Category Archives: Xfiles 2016

Spooky, Mysterious, and Symbolic: X-Files 2016, episodes 4 & 5


Warning: Spoilers
Spooky & Mysterious

images-12After its brief departure into silliness and bad storytelling in episode 3, when Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Mulder (David Duchovny) met the Were-Monster, The X-Files returned to form for episodes 4 — “Home Again” — and 5 — “Babylon.” There was the show’s signature humor in each episode, but handled in a much more sophisticated and subtle way than with the antics of the Were-Monster-Lizard episode. Also, the shows were spooky and mysterious, leading viewers to question many things moral and philosophical as our two fave agents investigated their latest cases.

Home Again

images-11In episode 4, Scully had personal issues to handle as well as professional ones. Her mother had a severe heart-attack and was in a coma. Though Scully went immediately to be with her, her mother kept asking for “Charlie,” who was apparently the youngest sibling of the three — Bill, Dana, and Charlie — and the one who’d had no contact with the rest of the family for years.

images-21Despite working a spooky case, Mulder showed up at the hospital, giving Scully as much moral support as he could. Though he was unable to answer her questions about why her mother wanted Charlie, and not Dana or Bill, or why her mother was wearing a quarter around her neck, with a date whose significance Scully could not guess, Mulder was still there for his partner and the mother of his child.

The theme of mothers and children has been constant through this season, and episode 4 expanded it to a moral and philosophical level by including a case involving a city’s homeless, and the “Trashman” who was killing wealthy people who wanted to get rid of the homeless.

images-26Despite many of the victims’ previous protestations to the contrary, they really wanted to get rid of the homeless: some for financial gain, some just for supposedly moral reasons (“to protect the schoolchildren from the homeless”). But the Trashman didn’t care about his victims’ reasons for wanting to dispose of the human “trash.” He just tore them apart and put them in the trash truck.

the-x-files-season-10-episode-4-review-scullyEventually Scully and Mulder found their way to an artist’s “studio,”

images-23where a homeless man admitted to “creating” the sculpture of the “Band-Aid Man,”

images-24who, with the artist’s energy, thoughts, and will, had become alive — to protect the homeless.

images-18Graffiti appeared depicting the Trashman after each crime, but even though Mulder saw it from the crime scene window, it was gone by the time he got outside.

images-25It also disappeared from the piece of wall that two collectors wanted to sell for profit.

Unknown-4Trashman killed them, too.

He and his artist-creator were trying to protect the homeless, who were like the moral children of those who were more financially comfortable.

Scully and Mulder’s investigation was philosophically wrapped around the moral responsibility of biological parents and children, woven in the story of Scully’s dying mother and her “quest” for Charlie.

images-22Just before Scully’s mother died, she regained consciousness, looked at Mulder, and called him “William” — the name of her husband, son, and grandson — saying that she had a grandson by that name. Scully was devastated, not only by her mother’s death, but by what she saw as a condemnation of her giving away her own son Will.

images-16As Mulder held her, Scully asked why her mother would have said something like that. He didn’t know the answer.

images-19Later, having disposed of her mother’s ashes, Scully told Mulder that she thought her mother had mentioned her grandson because Scully and Mulder had a moral responsibility to find out what had happened to him. Despite the fact that they had given him up “to protect him,” she now felt they had to make sure that he was safe.

images-29It was spooky and sad. Its moral and philosophical overtones were excellently blended into the investigation which drove the main storyline.

And the love and connection between Scully and Mulder is obviously still there.

images-30As Thomas Wolfe wrote, “You can’t go home again,” but you still have a responsibility to those who are your “children.”


images-14The storyline of “Babylon” could have been taken right from contemporary headlines over the past ten years: suicide bombers of the Muslim faith kill in the name of Allah.

Only one of them doesn’t die. He’s in a hospital in a coma, with most of his head blown apart.

images-10Though no one even knows his name, they want to question him in an attempt to find other sleeper cells of lone wolf terrorists. And even as the FBI is looking, a man is making bombs and instructing his fellows on exactly when to detonate them.

images-31The show has some humorous moments, especially the agents Miller and Einstein, mirrors of Mulder and Scully, respectively.

images-28Miller, Mulder, and Scully wanted to question the comatose bomber, but Einstein (above, 2nd from R) thought the idea was crazy. With a little wrangling, Scully got hooked up with Miller, explaining that her own experience in a coma let her know that the comatose can hear and can sometimes communicate.

