Sunday, June 24, 2012

The X-Files: Hellbound (9.8)

I feel like whenever the show focuses on Reyes, her worst qualities rise to the surface. I'm not sure if it's Annabeth Gish's performance, or the lack of subtlety when it comes to the writing -- but she always adopts this strange intensity, speaking in this low register and tossing around wild theories in this monotone delivery. Gah. I understand that people never liked this character, and while I didn't have a huge problem with her last season, the constant repetition of those same moments, where she's staring blankly while reading some elaborate monologue, have gotten seriously old. Annoying.

Hellbound has an interesting concept, with the reincarnated souls and the skinning and the murder, but everything is so relentlessly dour this week that it really turned me off. There's just too much visual darkness here, too many shots of people with flashlights scanning over corpses and skeletons. David Amann's script cribs from past success stories, Squeeze and Home most notably, but there's none of the gleeful, garish charm of those two episodes here. It's just bleak, bleak, bleak. If it's not horrifying skin carnage, it's Reyes whining.

I should also add that Scully is a strange presence this season. The overriding problem this year (which I already feel like I'm running into the ground) is that Mulder and Scully have fulfilled their purpose, yet they're still constantly hanging around (Mulder as this faceless plot-instigator), like ghosts from the past wandering aimlessly. It's sad to see what was once such a strong character get resorted to cheap execution fairy and fun-time autopsy lady. Blah. D

Guest stars Don Swayze (Terry Pruit); James McDonnell (Deputy Van Allen); Cyril O'Reilly (Ed Kelso); Katy Boyer (Dr. Lisa Holland); George D. Wallace (Bertram Mueller); Kari Whitman (Roxanne)
Writer David Amann Director Kim Manners

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