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As I said above, this storyline was necessary to accomodate Gillian Anderson's pregnancy. It began with Mulder being called to help negotiate with a kidnapper who believed he had been abducted by aliens.
This first part of the trilogy included lengthy scenes of Mulder as negotiator with Duane Barry. It also featured David Duchovny's much loved red speedo swimming trunks!
We see Scully sitting in an office that ISN'T the basement. Has she finally got her own desk? There is also an in joke when Scully goes shopping and we see her buying pickles and ice cream! By now Gillian Anderson was not far away from giving birth. It always bothers me, that supermarket scene though. The assistant didn't ask for Scully's cheque card and didn't give her a receipt. Also, they never just walk off while you are still at the checkout.
However, the episode ends in highly dramatic fashion when on a dark and stormy night Duane Barry comes knocking on Scully's window. It is interesting that she has time to yell 'Mulder, I need your help!'. You would think 'help!' would be enough. Good old Scully, always articulate even in a crisis.
The second part of the trilogy features Mulder's search for Duane Barry and Scully. We see the nature of Krycek's murderous treachery as he kills the cable car attendant and probably Duane Barry. Gillian Anderson had little to do in this one. I guess she filmed her scenes quickly enough.
I particularly liked the Nick Cave song Red Right Hand used as Duane Barry is stopped by the State trooper. Aparently Chris Carter really loved it and wanted to get it in somewhere.
One Breath began in a dramatic way; Mrs Scully is choosing a head stone for her daughter. However, Scully turns up comatose in a hospital nearby. This is one of my favourite episodes of all. We see a lot of drama in it, and it has a lotof action it terms of character development and inter personal relationships. Mulder's link with Scully is explored, even though Gillian Anderson says nothing for 95% of the episode. We see Mulder desperate to find out the truth about what happened to her, his guilt over what happened to her, which he sees as being partly his fault. He confronts Cancer man, and is prepared to face those unseen people who took her with his gun at the ready. When he thinks she is going to die, Mulder breaks down and cries. All this says a lot about their relationship.
This episode gives us an insight into the character of AD Skinner, and his reasons for allowing Mulder a bit of rope. We even find out more about Cancer man.
My favourite scene is the touching reappearence of the late Captain Scully to talk to his daughter as she hovers between life and death. He talks about his love for her, and how his life felt as if it had been the length of one breath, one heartbeat when he realized he wouldn't see her again.
Melissa Scully appeared for the first time, and was an interesting character. Particularly in her dealings with the sceptical Mulder. I think it was a shame she was killed off at the beginning of series 3.
It is unclear initially whether Scully's abduction is indeed by aliens, as Duane Barry claims, or if Krycek's associates are responsible. We learn more of this later in the series. There are many unexplained events surrounding the kidnapping, but I like this story so much because of the dramatic aspects of it. It seems more believable than all the mutants and psychics. In particular, One Breath has little actual X File about it, apart from the ghostly nurse and Scully's vision of her father, but is a tremendously powerful story, emotionally. X Files at its best
I like this episode because of the wierd story. As is often the case, it is a far fetched idea though. A serial killer is operating in an identical manner to another killer from 30 years back. A detective has strange visions about where some of the victims from the first killer are buried.
We see Scully sussing out the affair between the detective and her boss while Mulder spots nothing. One up for women! Scully even has a little woman to woman chat, and admits having had feeling for people she's worked with before. Does she mean that Jack from Lazarus?The story works because of the script and a spooky performance by guest star Deborah Strang as BJ Morrow. Nice to see Terry O'Quinn as a good guy for a change.
Another episode that has little of the supernatural about it but works well because of the drama. Scully is usually so unflappable, but gets spooked by a necrophiliac. Nick Chinlund is very good as the creepy Donnie Pfaster who takes a liking to Scully's red hair. Tell him its dyed Dana!!
I loved the scene where Scully goes to see a counsellor to talk it over. It is the first we have seen of her talking about the traumas in her life. Gillian Anderson is wonderful in this episode. She shows Scully's attempts to overcome her fears, and demonstrates Scully's bravery in facing it.
This was a ground breaking episode because it was the first foray into comedy. Darin Morgan's style became well known to fans in series 3, but this first episode written by him was a scream. Mulder and Scully are investigating strange deaths in a circus community. Comedy highlights include the chaotic graveside ceremony with assorted circus mourners, the eccentric Dr Blockhead and his tattoed friend, Mulder and Scully's stake out of the sheriff and confronting him with his buried potato, Scully eating a cricket and Dr Blockhead bemoaning the fact that soon everyone will look like Mr GQ Mulder. Freaky! Jim Rose who plays Dr Blockhead is a performer rather than an actor, but is great in the role. There is still a lot of discussion over whether Gillian Anderson ate that cricket or not, and if it even went into her mouth.
In some ways, Darin Morgan's scripts seem to poke fun at the seriousness of the series. Personally I love them, particularly this one. It is an entertainment show, and should be taken as that.
