The X-Files: Conduit   Rewatch 
February 29, 2020 9:01 PM - Season 1, Episode 4 - Subscribe

Scully and Mulder travel to Iowa to investigate the strange disappearance of a teenaged girl, and her 8-year-old brother's precocious code-writing ability.
posted by orange swan (5 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
This one is always enjoyed by my family as we lived in the Iowa Great Lakes region at the time. The spelling, the mountains, the proximity to Sioux City, always fun to see.

As for the story, anything to do with Samantha is worth seeing. Mulder... *sob*
posted by Fukiyama at 1:01 PM on March 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

I found this one to be a little dull. But granted I tend to find the UFO aspect of the X-Files the least compelling.

There was some silliness in this one, maybe as a result of its age. The picture being drawn in binary was pretty hokey. But maybe that's because that kind of hidden picture trope has been done so much and much more effectively elsewhere. And then the fake-out UFO actually being a biker gang?

But then right at the end the audiotape of Mulder talking about his sister? "Do you believe the voice?" "I want to believe." It's such a great moment. I just wish it was stapled to a more interesting episode.
posted by Neronomius at 3:40 PM on March 1, 2020

Scully's tiny gold cross necklace makes its first appearance in this episode.

Samantha Mulder's case file photo isn't of the same girl who plays her in later episodes. But then there are a number of Samantha Mulders over the course of the show.

Scully often acts like Mulder's interest in missing girl cases is pure transference throughout the show's run, and I've always found it out of line on her part. Yes, Mulder has a general drive to investigate the unexplained because of his sister's disappearance, and he does tend to get especially absorbed by missing girl cases, but his actual conduct regarding those missing girls isn't out of line -- in this case there was a missing girl to be found and he wasn't going to give up until he had to -- so why talk to him like he's gone completely off the rails with regards to them?

Er, isn't anyone going to investigate who killed the bartender guy and buried him under those rocks? Or what happened to that bar owner's fucking ear?
posted by orange swan at 4:00 PM on March 1, 2020 [1 favorite]

"The huge portrait of Ruby that Kevin draws was originally done via a computer printout. However, it looked a little too perfect so art department member Vivien Nishi painstakingly wrote out all the 1s and 0s by hand. This took her several days for a shot that lasted a few seconds on screen."

This is when you know the writers room had copies of Wired laying around. And when you knew X-Files was for you.
posted by valkane at 9:19 PM on March 1, 2020 [3 favorites]

I remember being really impressed by the reveal of the portrait when I first saw the episode.

Then again, when I was much younger, I had a friend whose dad worked for Rockwell Collins and he had a giant portrait of the moon done on plotter paper, made entirely out of ASCII characters. So I knew at some level how much effort those took to make.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 10:28 PM on March 1, 2020

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