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The X-Files: My Struggle II (2016)
Season 10, Episode 6
8/10
This is the end
23 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This is the end is the tagline that adorns the opening credits for My Struggle II, the final episode of season 10. Does the tagline refer to the end of the beloved television series or to the pandemic that is beginning to kill off the majority of the world's population as seen in the episode? Considering that the episode ended on a cliffhanger, we can only hope that the X-Files returns for another round to see if Scully's vaccine will be enough to save humanity.

As My Struggle showcased Mulder's struggle with his wanting to believe in a government conspiracy of the existence of aliens, My Struggle II has a double meaning, serving as a sequel to the first episode, but also showing that Scully has a similar struggle. Except, in Scully's case, her struggle is to use science to make sense of and fight the paranormal elements she encounters in her work with Mulder. The amount of science in this episode is overwhelming, which I guess is to be expected when you see that the two co-writers of the story with Chris Carter are doctors. I was lost in all the science jargon being thrown around.

Agent Einstein, who was very irritating in the previous episode, proves to be a competent companion to Scully this time around. Scully slowly gets her to see the light of the conspiracy and the existence of aliens, or at least, alien DNA. Scully powers this episode while Mulder is mysteriously beat up, not communicating with anyone, and traveling on his way to a rendezvous with CSM.

This episode had some tense, exciting moments as the pandemic was spreading and Scully and Einstein were racing to find a cure for it. It had me on the edge of my seat for most of the episode. We got to see Agent Monica Reyes return, whom many fans despised in the original run. I don't think this episode helped her cause, as it is revealed that she became CSM's lackey to save her own neck from the upcoming pandemic. Scully refers to Reyes as a coward, which she is. Reyes decision is a bit baffling, considering how passionate she was toward Mulder's cause originally.

My Struggle II had a couple of goofy lines that I don't think Chris Carter really thought through before putting them in. Scully tells looters to stop it and go to the hospital. Right. Like they are just going to stop and listen to some red head running through the streets holding IV bags. Also, CSM tells Mulder that he summoned Mulder to him to invite him to be one of the elect saved. Mulder tells CSM that he doesn't come when CSM calls him. Ummm, yeah, Mulder, you just did that. Speaking of which, I thought Mulder would have already been protected from this pandemic, based on him being exposed to the alien virus and CSM saying Mulder was immune to the coming viral apocalypse in The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati. I guess not.

As much as I liked this episode, there wasn't enough Mulder in it, and definitely too little Mulder & Scully interaction. But, with the episode ending in a cliffhanger, it gives us hope that the X-Files will return someday or Chris Carter will have X-Files fans rioting in the streets, just like in this episode. If not, he will have given us one of the biggest cheats ever.
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The X-Files: Babylon (2016)
Season 10, Episode 5
7/10
Wonders never cease with you.
16 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
As we begin to wrap up the miniaturized 10th season of the X-Files, one of the producers' goals became very apparent. They wished to pay homage to the original run and to acknowledge the large fan base that helped keep this series relevant and assisted in its return to television. The self-referencing has been obvious through the first five episodes and at times a bit distracting. It comes to a head in Babylon, when Mulder and Scully meet younger versions of themselves, in Agents Miller and Einstein, who come to them for help with a case. Agent Miller believes in the paranormal and Agent Einstein is a skeptic with red hair, and Mulder and Scully accept this coincidence as if it's perfectly normal.

That being said, Babylon is still an enjoyable episode, mainly for these self-referencing moments. However, if you came to watch the classic, creepy X-Files of days past, you will be sorely disappointed. Mulder and Scully each pair up with their opposite and try to get them to see the opposing point of view, showing the young agents that both science and the belief in the paranormal have a place in their investigations, and it's not just the one or the other.

In order to try to communicate with a comatose terrorist, Mulder seemingly convinces Agent Einstein to administer a hallucinogenic mushroom to him. It is later revealed that she only gave him a placebo, but Mulder still goes on a "trip". In this "trip", Mulder encounters Skinner, the Lone Gunmen, and the Cigarette Smoking Man. When I heard that the Lone Gunmen were going to appear in this season, I was wondering how they were going to incorporate them. It was kind of sad that they didn't have any lines, even in a dream sequence.

I don't have a lot to say about this episode. Once again, the monster of the week story takes a back seat to the Mulder and Scully dynamic, showcased this time by them interacting with the younger versions of themselves. A lot of fans are not going to like this and I understand their frustration. I got hooked on this show long ago because of the chemistry between Mulder and Scully, not because of the scary, paranormal stories. I think that is why I am satisfied with the tone of this season and why I give Babylon a pass, because any X-Files for me is better than no X-Files.
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The X-Files: Home Again (2016)
Season 10, Episode 4
8/10
My son is named William, too.
9 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
When you think that Gillian Anderson can't be any more impressive in her portrayal as Dana Scully, you are proved wrong. Anderson shines in Home Again, as the weight of Scully's mother's critical condition weighs heavily on her mind and she struggles with her mother's decision to not stay on life support and calling for her estranged son instead of Dana.

If you are familiar with the Bible, you get a vibe from the prodigal son parable told by Jesus where the older son who was righteous is jealous of his younger brother who returns from wickedness and his treated like a king by their father who is just grateful that his younger son has returned. In this episode, Scully is questioning why her mother is calling for the estranged son and not for her two living children who have always been there for her. As Scully relates to Mulder, Margaret just wanted to make sure that Charlie, the estranged son, was all right. I think that is why Margaret was wearing the quarter around her neck. A quarter is worth ¼ of a dollar. Margaret Scully has four children, but 1 of the 4 is estranged from her and she is concerned for his well-being like any mother would be.

Scully breaks down as her mother passes away, which caused me to shed some tears. I think my tears were more for Scully's pain than for any concern for her mother, who I am not emotionally vested in. Once again, it was Anderson's performance that raised this episode up a notch. David Duchovny did a fine job as well, showing strong emotional support for Scully's crisis. And, at the end, Mulder just listens to Scully as she relates the crisis to their son William, not interjecting something dumb as men are prone to do.

