Thursday, July 30, 2015

The X-Files - S2:E2 "The Host"

[ S2:E1 "Little Green Men" <<< Season 2 >>> S2:E3 "Blood" ]

Comparisons to season 1's first monster-of-the-week episode, Squeeze, are appropriate in this gross episode that features the series' creepiest monster yet. Mulder thinks he's being played for a fool when Skinner assigns him to investigate a body that turns up in the sewers of New Jersey, but when Scully examines the body and finds a rather large flukeworm, it slowly becomes clear that this case should have been an X-File. Is Skinner taking advantage of Mulder's expertise to solve weird cases in a hush-hush manner? I have to say that I really like the character of A.D. Skinner. Ultimately we'll see that he's an ally, but he's just the hard-nosed bureaucrat Mulder needs in his corner, to reel him in when he gets too far out there. We also get our first (appropriately shady) introduction to Mulder's soon-to-be-new informant, which tells me we're over the larval stage and getting into the heart of the series now.

Seeing Mulder's disillusion in these episodes, and him pushing Scully away, is tough, but here we get a little taste of the old banter we've come to know and love. However, we're really beginning to see the benefit of the serial format here. The first season was very episodic, with each episode almost entirely self-contained, barring some of the mythology elements, which were still pretty light. The show is still heavily episode-based (in comparison with a lot of modern dramas), but now, even the monster-of-the-week episodes feature some developments to the over-arching plot of the series. With Skinner settling into the bureau in a more regular capacity, and the conflict created by Mulder and Scully being separated and taken off the X-Files, it seems like we're actually getting somewhere even in the one-off episodes, and that makes it all the more exciting.

Memorable quotes:

Scully: This seat taken?
Mulder: No. But I should warn you, I'm experiencing violent impulses.
Scully: Well I'm armed, so I'll take my chances.

Mulder: Sometimes it just gets hard to smile through it when they ask you to bend down and grab your ankles.

X: Mr. Mulder, I think you should have a friend at the FBI.

Mulder: This isn't where you tell me some terrible story about sushi, is it?
Scully: Or maybe you'd rather hear what you can catch from a nice, rare steak.
Mulder: So, what, the murder weapon was a top sirloin?

Skinner: We all take our orders from someone, Agent Mulder.

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