The X-Files - First Time Watching

Discussion in 'Science Fiction & Fantasy' started by tomalak301, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    I remember one of the first things someone told me when I started watching this series was that the Mulder/Scully relationship was more professional than sexual, and that the characters had great chemistry because of that professional relationship. In Season 7, however, that relationship was starting to trend more towards intimate, especially in the later episodes and the finale. I thought the Kiss in Millenium was nice because of the context of it, but it did start this trend of getting them closer than ever before as the season went on. With Doggett, I almost get the sense that the show needed this shake up, and we're right back where we were when it started. I don't say that as a bad thing, per say, but it is an interesting thought to finally split up the characters and see what happens. What we got in the first two episodes of the season was a welcome change from where Season 7 was going.
     
  2. VST

    VST Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    To be fair to Chris Carter, he waited as long as he could to hit the inevitable point where Mulder & Scully became more than partners & friends - that was unavoidable once the alchemy of ongoing narratives, two actors with sex appeal & great chemistry & two such well drawn characters were placed in the mix. The show was richer & warmer & deeper for those elements.

    That said, the earlier seasons where the characters were more professionally minded allowed for scarier tales, and S8 did manage to get back to that by blowing a huge crater in the M&S dynamic. It was just too late to shake the show up enough really to keep it on air another 8 years.
     
  3. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    Roadrunners

    That episode was creepy. X Files have done a lot with Cults in the series run, but this episode was actually very engaging and really interesting to watch. So far what I've liked about Doggett is while most other shows have featured heavily a new actor (Like DS9 did with Nicole DeBoar or Voyager did with Jeri Ryan), X Files seemed to allow Scully and Doggett to come together a little more naturally. Scully still hates this guy and in the last episode we saw that maybe she is starting to accept that Mulder isn't coming back. Here, I think she's finally starting to see Doggett as a partner and had to make the mistake of taking the case on her own to see that.

    As for the slug, man that was disturbing seeing Scully put through that, and then when Doggett took it out, it was equally disturbing. This reminded me of early X Files creepiness.
     
  4. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    After everything that had happened to them before, this still freaked me out. I'm not sure why, but I really go the feeling watching this that Scully might not make it, (even thought I knew she was not leaving the show), they just made the story convincing to me, the threat seemed real. Almost every show in history, you know at the begining no matter what happens that everybody will be there at the end. Yes there are some notable exceptions, but really, this one, especially the scene you refrenced, with the monster crawling in her back. I'm wincing typing this. As much as I like Mulder, and I really do, I didn't think his leaving really hurt the show. And they way he left, it actually helped the show.
     
  5. Random_Spock

    Random_Spock Commodore Commodore

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    Exactly. You hit the nail on the head :). He could only go on for so long with the Will they or Won't they? dance for so long before it would become a joke.
     
  6. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    Redrum

    I love episodes/movies that tell stories backwards. Voyager did this with the excellent Kes episode, Before and After (One of my favorite episodes of the series and my favorite Kes episode ever) and one of the more classic movies, Memento, also used this troupe.

    X-Files uses it in this episode to tell a really great story. Martin Wells, a friend of Doggett's and a Lawyer, is sent to jail for murdering his wife, but he's experiencing the passage of time backwards, so when he wakes up, it's the day prior. I love how this episode came together on the Monday, the morning of the murder, considering what came before. I also love how it ends by saying yeah you can get a second chance, but you can never escape consequences of you actions and he ends up in jail anyway.

    There really wasn't much Scully or Doggett in this episode, but I must say the guest cast was really well cast. I mean you had Machete as the main villian, before he was Machete and the guy who played Wells was excellent. I almost forgot that this episode did have Scully and Doggett because you were made to care about what happens to this guy and the plot device sold the episode.

    Like I said, I love when series play with the concept of time. Season 6 did it with Monday, which I really liked, and Season 8 did it here.
     
  7. VST

    VST Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    LOVE Redrum. It's one of the season's, maybe even series', best. Joe Morton's a great actor.
     
  8. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    Redrum was a great episode. A real Twilight Zone, and I mean that as high praise as I love that show, also.

