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Episode 5x01: Unusual Suspects
Category: single case  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Episode 5x02 & 5x03: Redux & Redux II (Pts 2&3)
Category: Grays/Elders/Gvmt/Abduction/Control/Samantha/Skinner  ·  Rating 5 of 5 (both eps.)

Contents Synopsis: Back to the scene where Mulder sits in front of his tv. He discovers that he is being taped from the apartment above him. He reaches the room to find someone hastily burning some piece of evidence. Mulder is threatened with a gun, a shot, door closes. Later this night he sits in Scully's apartment, asking her to tell he's dead. They find a body in his apartment with the head blown off, Scully identifies him as Mulder. Meanwhile, Mulder gained access to the DOD with the identity card of the dead man. He meets Kritschgau, who explains to him a history of lies and of conspiracies. He sees fake alien bodies and fake abduction scenarios. In the meantime Kritschgau gets arrested. Mulder investigates the Pentagon archives and finds something that should be the cure for Scully's cancer while she simultanuously tries to check the ice core samples - they contain some hybridized DNA that is similar to that Scully has within her due to her disease. CSM knows that Mulder is in the DOD but lets him go. The First Elder orders an assassin that watches CSM and Mulder talk after they met at the hospital. He's offering him a deal. Mulder waits at a restaurant and CSM arrives with Samantha. She says that CSM is her father and that she was told Mulder and her mom were dead. Mulder tries to tell her what CSM does, but she wouldn't listen - and she is gone again. It is now clear that Mulder is alive. He is summoned by the Section Chief who asks about the murder of the DOD employee in Mulder's apartment. He offers him a deal: To name Skinner as the killer. The piece of evidence Mulder brought with him from the Pentagon, the piece that was supposed to be a cure for Scully's cancer is a microchip, an implant. Mulder refuses to work with CSM. At the FBI panel, he doesn't name Skinner but the section chief as being guilty - the chief is killed by another FBI member later on. CSM is shot by the assassin while embracing a photograph that shows both Fox and Samantha Mulder.

Review: This time it really gets screwed up. 'Agent Mulder died from a supposedly self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head'. These are The X-Files episodes we never wanted to see, but yearned to see them anyway. Now we are getting what we deserve. We are finally being presented the truth, are we?

'There is no truth', Krycek said in 'Tunguska', and he may be right. We are told the truth hidden between lies that hide the truth again hidden between lies - it is a tapestry of true and false and right and wrong, and this time Mulder and Scully make their game fit the purpose of the truth. If you are now confused, then you got the feeling that perhaps was intended by these episodes.

But there is a truth - that the only hope to find the answers behind the questions is to stay true to one's own self - and as strange as this may sound, CSM is the one that gives Mulder this hope. But the cruelest scene is the moment where Mulder indeed takes his gun while the look in his eyes tells us of a future we really would never want to see.

July 7th, 1998 / January 25th, 1998

Episode 5x04: Detour
Category: single case  ·  Rating 3 of 5

Episode 5x05: Post-Modern Prometheus
Category: single case  ·  Rating 4 of 5

Episode 5x06: Christmas Carol (Pt 1)
Category: abduction/colony  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Contents Synopsis: While celebrating Christmas with her family, Scully is following a case of suicide in the same town because she is being phoned from the crime scene. A woman was found dead in her bathtub. The voice of the person who phones her sounds like that of ther deceased sister Melissa. The daughter of the dead woman looks just like Melissa, so Scully thinks that Melissa must have been pregnant and kept it a secret and let the girl be adopted. But after a DNA test, it is revealed that not Melissa is the mother but Scully herself.

Episode 5x07: Emily (Pt 2)
Category: abduction/colony  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Contents Synopsis: The investigation leads Mulder to a pharmaceutics business. He confronts the director with the facts and follows him. The man enters a house but is killed. Someone pierced his neck. The other man leaves the building, having shifted his face to that of the dead man. So Mulder is being misled. Meanwhile, Scully's daughter Emiliy is dying. She seems to be a test subject. Mulder discovers a rentirement home and finds patterns of Scully's ovae, which were extracted from her during her abduction and which is the reason why she can't give birth to a child any more. The men responsible can't be found and Emily dies, her body is being stolen.

