Saturday, May 30, 2015

Revisiting The X Files: S04 E04: Unruhe

S04E04: Unruhe

OK, now we're finally getting somewhere. Cameras that take photos of people screaming in a vague headspace, a loony who is kidnapping women and get rid of the 'howlers' in their heads by poorly lobotomising them, and a chance for Scully and Mulder to again fall into a situation where one of them is about to die, and the other has to rescue them.

The concept of the camera that photographs the 'future' and this being the premise behind the action is a reasonable one, and certainly stills gets me in from the start of the episode to its conclusion. One of the more enjoyable episodes of season four. 4/5.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Revisiting The X Files: S04 E03: Teliko

S04E03: Teliko

Here is another episode where there seems to be too little to the storyline, except that a black guy is killing a lot of other black guys to steal their pigment. Great. Terrific. That's a strange thing that is occurring. 

And of course only Mulder and Scully are capable of not only working out what is happening, but of tracking down the culprit in the most obscure place possible. And then once captured he'll face trial if he lives. Yeah OK, that's all fine, but in the long run how much do you get invested in the storyline?

The answer is - not a lot. It's just not particularly interesting. 2/5.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Revisiting The X Files: S04 E02: Home

S04E02: Home

This episode is widely praised for its portrayal of the subject matter. In the long run, it just made me feel icky, even (or especially) once the conclusion had come to pass. X File or not, I don't think it is a bad episode, or that the writing or characters were poor, but I just didn't like it. At all. 

An inbreeding family, trying to conceive a non-mutant child, and burying every child that comes out malformed... yeah, I'll accept the paranormal or supernatural or extraterrestrial every day of the week, but this was just not particularly entertaining viewing in the least. 2/5.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Revisiting The X Files: S04 E01: Herrenvolk

S04E01: Herrenvolk

There's plenty happening in the Season 4 opener, with the opening bee death scene, the exaggerated chase scene between the bounty hunter, Jeremiah Smith and Mulder, the bevy of attendees at the bedside of Teena Mulder, the reappearance of Samantha Mulder (or a form of her at least), more deaths and more back-pedalling. It keeps you on your toes, but you have to wonder how you could actually kill an alien bounty hunter if he wasn't killed in this episode!

The quote at the end in regards to Mulder, that "the fiercest enemy is the one with nothing to lose" is probably one that plays out for the remainder of the series. The only downside is that there is still no forward momentum to Mulder and Scully actually discovering anything about what it going on in the canon story. Sometimes it just drags out that part of things too much. 5/5

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E24: Talitha Cumi

S03E24: Talitha Cumi

Jeremiah Smith! Back into the canon of the series, and we have Mulder's mother suffering a stroke after speaking to the Cigarette Smoking Man, many Jeremiah Smith's prancing around, one being interrogated, and then the Mexican stand off at the end with the bounty hunter. 

The episode works well, with it being obvious that there is a lot that Mulder and Scully have no idea of in regards as to what is happening around them, and as a closer to season 3 is probably the equal of the previous two season closers cliffhangers. 4.5/5

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E23: Wetwired

S03E23: Wetwired

There is a nice mix of scenarios throughout this episode which mesh together well. The tension between Mulder and Scully when Scully is affected by the transmitting box and Mulder is not because of his colour-blindness. The idea itself that a message could be sent through a television to create dementia and psychosis also works well. The final confrontation between the protagonists, and then Mulder and X, and then including the Cigarette Smoking Man, all adds to the intrigue of the episode as a whole. 4/5

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E22: Quagmire

S03E22: Quagmire

I guess the only thing that could have topped this for cheesiness is if Mulder and Scully had actually gone to Loch Ness in search of the 'monster'. Instead, we have "Big Blue", and the death of various people in and around the lake. Then Scully's adopted dog Queequeg becomes a victim as well!

Mulder and Scully get stranded in the 'middle' of the lake when seeking out the 'monster', during which they have an conversation that transcends the X Files itself, comparing Mulder to Captain Ahab in Moby Dick. Cheesiness is completed when Mulder admits at the end that the monster probably doesn't exist, as we see it swimming off in the background. 3/5

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E21: Avatar

S03E21: Avatar

I liked the idea of a Skinner-oriented episode, focusing more on Walter Skinner than on the principal agents. Unfortunately, it uses the idea tat he's been served divorce papers by his wife at the start of the episode, but it suddenly reconciled with her by the end of the episode.

