Friday, December 8, 2017

Case 04, File 01: Herrenvolk

AKA: It Is A Physical Struggle To Not Make A Wicker Man Reference


Season 4 of The X-Files is a special season for me, probably my favorite overall, and part of that was the sheer freedom they were getting from Fox. It was this year that The Simpsons made the crack about the only three shows Fox had that were consistently making money, one of which was The X-Files and the writers seemed to use that freedom to take the show in a bleaker, more brutal direction, that gave the series more bite and made some of the most intense and memorable moments of the series.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Case 03, File 24: Talitha Cumi

AKA: Ancient Aliens' Wet Dream


Honestly, part of the reason I prefer reviewing Monster of the Week episodes is that they have a wider variance of quality and interesting things to talk about. The Mythology episodes can be good and they can be bad, but they very rarely swing as high or as low as some of the Monster of the Week episodes, and I tend to have the same criticisms. I mean, I assume you're as tired of reading that an episode sets up the next one but spins its wheels too much as I am of writing it, but here we are.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Case 03, File 23: Wetwired

AKA: I Think I'm Paranoid


Usually when examining The X-Files, I (along with with most people) divide the series into two kinds of episodes: Monster of the Week and Mythology. And while that's a handy way of cataloging the series, its not actually that clear cut. Several times an episode has appeared to be a Monster of the Week and turned out to Mythology episode (its sort of happened in reverse a couple times but not as notably). Its a hard shift to pull off, as the attempts to conceal the Conspiracy's hand in things tends to leave the episode a little confused and awkward. But there are ways to make the transition work.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Case 03, File 22: Quagmire

AKA: We Can't Actually Send Mulder and Scully to Scotland



In terms of famous Cryptids, the Loch Ness monster is probably second only to Bigfoot in terms of fame, so it was inevitable that The X-Files would want to tackle it. They only had two major obstacles: First that the series in no way has the budget to properly render a giant aquatic monster and second that the Loch Ness monster lives in Scotland, which is pretty far outside Mulder and Scully's jurisdiction. You can fix the second by inventing a similar monster in the US and the first by...well we'll see.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Case 03, File 21: Avatar

AKA: I Don't Know Whether to Make a James Cameron or a Last Airbender Joke



The X-Files is not a show known for a deep well of supporting characters. I'm not saying that it doesn't have engaging and enjoyable secondary characters, but compared to shows like The Simpsons or even Seinfeld, its not exactly leaning on its cast, it's mostly about Mulder, Scully and whatever people they pick up on an episode by episode basis. This can make focusing an episode, not just a subplot but a whole episode, on a secondary character something of a dicey prospect.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Case 03, File 20: Jose Chung's From Outer Space

AKA: The Ballad of Lord Kinbote


I said this during my review of War of the Coprophages, Darin Morgan's first four episodes left a big mark on the series, and all four of them are constantly in the running for best episode. But I, being a stickler, always felt the need to determine which of the four was the best. And for my money, only one episode manages to find the absolutely perfectt balance where it's both deeply affecting and side splittingly funny.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Case 03, File 19: Hell Money

AKA: Big Trouble in Little San Francisco


Look, The X-Files is a pretty white show. Its leads are white, its creator is white, the vast majority of the writing, directing and producing staff are white, it is a white show. I've mentioned this in the past, as the series has dipped its toe into other people's cultures and it came across as awkwardly white in the way 90s products often are. But this time the series has less dipped its toe in other people's culture and more dived in headfirst.