Friday, August 14, 2015

The X-Files - S2:E18 "Fearful Symmetry"

[ S2:E17 "End Game" <<< Season 2 >>> S2:E19 Død Kalm ]

Warning: I guess this review is kind of spoilerish.

I know that X-Files are supposed to be bizarre cases, but this one is especially weird. When an invisible force of nature starts to go on a rampage, it's pretty terrifying - until you figure out that it's just an elephant escaped from the zoo. Why was it invisible, you ask? Well, to quote Mulder from the pilot episode, that's why they put the 'I' in FBI. Although we never are given a satisfying explanation. As for how the animal escaped, an animal rights activist group has a grudge against the zoo's mistreatment of animals, but it may not be the zookeepers who are performing strange experiments on them. The zoo is conveniently located near a UFO hotspot, as Mulder learns from 2/3 of The Lone Gunmen, beamed in by satellite.

The title probably refers to the symmetry between our treatment of animals in zoos, and what the aliens are doing to us. But this episode is infused with commentary (like others in the past - the creators clearly have an environmental conscience) that places the aliens as our potential saviors when and if we ultimately destroy ourselves (putting a more positive spin on what was revealed in the last episode about aliens walking among us, with the expectation of taking over stewardship of the planet when mankind's dominion wanes). Not every episode of this series is going to be television gold, but frankly, it's getting harder for me to write off even the one-off episodes, as the background level of quality is definitely improving (and quickly!).

Memorable quotes:

Mulder: I'd be willing to admit the possibility of a tornado, but it's not really tornado season. I'd even be willing to entertain the notion of a black hole passing over the area, or some cosmic anomaly, but it's not really black hole season either. If I was a betting man, I'd say that it was, uh...
Scully: An invisible elephant?
Mulder: I saw David Copperfield make the Statue of Liberty disappear once.

Kyle Lang: All animals should run free,
Scully: Even if that means trampling a man to death?
Kyle Lang: Maybe he should have gotten out of the way.
Mulder: I'm sure he would have if he'd seen it coming.

Mulder: What do you know about alien abduction?
Willa Ambrose: (laughs) You're kidding me?
Mulder: (deadpan expression)

(Oh, how I love this show!)

Mulder: The motives of the silent visitors who set these events in motion remain unclear. Could this be a judgment on a global rate of extinction that has risen to one thousand times its natural rate in this century? An act of alien conservation of animals we are driving hard toward oblivion? And if so, might it follow that our own fate and existence could finally be dependent on the conservatorship of an extraterrestrial race?

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