Monday, December 7, 2015

The X-Files - S7:E21 "Je Souhaite"

[ S7:E20 "Fight Club" <<< Season 7 >>> S7:E22 "Requiem" ]

In the penultimate episode of the season, Vince Gilligan gets his turn in the director's chair, in an episode of his own writing. French for "I wish", Je Souhaite chronicles an encounter between Mulder and Scully (and a couple of simpletons) and a female genie (or "jinniyah") who, traditionally, grants three wishes. It's a little clichéd, to be sure, but it's a fun idea. And it does an adequate job of demonstrating the inherent perils of getting what you wish for, as well as the inevitable anxiety in trying to decide what's worth spending a wish on. There are some cool tricks on display, like a man with no mouth, and an invisible corpse that Scully takes girlish delight in studying. It's nice to see her fascination and scientific curiosity directed towards a tangible entity in her possession for once, although I feel that Gillian Anderson acts the part a little too playfully - it's cute, in a sense, but it's so far out of her character that it's a bit jarring, like as if she's under a spell or something. Indeed, the episode leans just a little too much towards comedy for my tastes. It's fun - and Vince Gilligan's been one of the better comedy writers on this show - but when Mulder starts humming the theme from I Dream of Jeannie...yeah. As such, it doesn't quite reach the level of a great episode in my opinion, but it's definitely better than, say, The Goldberg Variation, or The Amazing Maleeni.

Afterthought: It's interesting to note that this episode couldn't credibly have come at any other point in the show, really - if the mythology hadn't been wrapped up already, surely Mulder could wish for "the truth" about Samantha's disappearance and/or the alien conspiracy. But that's all water under the bridge now.

Memorable quotes:

Mulder: How many centuries now has disco been dead?

Jenn: Your wish is breathtaking in its unoriginality.

(Yeah, but there's something to be said for the classics).

Scully: What was I thinking? An invisible man?
Mulder: You saw it. It was real.
Scully: I don't know what I saw, Mulder. I do know that...having that kind of proof in my hands, it was just too good to be true.

(Again, Scully, nothing but evidence. And again, no evidence at all).

Jenn: That's the conclusion you've drawn? That I'm evil?
Mulder: Well, possibly evil. Possibly cursed. A curse to others.
Jenn: The only thing you people are cursed with is stupidity.

Jenn: I should have been more specific.

(Aye, ain't that the rub?)

Mulder: I guess I should have seen this coming.

(I have to say, no matter the altruistic intentions, and in spite of what invariably happens when people's opinions clash - evident by the fact that to create peace on Earth, all mankind must be eliminated - no single person is smart enough, or has enough foresight, to develop a detailed plan for a perfect society, that will actually work. Mulder's lucky he wised up and took the more obvious choice for his third wish in the end, else he'd probably have found himself living in one of those dystopias we read about in sci-fi literature).

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