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The X-Files

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Author Topic: The X-Files  (Read 4665 times)
Jennifer O'Dell
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Posts: 4546

« Reply #15 on: July 23, 2007, 03:58:01 am »

Many episodes of the fourth season were character driven, such as "The Field Where I Died" and "Demons," both about Mulder trying to recover his past, or past lives. "Never Again", Morgan and Wong's final episode of the series, centered on Scully's personal life. Jodie Foster provided the voice of a tattoo. It had originally been planned as a collaboration with director Quentin Tarantino,[74] but Tarantino was not allowed to work in network television because he was not a member of the Directors Guild of America.[75] The episode was ultimately directed by Rob Bowman, with an homage to Alfred Hitchcock's Frenzy. FOX had attained rights to broadcast Super Bowl XXXI in January 1997 and planned to showcase The X-Files in the premier post-game slot. As a result, "Never Again" was bumped to the next week, and "Leonard Betts", a stylish and gory monster-of-the-week episode about an EMT (played by Paul McCrane) who was decapitated and could regrow his body, received the coveted spot (episodes of The X-Files were often aired slightly out of production order). "Leonard Betts" became the all time most-watched X-Files episode, with 17.2 Nielsen rating and 29% audience share.[4] It was also the first episode to be written by the team of Vince Gilligan, John Shiban and Frank Spotnitz, who were responsible for many episodes during the show's middle-to-late era.

The air date of "Leonard Betts" became relevant because the final scenes of the episode were central to the ongoing mytharc of the show and led directly into the events of "Memento Mori", in which it is revealed that Dana Scully has contracted terminal brain cancer. When originally aired, however, the episode "Never Again" came between these, implying Scully's behavior in that episode was a result of her diagnosis; Gillian Anderson said she would have played the role completely differently if that had been the case.[74] Nevertheless, Anderson's performances during the fourth season "cancer arc" were praised. She won an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series in 1997, as well as her second straight Screen Actors Guild award and a Golden Globe. "Memento Mori" relied on extended emotional voiceovers, a technique that had become increasingly common in the show over the years, as Scully came to grips with her illness while simultaneously investigating its origins, leading back to her own abduction. Mulder, Walter Skinner and the Cigarette Smoking Man all became dramatically involved, which played out in the later episode "Zero Sum", one of the few episodes of the show not to feature Anderson's involvement, although the events were driven by Scully's worsening condition, as well as the Syndicate's plans for unleashing killer bees.

Once Scully had contracted cancer, she continued to work in her former capacity as Mulder's partner investigating X-Files, apparently debilitated only by occasional nosebleeds, though the issue of mortality was again addressed in "Elegy" late in the season. In the intervening time, notable episodes included the two-part "Tempus Fugit" and "Max", in which Max Fenig from season one's "Fallen Angel" returned briefly as the agents investigated mysterious "lost time" in a deadly plane crash, loosely modeled on TWA Flight 800.

Amidst what was considered the show's darkest year, "Small Potatoes" provided a lighter tone.[76] The episode was written by Vince Gilligan, and featured departed X-Files writer and former Flukeman Darin Morgan in the role of Eddie Van Blundht, a shape-shifting self-described "loser" who becomes the focus of Scully and Mulder's investigation of a West Virginia town where children are being born with tails. The final scenes of the episode provided "shippers" with the sight of "Mulder" and Scully finally together, the first of many such jokes by the writers in later seasons. Season 4 ended with "Gethsemane," a resolution which appeared to leave one main character near death and kill off the other one, as well as turning his entire belief system into a house of cards.
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