The rest of the episode was an uninspired story of a creature killing people who were trying to move the homeless or keep the homeless out of their respective neighborhoods. The creature was brought to life by a homeless artist who molded him from clay. It felt like a retread of the season 4 episode Kaddish with a little bit of season 3's Grotesque thrown in for the clay-molding aspect.

Glen Morgan, who wrote and directed this episode, still has a great grasp on the Mulder-Scully dynamic, particularly the dialogue between the two. The story and direction, however, leave a bit to be desired. When Scully first learns of her mother's heart attack, she hustles down the stairs and they have the camera right in her face, bouncing along with her. I get what Morgan was trying to do there, but it just felt out of place and unnatural. Also, who is driving this garbage truck for this monster to move around in? I don't think the artist molded a giant truck from clay. The clay monster is supposedly protecting the homeless people according to the artist by killing the relocation agents, so how is killing the art thieves protecting them?

Scully's personal story and struggle is what makes this episode great and elevates an otherwise mediocre monster of the week story.
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8/10
You forget, I'm immortal
2 February 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Like many fans, I was highly anticipating the return of Darin Morgan to the X-Files. Darin has given us the classic gems of Humbug, Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose, War of the Coprophages & Jose Chung's From Outer Space. So, needless to say, the bar was set very high.

The episode starts off nicely with the stoners from his War of the Coprophages episode, who also gave cameos in Quagmire. Then, the episode gets weird in a very Darin Morgan-like way. I thought that during the first half of the episode it was trying too hard to be funny. Some of Mulder and Scully's lines seemed a bit forced and didn't really flow. Mulder was questioning his involvement in the X-Files and so on. Really wacky things were happening in a seemingly random way and I was starting to worry for the episode, because this did not seem like Darin Morgan.

Then, Mulder confronted Guy Mann and asked him to share his story, and that's when the episode really started to shine. Guy Mann's story of being a monster who turns into a man and how he was an innocent victim in all of this completely caught me off-guard. His version of events were hilarious, contradicting what we saw in the first half of the episode. It was Bad Blood-like in seeing the two versions of events. Rhys Darby was excellent in his portrayal of the Were-Monster/Guy Mann.

I appreciated Morgan's nods to passed away X-Files directors, Kim Manners and Jack Hardy, by having their names on the tombstones in the cemetery. Scully's reference to her immortality from Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose was a funny tongue-in-cheek line. It was also great to see that Mulder now has the same ring tone as I do, The X-Files theme.

While this episode started off slow and clunky, it really came full circle and showed us that Darin Morgan still has the comedic touch and Mulder & Scully Meet the Were-Monster is up to par with his past entries.
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The X-Files: Founder's Mutation (2016)
Season 10, Episode 2
7/10
You Don't Like Cats?
26 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Founder's Mutation is the first Monster of the Week (MOTW) of season 10, written and directed by James Wong, who also directed season 4's Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man, along with having many other writing credits with writing partner Glen Morgan. James Wong doesn't disappoint and gives us a solid entry in the X-Files catalog.

Mulder and Scully are investigating their first case after the X-Files has been reopened and they don't miss a beat. Mulder dives right back into old habits, stealing evidence from crime scenes, not once but twice, during the episode. The first time, Scully unwittingly provides the diversion necessary for Mulder to steal the victim's cell phone, as she appears shocked but not surprised by Mulder's action.

As the episode deals with children with genetic abnormalities and/or special abilities and the possibilities of the studies of a particular doctor being government-sanctioned using alien DNA, Mulder and Scully cannot help but think how it is possibly connected to their son, William. We are then treated to a daydream each from Scully then Mulder where they fantasize about a pleasant interaction with a school-aged William. But, each of their fantasies take a frightful turn, leaving them both to ponder whether a normal relationship would have been possible with their special and gifted son.

James Wong shows that he stills understands these two characters and their motivations towards their job and with each other, exhibited through their touching interaction about their son. Even though Wong was not around later during the William years, he has a good grasp on their struggle.

Mulder and Scully experience unhelpful local law enforcement, mysterious doctors, government cover-ups, paranormal activity (even Scully in Mulder's presence!) by weird kids who disappear, and nothing to show for it but a vial of blood. Just like old times! The classic X-Files feel is back with creepy visuals, haunting music, and great guest characters. All we need now is some rain and some trench coats.
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The X-Files: My Struggle (2015)
Season 10, Episode 1
8/10
She's shot men with less provocation
25 January 2016
Warning: Spoilers
After a 14-year hiatus not counting the second movie, the X-Files returns to the small screen. David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reprise their iconic roles as our favorite FBI agents, Fox Mulder and Dana Scully. While not completely blowing us away, their return is strong and makes us look forward to what is to come.

The teaser is a typical dialogue-laden teaser common to mythology episodes and especially needed this time around to catch the casual fan back up as well as to introduce the show to (hopefully) a new generation of fans. Then the opening credits roll and I got chills. I love how they kept the original intro but with adding Mitch Pileggi in from the beginning. However, the font of their names seems to have changed. Just something I noticed.

Then, the show starts to bounce back and forth between Roswell, New Mexico, 1947, and present day. I was impressed with the special effects for the flashback scenes. Obviously, CGI technology as improved but it appears the X-Files got a larger budget this time around, based on past success. In present day, Mulder and Scully are no longer a couple as last shown in the second movie, but I think the explanation is a good one. It's sad, but I think it will work well for the show going forward.

The crux of this episode is Tad O'Malley's "new" conspiracy theory. It is that aliens did crash here, but a group of men have been using the alien technology to stage "alien abductions", not working with the aliens to assist them in colonization. Instead, this group of men's ultimate goal is to overthrow the United States of America. What is kind of surprising is that Mulder jumps headfirst into this new conspiracy, like he did with Kritschgau back in 1997, despite all the evidence to the contrary. I am very interested to see where Chris Carter, the show's creator, is going with this, as I just don't see him totally discounting everything we've seen the first nine seasons.

