8×14: This Is Not Happening

“You believe in extraterrestrials?” — Dana Scully
“Let’s just say I don’t not believe. As I said, I try to stay open.” — Monica Reyes

We begin the buildup to Mulder’s return and get introduced to a new agent as Doggett, Scully and Skinner try to figure out what’s going on with a number of returned alien abductees.

This is Not Happening

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Radhika: “This is Not Happening,” a fairly emotional and reasonably action-packed episode, brings us to that point in season eight where we can start moving away from searching for Mulder and begin thinking more about what will happen once he returns. Of course, Mulder can’t just return in a simple manner, which is why this episode isn’t quite the “ta-da!” reveal promos from back in the day might have made us all think.

When Theresa Hoese, a woman abducted right around the time Mulder was, reappears, bruised and broken, Skinner, Doggett and Scully head to Montana to get to the bottom of things. There, they encounter Richie Szalay (who discovered Theresa), who has been searching for his abducted friend Gary. Meanwhile, viewers are reintroduced to shape-shifter/healer extraordinaire Jeremiah Smith — who has assumed the form of a doctor and had Theresa transferred. That’s around the time Doggett calls in some backup: Special Agent Monica Reyes, a believer in paranormal phenomenon, who nonetheless thinks Mulder may have joined a UFO cult. We later see Jeremiah Smith up to his old tricks, healing Theresa of her injuries. He’s also teamed up with some guy who goes by the name Absalom (and is essentially the leader of a doomsday cult). Continue reading

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4×01: Herrenvolk

“Nothing happens in contradiction to nature, only in contradiction to what we know of it. And that’s a place to start. That’s where the hope is.” – Dana Scully

We left our heroes (and the enigmatic Jeremiah Smith) last season at a industrial site in Maryland, the Alien Bounty Hunter looming over them. What follows is a race against time, with lives in the balance…

Herrenvolk

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Max: Welcome to our coverage of season four of The X-Files! The show has been at the height of its powers, and going from strength to strength. We pick up this episode where we left off last season, but first, we get a prelude of new developments in the cold open. An electrician in rural Alberta, Canada is doing maintenance work when a bee stings him. Suddenly, he is swarmed by five young blonde boys as he begins to convulse and falls to his death. This is yet another ominous demise the show does so well, and sets the stage for new wrinkles in the mythology.

Meanwhile, the Alien Bounty Hunter — who has pursued Mulder and Scully to an abandoned steel mill — chases them through the structure, intent on capturing Jeremiah Smith and condemning him to death for his recklessness in “Talitha Cumi.” Continue reading

3×24: Talitha Cumi

“Men can never be free, because they’re weak, corrupt, worthless and restless. The people believe in authority, they’ve grown tired of waiting for miracle or mystery. Science is their religion, no greater explanation exists for them.” — Cigarette Smoking Man

Mulder and Scully look for a man who seems to possess the ability to heal, amongst other things, and who may be linked to larger conspiracies.

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

20th Century Fox via Chrisnu

Radhika: “Talitha Cumi” has never been the most standout of The X-Files’ season finales to me, in part because it seems almost subdued compared to other mythology episodes. This is not to say the episode lacks suspense — it does! But those moments are subtle when compared to episodes like the season two finale, “Anasazi,” or even multi-parters from season three itself, such as “Nisei”/“731” or “Piper Maru”/“Apocrypha.” But in the grand scheme of things, this is not damning at all — the plot moves along nicely, touching upon old themes, keeping the mythology mysterious, while allowing it to make cohesive sense.

The episode opens at a restaurant where an agitated gunman shoots a number of people before police shoot him. An older gentleman, later introduced to us as one Jeremiah Smith, appears on the scene, healing everyone with the palm of his hands, including the shooter himself.

The mysterious healer has disappeared by the time Mulder and Scully arrive, but it isn’t just the case the ends up being on the agents’ minds. Mulder is informed that his mother, Teena, has suffered a stroke, moments after viewers are treated to a scene involving her and the Cigarette Smoking Man. When Mulder meets his mother at the hospital, she writes the word “PALM” on a notepad, and he believes there must be a connection to Jeremiah Smith. Continue reading