THE BLAIR WATCH PROJECT #2 – ‘Requiem’

Sarah Blair continues her ‘Blair Watch Project, by starting with The X-Files S7 finale, ‘Requiem’…

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If you’ve been keeping up-to-date on the blog or my Twitter feed, or basically anywhere, you know ‘Requiem’ was an episode I was not looking forward to watching. Honestly, in my head all I could remember was Skinner screaming for Mulder in the woods. It was traumatizing. I didn’t want to live through that again.

That being said, HOLEY BUCKETS THIS EPISODE. I don’t even know where to begin, so maybe I’ll just start with the beginning? It was exciting to get back to Bellefleur, the town where The X-Files kicked off its run. So much of the ‘Pilot’ episode came flashing back. It was like having coffee with an old pal I hadn’t had a chance to hang out with in awhile. Billy was up and about, walking and talking. And Theresa got a fabulous new haircut and had a baby. The X was still on the road!

It was a reunion of sorts, and I mean that as a compliment. Everything that was great about the ‘Pilot’ was great about ‘Requiem,’ with the bonus of the best parts of the mythology tossed in for good measure; we got the toxic alien blood, the shape-shifting bounty hunter alien clone dude, and the creeptastic quintessential X-Files moment where we see the dead sheriff in the trunk and realize what’s REALLY going on.

We also got to revisit the scene where Scully came into Mulder’s hotel room. And every Shipper unabashedly REJOICED as she climbed into bed and they snuggled up together, exactly the way we’d been hoping for all those years. (Non-shippers, go grab some iced tea and relax. This is our moment, mkay?)

Then, in proper X-Files form, just as everything was coming together… it all fell apart. Lucky for all of us, X-Caster Carl who is endlessly more profound than I am pointed out that Mulder finally gets what he’s always wanted—a prolonged alien encounter. Scully gets the baby she was hoping for. But it comes at the price of them being separated.

ANGST GALORE!!!

This episode truly encapsulates all of the things that make The X-Files, THE X-FILES. It pains me to know that kids these days won’t know the agony of waiting an ENTIRE SUMMER to find out what happens next. How will they build any character?!

Ah, well, hope to see you again on Friday, 9 p.m. EST for the next installment of the Blair Watch Project: The Season 8 premiere, ‘Within.’

You can follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahlblair.

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ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: What are the funniest moments in The X-Files?

For our next roundtable chat based on a key X-Files question…

What are the funniest moments in The X-Files?

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TONY: “This is easy. “Who’s that black private dick who’s a sex machine with all the chicks? SHAFT! Can you dig it?” “I DID NOT!!!””

ANDREW: “‘Theef’… Mulder mocks Scully, pursuing his lips, “Mulder, why are we here?”
‘Syzygy’… Mulder mocking Scully’s short, little legs
‘Bad Blood’… Too many to list!
‘Jose Chung’… Mulder’s girly scream
‘Hollywood A.D.’… Scully showing Tea Leoni how to run in heels”

SARAH: “It might not be the most hilarious moment of the series, but my favorite funny moment is in ‘Quagmire’ after the boat crashes and M&S end up on the rock. They hear a sound and realize it’s a duck. Mulder says, “I’m still tempted to shoot.” And Scully gives him that little nudge. It’s the nudge that gets me every time. Also in that same scene when they’re discussing cannibalism (because what else do you do when stranded in the middle of a lake?) and he asks if she’s lost weight–that classic Scully eye roll is everything.

‘Triangle’ –when past Scully punches Mulder and he says he expected the left.
When Scully kisses Skinner and the elevator door opens to reveal Spender and Kersh staring.

Scully in a bib eating BBQ.

Mulder in a tree.

‘Small Potatoes’, ‘Bad Blood’, ‘Je Souhaite’– everything

Pie.

Bleeping aliens.

Every scene including the waterbed.

Okay, I’ll stop now.

