The X-Files #294: The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat

"Believe what you want to believe, that's what everybody does nowadays anyway."
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: A man shows up claiming he used to be Mulder and Scully's partner, but is being systematically erased from memories.

REVIEW: Darin Morgan's comedy script for the season is, no surprise, the best episode yet, but it loses something from the fact that everything up 'til now has been kind of doofy too. Are The X-Files now a parody of their former selves? That implies a shared memory of what the show used to be, both in terms of content and quality, and a perceived nostalgia for the classic program. And that's exactly what Morgan is discussing in his layered spoof.

Cutting every so often to non-canon material - the parody of a Twilight Zone episode, a conspiracy video, Mulder's memories of himself as a young boy with his adult head pasted on his body, classic scenes with Agent Reggie Something inserted into the action, various memories that could not possibly have happened - the episode is heavy on jokes, but also on nostalgia, both for the show as it was and the things that made our childhood memorable - whether we remember them correctly or not. The X-file du jour is about the Mandella effect, the phenomenon by which we might remember something at odds with reality. It's perfectly normal, or it's a memory ray conspiracy, or it's parallel worlds bleeding through, or Reggie Something is out of his mind... The episode doesn't really give you a single answer, and the wild inconsistencies are just part of the theme. Or if it does provide an answer, it's that you probably shouldn't examine your nostalgia too closely, let it live AS nostalgia, because there's a value in that that transcends the truth.

The joke DOES get a little old by the end, probably, or else it's just the jokeyness that does. I don't know about you, but I hate the Trump regime so much, I can't even stand references to it in media. I know you can't tell a contemporary story and completely avoid the one thing people continually talk about, but in this case, it's a reality I'd be glad to escape. Cheap shots about Trump or Ted Cruz just don't amuse me anymore. Nor do Uranus jokes, for the record. Still, the ending does reward the viewer with a cheesy alternate take on a "series finale", and a wry question mark through Skinner's late-game participation.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - There's so much packed in here, you can take some and leave some, and still find your due.

0 comments:

 

Blog Archive

Category

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 Class 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 FW Team-Up 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 Shut Up Star Boy 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 Streaky 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