Saturday, October 17, 2015

The X-Files - S5:E9 "Schizogeny"

[ S5:E8 "Kitsunegari" <<< Season 5 >>> S5:E10 "Chinga" ]

Now this is what I like to see - a good, old-fashioned freak-of-the-week episode. It's funny how much things have changed - going back to the first season, these were the kinds of episodes I considered as filler between the more interesting (mainly mythology) episodes. Of course, having an episode to watch and review every day (for the past four months and counting), factors into my state of mind every time I sit down to watch an episode. There are more mythology episodes now than there were in the first season, but even the non-mythology episodes are branching out and experimenting a lot, and interpreting and analyzing them requires a certain touch. A straightforward episode like this one is comfort food - easy like Sunday morning. Ah, the days when I could be satisfied with reviewing an episode in two sentences or less... Let's see how succinctly I can sum this one up:

Abusive parents start turning up dead under mysterious circumstances, making their kids look responsible, but could an orchard of killer trees be involved? Chad Lindberg plays the angsty teen bit with aplomb, drawing parallels to season 3's D.P.O. Katharine Isabelle is cute as his soft-spoken friend, and Sarah-Jane Redmond plays their morally ambiguous therapist. Like Teliko (and Kaddish, and probably plenty of others), this is another episode where a disadvantaged class (or sub-population)'s revenge raises difficult questions as to whether or when crimes might be justified (although, thankfully, this largely remains as subtext in this episode). It's also another good example of the rest of the investigators (which I'm sorry to say includes Scully) following the obvious clues while Mulder puts the more subtle pieces together to figure out what's really going on. This is a solid episode that doesn't overextend its reach, but frankly, I think I like it for that. I guess, five years into the series, it takes outside writers to capture the atmosphere and simple formula that defined this series in its formative days.

Memorable quotes:

Karin Matthews: There are all sorts of crimes, not just the ones you might find reason to investigate.

Karin Matthews: My approach is with the victims solely, to allow them to empower themselves.
Mulder: In what ways?
Karin Matthews: By breaking the cycle of abuse. By owning it, by confronting it, and by standing up against it.
Mulder: Seems to be working.

Mulder: Hey, Scully, is this demonstration of boyish agility turning you on at all?

Mulder: I don't think this was an act of grave robbing, Scully.
Scully: No, that's what we were doing.

Scully: These were abused children.
Mulder: Who couldn't defend themselves.
Scully: What, so nature did it for them?

Mulder: Rage unconfronted takes its own path.

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