Season 2: Episode 15 - Fresh Bones
Z: I am going to join Brandon in saying, as he did at the end of this episode, “I don’t like voodoo.” I know, you’re thinking, Zara, you just said how much you loved witch stuff. But voodoo is just so…messy. It doesn’t hold the same scare factor for me as last week’s spells. I prefer some Satanic runes written in blood to zombies and magic pouches. Plus, there was a whole army cover story, and it wasn’t even about aliens in jars, so who cares!
I did like that little boy who could turn into a cat, but then again, I would.
B: This episode wasn’t great, but has a pretty chilling final shot. As Zara wrote, I just can’t get into voodoo. Even on “American Horror Story: Coven,” I relished the witch characters, but every time it focused on the voodoo, I just got bored. While witches are scary for what they do to you, the way they partake in magic is not. There’s spells, cauldrons, talking animal familiars… There’s almost a glamour to them that I think helps make them attractive to the masses.
Voodoo on the other hand is scary, but when you picture voodoo in popular culture, images of a dirty room full of dead rats and blood in jars come to mind. Its not intriguing, just disturbing. I think its the same reason why I love horror movies, but hate “torture porn” like Saw. Its too easy to be unsettling and believable with magic that requires cutting a cow’s throat and drinking its brain fluid. When something earns it and is genuinely scary because it plays with the unknown and an all-powerful mysterious force, that’s something. We seem to call both sides of this horror “scary” but really one is disgusting and one is genuinely “horrifying.”
One final thought: there’s not enough X-Files scenes in Graveyards.
Another final thought, a boy most-likely became a cat. Why can’t Hocus Pocus be in-universe of The X-Files?
Z: 4 boys-who-are-maybe-cats out of 10
B: 3 magic conch shells out of 10
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Season 2: Episode 13 - Irresistible
Z: Yeesh, so creepy. This is another one of those episodes that Brandon had a problem with as it’s not really an X-File. And I agree. (Or, am I mis-remembering your opinion, Brandon?) We have another serial killer on the loose. Scully has some visions with demons in them, but there’s nothing really paranormal about the episode. In fact, her visions almost took away from the whole point of having a human “monster” to track down, as it was like, oh, we get it, people can be evil. We don’t need to see them embodied as actual demons. Scully deals with her abduction memories, blah blah blah. Let’s move on!
B: After last week’s barely X-File X-Files, I can’t believe it, but this one is probably the perfect example of that very thing. There is nothing supernatural at all about this entire episode. It’s just an awful serial killer. I was sure Chris Carter must love the idea that sometimes reality can be more evil than anything fiction can cook up. Reading up on this episode, I found him saying nearly that very thing. He’s wrong. Flat out.
Why? It breaks the promise of the show. We tune into television like the X-Files for escape. And this episode goes hard in the other direction. It almost instantly throws away all possibility that it’s a ghost, alien, or stretchy ancient liver monster and becomes an episode where much of the screen time is spent with Dana Scully being utterly disgusted by what she is seeing done to human bodies. This is a character who by this point has cut open and dissected three dozen dead bodies and seen alien bugs that bury into people’s flesh and turn them insane, but the desecrations done to the bodies by the killer are so heinous, she cries and vomits.
More than the disturbing factor is the fact that these episodes damage Mulder and Scully as characters. Core to this show (which it starts to forget later on), is the interplay of religious scientist vs. atheist paranormal believer. Usually about 90% of the time Mulder is right, but some of the more interesting episodes are when Scully is correct and it turns to an issue of religion and the afterlife. Someone has to win, it can’t just be “reality” because either there’s a greater power of aliens, or there’s a god for the whole concept of the truth “being out out there” to fly. When you look at the events of this episode, it just leaves us in the bleak world we live in. The truth isn’t out there, its just…there.
We get it, Silence of the Lambs was still huge and you wanted to make an episode like it. If I wanted to see real serial killers, I could tune into any cop/detective show, i.e. half of all television ever made.
