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 The X-Files

EPISODE REVIEWS SEASON 4

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Episode 4x01: Herrenvolk (Pt 2)
Category: SEP/Colony/Bees  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Contents Synopsis: Mulder and Jeremiah Smith can escape the bounty hunter, but he has Scully and through her he gets Mulder's location. Jeremiah shows Mulder a plantation where cloned children work. The girls look like Samantha Mulder. They take one girl with them. The bounty hunter arrives at the plantation, and they flee to a bunker, which is also a beehive - but those bees can kill. They escape again, but later on the hunter gets them. Mulder survives, and it remains unclear whaz happened to Jeremiah and the girl. X is killed while he tries to get to Mulder's appartment, but he can write a message with his own blood: SASG. Mulder is led to the United Nations office of the Secretary General, and a Ms. Marita Covarrubias tells him that there is no evidence of the # plantation but gives him a folder that contains pictures of it. CSM asks the bounty hunter to heal Mrs. Mulder - he says that this would be necessary to control Mulder, but he doesn't mention his personal motives.

Review: This two-part episode posed quite sincere questions as to who Mulder's father would really be, what role Cancer Man played in his mother's life. Again, Mulder's personal life has to influence his actions when his mother needs to go to a hospital, Jeremiah Smith could be a solution. Strange it is that the bounty hunter will do this at the end - but the most disturbing part of it is X's death. Seems like CSM's colleagues don't have a very long life span... Another aspect of these two episodes was that they showed quite some exterior shots, it went into wide open territory. Makes the whole thing look larger.

PJK
July 7th, 1998 / September 24th, 1999







Episode 4x02: Unruhe
Category: single case  ·  Rating 3 of 5

Episode 4x03: Home
Category: single case  ·  Rating 2 of 5

Episode 4x04: Teliko
Category: single case  ·  Rating 2 of 5

Episode 4x05: The Field Where I Died
Category: single case  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Episode 4x06: Sanguinarium
Category: single case  ·  Rating 1 of 5







Episode 4x07: Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man
Category: CSM speculations  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Contents Synopsis: This episode plays on certain theories about CSM narrated by the Lone Gunmen, including him being a writer of dime novels and the assassin of JFK. He is portrayed as being a lonely man, and the Lone Gunmen even seem to pity him. But CSM watches them. He could easily kill them but doesn't do it - not now.

Review: From JFK to Martin Luther King Jr., from lousy writer to assassin, the Lone Gunmen's theories mightn't proove right, but amusing they are.

PJK
July 7th, 1998 / September 24th, 1999







Episode 4x08: Paper Hearts
Category: single case  ·  Rating 5 of 5







Episode 4x09: Tunguska (Pt 1)
Category: Black Oil  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Contents Synopsis: Scully is summoned by an official hearing about the whereabouts of agent mulder. Flashback. At an airport, a diplomat is forced to go to customs. His bag is opened and the clerk accidentally or out of ignorance lets the contents drop. Out of it come some tiny wormy creatures that look like a version of the black oil. - Mulder and Scully are hunting down terrorists and find Krycek, who sais that he was recovered by the terrorists from a missile base in North Dakota and that he was the one who gave the agents the informations about the terrorists. He leads them to the airport where a diplomat travelling to the US from Georgia, former USSR, is arriving, carrying a diplomatic pouch that contains a piece of rock. They get the rock but not the man (who is later killed by Krycek out of self defense). The rock is examined at a research facility, but a scientist is infected with the black oil. Mulder and Krycek travel to Tunguska, Russia, after he gets some information and help from Covarrubias. - CSM is summoned and criticized by the Well Manicured Man. He is made responsible for the security leaks. Meanwhile, Mulder and Krycek arrive at a labor camp and are being caught.

