The X-Files #238: Surekill

"The eyes are the windows of the soul. They tell you everything you need to know about a person."
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: Scully and Doggett investigate an assassin who can apparently see through walls.

REVIEW: The X-Files' Doggett-fueled new formula seems to be solving "strange crimes". That's fine. And the mystery here is intriguing enough, if a little easy to figure out. Twin brothers, one with poor eyesight, the other who can see (and shoot) through walls, their hits done with some theatricality. Fair enough. Unfortunately, the episode is about them, their operation, and the twisted love triangle they're in with Tammi, their office girl who runs her own scam, far more than it is about our FBI agents. And that, I think, is Surekill's biggest problem. It feels like we meet the "exterminators" and spend way too much time with them before Scully and Doggett ever do. Early scenes about characters we knew nothing about just fell extremely flat, and I found my attention straying. The way it's resolved, with twin betraying twin, is far too predictable for the time it's given, as well.

There's an early role for James Franco in this, as Officer #2, but he's never in focus and doesn't have any lines. I couldn't even spot him in my first run-through. I'm a lot more interested in Kellie Waymire (Tammi) anyway. I really liked her recurring character on Enterprise, and seeing her in parts here and there fills me with sadness given her untimely death at the age of 36 back in 2003. This isn't a great role for her though. She mostly plays scared as the snarky smart brother threatens her, or the creepy brother with the X-ray eyes peeps at her undressing. Even though she scams them of 100,000$ and escapes both justice and retribution, she lacks the ruthlessness that might have made her really flip the tables on the two other crooks. A stronger Tammi might have meant a stronger twist at the end.

Nothing in the straightforward plot actually justifies turning this into an alternate POV episode. The early scenes where Scully and Doggett try to solve the mystery of how the first murder was committed are cool, but then the episode loses its way by straying off the leads. In the end, Scully deducing the nature of their crimes and their methodology seems like she's been watching the episode with us. And her cheesy lines at the end about X-ray seeing inside a woman's heart? Come on now.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-Lowish - A fair episode with a cool enough mystery, but it's handed over to the wrong characters where it lands quite flat.



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