The Truth Is Out There: The X-Files Discussion Thread

Discussion in 'Archive: SF&F: Films and Television' started by PadmeLeiaJaina, Jan 3, 2006.

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  1. Darth_BADLungs_Vader Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2006
    star 1
    The duane Barry arc is one of the best. Boy I wish I could watch the the x-files again as a noob. The actor that played Barry made one of the most memorable charecters in the whole story[face_dancing]
  2. Forcefire Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2000
    star 4
    Speaking of noobs, I got started on the third season about a week ago, and as such have new snack-sized reviews for the perusal of anyone interested. Here's what I've watched so far:

    The Blessing Way- A season-ending episode on the magnitude of Anasazi calls for the next season to live up to it, and the two part story that opens season 3 is certainly up to the task. The continuing fallout from Scully?s abduction is well-used here, leading into even bigger things later on.

    It?s nice to see Scully getting things done all by her lonesome, sort of as a parallel to Mulder?s quest to figure out what happened to her during the Duane Barry incident. But with less yelling. Though she does pull a gun on Skinner, which is pretty surprising to see from her.

    Deep Throat makes a return appearance, which pleased me immensely. Death seems to have made him a bit chattier. Likewise Mulder?s father, who gives what I?m pretty sure is the longest uninterrupted string of sentences we?ve heard from him.

    A point of interest for me was the arrival of who I?m assuming from the credits on the DVD is Well Manicured Man, of Cigarette Smoking Man?s club. One of those guys giving Scully information (far more direct than Mulder?s insiders have managed thus far) was not something I expected at all.

    And that ending! I must have liked Melissa more than I realized, because I was actually sad to see that ending, which reminded me that Krycek is a very bad man.


    Paper Clip- I hadn?t planned to follow the Blessing Way with another episode, but I really couldn?t just leave after the way the last one ended. This episode does a very good job of showing how Scully can remain a skeptic while all this crazy stuff goes down. It?s all in her and Mulder?s responses to the information about the experiments referred to here: Mulder?s acceptance of the human-alien hybrid idea, and Scully?s dismissal of it as just what he wants to hear.

    A lot of great moments in this episode. The entire sequence of Mulder and Scully searching the records facility, for one. Skinner going after Cigarette Smoking Man?s operative was another. Krycek almost getting blown up and threatening Smoking Man afterwards. Most of all, someone finally sticking it to Cigarette Smoking Man as Skinner blackmails him for the reinstatement of the agents. Excellent stuff. It?s just too bad about Melissa.


    D.P.O.- After all this mythology stuff, it?s good to step away for a bit of fresh air. For me, the biggest surprise of the episode was seeing Jack Black make a guest appearance, though not in anything special.

    Overall, it?s just mediocre. The loser scorned story has been done better elsewhere, and Mulder and Scully don?t feel like they have as strong a presence in this episode as they should. The use of the TV in the show to display Chris Carter?s credit at the end actually might have been the cleverest idea in the whole episode.

    Clyde Bruckman?s Final Repose- I had seen this episode before. It?s the second episode I ever saw of The X-Files, and it?s a real winner in my book. Peter Boyle does a superb job as the title character, and the plot is really quite interesting.

    This episode seems particularly aware that it is a television episode. The killer feels that he isn?t in control of his life. Of course he isn?t, he?s a character in the script. The moment when Bruckman explains to the killer that he does what he does because he?s a homicidal maniac is another. That?s not a motive, it?s a character type. And so on. Good stuff. It apparently won the Emmy for screenplay that year, which is pretty cool.
  3. KissMeImARebel Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 25, 2003
    star 4
    That's one of my fav episodes. I love when Bruckman is describing a vision of the killer coming after Mulder, who looks down because he stepped in a pie - and Bruckman gets caught up in what type of pie:

    As you're looking down, he comes up with the knife and...Banana cream! Definitely banana cream.

  4. Darth_BADLungs_Vader Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2006
    star 1
    Nice post there FF. The two parter intro is amazing. Paper clip is probably one of the best episodes ever IMO.

    A little suprised to read that you did not like D.P.O that much but as we all know an opinion is like an ahole, every body has one;) And yes CBFR is one of those great special episodes. Fox Mulder FBI. Am I suposed to belive thats a real name[face_laugh]

    Keep em coming[face_peace]
  5. ZamWesell44 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Sep 13, 2003
    star 4
    Season 3 is very good overall, Jose Chung and the Cockroach one are both great.
  6. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    There are worse ways to go, but I certainly can't think of a more humiliating way than auto-erotic asphyxiation.

