Season 2, Episode 10: Red Museumon March 8, 2013 at 12:01 am
I didn’t have room for another of the episode’s many red herrings: the cultists’ belief in body-possessing animal spirits called “walk-ins.” Which, sorry, but every time Mulder said “walk-ins,” I pictured something like this.
This episode felt to me like it should have been directed by Sam Raimi.
(Sorry if this double posts.)
I’ve been thinking of what it would be like if the X-Files had guest directors, like it sometimes had guest writers (Stephen King wrote an okay episode, William Gibson a ghastly one). It’s already very well-directed for a TV show at the time–dark and atmospheric, with that great minimalist soundtrack. But John Carpenter, for instance, probably could’ve done something cool.
I remember “Triangle” struck me as a self-conscious effort to show how just well-directed and edited a TV episode could be, and a pretty convincing one, at that. (I don’t remember the plot making a lot of sense, but the visuals were stunning.)
Thinking of other directors is tricky, because you’re right, John Carpenter seems like a great fit and it’s hard to think of anyone else after that. With that said, I would be interested to see what David Lynch would have done with some of the episodes.
Quentin Tarantino was hitting his stride right around then, but his aesthetic doesn’t have a lot in common with the X-Files and … I dunno.
I’m oddly curious as to what Woody Allen would have done with, say, ‘Arcadia’.
I wondered at the beginning of the episode if it was going to try to scare all the viewers into becoming vegetarians. If so, it was undercut by all the delicious looking barbecue.
This episode really does have a crazy number of elements. It tries to tie them all together, too, though not necessarily in the best way. The conspiracy hires the peeping tom guy and his boss to inject the cows with alien DNA so they can see what effect it has on the locals, and hires Doctor Whats-his-name to inject some of the local children too. It isn’t explicitly stated, but I think the Conspiracy also has peeping tom guy spy on the kids to see if they develop in unusual ways. (Otherwise it’s hard to see how the peeping tom had the wherewithal to create hidden rooms in all of the victims’ houses.)
After alien hormone-crazed locals start to go nuts and there are a bunch of rapes, the peeping tom guy feels super guilty and starts kidnapping and labeling the locals who have been injected. Partly to call attention to things, and partly because he’s pretty wacko at this point, I guess. (Why do the kidnapped kids have weird hallucinations? Not explained.)
Mulder and Scully arrive in town, start investigating things, and eventually figure out that people and cows are being injected with alien DNA. The Conspiracy gets wind of it and sends an assassin down to remove all the evidence. He kills Peeping Tom’s boss and the sheriff’s kid and drives around town until Scully sees him. The good guys round up the remaining kids for protection, then have a showdown with the assassin when he goes back to the barn to burn it down.
This leaves out the Red Museum people, who are one of the main reasons that Scully and Mulder come to investigate at all. It seems like maybe they are just there coincidentally, but then someone says that they are probably there as a control group (since, as they don’t eat meat, they wouldn’t be eating the alien dna-contaminated beef). But if that’s true, then that implies that Mr. Odin (awesome name) is working for the Conspiracy, in which case it’s probably a bad idea to leave all those kids in his care. Oh well.
Another loose end: The sheriff calls in the X-Files team because he thinks the kids are being possessed by dead animals. But not only does that not make sense, when they show up he pretty clearly thinks the Red Museum people are pretty loony, and this part isn’t really referred to again, unless I’m forgetting it. Oh, well, when you’re trying to insert a million plot points into a 45-minute show a few things are bound to not add up.
(Ephebophile joke = genius.)
The SHIPPER MOMENT panel. You are a genius.
By the way, the first panel says “Season 1” instead of two.
I was wondering about that, at first I thought “archive glitch,” then I started wondering if my memory was going the way of turtles. I like turtles.
I especially like how Scully’s like “huh, that guy looks familiar” when she sees the man who murdered someone in front of her and stole her dead alien baby. You would have thought she might have remembered that. Oh well, when the plot demands…
Also, BBQ faced, bebibbed Scully is ADORABLE!
The Shipper Moment panel was awesome!!
Love this comic!
Just discovered this comic… Thank you Shaenon! I’m eagerly looking forward to all nine seasons. Brilliant stuff.