X-Files Review – “The Truth”

The final episode of The X-Files aired last
night. The review here has spoilers. The spoiler
free version: 29 out of 42 total, 4 out of 6 overall.

Cast

David
Duchovny

as Fox Mulder

Robert
Patrick

as John Doggett

Annabeth
Gish
as
Agent Reyes

Gillian
Anderson
as Dana Scully

Mitch
Pileggi
as
Walter Skinner

Nick
Lea
as Alex
Krycek

Steven
Williams
as X

William
B. Davis
as the Cigarette Smoking Man

Tom
Braidwood
as
Frohike

Dean
Haglund
as
Langley

Bruce
Harwood
as
Byers

Laurie
Holden
as
Marita Covarrubias

Adam
Baldwin
as
Knowle Rohrer

Chris
Owens
as
Jeffrey Spender

James
Pickens
Jr.
as Kersh

Jeff
Gulka
as
Gibson Praise

Crew

Written by Chris
Carter


Directed by Kim
Manners

Original Airdate


The Truth
originally aired on
Sunday,
May 19,
2002.

Synopsis

In the teaser, Mulder breaks into a high security
facility and
uncovers a file full of information he’s not supposed
to know. During
his escape, he threw Knowle Rohrer onto some high
voltage lines, but
was caught and arrested anyway. This was enough for
him to go to
trial for murder, with Skinner as his lawyer, and
every major
character who hadn’t died came forward as a witness in
the trial.
(The dead ones just stopped by to give him advice.)
He was found
guilty, but Skinner, Scully, Doggett, Reyes, and
eventually Kersh
aided his escape before he received his lethal
injection. He fled to
a wise man in the ruins of the Anasazi Indians, where
he learned that
the wise man who had told him how to get into the
facility was the
CSM. When government agents came to destroy the
ruins, Mulder and
Scully escaped with their lives, but the CSM did not.
(We actually
saw his flesh burn off his skeleton, so I think he
really is dead this
time.)

High Point

Reyes’ testimony. I’ve complained about the actress
and the
character, but now, I consider both to be redeemed.

Low Point

Where was Skinner’s development? Everyone else got
some sort of
closure, but Skinner and Marita. Marita was a small
enough part to be
forgivable, but Skinner deserved better than an
implied death at the
hands of the alien judge.

The Review

One of the most watch series finales in recent years
was the
Seinfeld finale. The remarkable similarity
between the two
really hurts the originality score on this
one. I give it 3
out of 6.

The effects this week were excellent. I know
Chris Carter
was fighting with the network for a while to get a
bigger budget, and
I think every dollar is right there on screen in the
first and last
sequences. The effects were extravagant, and apart
from Rohrer’s
death, well done. I give them 6 out of 6.

The story was weaker than I’d hoped. The use
of a clip show
to get the information out felt forced, and it was
bland. Many of the
people still watching The X-Files don’t need
clip shows to
remind them of what happened. Apart from some pieces
of Marita’s
testimony, none of the information was new, either.
The episode was
great before and after the trial, though. I give it 3
out of 6.

The acting this week was very good, given
what was written.
I was even impressed by Gish’s work for once. I give
it 4 out of 6.

The emotional response this week wasn’t what
it should have
been. I was hooked by the teaser, bored by the trial,
and then hooked
again after the trial. My noromo attitudes probably
didn’t help much
through most of the episode, either. I give it 3 out
of 6.

The production was fantastic. The decision
to use voice
overs over the clips helped reduce the “clip show”
feel of the
episode. Instead, it served more to remind the
viewers of what had
happened in the last few years, while giving us
something to look at
other than the face of the witness. The scenes
outside of the trial
were elaborate, and extremely well done, right down to
the final hotel
scene which had Mulder and Scully in the same
positions they were in
when they filmed the hotel scene in the pilot episode.
I give it 6
out of 6.

Overall, the final episode was good, but not
fantastic. The
one hour lag in the middle didn’t help anything. I
give it 4 out of 6.

In total, The Truth received 29 out of 42.

Next Week

There aren’t any more new episodes. Next Monday, I’ll
post my picks
for the top ten episodes of the series, as well as the
bottom ten.

6 replies on “X-Files Review – “The Truth””

  1. jjmahoney007 says:

    I couldn’t agree more
    I was totally swept up by the intro. But once the trial started, I was praying that the whole 2 hours wasn’t going to be that. When they broke Mulder out, I was literally sat up and was like “Now that’s what I’m talking about!”. Mostly because the trial was boring the hell out of me. I agree that the first 5 minutes and the last 40 were the best, and that the trial was a total waste of time. They could have exposed all that Truth in a much better way. I felt during the whole trial, “Ok, yeah, I know that…I know that too….uh huh….yeah….whatever…I know that too dammit!”. Nothing new was revealed, and it felt like it was played to make the newer viewer understand. And me being a veteran viewer, I was a bit upset by that. For the series finale, they should have focused a bit more on what the X-File veteran needs for closure. But the very end was excellent. But I was still disappointed as a whole in the episode. Still wondering why I kept the tape recording it…

    • jayhawk88 says:

      Re: I couldn’t agree more
      Maybe this is just totally too cynical, but it seemed like they were more interested in selling some Season DVD sets during that whole “flashback” trial sequence than anything. At the very least, it was designed to cater towards the casual viewer more than hard-core fans, which is not exactly the way you want to go in a series finale.

