Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The X-Files: Herrenvolk (4.1)

This is a stronger episode than its season three finale predecessor, but it's still a colossal infodump. Only with greater emphasis on the "dump" part of that word, since the information we get is little. It's more "ambiguous statements"-dump than anything else. However, Herrenvolk is a pacy little thriller, hampered by its contrived vagueness, but still acceptable.

So, along with clones and colonies and human experimentation, we have bees and creepy little-girl clones. I've pretty much stopped trying to understand it all at this point, especially after the ridiculous ret-con of the Alien Bounty Hunter surviving his stab wound to the back of the neck. Chris Carter is clearly pulling the entire conspiracy hoodoo out of his butt as the show goes along, piling mystery upon mystery so high that we can no longer see the answers through the fog of questions. I'm assuming he throws fascinating "elements" at a screen, and writes about whichever ones stick. Even Jeremiah Smith turned out to be yet another expendable mystical man, killed before he can reveal anything of major consequence. I guess the Samantha clones should be treated as a big deal, but it's still all so vague that the interest just isn't there.

However, I did like some of the ambiguousness towards the end there. The CSM ordering Mrs. Mulder be healed to keep Mulder at the center of "the equation"; X's murder, his blood-drenched message. I also loved the reveal of Marita Covarrubias, the subtle facial expression Laurie Holden made as Mulder's brain clicked everything into place.

So while Herrenvolk is impressive from a purely visual stand-point (you're left thinking "awesome!" at least a dozen times), the actual storyline itself is becoming even more of a mess. And the process of delaying any attempts at revelation is increasingly ridiculous. Did Mulder and Smith stay silent all the way to Canada? It's so lazy at this point. Ugh. Rating C+

Guest stars Mitch Pileggi (A.D. Walter Skinner); William B. Davis (The Cigarette-Smoking Man); Roy Thinnes (Jeremiah Smith); Brian Thompson (Alien Bounty Hunter); Steven Williams (X); Laurie Holden (Marita Covarrubias)
Writer Chris Carter Director R.W. Goodwin

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