The X-Files: The Truth   Rewatch 
September 15, 2020 8:44 PM - Season 9, Episode 19 - Subscribe

Super soldier Knowle Rohrer catches Mulder accessing classified government documents about the upcoming alien invasion. In the ensuing fight, Rohrer sustains an injury that would have killed a normal human. Mulder is charged with murder and brought before a military tribunal, where he seeks to prove the existence of an alien conspiracy and to justify all his work on the X-Files.
posted by orange swan (13 comments total)
Are we discussing the entire finale or just the first half?
posted by Fukiyama at 8:07 AM on September 16, 2020

The entire finale. It was broadcast as one long episode and only edited into two for the purposes of syndication, so let's view it as it was originally meant to be seen.
posted by orange swan at 9:22 AM on September 16, 2020

Man, the name "Knowle Rohrer" cannot be spoken aloud without sounding like I'm swallowing my own tongue.

The Truth was never out there and it wasn't the flukeman friends we made along the way. It was stitched together half-ideas that never quite fit into the whole, churned out long after its sell-by date. I love the good Monster Of The Week episodes of The X-Files, but the mytharc stuff just never worked.
posted by Servo5678 at 10:20 AM on September 16, 2020

Okay. I have seen this one all of one time, on its original airdate. So if I am misremembering, be kind.

I watched this one and just felt deja vu. Mulder or Scully in front of some group of bureaucrats making bold statements about "the Truth of how our government has been compromised by extraterrestrial biological entities and those officials who serve as accomplices" and stuff happens, but without any real resolution. How many times have we seen that kind of scene before?

I was so unhappy with Chris. I had been jerked around in the later seasons and this was how it ended. Screw you too, buddy.
posted by Fukiyama at 10:32 AM on September 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

Yeah almost this entire episode was just a bunch of people in a boring little room trying to explain what the fuck happened on the hit show The X-Files. I watched it for the first time after a full-series binge last year, and the worst part is, I hadn't realized a lot of the things revealed in this episode until I watched it. I can see the misguided logic if it was actually all a seamless puzzle that was just hard to follow over nine years, but if the puzzle doesn't even come together on a binge-watch, you done fucked up.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:50 AM on September 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

I actually admire the balls to end the whole series (as of then) on a note of "we failed, they're coming, we can't stop it." But the road to that point was just bleh.
posted by showbiz_liz at 10:53 AM on September 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

I liked a couple of smaller character moments - like when Scully and Skinner go for their first secret meeting with Mulder (when he's not putting on an "I'm brainwashed" act, and almost right away Mulder and Scully start kissing. And after several seconds, they cut to show Skinner standing over in the corner looking really uncomfortable.

Honestly, some of the plots on this show were always flippin' ridiculous, but when the writers wrote the characters well, that was the best bit. I'm reminded of Gene Siskel's review of the first movie - he said that before the movie he hadn't ever watched the show and had to rely on the handouts from the distributor to know who people were, but after watching the movie, he said he was going to go track down the show - because even though the plot was kinda silly, the characters he met were really fascinating and he wanted to see them do more stuff.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:26 PM on September 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

Actually, to build on my first point: last year I watched all of Lost for the first time over about four or five months, and having heard over a decade of shit-talking about how all the secret plots were totally stupid and didn't come together at all... it actually pretty much all worked for me. I understand why people were disappointed by some aspects of the resolution, but it pretty much all felt, in the end, like a complete narrative. The X-Files - which I also had not completely finished watching until similarly recently - absolutely does not, whether you count this episode or the most recent episode as the end.
posted by showbiz_liz at 3:14 PM on September 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

They should have taken the (literal) bang for an ending, instead of whimpering out in the echos.

I get what they were trying to accomplish with the tribunal, but I found it boring.

Not sure I like Krycek as the helpful imaginary friend. It was fanservice to their bromance, but I'd have thought Mulder would have better taste.

I'm glad they stuck with Mulder's empathy, and his being upset when Gibson Praise is brought in. But damn, Jeff Gulka had an acting career as pitiful as Praise's fictional situation.

"Yes, he's my friend. I've hid him in the desert for the last year."

