'The X-Files' chooses to make episodes that are isolated in their own stories as well as other episodes that are part of the show's overall mythology that pick up from where they last left off every several episodes or so that examines the strengths, weaknesses, morals and intelligent qualities that each character possesses is his or her own way. 'The X-Files' did not start out as a borderline soap opera. It began as a cult show that looked more experimental than progressive in its first season (1993/94). In fact, the first episode began filming in the Vancouver area on March 22, 1993 and aired on the FOX network on September 10, 1993. The total scope of characters had not yet come into play as being very interesting except for the two leads, David Duchovny as FBI Special Agent Fox Mulder and Gillian Anderson as Special Agent Dana Scully. Season 2 was more progressive and ended with its most intense cliffhanger in the show's five years. It was the first of a three part series that picked up with the first and second episode of season 3 that had Mulder and Scully involved in their most explosive adventure ever to date in the series. Season 3 is the show's best work to date. There is more diversity among the show's tone, both humourous and dramatic as well as its usual mystique. Season 4 is the show's most ambitious time as more story developments occur with splendidly addictive results. Season 5 was sort of an enigma. It's right in the middle. Better than season 1 and 2 but inferior to season 3 and 4.
Mulder is a true believer in the paranormal and its relative ties. UFO's, extra-terrestrials, mutants and un-Earthly beings in general are Mulder's cause in life as a branch of the FBI has a category known as the X-Files, cases where the only explanation (or lack of one) seems to be tied to the supernatural. Enter Scully. She is a skeptic, a medical doctor with a background in science who believes that the answers for every unexplained occurrence are there and that one just has to know where to look. Cancer, AIDS and many other diseases haven't been cured as we haven't learned where to look and that is the parallel to Scully's belief that science can explain everything or so she believes. Scully has been assigned to become Mulder's partner and he believes she is to spy on him for her superiors but as the show would progress, Scully, to this day, has her same beliefs but is the only person that Mulder ends up trusting.
The show is basically tied to five important story lines. The first is Mulder's quest to find his sister, Samantha, who was abducted from her home at the age of 8 as Mulder, at age 12, watched as a supposed alien force took his sister in the same way the little boy was taken from his mother in 'Close Encounters'. Secondly is Mulder's quest to clarify his father's name. His father was murdered by forces inside a dark network tied to the government because he could expose too much about a secret government and military project that the men involved have supposedly been negotiating with extra-terrestrials for the revolution of a new way of life on Earth. His father has been shown in flashbacks from time to time as being involved in government experiments and the collection of data during the Cold War. These factors have included a mysterious alien entity in the form of a mysterious black oil that can infiltrate the human body and jump from person to person and is the main focus of a race between the United States and Russia to find a vaccine for it in fighting its effects that has been seen in the last three seasons of the five years the show has been on the air. Thirdly is the infiltration on society of a strange specimen of bees that appear to carry small pox, a disease thought to be almost eradicated by modern medicine but perhaps it will make a comeback for some sinister purpose. Fourth, Fox Mulder and his sister Samantha seem to be the focus of a reoccurring question. Who is their father?
Fifth is the progression of Scully's health. She was abducted by a strange force, some believe by aliens and some believe by the government and some believe both that later caused her to develop cancer and her fight against its progression that seems to be arrested for the moment that occurred at the beginning of season five. Season five, which ended on May 17, 1998 was the most "teasing" season of the series as many of the regular characters weren't seen as often as they were in the other four seasons and for good reason.
Everyone (except Krycek) appears to be in the movie which is supposed to appeal to die hard fans of the show, such as myself and people who have never seen it. The last episode of the show before the movie is "The End" of season 5. Fox Mulder's work, all of the X-Files, were burned in his private office at the FBI Headquarters by the Cigarette-Smoking Man who first removed Samantha Mulder's file. The X-Files were apparently destroyed because a link in solving them all had allegedly been found through the mind reading abilities of a 12 year old boy. Solving all of the X-Files would be a threat to the consortium's planned project involving extra-terrestrials and involving the Cigarette-Smoking Man...
