Tag Archives: The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat

The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat 11×4: Nobody knows for sure.


 

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Fox Freakin’ Mulder.

 

I seem to fall into this weird noman’s land when I watch a Darin Morgan episode. Either I adore it at first watch as I did with my eternal favorites “Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose” (3×4) and “Humbug” (2×20), or I’m not at all sure how I feel about it other than what registers as a vague feeling of malaise after watching 45 minutes of existential angst wrapped up in 35 layers of laughter, like when you’ve overdosed on dark chocolate that’s too sweet. The latter happened after I watched “Jose Chung’s ‘From Outer Space’” (3×20), “Mulder and Scully Meet the Were-Monster” (10×3), and now I’m getting that old familiar feeling after watching his most recent (and final?) episode, the title of which I’m both too lazy and too time-pressed to type out.

Now, let me disclaim again that I don’t dislike any of the above episodes, even the ones that aren’t really my bag. But I’m pretty sure Darin Morgan has no moral foundation.

I say this not because I’m not a fan because I am, and not because he’s an evil man because how would I know? I say it because his episodes, even the ones I adore, have a distinct theme: There is no truth, or if there is, you can’t know it. Therefore, eat, drink, and be crazy and maybe tomorrow you’ll die.

Our personal clash of worldviews notwithstanding, Darin Morgan’s attitude seems to fly in the face of all that sustains The X-Files, lovingly poking fun at the entire philosophical premise behind it, which is exactly why his episodes work so well on Chris “I can’t take myself seriously enough” Carter’s show. It’s like Morgan’s winking at us that this whole search for the truth jag Carter’s on has ever been ridiculous. We love Morgan for it. And if this revival has been inconsistent, sometimes surreally so, at least this hasn’t changed. Morgan‘s the only one brave enough to say that Mulder’s a pompous jerk, but we love him anyway. And this whole quest for the truth can’t go anywhere because there’s nothing to find, but let’s enjoy the ride.

You know what else is consistent about Darin Morgan? He has this strange way of bringing out the best in the characters. Maybe it’s not really the characters, it’s David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson. It’s like they come alive when Morgan writes a script. Maybe they’re as excited as we are that they’ve been given interesting material to play with. And right about now, I’d like to get on my knees and thank Darin Morgan for bringing David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson back to life. No. Scratch that. I’d like to thank Darin Morgan for bringing Mulder and Scully back to life.

Most of this episode, particularly their scenes together and the dialogue, felt like it could have taken place during the series proper. Let me repeat that: This didn’t feel like an Alt Reality X-File. 

Then again, it didn’t feel like a classic in the making either. It’s cute and it’s funny… in parts… but nothing much actually happens. I could’ve used a little action.

Then again, I’m still happier than I have been so far this season, so….

The Truth is Out There?

Who else thinks this theme was slightly subversive? Subversive as in, “You think The X-Files was as great as you remember, but it’s not us, it’s you. You remembered wrong.”

Well, I do not suffer from the Minghella or the Mandela Effect. And the only parallel universe I believe in is my headcanon. I have had the rewatches, Darin. The magic is exactly what I remember it to be. No, our collective memories aren’t the problem.

I’m like Scully. I want to remember how it was. I want to remember how it all was. And I feel like I’ve eaten the Jello mold of the revival when I should have pulled a Scully and let it go, let the nostalgia reign supreme without interference from a wobbly, artificially flavored reality.

It’s time to face the facts, guys. This is the end of the X-Files. But maybe the point wasn’t to find the truth but to find each other. For no matter where we go in our lives, we will always have the memories of our time together and no one can take those away or alter them in such a way to make us doubt that they actually happened.

B+

Losing the Plot:

Chuck Burke!!!!

The look Mulder gives Scully in the car after he says “innit?” I could live for that.

So all I have to do to get a ride in the Ghostbusters car is go crazy? ‘Cause I can do that.

I’m sure there’s a place for all of us Philes – all us Reggies – in the Spotniz Sanitarium.

What’s with the obvious political references this season? As someone who’s neither red nor blue, they’re not impactful. Worse, they’re not funny.

Best Quotes:

Mulder: Let me get this straight. When it cools, it forms into three different layers with three different textures, all from the same mix?

Scully: [nods]

Mulder: How has this never been an X-File?

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Scully: But that’s your secret rendezvous signal. I don’t want to intrude.

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Dr. They: Who’s hiding? I’m in the phonebook.

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