Season 2: Episode 4 - Sleepless
Z: This episode was alright. US soldiers are turned into sleepless killing machines in Vietnam and subsequently go bonkers on each other. The episode basically provides an excuse to introduce us to two new recurring characters - the mysterious new informant “X” and new FBI buddy, Alex Krycek. He’s so keen! And he loves Mulder! NOPE. Just another pawn of Cigarette Smoking Man. I was kind of surprised that they reveal that he’s spying on Mulder and Scully at the end of the very same episode where his character is introduced. I feel like that could have been a later reveal but I guess they were like, who cares, let’s just get this set up as soon as we can and call it a day.
B: According to my minutes of research, this is one of Chris Carter’s favorite episodes, which is odd because I personally wasn’t that into it. This is more like a Fringe episode than an X-File, with the monster being more of a science experiment gone wrong than really paranormal. I still think its so weird that they got their show called the X-Files about X-Files renewed for a second season, and there’s no actual X-Files yet.
On the positive side are the introductions of X and poor poor Alex Krycek. I agree with Zara that they should have made Mulder and especially the viewer trust him more before revealing that he’s just a puppet, it would have made that turn have so much more weight and wouldn’t have changed too much story-wise. Enjoy Krycek while you can, because his character is going to get really annoying quick.
B: 4 Scully wearing 90’s wire-rim glasses out of 10
Z: 5 ghosts of Vietnamese children out of 10
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Check out our new favorite Tumblr: Piña Colliding.
the birth of a brilliant new meme.HUFFPOST COMEDY
The original Body Worlds and not the scary questionable one downtown. Things learned: don’t smoke and do exercise. For the love of all things holy, exercise. (at Body Worlds: The Original Exhibition)
We are driving on the Autobahn
In front of us is a wide valley
The sun is shining with glittering rays
The driving strip is a grey track
White stripes, green edge
We are switching the radio on
From the speaker it sounds:
We are driving on the Autobahn
Zara & Brandon X-Rated
Season 2: Episode 3 - Blood
Z: One of my favorite things about re-watching The X-Files is seeing great character actors who I have come to love make appearances as monsters, killers, and the victims of monsters and/or killers. (And/or aliens.) In this case, Deadwood’s E. B. Farnum, the terrible sad sack hotel owner, plays a terrible sad sack postal employee who goes on a shooting rampage after being set off by LSDM and some angry LED displays. KILL ‘EM ALL!
That last transmission from the machines (or, the government - did they ever figure out who was sending the messages?) is the best - ALL DONE BYE BYE! I remembered that from when I saw this episode twenty years ago, and now it will be stuck in my head for another twenty.
Wikipedia Fun Fact - that lady who beats the car repair man to death, and later stabs Mulder, is a former porn star!
B: To me, this episode was a jumble of ideas. The severe fear in blood, the spraying of super chemicals in suburbs by a shadow government, and homicidal messages hacked into electronics would each be their own The X-Files episode if a little more love was given to fleshing them out. At times, it felt like our Netflix was malfunctioning and flipping between different files, then they all come together. The reason?
The postal employee is William Sanderson, whom I know more as JF Sabastian from Blade Runner, Larry from Newhart, and the sheriff from True Blood. He is one of the best at playing sad-sack wannabees and helps keep this episode in watchable territory.
Oh, sorry, before you thought I was going to give you a reason for why all of that was happening?
Also, The Lone Gunmen are back for another perfect scene of Look! These Ideas Are Based on Actual Events. They also make more comments about how hot Scully is, in case we forgot because we only see her for one minute an episode now.
Spoilers, there’s no reason for why any of this was happened. Still a great ending though.
Z: 6 angry fax machines of 10
B: 5 The Lone Gunmen Zine subscriptions out of 10
Introducing… FLAPPY BERT!
Season 2: Episode 2 - The Host
Z: Ugh, this. THIS. I have so many things, as Brandon already knows by the number of times I yelled “COME ON!!!” while watching this episode. Starting with that goddamn Soviet Poop Monster. Or, flukeman. Or whatever. I hated it. HATED IT. Look, if you worked in sanitation, and you and an FBI agent pulled this out of a pipe:
What would you do?