Season six of 'The X-Files' picks up where the big screen movie left off. Chris Carter is a brilliant visionary. He made the big screen movie easy to follow even if you never saw the show and if you missed the movie, you can still follow the show as it picks up from season five with relative ease. Mulder and Scully are being reprimanded for their conduct and report presented based on the events of the film. At the end of the first episode of season six entitled 'The Beginning', they are taken off the X-Files, which are given to agents Spender (Chris Owens) and Fowley (Mimi Rogers). Mulder and Scully no longer report to Skinner. They are placed under the supervision of Assistant Director Kersh, a mean spirited and somewhat devious man with an agenda that may put him in with the cigarette smoking man and the consortium. Mulder and Scully are demoted into doing back ground checks on people and the idea is to force Mulder into quitting the FBI.
Many have considered season six to be the best one yet. That may be true in the opinion of this reviewer since there wasn't a single episode that was truly dreadful. There were mediocre to slightly below average episodes such as 'Rain King' and 'Agua Mala', (they couldn't get it quite right when it came to water) and 'Arcadia', 'Alpha' and 'Trevor' were other lesser episodes that are only meant for one viewing. Stand-out episodes this season included 'S.R. 819', 'Tithonus', 'Milagro', 'Field Trip' and the cliff hanger 'Biogenesis'. The two part mythology episodes, 'Dreamland' and 'Dreamland II' along with 'Two Fathers' and 'One Son' gave the show new focus. Although aiming to be campy with a comic style of light humor, the 'Dreamland' episodes gave the show a great style of commercial appeal. Not all was revealed in the mythology of the show's central theme in 'Two Fathers' and 'One Son' but Mulder did win in his exposure of the show's main conspiracy but in doing so, he still has no direction in searching for his sister and his exposure of the conspiracy only ended up widening the power base that the cigarette smoking man has, not to mention the new clout given to Alex Krycek and Diana Fowley. The X-Files were also returned to Mulder and Scully in a much more compelling fashion than when they were in season two when they had lost the X-Files before at the end of season one.
Season six also ignited a new debate about the fate of Scully. Chris Carter has never relegated Gillian Anderson to a secondary role even though the show revolves around David Duchovny's Mulder primarily and his work with the X-Files. Anderson has always had an arc built around her character that is just as compelling as any work turned in by her counter part and her acting skill is superior to any other member of the cast and she was won an Emmy award (for season four) as proof of this. In the episode 'Tithonus', the inability to die may have passed along to her and it beckons something Clyde Bruckman told Scully during season three. She asks how she will die in her lifetime and he tells her she doesn't. Are these two events related or is it an amazing coincidence?
Alex Krycek also has some new blackmail power over Skinner, seen in 'S.R. 819'. A strange man made virus is controlled in Skinner's blood stream by Krycek who has a remote control that can re-activate the virus anytime Krycek chooses.
Two episodes that require multiple viewings before you find out just how good they are are 'Milagro' and 'Field Trip'. The former is an exploration of Scully's frailty as a human being. Always stern and disciplined in her personal life and hardly letting herself be drawn in by her many male admirers, we see her strangely attracted to a murder suspect that Mulder is investigating. 'Field Trip' is probably one of the most original episodes in the show's history. It's an episode based on hallucination caused by a giant fungal organism that nearly devours our heroes as a strange and sinister force of nature in plant for that seems to have a mind all its own similar to the Venus fly trap.
The Lone Gunmen are also given major exposure in season six in the episode 'Three of a Kind' which is a sequel to season five's episode 'Unusual Suspects'. Three other high points constantly being discussed based on season six are three unique episodes that gave this season its backbone. First is the episode written and directed by Chris Carter entitled 'Triangle' where Mulder is trapped aboard a British ship taken control of by Nazis in 1939 at the outbreak of World War II based on an incident he experiences in the Bermuda Triangle where all the major characters look like the people in his life. Second is the episode 'The Unnatural', written and directed by David Duchovny about a Negro league baseball player in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947 who may or may not be an alien in disguise. I still haven't completely figured out the ending of this one after four viewings. Third is the season finale entitled 'Biogenesis' where the show takes a look at not just its familiar theme of alien mythology but it takes on new focus by trying to show the origins of the planet Earth and all of its inhabitants past and present based on a mysterious artifact that has seemingly supernatural links and powers.
Overall, a very worthy season that deserves praise for its constant attention in making Mulder and Scully's relationship totally professional.
