The X-Files (1994) – Blood, and Sleepless

Mulder (David Duchovny) finds himself in a paranoia and violence filled town in Blood. Written by Glen Morgan and James Wong from a story by Darin Morgan (who had just appeared as the monster in the previous episode), this episode first aired on 30 September, 1994.

A seemingly unconnected series of violent incidents leads Mulder to a realisation that there is a combination of drug spraying and subliminal messaging.

Scully (Gillian Anderson) who pops in to help a couple of times, especially after Mulder is attacked and despite the fact that they are no longer partners, to contest some of the ideas Mulder is putting forward, but there is a basis for everything he argues for.

The American government has used their own people as guinea pigs, and the suggestion of controlling them through fear doesn’t seem that extreme.

While there are other violent incidents in the episode, the story’s primary focus is on Edward Funsch (William Sanderson) who is being pushed towards a violent act by messages, culminating in the climax of the episode as a horrific shooting spree from a tower.

It’s a solid episode, features the first appearance this season by the Lone Gunmen, and seems very close to the mark. Or maybe I’m just paranoid, and while I’m not saying such things happen, I will say that it is not outside the realm of extreme possibility.

And William Sanderson! Such a great character actor, and he really brings Edward’s decaying sanity to terrifying life.

This is an episode that can stay with you. It’s not your usual monster of the week story, but instead one that will make you think long after the credits rolled, and perhaps look at things around you in a new way.

Sleepless boasts Tony Todd as a guest star. Set in New York the episode was written by Howard Gordon, and debuted on 7 October, 1994.

It once again centres around the fact that the government has been experimenting on its own people, this time a squad that served in Vietnam who, thanks to an operation, no longer sleep, and one of them, Todd’s character, Augustus Cole can now project his own consciousness and imagery into the minds of others.

The episode also introduces Mulder’s new partner, Alex Krycek (Nicholas Lea), who surprises Mulder by willing to believe his new partner’s hunches about the paranormal.

In fact, a lot of the major players make an appearance in this episode, X (Steven Williams), Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), and CSM (William B. Davis) and while it’s not a part of the overall mythology arc, it definitely relates to it by having so many of the characters related to it involved.

Tony Todd is brilliant, as always, and plays Augustus wonderfully, so worn and tired, but unable to sleep. He’s ready for it all to stop.

And instead of us letting his character insinuate himself into Mulder’s and the viewers’ lives and earn their trust, we learn by the end of the episode that Krycek is working for the Syndicate, which counts CSM as one of its members.

The truth is out there, and I’ll continue looking for it next week…

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