No, seriously, Scully argues over whether the guy’s black. There are some awkward conversations in this episode.
Scully fixes everything with shooting!
Time Cube FTW!!! Nice call out.
Mulder is educated stupid!
I dunno, man. A lot of MotWs look like people. So a MotW that came over from Africa who looked like people would look like African people, right? And its easier to hide that you’re a MotW if you hide in the largely uninhabited bits rather than the cities, and most of the other people in the the largely uninhabited bits are the “less civilized” tribes rather than the “more civilized” city folk, so that’s the kind of African people the MotW would look like.
Ah who’m I kidding. Its racist.
Also: Ever notice that Mulder doesn’t believe in vampires and thinks the premise is absurd, but fat vampires and melanin vampires are rational and believable? And the chupacabra… I don’t even know what in the silly names of the seven princes of hell was up with that.
Did the writers just forget that he doesn’t believe in vampires or something?
Mulder DOES believe in vampires (“Bad Blood”!), he just didn’t believe in the people who claimed to be vampires in “3”. Bear in mind that he was somewhat depressed by Scully’s abduction back then, though, so he might have not behaved like himself.
Mulder strikes me as someone who’d be read up on the original folklore, and thus would expect/want the real thing to be much more esoteric or “traditional”. Anyone playing up the modern Anne Rice sort of romantic/goth image would just look like a clueless wannabee in his eyes.
Blow darts are African now?
Like I said, random. I was going to give them a pass for effort (they made a point of casting actual Africans for the episode, for instance, rather than getting African-Americans to do unconvincing accents), but then they had tribal drums on the soundtrack and I was all no.
Oh, lord, those drums were the last straw for me too.
I wish I knew a bit more about the vast and complex realm of African drumming. Somewhere out there must be people who wonder, “Why the hell is this cannibal chase sequence scored to an Akan wedding dance from north-western Ghana?”
I googled this episode last week and discovered that there at least a couple of books that use it as an example of the problematic treatment of racial issues on network TV.
Those darts look like carrots. 🙂
I laughed out loud with the last panel. Dazed Mulder FTW! (Loved the little planets, too.)
Re the racist thing: in the 17 years I’ve been a Phile, the thought never crossed my mind. I think that’s because I don’t live in the US and the over-the-top political correctness of late was never an issue in my country. African people are black and that’s that. What happened, when they are not? This episode is merely one of the answers (the most fictional one, of course) to that question.
My take on this is: The idea of a melanin-stealing vampire is not in and of itself racist. It’s the way the writers treated foreigners as exotic, that Mulder has an argument with a case worker in which he says “He ran away from the police! He must be doing something wrong!” and it turns out that he’s right and the case worker is wrong, the way that every black character is either a victim or a monster, the way that the victims have to be saved by white characters, and the general attitude of “Africa sure is exotic and spooky!” that make this episode’s depiction of race pretty problematic.
This is one ep that I looked at the description on Netflix and thought, “Nope. I’ll wait for MotW. It’ll be less ackward.” It’s my superpower.
I second that, “African Crap”?
The joke is that the show just threw some random bits of alleged tribal culture into the story. It’s like the episode was just saying “Hey, here’s some African crap.”
It’s parody. Same as the comments about Navajos magicking up a white guy. Shaenon doesn’t really think that’s a thing that Navajos go around doing, but she was paraphrasing what the episode seemed to think.
No one’s mentioning that this episode got its own opening tag line. Warranted, No…I contend that it was just another way to justify all the random “African” crap and manufactured political statements they were trying to make.