The second part of the season premier aired last
night. You know the drill.

Cast

Gillian
Anderson
as Dana Scully
Robert
Patrick

as John Doggett
Mitch
Pileggi
as
Walter Skinner
Annabeth
Gish
as
Agent Reyes
Lucy
Lawless
as Shannon McMahon
Cary
Elwes
as Assistant Director Brad Follmer

Crew

Written by Chris
Carter
and Frank
Spotnitz

Directed by Tony
Wharmby

Original Airdate

Nothing Important Happened Today II
originally aired on
Sunday, November 18, 2001.

Synopsis

This episode continues from where last week’s
left off. Doggett
wasn’t being drowned by the woman we now know is
Shannon McMahon, but
rather he was being hidden by her. Her ability
to breathe underwater
let her blow air into his lungs, keeping him
alive. She was the last
member of his unit in the marines that he was
trying to contact.

According to Shannon, she and Knowle Rohrer have
been turned into the
first generation of supersoldiers. (The lumps on
the neck are a mark
of these soldiers.) She claims to want to expose
the project, but
investigation into the victims and into the
captain of a ship who was
trying to contact them indicate that the men she
killed were trying to
expose the project, and that she was using
Doggett to get to the ship
captain, who was cooperating with them.

By the time Doggett, Reyes, and Scully reach the
ship in its dock, the
new first officer (Knowle Rohrer) had killed the
captain and wired the
ship to explode. Doggett, Reyes, and Scully
escaped the bomb after
discovering a lab that was being used to mutate
ova. It also appears
that Rohrer may be dead, but I doubt it. These
soldiers have taken
far worse than decaptitation before. (Remember
Billy Miles?)
Similarly, Shannon McMahon, who ended up with a
hand through her
stomach before being dumped into the bay, is not
dead either.

We also learned during this episode that Mulder
left at Scully’s
insistence. It seems that A.D. Kirsh has been
manipulating Doggett in
hopes of starting some sort of revolution. It
was Kirsh that leaked
information about the corpses to Doggett and
Reyes last week, and it
was Kirsh who told Mulder his life was in danger
if he stayed.
This wasn’t enough to make Mulder leave, but it
was enough to make
Scully force Mulder to leave. This behaviour is
in character for
Mulder, in my opinion. It’s also in character
for Kirsh to send away
his biggest threat, and trick another potential
threat into revealing
the location of the ship captain to the super
soldiers.

High Point

Doggett’s attitudes toward his job. He’ll hand
in a report stating
exactly what the evidence indicates, whether it
looks like an x-file
or not. This recently converted skeptic is a
great guy to head up the
x-file investigations.

Low Point

William Scully is growing up fast. I don’t have
a lot of experience
with kids, but he looks considerably older than a
week. (He was about
three days old at the start of last week’s
episode.)

The Review

The originality was lacking this week.
The writers seem to
be setting up a new conspiracy, with new
players, but none of them are
all that different from what we’ve seen before.
We’ve seen the highly
placed informant who might be manipulating the
agents for his own
purposes (Deep Throat), we’ve seen the assassin
with answers who just
won’t die (Alex Krycek), and we’ve seen the set
up from a new
informant (X in “Soft Light”). I give the
originality 2 out of 6.

The effects this week all seemed to
be in the form of
decapitations. They were flawless as always, but
they’re not new
effects. I do have to admit that the decapitated
head looked more
realistic this week than the other heads did once
they’d been
severed. I give the effects 5 out of 6.

The story this week moved seemed to
move away from the
character introductions last week and into the
new conspiracy. The
character interactions were still the most
interesting part, though.
The audience has seen enough to believe that
Reyes, Doggett, and
Scully would buy into the super soldiers. It’s
time to get moving,
either with something really new about the
soldiers, or with another
storyline. I give it 4 out of 6.

The acting was again limited by Cary
Elwes as Brad
Follmer. I don’t think his character was well
defined when the season
began shooting, and that’s made it harder for him
to figure out the
character well enough to do a good job. Lucy
Lawless was less than
convincing this week too, despite the minimal
acting required. The
great work done by Robert Patrick, Annabeth Gish,
Gillian Anderson,
and James Pickens Jr. redeem the acting enough to
get 4 out of 6.

As for this week’s emotional response,
there really isn’t a
whole lot to say. Most of my interest and
involvement in this episode
was merely carried over from the great episodes
that came before it.
Even the bomb-on-the-boat sequence barely held my
attention. There
was never a doubt in my mind that they’d escape
unhurt, but without
collecting any hard evidence (even through
grabbing a couple of random
samples for later study would have been easy
enough.) I give it 2 out
of 6.

The production value was its typical
high. The directing,
editing, lighting, sound, cinematography, and all
the other elements
combined well enough to make the x-files world
believable and
consistent, but they couldn’t offset the
unoriginal writing. Since
the writing is evaluated elsewhere, I give the
production 5 out of 6.

Overall, this episode did a decent
job of setting up the
characters annd relationships we’ll see this
season, but it doesn’t
really seem like much at this point. I give it 3
out of 6.

In total, Nothing Important Happened Today
II
received 25 out of 42.

Next Week

Daemonicus airs next week, by the looks
of things.