X-Files Review – “Release”

John Doggett finally found his son’s killer last
night. Let us all know what you think of it.

Cast

Robert
Patrick

as John Doggett
Annabeth
Gish
as
Agent Reyes
Gillian
Anderson
as Dana Scully
Barbara
Patrick
as Barbara Doggett

Cary
Elwes
as
A.D. Brad Follmer

Crew

Story by David
Amann
and John
Shiban


Teleplay by David
Amann


Directed by Kim
Manners

Original Airdate


Release
originally aired on
Sunday,
May 5,
2002.

Synopsis

Acting on an anonymous tip, Agent Doggett found a
body trapped in the
wall in an apartment building. An FBI recruit
took one look at the
corpse and identified all the circumstances
surrounding her death.
His information panned out. Doggett soon asked
him to look at the
death of Luke Doggett in the hopes that his
incredible intuition would
be helpful. Cadet Hayes told Doggett that it was
the same case.

It seems that Hayes receives messages from
pictures of murders. These
messages told him all about Nicholas Regali, the
man who killed Luke
Doggett, but not the man who kidnapped him.
During the course of the
investigation, it was learned that Hayes was a
schizophrenic who lied
about his identity. Doggett also learned that
Regali did kill his
son, because Luke saw Regali’s face when Regali
visited the pedophile
who kidnapped Luke. We also learned that A.D.
Follmer had been on the
take, making sure that indictments against Regali
never stuck.
In addition, the viewers learned that the
Doggetts divorced some time ago,
and that Mrs. Doggett (played by Mrs. Patrick)
was living in their old
house. We also saw strong indications that
Doggett’s pursuit of the
killer may have been the factor that caused
enough stress to end the
marriage. Finally, we learn that Mrs. Doggett
believes that John
Doggett and Monica Reyes could have a happy life
together if he’d only
let her in.

In the end, A.D. Follmer killed Regali just after
his confession (and
just before Doggett killed him.) That seemed to
be the act that
released them both; Follmer was released from his
bribery, and Doggett
was released from the pursuit of his son’s very
human killer. The end
seems to imply that Doggett and Reyes can finally
be together.

High Point

Mark Snow’s score was fantastic this week. It
set the mood perfectly
with music atypical of The X-Files.

Low Point

I’d have liked to see what effect this will have
on Follmer’s career.
I doubt they’ll get around to that next week.

The Review

The killer was ordinary human scum. How often
does that happen on
this show? I don’t think that’s happened since
Clyde Bruckman’s
Final Repose
back in season three. It also
showed a very
personal journey, which is not terribly common on
this show. I give
it 4 out of 6, but only because the psychic aid
to track a human
killer but was done before, back in Clyde
Bruckman’s Final
Repose
, one of the best episodes the show
has ever seen.

The effects this week were limited to
makeup effects once
again. They were convincing, but not
challenging. I give it 3 out of
6.

The story was excellent. It was a great
whodunit, the real
identity of the killer was ambiguous for a while,
and we saw some very
real character development for Doggett. More
importantly, we learned
more about Follmer and his relationship with
Reyes. The loose ends
are being tied one by one. I give it 5 out of 6.

The acting this week was also excellent.
Robert Patrick is a
great actor, and this entire episode seemed
designed to give him a
chance to shine. Annabeth Gish did a good job for
once, too,
particularly in her conversation with Doggett in
the hallway. Even
Cary Elwes managed to take a character that had
previously been a one
dimensional villain within the Bureau and turned
him into a very real
human who seemed to be conflicted about how to
deal with a trap that
he’d stepped into years before. All in all, this
was a very well
acted episode. I give it 5 out of 6.

The emotional response this week was
fairly high. It really
felt like this was the week that tied up Doggett
and Follmer as
characters. It even tied up Monica to a degree,
by implying that she
and Doggett can live happily ever after. I was
very interested, and
hooked early on. I give it 5 out of 6.

The production was excellent, as usual.
Kim Manners’
direction was excellent, and a nice companion to
the photography.
(The D.P. was, I think, Bill Roe, but I forgot to
check the credits
for sure.) Mark Snow’s score was fantastic,
perfectly setting the
mood, both in its tone, and in its lack of
familiar musical cues,
which just served to drive home the idea that
this was an atypical
episode. I give it 6 out of 6.

Overall, this was a great episode. I
think it can stand with
the best of the Mulder and Scully years in terms
of quality and
production. I give it 5 out of 6.

In total, Release received 33 out of 42.

The Coming Weeks

They seem to be wrapping up the characters on the
show one by one.
So, will this week serve as the wrap-up for
Reyes, or will that be
next week’s? I hope this was it, actually. We
haven’t seen a lot of
Reyes’ past, apart from her relationships with
Doggett and Follmer
that they tied up this week, so anything they try
to tie up in the
future will have to be introduced then, which
seems cheap. I’d much
rather see them wrap up Skinner next week. Also,
as you may or may
not have noticed, the series finale is two hours,
which means the
other episodes in this final stretch would have
to be finished at
least a week early, which gives them time to
decide which order to air
them in. Release was produced before
William, so I
suspect that they’re using this freedom to build
up to the end of the
series with steadily improving episodes. If
that’s the case, next
week should be a great one to see.

