Everything happens for a reason...
Well first of all, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this episode. A little on the predictable side, but that did not in any way distract from the overall picture. Definitely worth a repeat viewing (unfortunately, I won't have the privilege of watching it again right away because my sickly VCR kindly omitted the middle section of the episode *grumble* I guess Henry's luck didn't rub off on me tonight *LOL* Hmmmm... but I wonder if there was a greater reason for my VCR cutting out halfway thru the ep... *LOL*).
Anyway, my own personal lamentations aside, let's get down to business :-)
The plot of this episode basically speaks for itself. We have instant sympathies for Henry and for his humanitarian intentions. We don't learn too much about him, but we don't have to. He's immediately likeable - devoid of evil, a quiet, privately brilliant man with a good heart - and a noticable contrast to the scores of X-Files villians we're usually presented with.
The plot, as stated, is slightly predictable, but I believe that was the intention. This was more or less an "all's well that ends well" sort of ep, and it's general simplicity is perhaps what makes it so appealing.
What does stand out more than anything, however, is of course the interaction between Mulder and Scully. Right from the outset, they seem completely natural, on wonderful terms with one another. Mulder sneaks up Scully, then casually comments on her outfit - a statement, which, after seven years, comes completely natural to him. And then we have a probable first from Scully herself, as she stiffles giggles in regards to Mulder's "plumbing" misfortune - their friendship has thus progressed to a level that they are now able to openly joke with one another. And, on another Scully note, we are a presented with a rather interesting, even innuendo-laced remark from her when she suggests that Mulder go and change his clothes. Though I would hesitate to make such a bold statement myself, a friend of mine from the Church of X commented last week that, based on Mulder and Scully's recent interaction, we perhaps have sufficient proof to conclude that they are "doing it" during the commercials. As I said, I perhaps would not have put it quite that way, but it does raise an intriguing point :-)
Aside from the Mulder/Scully interaction, we also have some wonderful classic material from both of them. Mulder's infamous and often comical intuition, plus numerous examples of Scully's trademark "oh brother" look.
Indeed, it was definitely Mulder and Scully who made this episode.
On a final note, we do have a few touching moments in this otherwise humorous episode, mainly in regards to Richie. Again, with Scully's compassion for the young boy, we see shades of Emily. But also, a few brief yet knowing glances from Mulder tell us that he's entirely aware of Scully's sentiments regarding the child. Again, after seven years, a natural phenomenon: Mulder is able to read even the most subtle language from Scully, and vice versa.
To wrap up, a thoroughly enjoyable episode. The lighter side of the X-Files, plus some fantastic Mulder-Scully interaction. Definitely a great ep.
*Although I don't usually display pics from eps, a friend of mine found this cool pic of tough-gal Scully from TGV and insisted I post it :-)
Squall's Rating: 7+
Carrie meets the Matrix?
Evening! Sorry I'm so late! The office party wasn't so bad, but I'm exhausted! Not sure if I'll have much insight tonight, but I'll try.
Well, on the whole, not a bad episode. Not an exceptionally good episode either, but nothing worth complaining about (besides, I'm too tired to be picky *giggle*).
First of all, I have to point out the obvious shadowing of the movie Carrie. Here we have a portrait of a sadistic teenager who stumbles upon supernatural powers and so uses them to manifest his violent fantasies. But then we also have a little twist a la The Matrix: the supernatural force in this case is not actually a supernatural force so to speak, but time itself. In Rush, time is a variable which can be manipulated at will. One can move in and out of the temporal sphere - speed time up, slow it down, backtrack, move out of phase with it, etc.
This is best demonstrated in the bullet scene at the end. Obvious shades of the Matrix here, but still great to watch.
Aside from that, what does stand out in this episode is Mulder and Scully's interaction. They seem to joke with each other comfortably. Scully even gives Mulder a little slap when he is just a bit too flattered by Chastity's interest in him. And in the hallway at the sheriff's office, a subtle movement on Scully's part: just off camera, her hands appear to move. Is she fiddling with Mulder's tie? :-)
Anyway, that about wraps it up for this week. Sorry my last couple of reviews have been so rushed (oops... pardon the pun. You can tell I'm tired if I'm cracking such stupid jokes *giggle*). Anyway, things should be back in order next week. Thanx for being so patient!
Squall's Rating: 5
"The world didn't end."
Hey gang! Ok, I'm severely pressed for time tonight, so I'm going to have to really blow through this one. If I have time over the coming week, I will add to the review, if possible.
