The X-Files: Duane Barry   Rewatch 
March 25, 2020 9:14 PM - Season 2, Episode 5 - Subscribe

In the first installment of a two-part episode, Mulder is called upon to handle a hostage negotiation with Duane Barry, former FBI agent, current psychiatric patient, and self-proclaimed multiple alien abductee.
posted by orange swan (6 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Doo-ayne Baaa-ry?
posted by I'm always feeling, Blue at 10:24 PM on March 25, 2020

A classic two-parter, right up there with Tempus Fugit/Max and Nisei/731 for mythology eps. I like how they lean into the police procedural kinda script and then weave in the alien abduction stuff. And Steve Railsback is excellent as Duane Barry!
posted by lefty lucky cat at 10:52 AM on March 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

CCH Pounder was terrific as Agent Kazdin, and she laid down what gets my vote for the Best Krycek Burn of the entire series, making him think she was going to give him something to do and then giving him an order for a grande, two percent cappuccino with vanilla. It's so amusing, and at the same time understandable, that Krycek never gets any respect -- the little weasel. Mulder may get a lot of disrespect for his obsession with the supernatural, but at least no one's ever told him to go get their coffee.

Does anyone else find that Duchovny and Lea have a lot of... chemistry and tension? They get reaaaally close to each other when they talk -- much closer than is customary for two straight men -- and in this episode Krycek summons Mulder from the pool and walks alongside him in his little red speedos. There's at least one episode later on when they're physically fighting and I kept half-expecting them to suddenly stop the grappling and start making out.

I'll just pause here to say I appreciate the fact that The X-Files had their male lead strip down far more often and more gratuitously than its female lead, and to thank them for their female fan service.

Scully buys pickles and ice cream at the grocery store (little in joke there), and pays for them with a personal cheque. So quaint. Also, alien technology is so compatible with human technology that even our grocery store scanners can pick up their codes.

Duane Barry is indeed well played. The actor manages to convey both how terribly he has suffered and just how damaged and batshit crazy and dangerous he is. Duane Barry does not like what the aliens have done to Duane Barry, so no one's messing with Duane Barry, no sir!

And now he has Scully!
posted by orange swan at 3:03 PM on March 26, 2020 [4 favorites]

Also, alien technology is so compatible with human technology that even our grocery store scanners can pick up their codes.

This is a rewatch thread, so we can spoil, right? So, spoiler warning: It of course turns out that Scully was abducted by humans, specifically the US government, so actually that makes an oblique sort of sense.

What's interesting about the scene is how it's another one of those things that was very zeitgeisty at the time that we've mostly forgotten about since. Like, people (mostly religious nuts) were very concerned about barcodes as a surveillance/mark of the beast thing. Did the X-Files ever throw an RFID mention into an episode? The barcode paranoia very easily bled into RFID paranoia when that tech started rolling out.
posted by tobascodagama at 6:39 PM on March 26, 2020

Does anyone else find that Duchovny and Lea have a lot of... chemistry and tension?

Oh, sure, they were a BIG slashfic thing back in the day. I was never into it but there was something undeniably homoerotic about the way they were always punching each other and sweating and shouting in each other's faces. Years ago Duchovny was on some talk show and the host showed him some fan Photoshops of Mulder and Krycek as sexy centaur pals. Duchovny just chuckled and shrugged. I'm sure he's seen WAY weirder stuff from the fans!
posted by Ursula Hitler at 7:45 PM on March 26, 2020 [2 favorites]

Nothing much to add, but... Mulder is a sensitive person, and empathetic. But determined. Definitely a good egg at heart.

Whatever you may think of David Duchovny, he really captured a deep and complex Mulder.

The early part of the episode reminds me strongly of s06e02 'Drive' with Brian Cranston (!!).

Ugh, dental body horror.
posted by porpoise at 6:56 PM on March 29, 2020

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