Sunday, May 16, 2010

The X-Files: One Breath (2.8)

So Scully's back. Was Gillian forced to come back as soon as possible, or did maternity leave just not exist for TV actresses back in 1994? Either way, she deserves a lot of kudos for coming back on the show probably days after she gave birth. One Breath, at its heart, is about morals, and Mulder has to make a choice between potentially saying goodbye to his close friend, or revenging her abduction. In the end, Mulder chooses Scully, a decision which possibly saves her life, and definitely stops him from flying off the deep end.

The Twin Peaks-style sequences of Scully floating in the river boat, looking over at her loved ones trying to coax her out of her coma, were potentially heavy-handed, but turned out to be really beautiful. As was the opening sequence, with the flashback to her childhood, as narrated by her mother. Not so successful was the out-of-left-field coda with the "angel" nurse, but I'll forgive the writers for that.

I'm a little indifferent to The Lone Gunmen, but I did love Frohike turning up at the hospital to give Scully flowers. Also really liked Melissa. It was interesting that while Scully is religious, her sister is far more interested in New Age-y type hoodoo. A great scene showed Skinner going against the grain and nearly causing the Cigarette Smoking Man's death, proving his loyalty to Mulder in the process. Skinner has suddenly become a real character this season, already so important to the show that it's surprising he's only been around for a couple of episodes.

Excellently done, with a confident script and a genuine feeling of destruction as Mulder loses his senses and seeks some form of tough justice, One Breath works as both a thriller and an emotional drama. Thank Jeebus Mulder and Scully are back together, though. Rating B

Guest stars Sheila Larken (Margaret Scully); Melinda McGraw (Melissa Scully); Mitch Pileggi (A.D. Walter Skinner); Steven Williams (X); William B. Davis (The Cigarette Smoking Man); Don Davis (Captain William Scully)
Writers Glen Morgan, James Wong Director R.W. Goodwin

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