Getting Back Together with the X: Reactions to the X-Files Miniseries – Episode 3, “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster”

thexfilesAlmost 14 years after it ended its original run, The X-Files is returning to the small screen with a six-episode miniseries this winter. To welcome it back, Jeff and I will be writing responses to each episode. Here’s the hook: Jeff is a pretty hardcore X-Files fan and I haven’t seen a single episode of the show. How we’ll respond is anyone’s guess, but as always: The Truth is Out There.

This post covers the third episode of the miniseries, “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster.” It contains spoilers for this episode as well as the entire original run of The X-Files.

Patches
Jeff, you mentioned how much you were looking forward to Darin Morgan’s entry this season, although if I remember correctly, there was also some trepidation. Would he live up to his previous standards or would he tarnish his good name? I can’t answer those questions for you, but I can say that “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster” was the best episode of the miniseries so far.

One reason was Continue reading

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Getting Back Together with the X: Reactions to the X-Files Miniseries – Episode 2, “Founder’s Mutation”

thexfilesAlmost 14 years after it ended its original run, The X-Files is returning to the small screen with a six-episode miniseries this winter. To welcome it back, Jeff (of Slazenger1) and I will be writing responses to each episode. Here’s the hook: Jeff is a pretty hardcore X-Files fan and I haven’t seen a single episode of the show. How we’ll respond is anyone’s guess, but as always: The Truth is Out There.

This post covers the second episode of the miniseries, “Founder’s Mutation.” It contains spoilers for this episode as well as the entire original run of The X-Files.

Patches
Oh god… I go first this week? This is more terrifying than shoving a letter opener into my own skull or having my brain telekenisised out of every facial orifice.

“Founder’s Mutation” begins with Mulder and Scully back on the case. The show doesn’t mention how much time has passed since the X-Files were reopened at the end of “My Struggle,” but it doesn’t seem like enough time for a government agency, specifically one Skinner called ponderous, to fire up and start accepting cases. I think that can be easily forgiven, however. With only six episodes the whole season, you don’t want epiosde two to be “My Bureaucratic Struggle ” where Mulder fights the violent, uber-fascist fascistocracy to requisition a rolly chair for the office. Jumping directly into the action was a good idea.

Also a good decision was the transition from what seemed to be a very serialized opener to a more episodic format. Given that this season’s finale is entitled “My Struggle II,” I’m guessing that one will try to close up shop. “Founder’s Mutation” hit the sweet spot that shows like Deep Space Nine were so good at, using standalones to contribute to the larger arcs. If I interpreted things correctly, those terrifying laboratories were Department of Defense facilities, likely housing and experimenting on children infused with alien DNA. That adds to the government conspiracy/nonspiracy mytharc, except through a story instead of through exposition. Good stuff.

vlcsnap-2016-02-04-21h02m25s208“Founder’s Mutation” got to be creepy (THOSE BIRDS, THOUGH), violent (you heard that scientist’s skull crack too, right?), and told an interesting story. It also attempted a tug or two at the ‘ole heartstrings. Continue reading

Getting Back Together with the X: Reactions to the X-Files Miniseries – Episode 1, “My Struggle”

thexfilesAlmost 14 years after it ended its original run, The X-Files is returning to the small screen with a six-episode miniseries this winter. To welcome it back, Jeff and I will be writing responses to each episode. Here’s the hook: Jeff is a pretty hardcore X-Files fan and I haven’t seen a single episode of the show. How we’ll respond is anyone’s guess, but as always: The Truth is Out There.

This post covers the first episode of the miniseries, “My Struggle.” It probably contains spoilers for this episode as well as the entire original run of The X-Files.

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Jeff
“My Struggle” is an apt title for the first episode of The X-Files miniseries, because I think it’s going to be a struggle for me to put this miniseries into the context of the original 9-season run of the show that I loved so much.

