"You're a liar."
Well, I must confess that for once, I'm a little more than overwhemled. Quite a bit to take in. In fact at this point, I don't even want to attempt to predict where the story is going. That said, I'm going to stick to focusing on the ep itself, and avoid delving into huge assumptions about what might befall us in the premiere.... oh God, the premiere!! However are we going to survive the summer? :-) *sigh*
Well, first thing's first, the strange tension between Mulder and Scully that seems to preceed every encounter with the Fowley entity is far from absent in this episode. Once again, Scully has reverted back to questioning Mulder's search for the truth, something which I feel no longer has a logical purpose in the series. Despite her scientific bias, it cannot be denied that Scully has simply seen too much to still be dwelling on the reasoning behind Mulder's quest. She might not share Mulder's belief in the paranormal, but this should by no means deter her from investigating the cases from a scientific stance - which is exactly what she is supposed to be doing anyway. It just seems to me that Scully should have progressed far beyond that mentality; remember, in FTF, it was Scully who pulled Mulder back to the X-Files: "I'll go be a doctor, but my work is here with you now. Look, if I quit now, they win."
In Biogenesis, Scully seems to be using the apparent "closure" from Two Fathers, One Son as a justification of her sentiments, but it still doesn't sit well with me. Scully for one should know that there really was no closure to those events. In fact, in keeping with her scientific bias, she should want to investigate them further, given that the initial investigation was largely inconclusive. The whole thing just seems terribly inconsistant with her character.
Despite this glitch, though, the rest of the episode played out quite well. Though I must admit that I am still a little baffled as to the reasoning behind this recent mythology switch (meaning the way the writers appear to have completely dumped the old mythology in favour of new storylines), I have to commend the writers for finally tying up some other loose ends by bringing the events from SR 819 into play. Skinner is indeed at Krycek's mercy, for a simple flick of a switch will mean his instantaneous death. As a result, Skinner is forced to operate as Krycek's unwilling errand boy, bringing him information about Mulder and Scully's cases while at the same time witholding valuable information from the agents. And unfortunately for Skinner, there is little he can do to remedy the situation. His only hope is to drop subtle hints to Scully, for she is the only person who knows his true sentiments towards her and Mulder.
Falling back to SR 819, we will recall that Skinner confessed to Scully his regret at not aiding her and Mulder as much as he could, promising to change this in the future. His sudden "change of heart" at the end of the episode had Scully more than a little suspicious. Now, Skinner tries to reach out to her in the only way he can, taking her arm and calling her Dana, a probable first for him. Unfortunately, Scully is too clouded with emotion - sorrow and empathy for Mulder, anger at Fowley, disbelief about the artifact, and betrayal from Skinner himself - to read through him. Her understanding will only come with time.
Now, skipping ahead to the artifact. As I said, I'm barely going to even speculate on the reasons for its effect on Mulder. I can honestly barely begin to predict where this is going. It could be the result of his previous exposure to the black oil, but then again, it could be a lot of other things, too. What was interesting, however, is that the artifact also seemed to have an effect on Scully, though one much less profound. In the hospital, her senses appear to be super-enhanced, as she is able to home in on the doctor hiding in the stairwell. Moreover, the ringing she hears, though dismissable as the fire alarm, may actually be her own rationalization for the presense of the noise. But then this raises the question, why was Mulder affected so negatively, while Scully seems to have an almost positive reaction? Once again, a question impossible to answer at this point.
And now, though it sickens me to do so, I must discuss Fowley, one of the most detestable characters ever to appear on television, in my humble opinion :-) It is almost certain that Mulder wasn't the one who called her. Remember, it was Krycek who found him passed out in the stairwell, and who probably called in Fowley to pick him up - which itself raises an interesting point. We already know that Fowley has an alliance with CSM, but now it appears she also has an alliance with Krycek, the man who works only for himself. In this sense, Fowley is much more than a double-crosser. It forces me to pose the question, just what does she really want? And, just to throw in another question, what the hell did she do to Mulder in his apartment? (ok, besides what many might consider to be the obvious). I do even want to go near her little strip-tease (though I'm sure the writers got a lovely cheap thrill from throwing that in to antagonize the audience). All I know is that her intentions are much less than angelic.