Finally, the mysterious shutting down of O'Malley's show along with the disappearance of a key multiple abductee, propels Mulder and Scully to jointly decide to wholeheartedly jump back into the fray at Skinner's invitation. The X-Files is reopened, an old oxygen-challenged friend reappears, and I couldn't be more excited that the truth is still out there.
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9/10
Clever and different!
30 June 2011
I absolutely loved this movie. Daryn Tufts writes an excellent script that is different than the majority of the romantic comedies these days. I am always on the lookout for romantic comedies that aren't cookie-cutter predictable. Yes, you can almost always tell the two main leads are going to end up together, but this movie takes such an unexpected path, it's quite refreshing. Don't be dissuaded by the low score here on IMDb. The majority of the user reviews for this movie are very positive. I am quite surprised that this wasn't picked up by a major distributor like Napoleon Dynamite was by Fox Searchlight. It deserved to be. Finally, it was refreshing to see a cute and clever romantic comedy without the vulgar language and sexual situations. It hearkens back to Sleepless in Seattle in that manner. Give 'My Girlfriend's Boyfriend' a chance and let it touch your heart.
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Heber Holiday (2007)
3/10
It's a bad sign when they make you change your title
21 July 2010
I saw this movie advertised a couple of years ago as "Heber Holiday" but never saw it in theaters. I was waiting for it to come out on DVD so I could watch it on Netflix. I finally found it on Netflix, but under a different name, "Shooting Star".

The script was atrocious. It felt like dialogue was delivered just to advance the plot, even if it didn't fit in the scene at all. The characters weren't developed. Sierra was not properly established as a diva. Plus, Torrey Devitto isn't a very good actress. It was not believable that she could demand $10 million a film. Except for KC Clyde and Erin Chambers the acting by the rest of the cast was horrible. I couldn't tell if this movie was trying to be serious or intentionally cheesy. The characters of Scott and Hound were way over-the-top, which may have been fine in a spoof, but not in a serious film, as I think this film attempted to be. A lot of the music was out of place and poorly edited. At one point, the camera changed to a wavy style for no reason, that almost made me seasick. This is one of the worst LDS-made films I have seen. It's no wonder it didn't make it out of Provo.
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2/10
Napoleon Dynamite With Pirates
4 June 2010
I finally got the opportunity to rent this movie on Netflix. I'd been wanting to see it for a while. I'm a big Kirby Heyborne fan so this was on my list. I was quite disappointed. It felt like they were trying to go for Napoleon Dynamite with pirates. Now, if you liked Napoleon Dynamite, this movie will be right up your alley. I hated Napoleon Dynamite, so the stupidness just didn't do it for me. There were a few clever lines scattered throughout the movie, but not enough to keep my interest going. I actually fell asleep during a 7-minute stretch.

Kirby Heyborne does do a great job as Kirk and so does Trenton James as Flint. However, Larry Bagby's stuffed-up-nose portrayal of the pawn shop guy was just irritating.

If you're looking for something Napoleon Dynamiteesque, this is your movie. If not, steer away, far away.
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6/10
I Wanted To Believe
31 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Like every other X-phile out there, I was excited to learn that Chris Carter & co. were going to bring us another X-Files story in the form of a big-screen movie. After the cliff-hanging series finale 6 years earlier, I was anxious to see what had become of my two favorite FBI agents and their associates.

The opening teaser, if you will, gets the movie off to a good start. It's dark and creepy, while apparently simultaneously the FBI is doing a search of a large snow field. An FBI agent is kidnapped and unrelated body parts are being found.

So, the FBI is investigating this case and a priest with psychic powers comes forward with his visions about the case. Are Doggett and Reyes investigating this case? No. Are they brought in to help because of their X-Files experience? No. Is a sentence even mentioned on their whereabouts? No. Where is Skinner or Kersh? Nope. No mention of them either. Agent Dakota Whitney, played by Amanda Peet, feels the best move is to bring in Agent Fox Mulder, who has been an FBI murder fugitive for the last 6 years. She somehow convinces the FBI to drop the murder charges in exchange for Mulder's services and insight. All is forgiven. I don't buy it. Scully is now back working as a doctor and the FBI apparently isn't concerned about her being an accomplice to Mulder either.

Moving on, Chris Carter gives us blatant nods to Mulder's character with a pan up to pencils in the ceiling and a close-up shot of him eating sunflower seeds. It's like the camera has its own personality and it's saying, "Hey, look! Mulder still likes sunflower seeds and throwing pencils in the ceiling!" A few minutes later, there is a close-up shot of George W. Bush while the X-Files theme plays. It's cheesy and a bit puzzling.

Although Gillian Anderson's and David Duchovny's acting is top-notch as always, Scully does a couple of things out of character. First, she scoffs at Father Joe for asking forgiveness for his sins. She's a woman of strong faith but she doesn't believe in forgiveness? I don't think so. And then, when they are becoming frustrated about the case, Scully brings up Mulder's sister again. She says he is still searching for her. Mulder came to peace with his sister's death in season 7's 'Closure'. Scully should know better than that.

Scully being a doctor and struggling with her faith adds a different angle to the show, since she's not full-time with Mulder. It kind of gives a season 9 feel to it. I'd like to say that the side story of the boy with cancer was compelling and drew me in, but I can't. I want the meat and potatoes, Mulder and Scully investigating a case together.

The movie is filled with several inconsistencies; Agent Whitney saying Mulder several times then saying "Fox" at the very end; the Russian guys all of a sudden speaking English at the end when they have been speaking in Russian up to that point; the ground is covered with snow during the entire movie, then Mulder's house has green grass; and finally, Skinner shows up in the final 15 minutes? I think he would've seen Mulder a lot sooner if Mulder was supposedly in hiding the last 6 years.

A special nod goes to Mark Snow for once again doing superb music for this movie. He sets the mood perfectly. Amanda Peet and Xzibit give decent, non-memorable stock performances as the investigating agents.

Overall, as a suspenseful, murder mystery this is a decent movie. However, as an X-Files story it disappoints. I left the theater with an empty feeling. "This is it?" I felt. Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz had all this time to come up with a good "monster of a week" story and we get some body parts stealing with a pedophile priest with visions. After a 6 year hiatus, the X-Files deserved a better story that was more carefully written. Important issues were either ignored or poorly explained.

I want to believe that Chris Carter will get one more chance to bring some closure to this saga that is more befitting Mulder and Scully and the X-Files universe.
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The X-Files: The Unnatural (1999)
Season 6, Episode 19
7/10
I have seen the life on this planet, Scully and that is exactly why I am looking elsewhere.
11 June 2008
The Unnatural is an enjoyable x-files episode, written and directed by David Duchovny.

