Saturday, 10 February 2018

The X Files 11.6 "Kitten" Review

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War Is Never Over

This ep focusing on Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) begins with his time in Vietnam during the war and how green poisonous gas was released when they come under attack in a village.  Leading to the survivors seeing a 'monster.'  However Skinner didn't get the major brunt of it.  He now goes AWOL from the FBI and Kersh (James Pickens Jr) calls in Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) practically accusing them of being instrumental in Skinner not getting a promotion in over 35 years of service.  Of course he blames them now as well for his disappearing since their return.  They go in search of Skinner and Mulder breaks into his apartment where they find the interiors sparse and no mementos around either! 

Scully finds an envelope addressed to Lance Corporal Skinner and inside it are clippings and Mulder unwraps a human ear!  With an 'eww' as he drops it back down.  Kinda reminded me of him in The Simpsons ep with his naked pic on his ID, well don't ask me why I thought of that!! ha.  This leads them to the town of 'Mud Lick' with Scully giving Mulder a look and especially when the note inside the envelope mentioned 'monster'.  Now this is his kind of investigation.

Arriving there the local sheriff Stenzler (Brendan Patrick Connor) shows them the man with the severed ear and says it was a hunting accident.  All the Vietnam vets have nicknames like the one called Trigger outside the police station.  They're taken to the woods and here they find the pit of spikes the man fell into, an intentional trap.  As well as a deer cam, now you don't see that everyday.  Th sheriff also talks of people getting missing teeth unexpectedly.  On the footage they see Skinner standing over the pit and assure the policeman he's not responsible and he's not a murderer.  With Scully adding he wouldn't have been so sloppy if he had killed someone.

Skinner shows up at Kitten's (Haley Joe Osment) cabin and flips through the photo album.  He then has a flashback to the war and how he saved his men from a suicide bomber in the village by shooting him.  Also meets his son, Davy (Haley Joel Osment) who said his father called Skinner a 'baby killer' and they kept him at the mental asylum.  With the government doing secret experiments on him and others.  Skinner says he tried to look for him after his court martial  but he didn't find him and he wants to put this right.  He couldn't speak up for him since he had rules and orders to follow.

Mulder and Scully also turn up there as Skinner falls into the trap set by Davy and is speared by a spike in the chest.  Davy then throws in his father's DB on top of him.  There's no service in the hole so he can't call for help.  Davy takes them inside saying he hasn't heard of Skinner and he puts on a loud record.  Mulder snoops around and comes across the album which contains photos of Skinner.  He then leaves abruptly with Scully in tow, as he gets out of the car and searches for Skinner, she leaves him to get phone reception.  He goes inside and the music finally stops allowing him to hear Skinner's cries for help.  Narrowly missing Davy in the closet disguised as the 'monster.'  Yeah strange things always taking up residence it the closet!

He throws Mulder into the pit with Skinner and then attempts to set the alight, but Scully shoots him before Skinner can fire of a shot.  Why leave Skinner with the gun which means he could've shot Davy at any time.  Scully asks Skinner about what Kersh said to them but it's not the case, he would've done the same for them and no one but them would be here right now for him.  As he leaves he pulls out a loose tooth from his mouth.  As men bring in more gas to be tested and crop spray with a plane.  With Davy's narration talking of how the government is conducting experiments on its own people. 

As for nicknames, Mulder figures out "Eagle" must refer to Skinner as in 'Bald' Eagle!  Also Scully's line to Mulder about Mulder getting "his juices flowing" when he hears monsters maybe involved.  Sheesh that couldn't have been a double innuendo meaning could it?  Skinner mentioned his shooting a 10 year old boy and how this affected him ever since in 2.8 One Breath.  Also how he enlisted in the Marines but Kitten was drafted and he had to watch out for him cos he was always scared. 
His quote to Mulder from this ep:  "when I was eighteen, I went to Vietnam, I wasn’t drafted, Mulder, I enlisted in the Marine Corps the day of my eighteenth birthday. I did it on a blind faith." 
Adding he enlisted as it was the right thing to do and he still had his faith, at least back then.  That perhaps he still had his faith back then and he's not cynical.  Kinda changes in this episode though with wanting to go further and find the truth.  He mention an experience where he felt he was out of his body when he had a near death experience during the War.  How he felt at peace and not frightened.  How "I'm afraid to look any further beyond that experience" he tells Mulder but that Mulder isn't.  He's not afraid to look into the unexplained.  A great moment between the two of them and explaining why he's such a staunch supporter of them both. 

