Sunday, December 13, 2015

The X-Files - S8:E6 "Redrum"

[ S8:E5 "Invocation" <<< Season 8 >>> S8:E7 "Via Negativa" ]

With a title like "Redrum", I guess I was expecting something more like a tribute to The Shining, than a murder mystery/courtroom drama where time runs in reverse (like in that movie Memento). I mean, it's the more original interpretation, but...originality is overrated. Anyway, stories like this have an inescapable flaw - they inevitably make more sense after you finish watching them. Which means a lot is riding on the ending. A fantastic example of that is Irreversible (the best movie you can't in good conscience actually recommend to people). I do like the ultimate conclusion this episode reaches, and that it's not quite what you're expecting. But I'm not completely sold on the journey it takes to get there. For one thing, as far as the character arc goes, there's not much chance for redemption when the killer doesn't believe he even committed the crime. And, due to the format, the proceedings are all a bit confusing in the first half. Plus, there's this repeating imagery involving a spider in a web - which does a good job of getting a certain point across, but it doesn't make the episode much fun for me to watch, personally. And Scully and Doggett come off kinda poorly (although Scully is all about the emotional subtext lately), since the episode is told from the perspective of the prisoner (but not quite to the subversive effect that Hungry accomplished). Still, it's another solid episode in an unbroken string so far (that is, avoiding the flops that season 7 was littered with), if not quite as good, in my opinion, as the last two.

Memorable quotes:

Martin Wells: I did not kill Vicky.
Scully: If you truly don't remember, then how can you be certain that you didn't?

(A good question. One is reminded of Avatar, when it was Skinner's head on the block).

Martin Wells: What day is this? What day of the week is this?
Brent: Wednesday. Wednesday the 6th.
Martin Wells: Yesterday, you told me it was Thursday; the day before that it was Friday. It's backwards. Everything's going backwards.

(And we so excited, we gonna have a ball today!)

Martin Wells: The passage of time imprisons us not in a cell of brick and mortar, but in one of hopes dashed and tragedies unaverted. How precious, then, the chance to go back, only to discover that in facing the past, you must face up to yourself. That exiting the prison of time doesn't free you from the prison of your own character. One from which...there is no escape.

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