It's pitiful to see Mulder and Scully in the X-Files basement office on a weekend. I can see Mulder hanging out there, but Scully? I don't think so. Usually Mulder gives her some lame excuse to join him on a weekend excursion, but apparently she is with him on her own volition.

What really hampers this episode from truly being better is the loss of the memorable Darren McGavin. Now, while "Travelers" and "Agua Mala" aren't the best episodes in the x-files library, Darren McGavin's performances are great. During the filming of "The Unnatural", Darren McGavin became ill and couldn't continue. This was a great loss, because it affected the quality of the episode, causing David Duchovny to do re-writes in the middle of filming the episode. They got M. Emmitt Walsh to replace Darren McGavin, who, a fine actor in his own right, just doesn't fill McGavin's shoes as Arthur Dales' brother, Arthur.

The re-write may have caused Duchovny to forget that Arthur Dales had moved to Florida(Agua Mala), because it doesn't make sense that Mulder would go looking for Arthur Dales in D.C. when he already knew Dales was in Florida. The re-write leads Duchovny to creating the lame joke of Arthur Dales' brother also being named Arthur, along with their sister and goldfish.

The DVD allows you the opportunity to compare McGavin's performance with Walsh's. It's not even close. Walsh calls Mulder "Agent MacGyver"? It had already been established that Dales knew Mulder's name, and didn't have problems remembering it.

The episode shows that Josh Exley is afraid of exposure of his true nature so he avoids going to the big leagues. Yet, Arthur Dales tells Mulder that several big names in baseball BEFORE Exley were aliens, and they didn't seem to have any problem keeping their identity secret. Later, the police are asking Dales where Exley is, like it's a big mystery, yet he's still with his team, playing a game that very night.

I really like the scene transitions in the episode. They were very creative, especially when Mulder and Dales were watching the Alien Bounty Hunter on TV.

The Unnatural is a cute little baseball story that is fun to watch. David Duchovny doesn't do a bad job writing and directing, but the loss of Darren McGavin shows, and the episode suffers for it a little. However, The Unnatural still is a solid hit.
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The X-Files: The Truth (2002)
Season 9, Episode 19
8/10
Much as you try to bury it, the truth is out there.
7 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
The Truth brings to an end an excellent run of nine years of the best t.v. show ever. While not perfect, The Truth was a fine end to the series.

The best thing about The Truth is that Mulder is back. David Duchovny's character adds an undefinable quality to the show. He still has his sense of humor, which is as wry as ever. As much as I liked Agent Doggett, how much different would the show have been with Mulder lasting the entire series? On to the episode. The last we saw of Alex Krycek, he was asking Skinner to kill Mulder. Now, as a ghost, he is helping Mulder. I guess death caused Krycek to change his mind.

The Truth pays tribute to the great guest actors over the years by bringing them back in cameos as witnesses or ghosts. It was nice to see them all again. And for the characters that they were unable to bring back (e.g. Deep Throat, Alien Bounty Hunter), they were shown in flashback clips.

The trial serves as a tool to take us back through memory lane and recap the mythology by showing past clips of the series. If you don't care for flashback episodes, this will irritate you some. I don't mind it. Skinner's case is pretty flimsy in that he hopes that by proving that there is an alien conspiracy that it will exonerate Mulder of murder. It's just a contrived reason to do the flashbacks.

Jeffrey Spender, as a witness, manages to give the wrong death of Samantha Mulder as 1987. That, of course is wrong, as she died in 1979. Apparently, that error has been corrected in syndication reruns.

I found it interesting that Skinner said that Marita Covvarubias knew of Super Soldiers. The didn't pop up in the series until well after she left.

When Gibson Praise comes in to testify, look at Mulder. Mulder puts his head down on the desk and stares intently at Gibson. You can tell he is sending a message to Gibson, since he can read thoughts. Though we don't know what that message is.

I like the look on the prosecutor's face when he sees that the trial is rigged.

When Doggett sees the stripped x-files office, he takes time to roll up the "I Want To Believe" poster and take it with him. Does that mean that Doggett "wants to believe" now? I don't understand how Mulder divulging the date of the alien colonization at the trial would have saved Mulder's life as the Cigarette Smoking Man(CSM) suggested. They would have discounted that fact along with everything else.

CSM also mentions how the aliens fear where he lives because of the abundance of Magnetite that is lethal to them. However, the aliens never shared this knowledge with the alien replicants(Super Soldiers), as two of the alien replicants wandered to close the Magnetite and were destroyed.

The thing that bugs me the most with this episode is Kersh's change of heart. All this time, he has been suppressing the agents in charge of the x-files. He has never hidden his displeasure with the x-files, especially Agent Mulder. He helps rig the trial even though you can tell at the beginning that he is not in favor of doing it. Then, I guess, his conscience finally gets the better of him and he helps to bust Mulder out of prison. I would have preferred to keep Kersh mean and nasty, instead of having this sudden turn around of character.

The Truth does as well of a job as it could for a series finale; bringing back past characters, showing classic scenes. It drags a little in the middle during the trial and I already mentioned by displeasure with Kersh. However, it has some great drama in it, and some good action in the end. The Truth is not perfect, but it's a fitting end to the X-Files.
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The X-Files: Sunshine Days (2002)
Season 9, Episode 18
7/10
No, he's dead as a hammer.
3 December 2007
Sunshine Days is an enjoyable, light-hearted episode to take in before the serious series finale. People think it's out of place, being right before the finale, but who says you have to have a serious episode before the series finale?

It's funny to see Reyes know a lot about the Brady Bunch, and funnier seeing Doggett's looks at Reyes for knowing such stuff. Doggett makes the illogical leap in this episode that turns out to be true. Doggett says that he's "finally getting the hang of this job". I think this line is intentional irony by Vince Gilligan to show that Doggett was just settling into his role as the X-Files was being canceled.

Scully's autopsies at time turn into the comic relief for the episodes. I like her "well-nourished" line, referring to the corpse. It's cool to see the agents using a high-tech web-cam to communicate with each other, instead of just a cell phone. I don't think they've used a web-cam since the Lone Gunmen used it once. Scully also gets high-tech with a headset recorder during her autopsy.

