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06 October 2015 @ 02:43 pm
X-Files Episodes 6-8  
Watched more X-Files with softlykarou and chronicluscious and I wanted to post about it. Enough so that I made a tag for it. I'm not going to post about every episode--I already missed episodes 1-5, so--but I'll post occasionally.

Episode 6: Shadows
So I already wrote about how it's a problem that Mulder's always right, but this episode kind of drove that home. Alien invasions are all well and good, but as chronicluscious pointed out you can't just run that week to week, you need something else to break the monotony. And X-Files's answer to that is a murder ghost.

I'll ignore the metaphysical questions that the existence of murder ghosts raises and jump to Mulder. I mean, Mulder's not instantly right--he initially thinks it's telepsychokinesis--but he's right enough. It's a bit like the problem that Delta Green has, where to rights there should be a lot of cases with completely mundane explanations where Mulder's wild-ass guessing is totally wrong, we cut to one of those shots of Scully reacting appropriately to his theories, roll credits. But that's boring and we don't watch X-Files to see CSI with conspiracy theorists--and that "we" includes me, I admit--so it's not in there. Thus, murder ghosts.

I'm surprised MAJESTIC (as I'll call the conspiracy from now on, because it's too perfect, and also it's another Delta Green reference and I have a reputation to maintain) didn't roll in and try to figure out how to weaponize murder ghosts, honestly.

Episode 7: Ghost in the Machine
I love the way they talked about computers in the 90s. That bit with "Data travelers, electro-wizards, techno-anarchists" is just a perfect summary of computers on 90s media. I mean, computers are still magic boxes that can do anything on TV, but in the 90s the language they used to talk about them was better.

I did have a bit of a hard time taking the AI seriously, though. First off because they kept calling it an "intelligent machine," and second because I'm imagining the AI stored on a 100 mb hard drive. I have show episodes on my computer now that are bigger than that AI probably was. Yeah, I know that multi-gig desk-sized hard drives existed, but the computer wasn't that big.

Also, I really want the computer geek's house. One level, flowing water everywhere, dark color scheme? Only problem is the lack of window shades.

And Mulder's old partner was totally a deep cover agent in House Slytherin.

Episode 8: Ice
I'm sorry, I can't hear you over the sound of The Thing.

I mean, the episode starts with a dog. It has alien parasites frozen in ice. It has distrust and people not knowing who's infected. It has a throwaway line from one of the scientists about whether there's something out there when Scully throws the magazines out into the storm.

And I think that it's the best of these three. The way the parasites kill each other but they only have one parasite sets up a nice tension. They have the cure with them, but they don't know who's infected and if they put the cure in the wrong person then it'll just infect them. The parasites don't turn you into a shapeshifting alien monster, they make you way more irritable and prone to bursts of anger--in much the way that being trapped in a small space with several other people who are all under severe stress makes you irritable and prone to bursts of anger, so it was entirely reasonable that any of the characters could have been infected. The episode kept the suspense throughout, which I think is a first for me in my experience with this show. Usually I can figure out what's going to happen pretty quickly.

And then MAJESTIC rolls in and blows the whole thing up. I'm surprised, since I figured that they'd want it for research, but maybe they decided the risk of a rage zombie outbreak was too great. I mean, one of the conceits of this show is that the secret government organization is staggeringly competent, so I can actually imagine them performing a proper risk assessment and making a reasonable conclusion based on it. Forget murder ghosts, MAJESTIC is the most unbelievable aspect of the X-Files.

More next time (maybe)!
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