Now... really... is that even remotely believable? If it has gotten to the point of papers being served, how does suddenly turn around in a couple of days? Anyway, apart from that glaring anomaly this episode shows that the X Files can work without having to totally focus on Mulder and Scully all the time. 3/5

Monday, May 18, 2015

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E20: Jose Chung's From Outer Space

S03E20: Jose Chung's From Outer Space

I have to say this was a humorous episode, well constructed in order to given the appearance of how many UFO abduction stories must appear to those that investigate them, and how different people can have such wildly varying accounts of the same incident.

Drawn together by the wonderful Charles Nelson Reilly as Jose Chung, who collects the stories and writes a book on it, this not only has an excellent storyline and premise, it also allows the actors involved to have some fun with their story and their own characters. And isn't it always good to see Jesse Ventura on the screen? 4/5

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E19: Hell Money

S03E19: Hell Money

While this episode was reasonably enjoyable, I'm not sure it qualifies as a real X File, despite the spirits lurking to take away those who do the wrong thing. It is fairly obvious from the start that there is an organ lottery going on, and that it is fixed, and that Detective Chao is tied up in it somehow. Anyway, the story line is okay but how about a bit more X in the storyline? 3/5

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E18: Teso Dos Bichos

S03E18: Teso Dos Bichos

Big cats, small cats, rats and a heap of unexplained deaths, and all because an ancient urn has been removed from its resting place and put in a museum. Really. is this what we have sunk to? Because it just feels like they are pushing the boundaries what works and what doesn't. 

There was nothing in this episode to enjoy, it was too predictable and the story was just not entertaining. Below average. 1.5/5

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E17: Pusher

S03E17: Pusher

Mmmm... mind control. How would you use it? Well, Robert Modell acts as a hitman. And then escapes custody in a number of different ways. How do you stop such a person from dealing with you when the time comes? I guess you hope Scully can find a fire alarm... 5/5

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E16: Apocrypha

S03E16: Apocrypha

The second half of this two part story, and there is just as much action as the first half. Krycek (of course) manages to escape Mulder's custody, and the tape is gone from Krycek's locker when he gets there. How surprising. 

Mulder suspects the Black Oil is alien (good work Fox), Luis Cardinal is caught and then suspiciously dies in custody. Mulder and the Syndicate meet up again, while the Smoking Man again manages to outwit them. 

Meanwhile, our favourite bumbler Krycek succeeds in his 'mission', but is then once again left stranded. He's like Jan in the Brady Bunch, no one cares about Krycek. 4.5/5

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E15: Piper Maru

S03E15: Piper Maru

Skinner gets shot, mysterious men shutting down the investigation into Melissa Scully's death, lost pilots still alive under the ocean, the start of the Black Oil, and the return of the ever bumbling legend Alex Krycek. What more could you want from an episode? 

Finally the series gets a kick start again with plenty of action and riveting action. the opening sequence is great, and the last scene is also a ripper. Still think this is a great episode. 5/5.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E14: Grotesque

Season 3:  Episode 14:  Grotesque

By the time we arrived at this stage of Season 3, the really good episodes begin to become sparser than they have been. Obviously this had to happen sooner or later, with so much brilliance packed into the first two seasons, as well as the start of Season 3. So, now we start to see a number of episodes that are almost yawn-fests. but you have to get through them to find the next gem.
This episode lost me almost from the start. A long lost mentor who claims to be disappointed in Mulder but may actually revere him. Ghostly demons that may or may not exist, appearing and disappearing weapons. And worst of all, no real decision on whom the killer actually was. Sure you can claim it to be obvious, but to me it was intentionally ambiguous in the worst possible way. 

Rating:  Average.  2/5

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E13: Syzygy

Season 3:  Episode 13:  Syzygy 

After starting with a very young Ryan Reynolds being led to his death because of his sexual drive, this episode has a great premise, but perhaps just goes a little over indulgent that for my satisfaction.

Scully smoking, Fox drinking, even though as he states he knows he doesn't drink much, just went too far beyond the 'believable unbelievable' for me. I felt the script played for cheap laughs that didn't really beholden to the characters. Not as cleverly written in that respect as the last episode, which used humour in a much better way.

Rating:  Women causing trouble once again.  3.5/5

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E12: War of the Coprophages

Season 3:  Episode 12:  War of the Coprophages

This was written by Darin Morgan, who also wrote the excellent "Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose" earlier this season. What makes this episode so good is the clever back and forth between aliens and insects, and the terrific infusion of humour throughout the script.

Scully's constant ability to come up with a reason for each death, something that then changes tack halfway through the episode, the interaction between Fox and Bambi, and Scully's obvious distaste for that, as well as the metal cockroaches causing havoc, was well written and performed. One of the better recent episodes.