PAIGE: “Of course, Mulder’s girlie scream was the first thing coming to mind. Eddie Van Blundht practicing F-B-I in the mirror. Mulder and Morris doing their underwear dance a la I Love Lucy in ‘Dreamland’. Scully showing Tea Leoni how to run in heels in ‘Hollywood A.D.’ is righteous. Scully throwing water in Doggett’s face at the start of the eighth season, because it just had to be done at that point in time. The reveal in ‘Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose’ that they’re talking about Yappi and not Mulder, and then Mulder being tossed out of the room for his negative vibes. Scully eating the cricket in ‘Humbug’ and then the human pin cushion telling her the future looks like Mulder as he poses on the steps. Mulder eating piece after piece of pie in ‘Jose Chung’.”

JONATHAN: “Scully performing the autopsy in ‘Three of a Kind’ and the cigarette scene. All of ‘Bad Blood’, the Mulder and Scully married scenes in ‘Arcadia’. When we hear Diana Fowley has been shot in ‘The End’.”

CARL: “The moment that never fails to make me laugh is Mulder’s yelp in ‘Jose Chung’s From Outer Space’. Duchovny’s pose towards the end of ‘Humbug’, which Paige mentioned, is another good one. There’s a moment I love in ‘Mulder & Scully Meet The Were-Monster’, too. I’ve only seen the episode once, so I may be misremembering it slightly. Mulder says that he’s now a middle-aged man, and leaves a pause for Scully to disagree with him. She says nothing, but he presses on anyway: “No, no, I am!” Made me laugh a lot.”

BAZ: “Yes, far too many to mention. Mulder doing the dance in the wardrobe mirror of Morris Fletcher’s bedroom in ‘Dreamland’, fake Mulder seducing Scully in ‘Small Potatoes’, Scully’s sex scene with Guy Mann and Mulder trying to get a photo of the monster on his phone in ‘Mulder and Scully Meet The Were-Monster’, Clyde Bruckman telling Mulder he’s going to die from autoerotic asphyxiation ‘Clyde Bruckman’s Final Repose’, all of ‘Jose Chung’s from Outer Space’ (particularly the description of Mulder and Scully, his yelp and Lord Kinbote), Scully’s infatuation with the hick version of the sheriff in ‘Bad Blood’, Mulder’s”get me a sandwich woman!” from ‘Arcadia’, Scully’s ability to dismiss all of Mulder’s theories in ‘War of the Coprophages’ and while not technically The X-Files, Mulder’s red underpants pose FBI badge from The Simpsons episode ‘The Springfield Files.

The great thing about The X-Files, is that for all the moments of horror, there are some truly wonderful comic moments. The show’s ability to take the mick out of itself is what kept it fresh and funny for years. it’s no coincidence that ‘Mulder and Scully Meet The Were-Monster was the most loved episode of the revival’.”

What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know your choices in the comments below or on social media!

THE BLAIR WATCH PROJECT #1 – ‘Je Souhaite’

Sarah Blair begins her ‘Blair Watch Project, by starting with The X-Files S7 comedy, ‘Je Souhaite’…

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As part of my Blair Watch Project, I knew I couldn’t skip the Season 7 finale, ‘Requiem,’ because it sets up the entirety of Season 8. Since I knew it was going to be a tough episode to watch, I figured I’d kick things off with something fun. The last standalone episode of Season 7 ‘Je Souhaite’ was just the ticket.

This was an episode I never thought much about since it originally aired back in 2000. Most of my go-to X-Files come from the first 4 seasons, with a sprinkling from Seasons 5-6, plus ‘Hollywood A.D.’ and once in awhile, ‘X-Cops.’

I’m really sad that I missed out on all those years of watching ‘Je Souhaite’ because in the past year since I did my big watch leading up to the Season 10 premiere it’s definitely made my list of what I like to call Comfort Episodes—the X-File equivalent of a warm blanket and a cup of hot chocolate, a big tasty plate of spaghetti, or a slice of apple pie fresh from the oven. Those episodes that you can turn on when you’re having a lousy day and end up with a smile on your face.

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And that’s exactly what happened this time around. Watching Mulder and Scully at their best, in one of Vince Gilligan’s best, quite simply put a big ‘ole grin on my face. It did everything I needed and expected it to do because I know what’s coming up next week. . . .

