X-Files

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Spooky Skeleton
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Re: X-Files

Postby Spooky Skeleton » Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:32 pm

Thad wrote:There's a sort of current of melancholy and hopelessness that runs under most of Darin Morgan's episodes (and this one is no exception, really; just look how that poor creature's life was ruined when it was cursed with human consciousness), but there's also a sort of giddy celebration of all things weird that goes all the way back to his first episode, Humbug, and it's fitting that this episode ends on the latter note.


I think his episodes present a melancholy and hopeless look at the human condition, but I think that in his eyes this is a realist perception and not a pessimistic one. But the thing is, he always weaves in this concurrent thread of the fact that we are ALL facing this, together; no one is immune to it and you are not alone in this. I think that's where the heart warm comes from in his episodes. The monster's life may have been ruined by being cursed to become human against his will, but he was dealing with it. He didn't want to, and you can say he wanted to kill himself, but did he? He wanted Mulder to cure him, because he thought it was the only way he could go back, the only way to reject modern human life and return to the wild.

In the end he and Mulder came to an understanding: Mulder would get over his midlife crisis and go on living his life, and "this monster" that hated being in Mulder's position and wanted to run off into the woods, he would disappear for 20,000 years. He was literally put to bed.

Scully in the background, had no such crisis. She just comes in, does her job, and appropriately, finds a run of the mill normal killer who she arrests. Where Mulder doesn't want to still be doing this silly activity of chasing monsters, Scully remarks "I forgot how fun these cases were".


I see the whole episode as Darin basically talking about himself as an X-files writer through Mulder and Scully as X-files investigators. Mulder is his apprehensiveness and Scully his eagerness and exuberance.

I also loved the very direct and funny jabs at Dexter and Hannibal. "Yeah yeah, you've seen one serial killer you seen them all."

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Re: X-Files

Postby Thad » Fri Feb 05, 2016 8:01 pm

Friday wrote:It's top five for me for sure. I'm not going to say it's better than Clyde or Jose Chung, because it probably isn't, but it's of the same caliber as those episodes.


It's tough for me to break it down with that much granularity. I know my list goes Chung then Bruckman but it's hard to say what's immediately after. Post-Modern Prometheus is up there. So are Small Potatoes, Unusual Suspects, Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man, Tooms, Humbug...and that's before I get into stuff I haven't re-watched in years but remember enjoying, like the Michael McKean body-switching episode, the Burt Reynolds episode, the Rashomon episode with Luke Wilson, etc. Were-Monster might make the top five but it might not. Tough call.

Spooky Skeleton wrote:Scully in the background, had no such crisis. She just comes in, does her job, and appropriately, finds a run of the mill normal killer who she arrests. Where Mulder doesn't want to still be doing this silly activity of chasing monsters, Scully remarks "I forgot how fun these cases were".


Which is an interesting role reversal, really. There are an awful lot of episodes -- including some of Morgan's (not Jose Chung, but some of the others) -- that cast Mulder as childlike and giddy and Scully rolling her eyes the whole time. Casting Scully as the one who's warming up to the old routine as Mulder has his doubts (despite -- or because of -- her reservations both in My Struggle and in I Want to Believe about going back to their old lives) isn't just unexpected, it also helps convince us that yes, it's nice to have these characters back doing the stuff we enjoyed watching them do twenty years ago.

Spooky Skeleton wrote:I see the whole episode as Darin basically talking about himself as an X-files writer through Mulder and Scully as X-files investigators. Mulder is his apprehensiveness and Scully his eagerness and exuberance.


I'd agree, and I'd add that he's also talking to those in the audience who weren't really sold on the revival yet. The question seems to be, "Do we really need to bring back X-Files?" The answer after the first two episodes would, I think, be "Probably not." After this one, it's still "Probably not" but with the qualifier "but it turns out it can be just as good as it ever was."

Spooky Skeleton wrote:I also loved the very direct and funny jabs at Dexter and Hannibal. "Yeah yeah, you've seen one serial killer you seen them all."


Not to mention X-Files itself, and especially the first season of Millennium. Nanjiani as the real killer and Darby is the red herring; that reversal by itself is a lot of fun -- yet the story goes on to treat Darby as its focus and Nanjiani as essentially a footnote who nobody cares about. It's not so much that Darby is the red herring as the very question of who committed the murders is a red herring -- it doesn't matter. It's one reversal packed inside another packed inside another, like all the best Darin Morgan scripts.

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Re: X-Files

Postby Mothra » Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:04 am

Saw Mulder & Scully Meet The Were-Monster, loved absolutely every second. Rhys Darby was perfectly cast.

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Re: X-Files

Postby Thad » Tue Feb 16, 2016 12:01 pm

Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster was reworked from a script for an aborted Night Stalker reboot. Which is one more reason for Guy to spend the episode dressed like Kolchak.