One thing seems positive, however. Perhaps now Mulder will be able to use his new psychic abilities to get a sense of her true intentions, and perhaps give us a window into them as well. Or, perhaps he already has figured her out. Indeed, while held prisoner in the psych ward, he seems to be calling only for Scully.
The final interesting twist in this episode is Scully's encounter with the ship. She sees it plainly, and despite what her science tells her, she can't deny this time that she saw it. It's there right in front of her, and she is left, as are we, gaping in disbelief at the events which have taken place.
On the whole, this was a very interesting episode, as well as being an emotional rollercoaster. Aside from the slightly-annoying regression in Scully's character early on in the ep, Biogenesis is a solid finale... though I have to say again that I'm not quiet sure exactly how this "new mythology" is going to play out.
Ah well. In the meantime, our next task, besides speculating about the events of the premiere, is to remain calm and rational for the next few months - lest we end up in the soft-room alongside Mulder :-) I'm sure we'll all be just fine :-) Um... is it November yet??
Squall's Rating: 6
The Matrix has you ...
... or is it the Fungus ...
For those of you who have had the privilege of watching the brilliant film, The Matrix, you'll be quick to note the striking overtones... what is real and what is fiction... what is reality... reality is a myth... Before I begin, let me just say that this was an absolutely fabulous episode, one of the most intriguing of the series. It definitely gets a four star rating from me!
By now you've probably figured that the title, Field Trip is a little more than a tad allegorical. Mulder and Scully experience both separate and shared hallucinations (trips), relying only on intellect and gut instinct to piece together the situation, ironically finding reality through the hallucinations themselves.
Though Mulder and Scully's trips eventually serve as a means to devise an escape, they also function as a window into the souls of the two agents; a twisted and metaphorical glimpse at their innermost sentiments.
Mulder's trip, of course, is representative of his undying will to find the truth. Even for Mulder, who believes so strongly, true believing still comes through seeing. The alien in his hallucination is thus the ultimate manifestation of his will to believe; his dreams realized. Interestingly, however, we understand that it is also not simply enough for Mulder himself to see the alien, but for others, Scully especially, to see it too. We see through Mulder's hallucination, a deep-seeded desire for Scully to believe, and just for once to agree with him whole-heartedly, something which stems back to the argument they had at the beginning of the episode. But what is also interesting is the amount of understanding Mulder affords to Scully. He knows her character so well that when she does believe him, he is suspicious. Ironically, it is through her unquestionable belief that Mulder begins to understand that reality is not what it seems.
Scully's trip also reveals much about her innerself, and in a manner perhaps more complex than Mulder. Scully's hallucination is more a manifestation of one of her greatest fears: being alone, losing Mulder, the emotional rock from which she secretly draws strength. With him gone, Scully is devestated, becoming increasingly unsure of herself to the point where she almost accepts that the string of bizarre events she is experiencing is actually part of her grieving process. At the same time, however, we also see one of Scully's innermost desires, to be accepted, come to life; and interestingly, like Mulder, the realization of her deep-seated desire is what alerts her to the fantasy in which she is trapped. Scully is not used to others so easily accepting her, and so when others begin to agree with her results without question, she becomes increasingly suspicious. But it is also here where Scully's hallucincation takes a complex turn. Perhaps subconsciously, Scully is more open to extreme possibilities than she is consciously; otherwise, what other reason for her to constantly want so substitute a Mulderesque explanation for her own rational explanation?
But, here we take another twist (told ya it was complex *giggle*). It is in fact Scully's rationality which ultimately pulls her and Mulder out of the reverie and into the real world. Even under the influence of a narcotic, Scully's subconscious thoughts remain mostly rational. Her mind continues to process the evidence until she devises her own theory, that they are being enveloped and digested by the fungus. When Mulder enters her hallucination, she presents him with her theory, consequently setting his mind to work on the problem, too. And, in their shared hallucination, they are both right and equally credible; Scully figures out what is going on, and Mulder makes the final leap from dream to reality; out of the matrix and into the real world :-)
The more I think about this episode, the better it becomes. Aside from the brilliant concept, we have a window into Mulder and Scully's innermost thoughts; Mulder's joy when Scully finally appears to believe, and Scully's sorrow and devestation when she believes that Mulder is dead. As I think back, too, I am also forced to wonder if Mulder and Scully's joint hallucinations involved a sort of psychic connection; at the end, when he reaches for her, she just seems to know instinctively that he is there.