Praise having telepathic powers bothers me less than the writers making the characters repeat "junk DNA' a bunch of times.

I found myself nitpicking all the characters, until I realized that it was the writers I wasn't seeing eye to eye with. As for the plot, I'm beyond the Mytharc now. It's all right I had stopped caring.

This is pretty much Mulder's first acquaintance with Reyes, isn't it? Having someone back you (and your baby momma, and protected her and the kid) up so fullheartedly should a pretty big damned deal, and I think that Duchovny's Mulder showed it. Nice scene from Gish to set that up.

Having killed off TLG, no, you don't get to bring them back. You broke it already.

William B. Davis got to really chew some scenery, and will get a chance to again.
posted by porpoise at 4:50 PM on September 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

I guess there's the movie still, but I want to thank orange swan for posting the rewatch!
posted by porpoise at 5:00 PM on September 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

Servo5678, every time I see the name Knowle Rohrer I think the same thing , and I laugh because all I can hear is Liz Lemon trying to say The Rural Juror.

I stuck with this show till the bitter, bitter end and this was what I got for it. I don’t recall now but I’m fairly sure I threw things, though I definitely remember my neighbor asking me With a laugh about the screams from my house.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 7:44 PM on September 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

The TV I had some twenty years ago when this aired had closed captioning on it. CC is not always 100% accurate. In this episode, Doggett speculates in the nature of their adversaries, the Super Soldiers, with a line that went, IIRC, “Near as I can figure, they’re the result of a secret government experiment to make ordinary men invincible.”

The CC rendered this accurately, save for replacing the word “ordinary” with “ornery.”
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:56 PM on September 16, 2020 [2 favorites]

It was WAY too far-fetched that Mulder's trial would have been such a blatant kangaroo court. Come one, they would have either conveniently shot him at the time of Knowle Rohrer's "death" or arranged for him to commit suicide in his cell if they wanted to get rid of him that badly, not held some ridiculous "off the record" murder trial that too many people knew about.

I suppose they had to end with a mythology episode, and the mythology was so convoluted and played out by that point that it would have been difficult to come up with a satisfying conclusion, but it does seem as though they could have done better than this.

The use of ghost versions of Krycek, Mr. X, and the Lone Gunmen was pretty cheesy.

I've said this before, but the character of Alvin Kersh was ridiculously undeveloped and basically just a plot device, which is a shame, because the actor who played him was clearly capable and deserving of better.

Jeff Gulka had an acting career as pitiful as Praise's fictional situation.

That is a shame. I suppose there isn't much call for actors as short as he is.

they cut to show Skinner standing over in the corner looking really uncomfortable

I love that bit. It is hilariously awkward, but at the same time it adds to the passion of the moment with Mulder and Scully. They've never acknowledged their relationship to anyone to the point that they weren't even open about their having a baby together, but this time they just couldn't help themselves and/or had stopped caring about looking professional or maintaining a reserve.

I liked the Silence of the Lambs gag of Mulder's and all the scenes with Mulder and Scully. Some of the little things get to me, like Mulder giving the sleeping Scully a little kiss on her temple before he gets out of the car to take a whizz on the side of the road. They'd been separated for so long that he was just filling up on affection whenever he could.

I did like seeing Doggett save Reyes from getting creamed by a zooming Knowle Rohrer. I wonder what they'll be assigned to now, and whether they'll continue working together. Monica definitely deserves a new assignment that's worthy of her spectacular leather/suede outerwear collection.

The black helicopters were firing missiles into all the pueblos, and yet they couldn't fire on Mulder and Scully's vehicle? Were they just there to kill CSM? Seemed like overkill if so, because he was a very ill old man.

The X-Files rewatch continues with the second movie, I Want to Believe, and after that with seasons 10 and 11, if anyone cares to join me in those threads, though there'll be no need for me to create any new posts. Which is a relief, because it's been a long haul of creating one post nearly every day for nearly seven months, but now the entire X-Files oeuvre is in the FanFare database where anyone who is doing a rewatch can read and comment and check out the linked reviews as they go, as such a widely beloved and iconic show should be.
posted by orange swan at 2:35 PM on September 18, 2020 [3 favorites]

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