Nothing Important Happened Today, part one
air date: 11-11-01
Though we do catch
a glimpse of someone showering in Scully's apartment, David Duchovny
has left the building. With him may go legions of fans of The X-Files,
so producers/writers Chris Carter and Frank Spotnitz have to work hard
in order to keep everyone's interest. From the evidence so far, they're
not working hard enough.
After an excessively
confusing finale last season, Carter and Spotnitz take us only 48 hours
later. Scully is on leave from the FBI to care for her miracle child,
"sweet little William." The ever more credulous Doggett has begun investigating
his own office, aided by Special Agent/Voodoo Queen Monica Reyes. After
seven seasons, Skinner has become a regular. And Mulder? Mulder is gone…just
In other words,
when faced with a tight plotting problem, it's business as usual for
the creative team. Get past it quickly and hope nobody asks any questions.
Then dazzle everybody with some mysterious new characters.
Filling the mysterious
new character bill comes Lucy Lawless. We meet her up top as she seduces
an EPA official into driving off a bridge then holding him down until
he drowns. Later she distracts a guy by walking around naked, then holds
him down until he drowns, as well. Apparently this has something to
do with an additive in our drinking water, but how this ties into the
greater conspiracy has not yet become clear. Maybe by the time the next
movie rolls around Carter and company will figure it out.
To further add
to the mix, it turns out that Reyes occasionally dates an Assistant
Director, played by Cary Elwes. Though he ends up being intimately connected
to the conspiracy (or not…), this entanglement never came up last season.
Yes, it's all being
made up as they go along, and has been for a while. For this episode
we can forgive, since originally Carter had no intention of coming back
to do this season until Fox offered him insane amounts of money. But
this show has to find a new footing, and fast.
Even though Lawless
and Elwes are both capable and intriguing actors, their characters feel
like retreads of old situations. Though there are hints that neither
will turn out to be what they seem, well, even then, we've seen that
before. Can we just have one recurring character that can be
taken at face value?
With the awkward
departure of Mulder, it may also be time to shuttle Scully off to the
side, too. After having the aliens declare her baby to be perfectly
normal (right? Anyone argue with that?), it turns out that William has
telekinesis. Maybe he and the spawn of Angel and Darla can grow up to
be freaky friends. But in the meantime, maybe mother and son should
follow daddy wherever he went, and let the new agents take up a few
cases of their own.
And in order to
do that, we have to stop digging up new conspiracies to replace the
old ones, and just face down a few old-fashioned monsters. Is that too
much to ask?
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