It's disappointing that so much of Terma is annoyingly complex and ridiculous, since the whole "alien rock from Mars" idea is pretty fun. And no matter how illogical the writers appear to be making it, the black oil (or, now, 'the black cancer' - way cooler) is still a great plot device. And while I wouldn't say Terma is any more annoying than a lot of the other more recent conspiracy episodes, more than ever it seems to be more convoluted junk folded in on itself.
Krycek continues to be pretty much a non-character, in that he gets unnecessary evolution every time he re-appears, all under the disguise of "development". Was he working for the KGB all along? Or is it a recent development? It's just kind of ridiculous at this point. I get that the show enjoys having Nicholas Lea around, but he seriously shouldn't be made so integral to the mythology like this.
Elsewhere, the fun cliffhanger of last episode didn't fulfil my expectations. Mulder escaped soon after, and are we supposed to assume that the black oil has already left his body? Or if it's 'lying in wait' for want of a better word? Eh. I just don't understand any of this damn show anymore. A feeling I'm guessing the writers felt as well.
Another issue I'm having with the show's conspiracy hours is that, instead of things getting increasingly stupid, they're getting increasingly repetitive. Mulder and Scully relentlessly pursue a lead, only to lose out in the end. Then, just when you think they're getting somewhere with the higher-ups, we discover said higher-up is in the pocket of the CSM, who lights up yet another cigarette in yet another darkened room somewhere. It's frustrating, since the show's standalone episodes are going from strength to strength. Ugh. Roll on Paper Hearts... Rating C-
Guest stars Mitch Pileggi (A.D. Walter Skinner); William B. Davis (The Cigarette-Smoking Man); Nicholas Lea (Alex Krycek); John Neville (The Well-Manicured Man); Stefan Arngrim (Prisoner); Jan Rubes (Vassily Peskow); Fritz Weaver (Senator Albert Sorenson)
Writers Frank Spotnitz, Chris Carter Director Rob Bowman