Actually, this probably works out well, since I don't have much to say about the general plot of this ep. I only watched the Millennium series very infrequently, so I wouldn't feel comfortable commenting on the general content anyway. So, very rapidly, here's my take on the episode:
First of all, we see little shades of Emily in this one. Scully is moved by Frank Black's devotion to his daughter, and you can see the nostalgic air she adopts throughout. This is understandable, given that Scully found and lost her daughter Emily around the holidays only two years ago. I have to commend the writers on this one (or Gillian Anderson for throwing in the little hints). It's a topic I think the show has severely downplayed, in fact almost ignored, and I think it would serve them well to give it a little more attention. It has the potential to give a lot of depth to Scully's character.
Next item: Scully is has a very open stance in this one. Not only is she unable to contest what she sees (and what attacks her) she gives full credit to Mulder's theory, even when speaking to Skinner! This is yet another example of the trend that has been developing in this very young season; the fact that Scully is leaning a little more toward extreme possibilities to provide explanations to the strange circumstances she and Mulder investigate.
And now, jumping way ahead (told ya this would be rapid), let's take a look at The Kiss :-)
Despite the obvious justifications that will undoubtably be made, nobody can tell me that that this little ditty was strictly plantonic. In the seconds leading up to it, Mulder watches Scully intently, a look of deep longing in his eyes. And when he finally goes for it, he doesn't hesitate, and he doesn't hold back. This was not just a little peck, people. A worthy source tells me the lip-lock lasted nine seconds :-) As for Scully, she responds instantly, with complete acceptance. The tiny remnats of reluctance that were apparent in the movie have all but dissolved here. She's ready to enjoy the moment.
As for their subsequent reactions, there is first a mutual sentimental smile, then a natural look of confusion on both their faces; a look that can be interpretted equally as:
A. What just happened here?
B. Why the hell did we wait so long to do this?
As for consequences to the kiss? Well, I think Mulder sums that one up just fine: "The world didn't end." Indeed it did not. He then puts his arm around her and they walk out, to where? We can only wonder...... *evil grin*
Anyway gang, I could go on, but my time is up, unfortunately *sigh* I'll try to add more over the course of this week, if I can!
Squall's Rating: 8
Hmmm... on first glance, this wouldn't seem like much of an episode; obviously not a classic X-Files type. But as the show progressed, and we got further into it, I realized that this episode is a lot deeper than it appears on the surface. In actuality, what we are presented with is something very unique: a retro-type story with an interesting twist on narrative perspective.
For what is probably the first time in X-Files history, we are essentially offered an episode which is told entirey from the point of view of the MOTW (monster of the week), and not at all from perspective of Mulder or Scully. Indeed, the only screen time the agents get in this episode are the instances when they are required to interact with Rob; in other words, they only appear when Rob is with them. What is almost completely absent are the trademark Mulder-Scully one-on-one discussions, their usual exchange of theories and doubts. We hear Mulder's theory only as he reveals it to Rob. We learn of Mulder's suspicions only as Rob learns of them. We pick up on Scully's doubts only as Rob picks up on them. In fact, there is only one instance where Mulder and Scully converse on their own; that is in the kitchen of the Lucky Boy restaurant in the early segments. Yet even here, Rob is present - he's using the drive-thru microphone to listen in on their conversation.
Needless to say, Rob is the perpetual focal point of this entire episode. The story is told through him. As I said, quite a unique twist.
As for the general plot itself; despite the interesting reversal in perspective, I was a little disappointed in the basic story concept. The general idea of genetic-mutant-killing-to-fufill-a-biological-urge is something I feel the writers have already exhausted. We saw it in Tooms, we saw it in 2Shy, in Teliko, and even Leonard Betts. Now the pattern repeats itself in Hungry.
But, before I completely toss out the plot for lack of originality, I do have to say that it does stand out in one area. Here, we are presented with a splendid example of a sympathetic genetic mutant; Rob does not want to kill. He's remorseful, he's driven almost insane by guilt. He has a problem that he can't control, and that he tries incessantly to quell. Though we certainly don't condone Rob's actions (not that Rob does, either!) we feel sorry for him nonetheless.
In the end, Rob realizes that he can't control his urges. He also realizes that in many respects, they define his identity. Rob dies because he finally understands that he can't hide from his true self; "I can't change who I am."
Returning to the idea of Rob as the focal point of this episode, I have to say that I was impressed with the ending. Since the story is told entirely from Rob's point of view, with his death, it simply stops - as you would expect with any story, when the main character dies (I am reminded of Margaret Laurence's outstanding novel, The Stone Angel. They story is told by a woman named Hagar, from a first person perspective. When she dies, the narrative simply stops. Much the same goes in Rob's story).
