Providence 9×11: You don’t need to put yourself through this.


Providence198

Whew. I’m so relieved to be able to say I like this more than “Provenance” (9×10).

When we last spoke, The X-Files had bitten off more than it could chew in the storytelling department. Does “Providence” aid in digestion? Well, let’s sum up the mythology as stands as of the end of this episode, shall we?

Once upon a time, there was a man with the improbable name of Josepho. Josepho fought in the Gulf War and led a squad of soldiers on a failed mission. All of his men died. Josepho himself was about to die, when he saw men, like angels, throw themselves into what should have been certain death and survive. On that day, Josepho realized that he’d been given a vision, a vision of otherworldly beings come to deliver mankind. And you know he had a vision because he cried blood. Yes.

Josepho took his message to the people and started his own UFO cult. The cult worshipped the aliens as gods who would eventually return to earth to save humankind. Josepho himself heard from “God” on the regular.

Then one day, Josepho learned of a prophecy, either from “God” directly or he read it on one of the Holy-Special-Sacred Spacecraft. The prophecy was similar to the Navajo one alluded to by Albert Hosteen in “The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati” (7×2), because as you know, Native Americans are automatically closer to “God” than the white man and with indigenous peoples lie the secrets of life.

Albert Hosteen: I was hoping to see your partner.
Scully: He’s missing.
Albert Hosteen: You must save him.
Scully: He’s very ill.
Albert Hosteen: You must find him before something happens not only for his sake, for the sake of us all.

Scully: [Regarding Native American Beliefs and Practices, Chapter 3 – “The Anasazi – An Entire Native American Indian Culture Vanishes Without a Trace – History as Myth and end of the world symbolism. Apocalypse and The Sixth Extinction.”] It’s all here, sir. A foretelling of mass extinction, a myth about a man who can save us from it. That’s why they took Mulder. They think that his illness is a gift, protection against the coming plague.

The prophecy said that there would be a messiah. (FYI: Mulder wasn’t it.) It also said, apparently, that the messiah would bear a strong resemblance to Darth Vader because he could play on either side of the force. If the messiah and his human father lived, the messiah would lead humanity against colonization. If the messiah lived and his father died, he would lead the Super Soldiers in the colonization charge. Ergo, from the point of view of the UFO cult and the Super Soldiers who both want colonization, the father had to die so that the messiah could lead them. Or, if the father remained alive, then the messiah would have to be killed so as to kill the resistance.

And so, Josepho and his people made it their business to try to kill Fox Mulder because, as I’m sure you’ve figured out by now, William is the “Jesus” of our little Space Soap Opera. The F.B.I. found out about these threats against a former one of their own and sent Agent Comer in undercover to find out what the cult was up to and stop them. Comer heard about the prophecy and witnessed enough to believe it. He also heard that Fox Mulder was dead.

Then, like any sane human being who wants to prevent the end of the world, he made it his personal mission to kill William. After all, if Mulder is dead and William lives then colonization will most certainly take place. However, Comer didn’t count on Scully who went all Psycho Mama Bear on Comer, put brotherman in the hospital, and saved her baby.

If you’re keeping track, this now means humankind is in danger since Mulder is dead and William is alive.

Scully only temporarily saved her baby, however, as he’s then kidnapped by Overcoat Woman. The inventively named Overcoat Woman brought him back to the UFO cult and they just held him and stuff.

Again, if you’re keeping track, she didn’t kill him because they believed Mulder had already been killed and they wanted William alive to lead colonization.

Josepho, who I now pronounce the villain of our tale, called Scully and dangled William’s life in front of her. He and Scully met and he revealed that Mulder was likely still alive, but he wanted Scully to rectify that.

Josepho: If you want to see the boy, you’ll bring me the head of Fox Mulder.
{Editor’s Note: Snort.}

Scully had no intention of doing that so she and Reyes secretly, and rather easily, followed Josepho back to his lair. They arrived right as the Holy-Special-Sacred Spacecraft Josepho had been trying to open activated at William’s cry. Unfortunately for Josepho, the Holy-Special-Sacred Spacecraft liked William but didn’t feel the same about his new friends. “God” killed the cult, left William alive for Scully to find, and flew off into the night.