Meanwhile, Mulder got with Einstein and got into a philosophical discussion with her on whether thought and words can form energy, create action, change behavior. She disagreed with his main points, but agreed to go with him to question the comatose bomber. She also agreed to provide Mulder with “magic mushrooms” so that he could “expand his consciousness” in order to communicate in an extraordinary way with the comatose man.

images-8And then the humor kicked in. Mulder, supposedly tripping on ‘shrooms, take a magical mystery tour of Texas, where the bombing had occurred, complete with line-dancing to “Achy-Breaky Heart,”

6081ea21d2a48cec40ace41183db8a6bff14ac79the three Lone Gunmen, who now look like this,

x-files-02instead of like this,

Unknown-6and a mysterious boat ride, possibly led by Charon, the Ferryman for the Dead in Greek mythology, repeatedly calling out “Row” while, in the back of the boat, in an attitude similar to Michelangelo’s Pietà, the comatose bomber was being held by his mother (as he would later be held by her in the hospital).

images-32As Mulder approached the pair “in the boat,” the bomber whispered something.

Later, at the hospital, after the bomber had died, without speaking, Mulder related the words he’d “whispered” in the dream-trip. They were Arabic for Babylon Hotel/Motel, which is where they found the other group preparing for an attack.

images-1It ended with Scully and Mulder walking across the field at his home, holding hands, discussing such philosophical things as Why is the Old Testament God so angry and vengeful? and Is that angry God the same as the angry God of the Koran who orders that infidels be killed? And since Agent Miller, who is fluent in Arabic, first thought Mulder was repeating “Babel,” as in the “Tower of…” Scully and Mulder also discussed that, ending the show with a poignant exploration of humans’ inability to communicate with each other on any meaningful level.

images-3Next week is the finale to this 6-episode mini-series (season 10, they’re calling it) of The X-Files, and this household is going to be devastated. Except for the blip that was episode 3, this show has been stunning, intriguing, captivating, while at the same time being humorous, and exploring some of the most philosophical and moral questions man faces.

Without answering them.

Catch up on Fox if you’ve missed any of the episodes.

Enjoy Mulder’s “Country Madness” while on his ‘shroom trip, if you weren’t watching last night: he imitates Travolta’s character from Pulp Fiction’s dancing contest.

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J’Accuse, Dude: X-Files, e3


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J’Accuse, Dude: X-Files 2016, e3


So, like, Spoilers, Dude

images-1You know, dude, I’m really loving this re-boot of the X-Files, even if it is only a 6-3pisode mini-series. And, like, dude, when it started last night with two middle-aged stoners in the woods, totally higher than the full moon they were gazing at, calling each other and the dead bodies they found “Dude,” I thought the show had found its sense of humor again.

And for a brief while, it had.

Scully became the believer to Mulder’s burnt-out, discouraged skeptic, and she had to convince him to go with her to the woods to examine the dead bodies — one of which was nude — searching for the killer, whether it be human or “creature” or “monster.” He reluctantly accompanied her.

images-8They interviewed a transgendered prostitute who’d slugged a “horned monster” in the face with her designer purse — destroying the purse. Mulder and Scully interviewed her. It went something like this.

Prostitute (holding up purse with holes in it): It had a horn.

Scully: Like a unicorn?

Prostitute: Like a lizard.

Mulder (showing her the drawing, with 3 eyes, from the stoner witnesses at the forest): Like this?

Prostitute: No, only 2 eyes.

Scully: Was it wearing anything?

Prostitute: Underwear.

Scully: Boxers or briefs?

Prostitute: Tighty whities.

Mulder: Did you tell the police this?

Prostitute: They think I’m on crack.

Mulder: Are you?

Prostitute: Yeah…

Then screams drew the pair around some parked trucks. At the edge of the cornfield, they met the very same Animal Control Officer who’d also been attacked in the forest. He’d been called out about a missing dog. Lots of fun with Mulder’s new smartphone camera app, flashing wildly away as they chased a horned creature who appeared in the distance, and as Mulder also snapped several photos of himself — having the camera turned the wrong way.

Up till then, the show was tight. The dialogue, snappy. The scenes between Mulder and Scully, awesomeness to the max.images-6

And then the show fell right off a cliff.


They went to a sleazy cheap motel where the owner was looking in the rooms via the eyes of the animal heads mounted in each one. Mulder found the corridor after the owner yelled “Monster” and Mulder investigated.

images-4A lizard guy with an Aussie accent was there, but he escaped before Mulder could catch him.

