Monday, July 19, 2010

The X-Files: 2Shy (3.6)

This show really likes goo, am I right? Thinking about it, I wouldn't be surprised if the entire episode came about after a big tub of goo became available. They'd clearly want to use it, so here's an X-Files episode built all around it. Outside of the goo, 2Shy is a standard procedural hour with more than a couple of throwbacks to Squeeze. Besides a couple of key differences, it's pretty much the same episode.

Like anything to do with computers or new-found technology at the time of production, this has dated pretty badly. A lot is made of "the dangers of online dating", complete with one of Virgil Incanto's victims crying that her new boyfriend can't possibly be a killer because she "knows him so well", despite having never even met the guy.

There's an attempt at a feminist "motif" that runs through most of the episode, but I didn't really understand what they were trying to say. Scully is obviously undermined by her mysoginistic superior, and both she and Ellen Kaminsky manage to take down Incanto in the end, but the rest of the episode doesn't really support any feminist cause. There's the problem of the so-called "overweight" women, most of whom barely have a weight problem, and then there's the issue of Scully once again being attacked by some madman. If writer Jeffrey Vlaming had explored these issues (the self-hatred of Incanto's targets, Scully being a magnet for sexual predators), it may have resulted in something actually worth our time.

Timothy Carhart is effective as the creepy antagonist in the episode, clearly modeling his performance after Nick Chinlund's silent monster in Irresistible. He has a calm, clinical demeanor; and his "fat-sucking vampire" abilities are wonderfully gross, with the flaking skin and aforementioned mouth-goo.

Unfortunately the last half of the episode is X-Files by numbers. With Incanto identified, there's a lot of chasing and running and supporting characters dropping like flies. I liked the blind girl, but the episode didn't follow through on what could have been some great tension. X-Files by numbers. Rating C+

Guest stars Timothy Carhart (Virgil Incanto); Catherine Paolone (Ellen Kaminsky); James Handy (Detective Alan Cross)
Writer Jeffrey Vlaming Director David Nutter

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