Friday, June 25, 2010

The X-Files: The Calusari (2.21)

Crazy derivative, and not particularly entertaining despite that, The Calusari looks and feels like it could have been an episode from any other '90s fantasy series, especially with Mulder and Scully reduced to merely standing around watching events happen and watching guest stars save the day. I figured that was a problem the show had gotten over...

Both The Omen and The Exorcist are thrown into the pot for the mystery of the week. To give the episode some credit, it does admittedly look pretty great. The opening is almost too good for the episode, since inevitably the quality tumbles downhill from there on, while the deaths of both Charlie's father and grandmother are creepy in how they arrive from mundane activities, almost pre-cursors for the Final Destination series.

But there's a lot of melodrama on show here too, from the shrieks of "devil child!" from creepy old Romanian women to Scully getting stuck in a Bonnie Tyler video at the end, curtains flailing wildly and women suspended in the air. In regards to Scully, this is one of those episodes that are almost too obvious in its supernatural involvement that Scully's skepticism just comes off as ridiculous.

One thing that bugged me a little was Mulder's near-excitement at re-opening the case due to his belief that a poltergeist was involved. I get that this is a sci-fi TV series, but there didn't seem to be any real compassion for the fact that the Holvey family just lost one of their children, and this wacky FBI agent suddenly appears spouting ridiculous theories about his death. It's more than a little silly.

Lazy X-Files that feels a lot like one of the show's early first season efforts. There's little depth, a shortage of imagination, and nothing hugely surprising along the way. Big fail. Rating D+

Guest stars Helene Clarkson (Maggie Holvey); Joel Palmer (Charlie Holvey); Lilyan Chauvin (Golda); Kay E. Kuter (Calusari #1)
Writer Sara B. Charno Director Michael Vejar

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