A young agent, right out of the FBI academy, offered his hand to
agent Mulder and said “Krycek. Alex Krycek.” The shape of the
series changed forever, and a legend was born.
This season originally ran from 1994-1995.
The X-Files have been closed, Mulder and Scully have been
different assignments, and the show takes a decidedly darker
This is where the show started to take form. “Duane Barry” was
mighty fine episode. The introduction, and later reintroduction of
Alex Krycek set up a sadly underused character that would be
through the end. Donnie Pfaster showed what could be done
with a very
human monster. “Die Hand Die Verletz” and “Humbug” showed
us what Kim
Manners could do with the show; he went on to direct over one
of the episodes of the series. “Humbug” also showed us the
debut of Darin Morgan, in the series’ first comedic episode.
Light” showed us how evil Mulder’s new informant (and, by
Deep Throat) could be. Then, the series ended with “Anasazi,”
I’ll describe in more detail in the “High Point” section of this
“Anasazi.” This episode showed us the breadth of this
demonstrating its worldwide reach for the first time. (Deep Throat
claimed something like this back in “E.B.E.”, but the viewer
know how much of that speech to believe.) Bill Mulder’s
in the conspiracy is exposed, just in time for Krycek to be
reintroduced as his assassin. Mulder is attacked very personally,
very effectively, and very anonymously by those who wish to
him. The Lone Gunmen began to take a more active role in the
investigations, connecting Mulder to the Thinker. The smallpox
vaccination aspect of the conspiracy, and the large scale human
experimentation are revealed. Scully’s abduction becomes more
excuse to give a pregnant actress time off. The Cigarette
takes a more active role, commanding troops in the field. This
the best season finale in the series.
“Aubrey,” with the old serial killer who carved “Sister” on his
victims. It’s not that the episode is terrible, but it’s the only one
that I find entirely unmemorable; I can watch this DVD set every
and I’ll forget about that episode entirely until I get to it.
It’s hard to accurately rate the originality of a
of episodes when I’ve seen many of them half a dozen times. I
remember that “Sleepless” convinced me to watch this every
was at home, and that “Anasazi” kicked off the three parter that
me a committed X-Phile. I remember thinking that I’d never seen
anything like this before, but as a high school student, that may
spoken more to my own ignorance than anything else. What I do
that this was when the show started to have an impact. I’d like to
think that this would prove that it had some sort of shining quality
that set it above the crowd, but “Survivor” has had a huge impact
on television, too. I give the originality of this season a 4 out of
6; people watching it today will be more familiar with this kind of
feel, even though much of it was begun and/or popularized here.
The effects were mostly physical, and rarely CGI.
think, is the way effects should be done as often as possible. It’s
easier for the actors to play off a model than a ping-pong ball
“look here,” and you avoid the look of the glossy, polished aliens
that we’ve seen in recent Star Wars flicks. The effects here were
almost entirely plausible and convincing, which is impressive in a
series with aliens that melt when you poke them in the neck, and
physicists with man-eating shadows. I give it 5 out of 6.
The stories told started to show the bigger picture;
week’s events had a greater impact this week, and the
elements started to really connect together. I give it 5 out of 6.
The acting was very good, even among the guest
was a show populated by actors, not necessarily pretty people.
Shalhoub’s performance in “Soft Light” rescues that episode from
pseudo-scientific doldrums that buried “Ghost in the Machine” in
first season, and Steve Railsback’s work as Duane Barry was
impressive. Tony Todd showed us that the line “they cut out a
of my brain” can not only be delivered with a straight face, but
the absurdity of the line can even be overlooked by an audience
up in the pain of a man who can’t sleep. It’s rare that a series
such a small core cast can go an entire season without a single
actor bad enough to make me cringe; I give it 6 out of 6.
The emotional response this produces is reduced on
re-watching. The show held my interest in its first run, but didn’t
grip me tight enough to keep me there every week. (I missed
Barry” and “Ascension” the first time around, though, which might
changed that.) It still holds my interest, and some dialogue still
makes me laugh (including most of “Humbug,”) but very little grips
me. This may sound bad, but the fact remains that I’ve seen
“Sleepless,” “Duane Barry,” “Ascension,” and “Anasazi” at least
dozen times each, and every one of those episodes sucks me in
time. That’s a damn impressive feat. I give it 5 out of 6.
The production was top notch. Rob Bowman, Kim
even first-time director Chris Carter did some very impressive
here. Mark Snow kept doing his great job with the weekly musical
score, and the cinematography included the rich blacks that
set this show apart. I give it 5 out of 6.
Overall, this was the start of the pinnacle of the
Seasons three, five, and eight would later stand out as great
television in their own rights, but this was the first. This was the
season that made Fox shift its gears from “you may be cancelled
time” to “how much do we pay you to keep you on the air?” I
give it 5
out of 6.
In total, The X-Files: Season Two receives 35 out of