frelling_tralk: (X-Files Mulder in b&w by sininferno)
[personal profile] frelling_tralk
I found that season 8 really doesn't reach the heights of previous seasons, it plays it very safe in comparison to all the high-concept episodes from seasons 5, 6, and 7 like PWP, Triangle, X-Cops etc, but at the same time it is more consistent in a lot of ways, and it does do a better job of returning to the darker feel of the early years than season 7 ever managed. And of course it makes sense that there would be such a big effort to return to traditional X-Files, what with Mulder being missing and audiences needing reassuring that it's still basically the same show. I did absolutely love the first two episodes, they really did have the epic scope of a feature film with the filming out in the desert, and the helicopters! They would be among my top five episodes of the season in fact, alongside Roadrunners (the slug episode), Medusa (the subway episode), and Vienen (the black oil episode)

I heard a lot of fans suggest that David was phoning it in in season 7, but I never particularly noticed it then, whereas in season 8 it really did stand out to me at times that he was coming across as noticeably bored and did not seem to want to be there :( Incidentally I did wonder early on why they were using David for such few scenes in the episodes where he did appear, most of his early appearances consisted of five minutes or less per episode. On the commentary for DeadAlive Frank Spotnitz explains that was because there was an agreement to only use David for a strictly limited number of days. He admits that it was frustrating sometimes the amount of money they were paying just to have Mulder lying in bed all episode, or only be glimpsed at the very end of an episode. I read on-line that apparently David Duchovny told TV Guide Online that he thought Mulder's final episodes in season 8 were a lost opportunity, and he wasn't happy that the focus wasn't fully back on Mulder and Scully, but I'm not sure what else he expected when his screen time was so restricted?

I felt like the show was pretty cautious about treating Scully and Doggett as the new team early on, the show seemed more interested in exploring Doggett as an individual, but there weren't really a lot of episodes focused on them as a partnership. (i.e Scully is barely in Via Negativa, The Gift, or Redrum, and the Scully-focused episode Roadrunners has very little Doggett in it). But then it probably was a wise decision because, while episodes that separated Mulder and Scully were usually among my least favourite, I found it the opposite with Doggett. His most interesting episodes for me were the more character-centric episodes focusing on just him, or the mythology-based ones, whereas the most boring episodes of season 8 were the stretch which treated Doggett and Scully as the new Mulder and Scully. The show suffered the most from David's absence when they tried to return to that straight-forward MotW format IMO. Season 8 would have been stronger if they had done a longer run of mytharc episodes focusing on the search for Mulder, the MotW episodes didn't work without Mulder around to make wisecracks, Doggett and Scully are so serious and professional together that they just can't replicate that chemistry.

Oh and I'd heard about the infamous episode with the man that crawls in and out of people's butts in Badlaa, and umm yeah that was an interesting episode. John Shiban mentions that his original idea was for the MotW to crawl inside people's ears, and it was Chris Carter suggestion for it to crawl inside asses instead....

I'm not sure I understand the point of the retcon that Mulder was dying of a terminal brain disease in season 7 when it never really goes anywhere? It just feels like an unnecessary attempt to add ambiguity to Mulder's disappearance. Same with the IVF angle actually, CC was trying way too hard to create ambiguity about the paternity of Scully's baby, and it just ended up hurting the story that he was so afraid of committing to depicting Mulder and Scully as a romantic couple. Heck I read that apparently he originally wanted the show to end on a forehead kiss, until David Duchovny intervened and said that it should really be a romantic kiss at this point. More evidence of how CC is the worst frankly. Mulder and Scully have a child together, and you're still afraid to have them kiss for real??

And Alone is when I started to get a bit bored with the new format quite honestly. I was happy with the initial episodes with Mulder having to readjust to being back, and an episode with him starting to bond with Doggett, but then in this episode both Mulder and Scully start to feel like spare parts as all the focus shifts to Doggett and his new partner, you wonder what they're even still doing there. (I can see where David was coming from in complaining about that, although again surely it comes back to his lack of availability in comparison to Robert Patrick, not a choice of the writers?)

