Wednesday, 5 August 2015

X-Files Rewatch | Eve & Fire

Mulder and Scully face evil twins and a pyrokinetic serial killer. You know, your usual X-Files stuff.

It's only season one of The X-Files and we're already at our first introduction to genetic experimentation. This time in the use of eugenics and the Adam's and the Eve's. There's also an introduction to IVF in this episode - something that serves as a major role in future episodes within the mythology. 

The episode of 'Eve' has such a creepier vibe than I remember it having. Remember the twins from The Shining? The two 'Eve's' - Teena and Cindy - have that vibe about them, especially when they're acting innocently at the beginning of the episode. 

Mulder and Scully investigate two almost identical murders that occurred simultaneously, although thousands of miles apart. With further investigation, they find that the girls may be the result of a secret human genetic experimentation project run by the government. 

Writers Kenneth Biller and Chris Brancato do a great job at building the suspense by making the two kids the evil ones, making it appear that it's the adult Eve's that are the murderers. But as soon as Mulder and Scully figure this out and the chase for the girls ensues, that's it. The girls are in prison. It has such a great build and with an effective twist, with little pay-off. Apart from Eve 8 showing up at the end in the prison talking to the two girls and Eve 6; that manages to turn our expectations around at least. It's a surprise that this episode didn't end up like 'Squeeze' did, that had 'Tooms' later in the season to resolve the story. 

Even though the ending is somewhat abrupt, the girls (Erika and Sabrina Krievens) performances are terrifying. You can believe that they are fully capable of what they've been doing, especially since it turns out that their generation of Eve's have grown at an accelerated rate. Meaning that they become murderous and intelligent at a much younger age. 

Teena and Cindy display heightened senses from the beginning, with Teena showing her intelligence through being able to manipulate Mulder. She plays with the fact that he believes in extra-terrestrials, and tells him that aliens killed her father by exsanguination after witnessing red lightning. 

Scully repeatedly tries to get Mulder to drop the insane UFO theory which is hilarious, as he keeps coming up with more and more excuses to keep going with it. Once there is alarming evidence that doesn't support Mulder's exsanguination and UFO theories however, he debunks them at his own accord. Which makes it more satisfying as it shows that he has been listening to Scully. He manages to ground himself by himself, but with the added help of Scully making him doubt his theories for thinking that was the first logical conclusion. Mulder tends to make leaps of judgment without looking at the facts first. 

Deep Throat features again in this episode, yet used in a weird fashion. He's only really in this episode in terms of exposition purposes, he doesn't really lend to the plot in any way other than giving Mulder information. Especially since he's usually used as an informant through the mythology, not random cases. Although, this episode does link to the mythology in a way using genetic manipulation.

All in all, 'Eve' is an extremely well written episode that gives off that seminal terrifying X-Files feeling , but loses it a small amount at the end due to the abruptness of it all.

I don't know what it is with American television and British accents, but they always seem so unnatural. 'Fire' takes this one step further in making them so stereotypical it's distracting at points. It's ridiculous. Especially with Phoebe Green's (Amanda Pays), literally the only people that say half the stuff she says with the accent that she has are upper class or live in certain parks of London. I've never heard anyone say some of the words she was saying, let alone actually using them in my vocabulary.

With that out the way, 'Fire' focuses on, you guessed it, fire. A serial killer who is capable of pyrokinesis, to be more exact. Played none other than Crowley himself, Mark Sheppard. Sheppard portrays Cecil O'Riley, a serial killer who has a strange affliction with not only fire, but with the wives of the men that he's murdered. Mainly through love letters that he sends to them. That's really the most interesting thing about this plot. The rest becomes convoluted with Mulder's old flame from Oxford, Phoebe Green. 

And Mulder's sudden and one episode long phobia of fire. Something that David Duchovny makes fun of a lot, as do I on occasion. 

Scully's reaction to Phoebe's introduction is hilarious, it's exactly how I reacted as she kisses Mulder once they meet each other outside of the car. She already begins to manipulate him right off the bat, and begins to make him walk through fire. Which seems to be where their relationship was whilst they were in Oxford, judging by Mulder's defensive stance he has around Phoebe at the beginning. I do want to know what happened between them though. What Phoebe did to make Mulder so distasteful (well, kind of distasteful) to her. And for Mulder to remember it so vividly, which is probably due to the reveal of his photographic memory.

Even though Phoebe is used (poorly) as a femme fatale in this episode, I do think she's effective in the sense that it brings Mulder's past to life. Especially in terms of introducing the time he spent at Oxford before he became an FBI agent.

 (via missanniehall)

Phoebe insinuates to Mulder that they could 'get back together' at the hotel they need to scope out, especially after they're dancing and kissing in the lobby. But Phoebe eventually shows her true colors and completely disregards Mulder's attempts at facing his fears and saving the two children from the fire, with Scully coming to his aid straight away. Scully sees that Phoebe doesn't care for Mulder either, that Mulder was right. She is just using him and manipulating him. Scully cares for Mulder instead. She's the one by his side after he's brought down by the firemen. She's the one by his bedside handing him water and telling him he had every right to have gotten scared from his phobia. Mulder seems grateful that Scully's there, through getting excited and happy that she's been going at the case even though he told her not to bother with it. Scully just seems relieved that he's okay.

Mulder and Scully's dynamic is shown really well in this episode. Mainly through Phoebe agreeing with Mulder's theories, as that's what makes Mulder and Scully so great, their dynamic. Mulder would be off the walls if he had someone agreeing with him all the time. He needs someone there to keep him sane and above water. It's also nice to see Mulder and Scully doing things outside of the basement, like having to go to court. It makes it seem like a continuing story, that they have to go through all the regular processes after they close a case.

In terms of plot, this episode isn't really that captivating. It's character interactions between Mulder, Scully and Phoebe that ultimately carry the episode.


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