Is that all vaguely clear? Is the mythology coming together for you?

Now let this sink in: You can disregard almost everything you learned in “Essence” (8×20) and “Existence” (8×21). The Super Soldiers never wanted to kill Baby “Jesus” William. Quite the contrary, they wanted to protect him. Oh, and you can likely discount “Nothing Important Happened Today” (9×1), “Nothing Important Happened Today II” (9×2) and “Trust No 1” (9×8) because while there may be many Super Soldier babies, there is only one messiah. William’s conception was different than the others.

Mulder: [Voiceover] How did this child come to be? What set its heart beating? Is it the product of a union? Or the work of a divine hand? An answered prayer? A true miracle? Or is it a wonder of technology, the intervention of other hands? – “Essence”

Scully: I need to know if it’s really God I have to thank. – “Provenance”

Skinner: [To Krycek] You wanted to destroy her child.
Krycek: I wanted to destroy the truth before they learn the truth.
Mulder: That there’s a God… a higher power. – “Essence”

This plot is crazy, so let’s have a rundown, shall we?

Where did William come from?

Mulder and Scully had sex. And God.

So basically he’s just like everyone else?

Yes. Only with superpowers.

Why did God create William?

Probably because God loves humanity and these aliens attempting colonization are messing with His children. He gave mankind William to save them.

I thought Scully was infertile?

She was. But God gave her back her fertility because… William. Quite likely, the contact she made with the spaceship in “Biogenesis” (6×22) brought her womb back to life. Those ships bring everything else back to life, so why not?

The spaceship made her pregnant?

Sorta kinda. It’s like the virgin birth only it’s nothing like the virgin birth.

And that’s why William has superpowers?

It was an alien influence, yes.

I thought the spaceship belonged to the colonists?

At this point, not much is clear. At no point will it be.

Why did Krycek want to kill William?

Because Mulder was dead/dying in “Deadalive” (8×15) and he wanted to kill William so that he wouldn’t live to usher in colonization.

Then what was Krycek up to in “Essence”?

He really wanted William to live now that Mulder was okay. He was likely telling Mulder the truth, for once. He was on the side of the resistance and was double crossing the Super Soldiers by leading them away from William.

Then what was Krycek up to in “Existence”?

He had likely switched sides yet again, had given up on keeping William safe and had joined up with the Super Soldiers. That’s the only reason he’d be willing to kill Mulder with William still alive out there somewhere.

So the Super Soldiers didn’t kill William at the end of “Existence” because…

Because they want him to lead them.

So then, the Super Soldiers didn’t kill Mulder at the end of “Existence” because…

I don’t know. You got me.

Whew! Okay. There you have it, folks. The “Provenance” of William is that “God” healed Scully and allowed her to conceive for the purposes of “Providence.” He’s living proof that God is at work. It only took nearly three years to make any sense out of what I saw as far back as “Biogenesis.” Strike that, it took me seventeen years. But I was really paying attention this time.

Dear X-Files, I love you. But let’s leave the Space Saga to Star Wars, shall we?

Verdict:

“The Truth” was out there, but it’s been buried under cryptic revelations and misleads for so long that, quite frankly, I care one minced oath less than Rhett Butler.

Even if I did care, the whole thing is hard to believe even within the context of the series. William as the new son of God? Does that seem like too much to you? It is. It’s too much. Mulder and Scully were just a guy and a gal solving cases, fighting spooks and beasties, and searching for the truth in life. Now Mulder and his miracle son are the subject of ancient prophecy and destined to change the fate of the cosmos.

One thing I must say, Chris Carter is often accused of having made it up as he went along, but I finally see in this episode that he was planning for the eventuality of these developments as far back as the end of Season 6. There is a plan here. But it’s much harder to follow than the mythology of the early years and even harder to swallow. It’s too crazy, too grand, too epic and too mythic.

Still, it was a crazy, grand, epic, mythic ride while it lasted.

B-

Thoughts:

Who *is* speaking to Josepho?