It is putting me off watching season 9 though tbh, because everything towards the end of this season feels like it's setting up for a new spin-off type show with Doggett. You really get the feeling that Mulder and Scully are on their way out, and that neither actor particularly wants to be there any more with how much their screentime has been cut back, so I really don't want to watch Scully awkwardly still hanging around Doggett's show next season with no Mulder. I'm happy with how season 8 ended for Mulder and Scully with their new baby, the show should have ended there imo, so I'm going to take a long break before starting on season 9 I think. I kind of don't want to watch it at all actually lol, but I suppose that I should give it a try at least...

Date: 2017-02-18 09:25 pm (UTC)
molly_may: (Mulder Shaft - ruuger)
From: [personal profile] molly_may
I don't have strong feelings about S8, other than the fact that I liked Doggett more than I expected to. Most of the actual episodes have kind of faded from my memory, aside from the premiere, which I think is maybe the last great mythology episode.

I'm not sure I understand the point of the retcon that Mulder was dying of a terminal brain disease in season 7 when it never really goes anywhere? It just feels like an unnecessary attempt to attempt to add ambiguity to Mulder's disappearance. Same with the IVF angle actually,

All of this was just a mess to me. It never made sense, it never seemed to jibe with anything that had happened in S7, and it was unnecessarily convoluted. Also, S8 of TXF just happened to air at the same time as S6 of Buffy, so at the time it was hard not to compare how the BTVS writers dealt with Buffy coming back from the dead vs. how CC and company dealt with Mulder coming back from the dead. Maybe it's not a fair comparison, but Buffy's resurrection story was so powerful to me, while Mulder's was just...meh.

And the way CC insisted on playing coy with the romantic relationship between Mulder and Scully was just ridiculous, and did a disservice to the show and the characters. The two of them had a BABY together, for fuck's sake, just let them freaking kiss.

I remember even less of S9 than I do of S8, so I don't think you're missing much by skipping it.

Date: 2017-02-18 10:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah I felt like season 8 wasn't a bad season overall, and I did like Doggett's character, but at the same time there definitely weren't all that many episodes that really stand out and make you want to re-watch. It needed more of Vince Gilligan's touch maybe :P

And yep, I was expecting Mulder's abduction and torture to be dealt with more, but really it seemed like *nothing* was talked about after he came back. Even Mulder and Scully were reduced to lame jokes about the pizza man being the father, it was all kind of anticlimactic, you'd think that Mulder would have at the very least wanted to have a proper discussion about the child that Scully had unexpectedly conceived

It still makes me seethe that CC talked about how he wanted to separate Mulder and and Scully for season 10 because he felt like they were less interesting after they became an on-screen couple, even though he completely failed to actually write them as a couple after Mulder returned, so I'm not sure what time period he was thinking about :massive eye roll:

And I'm really not excited about watching season 9 heh, I just kind of feel obliged to finish up the series at some point after buying the blu-ray complete set. Hopefully there will be one or two enjoyable episodes to sit through at least when I do get round to it

Date: 2017-02-19 01:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I didn't care for season 8, it was ok but I preferred earlier seasons.

I did have a couple of episodes I really liked in season 9. Now I want to watch them. LOL

Date: 2017-02-19 09:17 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Those were mostly my thoughts as well, it was okay, but meh nothing particularly exceptional most of the time. I did think it did a nice job of wrapping up the M/S era by the end though, so that's why my brain is kicking back so much at the moment at the thought of going on to watch another season with just Scully lol

Which episodes did you really like? I've heard good things about the John Doggett episode when he's out in the desert by himself, I'm guessing that's one of them? :)
Edited Date: 2017-02-19 09:18 am (UTC)

Date: 2017-02-19 03:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I liked John Doe, Audrey Pauley and Sunshine Days, only because I liked the Brady Bunch and it is along that storyline.

Date: 2017-02-19 09:09 am (UTC)
ext_11988: made by lmbossy (KC trees)
From: [identity profile]
Season 9 has a couple of very good episodes but I remember getting bored with Season 8 as well. Although I do like Doggett and his partner.

Date: 2017-02-19 09:22 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I really liked Doggett's character, although Monica hasn't made much of an impression on me so far tbh. I rarely notice these things, but I actually thought that she had more chemistry with Scully in the finale episodes than she did with Doggett, she suddenly seemed really into her when she was telling Scully how beautiful she always looks etc


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