Sunday, February 6, 2011

The X-Files: Demons (4.23)

This feels a lot like treading water before the finale, since it doesn't reveal anything of note. While the idea isn't developed, the possibility that the Cigarette-Smoking Man could be Mulder's real father is at least raised again. At this point, we're clearly all aware that something in the milk ain't clean for the Mulder family. His father was pretty distant and mysterious, while Mulder's mother is a suspicious nightmare, all ambiguity and a clear involvement with the conspiracy hoodoo. And notice how Mulder couldn't even look at her during their confrontation? It was a pretty uncomfortable moment.

A lot of the episode follows a traditional TV pattern of a character waking up in a hotel room covered in blood and unable to remember a significant portion of time. The mystery unfolds in a way that isn't entirely satisfying, with guest characters rendered insignificant, and the truth being vague and stagnant.

I also don't believe that Mulder would endure this trippy brain-therapy at a time when Scully is potentially dying from cancer. Her subplot has been swept under the carpet for numerous episodes at the back-end of this season, but it's particularly jarring in an episode like this one. It feels like it was dropped in from an altogether separate part of the season.

There are some decent thriller moments and visual the episode is pretty great, but Demons feels both confused as a script, as well as mishandled with the show so close to the season finale. A little momentum is built up, but it doesn't feel particularly important at this point in the show's existence. Meh. C

Guest stars Jay Acovone (Detective Curtis); Mike Nussbaum (Dr. Charles Goldstein); Chris Owens (Young CSM); Rebecca Toolan (Teena Mulder)
Writer R.W. Goodwin Director Kim Manners

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