  2. xah says:

    great episode
    This was an extraordinarily moving finale. Everything in the myth-arc came together. At last, we finally see just how close Scully and Mulder are. “Mulder.” Pause. “Dana.” It was touching. Later, when they embraced and kissed for a great length of time, Skinner just looked down, was embarrased, and smiled.

    The trial perfectly symbolized the search for truth in the X-Files. It was a rigged trial, and was simply not fair. No matter how starkly the truth was presented, the judges did not care. I thought of Seinfeld, too, but this was done much better. Duchovny’s acting was amazing. He broke out of his prototypical Mulder mode. He raised his voice, he almost cried when reminded of his sister’s travails. Then, he was sentenced to death. Mulder, who had abandoned his friends, his lover, and his child to search for the truth, was not abandoned by his friends or by Dana. Even Kersh, who was a judge in his trial, broke with his evil masters to save Mulder. They set him free. Then, what does Mulder do? He forgets about freedom, and races back into danger, not really knowing where to go. He takes Dana to New Mexico, being unable to tell her about December 22, 2012.

    This is Mulder. He’s been fascinated with poltergeists and aliens since his childhood. He’s investigated freaks and psychics. Now he’s seeing ghosts himself. As much as he loves Dana, he would sacrifice his own life just to get to the truth.

    The final scene was a complete triumph. The X-Files ended where The X-Files began, in a Roswell motel room. At the beginning, Dana was a spy sent to stop Mulder. By the end, she has faced the truth that Mulder suspected, and together, with her formerly standoffish, suspicious partner, found the greatest truth of all in their long secret romantic love. She and Mulder now know the truth. The alien invasion begins on a certain December day in the year 2012. What are they going to do about it? What can they do? With an understanding of the truth, as Mulder says at the end, maybe there is still hope.

    I’m glad we haven’t seen the last of Doggett and Reyes. Though they didn’t get much screen time, they had their moments. The scene where Monica lectures the judges is priceless, and truly establishes her character once and for all. Doggett’s character has been well established before. Now, though, we see another side of him. The prosecutor’s cross-examination of him is brutal. He is shown to not have the genius of Mulder, but he is still a hero, probably more of one than Mulder. The only downside was no continuation of last week’s story that found Doggett and Reyes holding hands. They finally got together, but we didn’t see anymore of that.

    That leaves Skinner and Kersh, who both presumably survive. Neither learn the truth about the date of the alien invasion. Mulder and Scully are clearly out of the FBI. Even if Scully could have stayed, she’ll go with Mulder. Mulder is a fugitive on the run. Reyes and Doggett might still be in the FBI, but the X-Files are finished, just as is The X-Files.

    Any movie they make will be good. I’d also like to see some new limited series on television involving just Doggett and Reyes. You know the actors would go for it.

    Hooray for The X-Files. Has it been 9 years? Thank you. I enjoyed them.

    • xah says:

      the music
      I forgot to mention the music. How could I have forgotten that?

      The music was good throughout, but the rearrangement of the X-Files theme at the very end was incredibly poignant. I wish I could have heard much, much more of it. If you have the episode on tape, listen to it again. It’s great.

  3. Jackolantern says:

    The Truth
    I beg to differ with the interpretations of why they put the flash backs in the trial. It was not so much to show us some high points from the previous seasons, but to tell us what the final version of the mythos is. How many times has Mulder had to re-think what was going on in the conspiracy? Enough so that even I have no idea what is going on half the time. So I think that “The Truth” does not necessarily refer to what Mulder found in the bunker(it was really an underwhelming piece of information, that added little to the series) instead it refers to everything that has come before. The CSM said that “you already know the truth, you are just afraid to speak it”. So maybe the answers have been in front of all of us for a while now and we just have to accept that.

    -Jack

    ps:or maybe that is BS and the “truth” is that all we have is hope

    • fiziko says:

      Re: The Truth

      I beg to differ with the interpretations of why they put
      the flash backs in the trial. It was not so much to show
      us some high points from the previous seasons, but to tell
      us what the final version of the mythos is.

      That’s possible. The version presented
      here was the version I’d already settled on after spending
      seven years hanging out on the alt.tv.x-files newsgroup,
      so it didn’t seem earth-shattering. The only information
      that came out in the trial that I felt was new was that a)
      Gibson had been hiding Mulder, and b) the conspirators
      didn’t know about the rebel aliens until they arrived.

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