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The X-Files – Patience (Review)

This October/November, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the eighth season of The X-Files and the first (and only) season of The Lone Gunmen.

Patience is necessary.

The eighth season of The X-Files is conservative. There are arguments to be made that this is true in a political sense, but it is certainly true in a narrative sense. The eighth season generally plays it quite safe when it comes to the structuring and plotting. The most structurally ambitious episode of the eighth season is perhaps Redrum, which feels a lot less “out there” than episodes like The Post-Modern Prometheus, Bad Blood, Triangle, X-Cops or First Person Shooter. Narratively, the eighth season plays it relatively “safe.”

Batsh!t crazy...

Batsh!t crazy…

There is a reason for this, of course. Losing David Duchovny for half the season and rotating in Robert Patrick represents perhaps the biggest risk that the show will ever take. Given how essential Duchovny had been to the show’s success, the eighth season is taking quite the gamble. With that in mind, it makes sense to play it safe. Without Mulder around, the show’s primary goal is to reassure fans that it is still The X-Files. This is not the time for experimental “event” episodes, because “Mulder is not in this episode” is an experimental event of itself.

As such, the eighth season feels largely like a return to a more traditional X-Files aesthetic, a “back to basics” approach. In that respect, Patience is essentially about kicking the tires and taking the show for a gentle test drive in its new configuration.

The show won't be caught with its pants down...

The show won’t be caught with its pants down…

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