Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Review - The X-Files Season 4 Episode 5 The Field Where I Died / 6 Sanguinarium

"The Field Where I Died"

"The Field Where I Died" is supposed to be emotional; it's supposed to be deep; it's supposed to be romantic in a dark way. But is it all those things in reality? It's a highly ambitious episode, uncovered by comedy or the usual trademarks of a "different" X-Files episode, and Glen Morgan and James Wong surely go for broke with the episode. However, it does reach its intended goals, in my opinion.

The episode goes along fine, until the multiple personalities kick in and Kristen Cloke starts overacting. The persona Sydney, in particular, is off-putting as to derail the entire episode. She has this scrunched up face, weird voice, and these bizarre ticks which, put together, make her inhuman. This would actually work well in other episodes of the show, but not this one.

"The Field Where I Died" is about stretching the concept of love across time, that Mulder and this woman have a universal connection, spanning over a century. This is heavy stuff that shouldn't be taken lightly, and then Sydney pops up, doing her crazy person thing with wild, awkward gesticulations. She just doesn't belong in the episode. Even if you buy the conceit of the episode--Mulder and this woman being soulmates--the episode doesn't have a proper flow, especially with the impromptu regressions where David Duchovny tries really hard to cry and be all emotional.

The lack of comedy, which I pointed out earlier, is one of its main features. This is serious business! While Darin Morgan probably could have done wonders with the premise, his brother and James Morgan portray this relationship as sacred, and perhaps something that could be real. There's a funny line about Scully not wanting to redo the flukeman incident, but this episode is one of the heaviest of the series, with a continually foreboding tone to go with the romanticism of characters going into their personas. But I think the harshness of the ending, the cult members all dying, really kicks the message home, however hokey and overacted it may be.

Score: 7.8/10


Putting aside all the dumb dialogue about plastic surgery, you have to admit that Kim Manners really knows how to get the optimal gore out a scene and does a great job with a limited plot. That said, the episode is unmemorable in every respect other than directing. The biggest problem is that the writers lead the audience to believe that the doctors in charge of the hospital are actually a group of evil witches. But no, they are just evil plastic surgeons. The actual witch is lone doctor who kills people every 10 years to rejuvenate his face. The message: look at the things people will do for youth!

Score: 8.0/10
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