    I'm not complaining, but I thought when I saw that time was going backwards, he was going to reveal the evidence so Machete's brother wasn't going to be convicted. It's too bad for them, they both ended up dead.


    What I like, looking back at it all, is it developed naturally, it didnt' seem forced to me. In the first five years they were together so much and they were not seeing anyone else. Neither of them were married, and with Scully's cancer in the fourth season, Mulder was like a family member coming to the hospital. Plus, Mulder is a bit of a nut, he doesn't really have a life outside of his work. The only way he could have met a woman is during the course of his work, and Scully backed him up so much. I thought is was really funny in that one episode that almost everyone but me hated, the one Stephen King wrote, where Scully recites this big paragraph of different kinds of possible witchcraft and Mulder comes off with "marry me" afterward. I think that was a joke but it was based on a real attachment. Plus, Donnie Pfaster almost got Scully, twice, I was happy she plugged him, I was yelling "shoot him Mulder" when he came in, (my wife thinks I'm crazy), he backed her up. Then when that dream monster from the novelist started stealing peoples hearts and almost got Scully, and then they almost got eaten by the giant mushroom, they went through a lot together. It just seemed natural and flowed from events, and I enjoyed it. I thought the whole series was really well done, except for one or two duds.
     
  9. VST

    VST Lieutenant Commander Red Shirt

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    Absolutely. It grew in a very realistic way as Scully thawed & came to rely on him, and Mulder came to grow more deeply in love with her beyond keeping him in check.

    You could say Fight the Future was the turning point with the almost kiss, but that was more cinematic fan appeasement than anything - for me it was the end of 'Amor Fati' in S7 in that final scene where she just kisses him on the head and lightly touches his face. That's where I think it really began, and obviously then came the Millennium kiss & as we retroactively knew, by mid-S7 they started sleeping together so… yeah it just worked beautifully as a romance and I'm glad Chris Carter eventually gave up the goose & went there.
     
  10. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    This is Not Happening & Deadalive

    Man this season's arc about Mulder's abduction and return has really been some of the best from the X-Files mythology they have delivered in a long time. Last season we really had the highlight of moving past Mulder's sister, but I really haven't been this excited for the mytharc since maybe Season 3-4. Yeah, so they retconned Mulder's brain aneurysm as him having a fatal disease and that was a little annoying, but in these last two episodes, I get the sense this season was kicked into high gear. Actually, maybe it was from The Gift, when Dechovney came back on a more full time basis, but these two episodes were great.

    Since the last time I posted in this thread, we've seen the return of Billy Miles, the introduction of Absolum, the introduction of Monica Rayes, who I found a little annoying which doesn't bode well for the future, and Knowle Rohrer, and a great episode dealing with Scully's pregnancy. Man this season has been busy, and other than a stretch of episodes before "The Gift", other than Via Negativa, this has been a really enjoyable season.
     
  11. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    Empedocles

    There isn't much to talk about with this episode, other than to say I didn't know Denise Crosby was in The X Files, but the reason I wanted to mention this episode was because we got to see more of the "soon to be" new character, Monica Rayes.

    Right now, my impression of her is that she's a little pushy. She's trying to force these connections on Dogget and in the first episode she was in, it was like she was talking in riddles and everything seemed out of the blue. I'm willing to give her a chance, and I think the actress is doing a good job playing her so far, but hopefully in Season 9 (And I know S9 is regarded as the worst season) we get some idea of who she is and maybe calm her down a bit.

    Also, this episode postulated the idea that Evil was a virus that spreads from person to person. Um, ha? That's a unique take on Evil but Evil is no virus. Now if this was Saten rising from the depths of hell infecting these people, than that's one thing but the episode didn't say that. Evil is evil, there's no virus or anything like that.
     
