The X-Files Season 8 Debrief: That…wasn’t awful

The Truth Is Out There

OK, I’m gonna go out with a controversial opinion here.

I think that Season 8 is better than Season 7.

And I like Agent Doggett.

And Agent Reyes.

And Skinner actually being in on shit is fun.

And Krycheck doing stuff is great.

And Scully gets to be Mulder for a little while.

And she has a baby, that I think might be Jesus? Seriously, who’s the dad? I mean, it doesn’t matter, exactly, but I’m curious. I’m pretty sure the only time in the eight years we’ve gotten to know her, Scully’s only had sex with that murderer with the talking tatoo and maybe Mulder once?

And Mulder is not the father of her baby right?

I don’t know, it’s confusing.

Back to all that stuff that people told me sucked but I actually think is pretty great. Like Agent Doggett. Robert Patrick is a refreshing presence on The X-Files because it’s been a while since anybody looked around and said, “Seriously, what the hell is up with you people?” and wasn’t openly antagonistic.

Like he’s on Scully and Skinner’s side. He’s all for The X-Files, and finding Mulder (who was abducted by aliens and almost converted into a Super Soldier, which, OK, fine I agree with you internet, the Super Soldier thing is pretty stupid.

But I mean, other than that, this is a way better season than the one that preceded it. It actually made sense for one thing.

Anyway on to Agent Reyes. Hey! Here’s something that a season of The X-Files hasn’t really done since Scully’s sister died! Passed the Bechdel test in multiple episodes. Reyes and Scully get to be bad ass and solve crimes together and I think that’s pretty great! Also they deliver her baby in a cabin, old school style because they are bad ass awesome ladies. And she’s a little bit psychic. Which even Mulder rolls his eyes at.

And Krycheck is back, which, given that CSM is now dead, he’s as good as anyone as a big bad. He’s earned it. And Adam Baldwin! Who I know we’re supposed to hate now, but I mean, Jayne! John Casey! Same character as John Casey who’s name I can’t remember here!

Basically, I am OK with this season. It’s not say, Season 3 or 4 level good, but it’s totally solid.

Now onto season 9. 19 episodes. And a movie. I have 10 days.

I can totally do this.

 

The X-Files Season 6 Debrief: The Truth is BONKERS!

The Truth Is Out There

I thought that season five was full of silly digressions and light plot, I was not even a little bit ready for the joy that is Season 6.

I’m talking about flashbacks, and water monsters, the Bermuda Triangle creating an alternate world where Spender and CSM are Nazis (and also maybe Skinner? Man, I cannot pin that guy down), the conclusion of The Lone Gunmen story, a tribute to Groundhog Day, and a two parter where Mulder switches bodies with a Man In Black played by Michael McKean.

There’s a lot going on, I guess is the point, but it’s still pretty great. I was prepared for the mythology to lose some strength, and it is getting hard to keep track of who’s on who’s side these days. Seriously, what is going on with Skinner and Krychek? Skinner is reporting to Krychek. And Krycek was working for the Syndicate, who are probably dead, but Krychek isn’t, and I thought he was working with the Rebel Aliens, now known as the faceless rebels.

Also The Cigarette Smoking Man killed Spender, which is great, because, and I cannot stress this enough, Spender is a terrible, boring, annoying and useless character. But it was also not mentioned again, not by anyone, including Mulder and Scully who got their X-Files job back because of it.

Oh! And remember that I was complaining in the movie that Mulder never gets some weird medical problem from interacting with aliens? This season finale he does! An ancient alien artifact makes him lose his mind. At last! Parity!

But let’s talk about my favorite episodes, because there were three of them and I loved them a lot.

  • “Dreamland 1 & 2” are amazingly good, of course I keep thinking about The Thrilling Adventure Hour and their absolute refusal to do a body swap episode. But it’s so funny and oddly touching and is a shipping dream. (Even if it wasn’t really him, the idea of Mulder and Scully getting it on in a water bed is the kind of stuff fanfic dreams are made of!)
  • “How The Ghosts Stole Christmas,” which features Ed Asner and Lilly Tomlin as a pair of long dead lovers who haunt a house in Maryland and draw Mulder and Scully to them to repeat their murder suicide. They obviously don’t follow through, but it’s crazy good.
  • “Arcadia” is another fanfic dream factory, with them posing as a married couple in a creepy suburb that accidentally summoned a demon that eats people who deviate from the norm. It’s a delight.
  • And then there’s “The Unnatural” where a grey alien transforms himself into Jesse L. Martin in the 1940s because he loves baseball so much. This presents the second original Rent cast members who has been on the show. (Anthony Rapp was on back in Season 3, I think.) Also, Tiny Baby Beautiful Jesse L. Martin. Playing baseball. And also, he’s actually an alien. And it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me.

OK, so we’re through season 6. I’ve got three more seasons to push through. Jessica Jones did it’s job as a bit of an antidote, but I did spend most of my Sunday after Thanksgiving recharge time watching the back half of this season. I’ll see how I do with Season 7, I started it already, and I have just over a month to get through these three seasons and the movie, I know I can do it, but it’s going to take commitment.

The X-Files Movie: Fight The Future

XFiles

I’m going to get this out of the way.

The X-Files is not a good movie.

It’s entertaining, and as a two hour, larger budgeted episode of The X-Files it is very effective.

But it is not, by any stretch of the imagination a good movie.

The plot, such as it is, involves a virus that incubates aliens in people. Scully may have contracted the virus.

Why, by the way, is it always Scully with the weird alien diseases? Why doesn’t Mulder ever get some kind of strange medical condition from their interaction with the aliens? Does this have something to do with him being there at Samantha’s abduction?