Where does this cult get the money or the technology for these digs? How did they find what the rest of the world hasn’t? Through whoever or whatever is speaking to Josepho?

The verse Josepho quotes is not from Ephesians, it’s from Ezekiel. We know Scully went to Sunday School so I’m not sure how she got that pop quiz wrong. I realize both books share an “E” but they’re otherwise separated by about three hundred pages and five hundred years. All that effort to find a relatively unknown Bible verse to suit the story and no one checked the reference?

All three of the Lone Gunmen wouldn’t ID the suspect in the same place at the same time.

If they had a tracker on the baby why didn’t Scully try that immediately?

I’m not buying Scully as Jack Bauer. A few seasons ago she was much more believable when she threatened somebody.

If Scully was given her fertility back in “Amor Fati” then the doctors’ reports were most certainly wrong in “Per Manum” (8×8) OR the events of that episode took place before “Amor Fati” in Season 6, which would certainly make more sense in terms of where Mulder and Scully appear to be in their relationship. Raspychick even suggested that in the comments for “Per Manum”.

Scully runs in the darkness yelling for William as she approaches the cult’s base. Shhh, woman! They’ll know you’re coming!

And it’s official: Reyes is a sidekick.

Doggett’s experience in the hospital also underscores the message that there’s a God, Providence, working behind all of this.

Josepho worships the aliens as God, but you see where that left him. Fried, died and laid to the side.

So Toothpick Man, the new Cigarette-Smoking Man, is an alien replicant/Super Soldier. That reveal isn’t as shocking or interesting as it should be.

When did God come to Jesus on a mountain top? I know Satan came to Jesus in the wilderness…

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31 responses to “Providence 9×11: You don’t need to put yourself through this.

  1. It’s nice to know that Chris Carter really did have a plan after all (I always had faith that he did), but I think you’ve pretty much demonstrated that he’s not a very good writer. There’s something to be said for ambiguity, but there’s a point at which it simply becomes opacity.

    Two more things. If God made Scully fertile again, why did he do it through alien technology? Or was he just trying to rub it in the aliens’ noses, using their tool for his gain? And this is like total OT God here, protecting his tribe against all others. Did God make the aliens? Does he love them? If not, do the aliens have their own God? Is there a pantheon of Gods in the Universe? So the Christian interpretation of God is no longer accurate? Or was it only ever meaningful within the perspective of Christians (or mankind, if you prefer)?

    These are all rhetorical questions. I’m not sure I’d want them answered even if they could be. I had faith in this show’s mythology up to and including Fight The Future – and it was this show’s mythology that turned me into a die-hard fan. But the mythology after that point? I can’t be bothered anymore…

    (On that note, I greatly respect your commendable efforts in making sense of all of this. You’ve more than proven the depth of your fandom here. Bravo).

    • There’s something to be said for ambiguity, but there’s a point at which it simply becomes opacity.

      This is a perfect statement.

      I have no idea whether there is a God over everything in this XF universe, or whether an alien race themselves are God, or if that alien race is the same alien race that is running colonization, or if the God race is the race made up of the Alien Rebels introduced in Season 5. I suspect it’s the first and that there are at least 2 distinct alien races: the colonists and the bounty hunters. Possibly three: the colonists, the bounty hunters, and the rebels.

      The conversation between Scully and Reyes would seem to render the human concept of God moot. But the plot then contradicts them at least to an extent. Not to mention, we have Albert Hosteen leading Scully in prayer in “Biogenesis” and Monica praying in a chapel for Doggett here. All of their prayers were answered. Doggett himself heard a mysterious voice telling him what Scully needed to know.

      Honestly, it’s so much to keep track of that I lose interest just thinking about it. I think the mythology went on too long and went too far. After a while, they were bound to lose fans.

      You’ve more than proven the depth of your fandom here.

      You mean I’ve proven the depth of my insanity.

    • “It’s nice to know that Chris Carter really did have a plan after all (I always had faith that he did), but I think you’ve pretty much demonstrated that he’s not a very good writer.”

