Rush 7×6: Bear with us ‘cause we’re old and stupid.


The Temple of Doom.

“Rush” is another one of those Season 7 episodes the plot of which I only ever vaguely remember, never mind that I’ve seen it three or four times. Even now, thanks to the rewatch, that I’ve seen it five or six, I don’t expect that to change.

What I do remember from when this episode first aired was the nagging, gnawing worry in the pit of my stomach. We’re five episodes in and Season 7 has yet to produce an X-File that’s magic from start to finish. Are there magical moments? Of course! But they’re moments. I want to be excited for the whole episode.

But there I go complaining again when I’m actually still enjoying myself. “Rush” has nothing to be ashamed of. It’s a solid offering from writer David Amann who previously gave us “Terms of Endearment” (6×6) and “Agua Mala” (6×14). I have to say that this third script of his, though emotionally not my favorite of the three, is actually the best in terms of consistent storytelling.

“Rush” is the most recent installment in The X-Files’ Teenage Dirtbag tradition. The first and the best was, of course, “D.P.O.” (3×3). After that, things took a memorably downward turn in “Schizogeny” (5×9). But “Rush” is an upward turn in this genre’s trajectory. All the disparate elements that an X-File needs to succeed seem to be here: an unexplained phenomenon, a gruesome death and a couple of suspiciously well-dressed F.B.I. agents. Throw in an inexplicably and unreasonably ornery local law enforcement official and it’s borderline classic. There’s really nothing wrong with it, and the production is, as always, beautifully done.

If there’s a glitch in the Matrix, it’s that I have a tough time feeling either sympathetic toward or repulsed by the teenagers that make up the heart of this story. I was a teenager myself when I first watched this episode and I felt even more ambivalent about them back then. On the surface, they’re pitch perfect. Pseudo-villain Max Harden is especially well played by Scott Cooper.

But perhaps that’s the problem. These characters feel like a paint-by-numbers rendition of teenage angst. We have the bad boy who rebels because he’s bitter that the authority figures in his life overlook his potential. On his arm we have the gum-cracking, eye-rolling Moll. And then, of course, there’s the innocent new kid eager to be corrupted. If these roles had been something more than stereotypical I think it would have elevated this episode. As it stands, their characters service the job but nothing more.

The most interesting part of “Rush” isn’t the characters or The Matrix style special effects, it’s the focus on how painfully slow the progress of time is for the young. I was just reminiscing with someone recently about how wonderfully long summers used to drag. Remember when time moved slowly? When it took forever to get from your birthday to Christmas and back again? Now I wish Father Time would get back to hobbling and give up jogging.

I say all that to say that I wish “Rush” had spent a little more time focusing on why these kids were addicted to speed, how life at a normal pace is unbearable as it is when you’re that age, let alone after having a taste of the fast life.

Verdict:

Good. Solid. Standard. Those are the adjectives that come to mind when I think of “Rush”. I know that’s not very exciting sounding, but “Rush” isn’t a particularly exciting episode. Compared to its fellow teenage angst themed episodes, it’s much more coherent than “Schizogeny” but markedly less memorable than “D.P.O.” Don’t let it’s name fool you.

And this is the problem I remember having with Season 7 when it first aired and that I’m starting to have again. We’ve had a few solid episodes all in a row, but nothing that inspires my imagination to keep thinking about it afterward. I know I’m about to sound like a petulant child, but where’s the magic? “D.P.O” probably isn’t as good of an episode technically. But you’d be hard pressed to forget the way Jack Black’s character dies in that one. Images… emotional images like that stick with you and elevate a meat and potatoes, typical sort of episode into something worth watching again and again.

I’m not complaining… per se. Okay, maybe this is a complaint, which makes me feel bad because on the surface, The X-Files is doing everything right. Just please don’t make me start belting out “The Thrill is Gone.”

B+… again.

Lingering Questions:

Here’s something that puzzles me. When we get a glimpse of what these supercharged teenagers see when they’re “high”, the world seems to be moving in a painfully slow fashion. If anything, wouldn’t their super speed only serve to make the already slow world they move in seem slower than ever? You would think their ability would heighten the sense that time is running like molasses, not alleviate it. But the ending where a recovering Tony Reed watches the clock hand inch forward, doomed to spend the rest of his life slow-poking around now that the cave is gone, would indicate otherwise.

Lingering Comments:

I was also listening to The Doors at that age.

Is it just me or is Scully looking more and more uninterested with each passing episode?

For some reason I remembered that cute, flirty moment where Scully plays with Mulder’s tie as a lot cuter and flirtier than it actually is.

My new favorite moment of this episode is right at the end when Mulder says, “What if we’re too old?” to Scully and she makes the most pathetic face.

If Hardin had all those fractures and injuries he would have to have been treated long before the events of this episode and someone would already have been suspicious as to what he was up to or not. If he hadn’t, fast or slow, he wouldn’t have been able to move. Period.

The speed effect that’s used here looks an awful lot like the effect they’ll later use in “Requiem” (7×22).

Man, those The Matrix style special effects were ubiquitous a decade ago.

This is one of those rare cases where Mulder’s initial theory is completely off. I love it when that happens.

It seems that the character of Chuck Burke was missed. This marks his second appearance in six episodes after having been AWOL for a good long while.

