Sunday, August 1, 2010

The X-Files: Nisei (3.9)

For at least half of the episode, Nisei follows a now typical pattern for the X-Files conspiracy episodes. Mulder discovers some improbable lead, relentlessly pursues the mystery, Skinner steps in to warn him, Mulder does something reckless. It's become a little formulaic, but it's still aggressively fun. But, at the same time, Scully experiences something a whole lot more original, and a whole lot creepier.

Scully's encounter with the various abductees came out of left field, but I loved that the show has the balls to just drop such a major plot point into the middle of an episode like this. Season three has done a great job so far of humanizing the various evils of the show's mythology, and if anything this has only worked in making the X-Files world far more threatening. Scully's abductors are no longer these faceless "monsters", but actual humans. The Nazi-like experiments at the hands of the Japanese threw back to the season premiere and the similar experiments described there, and once again the show seems to have settled on connecting human evil with extra-terrestrial experimentation. We are the bad guys now.

Another major introduction into the show's mythology is the cancer associated with returned abductees. Scully's reaction to the fact that all the women she encounters (and possibly her) are, in essence, dying... is devastating. As much as she may try and deny it, she's a part of this epic conspiracy now.

The Mulder half of the episode lacks any real heart, but throws so many intense thrills at us that the episode balances both characters pretty well. Nisei is another one of those X-Files episodes that plays like a big-screen thriller. We have running, we have leaps onto speeding trains. It's all really, really fun. Rating B+

Guest stars Mitch Pileggi (A.D. Walter Skinner); Stephen McHattie (The Red-Haired Man); Raymond J. Barry (Senator Richard Matheson); Robert Ito (Dr. Shiro Zama); Tom Braidwood (Melvin Frohike); Dean Haglund (Ringo Langley); Bruce Harwood (John Fitzgerald Byers); Steven Williams (X)
Writers Chris Carter, Howard Gordon, Frank Spotnitz Director David Nutter

No comments:

Post a Comment