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.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Case 01, File 18: Teso Dos Bichos

AKA: Faster Kitty Cat, Kill Kill Kill

Despite my nitpicking of some individual episodes, if I'm being 100 percent honest, The X-Files has been batting 1,000. The entirety of season 3 up to this point has had some of the best episodes of the series, most of the others have been exceptional, even the weaker ones have been pretty damned good. I knew, instinctively, that such a run of great episodes had to end, even the first time I watched it. I just didn't expect it to collapse in such spectacular fashion.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Case 03, File 17: Pusher

AKA: Push It Real Good

Way back in the day when I first discovered that Vince Gilligan, creator of Breaking Bad, wrote for The X-Files, I went back over the episodes he wrote to see if there were any connections. And while there is a fairly obvious one I won't talk about until a Vince Gilligan penned episode WAY down the line in Season 6, I always found this story, about a man with terminal cancer who decides he's going to live out his final days doing illegal things and being a dick about it to have some connection to Gilligan's masterpiece.