Tony Black looks at the eleventh story in The X-Files: Secret Agendas anthology, ‘An Eye for an Eye’…
Written by George Ivanoff
Edited by Jonathan Maberry
Hands down, this is the weirdest and creepiest story in The X-Files: Secret Agendas. No question. ‘An Eye for an Eye’ is short, sharp, punchy and really really strange from George Ivanoff, revolving around something we take for granted on a daily basis – our precious two eyes. Set during the first season much like the last story, Ivanoff begins in media res with Mulder right in the middle of an incredibly unnerving situation as some kind of bizarre creature made up of eyes begins sucking his eyeball out of his socket, before snapping us back in time to how the agents came to face such a truly weird creature, amongst the weirdest The X-Files has ever given us.
Ivanoff’s writing is to the point but really engaging throughout, reading fast and fun, and he manages to nail Mulder’s headlong exuberance to believe the weirdest explanation in contrast to Scully’s measured response, as they begin investigating people from wildly different backgrounds who’ve had one of their eyes sucked out of their heads, before forgetting how it happened in the first place.
It’s a quick tale which is more interested in getting us to the climax than dwelling on the investigation, with Ivanoff’s writing being heavily dialogue-based as Mulder & Scully meet the victims (but he does get in a nice homosexual couple, and a welcome touch given this is set mid-90’s) and then find the perp, but it’s the encounter Mulder specifically has when they do come face to face with the monster here that makes the story; it’s disturbing, very weird, and suggests historical child abuse may be a causal factor, plus it’s all tied in with Biblical & religious overtones, which you can imagine given the title. The ending is icky & trippy and would really give you the shivers if you saw it on screen, which any good X-File should do.
Another fine story here from Secret Agendas, which rockets along from George Ivanoff and delivers a supremely creepy and strange villain, good character interactions, sprightly plotting and a memorable climax. ‘An Eye for an Eye’ may also make you wonder if you should ever wear glasses ever again!
Check in later this week for an exclusive interview with George Ivanoff about his story!
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