Sunday, May 9, 2010

The X-Files: Ascension (2.6)

Very much an episode of two halves, the first being the relentless pursuit of Scully (complete with gratuitious action scenes), the second being shocking and human drama. Like all the best "conspiracy" episodes, I loved the real sense of helplessness that Mulder experienced here. And that helplessness doesn't come more obvious than with Scully's abduction. Just having her vanish, without any proof of her being taken, is probably worse than just having her be murdered. That feeling of complete isolation, and no understanding or indication of where she's gone? It's devastating.

There wasn't too much of a plot to Ascension, and only a couple of individual scenes really leapt out at me. Liking Deep Throat's replacement, even if he's even more ridiculously shadow-dwelling than his predecessor. Loved Nicholas Lea's ability to completely change his character when away from Mulder. Loved the Nick Cave song (or the Scream theme song, as I always remember it) playing over one scene, even if it shocked me a little to hear actual music on this show instead of a synth score. Didn't like the cable car scene. It was like the show was screaming "we have a bigger budget, people!", and it was pretty unnecessary. And dumb. Whatever.

While the termination of The X-Files has been handled pretty well, I'm looking forward to Mulder and Scully working together again. It's felt like their separation has lasted a lifetime already. It would be interesting to know what would have happened in season two if Gillian Anderson wasn't pregnant. Would Krycek still be around? And if he was, I imagine his alterior motives wouldn't have been revealed so quickly, and too his abrupt "disappearance". While the last three episodes have felt rushed, the show has definitely gone out of its way to be as legit as possible, considering the real-life details they had to work around. Rating B-

Guest stars Steve Railsback (Duane Barry); Mitch Pileggi (A.D. Walter Skinner); Nicholas Lea (Alex Krycek); Sheila Larkin (Margaret Scully); Steven Williams (X)
Writer Paul Brown Director Michael Lange

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