Monday, August 9, 2010

The X-Files: Revelations (3.11)

This episode is all over the place, but the weight of its ideas mostly overcomes the shallow mystery Mulder and Scully find themselves investigating. That doesn't discount the fact that a lot of the episode is extremely frustrating, but Revelations at least hinges its last twenty minutes on the religious angle to Scully's character, something that hasn't been utilized in a while.

What works best, and probably should have been at the core of Revelations, is Mulder's absolute denial of the possibility of religious miracles. He's so quick to embrace extra-terrestrial existence that it's blind-siding to see him dismiss faith-based events so quickly. In fact, it makes him look like a big asshole. While Scully's belief that she's been chosen as some kind of religious protector is a little hokey, it's always positive to see her faith put center stage on this show, and her final scene in the confessional was extremely moving. Gillian Anderson completely sells Scully's internal conflict, quietly angry that her beliefs are dismissed without hesitance.

The rest of the episode is less successful. Initial fears of a Miracle Man retread were quickly quelled, but so little information about the events witnessed throughout the hour left the whole thing more than a little underwhelming. Simon Gates was an intriguing nemesis, but no specific meaning is given to his agenda. Any identification with both Kevin and his mother too fell to the side, with both characters played by such emotionless actors.

So while Revelations features some vaguely powerful character moments, a lot of the episode feels like treading water. It's never particularly boring but, man, it could have been a hell of a lot better. Rating C

Guest stars Kevin Zegers (Kevin Kryder); Sam Bottoms (Michael Kryder); Kenneth Welsh (Simon Gates); Michael Berryman (Owen Lee Jarvis); Hayley Tyson (Susan Kryder); R. Lee Ermey (Reverend Patrick Findley)
Writer Kim Newton Director David Nutter

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