This feels a lot like a late-series mythology episode, complete with period flashbacks, info-dump, JFK-esque montages (including Mulder’s own Mr. X…not to be confused with The X-Files’ previous Mr. X), and a final act that frustrates our heroes’ quest by continuing the cover-up. We also have the familiar faces of Mulder and Scully, as well as Walter Skinner and an unlikely, or impossible, appearance by the Cigarette Smoking Man. We have the basement office, UFOs, Roswell, a parking garage, Scully in scrubs and even a Reticulan. The pieces are in place, but this episode is saddled with introducing an all new conspiracy, which is problematic to say the least. Continue reading

Getting Back Together with the X: Reactions to the X-Files Miniseries – Prologue

thexfiles

Almost 14 years after it ended its original run, The X-Files is returning to the small screen with a six-episode miniseries this winter. To welcome it back, Jeff (of Slazenger1) and I will be writing responses to each episode. Here’s the hook: Jeff is a pretty hardcore X-Files fan and I haven’t seen a single episode of the show. How we’ll respond is anyone’s guess, but as always: The Truth is Out There.

This post covers our personal relationship with the series thus far and our expectations for the miniseries.

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Jeff
I was in elementary school when The X-Files premiered, and was probably a bit too young to watch it, understand it, or really know anything about it at all. I remember seeing the original broadcast of Season 1 episode “The Jersey Devil” when I spent the night at a friend’s house and his dad was watching it. I don’t think I watched another episode until I came to the series on my own, late in Season 4. I’m pretty sure the episode was “Unrequited” because I specifically remember being intrigued by promos advertising an invisible assassin. I also remember the Fox “next time on” promos for the rest of the season counting down the number of episodes remaining until what turned out to be a pretty great season finale, “Gethsemane.” From that point, I was hooked. Continue reading

Justified Season 6 RayActions – Episode 13, “The Promise”

justifiedOn January 20th, FX’s Justified began its sixth and final season. Based on several Elmore Leonard works, Justified follows Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), a US Marshal who is “exiled” to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. Raylan frequently finds himself in conflict with erstwhile mining buddy, now criminal mastermind, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), as the two attempt to coexist in a world that seems a little too small for both of them. Justified highlights the local culture and explores numerous themes, such as family, religion, history and the thin line that divides the good guys from the bad.

Join Jeff (of Slazenger1) and me in the coming months as we honor this criminally underrated drama with a series of “RayActions” to each of Justified’s Season 6 episodes. These posts will not be particularly formal, but will give us the chance to make some observations and reflect on each episode, likely culminating in a full Season 6 Dead Season Discussion after the finale.

This week’s RayAction is focused on Justified’s series finale, “The Promise.” It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of Justified. Fire in the Hole!

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Patches
The lead single off the official soundtrack for Dave Grohl’s documentary Sound City is entitled “From Can To Can’t.” It’s got Grohl drumming, Cheap Trick guitarist Rick Nielson, and Slipknot/Stone Sour vocalist Corey Taylor (sorry, Scott Reeder). It’s a great song. The lyrics are bold and evocative, but vague enough to preclude a single meaning. The song itself is organized around “the line.” In the first refrain, Taylor draws the line. In the second, he blurs the line. The in the last, he crosses the line.

Justified is sort of the “From Can to Can’t” of Raylan Givens. By the end of “The Promise,” we know Raylan. That no small thing, as Winona pointed out in “The Hunt.” Raylan is so guarded; so closed off, that it’s hard to get a read on him. But actions speak louder than words and we’ve had six seasons of Justified comparing Raylan to his prey to see where he draws, blurs, and crosses his line.

vlcsnap-2015-04-18-09h44m25s25The best example was in “Ghosts,” the Season 4 finale. Raylan told Nicky Augustine that he had a deal for him, but that he wasn’t optimistic Nicky would take it. When asked why he was so pessimistic, Raylan replied “Yeah, well, it’s been a day.” If that sounds familiar, it’s because Ty Walker uttered a similar line in “The Hunt.” The difference is that when Raylan has “a day,” he ignores a crime. When it’s Walker, Continue reading

Justified Season 6 RayActions – Episode 11, “Fugitive Number One”

justifiedOn January 20th, FX’s Justified began its sixth and final season. Based on several Elmore Leonard works, Justified follows Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), a US Marshal who is “exiled” to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. Raylan frequently finds himself in conflict with erstwhile mining buddy, now criminal mastermind, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), as the two attempt to coexist in a world that seems a little too small for both of them. Justified highlights the local culture and explores numerous themes, such as family, religion, history and the thin line that divides the good guys from the bad.