Rating:  Prepare for invasion.  4.5/5.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E11: Revelations

Season 3:  Episode 11:  Revelations

I'm not sure if it's just me being unable to accept the fact that Scully can believe her faith and religious beliefs, but not accept her partner's thoughts regarding every other case they work, but this episode just annoyed me. What am I saying - of course that is what annoys me! And yes, I know that is the writers' fault and not the character, but really, sometimes you've got to think that Scully is a smart enough woman to accept the reality (or unreality I guess) of some of the situations she is in,

I guess you could use the same excuse but switch the places, as Scully says halfway through the episode, and there is truth in that, but I guess I see things more from Fox's point of view, especially in the field that these two agents work in. And this reversal is used reasonably well in this episode, which probably should have highlighted to both agents that they needed to be more circumspect about the others thoughts and beliefs, but I'm not so sure it does in the long run. What it does do is emphasise Scully's religious beliefs, and brings them back to the forefront of her character.

Rating:  Holy hands Batman!  3/5.

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E10: 731

Season 3:  Episode 10:  731

"Apology is Policy" is how we start this episode, the second half of a two parter where Fox is still on top of a train and Scully is chasing up other aspects. We then spend the next 45 minutes with Scully chasing possible human/alien hybrids, or lepers, or super soldiers immune to everything, while Fox gets himself trapped in the boxcar with a bomb that's ticking. 

Scully meets up with one of the Elders who shows her the "truth" to her "abduction", once again sending her to the sceptics side of the argument (no surprise there), while Fox sticks solidly with his beliefs. 

Not a bad episode, though as per usual when it comes to the alien conspiracy episodes, the ending is more or less unsatisfying.

Rating:  Time bomb ticking.  3.5/5

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E09: Nisei

Season 3:  Episode 9:  Nisei

The first of a two-parter, there was potential here but I actually tend to get bored by the end of the episode. I didn't mind the alien autopsy, and Fox and Scully going off to find out about it, but the Mutual UFO Network sideline, about women who have seen Scully before didn't gell with me. I know it becomes important further down the track, but it felt forced in this episode.

Then suddenly Skinner is out and about, Fox finds a secret spaceship and more Japanese scientists who were brought in to work on the human-alien hybrids from "Paper Clip", and Scully gets met by X, who warns Fox not to jump on the train, but he does anyway.

Yeah, a lot going on, and it feels as though there's too much with no answers. Until Part Two...

Rating:  Fox again doing what everyone says not to.  3/5.

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E08: Oubliette

Season 3: Episode 8: Oubliette

The premise of the episode isn't too bad, but it isn't carried through too well. Surely even Scully should have realised that there is no way that Lucy could have been involved in Amy's disappearance, as they were 20 minutes apart at the time she was convulsing on the floor of the take-away. 
Just because the blood was an exact DNA match for Amy's doesn't discount that fact, and yet Scully immediately discounts it, even after everything she has seen to this point of the show. 
Anyway... it was okay, but there was no motivation for Carl Wade's villain, and the climax was all rushed through. Could have been better. 

Rating: Filler. 3/5.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Fight Day at the R.S.L

With the air show cancelled today, I still headed down to the RSL today to watch the overblown overpaid festival that was the Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao fight. Jamie picked me up and drove me down, where we witnessed the biggest crowd either of us has ever seen in that club. It was ludicrous really. We seated ourselves with the only bloke at the last table available. I was standing at the bar for the third and fourth rounds just waiting to be served. So apart from the fact that it was the predictable boring fight that was won by the guy who danced away from hiss opponent for 12 rounds, we had a good time.

Helen and the kids came down for dinner, after which we went in the meat raffle. Yep, you guessed it, we won two FRUIT AND VEGIE BOXES!!! How typically Peters of us. However, we were saved by a family that won seven meat trays (no I'm not kidding) and asked if we would swap one of our boxes for a meat tray. The kids cheered, and we left a happy family.

1st tray. Josh looks excited

Two trays

Trays after the swap

Friday, May 1, 2015

Revivisitng The X Files: S03 E07: The Walk

Season 3:  Episode 7:  The Walk

I don't mind the idea of this episode, but I'm not sure it was well enough explained as to why Rappo has such a problem with his targets. Yeah OK, he's lost his arms and legs in the Gulf War, and he is antagonised with his superiors, but by this much? The astral projection story works fine, but the simplification of his eventual demise could surely have been conducted earlier if all and sundry knew how he was doing it? Scully was left like a lost puppy again for most of the episode. 

Rating: We're all going on an astral holiday.  3.5/5.

