February 26, 2024

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

The X-Files “Empedocles”

An evil thing keeps hopping from person to person. It has something to do with Doggett's dead son.

Alright, for recognizable guest stars for this episode, there’s Jay “The Boy Who Could Fly” Underwood as a poor guy possessed by a demon, Denise “Tasha Yar” Crosby pops up as a doctor, and Ron “Jimmy Impossible’s favorite character actor” Canada as an FBI agent.

The Case:  Body-Hopping Evil!

The Rest:  So, here it is the second of the episodes to feature Mulder back as a full time character on the show, and while the previous episode gave Mulder a good reason (initially) to hate Doggett, this one does the reverse.  Now, Mulder seems more or less fine with Doggett for this episode, and Doggett does seem to calm down later, but he does get rightfully pissed when he learns Mulder is looking into the death of Luke Doggett, John’s late son.

It’s mostly Monica Reyes’s fault.  And for all the men are down on each other, Mulder says Scully actually rather likes Reyes, even going so far as to encourage Reyes to apply for the X-Files job.  That makes sense.  Reyes will be a regular for the next (not-quite-final) season, and Scully spends most of this episode unconscious in the hospital with a pregnancy complication.  Some nurse at the hospital keeps sending Mulder or Doggett away because they aren’t Scully’s family, but then they also seem to keep getting into her room at other times, so draw your own conclusions.

As it is, Reyes thinks that some evil thing body hops around from person to person, and that it just jumped into some guy who got fired and convinced him to murder the two people who fired him.  I’m not sure where the guy’s gun came from, but maybe he didn’t go directly back to the office.  Likewise, the episode does have a good man-on-fire effect to represent the evil thing.  This was 2001.  That probably wasn’t CGI.  Reyes needs someone with a background in this, Doggett is too close to the case, so she asks Mulder for help.

Doggett thinks Mulder is digging in his past in ways that don’t make John a happy camper.

Now, I spoke before about how Doggett’s backstory seemed to get jammed into the show rather quickly.  There’s a good reason for that–he’s a new character that needs to be established–but it also felt like it was a bit much.  It feels like a bit much here too, like they needed something to make Doggett dislike Mulder, and even though the pair have cordial enough conversations at various points throughout the episode, I still feel like it’s somewhat forced right about now.  I realize there are only a relative handful of episodes left for the season, and that the show needs to establish how Doggett and Mulder maybe just can’t get along at first, but it also strikes me that there are better ways to do it than the show did with these past two episodes.

Regardless, it does come down to belief.  Reyes has visions of things.  She believes.  Doggett maybe doesn’t, but he maybe does.  It doesn’t much matter.  This season has been about being open minded, mostly as an excuse to sideline Scully, and Scully has become my favorite character during this rewatch.

Eh, I may be coming to a close for this show as it is within a couple more months.

Up next, Mulder and Doggett are on an oil rig.