Another year of The X-Files, reviewed in a single
shot. I should be able to review season five and the movie
before school begins again on Wednesday.
This season originally aired from 1996-1997.
The X-Files: Season Four: the red year. In addition
discovery of the lens filter that gave the episodes such
red, orange, and yellow tones, we were introduced to the bees,
ritual abuse of Krycek, Eddie van Blundht, the vaccine, Agent
Pendrell’s death, and Scully’s cancer. This year really started to
personalize the quest for both of the agents, and turned the
its ear with the season finale, “Gethsemane” (which I happened
finish watching at 10:13am, local time, this very morning.)
“Small Potatoes” was, and still is, absolutely hysterical.
“The Field Where I Died” has bored the snot out of me both
times I’ve watched it. It’s beautifully shot, and Kristen Cloke did
very good work with a boring set of personalities, but it still feels
like a 30 minute episode in a 60 minute timeslot. I can
slow pace, but when we’ve had over three years to become
the normal speech and motion rates of the leads in this show,
them down in one episode just doesn’t work.
The originality of the series as a whole was starting
slip, but this season did have some major departures from the
There was a lot of experimenting, including some fantastic new
from Mark Snow, some excellent cinematography, more human
(but no less
disturbing) villains, and “The Field Where I Died.” Most of this
experimenting worked very well. I give it 4 out of 6.
The effects were, for the most part, extremely good.
Betts’ creation of a duplicate is the only sequence that isn’t even
remotely convincing. I give it 5 out of 6.
The story told was starting to take form, particularly in
latter half of the season (when they started looking toward a
for the movie that would follow season five.) Seemingly
“monster of the week” episodes, such as “Paper Hearts” and
Betts” would suddenly reveal themselves as a large part of the
picture. The individual episodes still stand on their own, and
in the latter half of the season were sprinkled with elements of the
“Scully’s cancer” plot to tie them into a greater whole. They were
really in fine form this year. I give it 5 out of 6.
The acting from the leads was very good, and that
guest stars (including writer Darin Morgan as Eddie van Blundht)
above the guest star average. The casting agent for this show
from that on most Fox shows, allowing the selection of guest
be determined by ability rather than modelling background. As a
result, there’s a consistently believable world populated with
plausible characters that don’t seem far removed from those in
real world. It’s a great overall effect, and works out to
advantage. I give it 5 out of 6.
The emotional response this produced was very
like “Small Potatoes,” “Tunguska,” and “Terma” have not lost
their impact upon repeated viewings. Other, more independent
haven’t been rewatched as often, and hold up very well after a
viewing and multi-year gap. Only “The Field Where I Died” has a
negative impact for me. I give it 5 out of 6.
The production was altered to keep a fresh, distinct
in this season. The editing, directing, and lighting still worked on
the familiar standards, while the scoring, color work, and
cinematography moved in new directions to accent the more
feel to the stories. I give it 5 out of 6.
Overall, this was a solid and consistent year. While
the individual episodes made my top ten list, the
as a whole was of excellent quality with a very coherent feel. In
terms of overall quality, this season only lags behind seasons 3,
and 8. I give it 5 out of 6.
In total, The X-Files: Season Four receives 34 out of