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Season 6 of The X-Files may have suffered from a few signs of tiredness and some feelings of rehash, but it was still entertaining as anything and kept you gripped. With Season 7, there are still some creative episodes to be found, but the focus seems a bit off the boil. It knows how to grip, but something about Season 7 doesn’t quite gel and it emerges as probably the weakest season so far. Spoilers will be following in this review.

Mulder(David Duchovny) is still in a state of delirium and confinement after suffering mental disintegration relating to markings he came into contact with from a presumed alien spaceship. X-Files Season 7 PosterAs his condition worsens, a desperate Scully(Gillian Anderson) travels to North Africa where she discovers the ship and begins to investigate it. She isn’t prepared for what she discovers as it appears that the markings on the ship could very well prove that the human race descended from aliens and possibly more answers on burning philosophical questions. As Mulder slips into a coma and Skinner(Mitch Pileggi) attempts to help while having his hand twisted behind his back, the mysterious Cigarette Smoking Man(William B. Davis) takes Mulder to a facility to have him experimented on, while also revealing that he could be Mulder’s father( it’s up to us to determine that one). It emerges that when Mulder was infected with the alien virus years before, it lay dormant before being activated by contact with the strange markings. These events put the duplicitous Fowley(Mimi Rogers) in a compromising position as her loyalties are called into question and she chooses to help Mulder just as he is experimented on. Scully manages to save Mulder and he soon returns to seemingly fine health, though because of her betrayal, Fowley is murdered. Mulder Season 7Back on the cases of unusual phenomena, Mulder finds himself immersed in the case of missing children, that bears resemblance to his sister’s disappearance that has haunted him from the beginning. After his mother leaves a cryptic message regarding his sister before committing suicide due to her descent into ill-health, Mulder teams up with a psychic who finally allows him to discover the truth about Samantha. She wasn’t taken by aliens as he first thought, but was taken away from harm by walk in spirits who protect children from. Mulder has closure when he discovers that his sister is at peace and he can now finally close the wound that has been with him for all this time. Skinner begins to buckle under the pressure of the manipulation put on him by crafty Krycek(Nicholas Lea), who is possibly up to dirty tricks once more(or is he?). And with a dying Cigarette Smoking Man trying to resurrect plans of old, it is a dangerous time for all involved.

The thing is the new mythology of the origin of life is intriguing, but it doesn’t measure up to the original conspiracy that made the show addictive. There is still the possibility of the alien colonization being brought back and it is hinted at, mainly from Cigarette Smoking Man, but the main focus is the newer mythology which can’t quite compete with the one of old. Scully Season 7It is far from bad and I found some of it intriguing, mainly the whole concept of where life originated, but other parts felt a bit tacked on. There are many other episodes that feel a bit rehashed from previous stories that were told a lot more successfully. Season 7 in a word is inconsistent; when it’s really good it soars, but when it flounders it becomes a bit uninteresting. It seems to veer from one point to another without a second thought, when control is put actually put on however some fine television can be seen.

Given that Season 7 is a bit all over the place in terms of coherence and quality, there are still some fantastic episodes and moments to be found that still show that The X-Files even when not at full strength can still be very good. The two-part season opener is a very good way to put us back into the continuation of events leading from the spaceship discovery in the last season. ‘Hungry’, told from the point of view of a creature(that takes on the appearance) that has a compulsion to eat brains and wanting to change may sound strange on paper, but with classic style it is fashioned into an emotional story of someone trying to fit into society and how people can often fight against who they really are. ‘Millennium’ may not vintage X-Files, but it has a moment that many were waiting for; Mulder and Scully’s kiss.Mulder and Scully Kiss For years their relationship has built and grown into a trustworthy one with traces of romance. The way that the kiss is put in is to celebrate the millennium, and because of their connection the moment doesn’t appear false or forced in the slightest. It’s a really sweet moment.

There is the creepy ‘Orison’ in which the evil Donnie Pfaster returns after a chaplain with the power of hypnosis who believes he’s doing God’s work helps him escape, but realizes too late he has unleashed something deadly. Pfaster, who appeared in Season 2 and kidnapped Scully, goes down this path again as Scully was the one who got away from his death fetishism. Once more, his very presence is enough to induce nightmares and we witness how the trauma of his previous attack still looms over Scully as it strikes again. Mulder Finds SamanthaThe highly emotional ‘Closure’ that finally reveals Samantha’s fate is so beautifully constructed and gives Mulder the answer he always wanted as well as the peace he has yearned for. It is X-Files at its most moving and completes a story that has provided the heart of many of Mulder’s quests in the past. And though the episode All Things, which was written and directed by Gillian Anderson was somewhat derided upon airing, I actually found it a very personal and emotion filled episode. The X-Files All ThingsWe watch Scully reexamine her life and the choices she has made after discovering a former lover of hers is ill and somehow fate leads her there. Posing philosophical and existential questions combined with mysticism and faith, you got to hand it to Gillian Anderson for her ambition and execution of this personal voyage for Scully to contend with. The final episode ‘Requiem’ more than makes up for some of Season Seven’s flaws with intrigue and good direction.

Whatever flaws or inconsistencies this season has, the same can’t be said of the acting which is once more top-notch. As Mulder, David Duchovny fits the role like a glove with his sarcastic humour that’s combined with a serious and often worrying devotion that borders on obsession to finding out what is hidden. So much has happened to Mulder over the years and Duchovny shows all the changes that his journeys have had on him and how each has shaped him as his quest for the truth has brought him both pain and closure. And with this being the last season that he appears as a full-time regular on the original run of the show, Duchovny more than stamps his mark on the character. Mulder and Scully Season 7Gillian Anderson invests Scully with an emotional core and steadfast persona that has grown in her for a while. There is something about Anderson’s delivery that I’ve always found to be subtly moving and it is very much at play here in the well-rounded character of Scully. I like seeing Scully in more believer territory as there are just some things she can’t comprehend or rationalize. Anderson has truly taken Scully on a journey from skeptic to slowly growing believer. She may not say that she truly believes and can nitpick at the logic in some cases in true skeptical style, but I think this is the season when Scully finally comes around after all she has witnessed, judging by her inability to fully comprehend the strange phenomena she has encountered. The connections between Mulder and Scully have deepened and the hints of love are realistic but not too in your face. Mitch Pileggi stretches his legs more as the buttoned-up Skinner, caught between a rock and a hard place but determined to be as loyal as can be. Injecting some sympathy into the evil character of Cigarette Smoking Man, William B. Davis shows off another side to the antagonist that hints at pathos but still reminds us that he is a very dangerous man capable of indescribable evil. While only seen briefly, both Mimi Rogers and Nicholas Lea make the best impressions they can with their characters.

  1. The Sixth Extinction – B
  2. The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati – A
  3. Hungry – A+
  4. Millennium – C
  5. Rush – C-
  6. The Goldberg Variation – D-
  7. Orison – A
  8. The Amazing Maleeni – B+
  9. Signs and Wonders – C+
  10. Sein und Zeit – A
  11. Closure – A+
  12. X-Cops – B
  13. First Person Shooter – E
  14. Theef – B+
  15. En Ami – C
  16. Chimera – B+
  17. All Things – A
  18. Brand X – D
  19. Hollywood A.D. – C
  20. Fight Club – D-
  21. Je Souhaite – B-
  22. Requiem – A

Despite it being the weakest season so far, Season 7 at least entertains and holds enough interest near the end to make me curious about what more the show can offer. I mean any X-Files is better than none at all, right?