Strange Transmissions
Warning! Major spoiler alert for readers outside the USA or Canada
selected from Xposé #33
THE X-FILES – Season Six
12: One Son • Written by Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz
Directed by Rob Bowman
Fox • February 14 1999
2-star rating

Revelation in One SonRevelations continue as Spender betrays the Cigarette Smoking Man, Cassandra vanishes again, the Consortium ends, and Mulder is given insight into the project that claimed his sister and father.

The promise of part one (Two Fathers) makes this muddy episode a disappointment. Heavily reminiscent of murky mythology episodes of the fifth season, One Son is awash in so many plot threads that a score card is frequently necessary. Even the most dedicated viewer may be overwhelmed and find themselves wondering if Carter and Spotnitz have unintentionally contradicted earlier episodes. With a continuity whose complexity overshadows even Star Trek’s, the episode makes you think that maybe the writers have lost track themselves.

One Son fails mostly because its revelations are sometimes anti-climatic and at other times illogical and counter-intuitive. After five or six years build-up, the unveiling of a great secret should be something other than dialogue from talking heads or hastily-inserted noirish aircraft hangar scenes.

In spite of its failings, the final disposition of Agent Spender is a highpoint as well as William Davis’ performance throughout. Davis has always maintained that CSM is actually the hero; he certainly brings a heroic vulnerability to the character here.

John Drake

THE RAGE: CARRIE 2
US: March 12 1999 • Rated: R • UK: TBC
Directed by Katt Shea • Stars: Emily Bergl, Amy Irving, Jason London, Zachery Ty Bryan
3-star rating

Emily Bergl: 'a natural screen presence'While not a minor classic like Carrie, The Rage: Carrie 2 scores as an effective sequel. Carrie 2 picks up 20-plus years after the original and focuses on Rachel (Emily Bergl), a contemporary teen who’s had it rough. Still, Rachel’s independent, working a job and doing just fine. Then, Rachel’s best friend Lisa commits suicide, and Rachel’s long in-check telekinetic powers resurface. Enter Sue Snell (Amy Irving), the school’s guidance counselor and sole survivor of Carrie White’s vengeance two decades earlier. She tries to help Rachel and, in a sense, ease the burden of her own past. However, the school jocks have other plans and when they push too hard, well...

Carrie 2 works on several fronts. It builds on its source, rather than replays it. Shea makes great use of film tricks, from rapid editing to flashbacks, jolting sound effects to nifty shifts from color to black and white. The last 20 minutes, most importantly, deliver the goods. They’re intense, well-choreographed and gory. As for the performances, Bergl is a natural screen presence, but more impressive is Zachery Ty Bryan as Eric, who almost perfectly walks that fine line between redemption and descent into evil. All in all, a bloody good, if not great, show.

Ian Spelling

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