The X-Files: Kill Switch   Rewatch 
June 13, 2020 8:10 PM - Season 5, Episode 11 - Subscribe

When the body of a renowned computer programmer who had disappeared in 1979 is found among a number of dead street level coke dealers after a shoot out in a seedy diner, Mulder and Scully take his laptop to the Lone Gunmen to find out what he had been working on.
posted by orange swan (3 comments total)
This was a weird episode for me. I was a huge Gibson (who was the writer for this ep) fanboi.

The "cyberpunk" aesthetic - the opener is dead on. The duct taped together laptop. So. Gibsionian. Cyberpunk.

Modern depictions like 'Mr.. Robot' - which is definitely cyberpunk - the hacker archetype is "just some/ any body."

Whatsherface, that's cosplay and a reflection of how affluent their family/ source of income is. Like 'Hackers' (1995) I respect personal choice of public face, but economic class has a lot to say to what is available to them.

Popular cyberpunk being visually associated with Goth is a bit odd.

Snappy banter, but all just bs.

TLGunmen tripping over themselves was cheap.

Terrible episode for tech and sociological accuracy, script/ plot.

(The sexy nurses were just incongruous and part of the parcel from cliched torture)

Saving grace is the AI choosing to hang out in random rural RV parks - problem is, it's bandwidth usage amounts and patterns would be totally remarkable - if the connectivity was even remotely available there.

Based on the reported costs to film this episode, probably the worst cost/ benefits of the series.

The most X-File-ish aspect of the episode was under-explored.
posted by porpoise at 1:17 AM on June 14, 2020 [1 favorite]

I mean, it's better than "First Person Shooter" at least?
posted by tobascodagama at 6:16 AM on June 15, 2020 [2 favorites]

Even I, who does not know much more about computers or the internet than how to turn them on and type things into them, can tell that the technological parts of this episode were ridiculous, but other than that this wasn't such a bad episode -- suspenseful and fun.

When Avatar Scully shows no concern for the fact that Mulder has had both arms amputated, he knows immediately she is not the real Scully. You'd think if this computer program was so advanced it would have known how to emulate her better. I mean, it surely would have known she was an M.D.

Did anyone else detect a certain relish on Mulder's part when he kicks Avatar Scully in the chest? As is well-known, David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson had gotten to the point of being sick of each other later in the show's run (Anderson has said they would go months without speaking to each other except in character), and I wonder what things were like between them circa mid-fifth season, because I'm thinking "probably not so good".

TLGunmen tripping over themselves was cheap.

We've seen before that they're hopeless with attractive women, and an attractive female computer genius is going to push ALL their buttons.

Byers: Ai -yi -yi
Frohike: It can't be ... it is.
Langly: Esther Nairn. You programmed the autonomous bots in Ninjitsu Princess, the most gnarliest piece of entertainment software ever.
Esther: Are these the brain donors that nearly got us incinerated?
Mulder: Don't let their looks fool you.
Scully: Your name is Esther Nairn?
Frohike: She is so hot.
Esther: Are you going to take off the cuffs, or do I have to do this with my tongue?
[The latter prospect renders the Lone Gunmen speechless and breathless.]
Mulder: You don't want to take a vote.

posted by orange swan at 8:57 AM on June 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

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