first time the series really begins to try and bring the mythology into some type of focus. For the past three seasons, we’ve had hints of colonization, the aline oil, and just how the Mulder family ties into all of this. This two-parter provides a few more breadcrumbs to follow but Jeremiah Smith doesn’t necessarily promise the same level fo answers that the Thinker did in “Anasazi.” (And which the series had to step back from because if you give Mulder (and us) all the answers in the season premiere, there’s little incentive to come back for the full season). Continue reading →
August 31, 2020 · 10:07 am
Scully: The doctor suggested amphetamine abuse. Maybe that coupled with, with the disturbing images he was watching, pushed him over the edge.
Mulder: All I know is television does not make a previously sane man go out and kill five people, thinking they’re all the same guy. Not even “Must-See TV” could do that to you.
The story goes that David Duchovny pitched the idea of “Avatar” to Chris Carter in an attempt to have a bit of mid-season break in the production of the show. The result was one of the first episodes to really explore Walter Skinner a bit more, though whether or not it minimized the overall involvement of Mulder and Scully, I’m not quite sure.
And while it’s nice to give Mitch Pileggi something more substantial to do, I’m not quite sure this is the best showcase for him. For one thing, there are moments that “Avatar” feels a bit more like something out of Duchovny’s previous series Red Shoe Diaries than it does as an episode of The X-Files. Sure, we’ve got the succubus thread, but it feels almost as if it were tacked on to give the episode a supernatural element rather than organically part of the story. (And boy, does this story seem to be obsessed with the woman Skinner sleeps with turning out to be a lady of the evening) Continue reading →
August 25, 2020 · 11:15 am
Jose Chung: Aren’t you nervous telling me all this? After receiving all those death threats?
Blaine Faulkner: Well, hey, I didn’t spend all those years playing Dungeons and Dragons and not learn a little something about courage
Looking back over the long run of The X-Files, I’d argue that the best seasons of the show were seasons two and three. What two has going for it is that the mythology episodes are tighter, feel more like an event, and give us hope that Chris Carter and company have some kind of end game in mind for government conspiracies and cover-ups. Season three has three of the best stand-alone episodes of the entire run of the show, all by writer Darin Morgan. Continue reading →
January 13, 2018 · 1:00 am
Who needs Google when you’ve got Scully?
One of the bigger missteps of the tenth season of The X-Files was continuing to follow the same pattern the series did for nine years. Have a big mythology episode and then follow it up without any follow-up for weeks or months on end.
And while “This” isn’t what I’d call a huge step forward in the mythology nuggets we got last week, it still felt like it was trying to build on some of the blocks put into place last week as well as paying off some of the history of the series (assuming we can remember it all, of course!) Continue reading →
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Tagged as season 11, tv, tv review, tv round-up, X-Files, X-Files season 11
January 5, 2018 · 4:01 pm
Oh. That’s the plan. A secret space program? I don’t think so. I think this is a power play. You want me to kill him so you can implement your own plan. You want to see blood in the streets. The colonization of space? How do you plan to do that? Transport all humanity off-planet? That’s 7 billion people. That’s not possible. Only a chosen few. And you call him evil? –Mulder talking pretty much for the entire audience…
It used to be that when I heard that Chris Carter was writing an episode of The X-Files, I was filled with a sense of excitement. These days when I hear that Carter is writing an episode of The X-Files, I’m filled with dread.
It’s not secret I wasn’t a huge fan of the conclusion to season 10. “My Struggle II” felt like Carter throwing a lot of things at the screen and seeing what might stick. He then painted himself into one heck of a corner, flashed up the words “To Be Continued” and dared Fox not to give the series another season.*
*It’s almost like he took a page from the Sledge Hammer playbook when it came to cliffhangers. Continue reading →