‘Requiem’ almost makes some of the best moments in ‘Je Souhaite’ a little bittersweet, if not downright painful. Seeing Mulder search the empty city, knowing the only person on the entire planet he wants to find is Scully, feels like a dagger to the heart because in the next episode she’s going to be doing the same thing for real. Seeing them together in the last scene, so happy and content with everything exactly as it should be, is like getting that dagger twisted and then having a Mack truck dropped on my head.

We recently did a Roundtable discussion about how we think Mulder and Scully’s story should end. I might have been partially glib in my answer, but really, I think ‘Je Souhaite’ would have been the perfect episode to end the series.

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As a writer, I can’t deny I enjoy putting my characters through all kinds of painful scenarios. Drama—especially the angsty kind—is what makes writing, reading, and watching so much more fun. But somewhere in there, it’s important to leave the audience with a glimmer of hope and happiness. That’s what ‘Je Souhaite’ does that Chris Carter doesn’t seem to give us in the actual finales, except for maybe the boat scene tacked on to the end of I Want to BelieveMaybe it’s just the optimist in me, maybe it’s my shipper side showing, but whatever ending Mulder and Scully get, I want it to be a happy one.

That being said, I hope you’ll join me in watching ‘Requiem’ on Friday, 9 p.m. EST because I’m really going to need all the support I can get. As much as I’ve been assured by the rest of The X-Cast crew that Season 8 is worth it. . .  there’s a solid chance come 10:13 p.m. I’ll be covered in snot and rocking in the corner.

You can follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahlblair.

NEW FEATURE: The Blair Watch Project

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It’s been around 16 years since Season 7 of The X-Files ended. As a huge fan of the show, I was well aware of the rumor mills circulating that David Duchovny wanted to leave at the time. But I hoped beyond hope that maybe it wouldn’t amount to anything more than rumors, or at the very least maybe he’d leave for a couple episodes and come back?

Mostly, I kept asking myself, “How can The X-Files still exist without Mulder?!”

In the Season 7 finale, I got my answer and it wasn’t the one I wanted.

Of course, I remained optimistic. I kept holding out hope. I stuck with Season 8 up until about halfway through. After that, I allowed myself to be carried away with college life in New York City, choosing to focus on my classes and making new friends instead of obsessing over my favorite show. Occasionally, one of the people in my dorm would be watching and I’d join in, but it honestly just wasn’t that exciting anymore.

I felt betrayed and abandoned.

But I never once thought that David Duchovny or Chris Carter owed me anything. I did, however, wish that the network and producers would have ended the show on a high note with the original cast intact, and allowed everyone to move on simultaneously instead of having to beat a dead alien into a bloody pulp, metaphorically speaking. Out of curiosity and maybe a sense of duty, I tuned in for the Season 9 finale—mostly because at the time I thought it would be the last episode I’d ever get. Thank the good Lord Kinbote that it wasn’t!

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16 years later and quite honestly I still can’t help but get a bitter taste in my mouth when I think about it. I was so bummed out after watching ‘The Truth’ that I took a solemn vow to never ever, EVER, watch it again. A vow which I absolutely intend to uphold.

But time and time again, since I joined up with The X-Cast crew, they’ve all enthusiastically agreed that Season 8 is strong and worth giving a watch. Season 9 hasn’t gotten much praise, but I also simply don’t feel like I can call myself a true fan at this point and discuss the show critically as a whole with those episodes missing from my viewing experience.

With that in mind, I’ve decided to go ahead and watch Season 8 for the first time since it aired, and view almost all of Season 9 for the first time ever. I’ve kicked things off with ‘Je Souhaite’ in Season 7 because it’s a fantastically strong episode. A light and funny Vince Gilligan masterpiece, and one of my favorite episodes of the series. I needed to start on a high note. And before you ask, I absolutely intend to maintain my solemn vow and will not be watching ‘The Truth’. Not gonna happen. Don’t even ask. (I’m looking at you, Carl.)

