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11 October 2015 @ 04:21 pm
X-Files Episodes 9-11  
Episode 9: Space
Murder ghosts weren't bad enough, I guess, so now we need space ghosts!

This episode felt half-finished at best. The basic idea, that there's something out there in space that's dangerous and doesn't want us poking around in their territory, is the premise that great horror is (or at least, can be) made of. I mean, look at this:
He hopes that if the balloon ever does go up, if the sirens wail, he and Andrea and Jason will be left behind to face the nuclear fire. It'll be a merciful death compared with what he suspect lurks out there, in the unexplored vastness beyond the gates. The vastness that made Nixon cancel the manned space program, leaving just the standing joke of a white-elephant shuttle, when he realised just how hideously dangerous the space race might become. The darkness that broke Jimmy Carter's faith and turned Lyndon B. Johnson into an alcoholic.
-Charles Stross, A Colder War
And the tie-in to the face on Mars was kind of neat. But it was never clear exactly what was going on. The plot is basically "There's a space ghost that's bad for Reasons," and this definitely falls on the "stupid and random" side of the inscrutable motivations divide. The space ghost was never actually scary, it just kind of ran around and did spooky things and then went away.

They had a lot of stock NASA footage, but the footage made it seem like the shuttle was in orbit around Mars, presumably because of the Martian space ghost. But obviously that never happened, so what's the ghost's connection to Earth? How did it get here? How come there's no followup when the shuttle crew starts freaking out about ghosts? Why did they waste an amazing name like "Marcus Aurelius Belt" on an episode like this?


Episode 10: Fallen Angel
A MOON DUST operation by MAJESTIC. I'm into it. Even when it's obvious that the alien is a raver kid Predator who came to Earth for the ultimate drop and to find people to take back to the space raves.

In some ways, I thought this episode did the same thing the good parts of The Forgotten did, which is demonstrate that the reason that MAJESTIC are being such huge dicks and concealing everything is because the aliens can do whatever the hell they want and no one on Earth can stop them. They quarantine off a whole area of forest, bring in the military, successfully spread disinformation, and the end result is that over a dozen people are dead and the aliens got what they came for. That's not going to look good during the budget hearings.

I also like to think that the reason Deep Throat saved Mulder from the Office of Professional Responsibility's claws is because Mulder's behavior is way more effective at discrediting investigations into the X-Files than any amount of coverups and stonewalling would be, but I suspect he's not actually playing things that underhanded and is probably a good guy. We'll see.

Episode 11: Eve
Twin telepathy is a relatively common bit of cultural flotsam, so I'm not surprised that they put it into an episode with clones (all the "We just knew" comments). And creepy murderkids is about as well-worn a path in horror as murder ghosts. I feel like there was something missing, though.

Or maybe it's just the what has science done angle that annoys me. Cloning experiments, okay, pretty cool. Clones are all homicidal and mentally ill? Um. Why? It's because we tampered with the stuff of life! You can't do that or you get murderclones! Well, let's consult the Chairman:
We hold life to be sacred, but we also know the foundation of life consists in a stream of codes not so different from the successive frames of a watchvid. Why then cannot we cut one code short here, and start another there? Is life so fragile that it can withstand no tampering? Does the sacred brook no improvement?
- Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, Dynamics of Mind
I don't think it helped that when they went and questioned Eve 6 (now that would have been an interesting episode), who implied that the reason for their superior characteristics are because they had more chromosomes. But genes aren't like chocolates, and putting more of them into the box isn't better. Generally the further you get from 46 chromosomes in humans, the more problems you have.

Though I guess being a murderclone could be considered to be such a problem, so perhaps the science here is sound.

The mood was definitely creepy, though. I mean, that's why murderkids are overused in horror. They are legitimately creepy. Even though Fallen Angel was the most DELTA GREEN of the three episodes here, this one was my favorite.
Current Mood: amusedamused
Current Music: Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff podcast
softlykaorusoftlykarou on October 11th, 2015 10:37 pm (UTC)
In episode 9 it also, for once, seems that Scully was right. Considering that Mulder is always and forever right, it's a nice change of pace.
dorchadasdorchadas on October 12th, 2015 01:39 am (UTC)
It's true! No longer can I say that Mulder is always right!  photo emot-psyboom.gif
nelc: Jennifernelc on October 12th, 2015 01:19 am (UTC)
I took Eve's babble about chromosomes to be her rationalisation of her psychopathy, the same old 'I am superior to your outmoded and hypocritical morality; my [Aryan features|48 chromosomes|birthmark in the shape of Mickey Mouse] prove it!' And the clones were evil because the original was evil.

I think Eve was my favourite of these three; the ghost one didn't really go anywhere, and for the life of me I can't remember the other one.
dorchadasdorchadas on October 12th, 2015 01:38 am (UTC)
There was a strobelight-based alien weapon, hence my jokes about ravers.  photo emot-shroom.gif

I figured "more chromosomes is more better!" to be reason that the writers threw it in, but I hadn't figured it for an in-world rationalization. Based on the episode I can see Eve believing that.