    Why are you telling me this?

    No reason.


    [face_laugh]

    Bruckman is a brilliant episode and is probably the single best blending of comedy and drama. On the one hand it's one of the funniest episodes of the series and yet it has some great dramatic moments as well.
  7. Forcefire Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2000
    star 4
    Managed to watch a few more. I'm afraid I don't really have a lot to say about them.

    The List- Not a bad episode. Perhaps a little routine. The flies and maggots acting as a sort of herald to the appearance of another corpse worked well enough. Something I have to note- if this had at the end of season one, with all the other revenge from beyond the grave stories, I'd have screamed.


    2Shy- The antagonist in this one is certainly original. After all, how many other times have we seen an acid-spitting, fat-eating killer with a skin condition? Not too many. I hope.

    I think the part of this episode that made the biggest impression on me was the rapidly disintegrating corpse. When Scully pulls open the drawer in the morgue and it sloshes everywhere- Guh.


    The Walk- If you really believed that someone was preventing your suicide by any means necessary, is jumping into a boiling vat of water really the smartest move? Because it certainly didn't work out for the lieutenant colonel here.

    A decent episode, but certainly not great. The standout scene is probably the drowning in the pool. Tension builds well, and the "boo!" moment works out.
  8. Darth_BADLungs_Vader Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    May 18, 2006
    star 1
    The list is in my opinion one of the best haunting of the dead eps of all. 2shy is a good scary episode with a creepy bad guy. The walk I dont like that much but it has some cool scenes in it.
  9. hey-heowsmeabuck Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2006
  10. sidious618 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2003
    star 6
    Someone edit out the ridiculous above post.
  11. thebadge Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2002
    star 4
    good gods yes, delete it now
  12. Forcefire Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2000
    star 4
    Well, I've watched a bunch of episodes, but haven't gotten to posting here until now, so I'm separating them into two batches.

    Oubliette- Confession: I lost all pretenses of objectivity when Jewel Staite appeared on screen. Jewel Staite, for those not in the know (yes, I'm sure most all of you are in the know. Allow me my exposition anyway.), was a main character of Joss Whedon's Firefly, a show I love, and Jewel Staite's Kaylee is a particular favorite of mine. So, I admit complete bias when I say I was very concerned for Amy the kidnapped girl in this episode.

    Otherwise, it's still an interesting episode, with Mulder on a crusade that for once has nothing to do with aliens or conspiracies.


    Nisei- Well, it's certainly a beginning that grabs your attention. Its appearance later on and Scully's remark that the tape of it is "worse than the one they aired on the Fox network" (which they would later mock again in on of the few remaining episodes I've all ready seen, "Jose Chung's From Outer Space"), got a good laugh out of me.

    It's not a bad episode, and it sets things up nicely for the rest of the two-parter in 731, but it feels a bit more like set-up than the previous first parts have.

    Well, I have to run, so I guess there'll be a bit of a gap between the two reviews, as well.
  13. Forcefire Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2000
    star 4
    Okay, so it's going to be more than two batches. Point is, they needed split up.

    731- Here's where we get some payoff to the stage set by Nisei. The presence of the Japanese team of conspirators opens up the mythology aspect to a more global scale than I remember the series having shown to this point, which is interesting.

    The two story threads of Mulder on the train and Scully investigating at the camp are well executed and each interesting in teir own way. We again get an example of Mulder and Scully looking at the same evidence and drawing completely different conclusions. That shot of the test subject/hybrid reflected in Mulder's eye really says a lot in itself about the interplay between subjectivity and objectivity explored by this show.


    Revelations- First off, Mulder comes off as a bit of a jerk in this episode. Regardless, I still enoyed this one a good deal. Scully grappling with her faith and whether she should always take the skeptical point of view is really interesting stuff to see, though Mulder, again, does not seem to be taking so well to his different role. He came off better as an unbeliever in Beyond the Sea.

    The plot itself is interesting, and plays the religion aspect in a manner a bit more graceful than "Miracle Man" (not that that one was bad, just less well done). The turns with the different factions coming into the story are nicely handled and keep the episode moving at a good pace.