I'd have to say that without a doubt, Field Trip is definitely one of my favourite episodes, and undeniably worthy of a repeat viewing.
Squall's Rating: 9
I like 'Hike.
Yes indeed :-)
Well, I'm still in that wonderful place called exam land, so once again, my review will have to be a little short. Not much in the way of lengthy comments for this episode anyway, although I do have to say that I did enjoy it!!
Now down to business. Well, The Lone Gunmen in Vegas, of all places!! Three guys who shy away from the light find themselves in one of the most public places in the world; a comedic irony. All the fun and games of gambling are shadowed, however, by Byer's meloncholgy demeanor. Ten years later, he's still mourning the disappearance of Suzanne Modeski, a key piece to the puzzle of the secret government underworld, and a woman he hardly knew. And, ten years later, Modeski herself is still seeking Byers, and still trying to expose the project and the people who destroyed her life. Their paths cross again in Vegas, the city where lives and fortunes are made and lost.
As it turns out, we know as little about Modeski now as we did before. Her character, and the nature of the government project she is affiliated with, is still rather ambiguous. Even with the new revelations, we now seem to know as much about her as we don't know; we don't even know her new alias. Perhaps Modeski will remain just another secret of the X-Files that will never be fully revealed.
But moving aside from Modeski, the hightlight of this episode was Scully's unfortunate - albeit amusing - encounter with Modeski's drug. With her better judgement removed, Scully is the life of the party, and a male magnet; in other words, a complete bimbo :-) But what stands out most, of course, is her second run-in with Morris Fletcher, Mr. Male Pig himself (and, ironically, Scully probably won't remember this encounter with Fletcher, either!!) He's on to her again, only this time, the tables are turned. In sweet revenge, it's Scully who gets to wack him in the ass! Go girl! I know what you're all thinking; if only Mulder could see her now... :-)
Anyway, that's about all for this one. Not a classic X-File type, but definitely enjoyable!!
Squall's Rating: 6
Sorry if this review is breif, gang. I'm right in the middle of exams right now... save me! I barely had time to even watch the episode, let alone review it. But, I needed a bit of a break, so I decided to post the review anyway, such as it is *giggle* If I have time over the next few days, I'll try to break it down in a bit more detail, if I can.
Well, first of all, I have to say that besides X-Files, one of my greatest passions is baseball. I love the game. This was a double treat for me! More than that, the ep seemed to borrow some of the same magic as one of my favourite movies, Field of Dreams. In a word, wonderful.
I have to admit that Exley won a soft spot from me right away. He has the demeanor of a kid just called up from the minors, oblivious to almost everything but the game itself; living for - and eventually dying for - baseball. Even at the end, when faced with certain annihilation, he can speak only of his feat of hitting his 61st home-run, smashing the existing record of the day (this of course, being long before the days of Mark McGuire and Sammy Sosa *g*). For Exley, baseball is more important than life.
As for the story of Exley itself, though, one has to wonder just how much of it was real and how much was fiction. But, I think this was the point *S* Much like Jose Chung's from Outer Space, much of the brilliance of this episode lies in the fact that a great deal of it seems to exist in the fine line between imagination and reality, dream and waking. It is this that makes the story more endearing.
This being said, however, there is a great deal of pseudo-mythology that underlies this episode, mainly the presence of the shapeshifter, and the reference to the project. This gives an indication of the deep calibre of the project, even in its very beginning stages.
What The Unnatural will alwasy be famous for (aside from being David's first attempt at writing and directing *s*) are the endearing scenes between Mulder and Scully. Serious flirtation? Hmm... *giggle* First, Scully playfully teases Mulder with an ice cream - er, tofutti - cone, the same dessert which he later wrestles away from her with childish zeal. We also hear Scully refer to Mulder plainly as "a rebel," a type of guy which many gals find as a turn-on :-) But these scenes are soon forgotten when it comes to ... drumroll please ... the scene in the ballpark, where Mulder teaches an initially unimpressed Scully how to bat. As he shows her the moves, he tells her to "let go of reality" (this perhaps being an articulated statement of the point of the episode itself... the fine line between dream and reality). He then proceeds to tease her, and himself, about life, career choices, and the future, instead suggesting that she should focus only on the game - or maybe just on Mulder standing be... oh, sorry, shipper moment *giggle* And so, as a birthday present, Scully has been taught a new way to relieve stress, by smacking a few balls out of the park.
