The X-Files: Unrequited   Rewatch 
May 25, 2020 8:48 PM - Season 4, Episode 16 - Subscribe

Mulder and Scully are called upon to help protect high ranking military officers who served in Vietnam after a lieutenant general is shot in his limousine by a gunman who disappears unseen, leaving only a king of hearts playing card of the kind soldiers in Vietnam used to mark their kills.
posted by orange swan (4 comments total)
I had an idea that we'd had a number of Vietnam vet-related episodes, but in going back through the rewatch posts, I only found one other such episode (to wit, "Sleepless"), plus of course Skinner sometimes talks about his experiences in Vietnam. The show does like to go to the "damaged American military vet" well, but the depressing reality is that it has a number of wars to choose from -- Vietnam just lends itself especially well to conspiracy theories.

That crowd looked so fake.

Lesley Ewen turned in a fine performance as Renee Davenport. Her shock and distress was palpable.

The role of Nathaniel Teague really should have been developed more. I would have liked to hear what he has to say, and to learn more about his story and what specifically drives him.

Mulder could easily have outrun Scully when they were running away from those dogs, but he gallantly stayed with her. David Duchovny must have had to slow himself down significantly to stay in the same shot as Gillian Anderson whenever they were doing a running scene, because there's no way her little legs could keep pace with his given their height differential, especially when she's also usually wearing at least a modest heel.
posted by orange swan at 3:01 PM on May 26, 2020

Another take on a similar theme, this one the vengeful soldier.

Yeah, I thought that there were more Vietnam war-era X-Files too. The one with the quad amp who could astrally project would have been a Gulf war (Iraq 1) vet. Both Skinner and Kersh were Vietnam. Duane Barry was a a Vietnam vet. But Duane Barry's entry into the X-World was while Duane Barry was a FBI agent afterwards.

Scully's boots at the compound were combat height.

Not sure which way the writers wanted with the disappearance visual effect, supernatural or preternatural. 'The Replacement Killers' (1998, this first aired Feb '97) did a reasonable job with the preternatural sort.

The problem with giving someone a temporary blindspot that isn't super obvious wouldn't really work, especially temporary ones. It takes a lot of time for the neural plasticity in the retina to make up for something like that sudden like. Days or weeks. Some sorts of reorganization simply don't work outside of a critical period.

If video can capture him, why not carry around a video camera or lcd rangefinger? I had a camcorder back then. Mollusca evolved eyes the correct way, no blind spot. I wonder if octopodes can see him?

Jeremiah Smith's manner of disappearing is another repeated theme, I think Smith carried it off better (knowing when to shapeshift when someone is distracted).

Mulder: "And with all due respect, sir. He could be you."
posted by porpoise at 7:25 PM on May 26, 2020

So, yeah, Skinner is an absolute saint about being M&S's supervisor.
posted by porpoise at 11:56 PM on May 26, 2020 [1 favorite]

Small Brain: Mulder is the most important character on The X-Files
Big Brain: Scully is the most important character on The X-Files
Galaxy Brain: Skinner is the most important character on The X-Files

(I can't disagree with the sentiment, TBH. "Upgrading" Pileggi to a series regular was one of the better decisions the show made, along with doing the same for William B. Davis.)
posted by tobascodagama at 9:23 AM on May 27, 2020 [1 favorite]

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