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E06: 2Shy

Season 3:  Episode 6:  2Shy

Back to the good old monster-of-the-week episodes, with Timothy Carhart excellent as the man who trawls the lonely hearts pages and strikes up relationships with bigger girls, before meeting up with them for a date and then sucking the fat out of them and leaving them to melt away from his digestive enzymes. 
It was even a pleasant twist at the end when he was not killed, and incarcerated instead. I'd love to know what happened to him from that point, given his needs. 

Rating:  Sucking the life out of you.  4/5

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E05: The List

Season 3: Episode 5:  The List

An interesting revising of the old "come back from the dead for revenge" tale. "Neech" Manley on the electric chair threatens to return to kill five people who taunted him while on death row. As those on the list begin to die, the suspects begin to mount, though of course only Fox believes there to be any semblance of truth that it could be Neech having returned from the dead. J.T. Walsh is good as the Warden, though his character is slightly unbelievable. 

Watchable, but never really grabs you because you know how it will all end. 

Raring:  The bell tolls for thee.  3.5/5.

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E04: Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose

Season 3:  Episode 4:  Clyde Bruckman's Final Repose

Another ripping episode, with Peter Boyle just brilliant in the lead role as a man with a psychic ability, but only to see how people are going to die. Each scene he is in he steals, especially when, as an insurance salesman, he tells a young couple how the husband will die in two years time in a dreadful accident. Then, when he finally is confronted by the serial killer, who asks him why he does the things he does, Clyde responds, "Don't you understand yet son? You're a psychopath!". 

Great stuff, with Mulder and Scully really being in the background for the most part of the episode. 

Rating:  The eyes of the future.  5/5.

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E03: D.P.O

Season 3:  Episode 3:  D.P.O

This is one of my favourite episodes. Giovanni Ribisi, long before anyone knew anything about him as an actor, is brilliant as Darin Oswald, the human lightning rod. Alongside him is a very young Jack Black, again long before anyone knew who he was, as his best mate "Zero".
I find that a lot of my favourite episodes in series 2 and 3 are non-alien related ones, and this is one of the best. When the show puts forward its 'Monster of the Week' episodes, they have to be good enough both in story line and acting to keep you occupied while there is a break in the normal canon of the series. And this is a beauty, just a guy in a backwater town who likes to draw in electricity from the surrounding atmosphere, and then kill people with it who piss him off. Brilliant. Kudos all round.
Rating:  It's quite electrifying.  5/5

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E02: Paper Clip

Season 3:  Episode 2:  Paper Clip

The story develops well in this episode, with the appearance (briefly) of Victor Klemper and the secret of his experiments after WWII. The mistaken identity of Scully and her sister Melissa by the eternally gifted klutz Alex Krycek kills off yet another family member, leaving the families of Mulder and Scully declining at a rapid rate. The two being led to the vault of files on every conceivable person underground, before the scurry of aliens retreating to their ship before the bad guys come in to clean up the mess continues to show further proof of the 'big picture conspiracy' that forms the major basis of the show. 

The excellent by-play at the end of the episode between Cigarette Smoking Man and Skinner - for perhaps the first time - shows Skinner's strength of character, and is a relief after seeing him wuss it up for a couple of seasons. 

Rating:  Files it under X.  5/5

Revisiting The X Files: S03 E01: The Blessing Way

Season 3:  Episode 1:  The Blessing Way

We aren't left hanging too long here, with the Navajo finding Mulder passed out at an old escape route from the container, along with the selective dead alien body, and they have to perform an ancient ritual to return him to normal. Scully's job looks in danger, Cigarette Smoking Man is being difficult and Skinner still doesn't know what to do or whom to believe.
As what has turned out to be the middle ep in a three-part story this acts like a bridge I guess. I wasn't overly taken by the appearance of Deep Throat or Bill Mulder in the death-or-other-world sequences, but I'm sure it was felt necessary to have them have their say in Mulder's head. 

Rating:  To die or not to die.  4/5

Revisiting The X Files: Season 3

Back in the bad old days, Australians had to wait until February to see their favourite American shows begin new series, whereas they started airing in the States in September or October of the previous year. Which not only meant that we had to wait months for how season-ending cliffhangers were solved, we were open to being told what happened before we saw it!

Back in December 1994, following the cliffhanger ending to the second season of The X Files, with Mulder trapped or gone or dead, a VHS was released with the final episode of Season 2 ("Anasazi") and the first two episodes of Season 3 ("The Blessing Way" and "Paper Clip") which of course I bought and devoured a number of times before the series actually began re-airing in Australia in February.


Today I was able to get away from work early due to consistent rain all week and all of my work being up to date, so I managed to get in the first seven episodes of Season 3. And here is how we went.