Friday, August 7, 2015

The X-Files - S2:E10 "Red Museum"

[ S2:E9 "Firewalker" <<< Season 2 >>> S2:E11 "Excelsis Dei" ]

Spoiler Warning: This is a bit of a sleeper episode, with some startling twists in store. If you don't want to be spoiled, you might not want to read any further.

This is the episode that features the phrase "He Is One" written on the backs of several teenage victims. I think I had a t-shirt at one point that sported that phrase, that I remember wearing to school after I had caught up on the series and officially became an X-Phile. Although this episode masquerades as a monster-of-the-week, it ultimately picks up on a thread introduced in last season's finale, The Erlenmeyer Flask.

It starts with a creepy, wannabe-vegan cult (recalling last season's Gender Bender) causing trouble in the red meat-loving heartland of America - who Mulder suspects is responsible for possessing the victimized teens. But, touching on that other foundational pillar of The X-Files (not the paranormal, but government conspiracy), there's also some paranoia involved, regarding secret trials of growth hormones presumably designed to produce a better slab of beef - but at what cost?

Major spoilers ahead!

As if that weren't enough, there's yet an even deeper layer to the proceedings (I tell you, the plot just thickens and thickens), which involves Purity Control-grade alien DNA, and circumstances under which Mulder gets a shot at the man (apparently a kind of clean-up agent) who killed Deep Throat. Although, of course, in the end, our agents won't have anything left of significance to show for their discoveries...

All in all, the episode doesn't manage to rise to the level of the best mythology episodes, but for a monster-of-the-week episode (and I maintain that it still counts as one), it proves to be quite exciting. Plus, I like that we get some followup on some of the startling revelations from The Erlenmeyer Flask. It provides some continuity to the series, and assures us that what we've seen so far isn't the end of the story.

Memorable quotes:

Cultmember: They who slaughter the flesh, slaughter their own souls.

Scully: Kind of hard to tell the villains without a scorecard.

Scully: But those hormones have been proven safe; they've been cleared by the FDA.
Farmer: Says who? Hmph! The government?

Spoiler Warning: this last quote is exceptionally spoileriffic. But it's also terribly epic. I think it may in part be because it's featured in one of the songs on that one X-Files soundtrack CD I bought back in the day, and listened to probably way too much. Regardless, it has a certain gravitas to it.

Scully: The man who died in that plane crash was innoculating those kids with antibodies derived from what may have been an extraterrestrial source.
Mulder: He's been injecting those kids with alien DNA.

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