    War of the Corophages- I keep on hearing people bring up this episode, and now I know why. It's brilliant. Absolutely hilarious, but also scary at times (cockroaches burrowing into a guy's skin! Gah.). At first I was worried that we wouldn't get enough Scully, but she popped up more than I'd have expected when the first half kept the agents interacting over the phone exclusively. Just tremendously entertaining, top to bottom.
  14. thebadge Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 15, 2002
    star 4

    Good Little Review!
  15. Forcefire Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2000
    star 4
    Thanks. I appreciate that. :)

    Syzygy- The villains of this episode, two teenage girls, do not exactly inspire terror in the viewer. Fortunately, I don't think that was the point. The most entertaining points of this episode come from Mulder and Scully's heightened bickering. Actually, this is the funniest episode I can remember Chris Carter having written thus far. I'm thinking in particular of the Keystone Kops sequence as the girls battle each other in the police station. Still, it would be interesting to see how this would play out with more substantial antagonists.


    Grotesque- This episode strongly reminds me of season two's "Irresistable." Perhaps a little too strongly. Despite that, it's a good episode, with plenty of stuff to make you squirm (bodies encased in clay, for one). However, Mulder's descent is the really interesting thing about this story, and it's kind of tough to watch. Kudos to Duchovny for a job well done. Anderson does quite well herself as she watches Mulder sink into the case.

    It's the sort of episode that invites speculation as to the culprit. I was close, but ultimately wrong. The actual killer was far more interesting than my guess.


    Piper Maru- Ah, the beginning of the Black Oil element. Newcomer to the series I may be, but I've heard of this stuff before. It's an interesting plot element, one largely shrouded in mystery, and indeed seemingly minor, in this episode. Watching Scully and Mulder track down leads is fun to watch here.

    Krycek's return here is satisfying. Always an interesting character. It's even better than his previous appearance in "Paper Clip," because here he gets to play a couple of real scenes with Mulder, leading up to a great cliffhanger that kept me watching longer than I had planned. How can you just leave after that set up?


    Apocrypha- This episode benefits from what is probably the best teaser in the series so far. The sailor recapping what Scully learned in the previous episode from another point of view, all into a tape recorder run by what I assumed was a sort of proto-X-Files team. Then he calls the man at the recorder Mulder, and the third man reassures him while smoking a cigarette, and everything changes. Perfectly timed, as Cigarette Smoking Man appears just after the name Mulder is spoken and I think 'Wait...' Genius.

    This is a great payoff to several elements set up earlier, from the immediately pertinent Black Oil question, to the far-reaching shootings of Mulder's father and Melissa Scully (more recently Skinner as well) and the data tape. All of it is tied up in a fairly satisfying manner. Mulder's theory on the Black Oil's nature makes for an interesting concept, it's good to see one of Cigarette Smoking Man's minions punished, and Krycek's punishment is richly deserved, though I can't help but feel we might see him again.

    Smoking Man has solidified his place as one of my favorite villains. He really has the full package. Intelligence, power, ruthlessness, influence (though he seems to be always on the verge of being on the outs with his compatriots in New York). Great character.
  16. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    731 and Nisei are somewhat lesser myth episodes if you ask me.

    Grotesque is fitting for the title.

    Syzygy is a bizarre, off putting and very funny episode. If I recall correctly, that's the one where Mulder remarks on Scully's driving, "I wasn't sure if your feet could reach the pedals." Interesting premise and lots of fun.

    The others you mention are all among the best of the series, I think.

    Revelation continues the 'Scully as believer' tradition began way back in Beyond the Sea and it also opens the religious era (though as you say Miracle Man flirted with the issue). From here, the show will continue to expand into spirituality to a degree incredibly rare for a prime time television drama. Gives depth to both Scully and Mulder as we learn more about Scully's lapsed faith, which now begins to return, and Mulder's bizarre hatred of organized religion (never fully explained but always evident). Great wrap up too, reminiscent of Mulder's scene in the church in Conduit: "I'm afraid God may be speaking and no one is listening."

    War of the Coprophages is brilliant, cringe inducing and horrifying. Also hilariously funny.