Michael Emmerson does a fine job as Oliver Martin. It's interesting to see that Doggett doesn't go through the roof like the other two victims, a sign that his power is decreasing(a good thing for Doggett).

I don't like to see Scully and Dr. Rietz's selfishness in wanting to study Oliver. Sure, it would give Scully proof, but no one wants to be a human lab rat. Even towards the end, you see the disappointment in Scully's eyes when they decide that it's best not to use Oliver as a human freak show.

Another problem I have with the episode is that once they discover that Oliver has this power, they just whisk him off to DC to study him, totally dropping the murder investigation. No mention of it. Sure, Oliver didn't have total control of his powers, but there are still two deaths two account for. The guy needs to be charged with manslaughter at least.

And finally, Bud Bundy. I loved seeing David Faustino in the role of Michael. He is a riot. It's too bad that he had to bite the dust. If he had stuck around the episode for a while longer, I might have given this a higher rating.

Overall, Sunshine days is a decent episode, but nothing extra-special. Vince Gilligan does a fine job writing and directing the final Monster of the Week episode which just about wraps up "the story of two lovely agents".
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The X-Files: Release (2002)
Season 9, Episode 17
8/10
Well ... every problem has got a solution, right?
3 December 2007
With the series quickly coming to an end, the X-Files writers decided to tie up all the loose side story lines. Release ties up Doggett's personal story about the abduction and murder of his son.

I've always admired the X-Files' willingness to mix things up. They add the element of titles to various scenes of the episode; namely, The Tip, Ashes, A Message, and Release. It's almost as if they're dividing the episode into chapters of a book.

Mark Snow adds a beautiful piano score to this episode that is very touching. I wish it could have been used in more of the episode. The man is a master. Kim Manners, who directed this episode, has some very poignant shots, especially of Cadet Hayes' apartment. His direction is very fine in this episode.

The guest character of Cadet Rudolph Hayes is very intriguing and interesting. His facial expression is very unique, as if he is purposely trying to keep his mouth shut, whenever he's not talking.

Barbara Patrick, Robert Patrick's real life wife, plays his ex-wife of the same name. She does an all right job, nothing spectacular. The one line of hers I didn't like is when she tells Scully that Doggett could have something with Reyes but he won't let her in. Why would Doggett's ex-wife know anything about his relationship with his female co-worker and why say anything to Scully? The writers just wanted to do one final reference to Doggett and Reyes' relationship. The line doesn't fit and shouldn't have been used.

I felt that the resolution to Doggett's storyline was rushed because of the decision to end the series. Was Follmer meant to be a part of this storyline from the beginning? Maybe this was intentional by the writers, but Cadet Hayes said that he had another message, then he asks to be taken back to the institution. We don't see him again or hear what the message was. Maybe Hayes told Doggett where to find Regali. It felt too abrupt how Hayes left.

Release is a very fine episode resolving Doggett's son storyline. Robert Patrick does a great job, especially when telling the story of his son to Cadet Hayes. However, I felt that this storyline needed to be fleshed out a bit more for it to have more of an emotional impact. As it is, Doggett finally receives closure with his son's death and that's all that matters.
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The X-Files: William (2002)
Season 9, Episode 16
8/10
William was a bullfrog...
1 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
William completes the story arc of William being the potential savior of all mankind. Which is fine for me, since I never really cared for this storyline.

Of significance here in the teaser is that a white buffalo is shown on the Wyoming state flag. Also, the adoptive father is carving a white buffalo for William's mobile. This is a nod to season three's 'Paper Clip', where a white buffalo born was a special omen that meant that changes were coming. What a nice, subtle hint of what is to come in this episode.

It is cute to see Scully singing "Joy To The World" to William at the beginning of the episode, inserting William in place of Jeremiah. This is the same song that Scully sings to Mulder in season five's 'Detour'.

David Duchovny directs this episode and does a fine job of it. I especially like his shot of the reflection of Mulder being in Scully's eye when she is talking to the Breather.

Knowing that the Breather is Jeffrey Spender, as revealed at the end of the episode, one thing doesn't seem right. When Spender hits Doggett from behind in the x-files office and then kicks him a couple of times, that is not very Spender-like. During his short stay in the series, Spender was pretty spineless. He doesn't seem capable of such violence. Maybe being experimented upon gave him a little more fight.

Spender tells Scully towards the end that he had no contact with Mulder at all, yet he seems to know some things that I would think he would have to get from Mulder.

The make-up for Spender is very well done. He just looks nasty. Chris Owens plays the part of the Breather/Jeffrey Spender well.

One thing that bugs me about the episode is that Agents Doggett, Reyes, and Scully leave Spender, who at that point they don't know who he is, not once but twice. The first time to run away to get his needle kit, and the second time, in Scully's room alone so he can sneak out and inject William. You would think they would have learned their lesson the first time. That was very irresponsible of them.

At the end of the episode, we see the completed white buffalo mobile made by the adoptive father. William is now a normal child, unable to move the mobile. I like how the white buffalo theme bookends the episode.

William is a touching episode, with Scully realizing that she is unable to completely protect William, thus giving him up for adoption. Having children of my own now, I feel her pain a little more closely. Nevertheless, I think Scully did the right thing for William, giving him a chance at a normal life. Even though I never really cared for the William storyline, I feel that this episode gives the arc a fitting end.
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The X-Files: Jump the Shark (2002)
Season 9, Episode 15
8/10
Whatever it takes
29 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I have since discovered that Jump The Shark makes a heck of a lot more sense if you've seen "The Lone Gunmen (TLG)" spin-off series, which is quite good, by the way. I can see where people might not like this episode, having not seen the other series, oh, and for killing off the beloved Gunmen.

That aside, Jump The Shark is still a very good episode. I like how Mark Snow incorporates the theme music from the "TLG" series throughout the episode. It has a very interesting plot, with a deadly virus being grafted into a terrorist's body.

Obviously, the episode must cater to the X-Files fan who never saw "TLG", and doesn't know the characters of Yves and Jimmy who were an integral part of the series. Sadly, that means that Jimmy's role was hugely diminished. Morris Fletcher returns having starred in the series finale of the TLG series. Morris is always a slime bag character but still likable. But in this episode, he comes across as an even bigger jerk and less likable.

