The X-Files #104: Kingdom Come

"And there will be such intense darkness, That one can feel it." - Exodus 10:21
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: Frank tracks a one-man Inquisition who is killing clergymen.

REVIEW: Lindsay Crouse is an actress I have never liked. If Frank Black is the most emotive of characters, Crouse's characters are always downright dull. As Adris Cohen, a member of the Millennium Group we thankfully never see again, she brings an affectless delivery and a minimal performance, so let me tell you it's a shocker when she reveals this case is particularly troubling for her. Don't worry if, like me, you can't invest in her story because it never pays off anyway. We never find out why she finds it troubling, not does she get a scene once Frank defeats the killer. But worse than that, there's really no reason to have her along except as an intelligent-seeming cabbage head for Frank to talk to and explain his thought process. She does nothing any other member of the Millennium Group couldn't do, or even some police contact. The importance she seems to be given is distracting more than illuminating.

The plot is a little out of focus too. The villain goes from being a Medieval Inquisitor killing clergy for what seems to be hypocrisy - a minister who has "retired" from the Lord, for example - in the same ways heretics were tortured in the Middle Ages (burning, drowning), but in the end we find out he's really trying to kill God as incarnated in those people. He's trying to kill his own faith, which failed him after the death of his family. The "tools of faith" to destroy one's own faith isn't a clear idea, and it feels like two drafts of the script were conflated. And his methods get more and more random, despite the fact the earlier pattern is what put the Group on his trail. How a suicide bombing in a church, holding hostages at gunpoint, is anything like those earlier, stranger murders, is lost on me.

One of the things the episode does well is the Catherine-Jordan subplot, in which a bird is killed when it flies into their window. A bad omen, surely, in line with the theme of an dangerous exterior besieging the peaceful yellow house. But then in trying to explain death to Jordan, Catherine tells her that while things die, they - her parents - never will. A lie that mirrors the way the killer sees the clergy, as promising eternal life. Now, I'm not sure a trained clinical social worker would be so hard-pressed to handle these questions, but perhaps her specialty isn't child psychology. And while I enjoy how the overall themes are brought into the family home, I'm not sure I buy the incident as the inspiration for parenting advice it becomes...

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-Low - Crouse aside, Kingdom Come does a good job of setting things up, but stumbles at the finish line and falls flat on its face.

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