      He didn’t have a plan. Please, please stop giving credit where credit is not due. Credit isn’t competence. CC has coasted all these years as some creating/writing genius when it just isn’t the case and all the evidence (to include the above review) proves it. His only success is the X Files and that is because the right people (casting, writers i.e. Gordon/Ganza, Morgan/Wong, Morgan, then VG) were in the right place to support the X Files in its infancy. Every project, to include most recently his Amazon pilot, has flopped.

      The Lone Gunmen series was fun at times… because VG is the man.

      Millennium was initially interesting… when Morgan and Wong took charge and Darin Morgan wrote the most *amazing* episode, “Somehow the Devil Got Behind Me”. (Do yourself a favor and watch this, it is Clyde Bruckman-level amazing.)

      Harsh Realm?

      The After?

      Chris Carter is a good Hollywood P.R. guy. Over the years, he continuously horned in on DD/GA interviews (who can forget Rolling Stone???) and ensured his name was all over everything. How many show runners’ names were involved in so many press pieces? Aaron Sorkin has an actual track record.

      Most recently, at the NYC Paley 20th anniversary, when asked about the story lines DD stated that they were “making it up as they went along”. DD answered honestly. The myriad of inconsistencies Salome has pointed out in this single review is proof (in addition to DD’s statement) that there was no plan and it was all made up as they went along. CC isn’t a very good writer because he didn’t plan anything and his scripts were highly inconsistent; yes, once in a while he came through with a good script (Irresistible) but cosmically speaking he lucked out the moment Randy Stone became involved as the pilot’s casting director. From XF’s wiki page: “While the casting director of the show was very positive toward him (my edit: DD), Carter thought that he was not particularly intelligent.”

      We’re all here and now because Randy Snow had the sense to cast the magic. Chris Carter was only an occasionally good writer, hence the dren of this season and his previous effort’s that weren’t supported by great writers and the current luke warm reviews of the 2016 pilot.

      I would donate a full head of hair and consider donating a kidney if Vince Gilligan could be Show Runner and King of #XFilesRevival. Show Runner and King should be his official title and legal name. Seriously.

      To varying degrees, Morgan and Wong, Gordon and Ganza, Darin Morgan, Vince Gilligan and “John Gilntiz” were the skeleton that supported the series. They weren’t all consistent hits but look at their involvement and marry it against the X Files’ timeline and you’ll see the pattern. Vince was a faithful soldier and as a fan turned writer, stuck it out until the ugly end.

      • Salome just retweeted a link to an article (http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/features/x-files-became-a-list-852398) that has a better Randy Stone quote:

        DUCHOVNY I had conflicting feelings signing away what I thought would be three to five years of my life to a show about aliens on a network that had kind of crappy programming. But [pilot casting director] Randy Stone, who’s since passed, said, “I know you have a lot of opportunities.” I didn’t. “I’ve only told this to one other actor, one other time — but if you do this show, you’ll never have to work again.” He was talking about Woody Harrelson for Cheers.

        ANDERSON Once they decided on David, they brought in a few actresses to read with him — women I had been used to auditioning with for musical theater in New York, like Cynthia Nixon and Jill Hennessy.

        • ANDERSON I was secretly told that I got the job that day by Randy. He had been holding out for me and naughtily told me before I left. Female characters like that didn’t exist back then on television.

          God bless Randy Stone, the biggest unsung hero of X Files cannon!!!

          • GLEN MORGAN (writer) Jim Wong and I were supposed to do Moon Over Miami, a romantic comedy that was going to be the new Moonlighting. Our agent said, “Peter Roth is demanding that you watch this other pilot.”

            JIM WONG (writer) I remember being in the room with Howard and Alex, and we were like, “Does everything have to do with aliens?” At first Chris said yes, but then he changed his mind. [Episode 3,] “Squeeze,” the first monster-of-the-week episode, gave us permission to do anything paranormal.

            Thank you Jim for asking that question!!

        • This was a great article. Also THR 20th anniversary reunion of TXF writer’s room. The picture is enough to make you cry.

      • Okay, doll, let’s see…

        He didn’t have a plan.