I don't know if I buy college professors as terrorists willing to do suicide killings. It's a bit of a stretch.

It's interesting that Yves sends the lone gunmen after the terrorist and tells them they must cut the virus out of his chest if they found him. Though, I'm pretty sure none of them had a knife on their person. Yes, their death scene was a bit contrived. How would they know that giant blast doors would come down and seal them off when the fire alarm was pulled? They could have pulled the alarm and escaped underneath while keeping the terrorist inside.

Jump The Shark stands as the only X-Files episode to make me cry. It is so sad to see the lone gunmen meet their demise. Scully has some touching words at the end where she makes a cameo along with Skinner.

Jump The Shark is not a perfect episode, but it makes me emotional each time I see it. Since they were made to look like bumbling idiots in 'Provenance/Providence', it was nice to seem them redeemed and fitting to see them go out as selfless heroes, and doing whatever it takes to save the world.
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The X-Files: Scary Monsters (2002)
Season 9, Episode 14
7/10
Unless you bring me Spanky, there's nothing I can do.
26 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Scary Monsters features the return of the cute and lovable, Mulder and Scully groupie, Agent Leyla Harrison. We last saw Harrison in season eight's 'Alone' working with Agent Doggett. I thoroughly enjoyed her character the first time around, and was pleased to see her return.

The teaser for Scary Monsters grabs your attention right away when you see the dad lock the boy in his room, apparently with monster bugs. Why is he doing that? We come to find out later that the dad really has no idea what is going on. He believes that everything is real.

The blood spurting through the air vents in the car was a cool, gross scene. The location and setting were well done as well.

Scully's apron is a nice little joke. It says, "SOMETHING SMELLS GOO-OOD!", while she is doing an autopsy on a Spanky the cat. Nice contrast.

I liked how Doggett pulls a 'Leyla Harrison' and suggests an idea from a previous Mulder and Scully case, this one being 'Field Trip', to explain what is happening. He quickly discards it though.

As is rare on the X-Files, Doggett's disbelief in the paranormal actually saves his and everyone else's lives in this case.

I found it interesting when the dad says that Tommy doesn't mean to do what he does, and Reyes responds that he certainly does mean to make the monsters appear, as illustrated by his morbid drawings. What I don't get about this explanation is that Tommy's mother killed herself because of these monsters. Did he want his mom to die? It seems to make his actions a bit inconsistent.

Scary Monsters is a good, solid Monster of the Week episode that has a nice mixture of comedy and terror. I like seeing Agent Harrison once again voicing the sentiments of the fans and getting the agents in over their heads. When you're watching this episode, just remember that "it's not real".
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The X-Files: Improbable (2002)
Season 9, Episode 13
10/10
There's always checkers.
26 November 2007
Severely lacking in seasons 8 & 9, was some fun. Chris Carter finally discovered that and gave us Improbable before the end of the series. What captures your attention right away is the music in this episode. It is so catchy, and fun! I just can't help moving my feet to it.

This is Reyes' first chance to do comedy, I guess Doggett's as well, though it doesn't feel like it because of all his clever one-liners we are used to hearing.

I like the cinematography at the beginning of the episode as Reyes is walking through the FBI as people are passing her left and right. Very creative.

The FBI finally upgraded the x-files office overhead projector. Reyes uses a very sleek-looking hi-tech one.

Burt Reynolds is perfect in his "Role". Very enjoyable. The garage segment is just classic. I like the message that Carter is trying to get across in this episode, although Wayne-O never gets it, unfortunately. Ray McKinnon also does an excellent job as Mad Wayne or Wayne-O, as Burt Reynolds calls him.

I also like this episode because it offers a different combination. Instead of Scully and Doggett or Doggett and Reyes, it's Scully and Reyes for the most part. Power to the women! I found it very interesting that Carter uses a brand new A.D. to run the case instead of A.D. Skinner. I was hoping that Carter would explain why he used a new character instead of Skinner in his commentary, but he doesn't. Also an interesting note from the commentary: Ray McKinnon, who plays Mad Wayne, won an Oscar for a short film he wrote and directed while filming this episode.

Reyes' theory on numerology gets a little tiring, but not enough for me to drop this episode a point. The music is catchy and contagious, the dialogue is funny and entertaining, and though it seems "improbable", Improbable is one of the best episodes of season nine.
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The X-Files: Underneath (2002)
Season 9, Episode 12
7/10
D-O-G-G-E-T-T. Two Gs and two Ts.
23 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
In Underneath, John Shiban takes a couple of old X-Files episodes and puts them together to make a new one, with enough originality to make it an interesting episode. The two episodes from which Underneath draws some of its ideas are 'Tooms' and 'Chimera'. 'Tooms', because like Mulder was upset about Eugene Tooms release and was determined to see him go back to jail, we see Doggett determined to return Robert Fassl to jail. In 'Chimera', we saw where this lady couldn't face her 'evil' side, so it physically manifested itself in another being. A similar thing happens here in Underneath, with Robert Fassl unable to admit sin to himself, and thus manifests an entity that houses his 'evil' side. The remarkable similarity to 'Chimera' is what hinders Underneath for me. Plus, it was done less than two seasons ago, so the viewers are more likely to see the similarities.

I found it interesting that when Doggett goes to investigate this case in New York, it's Scully that goes with him, and not Reyes, his partner. Though Reyes does show up later to help.

Fassl tells the district attorney that he wants to go back to jail, but then he proceeds to cover up the murder of the district attorney. All I can think is that his 'evil' side convinces him to cover up the murder, otherwise it doesn't make much sense.

Attorneys. Ugh. Here, Fassl is about to spill the beans about the bearded man and his attorney pulls him away and gets him to leave. This episode perpetuates the notion that attorneys will do anything to defend their clients, even at the expense of discovering the truth.

Doggett is so desperate to return Robert Fassl to jail that he is even willing to play along with Reyes' crazy idea about Fassl manifesting a separate entity. He doesn't do that too often.

As well as writing this episode, John Shiban also directs it. Nothing about his direction really jumps out except for the scene when Fassl is released from prison and sees the bearded man across the street standing still with everyone passing around him in fast-forward. It's a cool-looking scene though I don't know exactly what it signifies.

