I spent the Memorial Day Weekend visiting a friend who has been kind enough to offer me refuge in times of turmoil on more than one occasion. He's a terrific guy who I have deliberately addicted to my infamous Coconut Cranberry Muffins, so I can visit as often as I like. And not only does he not mind if I bring my knitting along to work on obsessively, he's even cool with me bringing my X-Files. That's a friend.
As I started to burn through the first four episodes of season two whilst curled up in a papasan chair in my friend's basement, it hit me rather surprisingly that I have never seen ANY of these episodes. Wow. Three of them I knew the plotline already, but I can't recall ever actually having seen these shows. Huh.
Little Green Men is the first episode I've watched that caused me to speculate whether it really even should have been made. It's not quite as worthless as "Space" from season one, but only because it isn't an obvious attempt to cheesily cash in on current events. Instead, we get to see Mulder and Scully risk life and limb in the jungles of Puerto Rico, and be very implausibly shot at by American Special Forces troops, for no better reason that to support a ponderous episode where Mulder questions whether or not he's really seeing little green men, or simply just wants to really badly. It's not a bad premise for an episode to be built around, but the execution was really poor.
Host is without question the most ridiculous X-Files episode ever made. It is so over the top, that they actually make fun of it in future episodes. In it, sewer workers in New Jersey stalk and are stalked by a creature that lives in the toxic waste below, and attacks people at will. Turns out it is a mutant monster with many human characteristics, but it is essentially... a flatworm. A fluke. A big, blood-sucking wormlike thing that looks suspiciously like the Creature from the Black Lagoon tricked out with worm-resembling special effects makeup. I am not kidding. You see, this thing was created accidentally onboard a Russian freighter that was illegally dumping radioactive waste from... Chernobyl. So, apparently, Chernobyl radiation is so super-bitching that it can take the human genetic matter found in sewage, fuse it onto an innocuous flatworm, cause it to evolve through thousands of generations in the course of a few days or weeks, resulting in Flukeman who escapes from the Russian ship, and goes to live in the cozy New Jersey sewers, presumably because that most resembles the toxic soup from which it was born. In the end, they actually cut the fleeing Flukeman in half, for no other reason than they want to leave us with the realization that when you cut a flatworm in half, they regenerate their missing parts, and you end up with TWO fully-functional flukes. THAT is what I'm talking about! :)
Blood is also more fantasy-based than a good X-Files episode should be. I think the writers kind of went insane for a brief period of time, because they are currently pushing my ability to suspend disbelief quite a bit further than it should be pushed, even for a diehard fan like me. In this show, people in a friendly little town are murdering each other, then killing themselves, for no apparent reason. It would seem they are going berserk because... wait for it... their appliances are telling them to kill. Anything with a digital readout or a TV-like screen becomes capable of sending blood-thirsty messages of mayhem to innocent citizens who then become rampaging mass murderers. Wow. Can you imagine your WATCH telling you to bludgeon your boss to death? Our intrepid agents discover that local agriculturalists have been spraying crops with suspect chemicals that induce deep states of paranoia in those exposed. But that in itself is not enough to account for all the murderous wigging out that transpires. In the closing moments of the episode, Mulder receives a message from his phone readout that says "All Done. Bye bye.", implying that the text exhortations of microwave ovens, elevator readouts, automobile clocks and business machinery may have been part of a controlled experiment that is now concluded. Or is it?
I had trouble connecting with Sleepless because at this point I was really irritated by the character of the episodes that had preceded it. In it's defense, this episode was actually pretty well-done, and had some terrific performances by its cast of guest stars. It also does a fairly decent job of executing the moralistic gambit invented by Star Trek, where you make a show that is ostensibly about ONE thing, but it is REALLY about something else. In this show, sleeplessness is a metaphor for guilt, and the moral being preached is that when you play at being god, the consequences are disastrous and far-reaching. A platoon of soldiers in Vietnam is surgically altered so they never have to sleep. Sounds good for the military, right? Until these super soldiers decide they don't need to follow orders any more, and go their merry way, leaving a string of murdered civilians in their wake. Cut to 24 years later when surviving members of this project are being killed off one by one by the only member of the platoon whose conscience has survived. Oh, and he has developed amazing psychic powers also. See what I mean about far-reaching consequences? All in all, I probably would have enjoyed this one more without the taste of the first three in my mouth.
Well, Flukeman may have been really awful, but it still kind of rocks. I think it is becoming one of those "so bad it is good" things in my mind. Go, Flukeman.