The X-Files #115: Walkabout

"I remember the very things I do not wish to; I cannot forget the things I wish to forget." - Cicero
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: Frank retraces his steps after a violent drug trial.

REVIEW: Walkabout opens on a shocker, with Frank caught in an orgy of violence, and apparently faring no better than the demented people trapped in the room with him. When he's found in an alley, he has no memory of what happened to him. So begins our mystery. In a sense, it's not all that different from the usual, since the clues culled from Frank's flashes of memory take the place of his visions. But it does mean we inch along rather randomly. By investigating his recent past, part of his history comes to light, including his "disappearances" when he had his breakdown, and how he'd check into hotels under the pseudonym David Marx. That identity once again comes to the fore, and Catherine fears the worst.

But what's great about this whole situation is that while Frank can be accused of not letting her know what he was up to - so that now, she can't fill in the blanks for him - his "no secrets" policy is well in effect. He shows her the pictures of him going mad under the influence of the villain's psychotropic "mickey", and confesses that he wasn't trying to cure HIS visions, but rather have that option if Jordan was ever in danger of being traumatized by them. Up 'til now, Jordan's powers have not been commented on, but it seems we were right to worry about her. It's an important part of the meta-arc.

While the "mad scientist"'s motivation is very interesting - wanting to "wake up" the "zombies" that have been taken his company's anti-depressant - Gregory Itzin (Traders, Red/Green Show) is too interesting an actor to use him so sparingly. He can do a combination of manic, mean and humorous like nobody's business, and his scenes are few and far between. Zeljko Ivanek's also in this and quite good though, as an anxious unlicensed doctor of last resort who gets people into clinical trials. The episodes gets some "professional" medication testers in the story too, for that extra bit of weirdness. And there are dogs too. I don't know if they were trying to do something with the small dog who tries to claw himself into the clinic to contrast him to Jordan's border collie, but if they were, it failed. It's a mark of the show being very good at creating parallels between the crime story and the family story that a probably innocuous element bothers me here.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - I wish they'd built up the villain a little more, because this is otherwise an unusual mystery with strong ties to the larger story. I was left colder than I should be.

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