Also as a aside to Mulder and Scully looking out for them all those years.  How instead of dealing with "faceless puppeteers" he'd deal with Mulder and Scully all the time.  Though as for CSM not sure where his loyalties lie but it's better to be on side with him to see what he's up to than to actually side with him.  What was also amazing about One Breath was that in Mulder and Skinner's interaction he tells Skinner how he puts his life on the line with CSM to help them and Skinner replies, "every life, everyday is in danger.  That's just life."   Giving Skinner a presence on the show which reinforced his humanity.  Another reason why in last ep he kinda berated Mulder for not knowing where he is until he gets reports about him.  One Breath again showed why he puts up with Mulder's subordination. 

Wow another Skinner centric ep and without a glimpse of his tighty whities either!! 

Saturday, 3 February 2018

The X-Files 11.4 "The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat" Review

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An supposed ep of The Twilight Zone plays and the man in the mirror reflection reveals himself to be an alien, or whatever.  Mulder (David Duchovny) returns from wanting to be one with nature and says he's been looking for Sasquatch, what dressed as Big Foot himself!!  Is he really Big Foot, well one could've surmized that considering this ep was all about the truth; what is perceived as real but could be all twisted, manipulated to suit or even all bitter and twisted.  After he leaves his customary 'X' in the window, he's contacted by a Man who tells him later his name is 'Reggie Something' (Brian Huskey) and telling him that episode doesn't exist and 'They' are out to get him.  As men show up he runs away.

Mulder looks for that episode and Scully (Gillian Anderson) shows up for dinner but he can't eat until he finds his video of that episode. As Scully leaves she's contacted by Reggie who gives her a box telling her his prints her on it.  Th box being a pack of Jelly which had to be made into layers.  Scully gets nostalgic as she recalls her mother used to make it and it reminds her of home.  As Mulder places the 'X' in his window again, they wait for Reggie to show up and Scully hardly calls that being romantic.  Well neither was hanging up on Mulder when he was telling her about his 35 year old Sasquatch story!  Which she's heard many times.

Reggie tells them about going back to that nostalgia shop and finding the man dead.  Since he was moving house for his mother and he found some things she kept of his, including his high school year book in which he doesn't exist.  As well as the Dr Wuzzel book he used to read.  He recalled the name was spelled with a double 'S.'  He shows them a letter which shows he was there when they invaded Grenada and the stamp was a UFO one which the president commissioned to raise funds for UFO investigation.  Then going into 'They' are after him again.  Mulder wants him to explain himself and who 'They' are.  As Reggie talks about Dr They and how he examined an alien from a downed UFO, before the government took him away.

Reggie says that it's not the Mandela Effect as Mulder explained to Scully where people believed that Nelson Mandela died in prison in the '80's instead of in 2013, so they made up memes all over the Internet.  Reggie tells him it's the Mingler effect.  Mulder then coming with the theory it's an alternate universe but some of it slipping into their reality, which Scully disagrees with as does Reggie.  He says the Mingler effect is being used more seriously and misquotes George Orwell, as Mulder corrects him, not Welles, "who controls the past, controls the future." 

Reggie finally reveals he was Mulder's partner and original member of the x-Files, as we get clips from other eps interposed with Reggie appearing with them, such as with Eugene Toombs, Josie Chung amongst others and as Scully enters Mulder's office for the first time he tells "sugar boobs" she can't be here cos it's men only!  Oh and I neglected to mention the hilarious scene with Mulder when he recalls his 8 year old self watching that Twilight Zone ep, small body but Mulder's current big head!! ha.  Reggie says the government wants them to think all conspiracy theorist are nuts and Mulder says well he's a nut too. 

Mulder meets Dr They who's not afraid to admit that conspiracy isn't the same anymore, these days anyone can say anything.  That he can post and call the news fake news.  Even Mulder's ready to throw in the towel, "the world has become too crazy for my conspiratorial powers."  All an allusion to the crazy world we are currently living in with the muddied waters of news, conspiracy and lies.  To an extent the point of this episode.  It's all going to pot!  As Reggie is taken away in a strait jacket, Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) turns up and notices it's Reggie!!  As well as Scully finding a whole dossier on who Reggie really was.  Mulder watches the episode on his video tape and tells her it wasn't The Twilight Zone but a whole other show. Even the tape gets stuck in the video and unravels as he ejects it.  Oh and Scully stops from eating the jelly she made in Mulder's Big Foot mould as she wants to remember how it was!  Oh and that birdy drinking the drink in the nostalgia shop, used to have those.  They used to have mercury in them and would bop up and down, they cracked!!  Like this ep in many ways!! Ha.

