Thursday, December 31, 2015

The X-Files - S9:E4 "4-D"

[ S9:E3 "Daemonicus" <<< Season 9 >>> S9:E5 "Lord of the Flies" ]

I don't expect the streak to last, but so far, this season has been steadily improving since its lackluster premiere. This episode is even better than the last. And if it's the best standalone episode of the season, then I'll be satisfied that the season has at least one episode I can comfortably recommend. It starts with a pretty neat opener, in which a man with the apparent ability to teleport - to disappear and reappear at will - manages to land a critical hit on both Doggett and Reyes while in the line of duty. One can't avoid wondering about the nature and origin of his abilities, the likes of which we've never seen on The X-Files before. Things get even weirder when an uninjured Reyes has an "encounter" with Doggett following the accident (in a rare glimpse into their off-duty lives - although dammit, is there going to be UST between every pairing on this show now?), and you're not sure if she's having some kind of a psychic vision, or if the freak-of-the-week is not only playing with space, but time as well. Regardless, it's not a good sign for Doggett - who spends the episode in the hospital in critical condition - when Scully reminisces about a similar vision she had in Beyond The Sea.

More so than Daemonicus, this is the episode where Reyes gets her turn to shine. And I have to say, I'm starting to like her. She'll never be a satisfying replacement for either Mulder or Scully (which is the same position Doggett is in), but at least she's not an obnoxious character like Diana Fowley, whom I can't even stand. On that note, this episode features the recurrence of Cary Elwes as A.D. Brad Follmer, who was ostensibly a mythology character up to this point. Although, I don't know if I'm just getting used to him in this role, but he didn't feel quite as out of place this time around. His sliminess almost seems to suit his perfectly coiffed appearance. (Plus, he's a great shot)! As for this week's freak, played by Dylan Haggerty (who reminds me of a grimmer version of Darin Morgan in Small Potatoes), he's a real creep, but in a good way. When we see him sharing a twin size bed with his elderly mother, I'm thinking, "god, it's no wonder he enjoys escaping into alternate dimensions." The episode resolves by exploiting a twin paradox that is far more effective than what we saw in Fight Club. Never before has returning to the status quo ever been so heart-breaking.

Memorable quotes:

Reyes: It doesn't make any sense. None of it!

(I think it's amusingly ironic that I was putting the pieces together in my head just as Reyes was saying this).

Reyes: How do you do it? You know what I'm talking about, don't you? There's this world, and there's the world where you live out your sick fantasies.

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