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The X-Files – Trevor (Review)

This July, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the sixth season of The X-Files and the third (and final) season of Millennium.

Trevor is a perfectly solid monster of the week episode of The X-Files.

In many respects, it feels like the episode that Alpha desperately wanted to be. It is very much a traditional story in a season that has been relatively untraditional in its structure and format. Mulder and Scully are assigned to a case that is explicitly paranormal and set about investigating it to the best of their ability. Along the way, Mulder and Scully become passengers in a story that involves the guest cast. Trevor is not as sly or self-aware as something like Monday, Arcadia or Milagro. It is a straightforward case of the week.

"I wanna take his face... off..."

“I wanna take his face… off…”

There are other similarities between Trevor and Alpha. Alpha was an episode that really wanted to tackle a very traditional monster in a very traditional way – it was a very disappointing attempt at a werewolf episode, following on from Shapes in the first season. In a way, Trevor alludes to a more classical monster story than most X-files. Wilson “Pinker” Rawls is effectively a wraith avenging himself upon those who did him wrong, the embodiment of past mistakes returned to haunt the living. He is a ghost, even beyond his ability to walk through walls.

Of course, Trevor provides a suitably pseudo-scientific explanation for what Rawls does, and the climax builds to an intimate family tragedy. However, Trevor feels very much like a classic ghost story about a man returned from the dead to visit retribution upon the living.

Diehl it back...

Diehl it back…

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The X-Files – Patient X (Review)

This May and June, we’re taking a trip back in time to review the fifth season of The X-Files and the second season of Millennium.

This should not work.

There are lots of reasons why Patient X and The Red and the Black should simply implode under their own weight. Most obviously, they are scripts that are rather blatantly just piling more and more back story and convolution onto a framework that is already overloaded and over-stretched. They are introducing new characters at a late stage of the game. They rely on contrivance and sketchy character development. They seem to exist at odds with the script for The X-Files: Fight the Future, which had been written and shot, but was awaiting release.

Everything burns...

Everything burns…

However, despite all this, Patient X and The Red and the Black work very well together. They are the strongest story-driven mythology two-parter since Nisei and 731 at the start of the third season. There is an energy and drive to Patient X and The Red and the Black that has been largely absent from the show’s big blockbuster two-parters since Herrenvolk at the start of the fourth season. After a year-and-a-half treading water as the release date of the movie draws ever closer, it is nice to see Chris Carter cut completely loose.

Patient X and The Red and the Black form a story which doesn’t seem at all worried about what any of this means for the summer realise of Fight the Future. Parts of it become quite difficult to reconcile with the film as released. However, the two-parter is all the stronger for it.

Fog of war...

Fog of war…

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