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The X-Files: Empedocles

Case: A man who was recently fired, seemingly becomes possessed and shoots his boss.

Destination: New Orleans, LA

Elegant and seamless, this episode isn't. But! It does portray the better and more interesting qualities about Agent Monica Reyes (Annabeth Gish) in a pretty great way. And, in turn, we become quite endeared to her.

Wait, remember when this episode was on before and it was called 'Folie a Deux'? Aw, I loved that episode. Well, 'Empedocles' has a few good points. I really like watching Reyes work the detective in the first act. I like that she's trying to quit smoking and chewing Nicorette. I like that she's thoughtful but forceful. And I like how she adeptly handles pretty much everyone in her path, based on her exceptional EQ.

But, my lord, did we have to put Scully in the hospital again, for pregnancy-related drama? And make her super dreamy? And portray Mulder and Doggett as possessive and territorial over Scully? Plus, the Doggett connection to the case feels, at best, contrived within an inch of its life. It's just not good writing. What's to come for Doggett and Reyes in the future is really quite wonderful, but their interactions here are so clunky and forced.

Is it worth detailing anything about the actual x-file? Not so much. But I've always liked Jay Underwood, who plays the main character here, Jeb Larold Dukes. This episode has the same plot points in it that have been present in so many blurry, forgettable episodes that have come before. And something that Season Eight writing seems to have abandoned is the often-nuanced symbolism of the x-file with the characters investigating it. I mean there's leaving your characters conflicted and feeling empty and then there's leaving the audience feeling that way. Se la vie.

The best parts of this episode are in the interpersonal connections between Mulder, Doggett, Scully and Reyes, and every combination of those four, therein. Seeing their multi-layered dynamics makes the idea of the rest of the season more compelling.

Other Thoughts

* I do love that one dreamy image that John keeps having with Monica standing with all of those sheriffs in their white sheriff hats, with their backs to him until she turns around. Haunting!

* At one point, Mulder is like: Oh, Doggett, you're having a crisis of what you think you believe and the lack of satisfaction in your work? HA! WELCOME TO MY WORLD, BROTHER.


Mulder: "No, I'm not at all familiar with Agent Doggett."

Mulder: "That's cool. We can just wait for the cheese to congeal and eat it later. You miss the regular pizza man?"
Scully: "Yes. That's okay. He's coming by later."

Final Analysis: With the dynamics changing up a bit, this foursome is fun to watch.

1 comment:

  1. Folie a Deux was a much better episode. Mulder is still being weird with Scully (another Pizza Guy reference, boo) and I don't like that. I remember being very disappointed in the way that they handled Mulder's return.


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