The X-Files (1999) – Terms of Endearment, and The Rain King

Bruce Campbell pops up in The X-Files this week with Terms of Endearment. Written by David Amann, this story first aired on 3 January, 1999, and sees Spender (Chris Owens) blowing off a potential x-files investigation, that Mulder (David Duchovny) recovers, and heads off to Virginia to investigate.

While Scully (Gillian Anderson) covers for him, Mulder finds an insurance agent, Wayne Weinsider (Campbell) and his wife, Laura (Lisa Jane Persky) telling a story of a demon like creature stealing Laura’s unborn child from her womb. As Mulder investigates, he finds that the most likely suspect is Wayne, a man who apparently had more than one wife, and a trail of murder and interrupted pregnancies trailing him.

By bringing Campbell in, you are, inadvertently, or otherwise, bringing some camp to the show, and while the episode never really lets Campbell cut loose and be BRUCE, it’s still a chance for this beloved cult actor to strut his stuff, run the emotional gambit as his character is put through the ringer, and go toe to toe with Duchovny.

While Anderson is sadly sidelined for most of the episode, this story continues to show the playful, and eccentric storytelling that is making up a large part of this season. It feels like a very experimental time for the series, and that makes for a number of interesting, and memorable episodes.

And who doesn’t love seeing Campbell pop up on The X-Files? And sure there’s a bit of a familiar plot here but it also has a real nice twist.

The Rain King sees Mulder and Scully heading to a drought-stricken town in Kansas in this episode written by Jeffrey Bell. It was first broadcast on 10 January, 1999.

What the pair find is a series of strange meteorological events centering on three people, Daryl Mootz (Clayton Rohner, who I loved in G vs. E), Sheila (Victoria Jackson) and Holman (David Manis). Sheila tells stories of strange events plaguing her for her entire life, Daryl has a rain cloud permanently following him, and Holman is in love with Sheila, but she first only has eyes for Daryl, but then Mulder.

It’s goofy, a cow almost kills Mulder, the climax is at a high school reunion, and at its heart, it’s just a love story that happens to be an x-file. It’s not my favourite of the recent, eccentric leaning, episodes but Rohner is just great and I enjoy his performance.

There’s also some great stuff with everyone thinking that Scully is Mulder’s ‘little woman,’ and that he gazes at her in a special way. Silly, and goofy, and culminating with Scully trying to convince Sheila that she doesn’t think of Mulder in that way (sure, sure).

Next week things turn a little darker again as we close in on some mythology arc episodes, because remember, the truth is out there…

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