The X-Files #172: The Rain King

"What about the rain?" "That's a clouded issue."
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: Who in the town of Kramer, Kansas is controlling the weather with their emotions?

REVIEW: So is The X-Files straight up a comedy now? That's six oddball comedy episodes in a row. I do have some affection for this one, but I can't quite get behind turning Kansans into easy marks - all either hicks, losers or dumb bells - it just felt like cheap shots from big city folk, at times.  Clayton Rohner as rainmaker Daryl Mootz, for example, couldn't be any slimier a used car salesman. I've always liked Victoria Jackson as a comedienne (if not as a pundit), but the combination of her flighty bimbo, his drunk driving lech, the hick clichés who show up at the radio station, the hokey welcoming committee, and the secretary who gets excited about 6$ an hour at Dairy Queen, paint an unflattering picture of the strangely mountainous Kansas town. That's really my only problem with the episode though.

The weather effects are certainly fun and interesting, from the heart-shaped hail stones to the flying cow that almost kills Mulder, and for an episode that's a bit of a romcom farce, its mystery provides more than its share of possible suspects. It - rather hilariously - turns Mulder into something of a therapist, and Scully's reaction to the weatherman getting dating advice from him was dead on. In fact, it's a great episode for Scully, whose deadpan incredulity is pretty funny here. Kudos to the production for not forcing Mulder and Scully into a dance at the high school reunion - that would have been a cliché - but I love the subtle swaying they do to the music while observing the would-be lovers doing so. It's probably my favorite moment.

We'd all like to believe you could transition from friendship to romance with ease, but Scully makes a good defense of it, even though neither she nor Mulder accept the premise that they should be lovers when the other characters make that assumption. According to this episode, they're very happy with their platonic friendship, so the speech is meant for Victoria/Sheryl, or for the 'shippers in the audience still holding out hope.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - The comedy is heavy-handed and the characters not particularly three-dimensional, but it's a fun romp that makes good use of the leads' "unresolved sexual tension".



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