  12. Marsden

    Marsden Commodore Commodore

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    I don't think they could say that. It's somewhat obvious to the home people, if so inclined to make that conclusion, that this is some kind of demonic possession, but they don't want to acknowlege that. I don't know if you've read any HP Lovecraft stories, but that seems to be a recurring theme, the protaganist reads or sees or has knowlege that screams "supernatural monsters" and they won't accept it because to them it's unrealistic to assume that. It's like standing there looking at monster and not believing your eyes, "monsters aren't real" you tell yourself. They make good stories but half human half toad people aren't real.

    It's difficult because we know this is a fictional story but if the characters are supposed to be "real" then they wouldn't assume every thing is really an alien or a ghost. So, we at home see the monster jump from body to body, but they never do and can't acknowlege that existence and try to fill in the blank the best they can, which is a "virus". Well, that's my take on it.

    I think another good example of this kind of thing was when Scully saw the 4 faced Saraphim. She saw it, had a priest tell her about it and she still wasn't sure she believed it. She couldn't just go, "ok all that stuff is real" it just would not have worked.

    Donnie Pfaster is another one. Those flashes of him being a demon in his first appearance were just for the audience, he was otherwise just a creepy human. It wasn't made clear until the sequel episode that he wasn't just a sicko human, actually, it's still really not 100% clear, but when the other character, Orison, saw him as a monster it was the first time another character actually saw it, or at least appeared to believe it, I think Scully caught a few glimpses but as per previous ^ wouldn't acknowlege this was a demon abducting her, certainly not at that point in her life.

    I think a big part of what makes this show work is the ambiguousness in it. Are they aliens, are they modified humans that are part of military biological warfare experiments, it's never 100% perfectly sure. If everyone just said, Yup, aliens, and monsters around every other corner, it would be really simplistic and just not that good.

    Sorry about the long post. I can go on and on.
    I will just say, worst is very subjective and it's worth the time to see season 9. I enjoyed it.

    BTW, Monica starts of a bit strange but she settles down to be a good character. Maybe this doesn't warrent a spoiler but I don't want to jump ahead on you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2014
  13. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    Vienen

    I guess I should comment on the final episode featuring the Black Oil, and what an episode that was. Visually, that was one of the best episodes of the X Files I've seen in quite a while, and when Doggett and Mulder jumped off the rig with it exploding the background, there was a movie like quality to it.

    I also loved how contained this episode was. It felt like going back to basics, one last time for old times sake. It was on a rig, with the black oil infecting the entire crew, kind of on a more major scale like what happened on that ship from WWII. It was also great to see a Mulder/Doggett episode, and Mulder basically handing over the keys to the X-Files office. Hopefully this allows Doggett to calm down on his skeptisim (He was starting to show the "Scully syndrome" post Fight the Future.

    And speaking of Post "Fight the Future" Alone ended making fun of that very thing. Loved that final scene. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014
  14. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    Essence/Existence

    I've reached the end of Season 8, and it felt like the end of the series. There was a lot of stuff that happened in these episodes, from the introduction of the Super Soldiers to the death of Alex Krychek. Considering some of the things I've heard about Season 9, I almost want this to be the series finale, but I'm going into Season 9 with an open mind, anxiously seeing how this 9 season journey comes to an end. I've been doing this for almost 9 months, why stop now.

    I think it's also better if I talk about these episodes as one story, because that's what it felt like. It was a two part season finale, but it was one coharant full straight ahead story. It starts out with the return of Billy Miles, killing the Doctors who are experimenting with the Alien babies. Slowly we see this conspiracy unfold, all leading to Miles targeting Scully to prevent her baby from being born. This leads to trying to kill Billy and basically The X Files turning into Terminator, which seems like a theme this season. We had T-1000 joining the cast, an episode dealing with a guy turning into Metal, and now ending it with these alien super soldiers unable to be killed.

    The best parts of these episodes for me was Skinner, Mulder, and Alex Krychek. I remember when Krychek was introduced and I said at the time I can't wait to see more of him. Well we sure did that and his death was amazingly done. I also appreciated that it was Skinner who did it, since Alex seemed to torture Skinner more than anyone else, with Skinners attack in the third season finale (I think), and the nano technology plotline. It was satisfying, even though I do wonder what was Alex's end game? Was he always out for himself, switching sides at will, or was there more going on.