I sincerely doubt that Hungry will go down in X-Files history as a classic. On the contrary, it won't even be a memorable episode for most. It will probably be an ep that will fade into mental obscurity; it will be quickly forgotten. And I'm not saying that it necessarily deserves another fate. It's just that for me, this episode was interesting simply because it presented itself as an X-File turned upside-down and inside-out. Kind of cool to see things from another point of view.
Squall's Rating: 6
I'm speechless! I mean he... she... they... murdered... kissed.... I'm your father.... ??? ... ACK!
Sorry, sorry! I think I just needed to get that out of my system :-)Anyway, now that I'm a little more focused, I think we can move on.... though I hardly think I can do this fantastic episode any sort of justice :-)
Oh, and guys? I think it might be ok to stop the elated jumping up and down on the sofa now *giggle*
Well, I guess I'll treat this as more of a checklist of major events rather than a review. Some of the events speak for themselves. Others require a little more interpretation. So here we go!
First thing's first. Our suspicions confirmed: CSM is Mulder's father. Or so he says. I don't know if Mulder believes him, though. It was more than apparent that he didn't look at all surprised - in fact he had almost no reaction whatsoever (though his plight at the time might explain that *giggle*). Now the question for us is, are we to believe him? This turn of events is almost too expected. Still, there is one other tidbit of supporting evidence in this episode: Diana Fowley, speaking to CSM, referred to Mulder as "your son." Interesting.
Next item! Mulder's alternative life. Was it a reflection of his own subconscious thoughts, or a complete fabrication implanted in his mind by the Syndicate? I'm actually thinking it was a little bit of both. The scenario was set up for him by CSM. How he interepretted it, however, was entirely of his own accord... as we delightfully see at the end!
Next, the mysterious cause of Mulder's illness. Again our suspicions confirmed, as it was the direct result of his infection with the black oil several years ago. But here's the twist: Mulder is an alien/human hybrid, the final end that the Syndicate always wanted to achieve. He is capable of surviving the extinction prophesized in the hyroglyphs. He is the future. But will he follow the path of the hero, the one CSM tried so fervently to steer him off? Only Mulder knows the answer to that question... Mulder, and maybe Scully :-)
Now, just a little aside. As for that Mulder/CSM mind-meld thing, I have no comment at this time :-) I'm not quite sure what CSM was trying to achieve, so I think I'll just leave it alone until my mind is a little clearer.
But, the mind-meld thing does bring me to the topic of Diana Fowley. It was too bad that only at the end did she reveal her tiny flare of decency. She really did love Mulder, which is why she couldn't bear to see him in that state, a virtual guinea pig for the Syndicate. But with her decision to bring Scully into the picture in order to help Mulder, she confirmed one thing; the fact that she knows full well that Scully is the only person in the world who is capable of the task, the only person who has the ability to get through to him. Interesting. She may love Mulder, but I think she knows who Mulder loves. Maybe she was a little more insightful than her twisted loyalites made her out to be.
Still, I don't think any of you will chide me for saying that I much prefer her out of the picture than in it... that is of course if she's truly dead. No body, no proof. All hearsay. I'm not about to write her off yet. This is the X-Files, remember? *LOL*
Now, here comes the good stuff. The floodgates have finally opened. The invisible line has almost been crossed. As Fowley knew too well, Scully was indeed the only person who could get through to Mulder. She was the only one who was able to tell him, harshly, to get back on the right path when he had wandered astray. And Mulder heeded her words well. He's indebted to her now. "You helped me."
And as for his dream, I think Mulder had to experience the alternative before he really understood what he was missing. He lived an entire lifetime with Diana Fowley, but the whole time, he was aware that something was lacking. Dream or not, I think it told Mulder all he needed to know. Indeed, on his "deathbed," the only name he really reacts to is Scully's.
And back in the land of the living, he lets her know this. When she comes to tell him that Fowley had been murdered (fitting that she should be the one to do it, I think), he's obviously shaken, but the truth remains the same. Scully was the one constant for him, the thing that kept him going, and still keeps him going. And he lets her know this:
Mulder: Scully, I was like you once--I didn't know who to trust. Then I chose another path, another life, another fate where I found my sister. The end of my world was unrecognizable and upside-down. There was one thing that remained the same. You... were my friend and you told me the truth. Even when the world was falling apart, you were my constant, my touchstone.Remember, there are no more walls between them. They are more open with each other than they have ever been. The only thing that remains is that tiny little line that has yet to be crossed.