Review: A seemingly quiet episode from the beginning, 'Christmas Carol' focuses entirely on Scully. We get a reunion with her family, even with her brother whom we all got to like in a, well, very special way. The way both episodes are told, somehow reminds me of 2x34 'Red Museum': A story about what seems like a somehow ordinary case all of a sudden turns out to be part of that seasons-spanning nightmare of conspiracies, lies and extraterrestrials - this Christmas carol turns out to be a continuation of the 'Colony' as well as of the 'Duane Barry' - story.

There's something that made the show in a way believable from the beginning - Scylly herself, her devotion to science, her determination to find solutions within the explainable, within what we as 20th century human beings can explain. But then there are stories where Scully is suddenly forced to believe, when she is forced to think about the things that heppened to her. She seems to have always tried to forget or at least not to think about her abduction, she wants to know the truth - but she welcomes any other solution besides those Mulder-stories. But now, hearing her dead sister's voice twice, seeing this little girl whom she thinks being her sister's daughter but has to realize she's her own, trying to phone Mulder, but when he answers her call, she's not speaking - afraid to admit that she could've seen something strange.

But 'Emily' is not a story about conspiracies at all. It is a requiem for Scully's daughter, who wasn't meant to live a life. This is not the day of wrath, this is the day of tears, the day the result of all the terror is faced, the day of sadness, the day of despair. Hope needs a reason to look for hope in the first place - just as drama needs a reason for its characters to act. There has been no sadder story, there have been no darker moments on the X-Files before than those days Scully watches over her dying daughter, knowing that she couldn't save her but could only hope to let her die in peace and not serve further more as a human erlenmeyer flask for the men that did this to her. But there is still hope, her cross that gives her strength again, her belief in God, in Christ that she begins to return to since 3x11 'Revelations'. The enemy appears like a shadow out of the darkness, and this time he cannot be fought - all that remains now is to pray.

July 7th, 1998 / June 2nd, 1998

Episode 5x08: Kitsunegari
Category: single case  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Episode 5x09: Schizogeny
Category: Black Oil  ·  Rating 2 of 5

Episode 5x10: Chinga
Category: Black Oil  ·  Rating 2 of 5

Episode 5x11: Kill Switch
Category: single case  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Episode 5x12: Bad Blood
Category: single case  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Episode 5x13: Patient X (Pt 1)
Category: abduction/colony/Elders/gvmt/Black Cancer/Grays  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Contents Synopsis: A mass abduction in Kasachstan turns into a nightmare when the people that have gathered there are being burned by some strangers. - Mulder takes part in a UFO tv discussion and states that he questions mindless belief, that he has come to modify his own beliefs. He is then presented to a woman who claims to be an abductee - she's the mother of an Agent Jeffrey Spender, who has just joined the FBI and doesn't want Mulder to talk to his mother because he doesn't want his reputation ruined. In Kasachstan, Covarrubias tries to investigate the crime scene but is hindered from doing so by Krycek. He has found a survivor and brings him to the Tunguska lab, questions him and infects him with the black oil. He then escapes with him to the US. Meanwhile, at Skyland Mountain (2x06) another mass obduction is burned. - Krycek seems to have an affair with Covarrubias, but after that she steals his prisoner but gets infected by the black oil. The prisoner escapes. Spender's mother, Scully and the Kasachstan witness are being called to such an abduction without conscious knowing. They are standing on a bridge. A spaceship appears and suddenly there are men with flame-throwers approaching them.