The original script is online.

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Re: X-Files

Postby Spooky Skeleton » Tue Feb 16, 2016 10:05 pm

By "aborted" do you mean that one that got cancelled quickly or did they try to reboot it AGAIN separate from that one?

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Re: X-Files

Postby Mothra » Tue Feb 16, 2016 11:55 pm

Okay, that makes sense. Geo and I were trying to figure out why Rhys' costume was lifted directly from Night Stalker.

Kinda disappointing though? It looks like the X-Files ep was almost completely unchanged from the Night Stalker script.

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Re: X-Files

Postby Thad » Wed Feb 17, 2016 1:09 am

Spooky Skeleton wrote:By "aborted" do you mean that one that got cancelled quickly or did they try to reboot it AGAIN separate from that one?


You are correct; it was not aborted, it aired a few episodes and got cancelled before this one was produced.

Via Hitfix:

This was actually a modified version of "The M Word," an unproduced episode Morgan wrote for Frank Spotnitz's short-lived Night Stalker remake (and note that Guy Mann's wardrobe resembles what Kolchak wore on the original series). You can read "The M Word" script here, if you're curious about what changed beyond substituting Mulder and Scully for Kolchak and Reed.

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Re: X-Files

Postby Thad » Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:43 pm

I am going to be very disappointed if that's all the Lone Gunmen we get.

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Re: X-Files

Postby Büge » Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:24 pm

I thought they died in the first series.

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Re: X-Files

Postby Thad » Fri Feb 19, 2016 8:39 pm

And the Cigarette Smoking Man was incinerated onscreen, but he's in the new series.

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Re: X-Files

Postby Mothra » Thu Feb 25, 2016 9:52 pm

Haven't seen the last two yet, but I'm hearing a lot of "Carter needs to dump this entire mythos biz and start something fresh."

Saw ep 2 and overall thought out wasn’t particularly good. I did like the 1/3rd of it with the two kids.

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Re: X-Files

Postby Friday » Fri Feb 26, 2016 12:44 am

And the Cigarette Smoking Man was incinerated onscreen, but he's in the new series.


Yeah, but the thing about him is it's much easier to explain away his death with some bullshit. The one that died could have just been a clone, or now the new one is a clone, or (insert government magic power here). With the Lone Gunmen, you can still do that kind of stuff, but it's harder to believe.

I'm betting that's all we get of them. I'm not 100% sure of course, because this is the X-Files we're talking about, but yeah.

I'm with you 100% in being disappointed though. I love me some Gunmen.

Carter needs to dump this entire mythos biz and start something fresh.


Yeah, I dunno. I think that, despite how fucking stupid it got toward the middle and especially end, it's not entirely unsalvageable. I doubt Carter is the one who could salvage it, though. So yeah, it's probably better if they just forget about everything before except the Black Oil. Like maybe they could just have the final episode be Mulder is in a facility where the Black Oil is pumped into your face and he has to not have that happen to him.
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Re: X-Files

Postby Thad » Fri Feb 26, 2016 2:55 pm

Mothra wrote:Haven't seen the last two yet, but I'm hearing a lot of "Carter needs to dump this entire mythos biz and start something fresh."


I haven't watched the finale yet, but yeah, pretty much.

Presumably William is involved because the entire season's been trying to make the case that we should give a fuck about him, but my money is not on "satisfying development" and is instead on "just like Samantha, keeps coming back and then turning out to be a clone."

Carter's written some great episodes. Post-Modern Prometheus is an all-time classic (despite the rapey parts). I do wish he'd dump the continuity, or at least upset the apple cart by having aliens appear in public.

Friday wrote:Yeah, but the thing about him is it's much easier to explain away his death with some bullshit. The one that died could have just been a clone, or now the new one is a clone, or (insert government magic power here). With the Lone Gunmen, you can still do that kind of stuff, but it's harder to believe.


Yeah, but I really don't think it matters.

The comic already brought them back. The explanation for how they aren't dead is one line from Frohike about faking their deaths. This makes no sense, but I don't care, because I CAN'T HEAR YOU OVER THE LONE GUNMEN MEETING THE NINJA TURTLES, GHOSTBUSTERS, AND TRANSFORMERS. I have long since given up on expecting narrative cohesion from The X-Files; I just want to be entertained for forty minutes or so. Hell, not even the whole forty minutes; an entertaining scene or two amid a sea of bullshit is about where my expectations are at this point.

And the presence of the Lone Gunmen greatly increases the probability that a given scene will entertain me.

Even if we can probably assume that the TV show will not feature episodes where they meet the Ninja Turtles, Ghostbusters, or Transformers.

