The X-Files: The Red and the Black (Part 2/2)   Rewatch 
June 16, 2020 8:05 PM - Season 5, Episode 14 - Subscribe

Many of the abductees who gathered on the Ruskin Dam bridge are found dead, Cassandra Spender is missing, and Scully is found in a state of shock in the nearby woods with some other survivors. Scully undergoes hypnosis to recover her memories of what happened on the bridge, while the Syndicate experiments with a possible vaccine and chooses sides between the alien and the alien rebel forces, and Jeffrey Spender receives a letter from Quebec.
posted by orange swan (4 comments total)
Cute opener. This kind of gets mirrored in one of the films, no?
(*edit: are films covered in this FanFare, or are they standalone?)

Scully: "Your memories were all that you had."
Mulder: "I don't trust those memories now."
S: "Whether you trust them or not, they led you here. And me. But I have no memories to either trust, nor distrust. And if you ask me now to follow you again, to stand behind you in what you now believe, without knowing what happened to me out there - without those memories - I can't. ... I won't."

The "black oil" completely jumped the shark - it can get inside all kinds of environmental barriers, but just suturing up eyes and mouth is sufficient? Bah. While the logistics of feeding is an obvious problem, environmental sensorium could be apologia-ed away.

To be fair, some of the nuances within the Syndicate are more shown than told.

Interesting that Skinner "buys in" and believes in - at least - the alien stuff. Great performance by Pileggi to straddle the line between "I believe you."/ saying what he thinks Mulder needs to hear in order not to flame out, in a way totally consistent with a former marine who had more than a few brain cells to rub together. Scully and Mulder have such an incredibly great boss.

Spender choosing to be a jerk - in retrospect, plotting-wise this gave the character the powerful opportunity to earn sympathy later. Chris Owens puts on a great backpfeifengesicht. He's been in stuff since and in-between, but nothing outstanding afaict.

Big turning point for the series, Scully fully believing and having to defend her knowledge against skeptics - in good faith, and otherwise.
posted by porpoise at 9:40 PM on June 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

The "black oil" completely jumped the shark

Yeah, the black oil is where the show started to lose me. Early on when it made its first appearances, it was an interesting element to the whole thing, but as time went on and its role grew along with everything that came with it, I was tuning out of the mytharc.
posted by Fukiyama at 8:20 AM on June 17, 2020 [2 favorites]

are films covered in this FanFare, or are they standalone

I intend to post both the movies as well as all the first nine seasons during this rewatch. The first movie falls between season five and six, so we're nearly there. Seasons ten and eleven already have existing threads and I see no need for rewatch threads for them, so I won't be doing those.

Mulder holding Scully's hand during her terrifying hypnosis experience was a nice moment.

I can't see that Jeffrey Spender is acting like a jerk. His disabled, mentally ill mother is missing, and no one can tell him anything about what happened. Mulder's acted worse when anything happened to Scully. I don't blame Jeffrey for much. With Cassandra as a mother and CSM as a father *and* alien conspiracy crap going down all through his childhood... I'm surprised he's as functional as he is.

Now Marita Covarrubias is a guinea pig for the Syndicate. I notice her hair is still perfect. How is her disappearance not a major issue given what she does?

Watching Krycek suffer is never not enjoyable for me. I can't say his behaviour make a lot of sense. He was working for the Syndicate, but then they tried to kill him, and then he became a a free agent trying to milk the situation for what he can get out it, but after the Well-Manicured Man got him in his well-manicured clutches, he's been told to give Mulder some info. Even then he tells Mulder he'd just as soon kill him... then kisses him on the cheek and calls him his friend in Russian. Boyfriend has issues.

Krycek: You must be losing it, Mulder. I could beat you with one hand.
Mulder: Isn't that how you like to beat yourself?
posted by orange swan at 10:08 AM on June 17, 2020 [1 favorite]

I notice her hair is still perfect.

But sans the double layer of hairspray, fwiw.
posted by porpoise at 11:19 AM on June 17, 2020

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