The X-Files #62: Syzygy

"Sure. Fine. Whatever."
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: Planetary alignment causes cheerleaders to turn into Carrie, and Mulder and Scully to destroy their friendship.

REVIEW: If this were your first X-Files episode, I don't know what you'd make of it. Because of the planetary alignment, they don't act like themselves, and aside from a tiny line in there (Mulder admitting he doesn't usually drink), it's not really addressed, and they don't "return to normal" at the end. While it keeps the humor going, that's very odd. I mean, are we to believe they'll keep acting this way? Is Scully well and truly fed up with Mulder? Is she now a jealous smoker who gets angry at "believers"? Has Mulder released his inner horndog to the point where he has to smell every woman on his path? It's like Chris Carter is trying to do a Darin Morgan script, with Scully being the one who gets an antagonistic reaction from the townspeople instead of Mulder (they're all believers), and the frustration mounting. Certainly, the police shootout set to the Keystone Cops' music means this is indeed a comedy.

And it certainly has its moments. The bits where the agents are lost on America's back roads are well played. The psychic is a rational businesswoman who makes Mulder pay for exposition. The ridiculousness of a high school sports team having a Satanic mascot. The townspeople jumping to insane conclusions like a certain someone. And there's joy in Scully gritting her teeth every time Mulder opens his mouth. Some of the humor is as black as hell, with the monstrous cheerleaders hanging a young Ryan Reynolds(!) from a cliff, playing "he loves me, he loves me not), or killing another boy after he sprays Gatorade all over them. (While we're on the subject of "before they were stars", one of the girls is Lisa Robin Kelly, Laurie Foreman on That '70s Show, someone her brother Eric keeps calling "the Devil". Serendipitous casting! It's part of the fun! (Detective White, whom Mulder "seduces", is a pretty recognizable actress too.

We can usually expect some good directorial choices from Rob Bowman, who manages to punch up the comedy with the editing, and uses tricks like switching back and forth between the two devil girls whenever their stories match. It's good, but I'm pretty sure it comes too quickly on the heels of War of the Coprophages. You shouldn't really do two changes of pace in a row. Especially if it's going to have such similar elements as a love interest for Mulder.

- It's missing a proper resolution, but Chris Carter's take-down of his own creation has some darkly funny moments, and taught me how to make vodka-orange juice in the grossest possible way.



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