Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The X-Files - S9:E17 "Release"

[ S9:E16 "William" <<< Season 9 >>> S9:E18 "Sunshine Days" ]

In this episode, the show revisits the well that is the loss of Doggett's son. Going into it, I'm kinda thinking, they hinted at it in Invocation, addressed it head-on in Empedocles, and then revisited it in John Doe. All of which is fine. But by this point, maybe it's starting to feel a little over-played. I mean, it's a defining element of Doggett's character, and it's a great subject to explore in order to get inside his head, but as far as its importance to the show, it's not exactly Samantha's abduction. You know what I mean? But, since the show is coming to a close, and this is the last chance they'll have to really address the issue, I figure this is a chance for the writers to say whatever it is they have left to say about it, and bring some closure to Doggett's story (and maybe Reyes', too, by association), before (presumably) turning the focus of the end of the series over to Mulder and Scully, where it belongs.

But damn, this episode - a joint effort between David Amann (Hellbound) and John Shiban (Underneath) - is good. It's dangerously close to reaching the level of standout quality (you know I hate rating these things). It has a sense of style to it that I really enjoy out of the best episodes. And that climax? Wow. Those are the kinds of scenes I watch TV (or movies) for. That's entertainment. Robert Patrick really brings it. But even going back to the opener, the episode starts out strong, with a gritty atmosphere, as Doggett raids a dark building and discovers a murder victim plastered into the wall. He turns it over to Scully, and she shares it with her students, one of which is a real prodigy. He seems to have an uncanny grasp of criminal psychology - effortlessly constructing a plausible scenario leading up to the victim's death just from glancing at the condition of her body - the likes of which we haven't seen since Mulder (with his unparalleled investigative talent) left the show.

He is pretty creepy, though, and admits to having visions if he studies cases long enough (he must have trained with Frank Black). Doggett enlists his help in studying the unsolved case of his son's death; his unusual willingness to trust the kid's seemingly paranormal abilities demonstrates the depth of his grief and obsession with finding the killer. The cadet makes a connection to the current case, which involves the mafia and police corruption. Reyes begins to suspect A.D. Brad Follmer of being involved in a bribery, and he retaliates by digging up dirt on the cadet, throwing his trustworthiness into question. Ultimately, Follmer gets the chance to redeem himself (although he acts like a petulant child when angry), and Doggett finally finds closure, following that breathless climax.

Memorable quotes:

Cadet Hayes: Like I said - obvious.

Doggett: Cadet, you should know there's a real good chance you're nuts.

Regali: You're done when I say you're done.

No comments:

Post a Comment