And, speaking of stress relief, I suppose I should get back to studying. In a word (ok, two *s*), great episode. I look forward to seeing more from Mr. Duchovny in the future.
Squall's Rating: 8
"I made a mistake. Agent Scully is already in love."
Well, I think it's safe to assume that shippers everywhere are breathing a collective sigh of relief after this one. Milagro, an episode which many anticipated with sheer nervousness and dread, has turned out to be one of the season's best. Also, a much welcomed character-angst storyline, a genre of episode that has, for the most part, been missing this season (Tithonus, another brilliant episode, is the exception).
First of all, I have to say that Phillip Padgett is a terrifying yet compelling character; a brilliant X-Files villian. From the outside, he seems relatively gentle and well-intentioned. But deep within, he is a frighteningly obsessive man; a person who harbours a deep-seeded heart of evil, even if he is not actually aware of it.
Padgett concocts his murderous story with the soul intention of winning Scully's eye. Though he does succeed in gaining her attention, it is of entirely the wrong type; she is at incredibly alarmed by his unusually forward behaviour. However, she is also simultaneously drawn to him, slowly beginning to live out the story he wrote for her. She can't help but be curious about him, even though she senses danger. She asks him, "why am I staying when my instincts tell me to run?" Though she does not give in to him, she is still hopelessly entrapped in his spell.
As the plot unfolds, however, it is not so much Scully who becomes disenchanted with Padgett (as she is caught in his spell), but more Padgett who becomes disenchanted with Scully - or rather, Padgett begins to understand that Scully's feelings already lie elsewhere, and that his love for her is not returned. Her love, it seems, is directed at someone else. Padgett sees it first in the form of Mulder's over-protective behaviour. He sees it through Scully's behaviour around Mulder, especially the longer-than-necessary touch she places on Mulder's arm during the interrogation. And finally, he sees it through Scully herself, that despite her curiousity and enchantment, despite the fact that his story has thus far played out exactly as it was written, she is not "falling for him" in the way that he wants her to. Indeed, Scully herself states, "I cannot return the gesture. I just can't." Something powerful is holding her back (I wonder what that could be *giggle*). As a result, Padgett relays his observation to Scully and Mulder, "I made a mistake," he says knowingly, "Agent Scully is already in love."
What we have here is a confession of love of a calibre perhaps equal to Mulder's confession in Triangle. Scully, of course, never articulates her feelings. Through Padgett, however, her feelings are put in to words, and as such, potentially made known to herself, and to Mulder; just one way the writer is giving Scully what he cannot receive from her.
The story however, Padgett's story, is far from over. Though he knows that Scully is out of his reach, the evil he created lingers nonetheless. When his character arrives to confront him, Padgett essentially discovers that the only way to stop the evil is to kill the thing that insprired it; in other words, to kill Scully. Here we see a flare of decency emerge in such a troubled man, and one final way that he can give Scully what he was unable to receive from her. As a last resort, Padgett sets off to destroy his story in an attempt to save Scully's life. He succeeds, releasing his grip on Scully's heart (metaphorically and literally *g*), and closing the final chapter of his novel with his own death.
Milagro plays out as a very intriguing episode, a subtle examination of Mulder and Scully's relationship. The very fact that, despite his hold on her, Scully cannot give into Padgett, is proof enough of her devotion to Mulder. Mulder's emotions too, come across very powerfully in this episode. His protective air towards Scully, as well as his general wariness of Padgett, are a demonstation of his feelings. What was great about this ep, however, was the fact that there was no "mushy-gushy" spill of emotion; feelings remain inarticulate. The hug at the end caps it off. Though nothing was spoken, the gesture is nonetheless most powerful; actions speak louder than words. Thus, Mulder and Scully's feelings for one another were demonstrated and defined in an almost non-verbal manner. Again, as it is so often with this show, we learn more not by what was actually said, but by what wasn't.
