Thursday, November 5, 2015

The X-Files - S6:E7 "Terms of Endearment"

[ S6:E6 "How The Ghosts Stole Christmas" <<< Season 6 >>> S6:E8 "The Rain King" ]

This is going to sound terrible, but it feels like it's been weeks since I've watched an episode of The X-Files. I mean, a traditional episode. Terms of Endearment is the first episode I've watched in a while that actually feels like a classic monster-of-the-week episode. We've had a lot of humor and (arguably) clever deconstruction and experimentation going on of late. And while a script about a suburban devil trying to raise up demon spawn isn't likely to win any Emmys any time soon, these are the kinds of stories The X-Files was made to tell! Well, either that or Millenium - I actually kind of thought I had remembered this episode from the latter series rather than The X-Files, but nope! We haven't had a good devil episode since...let's see, going all the way back to the second season, with the devil double shot of Irresistible and Die Hand die Verletzt! And that's not the only thing about this episode that recalls the second season - what with Mulder and Scully off the X-Files, and Mulder investigating in the field (much to his superiors' chagrin) while Scully [initially] advises by phone. It's nice to have an episode that feels familiar for once.

But, this is still the sixth season. We get to see Agent Spender originally handling the case, only to toss the X-File into the shredder (that fiend!). Thankfully, Mulder manages to salvage it from the trash, and his enthusiasm for the case is a delight to behold. The episode, which draws appropriate comparisons to Rosemary's Baby, and which was filmed around a really creepy-looking house (that kinda reminds me of The Amityville Horror), stars no less illustrious a guest as Bruce Campbell, who is fantastically understated as the sensitive husband who harbors an unsettling secret. There is a fun, if a bit cheesy, twist at the conclusion, which is wrapped up a little too neatly, and Mulder doesn't piece together the crimes so much as he intuits the explanation for them based on his knowledge of occult legends - but I can forgive all of the episode's flaws because it's just such a good, fun, grim story. And it features one of the most startling special effects shots in the entire series!

Memorable quotes:

Laura Weinsider: I kept calling it a nightmare, but how many people's nightmares come true?

Mulder: Scully, this is a classic case of demon fetal harvest! What they called in the middle ages atum nocturnem - the impregnation of an unwitting woman by a dark lord of the underworld.
Scully (bored): As host for his demon seed.
Mulder: Exactly.
Scully: I saw Rosemary's Baby on cable the other night, Mulder.
Mulder: Yeah, but this is the real deal.

(The only thing funnier than Mulder's unbridled enthusiasm about this case is the fact that it's apparently a common enough occurrence to be described as "classic". Lol).

Mulder: Not a shred of evidence is exactly the evidence I'd hoped you'd find.

Wayne Weinsider: I just wanted what everyone wants.

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