I hope you’ll join me on Friday nights at 9 p.m. EST where I’ll be live-tweeting from @TheX_Cast handle and come back here for my overall thoughts on each episode. See you soon, X-Philes!

You can follow Sarah on Twitter @sarahlblair.

THE X-FILES RANKED: 209 – Miracle Man (0 votes)

Sarah Blair begins the ultimate X-Files countdown of all 209 episodes, starting from the very bottom to the top as voted by you, with Season 1 Episode 18, ‘Miracle Man’…

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Here we have it, the one and only episode of The X-Files to come through with zero votes. To be quite honest, I thought there would have been more episodes to surface empty-handed. I most definitely never would have guessed the one to obtain this dubious honor would be ‘Miracle Man.’

Certainly, there are many endeavors over the course of the show that didn’t quite pan out the way Chris Carter and crew might have liked. Not all of them can be winners. With a breakneck production schedule, as well as monetary and network challenges, honestly, it’s a wonder The X-Files was able to pull off as many spectacular episodes that it did. But out of all of them, I feel like ‘Miracle Man’ is deserving of at least one vote.

As episode 18 of the first season, this marks the first ever writing collaboration between the show’s creator Chris Carter and producer Howard Gordon. In this standalone, agents Mulder and Scully travel to a small town in Tennessee to investigate a death in a popular tent ministry. The son of the minister is said to have the power to heal the sick, but his gift of life seems to have turned into the touch of death. Upon a re-watch, it seems there are a lot of ideas trying to be dealt with in a short amount of time. And isn’t that somewhat typical for the episodes penned by Carter? A great man with big ideas and not enough time and space to flesh them out properly. There’s the overarching theme of faith, along with Samuel’s struggle with his gift, and Mulder’s search and longing for his sister thrown in for good measure. All topics which could have been singled out and honed in on to craft a more memorable viewing experience.

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One of only four episodes in the series directed by Michael Lange, it’s relatively straightforward, focusing mostly on the story rather than any spectacular visual effects. Not to mention, there was the giant hurdle of trying to make-over several Vancouver locations meant to represent Tennessee, and the fact that the Canadian actors all had a different idea of what a Southern American accent sounds like. (Side note: As a girl born and raised in Tennessee, I can tell you not one of them came close to sounding like a true Tennessean, but I applaud the effort.)

The moments where Mulder clings to the idea of discovering more about what might have become of his sister, and Scully rushing in to prevent him from having the wool pulled over his eyes are strong in establishing the foundation of each character and the relationship between them as partners and friends. Overall, this is where I believe the episode obtains most of its value.

Is ‘Miracle Man’ an outstanding or memorable episode? Not particularly. But it doesn’t entirely lack merit, and it deserves at least one point—if only for participation.

Memorable Quotes:

Sheriff Daniels: “99% of the people in this world are fools, and the rest of us are in danger of contagion.”

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Mulder: “I think I saw some of these same people at Woodstock.”

Scully: “Mulder, you weren’t at Woodstock.”

Mulder: “I saw the movie.”

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Scully: “You’ve got that look on your face, Mulder.”

Mulder: “What look is that?”

Scully: “The kind when you’ve forgotten your keys and you’re trying to figure out how to get back in the house.”

Our blog team also decided to rank the show based on their own lists, so here’s what they picked in 209th place:

Tony: “BABYLON. For years it would probably have been ‘Fearful Symmetry’, but this was just absolute indefensible guff. Rampantly pretentious, borderline offensive in its approach to racial politics, and nonsensical while trying to be profound – Mulder’s acid trip is just about the worst idea the show ever did, and this show did invisible elephants and space ghosts. This episode can fuck the fuck off until the end of time.”

Andrew: “BABYLON. Shallow, terrible, terrible dialogue, terrible characterization, just terrible on absolutely every single front. No mystery here. Just Chris Carter at his absolute worst. This episode makes ‘Fight Club’ look like a Marx brothers’ masterpiece. Warning: The Mulder dance sequence may induce vomiting.”

Paige: “3. It’s an easy target — an early ep without Scully. But there’s just nothing remotely likeable about this one. It utilizes dozens of standard vampire conventions with the added hubris of casting David Duchovny’s then-girlfriend so Mulder can get some.”

