Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The X-Files: Wetwired (3.23)

Thematically, this isn't dissimilar to last season's Blood, another exercise in technology sending innocent people crazy. But while the first half of Wetwired tows the company line in the relentless paranoia of its characters and some suitably intriguing mystery, it suddenly develops into something far more interesting as soon as Scully is removed from the script, twisting into one of those unexpected detours down conspiracy alley.

The first half is annoyingly transparent, with both Mulder and Scully acting out-of-character to suit where the script wants to go. Here, Mulder is the one uncaring about potential conspiracy hoodoo, while Scully is the agent staying up all night searching random videotapes for clues. And she would never in a million years say "all wiggy". Heh. However, Gillian Anderson entirely sells Scully's rampaging madness as the brainwashing takes hold of her, once again proving she's the more dynamic of the two leads, at least the one with the most range.

The relationship between Mulder and X has always been strained, but events spiral them into chaos here, with Mulder pulling a gun on him and demanding some kind of reasoning for the work X does. X, from what little we know about him, is another tragic and doomed character. Just as CSM was exposed as a powerless drone terrified of his house of cards to tumble down on top of him, X is another character on the edge of complete destruction. He's attempting to balance his duties for CSM as well as his attempts to help Mulder solve the riddles of the conspiracy, and it's clear that his own personal doomsday clock is ticking way down right now.

Flawed in its first half and with a principal idea that gets dropped before we're given any real answers, Wetwired could easily have been a waste of energy. However, the interplay between Mulder, X and CSM salvages the hour, featuring some wonderful moments of anxious confrontation between characters, each one acting on the tension that's been bubbling under the surface for months. Fun. Rating B

Guest stars Mitch Pileggi (A.D. Walter Skinner); Sheila Larken (Margaret Scully); William B. Davis (The Cigarette-Smoking Man); Tom Braidwood (Melvin Frohike); Dean Haglund (Ringo Langly); Bruce Harwood (John Fitzgerald Byers); Steven Williams (X)
Writer Mat Beck Director Rob Bowman

No comments:

Post a Comment