Z: 4 locks of hair out of 10
B: 0 bedroom funeral wreaths out of 10
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Zara and Brandon X-Rated
Season 2: Episode 11 - Excelsis Dei
Z: I don’t know about this episode. Parts of it were excellent, and very thrilling - Mulder and the nurse getting caught in a flooding bathroom, the former WPA artist painting a haunting mural on the rec room wall, and the general creepy feeling of the old nursing home setting. But the rest was all over the place. Like, there was a legit Alzheimer’s study going on, but the patients were also receiving secret mushroom pills that made them hallucinate…which also opened a door to the spirit world and allowed the ghosts to avenge themselves on the current nurses and orderlies? And about that - the episode begins with a nurse getting assaulted AND RAPED by a ghost, something that’s hardly addressed, except to say, welp, the ghosts were getting revenge, back to work, lady. The current set of orderlies seem impatient and overworked at the nursing home, not sadistic maniacs who deserve to be murdered and assaulted. So, were the ghosts mad at a previous set of orderlies?? Also, that nurse was raped! You guys!! Don’t start an episode with a sexual assault and then leave us hanging. Where’s Detective Olivia Benson when you need her?
PS Wiki says that the nursing home location was haunted!!
B: In the cold-open of this episode, a ghost rapes a woman. That event and the ramifications could and should of have been the entire mystery and focus of this episode. Instead, we get sort of “Cocoon” with ghosts and magic Asian mushrooms.There are some redeeming slices of this episode, like when the Chinese janitor speaks against how Americans put their elders in homes and the Titanic-like scene with the room filling with water, but most of the powerful interesting moments are smothered by an episode that’s trying to do far too much.Also, props to Frances Bay, who I know best as the Grandma from Happy Gilmore as playing the one old lady who isn’t going to take any of the ghosts’ nonsense.
Z: 5 mushroom pills out of 10
B: 6 naked old guys out of 10
Zara and Brandon X-Rated
Season 2: Episode 10 - Red Museum
Z: More like Red HERRING Museum, AMIRIGHT????? (Woof.) I mean…creepy cult that seemed bad but was actually OK? Hormone shots for cows that were part of the problem, but not really the problem, even though, yes, we all need to think about their effect on society as a whole, thank you, kind old farmer? A creepy peeper who turned out to not be a murdering creepy peeper, but was still a peeper and maybe also a pedophile? I was half expecting the tasty BBQ to turn out to be made out of teens. A fun episode, but it ends in a pile of loose ends. At least the Crew Cut Man is dead. So, there’s that.
B: Once in a while, X-Files likes to throw some mythology tidbits into a monster of the week episode. There’s usually a distinct difference between these episodes and its sometimes odd when they get their alien peanut butter in their alien chocolate. I imagine they were trying to throw the audience off-guard, but it just falls short. Crew Cut Man appearing in this episode is just that in this episode.
A high point of the episode is Mulder and Scully discussing the case over some BBQ ribs. Throughout their travels, the two of them eat a lot of delicious looking roadside food. Can we count these as dates?! CAN WE?!
This episode also plays into the theme of the X-Files that I’m just eh about which is, the government/big corporations doing shady experiments on the public. Nothing really paranormal, except the toxin being injected could be “purity control”, which is old alien fetus dna from season 1. That’s such a weak connection to actual aliens, that I don’t think it counts. Well plotted and crafted episode though.
Z: 6 piles of delicious ribs out of 10
B: 5 red turbans out of 10
Bye weekend. See you in three days. (at Irish Famine Memorial)
We lost, but we won? Learn how a sport like that came to be in “The History of Football (Soccer) in 90 Seconds.”
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Those who play Mario Kart know what i mean.
at Shelter Island Beach Club
at Shelter Island Heights, New York
Soaking up the sun. (at Roberto NOVO Salon, NYC)