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Re: X-Files

Postby Friday » Fri Feb 26, 2016 3:43 pm

yeah, but they might meet turtle ninjas, or mutants that turn into teenagers (not the other way around). It's a lot absurd.
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Re: X-Files

Postby Mothra » Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:33 am

oh my good gay god was that terrorist ep shitty

I cannot bring myself to give a fraction of a dick about these two young NEW GENERATION FBI agents that just showed up

HEY GUYS WE'RE THE NEW MULDER AND SCULLY

YOU MIGHT'VE CAUGHT US LAST WEEK ON CSI AS EVERY CHARACTER

how the hell is this considered an X-File

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Re: X-Files

Postby Mothra » Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:44 am

​How 'The X-Files' Was Accidentally Reborn as Right Wing Propaganda

When the show launched, the publicly-accessible internet was still in its infancy. Conspiracy theories about alien abductions, black ops, and the Illuminati were reserved for a small number of isolated tin foil hat wearers who traded “information” through obscure radio shows, crude web forums, and infrequent meetings. These bizarre, mostly harmless ideas were a goldmine for a unique brand of science fiction that combined tried-and-true stories of little grey men with the thrilling paranoia that infused a niche segment of society. The resultant X-Files universe was one filled with fun creatures, as well as an unending spiral of intrigue that could never be resolved.

Since the 90s, however, a strange thing happened: Those conspiracies have moved from fringe beliefs to ideas held by a large chunk of the mainstream population. With the internet fertilizing whole communities devoted to obscure hobbies and ideologies—however odd or ugly—every manner of conceivable conspiracy theory seems to have attracted its own devoted adherents.

As a result, the quirky and mysterious plot lines of The X-Files are no longer representative of niche tin foil hat wearers. They are representative of a dangerously misinformed segment of the US citizenry that frequently overlaps with climate change deniers, 911 truthers, and birthers. The Illuminati isn’t a fascination of just one specific subculture, but something YouTube viewers associate with with Beyoncé, Jay Z, and Blue Ivy, on a central, public platform.

tldr being batshit crazy USED to be cool

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Re: X-Files

Postby Thad » Sun Feb 28, 2016 1:50 pm

Mothra wrote:I cannot bring myself to give a fraction of a dick about these two young NEW GENERATION FBI agents that just showed up

HEY GUYS WE'RE THE NEW MULDER AND SCULLY

YOU MIGHT'VE CAUGHT US LAST WEEK ON CSI AS EVERY CHARACTER


Script sucked (mostly -- I quite liked "Nobody down here but the FBI's most unwanted. ...I've been waiting 23 years to say that.") but I thought Amell and Ambrose did a great job with the material they were given. And Mulder's acid trip was amazing even if the rest of the episode was not.

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Re: X-Files

Postby Thad » Wed Mar 02, 2016 1:19 am

Welp, that sure was ridiculous.

Mulder's confrontation with CSM was good (even though CSM's motivations and plan made no fucking sense). The Scully/Einstein plot was not. The ending sure was an X-Files season finale cliffhanger.

I have mixed feelings about Reyes's cameo. On the one hand, hey, one more bit of continuity to bring back. On the other, it was a pretty big "fuck you" to her character. But on the other other, nobody fucking liked Reyes anyway. Wish they could have gotten Doggett. Always next time. If they can work around Duchovny and Anderson's shooting schedules on their other projects, it seems like they should be able to work around Patrick's.

I understand separating Mulder and Scully for almost the entire episode as a bit of a mirror-image thing to the premier (and, y'know, the old show DID do it all the time, especially in season finales), but it seems like a very bad call.

All in all, the X-Files revival was mostly pretty okay, with some flashes of brilliance, some flashes of pure fucking stupidity and bullshit, and one absolutely sublime episode by Darin Morgan. It was pretty much exactly what you'd get if you tried to encapsulate The X-Files in six episodes.





(And by the way, Carter, the US stopped vaccinating against smallpox six years before Lauren Ambrose was born.)

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Re: X-Files

Postby Mothra » Wed Mar 02, 2016 5:11 am

Yeah that finale felt like everything I didn't like about X-Files balled up into one episode.

I still really like the idea of an Infowars-style conspiracy nutjob being a useful but occasionally insane presence (particularly with Mulder getting caught in his orbit).

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Re: X-Files

Postby Friday » Wed Mar 02, 2016 2:33 pm

All in all, the X-Files revival was mostly pretty okay, with some flashes of brilliance, some flashes of pure motherfucking stupidity and santorum, and one absolutely sublime episode by Darin Morgan. It was pretty much exactly what you'd get if you tried to encapsulate The X-Files in six episodes.


Yeah, I feel exactly the same way. My friends always talk about TNG being the show with the lowest lows and the highest highs, but man, the X-Files is something else when it comes to hit and miss.

Man, that bit about Chemtrails made my eyes roll back into my skull.

I do enjoy how now every bad guy ever is killing everyone because of global warming, though.
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