The X-Files (1999) – Agua Mala, and Monday

There’s something in the water! Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) head to Florida in the middle of a hurricane at the behest of the man who discovered the x-files, Arthur Dales (Darren McGavin) because he’s had reports of a monster in the water that is attacking people.

Written by David Amann, the episode debuted on 21 February, 1999. With Dales unable to leave his trailer, thanks to his medical condition, Mulder and Scully head out into the storm to investigate and oon find themselves trapped in an apartment building with a cast of characters as Scully attempts to diagnose what is attacking and killing people.

It’s a unique creature, and story, as we get a look at the various stereotypes that seem to inhabit America, specifically Florida, including the slightly crazy gun owning Republican gun owner.

Mulder is, of course, willing to believe from the beginning of the encounter that there is something monstrous at work in the building, and even Scully once she conducts an examination of one of the victims realises that its something unusual. They may start as parasites, but they grow, and prove themselves very dangerous, converting the body’s water content to reproduce.

The creature design is actually pretty cool, and it defintiely explores the idea that there are things out in the depths of the ocean that we haven’t discovered yet, and that always fires the imagination. And the possibility of such a thing is a little frightening.

And I love that Dales ends up in the episode, and there’s some fun banter and dialogue throughout the story. And the pair still haven’t been reassigned to the x-files…

Monday is The X-Files spin on Groundhog Day. Written by Vince Gilligan and John Shiban, it first aired on 28 February, 1999.

Scully and Mulder are stuck in a day that constantly repeats, swept up in events that a woman, Pam (Carrie Hamilton) is trying to stop and save her boyfriend, Bernard (Darren E. Burrows), who,when his bank robbery attempt fails, detonates a bomb that totals the bank, and kills everyone in it, including Mulder and Scully.

Pam approaches everyone she can through the repeating cycles, including Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), but she seems unable to stop it. The act breaks, sees the story reset and it’s fun to see how things change from loop to loop, as Pam tries to find ways to break the cycle. She approaches everyone she can to change what is going on, but events continue to spiral out of hand.

After both Scully and Mulder have encounters with Pam, changes slowly come into the cycle, and both agents seem to have increasing sensations of deja vu, but Mulder is the first to believe Pam, of course, and maybe they’ll be able to figure it out and stop things before it all goes sideways (again, and again, and again).

I’ve raved about how much I love a good temporal loop story before, and I was delighted with how well The X-Files delivered their take on it. So good!

Next week, the agents find themselves back on The X-Files, finally reassigned to where they belong, which is good, because the truth is out there…

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