Monday, July 13, 2015

The X-Files - S1:E13 "Beyond The Sea"

[ S1:E12 "Fire" <<< Season 1 >>> S1:E14 "Gender Bender" ]

This episode, in which we meet Scully's parents, can probably be considered the first of many that puts Scully through the ringer. She and Mulder investigate what appears to be a straightforward case for once - a run-of-the-mill serial killer - except that their lead informant is a death row inmate who claims to be psychic (kind of a Silence of the Lambs but with a twist). But, unusually, an up close encounter with the paranormal puts Scully in the believer's chair for once, contrasting with Mulder's rare skepticism, as he is convinced that this man - whom he was responsible for putting behind bars - is a fraud.

The psychic death row inmate is played to fantastic effect by veteran character actor Brad Dourif (who also appeared in an episode of Millenium, and cemented his reputation for playing slimy characters by portraying Wormtongue in Peter Jackson's adaptation of The Lord of the Rings) - almost to the point of taking the spotlight off of Gillian Anderson. I feel kind of bad now that I underrated the emotional impact of Scully's struggles in my recent analysis of this show, because, without any mention of alien abductions or government conspiracy, this episode manages to be as powerful as any I've seen during my rewatch yet - every bit the equal, if not surpassing, Fallen Angel.

Memorable quotes:

Mulder: Open yourself up to extreme possibilities only when it's the truth.

Mulder: Dana, after all you've seen, after all the evidence, why can't you believe?
Scully: I'm afraid. I'm afraid to believe.

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