The X-Files 11.5 "Ghouli" Review

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New tagline: "You see what I want you to see."

Scully (Gillian Anderson) has a dream which she puts down to sleep paralysis when she explains it to Mulder (David Duchovny) or rather he comes up with that, since she uses more scientific names for it.  Where she's in a big house and a stranger in black watches over her.  She manages to each for her gun and chase after him and he disappears through the door.  Scully finds a snowglobe with a ferry inside it.  Two girls potentially stab each other in an abandoned ferry and claim they saw a monster attacking them.  Recounting their own versions to each of the agents, the two girls,Sarah (Madeleine Arthur) and Briana (Sarah Jeffrey) were both seeing a boy named Jackson Van de Kamp (Miles Robbins).  Referring to the monster as a 'Ghoulie.'  Which Scully looks up in a cafe and where Mulder orders his coffee under the name of 'Bob' cos no one will get 'Fox' in this town and he doesn't want to explain it.  Also he kinda yawns at the thought of investigating a monster given credence by the Internet.

Later they hear gunshots at Jackson's house and his parents too as Scully recalls this is the same house from her dream.  Detective Costa (Louis Ferreira) thinks Jackson killed his parents and then himself.  But Scully notices the back door is open so he didn't necessarily do the shooting or kill himself.  In the hospital, she takes a lock of Jackson's hair and opens her heart to him saying she didn't want to give him up, but it was for his own protection.  She wishes she could have known him and he could've known her.  They are hindered by the DOD in their investigation and were followed the entire time to the town.

Talking with Jackson's doctor, Scully recounts what he used to talk about.  The pandemic where a specific drug needed to be made using alien hybrid DNA and ending with a UFO on the 34th Street bridge, but the doctor isn't able to tell her anything more.  At the hospital, Jackson's DB disappears as he wakes up and leaves through the open window.  Scully has another dream and this time finds a snowglobe with a windmill in the hospital room.  Telling Mulder who asks her if she took it.  As she leaves the hospital she runs into an oriental man, who makes her drop the snowglobe and asks if she likes windmills.  Oh no Scully didn't get the 'William' connection here as he's her son.  That much was obvious.  Getting into her dreams and giving her clues as to where they will meet. They investigate Jackson's room and find a book by a writer with references to Malcolm X.  Mulder also finds a memory stick which has redacted info on it and some DOD files.  He needs another computer to access the stick which Scully finds under the bed.  Plugging into the 'teen girls have secrets too' line.

Here he finds several files on the DOD again and as they hone in on them with a warrant, Mulder accidentally on purpose spills the so ad onto the computer in a, 'oops shouldn't have that near a computer' kind of way.  Jackson is reported at the hospital by Sarah as he says goodbye to Brianna since he needs to go away and kisses her.  She's sorry she did it and as Scully and Mulder arrive, the DOD agents are already there.  As they try to get to Jackson, he causes the agents to shoot each other after shape shifting himself as Scully.  He then hides behind the nurse's station when they say they only want to talk with him.  Seems he's not ready for this and he disguises himself as a nurse who runs out.

Mulder tells Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) to come down who wants Mulder to report in cos he's been getting nothing but complaints about him from the agencies and that's the only way he finds out what he's up to.  There's CSM (William B Davis) sitting in his office lighting up as always.  Skinner meets Mulder at the ferry and Mulder tells him about William.  He's sorry to hear that and gives Mulder a heads up and Mulder mentions Project Crossroads too. 

As they leave Scully sees the windmill and stops for gas.  Here she sees the man again and she asks him if he's a doctor.  He didn't even finish high school, perhaps a reference to Jackson/William himself.  He says he would have liked to have known her, again she didn't get that since she said the same to William at the hospital.  As well as saying that "if you don't stand for something, you'll fall for anything."  Mulder tells her that's a Malcolm X quote.  But it's too late, he's already gone and she thinks he was the man who wrote the book. On the station's CCTV they can see Jackson/William on the recording! 

This one brings together the clues, so to speak from My Struggle II which was where William shared his visions about the apocalypse and the pandemic virus.  Still hard to stomach that CSM is William's father for a lot of fans and how hard it is for Scully to carry on without having more contact with William as his mother.  However William is the one who can stop the Spartan virus mentioned earlier on this season. 

Lots of funny lines this ep to steer away from the tension including Mulder saying that William's set up a false reality for himself, especially following hot on the heels of last ep.  With Scully quipping, "it's an alternate reality, Fox Mulder doesn't exist in coffee shops."  Nah he doesn't text either ordinarily!!  Yet it's a whole new world and reality this season!  At the half way point of season 11 now.

