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The X-Files: Release

It's okay, this arm belongs to no one important.
Case: John Doggett gets closure on the death of his son.

Destination: Minnesota and New England

“If I sit with them for a long time, very quietly – they tell me things. It’s how I see what I see.”

These last few episodes of The X-Files seem to be about certain characters taking a bow and exiting, stage left. The Lone Gunmen have been disposed of (grumble), practically everyone related to Mulder is dead (RIP), and Baby William has been given away (grumble, grumble). Now, it seems to be the time to solve the case of Luke Doggett. Samantha Mulder’s tale was given an ending that was sort of satisfying, so we can’t let Agent Doggett end the series without knowing who killed his son, now can we?

There are lots of things to admire about this episode. The directing, cinematography, and most of the acting – is very good. However, there are plot holes and convenient storytelling abounding, here. It’s a small FBI world, isn’t it? Monica knows Follmer intimately, Doggett knows Monica from way back when, the gangster Rigali knows Follmer pretty well, and Doggett’s been investigating Rigali. To make the story flow even smoother, they add a cadet from Quantico who joined the FBI just so that he could solve Luke Doggett’s murder for Monica’s stoic partner. Follmer’s also given some new and convenient character flaws that cause him to wrap up the story, neatly. Okay, then.

Regardless of the issues of this episode, I still enjoy it. Robert Patrick gives a great performance of a man who could have been broken by his son’s death, but chose to stay strong. I also enjoy the cadet, very much. Rudolph Hayes is a fascinating character. I love the spooky way that he speaks and the intensity of his gaze. I find myself watching the actor’s face (Jared Poe) closely because there is so much going on in every pursing of his lips and focus of his eyes. I enjoy every scene with Hayes in it, especially when he’s interacting with the increasingly determined Doggett.

There shouldn’t be a picture of any man who’s looking down at his dead son lying in a field; that just breaks my heart for Doggett. He also still has Luke’s ashes as he continues his quest to find his killer. Sad John tells the story of how his son was just going around the block on his bicycle when the boy disappeared. I can’t even imagine how horrible that must have been. John was the best father that he knew how to be, but he couldn’t stop a human monster from snatching his son. That story of John, his wife, and his son’s terrible fate is what makes this one worth watching, even as I ponder the need to give Doggett a tragic backstory, at all. It did add to the complexity of the character, but I think that Doggett would have been just as interesting without it.

John Doggett’s a great man. He seemed so hard, skeptical, and by the book at first that I didn’t like him at all. Slowly, though, the sweet and squishy center of Doggett’s revealed and it’s a wonderful thing. If I was in trouble and needed someone to save me, I’d be very relieved to know that Agent Doggett was on the case.

Monica’s also sad for John and worried about the toll that the current events are taking on him. She’s there for him and they have a beautiful scene together at the end, where she watches John and his ex-wife finally putting Luke’s ashes to rest. After the ex-wife leaves, Doggett walks up to Monica and very tight hugging ensues. Sigh.

Now, for what didn’t work so well. Apparently, Follmer’s been taking money from Rigali – when Brad (Janet, dammit) was young, poor, and ambitious. I’m not liking at all how they handled Follmer’s contribution to the show. It never was very compelling and his motivations were never really explored. He’s just creepy and seems to be so for no reason. Now we know, I guess… kind of. Follmer seems very unhinged when he kills Rigali and ends his FBI career. Did he shoot the gangster for himself, or John, or even Monica? I have no clue.

Other Thoughts:

Barbara Patrick, Robert’s wife, plays the ex-wife – Barbara Doggett. I think that she did a really good job and that Robert and Barbara are a very cute couple. As of this writing, they are still married with two children.

The cadet’s abilities and story are meant to be ambiguous. He’s either a genius with insights into the macabre, an insane yet brilliant factfinder and guesser, or a con man who’s very aware of the web that he’s spinning for his own purposes. I like to believe that his insights are real and even if he’s a little crazy, that he really just wants to help Doggett.


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

Reyes: “I will never know how badly it hurt you to lose your son, or how much pain you still carry. I understand how much you want to find his killer, but I don’t want to see you disappointed, not again.”

Regali: “Say this Bob Harvey likes little boys, yeah disgusting. Say one day, Bob Harvey sees a little boy riding a bike, and he can’t stand it. He grabs the boy. So, Harvey takes the boy back to his place only he doesn’t tell the businessman what he’s doing. So, the businessman walks in on him. You see what I’m saying, FBI? The boy sees the businessman’s face. The businessman who never did nothing to this little boy. That’s a problem. Well… every problem has got a solution, right?”

There is the direction of Kim Manners to admire, plus the acting talents of the cast. The emotional components of the story work for me and the cadet’s an intriguing character. However, Follmer’s arc seems unnecessary to the whole season and it’s hard to believe that Regali would just “hypothetically” tell John that he killed his son. Lost the will to live, Rigali? That was dumb. I’m still giving this episode a positive grade, though. It’s one of the last chances to see that great lawman, John Doggett, in action.

Three and a half out of five hugs.

Mallena’s love for Doggett crept up on her slowly and never let go.

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