When we last saw agents Mulder and Scully at the end of season six's cliffhanger 'Biogenesis', Mulder was hospitalized for a numbing brain disorder while Scully was off to search for clues to try and explain the origins of a mysterious artifact found off of the west coast of Africa. This artifact with a hybrid of scientific and supposedly religious meaning and the thing responsible for Mulder's condition transformed the story line well into a two-part opening series in season seven entitled 'The Sixth Extinction' and 'The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati'. Implications were made as to what mankind's origin might be as well as implications that may or may not have featured an appearance by the almighty himself in the form of a mysterious African native man. This was something totally new for the series as it appealed to both secular and openly minded religious fans of the show and featured just the right touch of semi-regular cast members Mitch Pileggi, William B. Davis and Nicholas Lea. We also saw the return of John Finn as Michael Kritschgau, the man who opened new doors to Mulder a couple of years ago with his view of aliens and his perception of the truth behind them.
If I had to rank season seven among all of the show's efforts, it would place fifth, only ahead of seasons one and two when the show looked experimental and eventually somewhat progressive with its breakthrough success coming in season three. Season seven did not have the psychological whirlwind of season's past. There were too many light episodes with the dismal 'Hungry', the touching effort 'The Goldberg Variation', the original but emotionally bankrupt 'The Amazing Maleeni' the video game, oops, I mean episode 'First Person Shooter' and the pleasant but somewhat awkward 'Je Souhaite'. Five episodes out of twenty-two may not sound like a LOT of light episodes but they somehow has a curious resonating effect that made the really great episodes seem like you had to view them multiple times to realize they were as good as they were.
As for the really good episodes, the top five episodes of season seven are, in order 5. 'Millennium', 4. 'The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati', 3. 'Sein Und Zeit', 2. 'Requiem' and 1. 'Closure'. Admit it! If you didn't shed a few tears throughout the running of 'Closure', then you are not a fan of the show. 'Sein Und Zeit' and 'Closure' were parts one and two of a mid season mythology entry designed to answer the long standing question of what happened to Mulder's sister Samantha. As is often the case with 'The X-Files', they sometimes make you skeptical with the fate of a supposedly tied up loose end. Not so with this story. We find out the fate of Samantha solidly and with other explanations as to the fate of Mulder's mother and Agent Jeffrey Spender who was killed off in season six by his father, the cigarette-smoking man. The appearance of time to time by the walk-ins (this term will be explained by the episode where as an explanation here wouldn't do them justice), make the episode 'Closure' totally heartfelt and emotionally memorable like the movies 'Ghost', 'The Sixth Sense' and 'Always'.
'Millennium' featured the return of agent Frank Black (Lance Henriksen), seen in Chris Carter's other TV series of the same name. Carter wanted to have some closure to Frank Black's character and we sort of found it here. The end of the world was in sight and Mulder and Scully recruit Frank Black to help them foil the plot by renegade members of the infamous millennium group who supposedly have the power to bring about Armageddon. This episode, about zombies, was a nicely polished look at the famous monsters of pop culture much in the way 'The X-Files' has looked at other famous creatures such as vampires and werewolves.
'The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati' was primarily a dream like episode with the visions of Fox Mulder's life had he not pursued 'The X-Files'. Some of the resolutions in this episodes are somewhat vague and un-involving but it was one of the best next to 'Paper Clip' and 'Redux II' which leveled off the beginnings of season three and five.
And finally we have 'Requiem'. This is the best cliffhanger to date in seven years and will be a real test to Chris Carter as to whether or not he and his creative team can sustain the compelling nature, beauty and excitement of this episode at the beginning of season eight where Mulder is abducted and Scully is pregnant (or is she?) Mulder Scully, CSM, Skinner, Krycek, Marita Covarrubias, the Lone Gunmen and the alien bounty hunter are all 'Requiem'. Wow! Talk about a feast. And they all have significant roles which move the series forward a great deal and aren't just used as window dressing to lure fans into watching. On a scale from one to ten, season seven rates a seven.
Season seven was certainly different from all of the other seasons but lacked the much needed and desired appearance from time to time of semi-regular cast members and had a strange lack of chemistry at many points between Duchovny and Anderson probably due to Duchovny's desire to leave the show and his lawsuit against Fox and Chris Carter for a share of the show's royalties he says he was denied. This probably didn't help matters on the set and the tension showed up a little bit on screen in my opinion. Duchovny has signed on for season eight but only for about eleven of the twenty episodes we're apparently going to get while Anderson has just signed on for a season nine, in case there will be one. Robert Patrick, the T-1000 liquid metal man from 1991's 'Terminator 2: Judgment Day', has signed on as special agent John Doggett and will supposedly be in every episode of the show in season eight and while a large part of the "truth" has been revealed so far, I only hope that "justice" will be done to the fans who have watched from the beginning.
If 'The X-Files' were a spectator sport, the best way to describe season 8 is "a come from behind" victory. When Fox Mulder was abducted at the end of season 7 in 'Requiem', the show was coming to a mainstream end. Season 8 would have a different look and feel to it. Much more so than ever before. After the admirable first two episodes entitled 'Within' and 'Without', which began season 8 without agent Mulder, the show really sagged. Even 'Without' was sort of a disappointment. While charged with high energy, it looked in many places like a dog chasing its tail and although we knew Scully would not find Mulder, they did little to inject any type of fresh story line to keep fans anxiously awaiting the return of Mulder. We knew it would come but it seemed like it was going to be routine.
The next block of episodes, 'Patience', 'Roadrunners', 'Invocation' and 'Redrum' were enigmas. They just seemed to ask the audience "Are these episodes any good?" "We hope you'll keep watching." "We really don't have anything interesting to say in the absence of Fox Mulder." There was no real satisfactory development for me between agent Scully and her new partner agent John Doggett (Robert Patrick). Doggett was called in to assist in the manhunt for Mulder and was assigned to the X-Files. With a solid blue collar approach to his work, Doggett was a humorless yet interesting character. He rarely smiled, if ever, and was more than capable of handling his duties and made progress on his own terms, without swallowing the entire notion of the X-Files and all it stood for. It seemed like Scully was now the believer in the paranormal while Doggett was the skeptic. A gender reversal of beliefs based on the past between Mulder and Scully. 'Via Negativa' was an episode that intrigued me. The nightmare monster that could invade people's dreams and kill them was very eerie. Doggett, at the end of this episode, seemed to scratch his head and wonder about everything he had just been through as if there might be something to this paranormal stuff after all. Despite the quality of Patrick's work as agent Doggett, David Duchovny, like Carroll O'Connor as Archie Bunker, Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden and Larry Hagman as J.R. Ewing, was irreplaceable and Fox Mulder's characterization portrayed by Duchovny, could not and cannot be replaced.
Then the sharp decline kicked in. Only fans who talk themselves into liking anything would have appreciated 'Surekill', 'Salvage' and 'Badlaa'. These were abysmal episodes that rank near the very bottom of the show's now 182 episodes. To have three from one season rank near the bottom is awful and the show looked like it was done for good. 'Surekill' had absolutely no life to it and no expected visual effects for a story about a man with x-ray vision. It looked like a test filming and we asked, "Okay, now where do you insert the visual effects to give it all life." 'Salvage', about a man slowly turning all to metal, was about as interesting as watching paint dry. It was dreary, boring and lifeless. 'Badlaa' was just plain disgusting. A contortionist living inside people's bodies and disrupting their organs? Too much, even for this show. The really reached with that episode.
All of these episodes took us from November to January and then the show became special again. It seemed as if the previous episodes were made bad on purpose to make us appreciate even more, all that would come later. What the show suffered from the most was that in the almost entire first half of season 8, there were absolutely no "light" episodes such as season 7's 'The Goldberg Variation', 'The Amazing Maleeni', or 'Hollywood A.D.', all of which weren't necessarily humor episodes, they were just light and gave the show a breath of fresh air. In fact, we would not see a light or humor filled episode for all of season 8. This did not seem right since they had done one or a few in each season since season 3 and fans sort of expected it but it never happened.
February began with 'The Gift'. The return of David Duchovny in flashback, mostly, and while it was only a small part, the episode's mythology paved the way for astonishing events to come. One stand alone episode, 'Medusa', a mediocre one, would stand in the way before a breath taking finish in the season's last nine episodes which saved the entire year from being a failure. 'Per Manum' raised many questions about Scully's pregnancy and what the outcome might be and then Mulder was returned to us, dead, and came back to life through extra-terrestrial technology in 'This Is Not Happening', 'DeadAlive', and 'Three Words'. This three part story was fresh and original and had a neat cameo comeback by the character of Jeremiah Smith, the healer not seen since the beginning of season 4 when he was presumed dead in 'Herrenvolk'. It also marked the return of Alex Krycek, the sinister, last major link in the show's mythology as a chief villain and perhaps the most intriguing bad guy the show ever produce. Perhaps a better villain than the Cigarette-Smoking Man because of his sneaky and under handed tactics and his cowardly persona. A very complex character.
With Mulder back, in perfect health and ready to go again, the next three episodes, 'Empedocles', 'Vienen' and 'Alone' would serve as reminiscent episodes, putting us in mind of the old days with one of these episodes, 'Vienen', marking the return of the alien black oil. 'Empedocles' marked the major point in a story surrounding agent Doggett. He had a son who was murdered and closure may have come in identifying the victim and while some comfort could be taken, the show never really addressed with absolute closure, who the killer was. A good thing because after all, this IS 'The X-Files' where things aren't supposed to be literate, they are supposed to be a bit cloudy with things left to our imagination.
'Essence' and 'Existence' would finish off 8 years of mythology with the death of Krycek, execution style, in a justified manner by Skinner, a man tortured by Krycek and double crossed by him many times. Skinner also saved Mulder's life in the process so good for him. We have to have a stand alone episode in season 9 about Skinner's past. We've had one about Mulder's other allies, the Lone Gunmen, so why not one about Skinner? Scully gave birth and the question of who fathered Scully's baby is still in question and the new breed of aliens brought in this season is scary. They serve to keep the story line hinging on the fact that colonization of the planet may come to greater lengths once the movie franchise kicks in again and we see the full return of Mulder and Scully and if we're lucky, it will feel like going home again. Gillian Anderson's role will be reduced like Duchovny's was this year so season 9 sounds like it could very well be the last one but who knows?
Can we assume that everyone in the mythology is dead? What about Marita Covarrubias? Could she be the new leader of the new conspiracy or the continuation of the old one? Is the Cigarette-Smoking Man really dead? He survived lung cancer and a deadly bullet over seven years, not to mention his fall from the top of the stairs in a wheel chair when pushed by Krycek in 'Requiem'. If next year's ratings slip further, will they bring the Cigarette-Smoking Man back? I think after seeing 'Existence', our minds can truly race with positive possibilities for next season! Doggett now looks like a more open minded observer and this can only benefit the show as he was still a major skeptic going into this episode. His confrontation with Kersh with Annabeth Gish as Agent Reyes present (another character with solid potential for season 9) was great and maybe Kersh will finally be put in his place. I am looking forward to season nine more than I was season eight this year because I think the show has more possibilities in terms of the direction it will take than at any other time we've seen in the past.
I didn't think 'The X-Files' would be very good after David Duchovny left the show at the end of season 7 but the show surprised me by how watchable it was in season 8, especially in the second half, when Duchovny returned and the final ten episodes were comparable to some of the finest work in the earlier seasons. Sadly the same cannot be said for any parts of season 9. While season 9 wasn't terrible, it is the weakest of all 9 seasons of the show and the Fox network clearly tried to drain the last drop of profitability from the program. Plain and simple, season 9 was unnecessary and a weak exit after the giant bang that season 8 ended on.
Starting with the two part openers 'Nothing Important Happened Today' and 'Nothing Important Happened Today II', we are introduced to another chapter in the 'super soldier' mythology which, by its very nature, seemed to be invented only as a replacement to the earlier conspiracies where most of the people, namely the Cigarette-Smoking Man and his roomful of old men involved, died over 8 years. These two episodes were poorly plotted, thinly executed and did nothing to further the story along to a point of any real interest for viewers who had been with the show since the beginning. We are introduced to a character with good potential named Shannon McMahon (Lucy Lawless), a female super soldier who would disappear and not return again in any way for the rest of the series. What was the point of having her in the first place?
The show's next three episodes had a one out of three success rate. 'Daemonicus' and 'Lord of the Flies' were monster of the week episodes that were filler rather than substance but '4-D' had some good moments and was a decent story about parallel dimensions. Next was 'Trust No 1', a major slogan for the show, and it was suspenseful. It teased us with the return of Mulder, even though we knew it wasn't going to happen. As a mythology episode, it was up there but its resolution seemed pointless and the only thing we truly discovered was how to kill a super soldier.