Carl: “FIGHT CLUB. Mulder gets sucked into a storm drain and misses part of the action during this episode, and to be honest I was somewhat envious. It’s a screechingly unfunny, tonally incoherent mishmash of an X-File with nothing to recommend about it. Doppelgängers are clearly something that interest Carter, but he found much better ways to incorporate them into other episodes.”

Sarah: “THE TRUTH 1 &2. A ridiculous and unfulfilling finale as far as series finales go. It’s the one and only episode on the show I’ve taken a solemn vow to never watch again. I’d like to live in my little bubble and pretend it doesn’t even exist. It was a great relief when we got the second film and a much more satisfying ending.”

Do you agree with this episode ranking? Let us know what you would put in this spot on Facebook, Twitter or via comments below!

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: How should Mulder & Scully’s story end?

For our next roundtable chat based on a key X-Files question…

How should Mulder & Scully’s story end?

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TONY: “So thinking about this, and haters gonna hate me for this, but I don’t think M&S should get a happy ending. Happy endings aren’t what The X-Files is. I don’t mean they should go out in a desperately miserable fashion, or die, but I think they shouldn’t end up together as a family unit, and their fate be left ambiguous. I’d be happy with one of them disappearing again, this time for good, if it served a greater story purpose. Or even the old trope of the work never being over, of the show conclusively ending with them still in the FBI, still investigating the paranormal, still chasing The Truth. That’s far more fitting than the 2.4 William most shippers undoubtedly would want from this question, and truer to the nature of the show.”

PAIGE: “Toughie! I’m not a shipper, but I do think there’s no one in the world for either of them than each other. So if they don’t wind up together, they both wind up alone. They’ve been through so much, I would kind of like them on rocking chairs at the end. And I’m not a believer in the happy ending, I just think they have worked their way there. Probably bantering over William’s mid-life crisis — both taking disparate sides, of course.”

SARAH: “After they save the world from alien invasion they’ll both end up teaching at Quantico. Mulder will head up the students learning how to profile human/alien hybrids. Scully will be the world’s foremost expert on alien autopsies, and not that kind you buy from an infomercial for $19.99 + S&H. At the end of the day, they’ll go home for a beer and wave to Skinner across the street as he takes out his trash. He’s a bestselling author of FBI thrillers that are mostly true, but so wild they seem fictitious. M&S will ask him how his latest novel is going, then invite him over for burgers on Saturday.”

CARL: “Scully ditches Mulder at the aisle, realising her future lies with a dashing English blog contributor instead… In all seriousness, I’m not certain about this one. I hear what Tony’s saying about them not ending up as a typical family unit, and I’m drawn to that argument. On the other hand, I do think the final scene of ‘Existence’ was very effective, so something like that could work. I agree that the trope of never being done with the work might make the most sense as an ending. There are two things I know I want for a conclusion to Mulder & Scully’s story:
1. Whatever the ending is, it should have been designed as an ending, not a cliffhanger. It would be a huge shame if the last scene of ‘My Struggle II’ is never followed up on.
2. It would be appropriate for Chris Carter to bring the Duchovny & Anderson era to a close as he sees fit. Whether he would deliver something that the fanbase would be pleased with is another matter, but I’m not bothered about that really.”

ANDREW: “‘I Want to Believe.’ That’s my ending. Since CC has said he can’t actually imagine writing an end to the series, better ‘I Want to Believe’ than ‘How Many Times Can I Say Alien DNA with a Straight face?”

SARAH: “I was perfectly satisfied with the boat ending.”

What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know your choices in the comments below or on social media!

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: How would Mulder & Scully celebrate New Year 2016?

For our next roundtable chat based on a key X-Files question…

How would Mulder & Scully celebrate New Year?

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TONY: “Well this year might not be their best given a viral alien apocalypse has happened. It may even be worse than fighting zombies before a quick snog. Let’s assume though Mulder got better & the aliens buggered off – I reckon they’d probably just quietly get very drunk in one of Mulder’s basements and start going over old times.”