Anyway, The Well Manicured man is kind of not into this so he decides to help Scully and Mulder, which puts him on the outs and The Cigarette Smoking Man back in with that shadowy conspiracy committee. Good for you Cigarette Smoking Man!

Also, Mulder and Scully are finally like, in trouble, for just doing whatever the hell they want. And poor, poor Skinner just wants to save their jobs. Because he is, basically a good person, who winds up in shitty, terrible situations, because he somehow wound up in charge of these two lunatics.

Oh! And Mulder and Scully spend a large chunk of the movie’s run time saying that they love each other. And they almost kiss once, but then Scully gets stung by a bee, that gives her the virus.

I actually made my brother laugh because he was watching with me, and as they were moving to kiss each other, I said, “Yayyyy!!!!” And then the bee stung her and I said, “NO! STUPID X-FILES!” Apparently this reaction is hilarious.

Fun bonus points! Blythe Danner and Martin Landau are in the movie. They’re both pretty great. This movie is just, you know, not great.

And from what I understand (Kumail Nanjiani talking about it on The X-Files Files, general consensus, my father.) the show gets crappy from here on out too. I’ve watched a couple of episodes of Season 6. They’re pretty good, but to be fair, “clean up from the movie,” and “guest starring Bryan Cranston” are pretty hard to screw up.

See you all when I get through Season 6!

 

Note:

I’ve started listening to The X-Files Files podcast! For two reasons, I don’t have a lot of people to talk about the show with, as it’s 20 years old. But, this was I can vicariously have discussions about it, and The Indoor Kids is on hiatus, and Silicon Valley and The Meltdown are also both not in season, and I was missing Kumail. I’m loving the show and am already about halfway through his season 2 coverage. I may do a little check in on the show when I write up these last four seasons. Either way, it’s going to extend my X-Files obsession for, as long as Kumail is talking about it.

I Want To Believe The X-Files Debrief Season 2

Guys, the truth is out there and the truth is making my head hurt and making me have tingly feelings in my nether regions because Mulder is aptly named “Fox.”

The Truth Is Out There

OK, look, I know it took me a season and a half.

I know that this season is about Scully being abducted by aliens, and Mulder finding out that aliens actually did abduct his sister and that she’s, you know, alive, somewhere.

Intellectually, I know all of that. And I still love Scully for all of her awesome badassery. I love that what brought her back from the brink of death (and getting to chill with her father at that afterlife lake) was that she and Mulder have more work to do. But every time that David Ducovney smirks and says something sarcastic, I stop worrying about aliens, or demons, or awesome feminist TV characters who kick all the asses and can run in heels.

And all I think is, wow, that is one amazingly hot conspiracy theorist/FBI Agent/Porn addict.

Yummy!

Yummy!

So, while, yes, I hate that my theory of, “aliens are real but Samantha Mulder wasn’t abducted by aliens” was like waaayyyyy off, and my heart is broken that Mulder’s father was killed in the season finale and we found out that he was somehow involved with The Smoking Man and horrific Nazi experiments on people, or possibly aliens, or both, and I again, love Scully and all of her world ruling greatness, none of it matters, because, seriously, the perfectly named, beautiful man who now stars in a large number of my fantasies is talking.

I Want To Believe: The X-Files Season 1 Debrief

The Truth Is Out There

With the new version of The X-Files coming down the pike in the next few months I finally decided to explore this rather glaringly large hole in my pop culture, sci fi, and nerd-dom purview.

I’d never watched The X-Files before, for a number of reasons. But for the most part it was because I was too young when it was on and it was pretty high on the “might be scary so Reenie isn’t allowed,” list. But as I became in charge of those decisions on my own, there was also the whole, 202 is a lot of episodes, and I have a job.

But I’ve decided to watch it, and while, again, having a job, prevents me from doing a weekly recap, as I would love to, I do want to document the experience in some way. So I’ll be doing these debriefs as I work through the seasons.

When I mentioned to a few friends that I was starting the show, I got a few reactions, “You’ve never watched X-Files?” was a big one and, “You know that it invented shipping right? It’s going to kill you.”

I did know, and I was prepared for death by unfulfilled sexual tension.

I was halfway through the pilot when I said, out loud, to no one, “Oh My GOD!!!! WHY AREN’T MULDER AND SKULLY DOING IT? They’re so clearly into each other. Specifically, she is so so so into him.”

I knew it was going to happen, I just didn’t expect it to happen quite so quickly. So, I’ve got about 180 episodes of agony left.

Here are some things that I’ve been thinking, now that I’m done with the first season:

  • What actually happened to Samantha Mulder? I don’t think I care. Honestly, I’m totally in that in this universe there are aliens and people have these experiences. Does that mean that I need Mulder’s close encounter to have been a real one? Not at all.
  • Theoretically, I knew how important this show was. But I really didn’t know how much of it’s DNA is still all over the TV landscape, specifically Network TV. I see the seeds of almost all of my favorite shows in this one show, and it’s absolutely fascinating.
  • Dana Skully is my queen. I love everything about her. I love her skepticism, her logical brain and her big heart.
  • There are a lot more ghosts than I thought there would be. Really. I mean, I love ghosts, I just wasn’t expecting so many of them. I get it though, because when you’re on a limited budget, and have to do paranormal weird stuff, ghosts are the way to go, but I just thought there would not be quite so many.
  • David Duchovny is exceptionally delightful and I would like more of him just in life generally.
  • My favorite episode, by far, in this season was the finale. Which is cheating, I guess, but when Skully pulled that little alien fetus out of the ice I almost screamed.