The X-Files #246: Three Words

"Remember boys - this is America. Just because you get more votes doesn't mean you win."
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: Mulder is back on the job and tracking census information that proves the alien takeover has started.

REVIEW: Be careful what you wish for, eh Scully? Mulder's back, and healing remarkably fast, physically at least. There's some PTSD there that won't heal quite as fast. But he's eager to get back to work anyway, thanks to a mixture of jealousy about Doggett, curiosity as to the Conspiracy, and wanting to stick it to the Man, the Man being Kersh. But to Scully, he's cold and blasé, where she's full of emotion. The most feeling he shows is noting the death of one of his fish, and some awkwardness at her pregnancy. And obsession, of course, always obsession. He's running away from what happened to him, diving into his work, but also isolating himself out of mistrust. He doesn't trust Doggett who he doesn't know, but he mistrusts Scully as well, who is sees as over-protective. That seems to give him permission to not believe whatever Doggett says, because Scully vouches for him, but then Doggett is being misled by elements of the Conspiracy, so that isn't necessarily a bad thing, except Mulder disbelieves all the wrong things. Somehow, the show makes us resent Mulder, the character we wanted back so intensely, because he's being unfair to Doggett, his second-rate replacement. It's a riveting character dynamic, and all the actors sound sick and hoarse, making their characters seem tired and overextended.

The character of Knowle (Adam Baldwin) is secular Doggett's Deep Throat or X, and proves particularly untrustworthy. Proof that Scully was right to be paranoid in Par Manum, here he manipulates events so that Doggett leads anti-alien prophet Absalom to his death as everyone with knowledge that the aliens are already among us is bumped off. He then tries to use Doggett to set up Mulder for the same fate, and when you thought it couldn't be any more shocking, Knowle is revealed to be an alien (shapeshifter? abductee replacement?). It's an interesting twist on the informant trope, one that goes a step further than what we've seen before, though the reveal might have happened too soon. Or is he sympathetic to our side and we just don't know it yet?

Though cases of the week are all well and good, Mytharc business is probably better addressed in slightly longer arcs, this being the fourth episode of what can easily be called the same case/story. The three words in the title, "Fight the Future" was the title of the first X-Files movies, so you know it's important. Great thriller elements overall, so I can pardon the lame escape from the Census Bureau's server room. That really is rather silly.

REWATCHABILITY: High - A strong Conspiracy thriller with plenty of twists and turns, none more interesting and engaging than Mulder's antagonistic attitude.

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