Sunday, February 13, 2011

The X-Files: Redux (5.1)

A funny exercise in the show dragging its feet, Redux is a pretty shameless retread of a half dozen other storylines, linked by ridiculous amounts of pretentious voice-over and re-used footage from previous episodes. I don't know if contractually the show had to have a two-part opener, but it's obnoxious that they dragged this out for one-hundred-and-twenty minutes. Don't get me wrong, there are certain elements that are fine (the hunting down of Scully's file in the warehouse, Scully's testing of the ice core samples), but when, in the end, Mulder's pursuit is rendered insignificant and Scully faints before she can prove anything, it's seriously stupid. Almost like a joke being pulled on us.

Chris Carter has always been a fan of voice-over, but the over-written internal monologues given to Mulder and Scully here are insane. They would be mildly tolerable if they were actually saying something, but pretty much all they do is narrate what we as an audience are already seeing, or catching us up on past events. It feels like either an attempt to get new viewers up to speed, or maybe the fact that nobody had the guts to tell Carter to quit it.

Skinner-as-potential-bad guy comes out of left field, and it feels like an odd writing decision for a character that has already been proven again and again that he's on Mulder and Scully's sides. Now Scully thinks he's behind everything? Huh? Written more ambiguously is The CSM, who gazes longingly at a picture of Mulder and Samantha, and later helps Mulder get what he believes to be a serum for Scully. Are they really going down the 'CSM-as-Mulder's-dad' route?

This is part one of the two-part opener, so it's hard to be certain what direction the writers are taking the show in. But this is a pretty awful first episode, almost a satire on what ill-informed people would assume this show was like. Ugh. D+

Guest stars Mitch Pileggi (A.D. Walter Skinner); William B. Davis (The Cigarette-Smoking Man); Charles Cioffi (Scott Blevins); Tom Braidwood (Melvin Frohike); Dean Haglund (Ringo Langly); Bruce Harwood (John Fitzgerald Byers); John Finn (Michael Kritschgau)
Writer Chris Carter Director R.W. Goodwin

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