Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The X-Files: All Souls (5.17)

I'm not sure if this was a good episode. There are certainly some interesting elements, most notably the references to a vengeful God and the questioning of God's will after the death of somebody innocent, but in general a lot of the hour is pretty contrived and, in a weird way, empty. The inclusion of Emily to the story felt a little shoe-horned in, especially since her death didn't seem to have such a heavy effect on Scully back in the Christmas Carol/Emily two-parter at the start of the season. Gillian Anderson has said that she felt it was hard to play the mourning over somebody Scully never really knew, and I'm not sure Scully's lingering 'issues' over her death felt genuine. She tries her best here, but there's something lacking in the script.

The biggest issue I have with All Souls is in the big finale, Scully pretty much allowing a girl to walk to her death after she briefly sees Emily telling her to 'let her go'. The ramifications of this should be pretty huge, Scully using her faith as an excuse for a girl's death, but there's something hollow about the immediate pay-off. Maybe this story will resurface later down the line, but we don't see a huge amount of guilt on her part, neither do we see Mulder's reaction if he found out. It feels like a hollow ending, unfortunate considering the context.

Most of All Souls involves revisiting themes from past episodes. There are elements of Revelations and Miracle Man, while Mulder once again displays his latent atheism, which some could consider ignorant taking into his account his steadfast belief in 'extreme possibilities'. The A-story, as previously mentioned, is pretty intriguing. But there are too many problems in the script which prevent the hour from being a great episode. In the end it's an almost unusual hour littered with flaws and character problems. It's also insanely forgettable. C-

Guest stars Glenn Morshower (Aaron Starkey); Jody Racicot (Father Gregory); Emily Perkins (Dara Kernoff/Paula Koklos/Roberta Dyer); Lauren Diewold (Emily Sim); Joseph Patrick Finn (Confessor)
Teleplay Frank Spotnitz, John Shiban Story Billy Brown, Dan Angel Director Allen Coulter

No comments:

Post a Comment