Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The X-Files: Anasazi (2.25)

In scope and in ambition, this is an impressive finale. The true evil of the Conspiracy had only ever been hinted at, but the contents of the train car pretty much confirm it. Either way it's terrible: we have extra terrestrials experimented on and ultimately killed, or possible alien/human hybrids. Were the smallpox marks meant to imply the latter? Elsewhere, the revelations about William Mulder only helps in bringing his son a lot closer to the mythology at hand. The Conspiracy is actually personal, now, not merely based on assumption or theories.

Like the best episodes of the series, The X-Files is truly great when significant time is devoted to Mulder and Scully's relationship. Mulder's feelings of manipulation and paranoia are amplified to a dangerous degree by the gas planted to make him crazy, leaving Scully to look on in a sense of true disbelief and panic. The caring she has for him is palpable, and it's ironic that Scully's shooting of Mulder is one of the most romantic moments the two have had so far.

It's funny seeing the sudden introduction of Native American mythology, because I've gotten so used to that from shows such as Smallville and Roswell. I'm assuming those shows were partly inspired by The X-Files, but I'm not a fan of any kind of depiction of Navajo hoodoo with all the showy, floaty mysterious proverbs and prophecies. It's not exactly groundbreaking, am I right?

Also frustrating was the underuse of Krycek. One of the best recurring characters the show has so far introduced, his shock appearance was great, yet his actual return felt a little wasted. He's such an intriguing guy, give him some face time, show.

While Anasazi is pretty fun, I've been a little disappointed with The X-Files' second season as a whole. While the fragmented feel of the early episodes can't exactly be criticized due to Gillian's pregnancy, a lot of this season has been pretty average. A lot of the monster-of-the-week episodes had intriguing ideas at their center, but fell apart in their execution. At the same time, the conspiracy episodes are a mixed bag of concepts, but they're individually hampered by my own pre-existing knowledge of the series as a whole. This is my first time watching every episode of The X-Files (a lot of them I've never seen before), but I'm already aware that a lot of the mythology is left unresolved and frustratingly vague. I'm trying to look at these episodes with an open mind, attempting to view them in the context of the time in which they were aired, but it's hard.

Despite problems with the myth arc as a whole, Anasazi is a great little thriller, signposting that a real feeling of change is coming right around the corner. The villains are more prominent, both Mulder and Scully are deeper into the conspiracy, and all bets are off. Rating B+

Guest stars Peter Donat (William Mulder); Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman (Albert Hosteen); Nicholas Lea (Alex Krycek); William B. Davis (The Cigarette Smoking Man); Mitch Pileggi (A.D. Walter Skinner)
Teleplay Chris Carter Story David Duchovny, Chris Carter Director R.W. Goodwin

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