If it weren't for this episode being so similar to season seven's 'Chimera', I would rate it higher. As it is, Underneath is still an entertaining episode to watch while pondering what evil may lie in each of us "underneath" the surface.
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The X-Files: Audrey Pauley (2002)
Season 9, Episode 11
4/10
Dog people and cat people
22 November 2007
Audrey Pauley just doesn't sit right with me. Audrey Pauley is the Doggett/Reyes "relationship" episode. I think what my biggest gripe about this episode is is that it's succumbing to network TV pressure. Mulder and Scully took 143 episodes to kiss for the first time. It's taking a whopping 13 episodes to show Doggett's interest in Reyes. What made the X-Files unique was the ability to keep Mulder and Scully from bed-hopping for so long. With Doggett and Reyes already getting interested in each other romantically just 13 episodes makes it like any other TV drama.

Reyes does the little dog people/cat people bit to set up the line later on in the episode. It's true. Doggett is a dog person. Aren't all cops?

I liked the car wreck scene. Wow! That looked real. It was very well done.

This episode bears a similarity to season 2's 'One Breath'. In it, Scully has a living will, stating she doesn't want to live on life support. Mulder refuses to give up on her. In this episode, the same thing goes for Reyes, and Doggett won't give up on her. Another interesting thing is that Doggett was just in a coma in the previous episode, 'Providence'. So now it's Reyes' turn.

Audrey Pauley(whose last name is never mentioned in the episode) tells Reyes that Doggett loves her. And Doggett has a daydream of him and Reyes smooching. Once again. Too rushed.

Tracy Ellis and her Droopy Dog demeanor bug me. I thought she did well in 'Oubliette', but essentially using the same, depressed character here just doesn't work well and seems repetitive.

Why are Stephen and Mr. Barreiro in hospital garb but Reyes is not? They are all in comas. Seriously, that's an annoying inconsistency. I'm sure the writers just wanted her looking good. If so, Stephen and Mr. Barreiro should have been dressed in street clothes.

I don't like how the evil doctor killing off patients for his own amusement is not fully explained. At least Jack Kevorkian had the patients' permission before he euthanized them. Also, the guy appears to have a poison-filled needle in his pocket at all times in case he needs to 'off' someone, like his nurse.

I did like that Robert Patrick shows some dramatic range in his acting for this episode. It's a nice change and he's convincing.

Is this just 'One Breath' in disguise? I'm wondering now if it is. Audrey Pauley treads upon a classic episode and puts forth numerous inconsistencies that hurts it even more. Rushing Doggett and Reye's relationship is also not good. You may wish for euthanasia from Dr. Preijers after being subjected to Audrey Pauley.
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The X-Files: Providence (2002)
Season 9, Episode 10
7/10
Bring Me The Head Of Fox Mulder
21 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Providence continues the storyline of William's life being in danger for being some kind of "Christ child". Except in this episode, some Super Soldiers is thrown in dampening the story some.

With Scully's child's life at risk, Scully chooses to revert to the creed of the X-Files of "trust no one", not even Skinner. Gillian Anderson is exemplary again in this episode. Scully gets murderous intentions when trying to get information from Agent Comer. This is a very desperate side of Scully that we rarely see. We've seen her threaten people with death before, but not choke anyone before.

When the spacecraft opens for the first time, the score by Mark Snow reminds me of the Raiders of the Lost Ark score when they see the ark for the first time. I wonder if that was intentional.

We also see a new side of Reyes in Providence when she enters the hospital chapel and prays for Doggett. And not to be outdone by Reyes, Doggett receives a revelation in his coma, hearing voices, warning him to warn Scully not to trust Josepho.

Besides continuing the possible continuity error from last episode of Mulder supposedly being dead for six months, even though we know he was alive two months ago in 'Trust No 1', another minor script error occurs when Josepho quotes scripture to Scully. He asks her if she knows the Bible. She replies that the scripture is from Ephesians. Wrong, Scully. The scripture Josepho quoted is from Ezekial. Somebody messed up there.

Besides mentioning Super Soldiers again, this episode is a step below Providence because it makes the Lone Gunmen to be completely inept. The place the cell phone in the baby's car seat but the lady is gone by the time Scully gets there. Then, they put a tracker on Josepho's truck, but lose the signal in the hilly terrain. For some unknown reason, Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz wanted to make the Gunmen look absolutely useless.

The Toothpick Man appears again in this episode, is given some lines, and is revealed as a Super Soldier. He appears to hold a high position with no title. I wonder if he was intended to be the new "Cigarette Smoking Man(CSM)" before it was decided to end the series after this season, because he appears to be set up in the same manner as the "CSM" character.

Providence is still a decent mythology episode, but dragging Super Soldiers into the storyline again and ridiculing the Lone Gunmen just hurts the episode in my book and makes it not as good as Provenance.
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The X-Files: Provenance (2002)
Season 9, Episode 9
8/10
Oh... picked these up in the bargain.
20 November 2007
Warning: Spoilers
Provenance revisits the themes first introduced in season six's 'Biogenesis', with the alien artifact which is actually a piece of an alien spacecraft. It is nice to get away from the lame Super Soldier storyline, and it helps this episode to be a bit better. The mythology is still struggling at this point in the series, with the whole "William=Christ child" theme, which isn't much better than the Super Soldiers. Back to the episode.

To start out, the teaser is a bit unbelievable. The motorcycle would not explode upon impact after that jump and crash. It might get smashed up and later catch on fire, but not upon impact.

When Scully introduces Doggett to the rubbings of the spacecraft, she surprisingly insults him by saying, "A spacecraft. Agent Doggett, if you can wrap your brain around that." I thought those two had progressed beyond petty insults like that.

Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz, the writers of the episode, must have figured that Skinner has been on the agents' side for too long, so they put him back on the fence, which is a good position for him, struggling between his position and doing what's right.

You can tell that Doggett is fully inducted into the x-files now. He breaks into Skinner's desk to get the file on Agent Comer and the rubbings; a very Mulderesque thing to do.