        In terms of later seasons, he may not have had detailed map, but he clearly had a general idea of the different places he could or would go with the mythology plot. In the early seasons, they definitely made everything up as they went along. But it’s well known that during the Christmas break for Season 4, Carter and Spotnitz mapped out the next couple of years worth of mythology. It sounds like there were times that the long term plan was more focused than others.

        Part of the problem post-Season 6 was the uncertain nature of the show’s renewal. It forced them to hedge their decisions at the end of Seasons 7 & 8 instead of taking a firm direction. And then some of the story choices made were downright unsuccessful. Some downright irritating.

        Please, please stop giving credit where credit is not due.

        But credit must be given. Not just for the basic creative idea that has brought us all here, but for the several fan favorite MOTW that he wrote solo, plus the years’ worth of mythology episodes that hooked the public that he and Spotnitz almost single-handedly co-wrote together.

        All writers have weaknesses… except for Mark Twain and Jane Austen… but I don’t think the fact that the show’s weaknesses eventually became much more pronounced means that Chris doesn’t deserve the accolades he gets for what he did right for so long. Because he did do a lot right. And his incredibly talented team wrote based on his vision.

        His only success is the X Files and that is because the right people (casting, writers i.e. Gordon/Ganza, Morgan/Wong, Morgan, then VG) were in the right place to support the X Files in its infancy. Every project, to include most recently his Amazon pilot, has flopped.

        True, true. The X-Files was a group effort and no less than a miracle. All the moving pieces had to be in the right place at the right time to create a phenomenon and they were. It’s sad Chris hasn’t had more success since the show, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t talented. Van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime.

        I’m as much a Gilligan groupie as the next girl, but I suspect even he wouldn’t take that title. He wouldn’t have been able to write us the episodes he wrote us if Carter hadn’t come first, made him a fan through his own work, then given him a job.

        Season 9 has me frustrated as all get out, but I’m still full of gratitude. I wouldn’t be so frustrated if Chris Carter & Co. hadn’t already made something I love so much!

        Whew!

        But I still say he’d do best to stay off of Twitter.

      • I tend to agree with you here…not surprising in light of our similar feelings about the revival.

        While I do agree there were remnants of a plan, I can say today after watching Providence for the first time that it was a ramshackle one. The inconsistencies wrapped in vague points leave me frustrated. There isn’t A mythology..there are several it seems in which CC never draws a line to separate them.

        I think CC thought up the William “Jesus” storyline because he actually was that desperate and/or that amazed at his own ability to think he could pull it off.

  2. Bring me the head of Fox Mulder! I laughed out loud alone in my basement for a solid 5 minutes when I heard this line. Just to clarify, Scully now is pretty sure Mulder is alive, right? I guess they aren’t emailing anymore or else she could have just asked him.

    William is a key alright, a key to starting up a spaceship! If only Mulder knew! God would surely not turn Mulder into bacon and grant him a coveted ride in this spaceship…completely free of probes, drills, saws, and other alien torture devices. One day when William is old enough to drive, I guess.

    Thank you for (again) summarizing this insane plot because I (again) was super confused. It’s actually more crazy that I thought. Scully giving birth to the next Messiah? So this was all part of God’s plan from the start? Scully and Mulder were born for this express purpose? That’s deep, man. It really gets you thinking about the meaning of life and why the hell I’m still watching this show.

    I just wish they didn’t bring God into this and that William wasn’t special and magical and the next messiah. There is a part of me that wishes that the bow tied around this whole story of the x-files was more subtle and simple. I wish that Mulder would have realized that in all his searching for his sister and trying to fix his broken family, he had met the one woman who would be the key to giving him a family again. I wish, too, that Scully and Mulder had a girl because it would have brought things a bit more full circle (though I wouldn’t want her to be named Samantha…that would be too much). We basically had that ending in season 8, for the most part. I love the aliens and colonization, but that’s not the heart of the story, especially for Mulder and Scully. They just needed to reel it back in. But when they made William so much more, it really takes away from everything. Mulder and Scully were just two people fighting the good fight and found what was most important in life along the way. They were not the keystone to the second coming. And, wait, is William only special because of his powers? Or is it just him as a person that can bring a stop to the aliens? I guess we can get to that when we hit “William”. My head hurts from thinking about all this.

