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.

Cast

David
Duchovny

as Fox Mulder.

Gillian
Anderson
as Dana Scully.

The series creator was Chris
Carter
.
Complete cast and crew info can be found at this IMDB
page
.

Original Airdate

This season originally aired from 1996-1997.

Synopsis

The X-Files: Season Four: the red year. In addition
to the
discovery of the lens filter that gave the episodes such
overwhelming
red, orange, and yellow tones, we were introduced to the bees,
the
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
series on
its ear with the season finale, “Gethsemane” (which I happened
to
finish watching at 10:13am, local time, this very morning.)

High Point

“Small Potatoes” was, and still is, absolutely hysterical.

Low Point

“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
appreciate a
slow pace, but when we’ve had over three years to become
familiar with
the normal speech and motion rates of the leads in this show,
slowing
them down in one episode just doesn’t work.

The Review

The originality of the series as a whole was starting
to
slip, but this season did have some major departures from the
past.
There was a lot of experimenting, including some fantastic new
themes
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.
Leonard
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
the
latter half of the season (when they started looking toward a
script
for the movie that would follow season five.) Seemingly
independent
“monster of the week” episodes, such as “Paper Hearts” and
“Leonard
Betts” would suddenly reveal themselves as a large part of the
whole
picture. The individual episodes still stand on their own, and
those
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
from the
guest stars (including writer Darin Morgan as Eddie van Blundht)
was
above the guest star average. The casting agent for this show
differs
from that on most Fox shows, allowing the selection of guest
stars to
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
the
real world. It’s a great overall effect, and works out to
everyone’s
advantage. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response this produced was very
high. Episodes
like “Small Potatoes,” “Tunguska,” and “Terma” have not lost
much of
their impact upon repeated viewings. Other, more independent
episodes
haven’t been rewatched as often, and hold up very well after a
second
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
feeling
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
personal
feel to the stories. I give it 5 out of 6.

Overall, this was a solid and consistent year. While
none of
the individual episodes made my top ten list, the
season
as a whole was of excellent quality with a very coherent feel. In
terms of overall quality, this season only lags behind seasons 3,
5,
and 8. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, The X-Files: Season Four receives 34 out of
42.