Best Quotes:

Max Harden: [To Scully] You must have been a Betty back in the day. [He leaves]
Scully: A “Betty”?
Mulder: Back in the day.

——————–

Scully: Well, you and I were both in there and nothing happened to us. We’re still slow-poking around.
Mulder: What if we’re too old?
Scully: [Sad Face]

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24 responses to “Rush 7×6: Bear with us ‘cause we’re old and stupid.

  1. I just watched this episode about a week ago and I completely agree about the effect of the ray of light that gives the teens the rush is the same effect that the characters encounter in Requiem. It would have been cool if there had been a tie-in somewhere.
    I think the only thing decent about this episode is the amount of flirtation between M & S. The flirt has definitely ramped up and I feel like Scully is becoming bolder with it and Mulder digs it!!!

    • They’ve definitely stepped up their game this season, but for some reason, I remember it being more blatant in Rush and I found it wasn’t as dramatic a difference to their usual routine as I had thought. Maybe it blew up in my mind since I watch it so little? Scully’s definitely more of an… er… active participant in the flirtation now, though.

  2. There’s nothing particularly wrong with Rush, I agree, but I think the biggest problem with it, and a large number of season seven episodes is that they’re by the numbers. They’re good, solid television thrillers, but coming off the back of season six and all that creativity and quirkiness, it’s hard to feel that the show was just going through the motions a little at this stage.

    • I haven’t been able to name *exactly* what it is about Season 7 that disappoints me, but it disappoints me. Maybe it’s exactly what you describe. There are all these great ideas that should work as stories… theoretically… and then they sort of break into a trot rather than a sprint right before the finish line.

  3. I just stumbled across this site while contemplating my own rewatch. The basement office has been my home since I was five, appropriate or not, and since then I’ve experienced a resurgence in my love for it on several occasions. However, it was only after a professor of mine asked whether the series stood the test of time that I seriously started thinking about it. My knee jerk reaction was to answer, “no” in a misguided attempt to protect it from any and all criticism. But then it struck me that perhaps it doesn’t need my protection…Your analyzation of the episodes would seem to bear this hope out, and I cannot wait to go back to the beginning.
    When I was young, I never understood the mythology arc, I never caught the larger themes, and I never truly appreciated the progression of Mulder and Scully’s relationship! Now, you’ve made me realize there’s much more here than I remembered and I’m so excited to watch them come to life again (though they never really died). Thank you! And I look forward to what you have to say next.

    P.S. I LOVED your write up on Milagro. I’m so happy that I know Dana Scully too!

  4. I like season 7 because you can see their relationship in most epis and that is worth it.

  5. ZOMG! An X-Files fan blog from the current year! Thank God, cause I miss the fandom. Like all your fans, I love the detail you lavish on these dear old episodes. You still updating?

  6. You need to finish this blog! This lurker is catching up! :)

  7. Agreed. I am half way through season 6 and getting worried that I might have to watch episodes without your commentary!

  8. I say the epi is worth it because of the establishing relationship of Mulder and Scully.

  9. You haven’t updated in a year! I am le sad. Hope all is well!

  10. I’m updated.

  11. Oh Salome, where have you been? Please be well.

  12. I’m with Mincal- hope you’re OK. On a side and selfish note, I’m working my way up and up- just finished En Ami and all I can think is -Gddamn! I wish I knew what Salome had to say about this! Peace x

  13. Boo! Come home…! Series 8 and no Salome to verbalise how I feel!x

  14. And it has happened. I watched Hungry last night and watched Millennium a few weekends ago when I was in a shipper mood. So Rush is on the docket for tonite, and I after I read your review, I won’t have anyone to watch the rest of XF with anymore :(.
    My best friend and old Phile devotee chuckled when I told her I was re-watching and said she “kind of” remembered Diana Fowley. *scoff*
    My mom never approved of my obsession and said DD was boring and “not a good actor.” She just doesn’t get it and clearly will never appreciate his “panic face” the way I do :|
    When I told my co-workers over lunch that I was watching XF on Hulu and used to “watch, tape and immediately rewatch every ep” when I was young they responded with a collective “YOU DID NOT!” Clearly, none of them would find how much they sounded just like Mulder in Bad Blood as hilarious as I did.
    I think my cat likes it. Maybe.

    Sigh…. COME BACK SALOME!

  15. I agree with all the others, Salome, where the hell are you ?! *sad face*

    This blog needs closure at least !

  16. where are you?????????????????

  17. I really hope you are OK.

  18. Hey girl, I hope you’re alright. If things are rough, remember that people you don’t even know appreciate what you do :)

  19. I’ve enjoyed reading this blog and feel really disappointed that the reviews end so abruptly here. I hope the author is okay. I for one would love to see a return of the reviews to the end of the show, so if the author of the blog happens to read this please come back.

  20. It’s so heartbreaking that the author of this blog has disappeared. If I wasn’t worried, I’d find it amusing that she appears to have become an XFile. I hope she returns one day, if not to continue writing her fantastic reviews/recaps, then to let folks know if she’s ok.

    If you read this one day, thank you for making my rewatching of the series so enjoyable. I found your blog when the 20 year reunion events heated up and prompted me to fire up the series again. The way you captured the series in your musings have made a show I adore even more memorable and beloved for me. I hope all is well in your world and thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  21. Bad episode. Good review.

    And I’m with the others, where are you? Perhaps the truth is out there.

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