The first rule of “Fight Club” is: You do not talk about “Fight Club”.
That is, unless you’re morally obligated to write a review.
As I said to another Phile friend on Twitter today, I’m not sure whether I should apologize to Chris Carter for hating it so much or demand an apology for having to watch it.
Shameless snarkiness aside, I know he must have been trying to create yet another golden moment for his baby, his show, his beautiful show that I adore. But “the best laid plans” and all that.
I’m sorry, Chris. I’m really, very sorry. You still love me?
Oh, you don’t know me? Oh, okay. Nevermind.
For all its presupposed good intentions, “Fight Club” comes across as desperately chaotic instead of energetically quirky. We have two women, and later two men, who can’t be in the same vicinity as each other without fixtures rattling and the world nearly coming to an end. You know what was a better take on this theme? “Syzygy” (3×13), also penned, though not directed, by Chris Carter.
But where “Syzygy” takes the idea of two people with a close affinity being destined to clash and slowly builds the antagonism to a crescendo, “Fight Club” starts at a ten and then pushes it up to a fifteen. I feel like I’m being yelled at for almost the full forty-three minutes.
Just like wrestler Bert Zupanic, I have a hard time keeping track of when he’s with which version of Kathy Griffin. Let me try to get one part straight, though. Mulder and Scully track down Bert Zupanic because he’s in a picture with a woman they believe is Betty Templeton. Only he doesn’t know Betty Templeton, he knows Lulu Pfeiffer. Mulder and Scully don’t know about Lulu Pfeiffer yet. They only know about Betty Templeton. That’s who they have background information on and that’s who they’re looking for. Ergo, it’s hard to believe they stumbled upon a newspaper clipping of a random guy with Lulu Pfeiffer. But I’m going to assume for the sake of the plot that somewhere the F.B.I. got a hold of a clipping of Lulu Pfeiffer that was assumed to be Betty Templeton, because it’s not like newspapers include names usually. </sarcasm>
That’s enough of me trying to follow the plot. The plot doesn’t even matter. Betty and Lulu are caricatures that merely exist to facilitate the anarchy. Over the course of the episode they change not, neither does their situation. Scully’s closing synopsis doesn’t so much as address their recovery. Let’s move on.
You would think, you would think, that the banter between Mulder and Scully would be a payoff, especially that opening scene. Instead, I find myself weary of the “Look at us, we’re Mulder and Scully of the Unstoppable UST” schtick. Yes, I know you’re not like that other F.B.I. couple, the ones who have worked together for seven years without nary a hint of romance.
Five of the past six episodes have overtly questioned the sexually ambiguous nature of Mulder and Scully’s relationship. The 1013 crew may actually be overestimating how interested we are, or our tolerance for being strung along.
Haven’t we established that they’re together? I’m glad they’re together. They should be together. Now, stop winking at me like you have a bug in your eye.
All that opening scene in the office tells me is that they’ve been doing this too long. And by “they” I mean Mulder and Scully but am afraid that in truth, “they” might have been 1013. There’s a desperation to exude superficial charm in this episode, like they were mimicking their own magic instead of creating all new magic. I don’t know what was happening behind the scenes, but what I’m seeing on the screen reeks of stress, boredom, and joylessness instead of fun and excitement. Is it getting dull to write for Mulder and Scully? If not, then instead of yet another episode about how familiar the beats of The X-Files are I’d like a better X-File, please.
Back when this aired, I remember thinking the show needed an electric shock to the heart fast or someone needed to put it out of its misery before my memories were tainted. Somebody has to do something because right now I’m thinking nostalgic thoughts about “Teso Dos Bichos” (3×18) over here.
Why would you give your future employer all your old addresses? Old jobs, yes. Old addresses, no.
I love Scully’s happy little smirk when she brings Bert Zupanic’s doppelganger into the arena.
Mulder: The interesting thing about these agents is they had worked together for seven years previously without any incident.
Scully: Seven years?
Mulder: Yeah, but they are not … romantically involved if that’s what you’re thinking.
Scully: Not even I would be so farfetched.
Scully: [On phone] Where have you been?
Mulder: [On phone] Seeing a side of Kansas City few men have the privilege to see.