PAIGE: “By trying to work their way through the Times Square crowd so they could find … the son of Fluke!”

SARAH: “A bubble bath and a nicely chilled Champagne.”

TONY: “And Skinner?”

CARL: “I’m not sure Mulder is the type to go for a big celebration, so most likely they’d just stay at home and watch a film. They might have fun investigating some of the folklore around New Year in other countries. For instance, in ancient Thailand, guns were fired to frighten demons away. Also, in Chinese mythology there’s a beast called a Nian that comes out of hiding around New Year to attack children. Could make for a scary standalone investigation.”

What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know your choices in the comments below or on social media!

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: What would be your ideal X-Files Christmas episode?

For our next roundtable chat based on a key X-Files question…

What would be your ideal X-Files Christmas episode?

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TONY: “I think I would go for something quite scary like Krampus. This came up in the FB group recently and I think M&S investigating a terrifying Christmas legend would make for a nice change of pace, as Xmas episodes of many shows are often softer. I’d want something really scary, throwing up and subverting classic Christmas myths, and leaving a sting in the tail!”

CARL: “An homage to It’s A Wonderful Life with Duchovny in the Jimmy Stewart role could be a lot of fun. Mulder, at a low ebb at Christmas time, would be visited by an angel (Deep Throat?) who’d try to convince him of the good deeds he’s done during his life. This would be a nice opportunity to bring back some people from the stand-alones that our agents have helped, as well as using some recurring characters in interesting ways (CSM would have to be the Mr. Potter figure, of course). This kind of story may not sound appropriate for The X-Files, but is it all that different from the likes of ‘Triangle’ or ‘Amor Fati’?”

TONY: “Man alive that sounds ace. It’d work, they’ve done fantasy episodes as you say. This *sort of* happens in this year’s Xmas Special comic from Joe Harris, but not quite as you describe.”

CARL: “I’m looking forward to reading that. I do agree with your suggestion, too. A scary Christmas episode could work a treat.”

SARAH: “Oh, wow, gotta go with Carl’s idea. I’d love to see that! Maybe it would make a good fanfic? Of course, you know I’d like to see something with Skinner. Maybe something along the lines of Die Hard.”

CARL: “Oh, a Die Hard episode could be fun. Instead of Nakatomi Plaza attacked by terrorists we’d have the FBI building besieged by SuperSoldiers. And instead of Bruce Willis in a white vest we’d have David Duchovny in a red Speedo!”

TONY: “Sans the speedo you could argue we got that episode with ‘Existence’.”

CARL: “Very true, and ‘Existence’ had a lot of elements of the Nativity story as well, come to think of it.”

BAZ: “Set it at Christmas and Existence would have been quite a good festive episode. I also love the idea of Krampus, delivering a really great monster story.”

SAM: “Lethal weapon? M&S as Riggs and Murtaugh?”

BAZ: “Surely that’s Mulder and Doggett as Riggs and Murtaugh?”

SAM: “Hmmm… I suppose… Scully as Lorna?”

TONY: “Lorna was Rene Russo right? We’d also need to throw Tom Braidwood in as the Joe Pesci character!”

SAM: “Yeah! This shit is writing itself!”

What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know your choices in the comments below or on social media!

TOURNAMENT PREDICTIONS: Within vs Grotesque / The Pine Bluff Variant vs Oubliette

The X-Cast blog team are going to share their daily predictions about the Episode Tournament fixtures coming up, talking about who they think will win (not crucially who *should* win – that’s up to you!).

December 19th/20th

WITHIN vs GROTESQUE

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Tony: “GROTESQUE – tricky one that could go either way really but the lack of S8 love could swing it to demonic Kurtwood Smith.”

Carl: “Two very different episodes, both perhaps underappreciated. Season 8 remains divisive overall, so I expect a win for GROTESQUE.”

Sarah: “I expect GROTESQUE will take the win, mostly because Season 8 is not as popular. Basically what Carl said.”

Andrew: “I’m gonna go for WITHIN. It’s a better episode, IMO.”

