The X-Files (1995) – Soft Light, and Our Town

Tony Shaloub guest stars in Soft Light, an episode written by Vince Gilligan that first aired on 5 May, 1995. The story is just a fun idea, what if your shadow could kill someone? But, of course, with some extra science in it to give it that x-files edge.

Scully (Gillian Anderson) is contacted by a former student, Detective Kelly Ryan (Kate Twa), who has reached out to the agent for help on her first homicide case. A case no one else wants, and that Mulder’s (David Duchovny) first suspicions lean towards spontaneous combustion.

It’s not that, and in fact it ties in with dark matter and particle accelerator experiments. Something that Dr. Chester Ray Banton (Shaloub) was caught in. Now, he works to stay in areas with soft light, so his shadow is not cast.

When he encounters the agents, he warns them that the government is after him for his new ability, and that they want to steal all his hard-earned work.

This leads to a twist in the mythology arc, as X (Steven Williams) meets with Mulder, at the agent’s behest, and uses the information Mulder shares to betray him, and capture Banton.

This isn’t an episode that I cared for originally, but since then, has actually grown on me. Shaloub turns in a great performance, strained, and afraid, and while I don’t agree with what happens with Detective Ryan, Scully makes a strong argument for her actions, it ends up being a very strong story.

And the end of the season draws closer.

Our Town, the season’s penultimate episode, was penned by Frank Spotnitz and first aired on 12 May, 1995.

Mulder and Scully head to Arkansas to investigate a strange death. Mulder is intrigued that there may be something to do with foxfire, but the locals, most of whom work at the local chicken processing plant, put that idea to bed.

In fact, as the case progresses, deaths continue to mount, and we learn that this is a town that has a secret. A secret that the agents will reveal, and hopefully live through, as once again, Scully gets herself abducted.

Because the town’s secret is that they are all cannibals. In fact a big indicator is that a number of the supporting characters are named after known cannibals. I love the idea of a town with a secret, but this episode, for some reason, has never really held my attention.

The episode features Gabrielle Miller who would later go on to appear in a season three episode, as well as the Canadian comedy series, Corner Gas.

Next week, I finish off season two, and dive into the third season of The X-Files, as my search continues because the truth is out there…

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