Friday, June 23, 2017

Case 03, File 10: 731

AKA: Murder on the Alien Express


You know, there's, probably an interesting thinkpiece about the uh...let's say problems with The X-Files appropriating real life atrocities (for example, the Unit 731 experiments or, you know, the fucking Holocaust) but good lord do I not want to be the one to write it. There's probably a lot to examine in it, but it's not going to be a fun examination, and it's going to run into a lot of issues with how culture as a whole treats tragedies. And for the most part, I come to The X-Files to have fun. So despite addressing it in my opening paragraph, that's not what this review is going to be about.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Case 03, File 09: Nisei

AKA: Aliens On A Train



By this point The X-Files has settled into it's comfort zone when it comes to mythology episodes: Two linked, plot heavy, episodes somewhere in the early part of the season, two linked, plot heavy, episodes somewhere late in the seasons, plus season premiers and finales. It's a good comfort zone to be in, as it means the series can get a lot of stuff done in a couple episodes and get back to what the series does best.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Case 03, File 08: Oubliette

AKA: It Means A Room That Only Has Access Via A Trapdoor, Okay?



Mulder's sister having been abducted is a huge part of his character, but it's one that doesn't seem to come up much. That's not a complaint, nothing is more irritating than a character who feels the need to spout off their character traits every few scenes, but it's just something that winds up totally downplayed. That's healthy for the show, since it means the moments where it comes out feel natural and real, and it often functions as background motivation for some of Mulder's obsessions.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Case 03, File 07: The Walk

AKA: I Guess They Briefly Say "The Walk" At One Point So That Title Is Okay?


I mentioned during The List that the "Revenge from beyond the grave" story is basically a template for The X-Files, and one that doesn't necessarily require the person seeking vengeance to be dead. The basic plot template can be grafted onto a lot of settings, characters and motivations. That's not a criticism, the show has 200+ episodes to fill and it's gotta lean on something. It all just boils down to how interesting the episode's characters and motivations are.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Case 03, File 06: 2Shy

AKA: Let The Right Fat Vampire In


The X-Files is usually, if we're being honest, a show with a lot of female empowerment motifs. Scully is never talked down to by Mulder (at least when it's actually Mulder, and he's in his right mind) and she's honestly a lot tougher than he is. Mulder may have 9 inches on Scully, but if the shit is about to go down, Scully is the one I want watching my back. I normally feel like this stuff goes without saying, but it only feels like it needs to be verbalized with the show kind of fails to live up to it.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Case 03, File 05: The List

AKA: Orange Is The New Dish Best Served Cold


You know, when I first entered the second season, I assumed The X-Files would leave the 'Revenge From Beyond The Grave" in the first season, but more and more I've found that to not be true. And I think I know why; They're easy to write and produce. They basically function like X-Files madlibs; You have your basic structure, you just come up with your hook and your reason for revenge, and you can knock the script out in a week. Unfortunately this means they start to feel a little samey after a while.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Case 03, File 04: Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose

AKA: How To Psychically Save A Life


Addressing death and mourning is always going to be difficult in the context of a TV show, especially a show that isn't geared to give those issues the weight they deserve. I'm already not the biggest fan of The Office, but I found the bird funeral in Grief Counseling exceptionally cloying and the less said about How I Met Your Mother's attempt to make us feel grief in the final season, the better. But, when a show does it right, it becomes legendary, like Scrubs' My Old Lady, Buffy's The Body and, indeed, Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose.