frelling_tralk: (X-Files Scully by fracturedshapes)
[personal profile] frelling_tralk
I of course absolutely loved Drive, episodes by Vince Gillian are nearly always a win for me. I believe the casting of Bryan Cranston in this episode was what made Vince think of him for Breaking Bad, and you can really see why when Bryan does such a great job with a deeply unsympathetic character, so that by the end you're really rooting for him to make it


I felt like Triangle was an episode that I should have liked more than I did. It was very well-done, you could tell that a lot of time and attention had gone into it, but it all felt a bit too much of a directors and actors exercise to me quite honestly. The whole deal with all of the actors playing different 40's versions of themselves idk, it just all felt a bit self-indulgent and cheesy at times. It was very wacky time travel with Nazi's and terrible accents, but it just didn't feel like much of an X-File to me. Maybe I needed to be in a certain mood to enjoy it. I did like the ending scene though, and the kiss of course :P


And I hate to say it, but I wasn't crazy about Dreamland either :( That was another case where I couldn't help feeling like it was more about thinking up something different for the actors to do six years in, so they had the body-switch and the jumping around in front of the mirror. I normally like the funny episodes, but this just felt too much like a sitcom. It also felt way too padded-out for a two-partner, and I'm sorry, but they made Scully look like a complete dumbass! Normally I don't have as many issues as some do with her always sticking to the scientific answer first and being skeptical, but it made NO sense here for her to not listen to "Fletcher" about the body swap when she was dealing with a "Mulder" who was slapping her on the ass, turning her in to their superiors and insisting that they need to do everything by the book, and saying, "Don't worry your pretty little head about it, little lady". COME ON! Yeah she acknowledged that he was "acting bizarre", but when she had "Fletcher's" explanation right there for what was really going on, it made no sense for to not take him more seriously


The Ghosts That Stole Christmas is one of my favourites, it was actually pretty creepy in the beginning when they're exploring the haunted house, and LOL at David Duchovny's line reading of, "How embarrassing" when Scully realizes that one of the corpses is wearing her outfit. I just thought that it was a really clever and funny episode, I enjoyed the ghosts psychoanalysing Mulder and Scully's relationship, and how Scully's greatest joy in life is supposedly following Mulder around to prove him wrong :P My one very small niggle would be that Scully felt a bit out of character in the beginning when she was so jumpy in the haunted house


And this is probably a controversial opinion, but I really enjoyed Tbe Rain King too, I just thought that one had so many hilarious moments. Particularly Sheila's cry of 'Not his face', Scully's expression at hearing that Mulder is giving dating advice, Scully checking Mulder for concussion after the cow in the tornado, bringing back Mootz's leg as a romantic gesture, just loved all of it :D


For Arcadia they talk a bit on the DVDs about how surprised and gratified they were at fans embracing that episode, because they had so many production nightmares with it they were convinced that it was going to be seen as a dud. And yeah they don't always carry off the monster effects, but it was such a fun idea to have Mulder and Scully going undercover in suburbia that it all kind of worked anyway. I do think it's a bit overrated by fandom though, it was a fun episode, but I would never include it as one of the greats personally


Monday however is an absolute classic. Monday's use of the timeloop kind of reminded me of Vince Gilligan's previous episode Folie á Deux (office work transforming people into zombies), when it came to imagining hell as a working day with endless meetings that never end. Note that even when the time-loop is finally over, it still ends on the implication that Tuesday isn't going to be all that different a working day, the day opens in the exact same way, and Mulder then gets the call from Scully about needing to turn in a report to Skinner. Buffy's use of the time loop to represent working life was similar as well actually, in Life Serial Buffy has to go through the same depressing routine with the same customer again and again. “Don’t you see?” “We’re all in hell. I’m the only one who knows it.” It definitely resonated with me lol

And was Mulder's waterbed just meant as a wink/nod to Dreamland, or do people think that it was specifically linking those two episodes up with the idea of time needing to be rewritten? It seemed like a similar idea anyway, with Dreamland wiping the entire day and everyone's memories of it, and Monday constantly rewriting the same day, so I did wonder if Mulder suddenly found himself with a waterbed that he didn't remember buying because neither episode was in the ~real~ time-stream? It was probably just meant as a writer in-joke and nothing more though :P

Also I did wonder why Pamela was never shown to be warning the police/FBI about her boyfriend having a bomb, that should have been the first thing she thought of if she wanted to prevent them charging in there?? She does tell Mulder that she considered all of the possible variables, so I suppose we're meant to assume that she did try that in the past and it didn't make a difference, but it would have been good to see that play out at least once. As it was, it was strange to see her running up several times to warn Skinner not to let the FBI go in there, yet never giving him a heads up about the explosives strapped to the guy in the bank!


I wasn't a big fan of Alpha, it feels like the writers are struggling to write traditional X-Files cases in season 6, even after Mulder and Scully are officially back on the X-Files. This one reminded me of Teso Dos Bichos actually, and that's never a good thing. The characterisation of Scully felt a bit off to me too quite honestly, her attitude towards Karin seemed weirdly hostile from the beginning, and I'm not a fan of how the show tries to push jealous Scully here


And then I really wanted to like Trevor more after this cute moment



Plus it felt like it was probably time to try and go back to the scary episodes, but urgh the more it went on, the more it didn't work for me at all. I was also left completely confused by the end where I realising that we were supposed to care about Pinker bonding with his kid. I didn't feel like the episode had earned that at all, like boo hoo of course your kid's going to be scared of you when you come charging in there and lock his aunt up in the cupboard. It all ended really abruptly as well. Still if nothing else episodes like this do show that it was a smart idea to try for less formulaic episodes now that they're in the sixth season. It's hard for more traditional episodes like Trevor and Alpha to hold my interest when there's so many terrific episodes surrounding them


I'll confess that I mostly love The Unnatural for the two M/S scenes, they were so playful and affectionate, and it's kind of nice that it was David himself who wrote and scripted them that way. (In his later script Hollywood A.D as well, you really get the sense that Scully has a great time hanging out with Mulder from how David portrays them.) And the episode itself is pretty corny, but somehow it all still works really well, especially the final moment when Exley realises that his love of baseball has made him a real human who bleeds red blood now. Oh and the moment where Arthur Dales first meets him in Alien form with the baseball bat and keeps fainting, that absolutely cracked me up heh. In the past I've occasionally gotten bored with the episodes that focus heavily on flashbacks to the past, and don't have enough of Mulder and Scully, but this one was a really lovely episode. Their chemistry is killing me this season




And then Field Trip was another terrific episode, I loved how the fungus tried to keep them trapped there by giving both Mulder and Scully hallucinations convincing them that their worldview was the correct one, and so they can just relax and give up searching now. Yet their mutual respect for one another stopped them from accepting the hallucinations, so you have Mulder uneasy to not have Scully doubting him and offering rational explanations, and you have Scully frustrated when everyone just reports her findings back to her and refuse to consider any other possiblities. This episode really showed how Mulder and Scully both rely on one another to bring in a fresh perspective, it was that missing element that forced both of them to confront that nothing about their fantasies was real, and the final scene with them reaching out for one another in the ambulance was the perfect ending

I found a quote from Frank Spotnitz comparing Field Trip to Bad Blood:

we’d never really done an X-File like this. We could explore Mulder’s and Scully’s differences by seeing the extremes of their two hallucinations – a serious version of what we did comically last season in Bad Blood.

Honestly I remember younger me used to be a little bit sad that Bad Blood was telling us that that's how Mulder and Scully saw one another, as a total goofball, and as a shrewish stick in the mud, so I love that Field Trip picks up from that episode by showing how much Mulder and Scully have both come around to one another's perspective, that for all Mulder complains in the beginning of Field Trip that he's earned the benefit of the doubt here and he's tired of going through the same old routine every time, it immediately feels wrong to him when Scully does stop offering rationalisations

Oh and it was also very clever how the writers drew attention to the structure of the episode, i.e when they do the usual editing jump of Mulder and Scully being back in the office after their 'rescue', only for Mulder to point out that such an abrupt time jump doesn't make any sense, or when Scully wonders how she and Mulder both got to his apartment


I really enjoyed Tithonus, Milagro ('Of course that's impossible, Agent Scully is already in love' <3 ) and Three Of A Kind as well, but this entry is starting to get waaay longer than I planned on, so I'm just going to wrap it up now XD

Date: 2017-01-26 05:41 pm (UTC)
lost_spook: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lost_spook
S6 is now the series I've seen the most - I'd missed lots of it in the latter half and so picked up the DVD set on offer. I like it and its humour a lot - and a lot of the same episodes as you. (Although not the baseball one, but then I think you have to be from the US to appreciate baseball things!)

Date: 2017-01-26 06:27 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frelling-tralk.livejournal.com
It did feel *very* American heh, it was definitely a bit corny, but I liked how they just decided to go with it as a fairy tale and didn't try toning down the cheesiness at all. It reminded me a bit of the PMP ending actually, and I like watching really sappy stuff like that sometimes *g*

The love of baseball goes completely over my head as well, but that last scene with Mulder teaching Scully to play it is one of my favourite scenes ever for them, 'how you threw away a promising medical career to hunt aliens with a crackpot' :melts into puddle of goo:
Edited Date: 2017-01-26 06:30 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-01-26 06:34 pm (UTC)
lost_spook: (Default)
From: [personal profile] lost_spook
That last scene is the only bit of it I watch! It's lovely. BUt not quite worth sitting through the first forty minutes for. To be fair, I'd probably be just as bored if it was cricket! ;-)

Date: 2017-01-26 10:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lilly-the-kid.livejournal.com
Season 6 has some of my favorite episodes. I really love Monday, Arcadia and The Ghosts who Stole Christmas. And I also love The Rain King, it has an interesting mood and I always like it when they show how other people perceive Mulder and Scully.

Date: 2017-01-26 10:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frelling-tralk.livejournal.com
It really does have a number of classics, I think that my top five from this year (in no particular order) would be Monday, How The Ghosts Stole Christmas, Field Trip, Three Of A Kind, and The Rain King

I've read that The Rain King was apparently very unpopular when it comes to being seen as 'X-Files lite', but I really enjoyed how charming and whimsical it all felt. Really who couldn't love, 'I do not gaze at Scully' *g*

Date: 2017-01-26 10:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lilly-the-kid.livejournal.com
That's interesting about The Rain King. Often when I watch shows years after they first aired, I later find out that some of my favorite episodes were not liked at all by most people, strange. And I think charming and whimsical fits perfectly for this episode, it's always on my rewatch list.

I also like Triangle, I agree that it seems a bit like an exercise and it doesn't really make a lot of sense. But since I'm German I really like watching it and seeing which actors can phonetically sound out the German dialogue the best :D Since the episode consists of four long one-takes the German gets worse the longer the take has lasted :)

Date: 2017-01-26 11:42 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frelling-tralk.livejournal.com
Triangle is an episode that, as far as I can tell, pretty much is universally loved by the fandom as one of the classic episodes, so I think it's just me that isn't keen on that one :P It was definitely an impressive technical achievement in terms of the direction (Chris Carter's commentary on it is pretty interesting actually), but I found that I just couldn't get into it as a story. Probably my favourite parts were Scully running around in the present day and being a badass, but the time-travel bits just felt a bit too artificially Hollywood to me with the cheesy British and German stereotypes, it felt more like an old WW2 movie than an X-Files episode imo. And I don't know much about German, but even I could tell that the CSM's accent was atrocious lol. There were moments I liked, but it just didn't come together for me
Edited Date: 2017-01-26 11:43 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-01-27 08:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lilly-the-kid.livejournal.com
Yes, it's like I see what you did here and I can appreciate that, but as a story it didn't engage me that much. OMG, yes :D If it weren't for the subtitles I wouldn't have understood most of what he said.

Date: 2017-01-26 11:57 pm (UTC)
molly_may: (X-Files hello - awmp)
From: [personal profile] molly_may
Oh man, I agree with basically every word of this. Drive, Monday, Field Trip, and The Ghosts Who Stole Christmas are all straight-up classics, among the best of the series. Triangle I should like, but the only scene that truly stands out for me is Scully yelling at Spender. Dreamland...I should watch it again sometime. There are definitely scenes that I like, but overall I remember feeling it was kind of clunky. The Rain King is just fun, and funny, and sweet. Arcadia isn't great, but the scenes of them undercover are super charming. The Unnatural is cheesy, but I don't care, I like it a lot anyway. The only real dud out of this group of episodes is Alpha (Trevor at least has the one cute scene). I can't even remember what happens in Alpha, just that it was super boring.

