|selected from TV Zone #141|
Reviews online this month (ratings given
are out of 10):
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|ESSENCE & EXISTENCE||Rating: 9|
|Eps. H20 / H21||First aired: May 13 & 20 2001, Fox
First UK airing: 21st / 28th June, Sky One
The final episodes of each season of The X-Files are nearly always disappointing. They tend to lead to fantastically overblown cliffhangers that are resolved the following year. But thats not the case for the last four episodes of Season Eight. Vienen and Alone are standalone episodes, although they do deal with Mulders expulsion from the FBI.
Both are entertaining, but dont go anywhere near the highs of Essence and Existence, the two-part story that finishes the season and bucks the trend by having no silly cliffhanger. Instead, it ends on a note that rings absolutely true and, as we all know, truth is a rare thing in The X-Files.
Following on from various strands of conspiracy this season, Essence and Existence race towards one event: the birth of Scullys child. Theres been plenty of concern over whether itll be a normal baby or some nasty human-alien hybrid, but Krycek thinks itll be something quite different a perfect human thatll play a leading role in the final days. Theres something almost sacrilegious about the birth itself Mulder following a strange light in the sky to find the mother and child, the Lone Gunmen (three wise men, you see) arriving bearing gifts but only the most easily offended should get hot under the collar.
The reason that this two-parter works is that its plot is simple enough for the audience to still have a handle on, referring largely to Deadalive and the idea of aliens having created human replacements like Billy Miles.
Whether the presence of Patrick, best known for his role in Terminator 2, sparked off ideas in Chris Carters head or whether its just co-incidence, the debt to The Terminator is enormous, with Billy and several other characters having been transformed into relentless, unstoppable killing machines and who are determined to get at Scullys baby, no matter what.
The simplicity of the human replacement plotline may well go out of the window in time, though, and become as jaded and as mind-bogglingly confusing as many of the shows other plotlines.
Reyes is especially prominent in Existence, and the character is all set up for her transition to permanent status. The final two scenes of the episode, and of the season, are both important, the first being Kersh bawling out the two FBI agents assigned to the X-Files not Mulder and Scully, but Doggett and Reyes. The last scene, beautifully performed by the two original regulars, gives us a moment that every viewer has wanted for years, because its absence has just seemed false, absurd even. As Mulder says before he gently kisses her, their baby between them, he and Scully know the truth. I only wish the two of them three of them, rather could disappear into the sunset and never be seen again.
|Also reviewed in more detail this issue: Vienen (H18), Alone (H19).|
© Visual Imagination Ltd 2001. Not for reproduction