Friday, 19 January 2018

The X-Files 11.3 "Plus One" Review

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The X-Files returns to its best when it's doing one off  'monster of the week' stories instead of the arcs.  Here people kill themselves after their doubles/doppelgangers appear to them, reinforcing the theory or belief that if someone sees their doppelganger they are going to die.  The case begins with Arkie (Jared Ager-Foster) who says his double saved him from driving into a tree.  However Scully (Gillian Anderson) remains sceptical, as always, good to see nothing's changed there then and puts it down to some form of medical illness.  Bounding about medical jargon which Mulder (David Duchovny) doesn't get and isn't really interested in hearing.  Well okay I said that since 11 seasons later, we see Scully return to her scepticism after going through so much and yet for her it all boils down to science once again; having all the answers.

Including her explanation on ghosts and why people see shadows from the corner of their eyes, I'd repeat it here but.. long exposition like that is more entertaining when viewed.  Mulder thinks it's more of an evil presence and she again says she doesn't believe in evil or the devil.  Mulder's added quip of  Scully's Catholic schooling not helping her much in the way of believing.  Though she does answer she did think of the devil and believe in him once.  Oh no, so what were all those past eps about and oh I can't fathom how they could have written this ep and have her return to being 'early' Scully when the show started.  Well I can, as I know they have to have someone to challenge Mulder in his beliefs and theories; but this just reverted back to the beginning as if there were no other seasons in between to make her think differently at least for the moment.

As Arkie is moved to his cell to be transferred, he is killed and authorities believe it's suicide, which Scully explains is possible even if he was handcuffed.  His lawyer Dean (Ben Wilkinson) explains Arkie didn't want to die and he's going to make someone pay.  As Mulder notices the trustee who found Arkie, someone by the name of Chucky: a bigtime hoarder.  Mulder and Scully question Judy and her game of hangman, where Mulder finds a hanged man with Arkie's name written under it.  Her psych room wall is littered with such hanged men pictures with names under them.  She says there's another one of her on the chair, an evil version of her, also saying she's an actress.  Well being an actress she could easily feign another darker version of herself, any mental illness aside.  As Scully also experiences her darker version, later the good Judy tells her the nurses give her pills and they tell her they're just bread pills, but they take them too just incase.  Which stops Scully from throwing them away.

As Mulder speaks with Chucky he finds he also has hanged men pictures and Judy is his sister.  Apparently their parents hanged themselves, that was no coincidence; also showing they were behind the killings.  Dean sees himself too and rushes over to see Mulder and Scully who tells him not to panic and to go home, Mulder agreeing with her.  Scully notices her double too after they find Dean has 'lost' his head and was also killed.  But she doesn't tell Mulder.  Instead she goes to his room when she sees her double again; wanting him to hold her and they have a conversation about her getting old, wanting another child and who she would have this with.  What if Mulder met a younger model and left her, and he asks the same, before they finally 'get it on.'  Really you'd think that's all this ep was leading too and formed the basis of it, instead of the case, especially those times she turned around to see Mulder lurking there by her bed.  Ha. Scully saying she sleeps with her back to the door to keep the devil away.  SO Mulder was her devil.  The crafty devil!  Ha.

As their game hots up, Judy and Chucky that is, not Mulder and Scully, they each try to guess the other's hanged man, with Judy going for Scully and Chucky going for Mulder, accusing the other of cheating.  As Mulder's also seen his double in the bathroom mirror, where most ghosts usually show themselves, they head to their respective suspects.  With Mulder having to fight off his double, and Scully telling her double in the car that she doesn't believe she's real and is just "a manifestation of latent hostility."  Yes but whose hostility?  Chucky and Judy both end up dead by their doubles, of course and Mulder finds two hanged man pictures with 'MOM and 'DAD' written under them.  Thus they killed their parents.

Back at the motel Mulder tells Scully if she needs anything to just call and he's getting some shut eye, that being the furthest thing from her mind and as she opens the adjoining door, she finds Mulder waiting behind it! Yeah we know where that title was heading in more ways than one!  As for Mulder's 'shut eye' comment, it just opens up the conclusion that they have indeed been at this more than once and his comment about her having "more scoot in your boot" is not just a throwaway comment or an attempt at reassuring her she's not over the hill, in more ways than one!

