The X-Files #240: Badlaa

"In my experience, dead men don't tip."
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: A crippled fakir comes to the U.S. in someone's bowels, then starts killing randomly.

REVIEW: I've always liked Scully, and I like Doggett, but I think this episode illustrates well what is missing from the series without Mulder. It's the new character dynamic that's lacking. The X-Files weren't really about the supernatural case of the week, but about the chemistry between the two leads. It's not that I miss the so-called unresolved sexual tension, but I do miss the humor and the banter. Early on in Badlaa, Doggett does let his hair down and poke fun at Scully's current knack for crazy theories, but generally, it makes him grumpy in a way that's dramatic, but not, as in the previous dynamic, humorous. Since she can't act the skeptic anymore, Scully's dry wit isn't served as well as it used to either, even when she brings in Mulder surrogates to bounce off of like Burke.

The flipside of this coin is nevertheless the best part of the episode. See, Scully is only faking her role as a believer, and everything she's been telling Doggett - about keeping an open mind and so on - is what she's been desperately telling herself. I love her breakdown at the end (to the point where I wish it were in a better episode), her realization that she really doesn't HAVE Mulder's open mind, and is therefore compromised. She needs Mulder there, and so plays his part, WILLS him to be there, but it IS an act. Not being allowed to be herself makes her even more unhappy, and in this case, incarnating Mulder pushes her to a traumatic action, killing what seemed to her a boy. She took Mulder's leap, but it cost her.

It's unfortunate then that the case of the week is so unfocused (as many of the episodes have been lately). The fakir who is murdering people - played by Deep Roy (Mr. Sin to Who fans, Keenser to Trek fans) - starts out as the X-Files' latest toilet monster, a man who crawls inside a fat man's bowels and "pilots" him to America, but that creates a red herring that creates unnecessary conflict between Doggett and Scully. Because once he's there, he's all about clouding people's minds to appear invisible or as other people. (And if Burke's throwaway line about fakirs shrinking to the size of atoms is meant to cover the first power, it's not a thought I care to entertain.) So two powers that don't really seem to work together and just confuse the issue. But his lack of specific motive is what's really annoying here. Okay, his son died in a chemical spill. Okay, he wants revenge and has turned his back on his ascetic values. But why kill these people specifically? At no point is it explained that they might have a connection to the corporation responsible for the spill. I mean, one of these is a janitor in a school. If he's killed just so the fakir can get his job, well, why does he need that job? Why place himself in an environment full of kids when kids can apparently pierce the veil of his illusions? Is he just killing Americans randomly because it was a U.S. company that wronged him? Why even come to America when there are surely Americans living and visiting India? It's all complete nonsense.

- Enlightening about Scully's attitude with Doggett, but holy crap (pun not intended), the mystery of the week is bollocks.



Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zine