Amongst the moving of all my large, bulky, and cumbersome possessions, and the return of Mulder, and an explosion of new projects at work...I almost managed to lose track of what happened in the latest episode of the "X-Files". Enough that I could not, in good conscience, write this review until I saw the episode a second time. I am now prepared to reveal all.
OK, Mulder is alive and well. Just out of the grave, I might add. Let us, for just a moment, ignore the massive question mark that surrounds the whole concept of Mulder being even allowed near the FBI building, let alone still being an agent. Really, we can let that little item go. Work with me here.
There has been a lot of talk about Mulder's personality after his return from the dead. Frankly, he's a bit of a bastard, isn't he? Selfish, egotistical, cocky, arrogant...OK, I'm confused. Just how is this any different than before he died? Mulder has always been immensely self-centered, to the point that it is an "X-Files" staple that he will leave Scully behind to get himself into some bizarre amount of trouble in his crusade for the truth. He's always disregarded warnings, always attacked potential allies (Skinner more than once, even Scully now and then). Look at how long it took for Mulder to even begin to consider the toll his personal quest was having on Scully...what, seven years, after she was abducted, left barren, stricken with cancer, infected with an alien virus, etc.?
So to see Mulder attack Doggett with little or no provocation is hardly a shock, especially when he shows just as little concern for his own well-being when he steals information out of records retention and sneaks onto yet another government installation (ah, the good ol' days!).
However, I have suspicions that Mulder knew exactly what he was doing. Remember his line to Scully and Skinner about Doggett, the fact that "at least he can be maneuvered"? I think Mulder went after Doggett to see what would happen, to push him into acting for or against his attempt to find the truth. Note the vague expression of approval when Doggett is vindicated by the Gunmen.
Far more disturbing was Mulder's seeming apathy, verging on anger, concerning Scully's pregnancy. This was not a man happy to see he is a father...it's a man dealing with something he was not expecting at all, and wondering how it happened. Note how Mulder immediately looks to Scully to answer Frohike's question regarding his participation in the "blessed event"...is he wondering how much to say, or what might need to be said?
Scully is acting very much like the parents in "Invocation", trying to act as though everything should be back to normal, not really seeing how badly the experience has scarred Mulder. Mulder is even more dedicated now to exposing the truth, and part of his motivation is to protect Scully and her child. (Though I'm wondering where this altruism was a few years back...)
Doggett, as always, is being the honorable man, standing up for Mulder with ever having met him face to face. You have to admire that. In terms of the X-Files, Doggett seems to have turned a corner. He now feels that he should stay on the unit out of responsibility to the truth, or he is at least leaning in that direction.
Some people think that Mulder is an alien now, given his healing abilities and what not, but he is clearly not working for the alien agenda. If anyone needs to be thrown to the floor and checked for green goo in the neck, it's Kersh. He's practically pushing for Doggett to stay on the X-Files, or closing them down.
This is actually very similar to what Knowles, in effect, is attempting. Recall that part of the old conpsiracy was the use of the X-Files unit as a means of disinformation. Spender was assigned specifically to debunk cases during his short tenure in the office, and one has to wonder if the aliens want Doggett there for the same purpose. They had Mulder, and so they knew that either he would return and help debunk his own work himself, or that Doggett could be set up in his place (under Kersh, who was mysteriously promoted just after Mulder's abduction). As a final alternative, the X-Files would be closed, but that has the unfortunate effect of looking like a cover-up.
The only real question is, how does this all fit together? Just who is Kersh answering to? I still could be Krycek, but that would mean that Krycek was using the remains of the Syndicate to continue the exact same policies...something I would not expect him to do. But that seems to be the direction 1013 is going.
I guess we will know in about five weeks...
Some other thoughts:
- Tourists...watch a man jump the White House fence, and they just start taking pictures!
- Did that guy really think that Dubya needed a bootleg of the "X-Files" movie?
- Let's see...get abducted, get parts of your body removed, die, get buried for three months, get ravaged by an alien virus attempting to use your body as an incubator, eat hospital food after recovering...and yet, somehow, still gain weight! I think Mulder needs a new diet!
- Nice how that little brain tumor was cured by the alien virus. Convenient, that. (And yes, it was the virus; Scully says that the anti-virals and transfusions worked on the virus specifically.)
- So who paid Mulder's rent while he was dead?
- I told you Doggett was feeding those fish too much...
- OK, who else was hoping that Absalom would be handed that book Scully was reading in "Amor Fati"?
- Never mind reinstatement to the X-Files. I'd like to see the moron who reinstated him as a federal agent open for assignment! I know dead people seem to vote an awful lot in this country...I guess I never supposed they were also on the payroll!
- If Mulder really had it in for Doggett, I have to wonder why. Scully told him Doggett was above reproach. Doesn't Mulder trust Scully's judgment?
- Speaking of reasons why agents shouldn't be working at all...why is Scully anywhere other than behind a desk?
- Anyone else notice how Mulder's jokes fell completely flat. Must have been because he was making his "panicked" face the entire episode.
- Why didn't Doggett roll over and subdue Absalom before Absalom remembered to cock the gun strapped to Doggett's back?
- And could Absalom have looked just a little more obvious while holding Doggett hostage?
- Note how the use of US Census information dovetails into the similar work being done through the Social Security system in "Talitha Cumi".
- You know, the Gunmen were amazingly competent this time around... oh, wait, wrong show...
Overall, I think that this was a very good episode, but frankly, DD still seems to be phoning in his performances. Or, as an alternative, Doggett has simply grown on me to the point where Mulder's usual deadpan ways are simply inadequate.
I give this a 9/10.
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