The X-Files #192: Skull and Bones

"There are no secrets. People can be erased."
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: 43 skeletons are unearthed with a possible link to the Millennium Group.

REVIEW: Oh the Millennium Group still exists? I almost forgot about them :P. This is a strange episode in that it puts Emma Hollis at the center of the program's web of paranoia, leaving Frank to interact with a conspiracy nut who feeds him all the clues, which in turn can be sent to Emma. She's out in Maine recovering cured skeletons with slimy, but ultimately clueless Baldwin, and one Peter Watts, sinister in his helpfulness. The more Emma uncovers, the more paranoid she gets, but what if Frank is listening to the wrong person, it's all a coincidence, and Watts' cover stories are true? What if the victims were killed by some serial killer who lived in the homes marked for demolition to pass an interstate? Could this Arthur Dent not be the real monster, and the Millennium Group blameless? After all, the way they use Cheryl Andrews (C.C.H. Pounder) here doesn't quite mesh with what happened in Season 2, so it could all be the ravings of a lunatic whose visions are a lot less prescient than Frank's.

I liked the ambiguity a lot. The lighting, the music, the acting, everything seemed to push for Emma letting her imagination get the better of her, and Watts to be sinister only from her point of view. After all, if Millennium was disappearing people at this rate and for the reasons stated, Frank and Jordan would be as dead as Catherine by now. And then we get to the last act and Peter Watts up and confesses to Emma that Frank and his nut were right. That disappearing all these people was necessary to safeguard the United States against apocalyptic threats. The ambiguity shifts to her, as she doesn't seem to do anything with the information and certainly doesn't report it to her superiors. Is she afraid? That seems to be the implication. Is she on her way to being "turned"? Could be. But the loss of that first ambiguity is unfortunate regardless.

I'm also not sure about the CG skull baseball sequence, but your mileage may vary.

A well-directed paranoid thriller, I'm just not sure I like the certainty of its ending.



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