Also Mulder is the one who hones in on Judy in the psych ward as being behind it, what led him to her.  Surely something must've pointed him in this direction.  As for Scully taking the pills to avoid the violence her double would ensue on her - what she didn't give any to Mulder and he told her about seeing his own double!  This reinforces that everything she just spoke about to him is not really what she believes and perhaps she is just being cautious in this uncertainty and improbability, but it was funny to see her going back on what she just told him to save herself, mostly. 
But there's more on the FBI being disbanded and what they'll do if they lose their jobs and the world is going to hell" as Scully says and they're the only ones who can save it.  But what will the world do without them?  Sans wheelchair or not?!

Karin Konoval plays both Judy and Chucky which gives this ep a bit of  a twist, reinforcing her line of being just an actress in real life too!  However season 7.20 Fight Club also involved twins so a bit of a harkback there in many ways particularly with the violence aspect.

Friday, 12 January 2018

The X-Files 11.2 "This" Review

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Mulder (David Duchovny) receives a communication from Langley (Dean Haglund) on his phone but he is supposed to be dead, with a cryptic message saying "if he's dead, then they know he knows, am I dead?"  Of course they don't know what that means and as they contemplate, they are attacked by three masked men.  Two are killed but one escapes.  They are then told to come out of the cabin after Scully (Gillian Anderson) reports the shootings.  They refuse to surrender and Scully thinks Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) might be able to help.  However he tells them to surrender cos he can't help them now.  They refuse and Mulder's hidden his phone in the oven, like it'll be really safe there, especially since he hasn't turned it off.  As they refuse to surrender they are attacked and the Russian man demands Mulder's phone, telling the others to kill them after it's found.  Which it is at that moment as the message comes through again.  However they manage to escape into the woods by attacking one of the soldiers and meet up with Skinner.

He tells them about the American company in Russia and that they weren't supposed to kill them, giving them money.  Skinner tells Scully he saw Langley at Arlington, just like she did.  So they head there and find the graves, but Langley's birthday is wrong.  Working out the president's birthdays or deaths, such as JFK etc they find President 33 isn't there.  So it's a clue to a location which leads Mulder to find the grave of Deep Throat.  He tells Scully he didn't know his real name and all this time the world has changed so much.  Obviously not for the better.  His real name being Robert Pakula.  Mulder notices the cross is different and then finds a barcode chip which you scan on a phone and he doesn't have his phone.  They're attacked again by the long haired man.

Heading to a cafe where they eat bran muffins, they find they need to access the X-Files but can't get to their office.  So they intercept Skinner once more and he also tells Mulder how times have changed that there was only one desk there when Scully started.  Also they don't trust him and don't need him to get them out of this, but they need his help.  He takes them to the X-Files which were digitally uploaded onto databases accessed by authorized agencies and this includes the Russians.  As Skinner says, "the X-Files belong to everyone."  However when they were reopened, control reverted back to the FBI.  Skinner making a remark about the current presidency too, which makes Mulder chuckle.  Whilst he's on the phone they access the files and find Langley isn't on there.  However there's a Scully file: spankback which holds information of a Kara Hamby (Sandrine Holt).

She lectures at a university and Mulder shows her the barcode chip and she explains about their minds being uploaded onto a computer, where they live on.  They didn't want to be separated and she gives them an algorithm to follow so they can get onto the site.  However the long haired man shoots her, before Scully shoots him.  Mulder takes the evidence with them, telling Scully "he's evidence."  At the diner he manages to work out the algorithms and has to wait for the phone to receive another message again.  Having to turn it off otherwise they'll be located.  Langely transmits again and Mulder tells him Scully's here too.  He wants them to kill the database since nothing is real there, it's all pain.

Getting to Titanpointe in Manhattan with Scully pretending Mulder is a prisoner, she manages to convince the FBI agent Colquitt (Dejan Loyola) to let her take him to the tunnels.  He wants her to replay the favour, with Mulder making a sick gesture with his finger in his mouth.  Getting to the tunnels they take the stairs and are ambushed, with Mulder being caught by the Russian (Andre Roshkov).  He takes him to see Erika Price who spins him a yarn about being told how she'd meet Mulder again and would actually want to meet him.  Telling him the programme is for good and is making headway in that direction.  They can upload a piece of his mind everytime he uses his phone.  Thus the best thing to do is not to use the phone.  He says he wants to be uploaded with Scully, but she won't like it.  He fights and escapes the Russian as Scully switches off the computers causing a fatal error.