Baz: “WITHIN is a better episode and a great start to season eight. GROTESQUE is from a more memorable season – I think it might be win by that logic.”

THE PINE BLUFF VARIANT vs OUBLIETTE

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Tony: “OUBLIETTE – much as I’d go for TPBV, the Samantha connotations of Oubliette I suspect could be enough, but again it’ll be close.”

Sarah: “These are both great episodes. Two that I appreciated much more on my recent rewatch. But TPBV has more meat to it, so I think it’ll come out on top.”

Carl: “We’ve had a few close matches recently and this will be another. TPBV is the best solo Shiban script, while Oubliette is my pick for the series’ most underrated episode. I think THE PINE BLUFF VARIANT will eke out a narrow win.”

Make sure you’re following our tournament with the hashtag #TheXFilesEpisodeTournament on Twitter.

ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION: How heavily should Chris Carter be involved in S11 (and beyond)?

For our next roundtable chat based on a key X-Files question…

How heavily should Chris Carter be involved in S11 and beyond?

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TONY: “This one is simple for me: completely. I’ve compared Chris Carter before to Gene Roddenberry, the only difference being Carter can actually on his day tell compelling stories with real dramatic stakes, which Roddenberry struggled with. Both however understood the zeitgeist, the current, and Carter in particular has a learned concept of myth in terms of character and narrative. Much as I think he’s best served with strong creative forces around him, I can’t conscience an X-Files without him at the helm. It simply wouldn’t be the show we grew to love. If we do get a Season 11 (still hopeful!), I hope he’s once again the main driving force, because people underestimate his skill as a storyteller.”

CHARNETTE: “I would love to see him involved but not as heavily as he had been in season 10. I like his ideas but sometimes, he really has no idea about the characters he’s created… like breaking up Mulder and Scully in season 10 because Scully diagnosed him as depressed? the fact that after so long, they’re not even married… well that’s actually a matter of opinion but I honestly feel the depression thing was badly done.”

SAM: “I think Chris Carter should be involved but not at the expense of the show- it’s his baby but he’s written some stinkers in the past! I think getting some current writers on board would be ace- like when Stephen King was involved in ‘Chinga’.”

CHARNETTE: “Scully is a forensic pathologist. She isn’t qualified to make that sort of diagnosis. I also feel like it was a terrible reason for them to break up and I hate even more it was never discussed in the show and they kept acting like they were sort of together.”

SAM: “I don’t know about Stephen King; he really has a problem writing women, and Scully is a character I feel that needs consistent writing, unlike what’s she’s had past season 5. That’s just how I feel though; I am not a fan of the later seasons. As someone who enjoys the work, I love it, but as a writer, I cannot excuse the writing that took place after a while because it was incredibly inconsistent and for a show that started off so strong, it was a shame to watch the characters become a former shadow of themselves at times. I don’t think they were ever married, were they? Don’t think Mulder would be into marriage.”:

CHARNETTE: “Although they could have been common law spouses. Which is fine, but then it’s like okay so they’re together for more than a decade now and Scully leaves because Mulder is depressed? I personally was very bothered by that because I suffer from depression and one of the things that people that have it worry about is that people will get tired and leave them. And I felt that was so out of character for Scully.”

SAM: “Hmmm… I think it would be aScullyy thing to do. She’s done it because she knows that sticking together is probably not the best for either of them.”

ALLY: “I am torn because I don’t feel Chris Carter really understands that a huge part of the success of the show is down to the Mulder/Scully dynamic but at the same time, without him the show would never have come to be. Would the show be better without him? Maybe. But to not have him at the helm would make it feel like a huge betrayal and as a fan, that would hit me pretty hard. To go out on a limb, if season 11 were to happen with the original cast then CC should be there with them but if a ‘franchise’ were to happen with a new cast he should surrender the reins to someone else.”

SAM: “Mulder would stick with her forever, Scully has to be the adult. A friend of mine had recently got divorced from her husband for the same reasons- he needs his own space and needs to think about himself. But also, it was affecting her life in many negative ways. Sometimes the kindest thing to do is to be apart.”

