Destination: Muncie, Indiana
'Salvage' is another very decent episode, in a string of them, and it even throws in some in-jokes on behalf of Robert Patrick.
It's a microcosm for the season, really: a solid, well-acted and interesting x-file. Yet we're left longing for something. Many would say it's more of a some 'one', Mr. David William Duchovny. I believe in my heart that we're all reasonable enough here to accept the current circumstances and enjoy what we're being given — but, for me, the enjoyment is to a lesser degree. The production values are on point, Gillian Anderson is perfection personified, Patrick is fun in a rugged sort of way, it's all... passable. This is the season 8 anthem.
"Salvage' feels like it was a really cool pitch among the writers but once it made it to production, it didn't retain its novelty. Hopefully, it was, at least, the source of peals of slaphappy laughter around the table, in respect to the jokes about Patrick's T-1000 character that were sprinkled in. Funny enough, I actually think it works best as a story of enduring love between marrieds. The 'don't mess with nature' brand of science is an old friend of this show, but it doesn't really work here to deepen our emotional bond to the episode's main character, Ray Pearce, who is written well enough that we feel sympathy and compassion for his situation throughout.
The effects in 'Salvage' are great, from Pearce's metal whiskers, to the condition of the car at the beginning of the first act. Jeffrey Bell, the episode's writer, has this quirky macabre dark twisted sensibility that is like no other. It's on full display here with these unusual and cool images that accompany Pearce's transformation into a metal man. Plus, who doesn't love a revenge story?
Doggett and Scully are starting to get into formation. They are able to glean what the other is thinking before it's said. They're both less agitated by having the fiber of their beings challenged. Doggett is proving himself to be an exceptional detective, a craft that both Scully and Mulder lacked in its most essential form. It's sort of sweet how bemused Scully is at the role reversal she's now ensconced in. She knows how off the wall bonkers her explanations sound coming out of her mouth, but I finally see, after all of these years, that this is a gift, her way of keeping Mulder present. And it's for all of us.
* As a former makeup artist, I geeked out like crazy over Pearce's transformation. It's so well-done, I was drooling. Standing ovation to the makeup team.
* For what it's worth, the Wikipedia states that Jeff Bell had the idea for this story before Patrick joined the series.
Doggett: "What are you saying? Ray Pearce has become some kind of metal man? 'Cause that only happens in the movies, Agent Scully." (As an aside, does anyone on the planet get away with shortening 'because' quite like Agent Doggett?)
Scully: "Does it, Agent Doggett?"
Final Analysis: Quite watchable. Cool FX.