The X-Files (1999) – Hungry, and Millennium

Vince Gilligan delivers the first monster-of-the-week episode of the seventh season with Hungry, an episode that first aired on 21 November, 1999.

Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) are investigating a strange murder in California, a body is recovered with no brain matter, and a strange hole that Mulder thinks may have been a proboscis(!). Their investigation leads them to a fast food restaurant named Lucky Boy, and two likely suspects, an ex-con, Derwood Spinks (Mark Pellegrino) and an odd young man, Rob Roberts (Chad Donella).

The investigation team believes Spinks is their prime suspect, Mulder, of course, has another idea, and has aligned his focus on Rob. We know from the beginning that there is something very odd about Rob, and we’ve seen him interacting with the victims in a violent, and scary way.

Chad suffers from an insatiable hunger, one that he’s trying to control, and hopefully make something better of himself. But is he even human? And what defines a monster? Chad is aware of his issues, and works, fights to control them, striving to better himself to be human, to fit in. Is it too late?

Judith Hoag makes an appearancs as a counsellor who is advising everyone after the murder, and has a close brush with Rob.

And yet for all the spooky things that are happening in this episode, the thing that is the most unrealistic is the size and appearance of Rob’s apartment. He lives in California, and works at a fast food joint – there’s no way he could afford such a gorgeous place.

Millennium closes out Frank Black’s (Lance Henriksen) story. Penned by Vince Gilligan and Frank Spotnitz, this episode first premiered on 28 November, 1999. Mulder and Scully reach out to Frank to help stop a monstrous plan by the Millennium Group that may or may not involve actual zombies, the resurrected dead!

Members of the Group have taken their own lives, and some of them may have come back(!?), Frank, despite where he is, is intially unwilling to help out because he’s worked to put the Group and all of it behind him, but he allows himself to be drawn back in to the field, even as he works to prove himself a capbale father.

It’s the eve of the millennium, and things are ramping up to be apocalyptic if Scully, Mulder and Black won’t be able to stop it.

Mark Snow, who has gorgeously scored The X-Files and Millennium for their entire runs, does a great job of combing the themes and motifs from both series.

It’s a strongly written episode, and I realise it’s an X-files episode, but I wish Frank had more to do in this as it ends up being our farewell to the character, and I think he, Mulder and Scully would have made a great team if they had more time together.

As a side note, Mulder and Scully have their first real kiss here.

The investigations will continue because the truth is out there…

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