Scully: And you are mine.
As for Scully herself, she should be commended for the way she handled Fowley's death. We all know her sentiments toward the woman. Most of us shared them. But she also recognizes the fact that Fowley was Mulder's friend; if not now, then years ago. She knows her loss will impact him. And she respects this.
Now, the kiss :-) A mere prelude of what is to come....
Anyway gang, that's it for this week. I could literally go on forever about this one. I've barely even scratched the surface. But I must break off for this week. Season 7 is off with a bang!
Squall's Rating: 9
Hi gang! First of all, I want to welcome everybody back from the six month layoff... so, HELLO! :-) Hope you're all ready for season seven!
As I generally do with multi-part episodes, I will refrain from delving into huge plot assumptions until we've seen all there is to see. However, there are some things about this episode that just have to be said. So, let us proceed, shall we? :-)
Oh, just a little disclaimer. Please pardon my incoherence. I've been working, studying, and writing essays all weekend, with very little sleep to boot. My brain is just a tad fried :-)
This is going to be a little choppy *giggle*
First of all, I have to say that the season opener is a huge improvement over the finale, mainly in terms of the portrayal of Scully (though before I go on, I have to mention the fantastic biblical overtones; the plagues of Egypt. Amazing!).
In the finale, Scully had regressed back to the point where she was questioning the purpose of Mulder's quest, wondering why the hell he even bothered to try to find the truth. After six years, that just didn't make sense. Scully might not share in Mulder's beliefs, but that doesn't mean that the cases are of no importance to her. She's seen too much to wonder what she's "still doing here." Now, it's nice to see that the writers have dropped the retro-Scully bit; on the contrary, she seems more open to extreme possibilities than ever, a refreshing turn-around from her disappointing finale attitude. It will be interesting to see how she handles the new leads she has stumbled upon, and whether or not she chooses to carry on from here as "a believer."
Next item: the reappearance of Kritchgau. Interesting twist, in my opinion. There must be something more to Kritchgau that we don't know about, something Mulder senses. Otherwise, why would he entrust his life to this man, someone whom he never really trusted in the first place? Hmmmmm.... very curious indeed.
Now, in terms of Mulder, what is very interesting is the fact that he now knows the nature of Skinner's situation, something which Scully only vaguely suspected previously. He knows that Krycek is literally keeping the man on a leash through the use of nanoprobe technology; he knows that Skinner is being forced to act against his own will. How will Mulder use this information? Again, very interesting, and I have to commend the writers for bringing this storyling to the forefront once again. I just think it's a brilliant twist :-)
Hmm... now I guess I'm supposed to talk about Fowley, right? Aw, damn! *giggle* Is it just me, or is anybody else getting sick of her? I mean, really! :-) Now she's gone and professed her love to "Fox." (Pardon me if I'm cringing slightly *giggle*). I just can't figure this woman out; her perversely divided loyalities, her complete betrayal of Mulder, her decision to come crawling back to him, and now her obsession with him? PAH! Get this woman out of here, quick! The only thing that really interests me about her is exactly what she's up to. I have an inkling, as I'm sure many of you do, that she is the one behind all of this... probably some way to capitalize on her apparent unhealthy preoccupation with Mulder *grumble*
All I have to say is, let the words of Scully ring true when she says to Fowley "you're a liar." It's woman's intuition here. Scully knows best :-)
Anyway, at least there was one good Fowley revelation tonight. Skinner can't stand her either. I always knew Walter was a cool guy :-)
And now, I've saved the best for last. "Your beautiful mind"! My goodness, Scully! Such feeling! :-) I can't remember a time - save Memento Mori, and less specifically Rain King - where Scully actually articulated her fondness for her partner. In fact, I'd even go as far to say that her moving speech at the end, where she tells Mulder to "hold on," was as close as she has ever come to equalling his "I love you" in Triangle. And was it just me, or did anyone catch what seemed to be the faintest hint of a smile on Mulder's face when he realized that Scully had finally come back to see him? We already know that he's much more aware of his surroundings than he lets on. Hmmm... I dunno... :-) Now if only we could somehow extract the Fowley entity from the picture and dispose of her somewhere.... mere delusions of grandeur.
Anyway gang, that's it for this week. Like I said, my brain is seriously compromised at the moment. I hope this wasn't too incoherent! *giggle* Hopefully next week I'll be able to tie everything together a little better.
Squall's Rating: 7+
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