Saturday, April 10, 2010

The X-Files: Roland (1.23)

Annoyingly scheduled right after another episode all about dudes manipulating, from beyond the grave, a fragile somebody into committing murders, this follows the same pattern with similarly flat results. I also have a problem with able-bodied/minded actors playing mentally disabled characters, so whatever the quality of Zeljko Ivanek's guest performance as the titular Roland, it's still uncomfortable to watch.

Arthur Grable's motive for killing his former colleagues is interesting... in that he doesn't really have one. His fellow scientists didn't appear to be taking credit for Grable's discoveries, so I guess he was just plain ol' evil. It's never truly evolved on, which is annoying, but in the end it's Roland who is the most terminally affected by it all... which is sad.

The scenes with the scientists getting sucked toward the jet engine were fun, if a little ridiculous, and I laughed out loud at the corpse diagram of Dr Keats', with the missing head and all the little chunks marked out in chalk. But were these moments intentionally comedic? Or accidental, considering the misery of the rest of the episode.

Zeljko Ivanek was great as Roland (even if it would have been preferable to see an actual disabled actor playing the part) creating an extremely sympathetic character, but the episode itself just isn't great. A flat script and too many ideas really stink up the whole thing. Rating C-

Guest stars Zeljko Ivanek (Roland Fuller); Micole Mercurio (Mrs. Stodie); Kerry Sandomirsky (Tracey); Garry Davey (Dr. Keats); James Sloyan (Dr. Frank Nollette)
Writer Chris Ruppenthal Director David Nutter

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