"I always thought when I got older I'd maybe take a cruise somewhere, but this isn't exactly what I had in mind."
REVIEW: Norway is pretty far off the beaten path, but worth it for creating an even more isolated, desperate atmosphere. The action mostly takes place on a quickly oxidizing Navy destroyer, a great use of a real world location (the ship, not, I presume, the North Atlantic). In the ever evolving osmosis between Mulder and Scully, she's the one whose crazy theory appears to be the truth - something about free radicals being drained out of the area at a fantastic rate by the sea water - it's complete nonsense, but we hardly ever take Mulder to task for that, so who am I to argue with her. She also brings up the promise of an afterlife, something she's "scientifically" observed during her near-death experience earlier in the season, one of those concepts Mulder doesn't quite grasp unless he's talking ghosts and demons (i.e. THREATS of an afterlife).
It's a little unfortunate that the episode relies so much on aging make-up. Mulder's, Scully's and guest-star John Savage's are pretty good, but everyone else gets to wear a once-size fits all design that's so ugly, you wonder why they didn't just age the Navy boys with casting instead. Did any of them have memorable faces except for the captain? But it's not really aging, is it? It's more like dessication. Obviously, when our heroes get infected, we know it has to be reversible, but the episode grinds on, with no rescue in sight, and survival less and less probable. They drink from the toilet and fight over who will have to drink to sardine/lemon/snow globe juice, while Savage's character takes a selfish route and is drowned for it. When help does arrive, it's almost an anti-climax. Scully had grown poetic in her musings by then, and her proposed end of days would have made a fine ending to, say, a bleak film. Of course, the show must go on.
THE TRUTH IS OUT THERE: If Mulder's information is correct, the Philadelphia Experiment happened in the X-Files universe (of course it did), and furthermore, was helped along by Roswell tech (of course it did). Is this a clue that UFOs use wormhole technology to move around? Obviously, that would explain how they handle cosmic distances, and maybe Earth IS on some kind of through-way that would explain why different species congregate here. And we've just SEEN space-time warping effects in Fearful Symmetry, haven't we? An elephant, a battleship, a UFO... it's all the same.
REWATCHABILITY: Medium - A desperate survival tale that might have worked without the rather ridiculous aging effect.