Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The X-Files: Talitha Cumi (3.24)

Season three's finale returns to the convoluted and shamelessly confused Colony/End Game two-parter, with emphasis once again placed on shapeshifters, clones and Samantha. However, and it sucks to say it because of how strong a lot of this season has been, Talitha Cumi doesn't go anywhere. It's a script frantically searching for some kind of point, with a cliffhanger that's ridiculously lame.

At the heart of the conspiracy is "colonization", some kind of mass abduction of mankind in the attempt to turn them all into alien/human hybrids. Right? I may be a little foggy with the mythology on this show. Said fogginess isn't helped by Chris Carter's laborious dialogue.

The episode, too, isn't helped by the fact that so much displayed here has been done before. The Alien Bounty Hunter/alien knife stuff? Mulder demanding answers from the CSM? A relation of one of our two leads struck down in hospital? Yet another underground parking garage fight scene involving X? It's just all too familiar, and Carter doesn't even give us any particular insight into the conspiracy through any of it. Sure, we're made aware that Mrs Mulder and CSM have some form of relationship. But that's just a statement of revelation, not an actual answer to anything. I also can't stand William B. Davis. I'm sure it's just me, but all I see is a really weak actor. Sorry, Will.

This episode is The X-Files treading water in a major way, and it's disappointing that it's coming at the end of such a strong year. I came into this show attempting to make sense of what I knew was a deeply convoluted and mostly confused myth-arc, but I've already kind of lost any sense of what the main goal is or what Carter is trying to say. When you see a show like Fringe, a modern heir to The X-Files, there does seem to be a real ambition there, with exact knowledge of where the show wants to go and how it's going to get there. Here, it just feels messy and unfocused.

Season three has, thanks to Darin Morgan and his acolytes, raised the show's game when it comes to the standalone episodes, with episodes like Pusher or Quagmire showcasing exactly what the series is capable of when creating movie-esque monsters and inspired supernatural abilities for its antagonists. However, the mythology episodes are getting progressively worse. A trend I'm expecting to only continue. Rating D

Guest stars Mitch Pileggi (A.D. Walter Skinner); William B. Davis (The Cigarette-Smoking Man); Peter Donat (William Mulder); Jerry Hardin (Deep Throat); Roy Thinnes (Jeremiah Smith); Brian Thompson (Alien Bounty Hunter); Angelo Vacco (Doorman); Steven Williams (X)
Teleplay Chris Carter Story David Duchovny, Chris Carter Director R.W. Goodwin

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