A. Kill it with fire.
B. Call in the CDC, quarantine the flukeman and study it to prevent future flukemen.
C. Call in the local law enforcement, decide to prosecute the flukeman as a man based on the fact that it is man-sized, strap it to a gurney, and then drive it to jail in a van with no guards.
D. Please don’t pick C.
Duh, Poop Monster escapes back into the sewers and runs amok til Mulder slices him in half. But doesn’t pick up the body? So…we’re left to think that he lives somewhere out there in the muck, next to the rat kings and abandoned boa constrictors. Probably making more Poop Monsters.
GO AWAY POOP MONSTER I HATE YOU.
B: My enjoyment of this episode has little to do with what was actually happening on screen, but listening to Zara freak out every time the Soviet Poop Monster comes on screen. The Soviet Poop Monster, or Flukeman is a fan favorite and I remember images of him in my X-Files books. He’s a memorable scary image, but I don’t think everyone remembers just how silly this episode really was. Its like a Mad TV sketch of The X-Files, that’s right, I’m not even saying its at SNL levels of quality.
The idea that the US government, who in The X-Files has been so apt at covering up even the most believable of X-Files cases, like the feral humans in South Jersey in Jersey Devil would be so inept in dealing with a sentient creature formed out of radioactive chernobyl poop found in the Newark sewers is hard to swallow - for many reasons. If just because a creature has two arms and two legs, we cart it off to an insane asylum, I would think we would have a lot of monkeys in straight jackets. Wait, DO WE HAVE MONKEYS IN STRAIGHT JACKETS?
One thing I never noticed as a child, is how often Mulder and Scully are visiting New Jersey. As an avid reader of Weird New Jersey, I totally get this, but wish they used some of the more well-known/interesting New Jersey legends like Midgetville and The Jackson Whites instead of totally making poop monsters up. I do think the later episode Dod Kalm and The X-Files video game deal with The Philadelphia Experiment, so I’ll give them a little more credit.
B: 5 Soviet Poop Monsters out of 10
Z: UGH NO SOVIET POOP MONSTERS EVER. 3 cans of Chernobyl soup out of 10.
my favorite review so far…
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Raiders of the Lost Tumblr
Walt E. Disney, 1955:)
Season 2: Episode 1 - Little Green Men
B: I wanted to like this episode more than I ultimately did. It has all the elements I look for in an episode. You have a classic piece of UFO lore, the “Wow! Signal”, the first time we see Samantha’s abduction, and the first time an alien is shown on screen in the show (just a shadow puppet in a light, but a damn scary shadow puppet in a light).
The problem with this episode is once Mulder goes to the satellite where the Voyager recordings are being returned, there’s so many basic questions unanswered. Why are the aliens returning the signal just to this satellite dish? Why are they coming to destroy the tapes (I think?) if they were the ones playing the bach back to Earth? If this satellite dish was shut-down, how does the government know about it and if so how can Mulder and Scully get there separately before their goons did? Why do the aliens always knock out Mulder and leave him there? Shouldn’t they have his face on a Wanted poster in their breakrooms by now? I feel like I personally experienced abductee missing-time for a full scene that maybe answered those questions.
I did like Mulder having a buddy in congress, when Skinner finally stands up to the Cigarette smoking man (imagine all the second-hand smoke he had to endure?), and the scene where the aliens show up to and start messing with the electronics, but again WHY?
Z: I agree that this wasn’t what we wanted it to be. We thought it would be another E.B.E. and while there was one actual E.B.E. present, it lacked the pacing that made that earlier episode so thrilling and fun. I did love Mulder bro-ing out with his Congressman friend over Bach. (Congressman friend, what Congressman friend you might ask? Wouldn’t it have been useful to get in touch with his Congressman friend during the whole Deep Throat drama? Ehhh, don’t worry about it.)
And, yes, Mulder & Scully shouldn’t be able to shake the secret government ops so easily. I loved when they were gunning it out of the jungle (nice rental car, Scully!) and the army guys are like, “Welp, looks like we lost ‘em.” As if they couldn’t just send some guys to the airport and catch them there? Mulder & Scully are so elusive!
