Dee Discusses: The X-Files 1.23

Posted: March 19, 2013 by Dee in Dee, General Media, Recaps, Television, X-Files
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Boy do I wish the last episode didn’t exist. Because it did, I went REALLY AGAIN? Which is unfortunate because this episode is a lot better. Better acting, oh my goodness that’s Željko Ivanek, a much more interesting story and complicated plot, and an end result I thought was entertaining and memorable. So what the hell were they thinking with that last episode, and especially by putting the two of these back to back? For the sake of wanting to note that this is a good story, I’m going to put “Born Again” out of my mind. I have another complaint but I’ll get to that later. Ivanek is one of the best character actors out there. He’s always interesting and never lets the audience down. I was psyched when I saw him. The idea is that these research scientists are trying to work on a prototype jet engine. One of them refuses to push forward the project because he doesn’t want to ruin what they’ve already done. While checking on it, the mentally impaired janitor Roland locks him in and kills him. Roland shows remarkable intelligence and fixes a mathematical equation on the board a la Good Will Hunting. I had to look up the names on Wiki because I hadn’t picked them all up. The scientist he killed was Surnow. The two left over are Keats and Nollette. Surprised to see they’re next on the hit list? Course not!

Another person in their group Arthur Grable died mysteriously not too long ago. Getting the picture? Scully and Mulder study the place and Mulder notices that the new handwriting is someone else. This leads them to Roland at his care home. He seems an unlikely killer since he shows a gentle heart, but he has an unusual mind for numbers and math. His handwriting doesn’t seem to fit it, although they can place him at the crime, but it seems it couldn’t be him. Roland has visions and panics, and he has a horrible nightmare where he kills Keats … and does in fact kill Keats. Liquid Nitrogen is the way here, and these are pretty damn gruesome murders,  yikes! I’m impressed by that. Each time Roland is typing things down and keeping notes afterward. Mulder ties Roland together with the dead scientist Grable, but he can’t figure out why. He does assume that Roland is being possessed by the spirit. Yeah yeah last episode, I know.

They think at first that Roland IS Grable and he faked his death, but instead it turns out Roland is Grable’s twin brother. Ha ha evil twin. Mulder theorizes that what made Grable brilliant in the womb might have taken away intelligence from Roland, or that their strengths/weaknesses depended on each other. The end result is that Nollette had killed him and stole his work, and he plans to kill Roland too. See, Scully, even people like him believe that the supernatural exists. C’mon. Mulder and Scully appeal to Roland to not let Grable turn him into a murderer again, pointing out he’s not that person. He manages to struggle free from his brother’s influence and help the man instead. This leaves me to wonder though why Grable killed the other two. I guess just to get the information for his breakthrough? Or did he not know which one of them was responsible for killing him and stealing his work? I can’t really tell. Or I guess he was frozen, so he just knew someone was stealing his work. That part is fuzzy. So was killing the other two a part of vengeance or necessary for him solving the problem? Hmmmmmmmmm!

In general the acting in this episode was great. Obviously Ivanek stands out, but he does that every time he puts in a guest appearance. I think his portrayal of Roland was sweet and I really cared about him. It was horrible his brother’s ghost made him into something he wasn’t, and I’m glad he didn’t suffer any consequences other than guilt at the end. The deaths were very creative in this episode and I enjoyed the science project aspect. This episode was much stronger than the last one but they might want to be careful where they order these things from now on. If I was watching this live  I would’ve been like what is this part two? Yeesh. At least it was much better, two ‘meh’ episodes would’ve been a shame. One annoying part for me is that we’re at the end of the season and we were basically episode of the week until now. I know there were a few episodes with the overhanging arc about aliens and conspiracy theories, I assume this is the major story of the whole series, but suddenly it’s the finale and I don’t feel like it should be. I kind of wish they had at least this episode or the last one feel like it was building up to something. Instead I’m like ‘oh…we’re here….huh!’ But I’m almost done with season one!

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