Episode 5x14: The Red and the Black (Pt 2)
Category: abduction/colony/Elders/gvmt/Black Cancer/Grays  ·  Rating 3 of 5

Contents Synopsis: A boy approaches a house somewhere in snowy mountains and gets a letter to the FBI, addressed to 'my dear son'. - Scully has survived, but she questions her devotion, her memory. So she undergoes hypnosis. The men with flame-throwers are rebels, rebelling against their own people who now try to colonize Earth. The men are immune to the effects of the black oil because they have mutilated their faces so that the oil can't get into their nose, ears, mouth or eyes. - The Well Manicured Man gets the vaccine Krycek had stolen from the Russians and tries it on Covarrubias. As it seems to be not working fast enough, the First Elder orders to return a captured rebel instead of making an alliance when not sure if there was a defense against the black oil. Mulder tries to prevent this, but the bounty hunter seems to be faster. At the end, Covarrubias recovers - the vaccine is working. - The letter to the FBI is given to Spender, but he doesn't read it and returns it to his father - CSM.

Review: Group abductions where the abductees are burned. The black oil. Krycek. The Elders. Covarrubias. Cancer Man. Spender. Mulder believing in anything but extraterrestrials. Scully and Skinner urging Mulder to believe what he believed before. Scully almost quitting with Mulder. The Bounty Hunter. Alien rebels. An intergalactic war. - - - Does all of this sound weird? I think so. This is, finally, after Redux the two-parter episode that throws all known elements together, mixes them up, finds new combinations, new answers, new enemies, a new threat. And, as usually, the viewer has to pay a price - each "answer" is worth a bunch of new questions. Welcome to the dark zone of the X.

The conspiracy seems to get different aspects again - the group is somehow divided, the Well-Manicured-Man fighting on his own, Cancer Man still in exile from death, new forces summoning against Mulder's work. But what Mulder than? A Mulder that throws all away he has believed in for years? Or just a Mulder that seems to have realized that he isn't a player, just a spectator? He tries to play again, crazy thing, that he got his motivation from Krycek! Does no one remember that this guy killed his (supposed) father?

Chris Carter solves the possible dilemma of the show, the necessity to arrive at the answers at some time, by always centering the stories around new aspects, it is like the truth is supposed to be encircled and then captured by some kind of lasso, but parts of it will always escape. So The X-Files are not about concrete facts, not about accusing some government, not about real extraterrestrial influence on this planet. It is about the search for truth and our inability to succeed in this quest; we might try, we might hope, we might make some progress on our way, but we will always have to make concessions. We are like Sysyphos. We can try, but we will fail. But then, we have nothing else to do. So why not try? Mulder, after having regained his strength and belief, is a tragic figure - but so is everyone within the grasp of the conspiracy. And he might become part of it, just as his father did, just as Deep Throat did, just as Cancer Man did, just as X did, whatever the motives of all of them were. But he will always be not just a spooky, but a hunting fox.

July 7th, 1998 / June 2nd, 1998

Episode 5x15: Travelers
Category: single case  ·  Rating 4 of 5

Episode 5x16: Mind's Eye
Category: single case  ·  Rating 3 of 5

Episode 5x17: All Souls
Category: single case  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Episode 5x18: The Pine Bluff Variant
Category: single case  ·  Rating 4 of 5

Episode 5x19: Folie à Deux
Category: single case  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Episode 5x20: The End
Category: X-Files/Elders  ·  Rating 5 of 5

Contents Synopsis: A telepathic boy is protected by Mulder and Scully who think that he might be the key to any X-files case because of his special talents. The Syndicate is working to prevent this - they bring CSM back to their group. A murder attempt fails, the assassin is locked up, but before he can collaborate with the FBI, he's killed. Mulder tries to warn Spender about CSM but he wouldn't listen. An old girl-friend of Mulder's is shot and the boy kidnapped, the Well Manicured Man disappears with him. Because of Mulder's attempt to grant the assassin amnesty in trade for the boy's secrets to solve the X-files cases, the X-files department is being shut down, Mulder and Scully are to be reassigned. CSM visits Mulder's office and takes Samantha's file with him. He meets with Spender to tell him that he's his father, and in the same moment it is discovered that a fire has destroyed Mulder's office.

Review: Great episode preparing the stage for the movie. The best scenes are right at the beginning, showing the check match. This is the kind of photography which makes this show shine.

July 7th, 1998 / September 24th, 1999

see also the movie review

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