    Piper Maru/Apocrypha is one of my favorite myth two parters. Everything just clicks magnificently; the plot is fairly well contained and explained and all the characters are in place. The fade to black, with Krycek literally buried alive (figurativly in hell for his sins?) is one of the show's darkest and most brilliant endings.

    Say what you will about Krycek, he certainly gets put through a lot by the time he checks out. Things are not, if I can reference another episode, looking up just yet. :p
  17. sidious618 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2003
    star 6
    731 and Nisei are somewhat lesser myth episodes if you ask me.

    I disagree. As a matter I think they're more important than some of the other so called mythology episodes.

    First off we have the World War II connection which connects to Piper Maru.

    Then we have the box car experiments which plays into Two Fathers, One Son quite a bit.

    Plus, you have the test subjects that are important all throughout the series.
  18. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    Well, they're certainly more important than the black oil duo, Piper Maru/Apocrypha, which I ranked highly. I just happen to think that, for sheer entertainment and artistry, 731/Nisei is just lesser.

    Not in importance, in quality.

    Again, that's still a personal judgment, but just to clarify.
  19. sidious618 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2003
    star 6

    Oh, my apologies!

    Although, they also happen to be in my top list of episodes. :p
  20. Forcefire Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 17, 2000
    star 4
    A few more mini reviews from me. We're getting close to the end of the season now.

    Pusher- This is just an entertaining episode all the way around. The teaser provides us with an intriguing glimpse of Pusher's abilities, and a reference to "The Host," with Flukeman appearing on the front page of a tabloid in the grocery store, which got a laugh out of me.

    Pusher seems almost like a comic book villain to me. It's probably the fact that he goes by a nickname. In any case, he's a worthy adversary for the agents as he plays his mind games with them, in more ways than one. The scene in which he actually talks a man into having a heart attack was the highlight for me, along with that intense game of Russian roulette with Mulder at the end. Excellent episode with several interesting twists along the way.


    Tesos dos Bichos- And from "Pusher" we go to... this. What can I say about this episode? Nothing really interesting happens until the end, and when we get there... cats. Hundreds of cats. I'm sure I would be severely freaked out were I to be assaulted by all those feral kitties in real life, but here, I can't take it seriously. In a comedy episode, sure, I'd buy it as a justifiable menace, but this does not feel like I was supposed to be laughing. It's not so ridiculous as "3," but that's only because this episode concentrates it problems into the end and the main suspect, whereas "3" spread things out over the whole episode.


    Hell Money- I don't quite understand what Mulder and Scully are doing on this case. People getting shoved into cremation chambers while still alive by people in unusual masks does not an X-File make. "irresistable" could be said to have this problem, but Mulder's previous FBI activities give him enough experience in that kind of case to justify it. Besides, it lead to a really good episode. This is just kind of plain, though we are treated to a villain who seems like the Cancer Man's Chinese counterpart. I wasn't dazzled, but it wasn't a bad episode, either.


    Jose Chung's "From Outer Space"- Here, though, we have one of the most distinctive episodes of the series thus far. Great use of celebrity guest stars in the form of the Men in Black. Hilarious writing from Darin Morgan, whose record thus far is impeccable. What can I say about this? The difference in events as seen from different viewpoints will be used again to great comedic effect later in "Bad Blood," the first episode of The X-Files I ever saw. Mulder as seen from all the differing perspectives is great, and Scully intimidating a witness, at least, as he remembers it, is amusingly out of character. Great, great episode that if I start writing about too much, I will be unable to stop.
  21. hey-heowsmeabuck Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2006
    That post that says it's by me... is not by me!
  22. sidious618 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 20, 2003
    star 6
    I just saw Jose Chung's From Outer Space today and I thought it was hilarious. Charles Nelson Reilly was great and Alex Trebek's cameos was hysterical. All arond great writing for that one.
  23. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    I agree with you on Teso dos Bichos and Hell Money, both pretty lackadaisical. I loved Pusher; Modell was great.

    Jose Chung is, as you say, just on a whole other level. One of the very, very best of the series.

    It also gave us my all time favorite X-Files line, in reference to Scully: One of them was disguised as a woman, but wasn't quite pulling it off.

  24. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    Lord Kimbote rocks.

    "Do not be afraid, Rocky; no harm will come onto thee.." :p
  25. Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece

    Member Since:
    Nov 2, 2000
    star 7
    I was trying to remember Kimbote's name! [face_laugh]
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