The latest episode underscores some of what's best, and most aggravating, about this second-year series, as FBI agent Dana Sculley (Anderson) mysteriously turns up comatose in a hospital after her abduction by aliens or shadowy government operatives (take your pick) a few weeks ago.
The latest episode underscores some of what’s best, and most aggravating, about this second-year series, as FBI agent Dana Sculley (Anderson) mysteriously turns up comatose in a hospital after her abduction by aliens or shadowy government operatives (take your pick) a few weeks ago.Told that Sculley will likely die, her partner, Fox Mulder (David Duchovy), searches to find out what’s happened to her, calling on his new “Deep Throat” (Steven Williams) — who, in the episode’s best moment, demonstrates to Mulder the depths to which he has to sink to take on the faceless enemy he’s fighting. Meanwhile, in a “Twin Peaks”-esque flourish, the viewer is privy to what’s going on inside Sculley’s head, as she floats in a rowboat tethered just off the shore. There’s a certain pretentiousness in the script by co-exec producers James Wong and Glen Morgan, and while still fascinating, the show has lost some steam this year, a problem it will apparently address with Mulder and Sculley’s reunion and the X-Files unit’s reactivation. That said, the series remains one of the most slickly produced hours on television, notable for its cryptic endings (there’s another one here) and sharp , intelligent writing. Duchovny’s mix of paranormal-obsessed geek and dispassionate investigator of the unknown also continues to impress, providing a moral center to the odd goings on. Mitch Pileggi is also strong as his stern boss. Even so, “The X-Files’ ” highlights remain in its macabre and sometimes grisly approach to the latenight monster genre — providing creepy-good scares. With Anderson back on her feet and the files reopening, let’s hope new bouts of queasiness are just over the horizon. After a bizarre arc of early-season episodes — designed in part to work around star Gillian Anderson’s pregnancy — one looks forward to “The X-Files” getting back to the A-B-C’s of monster-chasing. Still intriguing, the show has shifted this season to a mix of paranoia and cloak-and-dagger espionage that strays too far from its roots as a latter-day “The Nightstalker.”