Mulder says they should come back with help but obviously when they return there'd be nothing there.  As the try to pick up the files from the floor back home, then throw them back down, Langley communicates again and tells them to get rid of the backup and disappears as he's pursued by the longhaired man again inside the simulation.  See they don't die.  Maybe they'll manage to put Mulder and Scully into one of these so they won't either!  Okay don't know why that came to mind.

This episode written by stalwart Glen Morgan who described it as the X-Files North by Northwest episode where Mulder and Scully go on the run after learning of another conspiracy, so what's new, or not new?  You see their enemies, introduced last ep with Mr Y and (it was the next alphabetical progression after the letter X I guess!) and Ms Price (Barbara Hershey) happen to be connected to Russia (isn't everyone!) and the very same people who digitized the X-Files.  But they were Mulder's baby!!  Two files have been deleted, Langley's of course and Titanpointe, an NSA spying area.  You see, it's not spies chasing here as in North By Northwest but deeper conspiracies.

The programme doesn't guarantee immortality but as Langley realizes it's just being a slave to the machine, so to speak and is forced to use his knowledge within his brain to make breakthroughs in science just for the bigwigs.  In order to get to space, as was shown last ep.   Mulder and Scully and their 'relationship' status especially the one where Mulder retorts doesn't everyone dream about him!!  As well as Skinner: "The bureau is not in good standing to the Whitehouse these days."
Mulder: "The FBI finally found out what it's like to be looked upon a little spooky."  Yeah well, that'll be putting it mildly!!  Mulder also adding he wants to believe (with several shots of the "I want to believe" poster) that they can exist in some other dimension/afterlife.

However a bit of a damning ep which serves to show how things were simpler back then, when the show first appeared and Mulder says it at Deep Throat's grave; "he's dead because the world was so complex and dangerous back then.  Who would have thought we'd look back with nostalgia and say that was a simpler time."  Leave it to Mulder to get his usual meaningful lines.  Yeah who would have thought (and much younger too!)

Saturday, 6 January 2018

The X-Files 11.1 "My Struggle III" Review

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The return of this was anticipated by many but did it follow through on the wait and to bring it back for another season.  It could be confusing to some, let's start off with the world again, rehash some politics, the moon landings, all orchestrated by the Smoking Man (CSM) with his smoking gun you might say.  And all for what?  To get the world back as it should be, without civilzsation or order.  Random chaos; well it does appear to be heading that way in our reality, with several references to past politicians including the present one too.  All taking us back to grass roots and basics.  Thus it was no surprise that the tagline now became: "I want to Believe! I want to lie!"  Not only a measure of truth (no pun) or reality, as said, but also the story in this show.

Scully (Gillian Anderson) is taken to hospital suffering from a seizure where we last left her, apparently having suffered some fall.  However she gets flashing images through her mind and when Mulder (David Duchovny) and Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) are shown her brain scans by the attending Dr Joyet (Anjali Jay) Skinner notices a signal coming from her brain, dashes and dots, which Mulder doesn't see or get.  You'd think that's something he'd be familiar with.  Sitting with Scully she tells him to "find the Smoking Man" as he's still alive and Skinner deciphered the message as "find him."  Mulder needs to find him and also she wants to find William, believing that it's William who is actually in touch with them and he will find them. 

Mulder's followed, her vision comes true but he's not the one whose car crashes and his chase of the tail behind him leads to the house of the other smoking man, addressed as Mr Y (AC Peterson).  Spender (Chris Owen) is also targeted since he knows where William is and he contacts both Scully and Mulder at risk to his own life but he doesn't tell Scully where he is. Breaking his promise he only knows the name of the adopted family, Van der Camp.  Scully also getting into an accident due to her visions as she refuses to stay put but needs to find William.  Skinner tries to find her but instead is stopped in his car by Monica (Annabeth Gish) with CSM getting in as well, wanting Skinner to be a part of his plan.  Offering him the antidote for the virus in return for finding William. 

Agents Einstein (Lauren Ambrose) and Miller (Robbie Amell) were rather slow in not noticing the man was suspicious looking enough to have warranted a follow back to check on Scully.  Huh amateurs!  All CSM wants now is Mulder taken care of and Monica thinks he's in love with Scully and the question everyone wants to know is why now?  (Aside from fodder for more eps!)  Why the sudden need for William?  As Mulder finds Mr Y who wants CSM eliminated so they can set up space habitation for people, or rather their own plan for world domination.  Since Mulder's his son he won't see it coming.  However CSM already knows Mulder will come for him and kill him.  Mulder realizes the organization has an agenda, just to save themselves and the select few and can't entertain their notion.