The next episode, 'John Doe', had agent Doggett (Robert Patrick) wandering aimlessly through a small Mexican town in search of his identity after he seems to be suffering from amnesia. The episode is a good showcase of acting for Patrick but it was tedious, lacking in good academic flow and it dragged too much. 'Hellbound' was next. It, along with the previously mentioned 'Daemonicus' and 'Lord of the Flies' and the forthcoming 'Underneath' late in the season were truly dreadful episodes that appealed to the gory and nonsensical side of the show and were episodes only devoured by the show's most hard core fans who, as I've mentioned in the past, accept anything.
What would a season of 'The X-Files' be without a two part mythology story and we had one in 'Provenance' and 'Providence'. This was about the advancement of Scully's child. The baby's mind powers, the suggestion that it was part alien, the discovery that Mulder might be dead and some other mythology material was present. These were good but they smacked of not being able to explain things fully and it was one of those situations where you couldn't put your finger on it but you knew that the magic was completely gone and if the show didn't end soon, then they risked the bad overshadowing all the good the show accomplished in its most creative days.
As previously mentioned, Robert Patrick had a stand alone episode with 'John Doe'. They gave Annabeth Gish's agent Reyes character the same opportunity in 'Audrey Pauley'. After a serious accident, Reyes is teetering between life and death and actually finds the threshold to the other side and it is an original episode in the series that was well done.
Chris Carter stepped up to the plate when he was called and did a very good job with the last seven episodes. Burt Reynolds guest starred as God in 'Improbable' and played his role with a divine sense of humour. His character was wise, abruptly funny and philosophical. 'Scary Monsters' was equal to an installment in 'The Twilight Zone' movie from 1983 when a little boy had the power to wish things to happen and they would. A child in this story had the power to conjure up scary monsters only this time he did it without meaning it.
The Lone Gunmen die in 'Jump the Shark' and their death was handled well but it lacked the necessary involvement of Scully and some of the show's other classic characters like Skinner to make it truly work. We only see Scully and Skinner at the end of the episode at their funeral and they each have only a couple of lines.
'William' and 'Release' are the season's two most impressive episodes and they come right next to each other. The fate of Scully's baby is decided in 'William' and in 'Release', the murder of Doggett's son nine years earlier, is finally given some closure. Interesting how the loss of a child in both of these episodes seemed to touch the hearts of so many characters and their fans.
'The X-Files' lacked humour in season's 8 and 9 and for one final bang, they brought in Vince Gilligan to write and direct 'Sunshine Days', a tribute to the Brady Bunch about a man who had mind powers to make his home look like the Brady house but it was fatal for anyone who intruded on him.
Now for the last show.....Mulder is on trial for murder and has to defend his life's work on the x-files. While weak and flawed in many ways here's the breakdown.....
Not so great things: Why did they keep the story involving the baby the way it was. CC said he would always keep Mulder and Scully's relationship professional and he copped out. The baby should have been anyone else's but Mulder's and I did not like that scenario because it betrayed everything the true fans of the show hoped for. Spender said that Mulder's sister Samantha died in 1987. Not true. She died in 1979. She was 14. She was born in 1965 and died in that year making her the said age. They said this in 'Closure' from season 7 when Mulder sees her ghost and she is clearly 14 and not 22 and this was a major mistake on Chris Carter's part since he wrote the finale. I read that they were going to end the entire series on a cliffhanger of some sort but I didn't expect it to be this tense. They are both targets of the government now and are on the run for their lives. Mulder is an escaped fugitive with a murder conviction a.k.a. 'The Fugitive' and a massive manhunt will undoubtedly be on for him. They said the next movie will be a stand alone story and not part of the mythology and I can't see how they will do this given this situation.
The best parts: It was nice to see that Skinner was used in a major way in this episode. He was under used in all of season 9 and they finally had his character go out with dignity and as a good guy which is the best way they could have treated his character. I'm glad that Krycek, X and the Lone Gunmen remained dead and came to Mulder as spirits to help him and/or lift his morale. Having too many characters come back after appearing to be dead would have been too pretentious. The Cigarette-Smoking Man's appearance was great as he was thought to be dead and he was killed almost as quickly as the amount of time we saw him on screen and his death is final. Great finish in fastening up loose ends of re-occurring characters we've seen over the years. Kersh: Yes! I loved to hate that guy and he turned out to be one of the good guys. Yeah!! Enough said. All the evil was truly eliminated from the show in human form. At least what we knew of it until more surface. We now have to worry about the next ten years as the super soldier take over of Earth is supposed to occur in 2012. Maybe in a movie by then. A lot of people did not like the super soldier story line and this episode did a great job in linking the super soldiers to the over all truth to add some true importance in their contribution to the show. Now, every time I watch an episode from the past, I will enjoy it more now that I know what will happen eventually down the road.