On May 12, we get Sunshine Days,
about a guy who is
obsessed with The Brady Bunch. On May
19, the broadcast
starts an hour earlier than normal for the two
hour series finale,
The Truth.

5 replies on “X-Files Review – “Release””

  1. eclectric says:

    wait, who did Doggett kill?

    In the end, A.D. Follmer killed Regali just after his confession (and just before Doggett killed him.) That seemed to be the act that released them both; Follmer was released from his bribery, and Doggett was released from the pursuit of his son’s very human killer. The end seems to imply that Doggett and Reyes can finally be together.

    Wait… did Doggett kill Follmer? I’m guessing not from the rest of the review. Did you mean that Follmer killed REgali before Doggett *could* kill him? Sorry, I didn’t see the episode last night, and just wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything important.

    Also, I do hope that Skinner does get a show. Mitch is a great actor, and when they let him shine, he does… he’s been rather unused (and far to subdued) this season.

    • fiziko says:

      Re: wait, who did Doggett kill?

      Wait… did Doggett kill Follmer? I’m guessing not
      from the rest of the review. Did you mean that Follmer
      killed Regali before Doggett *could* kill him?

      Sorry I wasn’t clear; that is what I
      meant. Regali confessed and left the bar. Doggett
      sat there for a moment, and then drew his gun and
      followed him. When he got out of the bar, he heard a
      gunshot, and someone screamed “Oh my God he just took
      out his gun and shot him!” He looked down to see
      Regali lying on the ground bleeding from the eye, and
      then looked behind him to see Follmer covered in blood
      and aiming his gun at Regali. Then the episode cut to
      John and Monica emptying Luke’s ashes into the sea,
      with no further mention of Follmer.

  2. xah says:

    good story
    spoilers

    Doggett also learned that Regali did kill his son, because Luke saw Regali’s face when Regali visited the pedophile who kidnapped Luke.

    Not sure of your meaning. This is what I saw. At first, Cadet Hayes said that Regali was involved in the murder of Luke, but he was ambiguous as to how he was involved. The cadet also said that Doggett’s old suspect in the case, called “?” (I forget), was indeed the kidnapper but not the killer. Doggett finally confronted Regali, and Regali spilled the beans. He, Regali, the mob guy, killed Luke. The intervening details were pretty sick, and explained why the mob killed a kidnapped child for no apparent reason.

    Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish were both very good. Patrick sucked me into Doggett’s obsession with finding his son’s killer. Gish fooled me with her stunned look after Doggett told Reyes that he thought someone in the FBI was on the take. I thought for sure that Reyes thought Doggett was delusional.

    Elwes, AKA the Dread Pirate Roberts, was great as well, slowly descending from a cocky FBI administrator to a primal killer. Jared Poe was brilliant as a misunderstand obsessive. Poe is not even a star yet. In the end, Doggett, Folmer, and Hayes’s obsessions all converge upon Regali in an act of chilling vengeance.

    The last scene was stirring and contrasted greatly with the rest of the episode in a favorable way.

    This episode began with the examination of a corpose, and ended with the scattering of a deceased child’s ashes.

    “Release” was another great X-File. It sucks that the series is being canceled. I wish Chris Carter and Fox would renew the series, keep Patrick and Gish and Elwes, and move it back to Friday nights. Give the series some new energy and new directions. If you can’t get enough scripts, hire me! Seriously. Maybe just do 10 episodes per year. The current issues with the characters are being resolved, but there are more cases to be solved. Don’t let it end! Do another X-Files movie with Mulder and Scully, and have them meet up with Reyes and Doggett. That would be great.

    Possible new directions for the X-Files could include: searching for lost relics and treasure, solving puzzles, stopping terrorists, investigating strange animals, and more.

    Do I have any regrets now that the X-Files run appears to be over? Sure, but most notably I regret that Monica Reyes has not been developed as well as the character could have been. Just who is this chick, anyway? What’s her deal?

  3. aguy says:

    This belongs in the X-Files
    OK…off topic for “Release”, but as it’s more about him…why doesn’t IMDB credit Robert Patrick as being a cast member of X-Files? And visa-versa.

    Just curious about this rather strange omission.

    • fiziko says:

      Re: This belongs in the X-Files

      OK…off topic for “Release”, but as it’s more about
      him…why doesn’t IMDB credit Robert
      Patrick
      as being a cast member of X-Files? And visa-versa.

      Just curious about this rather strange omission.

      The IMDB is filled out by user
      submissions. I guess nobody has gotten around to
      submitting him yet. He was listed on The Lone Gunmen
      last year, but he’s been removed since.

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