Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The X-Files: Mind's Eye (5.16)

I've always been a big fan of Lili Taylor, one of the most versatile and surprising actresses of the last twenty years. Six Feet Under, The Addiction, I Shot Andy Warhol. All stunning performances. Similarly, she gives a tour-de-force performance here, avoiding the stereotypical 'tics' of playing a blind woman, and being risky enough to make her character not entirely sympathetic. Marty Glenn is a justifiably angry person, somebody cursed from birth with blindness, haunted by the murder of her mother when she was a child, and now plagued with visions in which she sees through the eyes of a murderer. The story unfolds at a steady pace, relying heavily on its Eyes of Laura Mars influence, but original enough to make it a welcome retread of some of this show's earlier standalone episodes.

There was a lot of chemistry between Taylor and David Duchovny, Mulder bonding with Marty as the case progressed. Scully is on the periphery of things here, but it doesn't necessarily hamper the episode. Mulder sees something innocent in Marty even when the evidence doesn't support it, and even in her final scene where she resides in a jail cell, Mulder is still able to banter with her. They've got a great rapport.

Great camera work by reliable Kim Manners, too, especially in the inevitable sequences where Marty sees herself through the eyes of her father. In general, Mind's Eye isn't a particularly strong episode, but it's a welcome standalone hour after so many recent conspiracy detours, Lili Taylor in particular making the episode truly memorable. B

Guest stars Lili Taylor (Marty Glenn); Richard Fitzpatrick (Charles Gotts); Blu Mankuma (Detective Pennock)
Writer Tim Minear Director Kim Manners

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