Mulder has had three secret sources of information that he turns to when he's stuck on a case. These people are like the deep throat character played by Hal Holbrook in 'All the President's Men'. In fact, Mulder's first informant, was named Deep Throat (Jerry Hardin), and he was murdered by conspiring forces at the end of season 1 and at the beginning of season 4, Mulder's other informant, Mr. X (Steven Williams) was likewise murdered by what we assume are the same people. Mulder's current source of information is from a UN employee named Marita Covarrubias (Laurie Holden). She is a woman who is the least trustworthy of all of Mulder's informants.
Other reccurring characters on the show are the Lone Gunmen. They are Byers (Bruce Harwood), Langly (Dean Haglund) and Frohike (Tom Braidwood). These men are often the show's comic relief but are serious and important enough to help Mulder with his quest for unexplained scientific and technical explanations he needs in solving a case. The Lone Gunmen work out of a lab that also serves as their apartment where they have computers and other high tech gadgets for analyzing and explaining certain types of data fed to them.
There is Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea). Krycek started off as what looked like an ally to Mulder but later we learned that Krycek was a double agent, working for the Cigarette-Smoking Man and his consortium as well as for the Russians although Krycek's birthplace has never been established. He is one of the show's most interesting characters who hasn't been used as much as I would like to have seen.
There was the introduction in season 5 of Special Agent Spender (Chris Owens). His character has not yet been utilized enough to really comment on but more should be explained about him in season 6 and should involve a relationship between him and the Cigarette-Smoking Man. Or maybe not, because he was apparently killed [One Son].
Last but certainly not least is Mulder and Scully's boss, Assistant Director of the FBI, Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) who is the most underplayed character in the series. Very little has been explained about Skinner in the four years the show has been on. Skinner is a former Marine and Vietnam veteran who seems to hiding a secret pain in life. Skinner never smiles and when he tries to, it doesn't last long and is usually a smile reminding him of a happier time in his life or is a smile that reminds him of something strange and not something funny. He is a somewhat sympathetic character that you like, hoping he will always remain as a good guy but Chris Carter has portrayed him as uncertain more than any other character.
Mulder and Scully are monitored by the government within the government, a consortium of men of considerable experience in their work who all look to be in their 50's and 60's. There is the 1st Elder (Don S. Williams), who seems to be the leader, the Well Manicured Man (John Neville), who appears to be an under boss of authority and the infamous Cigarette-Smoking Man (William B. Davis) who is the most focused upon character of the three men and the show's chief bad guy and one of the most intelligently portrayed villains in the history of television or the movies. If you are having trouble picturing these men, think of a dark room or dark outside scenario, where men, dressed in suits, plan their next move that will affect the lives of millions. They're the sort of men believed by many to have killed JFK, RFK and Martin Luther King, Jr. In fact, in season 4, an episode called 'Musings of a Cigarette-Smoking Man' is one of the series best episodes as its alternative presentation of ideas does in fact imply and it shows that the Cigarette-Smoking Man killed JFK and Martin Luther King, Jr.
Throughout the show, Mulder and Scully have each lost a parent and a sibling. Scully's father died of a heart attack in season 1 and her sister was accidentally murdered by assassins who meant to kill Scully, at the beginning of season 3. Mulder's father, as mentioned already, was murdered by conspiring government forces involving the Cigarette-Smoking Man at the end of season 2 and Mulder's sister Samantha has been missing since before the series began. These losses have driven them further in living up to the old adage that for every action there can be an equally strong reaction and their experiences and bonding with one another have taken the show to progressive heights virtually unmatched by any other show. What keeps 'The X-Files' so interesting is that the relationship between Mulder and Scully hs always been kept professional and never personal. They have never been lovers and despite the desire of immature teenage female fans who watch the show but aren't really fans and can't tell you what's going on (I can't tell you how much people like this bother me), Chris Carter says that he will never do anything to rock the boat in making their relationship anything but professional.
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