The X-Files (2002) – Scary Monsters, and Jump the Shark

FBI Agent, Leyla Harrison (Jolie Jenkins), from the accounting department is back in Scary Monsters. Written by Thomas Schnauz, this episode first aired on 14 April, 2002.

Doggett (Robert Patrick) and Reyes (Annabeth Gish) get roped into helping Harrison, after Scully (Gillian Anderson) passes on a potential case the young agent brings her. Two bizarre deaths lead them to investigate a father, Jeffrey (Scott Paulin) and his young son, Tommy (Gavin Fink) who are living in seclusion on an about to be snowed in mountain.

Upon arriving, Harrison, Doggett and Reyes suspect some kind of abusive relationship, and think that Jeffrey is the true enemy, but soon, it’s revealed that young Tommy has a gift, and if his belief and fear of something is strong enough, it can become a real threat…

The monster under the bed can be real!

Once that bit is revealed, and despite the way the story is structured, its fairly easy to deduce, so it’s not really a spoiler, the story plays out pretty much as you would expect it to, there are no real surprises, but Doggett’s final confrontation with Tommy is pretty cool nonetheless.

There are some nice effects, and the inclusion of Leyla in the story helps to dole out some red herrings as she and the others recall other x-file cases that may relate to this one. And the lighter moments are interspersed with moments of real tension, like the climax, which just makes them payoff all the more.

Just a fun riff on the It’s a Good Life.

Jump the Shark brings back Byers (Bruce Harwood), Frohike (Tom Braidwood), Lanlgly (Dean Haglund), Jimmy (Stephen Snedden), and Yves (Zulheika Robinson) for an appearance, tying up things from their own too short series. First airing on 12 April, 2002, this episode was penned by Vince Gilligan, Frank Spotnitz, and John Shiban.

Con man, and former MiB, Morris Fletcher (Michael McKean) uses the Gunmen to flush out Yves, who’s real name, we learn is Lois, while she hunts down men working for her billionaire/terrorist father, who plan to detonate themselves and unleash a deadly virus.

While Doggett and Reyes drift in and out through the episode, and Scully and Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) makes an appearance at its end, this is predominantly a Lone Gunmen episode. Mark Snow even throws in some of their theme music throughout the story.

Things haven’t gone well for the guys since their series ended, their paper is almost broke (they’ve spent all of Jimmy’s money trying to track down Yves) and they are thinking about calling it quits altogether, but when this plot is revealed, they are determined to do whatever it takes to make sure the public remains safe.

It’s sucky that David Duchovny’s Mulder isn’t even glimpsed in this episode considering how important his character was in relation to the Lone Gunmen.

It’s a bittersweet ending for the guys, as season nine (and at the time the series) comes to a close. Next week, we delve into the final four episodes of the season, but the search will continue because the truth is out there…

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