And here’s where the weirdness in the show happened. Mulder went to Scully and told her what he’d discovered, repeating — after each of his lines — “I know what you’re gonna say, Scully; you’re gonna say…” And then Duchovny did what I suppose were Anderson’s lines while she sat there, in silence, opening and closing her mouth each time, but never saying anything.

Because Duchovny’s Mulder said it all.

If it was supposed to be funny, it didn’t work for me. I kept thinking about the articles that said Gillian Anderson was offered only 1/2 the salary that co-star David Duchovny was offered, and how she had to fight to get equal pay, and wondering if this scene was a joke — because he was doing both their lines — if the scene was an ad-lib joke by the two actors, or if it was just really bad writing that was completely excluding Gillian Anderson from speaking a single word.

It got worse.

Though Scully found the lizard-guy working in a cell-phone store, he tore the place up and disappeared by the time Mulder got there. Mulder found him in a graveyard after talking to the guy’s psychiatrist who said that was his advice to anxious patients: go walk in a graveyard.

So Mulder finds him, the guy admits he’s the creature,images-7 who looks like the drawing, but not with “three eyes!” the guy complains.

Then the lizard-guy tells his story.

And tells his story.

And Mulder asks questions.

And the lizard-guy talks.

Like, forever, Dude.

I kept wondering what had happened to Scully.

Then lizard-guy, or Were-Monster, as I suppose he was technically called, gets mad when he discovers that Mulder is the law, and angrily stomps off, pointing a finger at Mulder and shouting, “J’accuse.”

Later, he goes to the forest, strips off his clothes, and tells Mulder, who’s followed him there, that he’s going back into hibernation, which should last for about 10,000 years.

images-2It was such a long time in the graveyard that I didn’t even care that one of the stones had the name of one of the former directors of X-Files who died before the 2016 revival.

All I could think of was, Where’s Scully? and Is this the David Duchovny Show? and Could this possibly get any more boring or farcical than it is?

Then Mulder and Scully eventually reconnect at the end.

At Animal Control.

Where the Animal Control Officer is just a run-of-the-mill serial killer.

Whom they won’t let confess because, as Mulder says, “Once you’ve heard one serial killer profile, you’ve heard them all.”

images-5Boy, what a silly and ultimately boring story, Story-Dudes.

What bad writing in the extremely extended cemetery-scene, Writer-Dudes.

What a waste of Gillian Anderson’s talent, Director-Dudes.

What a disappointing episode of the X-Files.

J’accuse, Dudes.

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Mulder & Scully are Back: X-Files 2016, e2


Warning: Spoilers

Unknown-9After the talkity-talk premiere of Chris Carter’s 10th season of X-Files — separated from season 9 by about 14 years and 2 film versions of the drama — it looks like Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Mulder (David Duchovny) are back on track. The original show didn’t last nine years because the two did nothing but investigate aliens, but because that particular story line was woven in to their tracking down other oddities. Some of those oddities had to do with aliens and government conspiracies. Some didn’t. Episode 2 — “Founder’s Mutation” — of the 2016 miniseries took the two former agents into an arena that combined many of the elements of the original series: alien DNA, Department of Defense (DOD) conspiracies, medical experimentation, and the Trust No One theme.

Unknown-7It began with a scientist who heard this ear-piercing, apparently painful sound — which no one else could hear — who then locked himself into his lab and committed suicide. By jamming a letter opening into his ear.

images-25Now a physician, Scully not only noticed that the letter opener seemed to go in a very specific direction — toward the auditory portion of the brain — but she also got to do the autopsy. After breaking open the dead man’s fingers, she found Founder’s Mutation crudely scrawled on his palm. This took the partners on a visit to a strange clinic, ostensibly studying genetic mutations in children, but funded by the DOD.

Danger, Will Robinson. Danger.

images-19The files they’d taken from the suicide’s office were confiscated, but not before Mulder had made some copies. Their boss metaphorically turned a blind eye after Mulder assured everyone that he knew all about Edward Snowden and what happens to those who reveal top-secret information.

Unknown-5At the hospital, they were confronted by a pregnant young girl, being held there against her will, who claimed there was something wrong with her unborn child.

Unknown-3After she escaped and was killed by a car, Scully discovered that her baby had been surgically removed. From the girl’s body as well as from the scene.

images-18This led to a poignant moment between Scully and Mulder, as she asked if he ever wondered what had happened to their son, William. He reminded her that they had given him up for adoption — and had remained intentionally unaware of his whereabouts — for his protection.