    As for Scully's pregnancy, I was a little disappointed with this storyline. All season long we've had this paranoia with her baby, is it normal, why is it special, stuff like that. We ended the season knowing that this Baby was special and normal at the same time, but the ending was ambiguous. Why did the super soldiers let her have it, when all along they've been targeting her to stop the birth? I did love the ending, with Rayes joining the X-Files and now an investigation into the FBI. This is a storyline I'm excited about the most in Season 9. We'll see what happens.

    Overall I liked season 8. There was a stretch there were I wasn't a fan of the episodes (Probably from Surekill to Badlaa) but it was pretty consistant. I also liked Doggett's arc this season, that skeptic who slowly turns around and becomes a major player to end the season. Robert Patrick had big shoes to fill and I thought he did a good job. We'll see how Patrick and Gish do in Season 9, since now they are on the X-Files and Mulder and Scully are basically off the show.

    Updated season rankings:

    Season 3
    Season 2
    Season 6
    Season 8
    Season 4
    Season 1
    Season 7
    Season 5
     
  15. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    Gillian Anderson is still around as a supporting player (and sometimes lead) in every episode of season nine. Duchovny, though, is around even less than he was in season eight, although they try and keep Mulder involved in the story even when he's off screen (to varying degrees of success).

    Last time I watched the series, I counted season eight as my favorite season, and season nine my least favorite. It's been a while, though.
     
  16. Random_Spock

    Random_Spock Commodore Commodore

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    That's how I felt too. It's just Chris's games/tease that kind of gets old. Not
    the chemistry :techman:, that was perfect (for the most part). Along with the series, any duds aside.
     
  17. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    I know Anderson is around all season, but I would think her role has been a little diminished since she was off the X-Files. We'll see. Of course the storyline with William and the whole Super Soldier thing is pretty much the Season 9 mytharc
     
  18. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    Nothing Important Happened Today

    Season 9 gets off to a somewhat quiet start. That's not the say these episodes were bad, but I was wondering if I was still watching The X Files. They changed the title sequence again, this episode has us believing the Super Soldiers are a government program and to create more, they're contaminating the water supply, and Scully really has become a background character.

    So much for my prediction that the FBI storyline would go through much of the season, as it was wrapped up in these two episodes. Not sure about Brad yet. He seems kind of like another Cigarette Smoking Man, only without the Smoking part. Yeah so he had a past relationship with Monica, but he's still fishy. I do continue to enjoy Doggett though.
     
  19. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    4D

    This is my favorite episode of Season 9 so far. It's an episode that reminded me a lot of Voyager's Deadlock mixed with TNG's Parallels, with the alternate realities and pulling the plug but still getting the main character back. Lukesh was a great villain, even though watching it now instead of in 2001 he looked like James Spader from The Blacklist (A show I don't watch, but based on the previews) and that ending scene were Monica pulls the plug was really emotional, even though we leave with she and Doggett in the apartment (Was that a reset)?

    I really liked Monica in this episode. When she was introduced, it sounded like she was talking in riddles, but here she is great in the lead role. I do kind of wish we were introduced to Monica early though, like the beginning of season 8 instead of at the end because with only 16 episodes left, we really don't get much of her.
     
  20. tomalak301

    tomalak301 Admiral Premium Member

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    Trust No 1

    At the beginning of Season 9, I made a comment in which I wasn't sure if I was watching the same show I've just spent watching for 8 seasons. Part of the reason for that is Mulder isn't there, and now there is another reason for that. It seems like even though Mulder isn't there, the writers are still holding on too much to that Mulder/Scully thing instead of allowing the show to move on to Doggett and Monica. Here was an episode that was actually decent, but was bogged down by the schmultzy romance of the two characters who should no longer be leads.

    I did like getting to know more about the Super Soldiers, and Terry Quinn's character was really nice, and this episode was way ahead of it's time with the NSA operative, but one of the reasons I loved 4D was because it allowed Doggett and Monica to shine. One of the reasons why Trust No 1 is just decent was because they were on the sidelines.
     

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