Here is a potential plot hole for the episode: The X-Files generally goes along with real time, with the episodes taking place about the same month that they air. Two months ago, Doggett sees Mulder in Trust No 1 at a distance. In Provenance, Doggett discovers that Agent Comer went undercover six months ago. He sent a communication that Agent Mulder was already dead, that they were trying to confirm. So unless that communication happened less than two months ago, they know that Mulder was alive in 'Trust No 1'.

Once again, as in 'Hellbound', Scully has to get a babysitter in the middle of the night, for an issue that can wait until morning. Doggett and Reyes have to be more considerate of Scully and her situation.

Gillian Anderson does some superb acting in this episode. But why isn't the cut on Scully's head healed when she grabs the artifact? It healed Agent Comer.

I feel bad that they stick the Lone Gunmen in at the end of the episode just so that they can lose William. That's pitiful. It makes them look like complete doofuses being overcome by one woman with a gun. They deserve better than that.

Provenance follows in the footsteps of past mythology episodes with fine drama and exciting action. The storyline isn't up to par with past season mythology episodes, leaving it a little short of perfection.
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The X-Files: Hellbound (2002)
Season 9, Episode 8
6/10
What part of "stop right there" did you not understand?
20 November 2007
Hellbound revisits the theme of reincarnation as seen in Born Again and the Field Where I Died. As exhibited in my previous reviews, reincarnation doesn't sit well with me. That being said, Hellbound is the best of these three episodes.

The opening scene with the support group reminds me of the support group scene from season 3's 'The Walk', with one of the group openly scoffing at the others.

Reye's intuition helps her to know she needs to solve the case. That's fine and all, but dragging Mulder and Scully out at 1:47 in the morning just to look at the body? It wasn't going anywhere. Totally unnecessary.

When the agent helps Scully find the files it reminded me of Pendrell and how he could've been used in that scene.

So, does Reyes sleep in the nude or doesn't she? I guess not all the time. This time we see her in a night gown. Then Doggett busts into her room. Doesn't she lock her door? It didn't seem as if Doggett broke the lock.

In this episode, I found myself comparing Reyes to Mulder. They both make fantastic leaps. Reyes makes her leaps based on her intuition. Mulder makes his leaps based on crazy ideas.

This is a good episode, with great makeup on the skinned bodies, but reincarnation just loses points for me. Detective Van Allen, the villain, retains his memories from the original mining dispute but his victims don't? How convenient. Lisa Holland has the soul of an 1858 male miner? What? There weren't any baby boys available for the soul to inhabit? And finally, Scully goes along with Reyes reincarnation idea? I think even Scully would continue to object to this idea given her religious beliefs. She's rejected reincarnation twice before, why not a third time? So, in summary, Hellbound doesn't lose points for being bad, I just don't care for the ideas of reincarnation. It causes me to dislike the episode more. Find a way of doing this episode without the concept of reincarnation and I'm all on board.
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The X-Files: Trust No 1 (2002)
Season 9, Episode 6
7/10
Trustno1 loves Queequeg0925
14 November 2007
Trust No 1 is probably the best mythology episode of the final season, since it deals with Mulder mostly, and just a little bit with the silly Super Soldiers. I love the teaser. Using Tchaikovsky's bacarolle(June) on piano was different and nice for a change of pace. Using screen shots from past episodes and turning them into surveillance shots was creative as well.

The e-mails by both Mulder and Scully are out of character for them. Mulder would never say "dearest Dana" and Scully would never say "physically shaking". That is some poor writing for those e-mails. Fortunately, they make up a very small portion of the episode.

It was interesting to see the hidden camera on Scully at the train station at the beginning of the first two segments, but it was a tad confusing, which isn't good.

Scully sees this lady argue with her "husband" at the internet café, and then later "coincidentally" at her house. Scully then invites her in. I don't buy that. Scully's not that stupid. They just happen to be arguing in front of her twice in the same day? Scully would've caught on earlier.

Stupid contrived plot device warning: Doggett, Reyes, & Scully drive to the quarry. They get out. Doggett says, "Agent Scully, you drive down into the quarry. We'll meet you down there." How stupid! Why separate at that point? Simple. It was a very contrived plot device to separate Scully from Doggett & Reyes, so that Scully could confront the Shadow Man by herself. I repeat, silly.

The Shadow Man says that Mulder or William must die. He's a Super Soldier. He could bust into Scully's apartment at ANY time and kill William if he wanted to. Plus, the Super Soldiers already backed off of William in Existence. That storyline is too inconsistent.

With all my complaints, I still enjoyed this episode, despite some sloppy writing. The mysterious meeting with the Shadow Man was tense and exciting, as well as the prospect of seeing Mulder again. The suspense factor makes Trust No 1 a good episode and helps makes up for some of the discrepancies.
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The X-Files: John Doe (2002)
Season 9, Episode 7
9/10
I'll take the bad, as long as I can remember the good.
14 November 2007
John Doe is another excellent episode written by Vince Gilligan. It's different and different is good. Episodes like this cause me to write few notes, because I'm so entranced by the story.

Of course, in this episode, it's the cinematography that jumps right out at you. The overexposure is used to show the bright, hot, Mexican sun beating down on Doggett. The Mexican music is used judiciously throughout the episode, not too heavy, but it's there from time to tome.

On day 8, Doggett should have a much longer beard. I'm a slow grower, and my stubble is longer than his after days, and I doubt they allow him to shave in that jail hole. Also, his future boss, Domingo, if he had all these "connections", why did he have to sit in the jail for eight days as well? The makeup on Doggett is great, making him look all haggard and beat up.

I love seeing Scully sticking it to Kersh by directly disobeying him....again.

The guest actors do a good job, beginning with Domingo, Doggett's "boss".

Despite how cool the episode is, there are some nagging questions that aren't answered. Why is Doggett investigating the disappearance of that man? It is not an x-file. How does Reyes find Doggett in that garage? That seems like a pretty big jump. And how does Doggett manage to find the Skull guy in the end so easily? I would've liked a little more background to the Skull guy and what he was. He did the fingernail thingy on Dogget's boss, for no good reason, and then we don't see him again.

I think John Doe could've worked easily as a two-parter. I felt there was more story there, but Gilligan had to wrap thinks up quickly to get it under 44 minutes. It's too bad. I love the originality of John Doe and the camera work was top-notch. It's one of the best episodes of season nine.
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