Episode 4x10: Terma (Pt 2)
Category: Black Oil  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Contents Synopsis: Mulder is being tested with the Black Oil while Krycek seems to be an associate of the men operating the camp. Mulder can escape, Krycek loses his arm because some people think that this is necessary because of an infection with the black oil. Meanwhile, a Russian assassin eliminates step by step every research evidence in the US that is associated with developing a vaccine agains the black oil. Back to the beginning. Scully refuses to esay where Mulder is and gets arrested. Later on at the hearing Mulder appears, explaining the situation. They locate the final piece of evidence and travel to Terma, North Dakota, but they are too late. Later on the hearing panel speaker 'reviews' the information given by Mulder together with CSM.

Review: It was about time. The largest impact an object from space had had in modern times, the Tunguska incident; this was the event that needed to be integrated into the X-Files mythology. But it happened in a way I hadn't expected. The combination with the Black Oil was somehow a surprise, but a kind of logical one - a way to link the conspiracy to other parts of the world. Also a way to explore Krycek's position, to explore more possibilities for the story arc to produce even more havoc. The Black Oil, formerly just a single, but crucial piece of evidence, reveals the future - a biological warfare.

Another kind of mystery is the missing cooperation between American and Russian conspirators, but that might be a result of the preceeding Cold War period. Otherwise there would be no reason for the Russians to prevent the Americans developing a vaccine of their own. Will this problem be worked out? In the Patient X two-parter this doesn't seem the case, but the future mighn look different, no, it has to look different.

Here again there are wonderful pictures created, the beginning scene where they arrest the terrorists and find Krycek, the whole frame structure of the story, the explosion at the end - and all of this is underlying a recurring musical theme that's specific just for these two episodes. It's episodes like these that support every time my decision to stay tuned to this terrific show.

PJK
July 7th, 1998 / June 7th, 1998







Episode 4x11: El Mundo Gira
Category: single case  ·  Rating 4 of 5

Episode 4x12: Kaddish
Category: single case  ·  Rating 4 of 5

Episode 4x13: Never Again
Category: single case  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Episode 4x14: Leonard Betts
Category: single case  ·  Rating 3 of 5







Episode 4x15: Memento Mori
Category: abduction  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Contents Synopsis: After Scully is being diagnosed with an unknown and dangerous kind of cancer, Mulder and the Lone Gunmen try to find out who did it to her. Meanwhile Scully thinks about her death.

Review: Just great.

PJK
July 7th, 1998 / September 24th, 1999







Episode 4x16: Unrequited
Category: single case  ·  Rating 3 of 5







Episode 4x17: Tempus Fugit (Pt 1)
Category: UFO  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Contents Synopsis: A plane with Max Fenig (1x10) on board is being boarded by a UFO, with Max being suck out of the aircraft. But then something happens and the plane crashes. Mulder and Scully investigate the crash site and find out that nine minutes are missing from the victioms, the usual piece of evidence associated with alien abductions. They find Max dead. A woman claiming to be Max's sister explains to them that he had been working on something and had carried a bag with him, a bag that contained evidence of extraterrestrial life. But she's abducted too, the evidence she had is gone. Scully is approached by a soldier who claims to be responsible for the crash. While trying to protect him, agent Pendrell from the FBI lab is killed. She hits the killer's leg, but he can escape. Mulder thinks that the plane was intercepted by a UFO and looks for it in a lake nearby - he sees both the vessel and a dead gray alien on the ground of the lake and is arrested by the military.

Episode 4x18: Max (Pt 2)
Category: UFO  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Contents Synopsis: Mulder is released, but the cleaning-up operation had succeeded. He concludes that the plane was boarded by the UFO, Max was obducted to retrieve the evidence from him. But then a military aircraft had shot down the UFO while the plane was still in its 'tractor beam' - so it descended vertically to the ground and crashed. There is still one piece of evidence left. Mulder gets it from the airport storage but is followed by the assassin. The man joins him at the plane, but Mulder recognizes his leg wound and locks him into the restroom. But then the plane is being boarded by a UFO. The assassin rescues himself, gets the bag with the evidence but is sucked out to the UFO. 'He got a connecting flight,' Mulder explains to Skinner after the landing, but his memory had been erased.

