The X-Files: Red Museum   Rewatch 
March 30, 2020 9:02 PM - Season 2, Episode 10 - Subscribe

Mulder and Scully are called to Delta Glen, Wisconsin, to look into the case of a teenaged boy who left his home in response to a phone call from an unknown person, saying he'd be gone for five minutes, and was found the next morning, wandering the woods in only his underwear, wild-eyed and incoherent with fear, and with the words, "He is one," written in black marker on his back.
posted by orange swan (3 comments total)
This was another episode, like "Gender Bender", in which the writers overdid it with the plot points. We have teenagers being abducted and drugged, a perverted landlord who's spying on and filming a widowed mother and her two boys, a vegetarian religious cult which wears (admittedly iconic and even rather snazzy) white robes and red turbans and spends its time listening to and spouting a lot of meaningless and pointless claptrap about the Age of Aquarius, Mulder going on about walk-ins, the Sherrif's asshole son Rick and his delinquent friends, an old man sharing his ominous observations, cattle being injected with hormones, an unprincipled doctor with a briefcase full of money and drugs who's been experimenting on the children in his practice and who dies in a plane crash, and Deep Throat's killer ("Crew Cut Man) wandering around killing a few more people (because surprise! this is a mythology arc episode!), and then after all of that it turns out the perv landlord is responsible for the abductions because he's trying to save the teenagers from being sociopaths. It's all simply too much and doesn't add up or make much sense.

It did not, for instance, seem reasonable that Gary Kane would be abducted given that we see no indication that he's a bad or troubled kid. And while it makes sense that Crew Cut Man would kill the cattle injection guy and possibly the doctor (was the plane sabotaged?) if he's cleaning up the evidence by eliminating the people who know too much, why would Crew Cut Man kill the sheriff's son?

The sheriff shouldn't have been allowed to stay on the case given that his son was just murdered -- law enforcement working cases that are far too personal to them is such a dumb TV trope. When Mulder tells Scully he wants Crew Cut Man alive, you know Crew Cut Man is doomed, given that would ordinarily be something Mulder would have no need to say to Scully -- neither of them kill people unless it's absolutely necessary.

Gillian Barber, who played Beth Kane, previously played Agent Nancy Spiller in "Ghost in the Machine". The X-Files routinely used bit part actors multiple times, but then why the hell shouldn't they, given that I have never once recognized one of the actors who were used in that way, with the exception of Nicholas Lea, who played a major role after playing one bit part.

We did get the nice fan service moment of Mulder wiping a dab of rib sauce off Scully's face, so that's something, I suppose.
posted by orange swan at 11:01 AM on March 31, 2020 [2 favorites]

This strikes me as one of the more X-Filey episodes in the canon... the whole is less than the sum of its parts, but I never skip this one during a re-watch of the series. That sense might just be because after seeing a couple dozen episodes during the initial show's run, this is one that was a showcase of the show's developing tropes that were by then becoming recognizable to me.

Interesting factoid: This was originally supposed to be a crossover episode with Picket Fences!
posted by lefty lucky cat at 2:22 PM on March 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

"Says who? The government?!"

I like this guy's style - he got out of the cattle business after having to resort to inhumane practices to compete/ survive.

lol the plane crash effect.

While this episode was overstuffed, I liked it for its ambition and relevancy. Modern commercial American dairy is abysmal, both the product and the production. Growth hormones are part of the problem, another being the widespread use of antibiotics to deal with the effects of terrible living conditions.

Government policy promoting "cheap calories" ruins food. I don't believe in souls, but I do have sympathy for the notions that "we are what we eat." I don't mind paying more for meat in Canada, the average-supermarket meat quality is a lot better.

I did enjoy how "it's a mytharc episode, dummy" snuck up on me.

So the perv landlord - he's the "hero," right? If he hadn't been a (well meaning...) perv abducting a bunch of jerk kids, the FBI wouldn't have ever been involved.

Scully explaining the inability to identify what was in those injections is solid. Her reasoning why/ how a vegetarian cult came into town is actually pretty cool (control group, generously funded and/ or directly manipulated into moving there).

But what they did manage to determine is... ambitious, especially for the time, for a biological (that probably should have been on blue ice/ 4'C) that went through a fiery plane crash.

Gillian Barber

I was wondering why she was so familiar - she also did unrelated roles, one a three-peater, in 'Supernatural.'
posted by porpoise at 8:14 PM on April 1, 2020

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