Wow, I had kind of forgotten how great S6 was.

Date: 2017-01-27 12:43 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frelling-tralk.livejournal.com
That was exactly how I felt, that I should like Triangle because it was one of those kind of event episodes where everyone involved is making a big effort to do something different, but I just found it really hard to care about it when I wasn't emotionally invested at all. I felt like all of the effort to make it an impressive technical achievement only drew my attention to the artificiality of the story, and honestly I'm a viewer who doesn't care that much about cool tracking shots, I just want to be drawn in by the story and the characters. Triangle felt like it was deliberately drawing attention to how ridiculous it all was, there was CSM with the bad German accent, Kerch with the bad Jamacian accent etc. Scully's scene was Spender was a highlight though, 'I need a favour. It's non-negotiable. Either you do it, or I kill you!' Plus kissing Skinner lol

And Dreamland isn't terrible by any means, it has its moments, but meh I think that it was just way too stretched-out over two episodes. It felt like the writers and David got a bit carried away with how much fun they were all having, but Mulder dancing in front of a mirror and pulling wacky faces just felt a bit silly and self-indulgent to me tbh. It felt odd that Mulder wasn't more excited at the opportunity to go behind the scenes of the higher-ups and do some investigating. And then wiping the events from happening at the end, urgh I hate that, it just made it all feel completely pointless to watch in the first place when none of the characters involved are going to remember it. Dreamland might have been more fun to watch on a weekly basis maybe as a one-off, but I found that it broke up the momentum of the season as well when you're binge-watching season 6, especially as it's already following an episode where you're not sure if any of it really happened or not

The only reason to recommend watching Alpha again is that Mulder gets a new 'I Want To Believe' poster at the end from Karin, but otherwise it's pretty dire, both Mulder and Scully felt a bit forced and out of character to me in that one. It was by a guest writer I think? But then Trevor and Alpha were the only outright bad episodes this year imo, otherwise there were a really impressive number of absolute classic episodes following one after the other, I'd put Monday and Field Trip especially right up there with the best episodes of the entire series

Date: 2017-01-27 09:26 am (UTC)
ext_11988: made by lmbossy (KC trees)
From: [identity profile] kazzy-cee.livejournal.com
You are making me want to rewatch too. We did all the seasons a few years ago but it's a huge prospect!

Date: 2017-01-27 12:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frelling-tralk.livejournal.com
You should! :D

Honestly if I do re-watch from the beginning again, then I would probably make it a more selective re-watch next time and skip some of the MotW's that I'm not keen on, otherwise it's a bit too daunting when it comes to seasons that have 24-25 episodes in them. That way you can cut some of the early years especially down to about 17-20 episodes per season. Season 6 really was mostly great though, I would only skip Alpha and Trevor from this year (I have some nitpicks on Triangle and Dreamland obviously, but I can appreciate what they were doing, and they were still episodes that I would want to watch again). It's a shame that season 6 got such a hard time about it not being as good as it used to be, because really it's one quality episode after another from what I can see, and everyone involved is making a big effort to not let standards drop just because they're working with a new team in L.A

Date: 2017-01-28 01:29 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] woodenshores.livejournal.com
Wow. I haven't seen an X Files episode in forever. I liked it but was never a huge huge fan (it scared me too much when I was a kid haha) but every time I see Gillian Anderson's face, it makes me want to watch it again (and properly this time!). I am very shallow :D

Date: 2017-01-28 02:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frelling-tralk.livejournal.com
You should! It's really fun if you go back and watch it from the beginning, and Gillian plays such an awesome and kickass character with Scully <3

It used to scare me more when I was younger as well lol, especially the episode with the cockroaches
Edited Date: 2017-01-28 02:10 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-01-28 02:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] woodenshores.livejournal.com
I think there was an episode with sisters or twins or something like that? Scared THE CRAP out of me and I never watched an episode until I was way older lol.

Date: 2017-01-28 03:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] frelling-tralk.livejournal.com
That sounds like Eve from season 1, the episode with the identical little girls that killed their fathers?

Date: 2017-01-30 09:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] woodenshores.livejournal.com
I really have no clue. I just remember an intense feeling of dread haha.

I'll just have to rewatch X-Files along like a dozen shows :D

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