Z: 6 out of 10 silhouetted aliens
B: 6 out of 10 stratego board games.
If you want to know the image that haunts my dreams, its the one above.Zara & Brandon X-Rated
Girls Is Flappy Bird: Why Do We Love Pain?
The other night, while watching a few episodes of Girls, I started to become so uncomfortable and frustrated that I picked up my iPhone, the modern adult version of hiding behind the couch. Through the soup of the internet, I had heard a lot of buzz about an iPhone game called Flappy Bird, and as usual, downloaded it and immediately forgot about it. “This should provide the right amount of distraction,” I thought.
Oh how wrong I was.
SEASON 1 RECAP
What we liked:
- Every use of technology. Every time a picture is enhanced, beards are added to police sketches, screenshots are actual polaroids of the tv, no one uses a mouse - they just type and computers do things and sometimes become sentient, and the utter fear of “computer viruses”
- Scully’s baggy jackets and endless supply of Power-Suits. She is swallowed in fabric.
- The beginnings of everything - introductions of characters we know are going to become important like The Lone Gunmen, Skinner, Cigarette Smoking Man.
- Special effects hold up, we promise. They bend Vancouver into a lot of places, especially a pine-lined highway.
- Basically, everything still holds up. This is not a chore and we’ve found things to like in every single episode, except for Shapes (the Native American werewolf episode).
What we disliked:
- Over reliance on ghosts on being the answer to everything. There’s endless paranormal topics, yet Season One loved to explain away everything on the dead. Beyond The Sea nailed it and the rest are just trying to remake that magic.
- They are too stuck in the roles at this point. Scully sees far too many things to remain the staunch skeptic she appears to be this season. How many times can she fall down just as the alien is going to appear? She sees her dead father and holds an alien fetus, yet through short term amnesia or bad-writing continues to be the anti-Mulder until the last scene of the season finale.
- Tooms is dead! (or is he?!…. no, he is.)
We finished reviewing every episode of Season One and the grand experiment continues!Zara & Brandon X-Rated
Season 1 - Episode 23: SEASON FINALE The Erlenmeyer Flask
Z: “Trust No One” - uh oh, new tag line, shit’s about to get real!! This episode lays the foundation for everything we will come to expect from “The X-Files” mythology - secret research on alien DNA, alien-human hybrids, black ops, alien fetuses in jars - all the while tying up the season in a neat To Be Continued. Only without Deep Throat. (Pour out some Purity Control for Deep Throat.)
Speaking of alien fetuses in jars - did anyone else worry about how Scully managed to carry a frozen alien baby out of that facility in her satchel? Wouldn’t it leak liquid nitrogen everywhere, not to mention ruining the lining of that aforementioned satchel? It ends up in a box, but again, same question, how is it not just a floppy alien fetus mess when she hands it over? I know it ends up nicely preserved in formaldehyde in a drawer full of other nicely preserved alien fetuses…but still, these are the things that keep me up at night.
B: The X-Files are shut-down? But what did I watch for the rest of the 90’s after the The Simpsons? Was it all just missing time?
Its hard for me to like this episode more than “EBE”, because aside from one little alien fetus, its not really about aliens, but building the government conspiracy around them. As a child, I remember liking the monster episodes more, but now I really see what makes this show so groundbreaking is the mythology that ties it all together. We take it for granted now that showrunners all have a master plan and every episode will end on a cliffhanger, but this show’s contemporaries were The Cosby Mysteries, Touched By an Angel, and Matlock. What they are doing here wouldn’t be seen on television for another decade.
The death of Deep Throat I will always think was a bit short-sighted. I understand that they were trying to add danger and move the show forward, but I doubt they thought the show would last as long as it did and maybe with that character around longer, they wouldn’t have to build proxies for him down the road like Mr. X and Martin Landau. Deep Throat coming it to explain things here and there would have probably given them a little more structure when things start to get shaky later on - have him retire or go on the lam! Now instead, he gets to go to heaven with his dead alien friend he shot in. the. alien. face.
Zara’s Rating: 8 frozen alien fetuses out of 10
Brandon’s Rating: 7 frozen alien fetuses out of 10
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