Tuesday, February 2, 2016

The X-Files-Phile By C.P. Stringham

Special Agents Dana Scully and Fox Mulder of Fox's The X-Files
(Internet Photo

The day it was announced that Chris Carter was resurrecting his Sci-Fi Fantasy show The X-Files, I thought it was some cruel joke. Yes, even though it was a trending topic on multiple social media outlets, I feared that, if I went to the Snopes website to see if it was false, there’d somehow be a picture of yours truly with the caption “Sucker!!” under it. It wasn’t until I consulted the websites of Variety, The Hollywood Reporter, and Entertainment Weekly that I believed it. And even better? They confirmed the return of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. Mulder. And. Scully. Booyah! It was better than the best Christmas morning ever! Only true fans will understand…because “The truth is out there.”
The original series aired from 1993 to 2002 and included two motion pictures in 1998 and 2008. The series made all of us think “I want to believe” when the story line touched on alien abductions, secret international consortiums, and monsters-of-the-week cases. It was edgy and different during a time of endless cop shows and sitcoms. What started out as a cult following, quickly earned a top spot in the pop culture world. We loved Fox Mulder’s enthusiastic belief in all things government conspiracy and outright bizarre just as much as we loved Dana Scully’s scientific Doubting Thomas who kept Mulder in line—until she joined Team Spooky, too. That was the best. The sexual chemistry between the two FBI agents charged each scene with electricity. It was HAWT! Yowza! We waited and waited for the episode when the two of them would rip off each other’s clothing and have at it. And then nothing. Suddenly, in the episode titled Requiem, they drop a plot bomb and reveal that Scully is pregnant. What?! In Trust No 1 they lead us to believe that Mulder is the father. Scully had Mulder’s baby and we never got to see the love scene that led to this outcome. Cruel. Very cruel.
Mulder’s dry sense of humor was peppered into every episode. Along with each one-liner he tossed out was an equal amount of eye rolls or mental eye rolls by Scully.
 SCULLY: Snake handling. I didn't learn that in catechism class.
MULDER: That's funny. I knew a couple of Catholic schoolgirls who were expert at it.
(Signs and Wonders Season 7: Episode 9)  

As a true fan, I have my favorite episodes and each one for different reasons. In my opinion, the most disturbing episode was Home. Set in my home state of Pennsylvania, this has to be the most twisted episode of the series. Ever. One word sums it up: Incest. *involuntary shiver* Enough said. Quagmire was a monster-of-the-week episode where the duo go on the hunt for Big Blue, a lake monster. The two find themselves abandoning a sinking motorboat (a homage to Jaws perhaps?) and end up spending the night trapped on a large rock that is partially above the surface of the lake. The sound of lapping water only builds to the suspense because we don’t know what could be looming just outside of our vision. When morning arrives, we find out that the agents could have walked to the nearby shore through knee deep water. It also marked the terrible demise of Scully’s Pomeranian, Queequeg, when the “monster” gets him. Eve brings to surface all of my fears regarding human cloning and how genetic manipulation at the hands of mad scientists could cause the downfall of mankind. Because of that episode, every time Harriet Harris guest starred on Frasier as his eccentric entertainment agent, I couldn’t help but assume Bebe Glazer was yet another reincarnation of an Eve clone.  Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose was one of the best-written episodes ever about a psychic who is brought in to help Mulder and Scully catch a serial killer. Not only did critics and fans alike praise this touching episode, it was awarded Emmy’s for Outstanding Writing in a Drama Series for Darin Morgan and Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for Peter (Everybody Loves Raymond) Boyle who played Bruckman. Honestly, there are many more I could add to this list, but I don’t have enough time in my schedule today in order to do it justice. I say that and yet I have to add Detour. You’ll never look at a forest in the same way. 
Scully holding William as her paranoia grew. Soon, she would put the baby
up for adoption to protect him.

The reboot aired last week with double episodes; airing back-to-back on Sunday and Monday. I have to admit, as the premiere approached, I was a little worried that the same magic of the original series would be gone, but it isn’t. Duchovny and Anderson fell right back into step with their G-Men alter egos. Added to the sexual chemistry from the first run is a sense of longing between them, which means an ember is still burning inside both of them. Gillian’s range of emotion is palpable in each and every scene she’s in and she has handily transitioned from young naïveté to wise and life-weary woman. David is still David; reminding viewers he’s still very much like their sometimes dorky, but always loveable, big brother who knows when to drop the funny witticisms at just the right moment. The X-Files’ writers have always been able to intertwine modern historical events into their story arcs. Edward Snowden’s name was dropped in both new episodes. When they discussed the government’s plot to create a fake alien invasion, the bit about causing power grids to fail resulting in massive blackouts kinda scared the crap out of me. Remember the Great Northeast Blackout of 2003?! They attributed it to a software bug that kept an alarm from notifying operators of an overload, but it could be a ruse. You never know. Conspiracy or software? Umhmm. See? Now you’re thinking about it, too. Trust no one!  

Mulder's poster that adorned the wall in their

shared basement office at the bureau .
With four episodes left to go of this new “season ten,” I’m hoping they explain William’s fate as well as divulge the secrets surrounding his conception. Was it au natural or was it via a turkey baster? Enquiring romantics’ minds what to know.
Episode three aired last night. I haven't watched it yet. I saved it for this evening. A little after dinner treat for myself and that way I can fast-forward through the commercials. What did we do before DVR's? Have any of our Broads of a Feather readers watched the new episodes? Are you avid fans of the old or new viewers? If you're new to the franchise, you need to see it from the beginning. I'll admit there's a little cheesiness to endure, but once you get to the meaty burger portion, you will be hungry for more.   

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