What followed was a somewhat confusing series of scenes: Scully taking her boy to school, picking him up, his getting hit by a car and her reassuring him that all would be well, his screaming in his bedroom while looking into a mirror and asking his mother what was happening to him.

His eyes had turned into the black-alien eyes.

And then Scully was shown, alone, looking at a photo of baby William.

images-15Some reviewers have called that a “dream sequence,” but it was more an indication of Scully’s desires and fears for their son. Some of the scenes revealed how protective a mother Scully believed she would be. While others showed her fears that there would have been some things from which she could not have saved him.

Like being the offspring of an alien.

Mulder also had the same kind of fantasy sequence later in the show. In his version, he and his son watched the evolution of the monkeys in 2001: A Space Oddity when they were confronted by the mysterious monolith, fired space rockets, and then Mulder watched in helpless horror as his son floated — Exorcist-style — above his bed. That sequence ended with Mulder alone at his kitchen table, looking at the same photo Scully had been looking at in her bedroom.

images-21It was interesting and symbolic that the two had these “fantasy” sequences about their son while each was alone, and that the other parent was not involved in either’s fantasy. I mean, the chemistry between the two characters is still there (as it is between the two actors), but it was rather interesting that each imagined a life with their son alone. Without the other parent.

images-24Meanwhile, back at their day-jobs, the Mulder and Scully found the wife of the “Founder” of the clinic for children for genetic deformities involuntarily incarcerated in a mental institution. Though she wouldn’t speak of her husband, who had remanded her there, she spoke of their daughter Molly, who could breathe underwater in the pool,

images-20of her running away from her husband when she was 9-months pregnant with their second child, having a car accident, and hearing a strange, high-pitched screeching sound in her head: it was her unborn son “communicating with her in the only way he knew how.” She took the butcher knife with which she’d fended off her husband, cut open her abdomen, and “freed her son.”

Unfortunately, she woke up alone in the hospital with no idea what had happened to the child.

No problem for Mulder and Scully, however. Especially for Mulder, who’d already noticed the similar janitorial uniforms in the clinic where the suicide-doctor had died and in the hospital. With that information — and the surveillance video — he was able to get the name of the janitor working when the doctor jammed the letter opener in his ear.

Unknown copyWhen questioned, the boy’s “mother” claimed she didn’t have to allow them to talk to him since he was a minor. When Mulder revealed that he knew she was not the boy’s natural mother, she was upset. But not nearly as much as Mulder was when that screeching, which only he could hear, slammed him in the head.

Unknown-8It incapacitated him,

images-22leaving Scully to find the boy,

images-16who just happens to be the missing son of the Founder of that clinic, Dr. Goldman, who also has his daughter Molly — the one who can breathe under water — captive in his clinic. The brother and sister find each other.

images-14Happily united, the two proceed to kill their father — if they even know it is their father — then incapacitate Scully and Mulder.

But not before Mulder swipes the blood sample the Doctor had been taking from the boy.

Clever Mulder.

The two are connected by a lot more than their son, William, even if each of them was imagining a fantasy life with the child, sans the other parent.

Looks like it’s official.

Scully and Mulder are back.

xfileskissscope2904_468x350Please buckle your belts, and keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle at all times, Folks.

Enjoy the ride.

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The X-Files 2016: Believe.


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The X-Files 2016: Believe


Warning: Spoilers

The_X-Files_2016_PosterLast night, the six episode mini-series of The X-Files premiered, and the second episode will air tonight Monday 25 Jan, with subsequent episodes airing on Mondays on Fox at 8pm ET. Though last night’s initial show was a little too talky, and just a little too heavy-handed cramming in all the current political atmosphere and 9-11 events, it was still an exciting and welcome re-appearance of two of my favorite characters. Agent Mulder (David Duchovny), who spent 9 years of the original cult classic searching not only for evidence of aliens and for his lost sister, but investigating other odd phenomena, returned last night, notably worse for wear after his division in the basement of the FBI had been shut down.

images-8In fact, Mulder was so difficult to find that someone phoned his former partner Scully (Gillian Anderson), now a surgeon, to contact him.

images-13She asked why they thought she knew how to contact him, but, in fact, she did.

Then a talk-show host who seemed a combination of doomsday prepper and Edward Snowden revealing the NSA’s spying on Americans (and others) came to them to let them know that the two were needed for a new investigation.

