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The X-Files – War of the Coprophages (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.

It is very odd to describe any Darin Morgan episode as “underrated.” And yet, despite that, War of the Coprophages feels like the underrated Darin Morgan teleplay.

Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose had appeared towards the start of the season, featuring a powerhouse guest performance from Peter Boyle. Both Boyle and Morgan would win Emmys for their work on that episode, and Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose is perhaps Morgan’s most conventional script for The X-Files or Millennium. In contrast, Jose Chung’s “From Outer Space” is perhaps the most adventurous and gonzo episode of The X-Files ever produced, coming at the end of the season and relentlessly (but affectionately) mocking the show’s core iconic mythology.

Down the drain...

Down the drain…

In contrast, War of the Coprophages sits in the middle, literally and figuratively. It is positioned almost precisely in the middle of the third season, with Morgan writing the screenplay in an exceptionally short period of time. It isn’t a truly exceptional example of a monster-of-the-week episode in the way that Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose was, but it also isn’t as off-the-walls and bizarre as Jose Chung’s “From Outer Space.” It doesn’t feel like it has as much to say about death as Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose, nor as much about life as Jose Chung’s “From Outer Space.”

And yet, in its own way, War of the Coprophages as an incisive and well-constructed commentary on The X-Files as a television show while allowing Morgan to tackle his recurring themes about society and humanity, and whether the world is what we would like to think that it is.

Bug hunt...

Bug hunt…

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Why Are We Afraid to Scare Children?

I watched the Platinum Anniversary Edition of Pinocchio over the weekend. aside from the revelation of how ridiculously Disney manipulate the market to keep their movies out of constant circulation and creating false scarcity, what really struck me about the movie was how ridiculously (and gloriously) dark it was. As a 23-year-old adult, I felt more than a little uncomfortable watching the movie, so I can only imagine how it would have terrified me as a kid. Turning kids into donkeys and selling them to the circus! Threatening to chop up the lead character for firewood (and showing a similar puppet with an axe in his back)! The lead character lying limp, face-down in a puddle! It occurred to me that you’d never get a film like that made for kids these days. Why are we afraid to scare children?

He's a jackass! Geddit? Seriously, this gave me nightmares.

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