The X-Files: Hellbound   Rewatch 
September 4, 2020 8:19 PM - Season 9, Episode 8 - Subscribe

Hours after a man describes his nightmares and waking visions of people being skinned alive to his anger management therapy group, he is found to have been murdered in exactly the same manner, and Reyes, Doggett, and Scully discover that the gruesome murder is part of a pattern of serial killings that repeats itself every 40 years.
posted by orange swan (2 comments total)
This episode gets my vote for the most horrific of any in The X-Files series. I think I'd seen it twice previously, and after the second viewing I promised myself I would never see it again. I didn't take into account that I might someday spearhead a MeFi rewatch, given that FanFare didn't exist at the time. I debated not seeing it this time and maybe just refreshing my memory with a reading of a recap, but thought I should actually see it if I wanted to comment. So I did see it again last night. God, that moment when they realize that Terrance Pruitt is still alive...

It's not an episode that works all that well, despite its grisliness. The killer of each generation can't stop himself and/or consider that what he's doing might not be necessary? Really?

Monica Reyes's character really needed more development. Doggett's been so clearly defined since the beginning. He makes a good foil to Mulder and Scully because he's an entirely different person taking a different approach to the work, and you know who he is and understand his "what the fuck is this" reaction. And then there's Reyes, who is all, "I just have a feeling about this!" It's too woo, and too lightweight for a character who is clearly intelligent and capable. The writers should have given her a hard skill set and backstory of her own, something that gives her a more clearly defined worldview that she brings to the work. I like Annabeth Gish, but she can't carry an episode when her character is so fey.

Monica Reyes has numerous leather jackets. In this one she wears a long caramel coloured one and a brown one that I rather coveted. Also she wears a pretty navy nightgown that Doggett gets to see -- good thing she didn't choose to sleep in just lacy briefs this time.
posted by orange swan at 4:10 PM on September 5, 2020

Patrick Swayze's younger brother Don plays Terry Pruitt. There's certainly the family resemblance but Don's features a little bit more pronounced, giving him a rougher look.

The flayed corpses are very similar to Gunther von Hagens' 'Body Worlds' displays of plasticized humans with the epidermis removed (debuted in the mid '90s). All very visceral. Yeah, that moment when they realized he was still alive. But, christ, that's not survivable even if they managed to stabilize him. Nor would one want to survive something like that.

Gish certainly has talent, but the Reyes character is definitely under-baked. I think there's a bunch of DNA from 'Millenium' in the character - pure woo.

She has a great build for being a clothes horse without being a waif. The long caramel coat has a vintage feel to it, and the colour worked for all the night scenes.

Doggett gets in on the leather action, but I've never been a fan of the (lack of) practicality of suede as outwear.

Splitting up when your partner is right there at the scene never ends well, does it?

Season 9 is prestige TV; sky-high production values and technical proficiency but the writing leaves a lot to be desired.
posted by porpoise at 3:46 PM on September 6, 2020

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