Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Review - The X-Files Season 3 Episode 23 Wetwired / Talitha Cumi


"Wetwired" is a perfect example why The X-Files often reaches another level of quality. The episode starts off in normal X-Files territory, a poor sap killing his wife who he believe to be someone else and similar cases, but soon veers off in a deadly direction, involving Mulder and Scully to the fullest potential.

The culprit for these killings, it turns out, come from these extra lines from the TV broadcast signal which makes them paranoid. Scully, who has been watching the tapes, is sucked into this paranoia, seeing Mulder with CSM (surely a gut-wrenching experience giving Mulder's supposed convictions). It's kind of a cop out that Mulder happens to be red-green colorblind (I believe it's the first and last time this is brought up), but it's a plausible explanation which keeps the episode moving ahead.

Scully ends up going crazy, believing Mulder is behind everything (now THAT would make for an insane twist if it were real), and hides at his mother's house until Mulder and Margaret talk her down. Everything is fine in the end and Scully is given a perspective on how Mulder lives, always wary of those around her and the ever-powerful government.

There is real deception at work, as Mulder finds X cleaning up for the government and we later see X meeting with CSM. His conversation with Mulder reveals his intentions--to use Mulder for his own ends rather than help Mulder. It just happens that their goals intersect sometimes. While we still don't know how this is all related, whether the aliens are part of this mind-altering program or whether it's something else that the conspiracy people do on the side, it's still a spooky, unnerving look at the power these people have with human technology alone.

Score: 9.0/10

"Talitha Cumi"

I think the mythology of The X-Files starts unraveling around "Talitha Cumi." After the introduction of black oil early in the season, we get set of episodes which ignores black oil while introducing several new ideas. As more moving elements are introduced without proper explanation, the final payoff has to be inclusive and contain a lot of content. But there is also a point at which there may be too much to handle and through three seasons, The X-Files has already accumulated plenty of unexplained parts. This isn't too much of a problem right now, but it's certainly worrying to see things continually packed on.

As far as the episode itself, there is plenty to like about it. The conspiracy is in full force along with some more alien elements. Mulder and Scully are again plunged into this dangerous world which seems to have no end. The plot lies in the arrival of a guy--or, more precisely, an alien--named Jeremiah Smith, who has the power to heal people and change his appearance. Mulder obviously has an interest in him as well as CSM who manages to capture him. What transpires is two fascinating conversation between CSM and Smith about God and the role of the government, culminating with the revelation that CSM is dying of cancer.

The episode has lots of twists, with the reveal of Jeremiah Smith changing his face like the bounty hunter aliens, and the fact that a bounty hunter alien pretended to be Jeremiah Smith when coming to Scully. Scully also finds Jeremiah Smiths all across the country, which is a big deal going forward. In the midst of these aliens who don't seem to be on the same side, CSM is doing things as well as X, who gets in a huge fight with Mulder.

Following the revelation in "Paper Clip" that Mulder's father was involved with those currently running the conspiracy, we learn that CSM knew Mulder's mother well and even went to speak with her. Apparently, this gave her extra stress and she had a stroke. She is bedridden the entire episode, but manages to give Mulder a hint which leads him to those pokey things you use on the back of the aliens' necks.

Like the second season, the third season ends on a great cliffhanger, the bounty hunter having found Mulder, Scully, and Smith. Unlike the previous season's cliffhanger, though, there is more going on, with Mulder's mother in need of treatment and discussion of colonization.

Score: 9.2/10
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