The X-Files (1999) – The Unnatural, and Three of a Kind

David Duchovny wrote and director the first episode up this week, The Unnatural, which first aired on 25 April, 1999. This serves as his directorial review, and it’s a lot of fun, and may be poking fun at the mythology arc, or it may just be a story Mulder (Duchovny) is told by Arthur Dales (M. Emmet Walsh), the brother of Arthur Dales (Darren McGavin – who was unavailable for this episode, but consequently the multiple Arthurs, he reveals there’s a sister and a goldfish of the same name) as a way for him to realise that not everything has to be connected, and sometimes there is just the joy of baseball.

Dales tells a story of his time, around 1947, when he was a law officer (played by Frederic Lehne) in Roswell, New Mexico, and serving as protection for a minor league ball player of colour, Josh Exley (played by the always awesome Jesse L. Martin), who has been targeted by the Klan, as well as by another enemy, a familiar one… the Alien Bounty Hunter (Brian Thompson).

Why?

Because Exley is actually an alien, an extra-terrestrial biological entity who is just in love with the game of baseball.

It’s a fun story, culminating in a wonderful Mulder/Scully (Gillian Anderson). Duchovny plays with images, and the way he moves back and forth through time, lending it more of a story feel as opposed to an actual tie-in to the mythology arc.

Does it?

I suppose it could, or it could just be an allegory for love, joy, and baseball.

Three of a Kind brings The Lone Gunmen back into the limelight with this episode written by John Shiban and Vince Gilligan. It first hit the airwaves on 2 May, 1999.

Byers (Bruce Harwood) Langley (Dean Haglund), and Frohike (Tom Braidwood) are in Las Vegas going undercover at a Defense Contractors’ convention, when they come across Susanne Modeski (Signy Coleman), who was vanished before their eyes some ten years before as seen in the fifth season episode Unusual Suspects.

When one of their fellow conspiracy nuts ends up dead, everyone suspects something darker going on, and is Susanne and her husband (Charles Rocket) somehow tied into it all?

The boys call for help, using a synthesized recording of Mulder’s voice, they summon Scully to Vegas (the episode was shot on location) and things start to get really weird.

Scully gets drugged, bumps into Morris Fletcher (Michael McKean) from Dreamland, the boys, with Scully’s help pull a Mission: Impossible switch on the baddies, and help Susanne escape once and for all.

There’s lots of humour, John Billingsley has a guest spot, and on top of that, there’s a real heart to the story, thanks to Byers’ narrative.

Next week we come to the conclusion of Season Six, but there is still more to discover, because the truth is out there…

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