Andrew80 wrote:Watched it tonight. I honestly don't know. It's strange. I didn't hate it (my wife, who's in the US and watched it yesterday predicted I would). It was not like My Struggle, where everything was wrong. Some things got done terrific here, some things got badly wrong and some are just...strange. All these things are mixed up and what you got is...I don't know what we got, actually.This episode is an X-file itself
Ok, the things I like: first of all-murder scenes. Gory, gruesome and scary. It's hard to pull of both gory and scary at the same time-gory looks plain silly on film most of the time. Here it did not. The murder of a female city administrator, with that terrific, terrific song in the background (Downtown by Petula Clark) was captured particularly perfectly. It's also a subtle nod to original "Home" and THAT Johhny Mathis song (and scene).
Secondly: acting. Both DD and GA are superb. The chemistry between them is at its best in this episode too.
Thirdly: M&S banter. Unlike My Struggle, where it sounded straight outta bad fan-fiction, here it was beautifully done. "You're a dark wizard, Mulder" is possibly the best line of the entire season so far. It sums up perfectly the whirlwind of emotions Scully experiences, towards life in general, towards Mulder, towards her family and the son she gave for adoption. However, it's not just that, entire episode is bristling with good, snappy banter, both between the leads and during Mulder's solo investigation (while Scully is tending to her mom).
Fourthly: Ending scene. Mulder and Scully together, against the whole wide world. That's it. That's X-Files in a nutshell.
The similar scene exists in "Paper Clip" too (emotional Scully declaring war against the world over her sister's dead body and Mulder holding and supporting her) but here it's done much better-them two, sitting on a bench, an urn that symbolizes death and destruction of their families between their feet, refusing to give in to the world that tries to suffocate them. Simply beautiful (even cheesy Scully's monologue before that didn't manage to ruin the perfect image).
Things I didn't like: first of all-the X-file. It was unoriginal (Kaddish had the very same idea, didn't it?), underdeveloped and the resolution was underwhelming. Band-aid nose man was unmemorable too-I watched the episode half an hour ago and I've already forgotten how he looked like
Secondly: confusion. The whole episode is very confusing, and so are things Mulder and Scully do. It's especially the case after Scully's mother dies- one moment Scully's crying her eyes out on Mulder's shoulder, the next she's trading jokes with him. The scene where she's trying to revive her mom is also overdone (though acted superbly by GA)-Scully may experience deep emotions, but she's not hysterical. It's totally against her character to be hysterical. That (people doing things that are totally against their characters) is one of the main problems of the revival-there's a lot of that in My Struggle and some of that in Founder's Mutation too.
Third: The connection Scully made between the fates of Band-Aid Man and William was tenuous, to put it mildly. To put it realistically-totally illogical. Seriously, what kind of mother longing to see her son once again would willingly compare him to a monster who tears people to shreds? "I want to believe we didn't treat him like trash" was a strong closing line, but again-not an entirely logical one, as it was already established (many times) that Scully gave William for adoption not because of lack of love and care for him. The guilt trip Scully experiences should go towards recriminating herself for not having the courage to stay with him (and to hell with consequences), not towards this. After all, she's made a sacrifice, an enormous one: she sacrificed her wish for motherhood and condemned herself to lifetime of guilt and self-recrimination over that decision just to make her son safe. You can agree and disagree with that course of action, but neither she, nor anyone else, can accuse her of treating her son like trash. It's simply illogical.
However, these are problems with William arc in general and it would've been much better for the show had he never been born, to tell the truth. It was also a huge mistake to address it in the revival-all William arc does is muddy the water and make things confusing.
To conclude: in some way, this episode mirrors the whole revival-incredible highs mixed with terrible lows and all put together. No wonder all this makes X-Philes feel strange. Still, you shouldn't skip the episode-there are some terrific, truly beautiful moments in there. I would rate it 3 out of 5, because Founder's Mutation (I gave it a 4) was more coherent and an X-file was much, much better developed, but it's still a fairly good episode. Strange and full of flaws, but good nevertheless.
TruthIsOutThere wrote:Agreed. Great review. The only thing I'd add is that it's not that uncommon for normal, very serious and non-hysterical people to suddenly become that way (momentarily) when dealing with something like this. I chalk a bit of that up to Scully being in an environment where she's normally very "in charge" (the top of the food chain, for the most part), so she starts barking orders like she has any authority at all there.
TruthIsOutThere wrote:I also thought Band-aid Nose Man was a great villain and quite scary and memorable, though I thought he was too similar to what we saw in "Arcadia" (him being a Tulpa, I thought that was out of character for Mulder not to remember or reference that one, and I thought "Arcadia" was more similar to this, whereas "Kaddish" dealt more with unrequited love bringing back somebody as an undead golem (with motivations of vengeance).
Unless all the William talk is adding to find in him,I want it done. Scully needs help dealing with the guilt and I have to wonder if she was part of their breakup reason and not just Mulder's depression.
maurisap wrote:I found the "I've got to work" a little odd, but I have to admit I went to work the day After my mother died unexpectedly for two reasons- to wrap up things only I could do and to try to fill my mind with something but the pain.
I am livid that CC brought back Mama Scully only to kill her off. This was senseless and another typically senseless ending to a character that XF writers seem to enjoy. I cannot think of any reason that her death helped forward the story. This was no "Beyond the Sea" where her fathers death placedher in a situation that caused her to move forward into questioning the supernatural. It didn't bring about character development. All we found out was that Charlie is estranged. Now, after YEARS of Internet discussion and jokes about the disappearing Charlie, it was kind of cool to see this addressed but does anyone believe MAma Scully would be estranged from her own child? Maggie? With the character development she's had, after losing a child? No.