On the whole, I have to say that Milagro was a brilliant episode. Angsty, compelling, frightening and wonderfully shippy (I'm sorry, I'm sorry *g*). One of the years' best, hands down.
Squall's Rating: 10
"Mulder, shut up."
Ah, first thing's first. Not really one of my favourites, but it definitely stands out. Also, a HUGE improvement over the horrendous Alpha. Some great one-liners, too!
I actually have to say that this one freaked me out, especially the last few scenes. Pinker was a perfectly plotted sadistic and almost-compassionless character; a cold and relentless man driven to "have what was his." Definitely a memorable X-Files villian.
Though Pinker is a brilliantly contrived character, what stands out most in this episode is the Mulder-Scully interaction. It seems their ever-blossoming relationship has risen to a new level. They now insult each other openly and kiddingly, seeming to take pleasure in doing so. Mulder is pleased and touched when Scully alludes to spontaneous human combustion, yet he covers up his emotions with a sarcastic but well-intentioned joke: "Dear Diary, my heart leapt today when Agent Scully suggested spontaneous human combustion." Scully, as usual, reads through Mulder's guise, and after a few moments of allowing Mulder to taunt her, playfully adds her own comment: "shut up, Mulder." Haven't we been waiting years for her to say that!! :-)
Also, the scene where Mulder holds up the condoms was just priceless... I have to jump in here, though. One has to wonder about all these recent allusions to condoms. First Arcadia, now Trevor... it makes you wonder just what is being implied :-)
That said, though, there were a couple of things about Trevor that distract from it's overall impression, keeping it from reaching its true potential. Though the one-liners were outstanding, the episode on the whole was a little Mulder and Scully light, which is always a bit of a disappointment. In addition, I felt it ended rather abruptly; it lacked the neat closing segment that most XF eps seem to harbour. Instead (and there's no better way to put it) it just sort of ended. A bit of a "rounding off" of the events would have been a better way to go. Other than that, Trever was a great ep, and a much-needed reprieve after Alpha.
Squall's Rating: 6
He can go on for hours....
I can go on for hours too, but not tonight *giggle* Just a brief note about this one, gang. Got a huge essay to get back to :-) Oh, and that said, as a little disclaimer, if this review makes no sense, blame it on my poor fried brain *s*
Well, er.... I guess I'd have to say that this one was rather bizarre... no, let's say it was bad. It kind of left me a little miffed. I think we all figured out the plot pretty early - mighty morphin' power dog - but it wasn't really the plot that skewed this episode. It was portrayal of Mulder, which can only be described as weird. It kind of bothered me actually, because I can't really figure out the reasoning behind it. Save the very last scene, Mulder is simply not himself. He cracks jokes which are far too forced and stupid, even for him (think of "Yo quiero taco bell" ... what the hell was that??). Moreover, he seems to be missing that little Mulder flare. He pursues the case without it; he is almost rendered to a flat character. And maybe I've missed the point, but I can't figure out the reasoning behind that whole attatchment-to-Karen thing (aside from a look into the secret internet life of Agent Mulder). Yes, Mulder is a kindred spirit, we all know that, but that just seems to be a bizarre way to show it (if you haven't already guessed, bizarre is the word of the evening). The only thing that seemed to make sense was the return of the "I Want To Believe" poster - and even this is odd, since Karen was the one who gave it back. Hmmmm... I'm confused.
Well, not much else to say about this ep, really. The only interesting thing about this ep was the Scully jealousy bit. She's really got it bad, especially if she can be threatened by somebody as--pardon the word again--bizarre as Karen :-) Was it just me, or did anybody else interpret the whole thing as Scully's way of saying, "back off and get your hands off my man?" *giggle* Ah, Scully. She always reveals so much more by what she doesn't say *g*
Anyway, that's about all I really have to say about Alpha. The ep falls into the realm of the other "when animals attack" X-Files - Teso Dos Bichos, Shapes, Fearful Symmetry - all of which were are pretty mediocre, if not completely bad. Alpha might just be the worst of the bunch.
Mulder: "Bad Dog." ... might I instead say, Bad Episode? *G*
Well, back to the essay... *sigh*
Squall's Rating: 1
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