As no doubt you’ve heard, Fox is bringing back The X‑Files as a short event miniseries (whatever that means) in January 2016. I wasn’t a fervent viewer of the original series but I enjoyed most of the episodes I watched. Noting that the series had appeared on Netflix, I revisited my two favourite episodes.
Season seven, episode twenty-one. Originally aired May 14, 2000.
Mulder and Scully are called in to investigate some weird goings on, like every other episode, really. To their great surprise, they eventually find that the weirdness is centered on a jinniyah, a female djinn. She claims that humans all wish for the wrong things, and generally make a mess of things. But then she points out that Mulder is entitled to three wishes. Will he makes the same mistakes?
I liked this one because it was a very different X‑Files episode. It was amusing and unlike every other story involving a djinn/jinniyah I’ve ever heard of, we get to hear what it’s like to be the one who fulfills the wishes. I also find that when writers start with a very unusual and fascinating story, they often don’t know how to end it. This time however, writer Vince Gilligan ends the story in what I think is a wonderfully warm and satisfying conclusion.
Season four, episode two. Originally aired October 11, 1996.
I’m not going to get into the details about this one because you’ve seen it, or you haven’t and you really should see it without having it spoiled!
Mulder and Scully are again called in to investigate some weird goings on. Mulder notices that they’re being watched by the inhabitants of the nearest house as they investigate the crime-scene. He asks the local sheriff who lives there, and you can see the sheriff is uncomfortable with the topic. He says the ancestors of the inhabitants build the house just after the civil war. Even now, the house has no electricity, running water, or sewage. No one’s visited the house or even seen the family since the parents got into a terrible car accident nearly twenty years ago. Their children brought them home, but the accident was so serious that everyone assumes they died, though no one knows for sure. You learn in the teaser that even the local children will not set foot onto their land even though it’s out in the country and the properties are huge.
So what do Mulder and Scully do? They go over and knock on the door, of course!
Be warned, this episode is creepy. It’s not really scary, but it’s suspenseful and damned creepy! If you’ve seen it, it was during the episode’s original run or on DVD. The reason being that Fox removed this episode from the syndication package because it pushes the boundaries of network television. It carried a viewer discretion warning and was the only X‑Files episode with a TV-MA (mature, ages 17+) rating.
I initially found it interesting that both of my favourite episodes were one-off stories that didn’t tie into the series’ many long-term story lines. After some thought, it was no surprise at all because the whole “Mulder pursues evidence of aliens” did nothing for me. How many times did he almost have a break-through, but for whatever reason, it doesn’t work out. The proof is destroyed, stolen, fake, or otherwise worthless. You can only do that to viewers so many times because they don’t believe it’ll ever really happen. Indeed, the show in its current form would end if it happened. It was not nearly as bad as Lost, but we knew it was never going to happen.
Still, I’ll have a look at the upcoming mini-series, in no small part because the lone gunmen are back, baby!
Image credit unknown, though I have to believe it has something to do with Fox Television.