Returning to the hospital where the man who was following him tries to kill Scully, Mulder saves her.  Skinner finds out that Mulder isn't William's father (here we go again) and claims he "impregnated her with science."  Well she was always into her science.  He gets into an altercation with Mulder and Skinner tells him to stay out of it.  Lots of political undertones here with the emphasis of science playing an important factor in everyday lives and Mulder being told there won't be an alien invasion.  But CSM did conduct tests on an alien and extract its alien DNA used on Scully to create a superhuman.

The X-Files now overrun (again no pun) with car chases, everyone practically featured in a car this ep and whilst that was enjoyable in earlier seasons, at least the clandestine meetings with Deep Throat or X, this just seemed to build up more exposition and more so-called mystery as the big reveal comes up with Mulder not being the father, was there ever doubt as to the paternity?  Actually take that as a rhetorical question.  Perhaps it's just another lie in this universe where the truth is spartan, to nick the name of the Spartan virus which Scully sees Mulder succumbing to and dying from.  Think I'll look forward more to the stand-alone eps than the continuing arc which isn't going to go away anytime soon.  Though apparently this is the final season Gillian Anderson will appear in.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Doctor Who Christmas Special "Twice Upon A Time" Review

                                           Image result for doctor who twice upon a time the doctors final monologue
The First Doctor (David Bradley) is attempting not to regenerate as he's not accepting he is dying.  As he wanders to the South Pole and running into Doctor Twelve (Peter Capaldi) which is pretty much where we left off in the last episode.  A Doctor Falls which is basically where Doctor Twelve signed off and this ep was his momentous goodbye to us all.  Where the fat lady sang.  The Doctor not wanting to go on and just wanting to die means something else was required for the mix, not only for the series to continue with new Doctor Thirteen, but also for Peter Capaldi to say a farewell and introduce the new Doctor.  Thus the parallels between the First Doctor not wanting to 'die' and this one, Twelve, wanting to die, to find peace.  As he asks when will he find peace?

It isn't the dilemma that faces Doctor Twelve and his decision on whether to get a new face (and body!) but rather their refusal causes a paradox thus leading to time freezing, as shown by the snowflakes still in midair.  With numerous references to the TARDIS and how it's changed, with added windows.  (Headed for another change now methinks!)

As we also jump to Ypres 1914 and a soldier, two soldiers of opposing sides, facing off with each other, fingers poised on triggers, neither one wanting to fire, but it's war this is inevitable.  The soldier  (Mark Gattis) being transported to the South Pole by an 'alien' looking, transparent being.  Stopping the Doctors in  their tracks as he asks if one of them is a Doctor?  Doctor Twelve replying, 'you've go to be joking.'  Entering the TARDIS, with the ultimate, 'it's bigger on the inside' reference. They both proceed to tick each other off.  The Doctor Twelve with his First's incarnations and outbursts and outmoded attitude and less dealing with technology, advanced that is.  Including several references to the Sonic and his sunglasses to follow, such as they being sonic and having an interface.  Browser history 'n' all.  Doctor One asking for brandy for the soldier, who can't fathom what's happening but he's not dead and right now that's all that matters. Oh and the guitar reference with Doctor Twelve trying to hide it.

As they try to escape the 'alien' they find the TARDIS is being hoisted into the ship (akin to a balloon, chain and what no laser lights or technology to beam the TARDIS in. The alien tells them it will give them a life  in exchange for the soldier as it was his moment to die and he must face it.  (A little like the two Doctors.)  Out walks Bill (Pearl Mackie) and the Doctor must examine her with his Sonic as she can't be real.  She tells him she is and she's not a Cyberman as the girl from the puddle turned up and she found her.  The First Doctor adding she must be his companion and it's good she's back since the TARDIS could do with some cleaning.  However they speak of women being glass and she says she's not, she knows women, including being with other woman, which shocks them.

The Doctors examine the 'alien' being and Doctor One says her face is distorted and if it was a computer it would be perfect.  The alien reveals others like it, they are the memories of people.  They take them, get their memories and keep them for the future. Their testimony.  He is referred to as "the Doctor of War."  Doctor Twelve thinks that what they're doing is not right and he will find out who they are and he will return, as they make their escape by following his lead and jumping onto the chains holding the TARDIS.  However the TARDIS is reeled back, thus they must resort to using the First Doctor's one.  A much similar, cleaner line (and I'm not referring to his 'needs cleaning' line from earlier either.)