    Do you REALLY think CC had this much planned? There’s been so much back pedaling that I don’t think anyone ever sat down and ironed out the specifics. If they did, someone would have put a stop to it.

    • Scully and Mulder were born for this express purpose? That’s deep, man. It really gets you thinking about the meaning of life and why the hell I’m still watching this show.

      PRETTY MUCH.

      I just wish they didn’t bring God into this and that William wasn’t special and magical and the next messiah.

      Don’t we all?? I thought the plot surrounding William was annoying before he was born. This baby messiah stuff took the cake.

      They just needed to reel it back in.

      Preach, child.

      Mulder and Scully were just two people fighting the good fight and found what was most important in life along the way. They were not the keystone to the second coming.

      Exactly right. I think were The X-Files originally stood, as an extra long allegory, made for interesting television. But to suddenly turn two regular people into the new Mary and Joseph… That calls for a whole other kind of suspension of disbelief. It’s not like these religious motifs aren’t used regularly in books and entertainment, but they have to be used really, really well and/or subtly enough not to come off as pretentious or overblown.

      Do you REALLY think CC had this much planned? There’s been so much back pedaling that I don’t think anyone ever sat down and ironed out the specifics.

      I don’t think they had all the specifics laid out. Even J.K. Rowling didn’t do that.

      But I’ve been reading interviews with Carter & Spotnitz circa Seasons 8 & 9 and they confirm that they had been considering making Scully pregnant and creating concern that the baby was alien for years. When you think about it, that explains hints dropped as far back as Seasons 3 & 4. And as of the end of Season 7 when they didn’t know the future of the series, what they would do is come up with a plan that they could take in a couple of different directions if they wanted to, but they considered those directions. That’s also what they did at the end of 8. So they plotted where the plot could go, but kept their options open.

      Admittedly, I don’t think they thought William all the way through. Or, I should say, I think they created a dramatic hole that they couldn’t climb out of without eliminating the plot. But that’s not a new issue when you think about it. Scully’s cancer goes away right at the crisis point in Season 5 with no clear reason why. It’s just that Scully’s cancer arc propelled the characters and the mythology forward.

      I think a similar thing happened with colonization. It was talked about and talked about, but even after the Syndicate went, it never came. Even setting a date at the end of the series – CC didn’t factor in what would happen if he had a conflict with Fox, interest waned, and the series of movies planned for never got made. Now, the revival looks set to mostly ignore the threat that’s passed. We’ll see how or if they resolve it.

      And the constant back pedaling they mistook for keeping us guessing and generating interest. The back pedaling backfired.

  3. Salome,

    I want to find you, hug you and kiss you for doing this!! I’ve been wanting to go into the show with an eye toward these story/plot lines and see just how well they all grow and evolve together…

    “There is a plan here. But it’s much harder to follow than the mythology of the early years and even harder to swallow. It’s too crazy, too grand, too epic and too mythic.” EXACTLY!

    It is obvious that there was a ‘plan’ (so to speak), but I agree with you wholeheartedly that they just drew it out WAY too long. Plus adding in the ridiculous idea of William the Messiah. I actually would have been fine with the whole ‘the chip in her neck restarted Scully’s fertility’ which then resulted in William being conceived and born but then they HAD to add in the ‘he’s the savior of the world’ thing *eye roll*

    “You mean I’ve proven the depth of my insanity.” Right there with you, girl. It’s a REALLY fun place to be insane though 😀

    (ps – this is Amy Tyler, just finally broke down and got a wordpress id and site and am actually going to try and start keeping track of the plot lines and timelines for TXF cause we all have deep, deep depths of insanity!)

    • Hey, girl! I recognized the picture. LOL. The insanity is real.