After the excitement of the three episode 'Abduction' arc, the next multi
part story was Colony/End Game. It was especially notable in that the story was
a collaboration between Chris Carter and David Duchovny. It also saw the apparent return
of Samantha Mulder. The first part began explosively with Mulder being revived pretty
unsuccessfully by doctors and Scully showing up to save him(again!)
This was a very exciting story, with lots of fast paced action. The alien bounty hunter was one of the most frightening villains ever in his Terminator like approach to achieving his goals and his apparent indestructibility. Yet again we see Scully and Mulder working independently for most of the first part, and speaking via cell phones to each others answer phones! The story also works very well on a dramatic level. What can be more dramatic in this show than the return of Samantha? The actress Magan Leitch who played her was just right. We saw more of the dysfunctional Mulders and Fox himself interacting with them. Incidentally, his parents DON'T call him Mulder-he fibbed to Scully during the Tooms car scene.
Also very dramatic were the the fight between Scully and the fake Mulder- I bet David Duchovny enjoyed that!, and the scene where Mulder exchanges Samantha for Scully and her later reaction. By the way, surely Mulder or Scully should have recognised the name Ambrose Chapel from the Hitchcock film, The Man Who Knew Too Much. It should have made them immediately suspicious.
All in all, this is one of the most exciting multipart stories the series has done and is one of my favourites.
The season 2 finale was another story David Duchovny helped develop, and was another winner. It is based around
the existance of proof of the governments knowledge of extra terrestrial life. It features a strong performance
from David Duchovny as he is affected by halucinogenic drugs and has a punch up with Skinner, then later has to cope with the murder
of his father right under his lovely nose. David wrote some good stuff for himself.
As always, Scully is the sensible one who saves his skin yet again, but also gets him into bed and then shoots him! I bet Gillian Anderson enjoyed that! Conspiracy, one of the main themes of the show, is a big factor in this story as Mulder and Scully are ever more alone. Especially after poor Skinner gets thumped. Krychek returns with a vengeance, and there is a large dose on mystic naive American stuff. The climax was extremely suspenseful as Mulder is trapped in a buried boxcar and a grenade thrown in after him. We all know he will survive, otherwise there would be no show, but it was a thrilling episode and a nail biting finale.
Following straight after such a good two parter was always going to be tough, but the episdoe that came next Fearful Symmetry
was not very good. There was the amazing sight of Scully performing an autopsy actually inside an elephant, but the story was a plodder.
It was also frankly ridiculous even for the X Files. Pregnant animals being abducted and their embryos stolen? So now we have Noah as an alien do we?
The guest characters were dull, and not even the Lone Gunmen could save it.
Even the best of shows has its weaker moments, and season 2 of the X Files was no exception. Of course opinions vary, but I didn't like Dod Kalm at all. Chiefly because the story called for Mulder and Scully to age dramatically and I have yet to see convincing make up for this. Watching our favourite two beautiful people dodder around a wrecked old ship for 40 minutes isn't my idea of a thrilling episode. I thought the story was weak and the script unconvincing. It just didn't work at all.
A much criticized show was Firewalker for being virtually a remake of 'Ice'. Isolated group of scientists, video evidence, aberrant behaviour, a parasite, does this sound familiar? This was Gillian Anderson's first full episode back after her pregnancy, and it was all action straight away for her. I actually quite enjoyed this one, although it is very derivative.
The only X Files episode without Scully was 3. It is not a show many fans hold much affection for. It simply does not work very well with Mulder on his own. Another reason many fans disliked it was because Mulder gets involved with a group of vampires(very Interview with the Vampire), and worse of all, sleeps with one of them. This lady was played by David Duchovny's then girlfriend Perry Reeves, but there was no real spark between them, and it just didn't seem right to have Mulder sleeping with a suspect while Scully is missing. Also, vampires have been done many times and this wasn't the best XF story.
The second series definitely WAS a success, building on the strengths on series 1. It saw the development of longer more detailed and more complex stories that focussed on the so called mythology of the show- Samantha Mulder, Goverment knowledge of alien contact and abductions including Scully's. The structure of the first 9 episodes where Mulder and Scully were separated was as a result of Gillian Anderson's pregnancy, but it had the effect of radically altering the relationship between the characters, and while it worked well in some episodes, I am sure many fans were glad to see the X Files reopened and Mulder and Scully back in the basement together by episode 9.
Other events of note this series was the alien parasite suit worn by Darin Morgan in The Host, Mulder wiping barbeque sauce from Scully's mouth in Red Museum, raining frogs in Die Hand Die Verletzt, the fingers emerging from Scully's hand in Fresh Bones, Mulder and Scully staking out the sherrif's house and exhuming his potato in Humbug and that bug that Gillian Anderson may or may not have eaten.
The show continued to grow in popularity and gain critical acclaim around the world. The cliff hanging finale was a particularly good episode to finish on as the growing army of fans were left on the edge of their seats. Roll on series 3!