Join Jeff (of Slazenger1) and me in the coming months as we honor this criminally underrated drama with a series of “RayActions” to each of Justified’s Season 6 episodes. These posts will not be particularly formal, but will give us the chance to make some observations and reflect on each episode, likely culminating in a full Season 6 Dead Season Discussion after the finale.

This week’s RayAction is focused on Justified Season 6, Episode 10 – “Fugitive Number One.” It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of Justified. Fire in the Hole!

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Patches
Even during its worst moments (that didn’t involve Winona stealing evidence money, at least), I’ve always enjoyed Justified. It’s made me laugh. It’s shocked me. It’s kept me perched on the edge of my seat. It has never made me cry. Yet, that’s exactly what happened about halfway through “Fugitive Number One” when Mikey (Sorry… It’s “Michael”) ate four bullets in defense of his partner Wynn Duffy.

The writers set it up perfectly. Earlier in the episode, Continue reading

Justified Season 6 RayActions – Episode 10, “Trust”

justifiedOn January 20th, FX’s Justified began its sixth and final season. Based on several Elmore Leonard works, Justified follows Raylan Givens (Timothy Olyphant), a US Marshal who is “exiled” to his hometown of Harlan, Kentucky. Raylan frequently finds himself in conflict with erstwhile mining buddy, now criminal mastermind, Boyd Crowder (Walton Goggins), as the two attempt to coexist in a world that seems a little too small for both of them. Justified highlights the local culture and explores numerous themes, such as family, religion, history and the thin line that divides the good guys from the bad.

Join Jeff (of Slazenger1) and me in the coming months as we honor this criminally underrated drama with a series of “RayActions” to each of Justified’s Season 6 episodes. These posts will not be particularly formal, but will give us the chance to make some observations and reflect on each episode, likely culminating in a full Season 6 Dead Season Discussion after the finale.

This week’s RayAction is focused on Justified Season 6, Episode 10 – “Trust.” It contains SPOILERS for the entire series of Justified. Fire in the Hole!

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Jeff
How is next episode not the series finale?

“Trust” gives us SO MANY CLIFFHANGERS that I can imagine the show needing three episodes to resolve them, but the tension was so high this week that I’m already geared up for an explosive finale. So many things are left up in the air, it’s no wonder this episode clocked in under the 40-minute mark. Still, I’ll take it because by golly, things happen and people take action.

Mikey Cosmatopolis decides that he’s not all talk when it comes to his code. Plus, he’s probably tired of being harassed by Wynn. So he takes matters into his own hands, slamming Wynn’s head onto the table and handcuffing him inside the Wynnebago and removing all four(!) of Wynn’s deadly weapons. Of course, when he tries to call Katherine, he gets voicemail. Also, aren’t many RV tables made to come apart, collapse and fold into the wall? Maybe it’s too obvious by this point, but I kept thinking “I hope Mikey handcuffed him correctly.”

vlcsnap-2015-03-28-15h48m43s141Poor Dewey’s blood-stained gator tooth necklace finally shows up again, hinting to Ava, who passes on to Raylan, that Boyd murdered Dewey Crowe. Raylan doesn’t seem to think there’s enough proof, particularly without a body. Seems to me that Tim picked up someone who just might know where the body is though, and he’s probably not particularly happy with Boyd, or at least he won’t be when he finds out that Boyd set him and Earl up to be arrested (I’m talking about Carl, in case you can’t tell).

Boyd nabs Katherine and uses her to get Markham to finally part with his $10 million. Trouble is, Markham already knows Katherine only cares about his money (if it wasn’t clear from her longing look at the dough), so how certain can we be that those bags are entirely filled with cold, hard cash? Boyd puts the cherry on top by Continue reading