      There were some serious miscalculations made as far as what the public wanted to see. I imagine that after the original mythology came more or less to a conclusion, they figured they had to go bigger, badder and better. Instead of a cadre of evil men, now Mulder and Scully must face a squad of evil alien replicants. Instead of man being taken over by an alien race, man comes from an alien race… or something like that. They went too big, in my admittedly inexperienced opinion. A group of nameless, greedy evil men was actually much scarier as a central villain than aliens we don’t see and their automaton minions.

      AND they made some choices in how they revealed the new mystery that instead of piquing our interest, shut it down before we got to the reveal. Like Zarth said, there’s a difference between being vague and completely obfuscating the truth. When the mythology first took off around Season 3, they’d reveal a little more each episode and, yeah, sometimes complete clarity wouldn’t come till several mythology episodes down the line. But we were almost always moving in a forward direction. This new story went forward, backward, and to the side. It’s almost impossible to keep up and still be entertained.

      AND there’s a reason most mystery novels are relatively short. There’s only so long you can keep a central mystery going and still keep your audience’s attention, a lesson television has learned from The X-Files. Now, there’s more often a mystery that forms the basis for a single season and even the seasons are shorter than they used to be.

  4. “It’s like the virgin birth only it’s nothing like the virgin birth.” lol

    Also, the quotes you find to subtitle your reviews are brilliant.

  5. Just wanted to say, this is my favorite review I’ve read of anything in a long while. I still don’t understand this episode (or any of the William storyline) at all, but I love you for trying, and at least the review kept me amused along the way.

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  8. Ok, so I’m discovering this week that apparently I haven’t seen or at least forgotten most of Season 9. I miss my days of blissful ignorance.

    This episode was so mind-crushingly awful I don’t even know where to begin. I actually feel sick to my stomach.

    Ok, so I’m not one of those people who has a problem with religious elements in a narrative, far from it. Most religions are based on familiar ideas that have found their way into stories humans have been telling for generations. The stuff we find meaningful, what makes us tick.

    The thing is, there’s a difference between infusing something with religious themes and throwing a giant stink bomb of unconnected, sloppily put together religious metaphors in order to make the plot feel important. And the stink bomb in this episode is so huge I think I heard the SPLAT as it landed in the script.

    First of all, I’m sick of this idea of William being Jesus Child. I’m also sick of The X-Files not being able to make up its mind about whether or not to equate aliens with God. And I hate how utterly forced it all feels. “Providence” actually bothered me even more than the previous episode because it’s just so overblown and ridiculous. Even if Chris Carter was planning this, even if it wasn’t as pulled out of his ass as people have thought, it doesn’t matter. This plan sucks.

    Kudos to you for trying to sort all of this out, though. I don’t envy you that job at all.

    • “Mind-crushingly awful” pretty much describes how I felt about “Provenance” which has all the same problems this episode does only without the action and explanation to counterbalance the pomposity.

      It sounds harsh, I know. But if The X-Files weren’t usually so consistently amazing these two episodes wouldn’t be nearly as offensive to fans. If I’m convinced by nothing else, these two episodes are pretty much proof that the series and mythology as it stood had run its course. There has to be an end, Scully.

      Ok, so I’m not one of those people who has a problem with religious elements in a narrative, far from it. Most religions are based on familiar ideas that have found their way into stories humans have been telling for generations. The stuff we find meaningful, what makes us tick.

      I’m totally with you, girl! I’m working on something now about how TXF both purposefully and accidentally touched on some of those universal themes that resonate in all of us.

      The thing is, there’s a difference between infusing something with religious themes and throwing a giant stink bomb of unconnected, sloppily put together religious metaphors in order to make the plot feel important.

      Testify.

      First of all, I’m sick of this idea of William being Jesus Child. I’m also sick of The X-Files not being able to make up its mind about whether or not to equate aliens with God. And I hate how utterly forced it all feels.

      Yes, because I’m still confused. Is it that there’s a God above the aliens or alien gods above the aliens? Or are the aliens themselves both gods and colonists?

  9. Pingback: Season 9 Wrap Up – There’s a lot of crap to cut through. | Musings of an X-Phile

  10. Pingback: Founder’s Mutation 1×5: You don’t like cats? | Musings of an X-Phile

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