Review: There have been a lot of disaster movies in film history, a lot of plane crashes, but this aircraft crash story is the best I've ever seen. It's done with a lot of compassion, the terror of the event is made clear. The poetic and artistic style of The X-Files shines through every scene, these two episodes being among the very best we have come to see this far. Unforgettable the starting picture of the plane on the night sky, unforgettable the first view of the crash site, unforgettable the moment Mulder identifies Max's body, unforgettable the car chase scenes, unforgettable the reconstruction narrated by Mulder.

This is a real piece of art, but it is also a real piece of X-Filean evidence. We actually see UFOs, see an Army cleaning-up operation, witness the things from a viewer's perspective, not from the agents' view - what we see is true. (Just in case one can trust the production staff; they wouldn't tell a lie, would they?) The previously established character of Max Fenig is brought to new depths, departing from the more hectic-paranoia-driven Max characterization that was given in 1x10 'Fallen Angel' - this Max is much more serious, much more experienced, has gone through much more pain and terror than that Max of the past who was just a bit of a crazy guy, even for Mulder. Not to be mistaken, I don't say that Max was crazy during that first season episode, I just thought that they portrayed him in another way this time.

As always, the outside terror of the X-Files events is turned inside as the impact on the characters is described; this is a story about death, about the death of innocent people, about the effect those crimes have had on the people affected. It is about those men and women who Scully is talking about, about those who have given us another perspective towards the truth. With the death of Agent Pendrell it has become clear again that there will be a lot of victims as the story continues. And mostly, their deaths will serve no real purpose except that they have fallen victim to an uncertain political agenda.

PJK
July 7th, 1998 / June 6th, 1998







Episode 4x19: Synchrony
Category: single case  ·  Rating 3 of 5

Episode 4x20: Small Potatoes
Category: single case  ·  Rating 5 of 5







Episode 4x21: Zero Sum
Category: SEP/CSM/Bees/Skinner  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Contents Synopsis: Skinner has to work for CSM in exchange for Scully's life - a plot involving an experiment with the deadly bees.

Review: Someone has to pay the price - this time it is Skinner. But he definitely is a good guy, his intentions and his motivation coincide with those of Mulder's. The two men seem to develop quite some friendly relationship even, and especially since 'Tunguska' it is quite clear that Mulder knows that Skinner is an ally.

PJK
July 7th, 1998 / September 24th, 1999







Episode 4x22: Elegy
Category: single case  ·  Rating 3 of 5







Episode 4x23: Demons
Category: Samantha  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Contents Synopsis: Mulder comes to remember something about Samantha's abduction, and he isn't sure anymore if she was obducted by aliens.

Review: To get so close only to lose again; this episode shows the tragic part of Mulder again. But what he gains are doubts, these are to be amplified by the ensuing episodes.

PJK
July 7th, 1998 / September 24th, 1999







Episode 4x24: Gethsemane (Pt 1)
Category: Grays/Elders/gvmt/abduction/control/Samantha/Skinner ·  Rating 5 of 5

Contents Synopsis: In the Yukon territory, a group of scientists discovers something that seems to be a Gray alien body. Meanwhile, Mulder is approached by a scientist who leads him to the site - the team has been killed, but there is one survivor. They find the body and take it back to DC where it is being obducted. It looks quite authentic, but before Mulder can ask Scully for her opinion, the scientist and his colleague are killed and the body has vanished. Scully checks the ice core samples from the surrounding ice where the body was found. It seems that they are authentic or at least fabricated in a very sophisticated way. One sample is stolen and Scully hurt. The thief later reveals himself as Michael Kritschgau. He's working with the Department of Defense and says that all the evidence of extraterrestrial life has been created deliberately to mislead Mulder and people like him. Later on this night, we see Mulder sitting in front of his tv, staring into his gun. Flashback. Scully tells an FBI panel that "late last night, Agent Mulder died from an apparently self-inflicted gun shot wound to his head."

Review: see part three

PJK
July 7th, 1998 / September 24th, 1999





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