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The X-Files – Avatar (Review)

This November (and a little of December), we’re taking a trip back in time to review the third season of The X-Files and the first (and only) season of Space: Above and Beyond.

Avatar is really the first time that The X-Files relies on a member of its supporting cast to carry a story all by themselves.

Later seasons will get a bit more adventurous when it comes to sharing screen time. Musings of a Cigarette-Smoking Man and En Ami both offer viewers a glimpse at the man behind the cigarette. The Lone Gunmen prepare for their own spin-off with The Unusual Suspects and Three of a Kind. Even Skinner gets a couple more character-centric episodes with Zero Sum and S.R. 819. In a way, Hungry is a day-in-the-life episode of a monster of the week.

Pushing Mulder to the background...

Pushing Mulder to the background…

Avatar is an episode that demonstrates that these kinds of stories are possible – that The X-Files can lift the focus off of Mulder and Scully for a week and flesh out those characters who exist at the periphery of the series. Just under two years after he was first introduced, Mitch Pileggi has proven himself invaluable to the series. Asking him to carry an episode like this demonstrates the show’s faith in the character.

Avatar is a bit rough around the edges, struggling to decide whether it is part of the show’s conspiracy mythology or a stand-alone monster tale in a season that has worked hard to delineate the two types of show. Still, it’s an ambitious late-season installment that makes a lasting impression on what The X-Files can be.

Don't look now...

Don’t look now…

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