CHARNETTE: “I agree with you 100% and in the end, I reconciled that in my head canon as what happened to cause them to part, however my point is that nothing was touched or elaborated on. I really feel it should have been discussed. It was a really important part of the show, regardless of how much he thought it mattered or not, the fact of the matter is a lot of people care about it, so I feel not addressing it was a faux pas.”

SARAH: “I’d like to absolutely see CC in a producer/director role again. I think that’s where his talents are strongest. I love his writing, and think he definitely has great ideas, but also needs someone to rein him in and keep him focused. When dealing with such a short season, I’d love to see something that pulls everything together. Season 10 was enjoyable, but felt very random and unplanned overall.”

ALLY: “You guys bring up really good points and I definitely agree, someone should rein him in. I don’t think they really knew which direction to take things in Sarah and certainly had no concept that feelings still ran so strong within the fandom. I think though, that the approach to season 11 would be very much more measured.”

SARAH: “I’d love to be a fly on the wall of a writer’s room with Chris Carter, Vince Gilligan, David Duchovny, and Darin Morgan. Just writing that scenario down gave me happy heart palpitations.”

SAM: “Yes, I think everything was too rushed in S11 and that’s why it was all kind of ropey. Part of me wishes that they’d left the mythology alone because they didn’t do it justice; but at the same time, it wouldn’t have been The X-Files without it.”

MICHAEL: “Personally I think Carter has to be involved in the series going forward to the degree of overseeing the mythology. The X-Files is his story, he started all of it and him not being around to finish it would be a real shame. As for the monster-of-the-week episodes, I don’t think he needs to be involved there unless there’s a specific story that he wants to tell. Keep Carter involved in the mythology and with Mulder and Scully as characters, they’re his and he should still have say in what they do and who they become.”

CHARNETTE: “He needs a designated driver in terms of writing, I feel. I mean, is this not the same person who has variously said, “Mulder and Scully are platonic friends,” “They are not in love”, “they are each other’s human credential”, made a claim that they were married, and then said they weren’t, and on top of all that, gave them a baby?? I know a lot of fans joke about it but that really doesn’t sound platonic to me.”

BAZ: “I think CC never wanted them together but given how long the show went on and in bowing to peer pressure, he finally committed to it. After all, the chemistry between these two characters (and Duchovny / Anderson) is amazing. But when we finally saw them as a couple in the second movie, it was all a little dull. Same thing with William – I don’t think he ever got as far as thinking what to do with Scully’s child after he was born, hence abandoning him later in season nine. As for Chris Carter’s involvement? He should be involved. It is his baby. But his three episodes were definitely the weakest of s10 and that needs to be addressed as s11 goes into development. I think he should be showrunner but needs someone like Vince Gilligan or Frank Spotniz to temper him. He has great ideas, but doesn’t always win on the execution. Also, he needs to treat s11 like the end, even if it isn’t. And that might help him work towards a conclusion rather than loosely making it up (which is what s10 felt like).”

CARL: “I’m more pro-Carter than most here, it seems. He’s an excellent showrunner and I want him at the helm of any follow-up to the revival. He lets terrific writers do what they want within very reasonable parameters, which plays a large part in making The X-Files what it is. He has a tendency to take on a lot of work – I think a reasonable balance would see him writing about a third of any new episodes (which is about in line with what used to be happen during the original series). On the issue of Mulder & Scully’s pre-revival breakup, it always struck me as very plausible that their relationship would have suffered in the intervening years.”

TONY: “Yeah I really can’t imagine they would ever have gotten married. Much as Carter plays with it in I Want to Believe, Mulder & Scully just do not fit the 2.4 children traditional paradigm. Their relationship is too complex and mythic almost. It’s about a lot more than sex or companionship. Mulder is also way way too self-obsessed to be a decent husband to anyone!”

PAIGE: “I believe Chris Carter should be involved, yeah, he can play a little fast and loose with the show — but it’s his show. As long as DD and GA are around, CC should be around. It might not be perfect, but it’ll be his show. And occasionally he gets inspired to great heights.”

What do you think? Do you agree? Disagree? Let us know your choices in the comments below or on social media!