The X-Files S10 Ep5 – Babylon

I’m almost ready to go back in time and retroactively call the premiere, the other Chris Carter-penned episode of this season, a masterpiece in comparison with this one. This was a mess. There were still definitely some good moments, but overall, I’m sorry to see one of only six episodes as much of a waste as this one was.

Welcome to the show, folks. You can leave now.

Welcome to the show, folks. You can leave now.

The good was entirely due to Mulder and Scully – to Duchovny and Anderson still being awesome, even with a very sub-par script. And I didn’t mind at all that Scully got to reuse the “Nobody but the FBI’s most unwanted” line tonight. That was cute.

Not so cute? Next Gen Mulder, aka Agent Miller, and Next Gen Scully, aka Agent Einstein. Robbie Amell and Lauren Ambrose did fine. It’s just that the characters were far too on-the-nose. Plus, they took screen time away from the people we actually watch the show for. Ugh. If there’s going to be a spinoff with the new folks, I don’t think I’ll watch.

Also not cute or even particularly interesting was the case of the week. It was about Islamic terrorists acting in the US. It could have been handled with less sensitivity, for sure, but still. Why even bother to have this plot when it’s going to result in people wearing obviously fake beards, and (I’m informed) speaking languages that don’t make sense for their supposed nationalities?

So all four agents want to communicate with the lone surviving suicide bomber of an attack in Texas. He’s in a coma. Scully thinks they can use an MRI to watch his brainwaves and thereby see him answer yes/no questions. Mulder thinks he might be able to talk to the man on another plane using hallucinogenic mushrooms. (Naturally.) Maybe the one interesting idea this plot had was that Scully actually worked with Miller, the believer, while Mulder worked with Einstein the skeptic. If M&S had to be separated, and I wish they hadn’t, that did at least lead to a few interesting interactions.

If you're going to have The Lone Gunmen show up, why didn't they get to say anything?

If you’re going to have The Lone Gunmen show up, why didn’t they get to say anything?

Anyway, Mulder has a ridiculous drug trip. It includes line dancing, S&M, and a Viking rowboat (?!) – but also an image of a woman who’s clearly the terrorist’s mother, and then the man himself saying something in Arabic.

Scully and Miller mostly just stand next to the comatose man. They do save him from being killed by a racist nurse – and they are able to help his mom say good-bye to him. That’s something, I suppose. And the whole team does stop the next bombing.

At the end, Scully visits Mulder at his house, and they have a long and mostly nonsensical conversation about faith, hatred, and love. And they gaze at each other, and it’s cute, and then they totally don’t kiss because Chris Carter has major issues. But at least there’s a mystical horn sound in the air, or something.

Next week is the finale! I have… mixed expectations. (Here’s hoping that Next Gen spinoff doesn’t happen, though.) Let us know what you think in the comments below.