Monday, February 4, 2013

The X-Files - I Believe - Part 2

It's been a while since I last wrote on The X-Files. My fault, I'm afraid. I was distracted from the show by life and all the projects I've attempted in the intervening months. Anyway, I'm back with some more words on the series. Going forward I think I'll continue to write about it, but my X-Phile writings won't be frequent, in keeping with my apparent tradition evident here. So, expect random fan blurbs going forward.

When thinking back on the series I instantly begin to dwell on the episodes which stood out for me and, in my opinion, defined the best qualities of Chris Carter's incredible television show. There were many, and I don't think I can recall all of them at this time, but here's my attempt to address a few from my list of episodes which I consider to be personal favorites.

No episode better sets the tone for this series than its pilot, titled "Pilot." I can't recall seeing another series' pilot and feeling as interested in the characters and universe so quickly. Fox Mulder and Dana Scully were fascinating from the beginning, and their investigation into the mysterious happenings in Bellefleur, Oregon was, in my opinion, gripping. From the mystery of the opening message which read "The following story is inspired by actual documented accounts" to strange lights in the woods to the details which follow the main character's encounter with an UFO, this episode is full of the flavor viewers would return to enjoy in the following episodes of the series for many fantastic years after. It's not hard to understand why the series continued long after the pilot's premier on September 10, 1993.

Mulder and Scully discuss events over a possible extraterrestrial
Another episode which springs to mind is "Unusual Suspects" from Season Five. I, like most fans of The X-Files, love the characters of Frohike, Byers, and Langley. They're the great conspiracy theorist stooges who accent Mulder's occasional humorous side and share in his obsession with all things dark, mysterious, controversial, and otherworldly. In fact, they're more invested in certain aspects of the paranoid subculture than Mulder could ever be. The episode is a flashback to the meeting of the trio at a technology convention (the perfect place for the origin story of the Lone Gunmen). It spins the typical goofiness of The Lone Gunmen with a shadowy plot involving some doofy G-Man named Fox Mulder (again, flashback). The ending is a treat for those new to the series and invested with the myth arc up to that point, and overall the episode feels like a clever thank you to the fans.

"Narc" Byers, Frohike, and D&D-playing Langley
"Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man" is a brilliant episode which features the show's main villain, the eponymous Cigarette Smoking Man (or CSM for short). Again, this is a flashback episode. I think I enjoy these because of the flavor they add to the overall series universe. Anyway, this is a story of the mysterious conspiracy-creator and manipulator who looms over Mulder's crusade for the Truth. The CSM, or "Raul Bloodworth," as we come to call him through this episode, is shown at the beginning to be in a dingy space, close to a window, listening to Frohike ramble on about the facts he uncovered about the CSM. The audience is then taken back through time and allowed to see the events described as they are being filtered through the hazy recollections of the spying CSM. We see how he was recruited, his involvement in the Kennedy assassination, his strong principles and even stronger dedication to his duty as he goes out to end the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his exposure to the existence of extraterrestrials, and, most incredibly, we see his hidden passion, as he continues throughout the flashback timeline, which is writing paperback adventure novels (his penname being "Raul Bloodworth"). After all the amazing glimpses into the darkest corners of the series' universe through the eyes of its most visible puppet master the episode wraps up nicely addressing the failed pursuits of "Mr. Bloodworth" and his ongoing quest to "Deceive, Inveigle, and Obfuscate."

The Cigarette Smoking Man (Raul Bloodworth) spends time
mulling over his disappointment with some random
bindle stiff
That about does it for this listing. I'll return, at some point in the future, to my trip down The X-Files' side street off of my beloved Memory Lane. If you're reading this and are either Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz, or a Fox executive, please take into consideration the love which still exists from folks like me who would be so very, endlessly grateful to see a return, if only in another film, of the characters and universe which still thrives in our hearts. Who am I kidding, though? Chris Carter, Frank Spotnitz, or a Fox Executive? Nah. I'm probably actually being read by the most important people of all, my fellow fans.

Thank you for reading, folks.

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