The X-Files Review by John Keegan

The X-Files 11.07: Rm9sbG93ZXJz

The X-Files 11.07: Rm9sbG93ZXJz

Written By:
Shannon Hamblin and Kristen Cloke
Directed By:
Glen Morgan

This is the very definition of a stand-alone episode: it is completely self-contained, adds little or nothing to the overall mythology, and could even be seen as “filler” by those with less tolerance to its quirky nature.  And in fact, reading the synopsis from the press release, it would be easy to assume that this was a gripping modern thriller of an episode.  Instead, it’s a fun commentary on the proliferation of technology, “life convenience” apps and services run by artificial intelligence, and generally the current dependence on systems that we barely control or understand.

 


 

There is really no monster per se in this episode, unless one counts the notion of an automated restaurant getting its allies to terrorize Mulder and Scully for not giving a tip.  It’s patently absurd, yet it works because it wears all of that absurdity on its sleeve.  This is just having fun with Mulder and Scully in a world that they couldn’t really explore in this kind of way back during the original run, simply because it didn’t exist yet.  Not to mention that it also explores their semi-relationship at this point without actually coming out and doing so.

 

Even more impressive is the relative lack of dialogue, allowing Duchovny and Anderson to use physicality and body language.  The entire first act is dialogue free and filled with fantastic performances from both, including a number of all-too-familiar gags involving cell phones, Instagram-esque posting, and much more.  This is The X-Files winking at its audience and sharing the joke that modern uber-connected life can be.

 


 

There’s really not much to say about the episode that it doesn’t say for itself.  It sums up, in many ways, the strengths and weaknesses of bringing back a show like The X-Files so long after its original run. Never has there been so much blatant animosity and distrust with the government, so much hopelessness for a bright future.  And yet so much of the old conspiracy angle was born of a different age, and now there is often just a pitched battle to stay ahead of the curve and the clutter.  It is perhaps fitting that this is destined to be seen as the most disposable of the revival-era episodes, yet easily one of the best and most seemingly effortless.

 



Our Grade:
A-
The Good:
  • This episode is insane in the most recognizable of ways
  • Not shoe-horning this episode into the mythology was the right move
  • The minimum of dialogue allows for a spectacular level of acting and visual storytelling
The Bad:
  • It’s inevitable that this episode will be viewed by many as a waste of time

John Keegan aka "criticalmyth", is one of the hosts of the "Critical Myth" podcast heard here on VOG Network's radio feed Monday, Wednesday & Friday. You can follow him on twitter at @criticalmyth

The X-Files by - 3/1/2018 12:01 PM231 views

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