Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The X-Files - S7:E14 "Theef"

[ S7:E13 "First Person Shooter" <<< Season 7 >>> S7:E15 "En Ami" ]

Theef is something of a sleeper hit, on a parallel with last season's Tithonus. It's a world away from the last episode John Gillnitz (a portmanteau of John Shiban, Vince Gilligan, and Frank Spotnitz) wrote this season - The Amazing Maleeni. We're talking the most serious, straightforward monster-of-the-week they've done since Leonard Betts (and with possibly even less humor!). Which is to say that it's great! It's a dark, slow episode about an antiquated shaman (Billy Drago) - something of an occult medicine man - seeking revenge for some wrong committed against him by an award-winning doctor (James Morrison).

It doesn't take long for Mulder to link a related murder to "hexcraft" - and even when Scully finds evidence of a rare disease during her autopsy, Mulder demonstrates the resilience of his theory by modifying it to blame the occurrence of the disease on hexcraft! In any other universe, I would be rolling my eyes, but we all know Mulder is right more often than not. Scully does her own share of rolling her eyes in this episode, however, as she is in full "I'm not having any of this ridiculousness" mode, which is not my favorite version of her character. (And this is in spite of the fact that she ends up a maybe-believer by the end - although I could have done without the running "you keep me guessing" joke).

But thankfully the episode doesn't dwell too much on that. I feel like it lacks that extra push to put it on the level of some of the greatest episodes in this series, but it's definitely a highlight of the season so far. The only thing I could think to make it better is if instead of the inevitable ambiguity of a doctor making the decision to end a dying patient's suffering (because, really, I can't legitimately fault the doctor - it sounds like he made the right decision), they would have put more emphasis on the healer's guilt for not having been there to save her (rather than leave it largely as subtext). But oh well.

Memorable quotes:

Mulder: Folk magic - that's what I believe is being used against you.
Dr. Wieder: Folk magic? You mean, like, Baba Yaga? Gypsies?
Mulder: I was actually thinking less Eastern and more Celtic. Maybe...Scots-Irish, or Appalachian even.

(I love how serious Mulder takes all this stuff).

Dr. Wieder: So, modern medicine and all it encompasses - artificial hearts, laser surgery, gene therapy, to name a few - all of that arrayed against a pile of magic dirt, and you tell me I'll lose?

Mr. Peattie: Truth always hurts. Don't it, doc?

Mr. Peattie: Radiation...come from the heart o' the atom. I think it be...God's own glow.

Mr. Peattie: If I be dere, I save her!
Dr. Wieder: You weren't there!

(Yeah, more emphasis on this, instead of the next quote, would have made the episode even better, I think).

Mulder: It seems pretty clear cut.
Scully: Except maybe it's not.

No comments:

Post a Comment