April 19, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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The X-Files “Nothing Lasts Forever”

Mulder and Scully investigate an eternal youth cult that's into black market organ theft.

Oh hey, Jere Burns, the go-to character actor when you need a sketchy-looking guy who also probably works in an office.  Here, he plays…a sketchy-looking guy with a questionable medical degree.  Sounds about right.

The Case:  Eternal Youth Through Organ Harvesting!

The Rest:  Well, here’s an episode to maybe skip if you’ve got a full stomach.  It’s got organ harvesting, cultish behavior, light cannibalism, and people getting grafted to each other’s spines or something.  Oh, and there’s an actress who refuses to age, so she gets all these young people to essentially join her cult so they can later harvest their organs or something and stay eternally youthful.  And these people really love this actress, star of a really old sitcom Mulder has to look up.

There is something rather amusing that, when the two agents find this woman in her apartment, they have no idea who she is while she reacts like they should be awed by being in the presence of a famous person.

But then there’s the ninja girl.

See, one of the cultists has a sister who, being very religious and unwilling to accept her sister just disappeared, decides to become, for lack of a better word, a ninja.  OK, her ninja sword is a fireplace poker, but she does shishkabob two guys at an organ harvesting operation while looking for her missing sister.  The religion angle allows for Mulder and Scully to discuss their views on faith (Scully as a small child prayed for a puppy when she was expected to pray for her baby brother to get better and got both, Mulder just doesn’t feel like he needs faith and is doing fine) and aging (Mulder needs reading glasses now as something of a running gag).

That said, there’s something decidedly not overly threatening here.  It’s mostly, well, gross.  The religion angle is a nice touch, and the ninja girl goes to prison in the end while her sister returns home to their mother who just went from praying for one sister to the other.  Nice, if tragic, symmetry there.

So, toss in a William reference, have Mulder mess with some agents on scene by playing off his own reputation, and I have what feels like a decent latter-day X-Files episode.  I just wasn’t feeling this particular adversary this time around.  It seemed like the actress and her doctor were more like some bozos who had a cult that made no sense and made some half-assed comments on the nature of aging or the obsession against it in a way that mostly didn’t work for me that well.

Up next, it’s all over.  Again.