My First Time: Freaks, Flukes, and Fridays

Welcome to “My First Time,” a recurring section on the blog where we query fellow X-Philes about how they came to the show, and then later on how their fandom developed and evolved over the years.

Case File: KF102913
Subject: Kenji Fujishima

We start in earnest our interview series of fellow X-Philes with my good friend Kenji, whom I’ve known since high school, and while rooming with him in college, rekindled my love and obsession with the show by rewatching the whole thing from the beginning.

Kenji's X-Files DVDs

Part of Kenji’s collection of X-Files DVDs.

Max: Hey Kenji, how’s it going?

Kenji: A little under the weather, actually, but otherwise, going okay.

Max: Let’s get down to brass tacks, and ask you point blank, what was your first episode?

Kenji: Short answer: “The Host.” Longer answer: I randomly walked into my parents’ bedroom one night and basically watched a guy puke up a fluke in the shower, then later discovered both the name of the show and the name of that episode.

Max: Elaborate on that if you can. Watching that must’ve been quite the experience back then.

Kenji: It was pretty freaky. In fact, I think all The X-Files episodes I subsequently watched that season, at least, creeped me out to varying degrees… to the point that, when I went to bed afterward, I always had to make sure the closet across from my bed in my bedroom was closed. That’s how much of an effect those episodes had on me — and yes, that included “Humbug,” the second season’s one “comedy” episode. And yet, somehow, despite that, I couldn’t get enough, and kept returning week after week. Continue reading

2×04: Sleepless

“You still don’t get it, do you? Closing the X-Files, separating you and Scully was only the beginning. The truth is still out there, but it’s never been more dangerous.” – X

Mulder’s shadowy informant clues him in to the death of a Manhattan doctor, the cause of which defies explanation. And that’s only scratching the surface…

Sleepless

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Max: Can I just get off my chest how much I’m loving things right now? Season two is a tour de force of television, a show in full command of its powers, and it is an absolute joy rewatching it and sharing my enthusiasm. “Sleepless” is a massive entry into the series, a hybrid of sorts that rides the rails of both the mythology and a MOTW.

The death of the doctor in the cold open leads Mulder to request an investigation, based on a tip given to him, presumably by his new source. His request is approved, with a catch. Apparently, a green agent by the name of Alex Krycek filed the request first, and Mulder is forced to take on this cipher of a partner. Continue reading

2×03: Blood

“Fear. It’s the oldest tool of power. If you’re distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above.” — Fox Mulder

Mulder’s called to investigate a series of inexplicable killings in small-town Pennsylvania. And it seems there might be some killer subliminal messages behind all the suspects’ actions…

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Radhika: It’s been a while since I last watched “Blood,” and I found myself pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. It’s not necessarily as memorable as the previous episode, “The Host,” but there is enough tension pulsing throughout the episode to keep the viewer very intrigued.

The episode is less about aliens and monsters, and more about psychological scares. We’re taken to the town of Franklin, Pennsylvania, where various members of society have committed a series of inexplicable murders. Mulder arrives after a suspect murders four people in an elevator with his bare hands. As the investigation continues, Mulder realizes the only connection between the murders is that the suspects have been destroying an electronic device during the killings. Continue reading

2×02: The Host

“You know, you had a pair of agents that could have handled a case like this. Agent Scully and I might have been able to save that man’s life, but you shut us down.” – Fox Mulder
“I know. This should have been an X-File.” – Walter Skinner

Mulder finds himself knee-deep in the sewers of Newark, New Jersey tracking down an unknown parasite, while Scully assists in attempting to figure out what the hell is actually down there….

The Host

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Max: “The Host” has a reputation for being one of the more disgusting entries into the series, and upon rewatching the episode that assessment still rings true. A Russian ship is docked off of Newark, New Jersey, and one of the workers is attacked while cleaning its sewage system. Later, his body is found in the sewers of Newark, and Mulder is pulled off another wiretap detail to investigate.

At first, he thinks this is just Skinner jerking him around, and is so frustrated by things he is seriously considering leaving the Bureau. However, Scully tells him that there is still a body to examine, and that it would be a mistake to leave. Continue reading

2×01: Little Green Men

“Mulder, even if George Hale only saw elves in his mind, the telescope still got built. Don’t give up.” — Dana Scully

With the X-Files closed, our heroes find themselves split up and reassigned to new areas. But when Mulder goes on a mission to Puerto Rico in search of further proof of extraterrestrial life, both agents find themselves back in some strange — yet familiar — territory.

20th Century Fox via

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Radhika: And we’re back! Watching “Little Green Men” is such a pleasure, and while it’s only one episode from the second season, it’s a delightful reminder of what great stories lie ahead. The episode is another installment in the show’s mythology, a one-off adventure that digs deeper into Mulder’s past, while also showing us how deep conspiracies run.

After the events of “The Erlenmeyer Flask,” Mulder’s been reassigned to dull wiretap duty, while Scully’s teaching at Quantico. But Mulder gets dragged back to seeking the truth when U.S. Sen. Richard Matheson, a patron of his work, directs him to the defunct High Resolution Microwave Survey in Puerto Rico. The Survey’s mission had been to look for signs of alien life, of course. Mulder, eventually joined by Scully, has some strange encounters, but eventually has to flee with little evidence of contact (which we later realize is damaged) when a UFO retrieval team arrives. Continue reading

Dispatch from New York Comic Con

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson at New York Comic Con on Oct. 13, 2013. (Radhika Marya)

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson at New York Comic Con on Oct. 13, 2013. (Radhika Marya)

It was a very auspicious 10/13 indeed at New York Comic Con this Sunday, when Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny reunited on stage to discuss their time on The X-Files. The event kicked off on a cheery note with Duchovny taking a moment to take a video of the audience singing happy birthday to series creator Chris Carter — and it wound up ending on another happy (and poignant) note when a fan took a moment to propose to his girlfriend with the stars’ “blessing.” Adorable, right? Continue reading

The Paley Center: The Truth Is Here

Yesterday, as part of a flurry of activity this weekend that David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson participated in regarding the series was a discussion held at the Paley Center for Media in midtown Manhattan. Moderated by Time Out New York staff writer Keith Uhlich, our dynamic duo spent over an hour reminiscing, showing clips, and answering questions from fans in the audience.

Sadly, despite a valiant effort to obtain tickets to see this event, the staff here at Apt. 42 Revisited were unable to seal the deal. Having now watched the event via archived video, we now know the reason why. The event sold out extremely fast, in five minutes, and was completely booked during the Paley members only exclusivity window. The general public (which included both of us) never even had a chance. A bummer for sure. Continue reading