The X-Files (1999) – Arcadia, and Alpha

Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) take on their first case now that they have been reassigned to the X-files in Arcadia. Written by Daniel Arkin, this episode was first broadcast on 7 March, 1999. The pair go undercover into a gated, rule-abiding community to investigate some mysterious disappearances.

Posing as a married couple, with names lifted from The Dick Van Dyke Show, which allows for some delightful and laugh out loud banter, the pair discover that the planned community has a very strict set of rules that must be adhered to. As they investigate they discover that the entire place is built atop a landfill, and that it’s owner, Gogolek (Peter White) may be the one to hold accountable for the disappearances, and possibly deaths that have been occurring.

There’s a lot of fun to be had in this episode, and I am always delighted to see Abraham Benrubi pop up in anything, so seeing him here made me smile.

This is just joyous episode, and sure the series has been giving us delightful episodes throughout the course of the series, and some wonderfully eccentric ones in season six, but this is the first epiosde in season six that has the pair officially back, and on the X-files.

And despite Mulder’s initial belief that this is definitely not an X-file, he discovers pretty quickly and first hand that it really is.

It’s unfortunate that the next case isn’t quite as strong. But they’re back in their basement office, and seeking the truth!

Alpha was written by Jeffrey Bell and first debuted on 28 March, 1999.After the other episodes we’ve had this season, this feels like a but of a letdown, and revisits something the series has already done. It’s a variation on a werewolf story, as Mulder and Scully investigate a series of murders that may have been committed by a mythical Asian dog.

Mulder is clued into the case by an internet contact, Karin Berquist (Melinda Culea) who, on meeting Mulder, has some stronger designs on him than just helping with the case.

On the plus side, the guest cast not only includes Culea but the wonderful Andrew Robinson as Ian Detweiler, who it’s fairly obvious from the get go is the villain of the piece, though Karin’s motivations and behaviour are questionable as well.

Honestly, this is a watch once and forget episode, sadly, and consequently neither Robinson nor Culea get their just desserts with this story. They should have has something a little stronger. That being said there are some fun moments throughout the episode, most centering aroun the interactions between Mulder and Scully, as well as some glimpsed transformations involving the dog.

As the episode ends, Mulder and Scully are back in their old offices (though it must be a new set, seeing as they are shooting in Los Angeles now instead of Vancouver), and Mulder makes it home with a gift he’s recieved from Karin.

The next week, the journeys continue as the truth is out there…

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