REVIEW: The X-Files S11 Ep6 – Kitten

Well, thank goodness for a Skinner-centric episode that was actually pretty good.

I’ll start out by saying that I normally avoid war movies unless they’re personally recommended to me by a friend. I just don’t enjoy the intensity and violence, and prefer to spend my time watching other things. So there were definitely moments of this episode that were more violent or intense than I’d prefer. Still, it did serve a purpose, at least.

It was… nice? No, not really nice, but definitely good continuity, to see Deputy Director Kersh again. And sort of fun, in a character development way, that Kersh definitively views both Mulder and Scully as lost cause troublemakers now, as opposed to just Mulder (as he thought back in the old days). They are definitely both equally dedicated to the X-Files now, so I’m glad people aren’t still saying it’s all Mulder.

Glad that Mulder did give his boss the benefit of the doubt.

That goes for Skinner’s attitude toward them, too. So good to have it confirmed that a) he’s still trustworthy, despite his association with CSM (I always knew it!), and b) he really values both of them for their commitment to the truth. I’ve always liked Skinner, and this episode just added to that. Granted, it was disturbing to see what he did in Vietnam, but it was obviously supposed to be disturbing.

I also must compliment Cory Rempel, the actor playing young Walter Skinner. He did really well – and as a fun tidbit of trivia, he’s also Mitch Pileggi’s real-life nephew! No wonder there was real resemblance there.

Haley Joel Osment was also excellent. It’s been a while since I’ve seen him in anything. It’s too bad his characters died, in fact, because they were both very compelling. And of course I wouldn’t have minded even more exploration of Skinner’s backstory. Although maybe with fewer images of kids having their brains blown out in a jungle (or anywhere).

Oh, and speaking of character development, I also appreciated the scene where Mulder tells Scully to drive them out of Davy’s cabin. In previous seasons, he might have just taken the wheel himself, parked somewhere, and then told Scully to call for backup. But here, he has her drive and explains exactly what he’s planning. Of course, since he’s still Mulder, his plan is still reckless – and it almost gets him killed. But since Scully knows this, too, she’s there in time to save him, as well as Skinner.

Very briefly, I actually thought they might kill him off. Which would have been terrible.

I wasn’t wild about the ending of the episode, because it just wasn’t new or unexpected at all. In fact, it was very similar to the season two episode “Blood.” I will grant that it made sense in terms of the story, but it seems like something a little more original could have been done to accomplish the same “The conspiracy is real!” effect. Still, overall, this was a very solid episode and I’m very glad they gave Mitch Pileggi and Skinner some quality material to work with.

What did you think? Let us know in the comments.