Though Scully and Mulder don’t look like this anymore,

images-5like this,

images-4or like this,

images-7the chemistry between the two actors and their characters was still there.

images-3The show began with the alien landing in Roswell, New Mexico (which one character mispronounced as “Ross-well” rather than “Roz-well”, and which the opening credits indicated was located in NW New Mexico rather than in the southeastern quarter of the state. Still, the broken up space-craft was what you’d expect from something which supposedly happened in 1947, as was the reaction of the government and military agents to finding the wounded alien: they shot it.


The Snowden-prepper took Scully and Mulder to the home of a young woman who claimed to have been abducted several time, to have been impregnated by aliens, and to have had the fetuses forcibly removed from her body. As usual, Mulder was more convinced and interested than Scully, though Scully, now the physician-surgeon, took some of Svetna’s blood to analyze it for “alien DNA.”

images-10Scully analyzed it twice before analyzing her own blood. Initially, Scully lied and told Svetna and the others that she had no alien blood. Svetna went on-air and told reporters that she’d made a mistake and had never been abducted. Mulder was upset that “they got to her,” bringing back the classic conspiracy theory regarding the ever-threatening and all-powerful they that made the show such a classic.

images-12Scully had to break it to Mulder that she herself has alien DNA.

As a huge fan of the original show, I’m not sure how I missed that Scully got abducted, if that’s what happened, but no other reason was given for the appearance of the alien DNA. Also, she told Mulder about her DNA because the “two of [them] have a child together.”


Dang! How in the world did I miss that? I thought I’d seen every episode of every one of the original 9 seasons, created and written by Chris Carter, but though I knew that Scully’s character dramatically changed from cynic and sort-of-spy on Mulder’s character to more of an equal partner, and that they were attracted to each other, I didn’t know they had a child.

Josh Rhoten listed “Five Excellent Episodes of the [Original] X-Files” to watch before the premiere, and I guess I’ll have to watch them.

If only to see if it reveals some of the missing elements from last night’s episode.

images-9In any event, Svetna was kidnapped by an alien space-craft, the usual goverment-military baddies showed up to destroy a replica of an alien spacecraft that could move on electro-magnetic fields (i.e., without fuel) and disappear to boot, and the Snowden-prepper’s website went off-line. Scully was warned “Don’t Give Up” and she reached out again to Mulder.

images-11We were left with an appearance of Mulder’s and Scully’s arch-nemesis, Cigarette-Man, though someone was placing his cigarette into a tube in his throat last night.


Lots of ominous overtones and exciting story-telling.

Unknown-2The only weakness I found — though my partner Tom didn’t mention it at all, never having watched the original show, but knowing the premise — was the rather heavy-handed “Oh, the entire government of every country all over the world is in on all this and look at all the information they collect on private citizens and what do they use it for” routine.

You know, like the Book of Face doesn’t collect information via the things it hides in your computer. Like Apple doesn’t know everything that’s on every device you have, whether or not you back it up to their iCloud, not that all the devices synch over wi-fi every two seconds. Like the cell-phone companies don’t collect all the “meta-data” — with which you can learn everything — from every customer they have. But, okay, let’s go along with it: only the government collects all this information.

And what’s done with it?

Hide the existence of aliens from us.

A bit behind the times, I thought.

Maybe the government and the military could hide lots of things in 1947 in the middle of the New Mexico desert, but today? With all the “spies” and informants and others who want to hold the government accountable for its secrets? So that part of the show was a little too simplistic for me, especially now that celebrities can’t even have affairs or be homosexual  or smoke marijuana or go into rehab without being “outed”, usually by another person involved, whom the celebrity trusts, and who gets paid by the tabloids to the “inside scoop.”

Unknown-1So, Mulder and the prepper guy were a little too talky.

I know they were trying to make it clear that the show was supposed to be happening now and trying to make the conspiracy even bigger than it was in the original series, but that part didn’t work for me. They could have shown Mulder getting a new cell-phone and advising Scully to do the same, and having him throw his away each time he used it. Scully, of course, would have been skeptical about going through all that nonsense.

Until she got the tests back about the alien DNA.

Then, just like all the members of the crime family on The Sopranos, she would have started buying throw-away cell-phones and constantly checking over her shoulder, too.

400px-XFilesCreditsS1-7Definitely worth watching, however, especially since I’m guessing that now that they’ve brought us up to 2016, the talkity-talk-talk will decrease dramatically.

Airs Mondays on Fox at 8p.m. ET (e2 on M 25 Jan, with e3-6 on subsequent Mondays). If you missed last night’s premiere, “My Struggle,” you can watch it free on Fox.

Believe it.



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