The X-Files: Plus One

Case: A rash of unusual suicides leads Mulder and Scully to a quirky set of twins.

Destination: Virginia

Well, here we all are again, with a Chris Carter penned episode.

'Plus One' is one of those stories that falls into The X-Files sub-genre where Mulder and Scully follow a case, don't ever have any idea of what's actually happening, some people die, and they never solve the x-file. If that's one of your favorite formulas, this episode is for you.

This is better standalone than last week's but it's still rife with problems. Watching 'Plus One', I was reminded of 'Syzrgy', another Carter one-off from the past. Tonally, both are like a pinball slamming between different knobs on the machine, almost rageful in their swing from one feeling to another. (I get that not everyone has capacity or discipline for serious tone management, and to his credit, Carter has achieved something much more masterful with 'Post-Modern Prometheus' but it's not his strong suit.) So, a character like Chucky Poundstone doesn't succeed in landing as well (even if he is played by Karin Konoval, who also played Judy Poundstone).

More than any other meaningful criticism I can offer, the episode is just wildly uneven. There are good, even great, moments, particularly between Mulder and Scully, who, for their part, are dealing with and talking about interesting perspectives on aging, moving through time and existential worries. (This is a huge credit to Anderson and Duchovny who might be the only sane voices able to speak into Carter's ear.) The conversations these two are having these days are as memorable and compelling as their best snappy banter. They have been through so much together and there's an authenticity to their connection and it's appreciable to watch. One good feature to this particular episode formula is there is more space for the two to wax poetic on things since the plot tends to run parallel to Mulder and Scully's more pressing life questions. Finally, it should not be discounted that the two, by my count, slept together twice by the episode's end. They did so with an ease that could only symbolize many years of off-screen trysts, something that many a shipper has surmised.

Best, I think, to leave it there.

Other Thoughts:

* Karin Konoval was last seen sliding out from under her bed as the mom in 'Home'.

* I liked the nod to Scully's catechism classes and knowing that she sleeps with her back to the door.

Final Analysis: We're moving upward, to be sure, but it's a climb.

2 comments:

Billie Doux said...

Like the previous one, I enjoyed it. Especially the twin creepiness and the eternal game of Hangman, and Mulder and Scully talking about getting older. The fact that the last two have been much better than that terrible premiere has been encouraging.

Patryk said...

Of course they had to switch from Mulder and Scully to eachother. How else would the case go cold and nothing owuld be solved. :)