The X-Files #265: Nothing Important Happened Today

"You make it sound like I go home from work with post-its on my ass."
ACTUAL DOCUMENTED ACCOUNT: Lucy Lawless guest stars as a mermaid/siren who drowns people. Cary Elwes comes on board as an assistant-director who has it in for Doggett for wanting to investigate the FBI.

REVIEW: No matter who runs the X-Files office, one of the leads must have an obsession that puts them at odds with the regular FBI. With Mulder it was UFOs and his missing sister. When he left, Scully was obsessed with Mulder's abduction. Now that neither of them are the proper leads (though Scully is still in the opening credits, and hey, Skinner too - 'bout time, and 'bout time they changed the damn thing to something made for widescreen TVs!), Doggett is the one obsessed. Being who he is, it's a "policeman"'s obsession, to uncover a conspiracy inside the Bureau, and take down, if necessary, Deputy Director Kirsh. Kirsh is going to have help though (that's if he's guilty at all, of which I've never been convinced). Evidence is being tampered with, star witness Fox Mulder is just gone, and everyone else is telling Doggett to drop it, if only to protect Scully and her baby. And then there's Assistant Director Brad Follmer (love Cary Elwes), an evidently opportunistic guy (looks young for an A.D.) who used to have a relationship with Agent Reyes (now he's got sexual harassment written all over him), and is to be Doggett's antagonist, one too energetic to be left behind a desk. Nice. I really like the scene where Kirsh puts him in charge of "punishing" Doggett; you can pretty much see in his eyes that he trusted the wrong man and has been thrown under the bus.

And so Doggett's investigation is set to take a long time, probably the whole season. The other continuing subplot relates to the nature of Scully's baby and how it might be able to move a mobile with the power of its mind. So much for normalcy! Mulder's disappearance is suspect given how the previous season ended, but I wonder if he really is gone. Going by Langly's blue face - so the Lone Gunmen escaped Morris Fletcher's clutches and we're not told how? "Don't ask" indeed! Arrrgh!!! - these events aren't long after we spotted Mulder playing Deep Throat with Jimmy in an underground garage. So could he BE the show's new Deep Throat, the one responsible for leaving important news clippings for the X-Files office to find? It would make perfect sense.

Regardless of who put the team on the case, this one deals with a woman who not only can breathe underwater, but is also killing people who might find out about a new additive, chloromine, going into the water supply. The implication is that it is responsible for her condition, but it might also be that she's a killer alien, and that chloromine is some kind of mind control drug to turn the humans into sheep. If I was stoked to see Elwes on the show, it's even more true of having Lucy Lawless on. Her underwater sequences look great too, as does Kim Manners' general direction of the episode. We're off to a good start, I think.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - Maybe the show should have ended when the two original leads started talking about leaving, but if The X-Files must continue, then I think it's doing so in a great way, remixing what worked before with great technical mastery, though perhaps not scripts as sparkling as they used to be.


Andrew said...

Okay, we're here. A moment I've been waiting for since this series of reviews was announced.

There is, as far as I can tell, no reason for the Gunmen to continue working with our new heroes.

They were introduced to the show as not just a resource for Mulder to draw information from, but as his friends. They trusted each other--Mulder knew what the Gunmen told him was on the level even if wasn't the level they thought it was, and they knew he wasn't going to go all narc on them. Plus, he was there when they got together, which counts for a lot.

They may like Scully more than they like Mulder (being an attractive redheaded woman would certainly help her in that regard), but they're only going to trust her as much as he does. Fortunately for all involved, that turns out to be pretty much completely.

Then Mulder vanishes and Doggett gets brought in on the search. They don't know him, but since they've all got the same goal it's okay for now. Scully may eventually vouch for him, but even with as much as they like her, her word doesn't quite go as far as Mulder's does. Besides, on some subconscious level he reminds them of that creepy guy from that one movie, and that's more than a little off-putting.

Then Scully leaves. What reason do they have for working with the Doggett/Reyes team?

I think someone in production knew this would be a possible sticking point for people, which is why they tried spinning them off. Pity the show tanked, though.

Siskoid said...

You're absolutely right. I wasn't think about that, by this point taking the Gunmen for granted. Although since they've been also interacting with Skinner, perhaps they now think (it's been almost a decade after all) that they're sort of got a free pass at the FBI and stay invested in case they can get some juicy morsels for the paper.


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