Doctor Twelve examines the alien again on the screen and places the sunglasses on Doctor One's head.  Doctor Twelve was pretty quick to grab the glasses once browser history was mentioned, what's he hiding then?  Ha.  He knows somewhere they can find out what the Testimony is and takes them to Villengard where someone will be happy to see him die close up.  Of course it could only be a Dalek.  The one lone Dalek, the enemy of its own 'people'.  Agree to Doctor Twelve's terms and allows him to use the interface.  As the Doctor adds it's the only one that's appeared to him naked.  Accessing the interface he finds they are people from the future, preserving memories and Bill is part of the Testimony institute.  As we see her hand change whens he pours another brandy for the soldier.  Nameless thus far for reasons that will become obvious.

The Doctor wants to take the soldier back as he must since he tells them about his family, his sons and how they must leave their father.  Thus he takes them back to the Christmas Armistice of 1914, where his life is saved.  Where he tells them to look in on his family: the LeftBridge-Stewarts, it could only be.  Doctor One saying he now understands why they called him the "Doctor of War" not cos of his war mongering or belligerency, but his humanity and saving lives.  The moment when the Doctor decides if he still wants to die, as the First Doctor accepts his fate, returns to his TARDIS for his regeneration.  Putting right what once went wrong.  Bill said this and it brought back the line from Quantum Leap of course, Sam's prime purpose with Project Quantum Leap.

Bill says she has her memories and that's all that's necessary for her to be Bill.  As Nardole (Matt Lucas) makes an appearance too, mentioning his invisible hair and now he's glass completely and not just his nipples.  Group hug for one last time this trio will be together.  Then what fans would have been waiting for and be surprised too in some ways at the appearance of Clara (Jenna Coleman in her pre Victoria appearance on ITV later) calling him "stupid old man" and the Doctor realizing his memories are back.  He will remember her and she tells him that forgetting her was "offensive."  The push that he needed to go on and not just wither and die.  Peace is not yet in his domain.

Finally stepping back into the TARDIS one last time and letting go to Doctor Thirteen.
Who stumbles into her own problems as the TARDIS burns up and she freefalls...

The climax of course was Peter's monologue as the Doctor delivered for the final time, with emotion, depth, understanding of his role and making us realize how much we will miss him, as he stepped into this role with much uncertainty and a lot of past Doctor's shoes to fill over the years from past Doctors.  But undoubtedly it was apparent he won us over overtime (no pun) and really did make Doctor Twelve one he could be proud of.  A shame that all good things must end and Peter will rank up there as my three fave modern takes on the Doctor, Doctor Eleven (Matt Smith) Twelve and Ten (David Tennent)! Goodbye Doctor Twelve you will be sorely missed!!

Doctor: "Oh, there it is. Silly old universe. The more I save it the more it needs saving. It’s a treadmill.  Yes, yes I know they’ll get it all wrong without me.  Well, I suppose….one more lifetime won’t kill anyone. Well, except me.  You wait a moment, Doctor. Let’s get it right. I’ve got a few things to say to you. Basic stuff first.  Never be cruel, never be cowardly. And never ever eat pears! Remember – hate is always foolish…and love, is always wise.
Always try, to be nice and never fail to be kind. Oh, and….and you mustn’t tell anyone your name. No-one would understand it anyway. Except…Except….children. Children can hear it. Sometimes – if their hearts are in the right place, and the stars are too. Children can hear your name.
But nobody else. Nobody else. Ever...Laugh hard. Run fast. Be kind.
Doctor – I let you go..."
Regenerates...More Shakespearean than speeches from past Doctors and yet even more poignant as more thought went into writing it!  But utterly moving and tear inducing!!

As for Rusty, Rusty Dalek was seen in 2014 Into the Dalek, where the Doctor and Clara explored Rusty and what had happened to him, whereby he was fixed by the Doctor since he had a chemical leak, effectively turning him back into an evil Dalek.  When the Doctor became a miniature and being able to explore inside him, he referred to that moment twice in this episode, telling Rusty how it's "been a long time" and "remember the good old days? When I got miniaturized and climbed around inside you?"  Rusty recalling how he taught him to hate the Daleks and as the Doctor's hatred of them was transferred to Rusty.  Rusty here saying "you are a good Dalek" to the Doctor reaffirms the earlier episode where the Doctor's desire to destroy the Daleks came into play.  With the Doctor now ending up in Villengard attempting to access the Dalek hive mind for information on the Testimony.  Rusty after all, was the first Dalek Doctor Twelve encountered and thus in this ep became the last he would also encounter, coming round full circle.

And read here to find where the references in the Doctor's final speech hail from: