Season Seven found The X-Files Ship taking on water. The general consensus was that this was the venerable warhorse's final lap. The long, difficult hours were taking their toll and both David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson wanted out.
David Duchovny was due to leave at the end of the season* and was suing all and sundry for residuals from X-Files reruns, claiming that Fox cheated him by running the show on its cable subsidiary instead of auctioning the series off to the highest bidder (there was a lot of this going on at the time).
His lawyer included Chris Carter in the suit, claiming the producer took millions in hush money to cheat the star. This turned out to be a typical lawyer move (Duchovny and Carter patched things up and remain good friends- neighbors, even- and Carter even hired Duchovny's lawyers in his own protracted war with Fox), but didn't make for a pleasant atmosphere on-set (or, God help us, online).
And if Carter and Fox were indeed conspiring, you probably wouldn't have seen the kind of open warfare that broke out between them after Fox unceremoniously cancelled Ten Thirteen's new series Harsh Realm after only three episodes.
Duchovny took to the press to mock her concerns, going so far to protest that her character won more fights than his did (!). With tension now growing between Duchovny and Anderson and Duchovny and Carter (which Carter denied at the time but later acknowledged) and perhaps also between Anderson and her employer as well (though for different reasons), suffice it to say that the atmosphere made everyone's already-challenging jobs more so.
Whereas Six front-loaded its screwball comedies at the beginning of the season, Seven sprinkled them throughout the season, created a kind of lurching, stop-start momentum. But unlike Season Six, there'd be few fan-favorites in this batch of boffo-yuksters.
But knowing what we know now, perhaps the showrunner was seeking to lighten the mood onset, and divert the attention of his restless stars by constantly throwing theatrical curve balls, giving them new things to do with their characters, keeping them amused, anything to keep the peace.
'Sein Und Zeit'/'Closure' resolved the Samantha storyline by reaching back to stories like 'Oubliette' and 'Paper Hearts' for inspiration instead of 'Patient X' or 'Redux'. 'En Ami' is included on the Mythology boxset but is a standard conspiracy narrative with only incidental Myth elements.
These stories all took place in the smallest confines imaginable, the mundane workaday world of Southern California suburbia; fast food restaurants, high schools, banks, copy shops and so on. When the series went widescreen again in Season Eight, it all seemed strange, unfamiliar, disorienting.
Entertainment Weekly-- long an X-Files booster-- would later declare Season Seven to be the weakest of the series. Fan forums, which had been growing critical over the past three years, became positively gaseous this year.
Horror-oriented X-Fans got a rash of solid MOTWs; 'Orison', 'Hungry', 'Theef', 'Rush', 'Brand X' and 'Theef', all of which were solidly crafted and beautifully rendered. The Mythology, such as it was- 'Sixth Extinction', 'Amor Fati', 'Sein Un Zeit', 'Closure', 'En Ami', 'Requiem'- may have been chopped to the bone, but more than made up for that in the quality department.
But at some point, innovation fatigue sets in and experimentation becomes cliche.
Season Seven was about a series finding the frontiers of its own possibilities and at the end of it all, realizing it was time to go back to basics and start from scratch.
SEASON SEVEN EPISODE GUIDE
There are very few TV shows that I am able rewatch episodes of, no matter how much I may have enjoyed the initial viewing. I've lost count of how many times I've rewatched X-Files episodes, even the bad ones. Finally, all of the evaluations here are X-Files episodes in comparison to other X-Files episodes, so bear that in mind as well.
Check out Raj's blog at Amid Night Suns. He also writes XF fanfic too!
Raj: For me this episode is another barn-stormer. It’s an exciting, high-stakes thriller, with both the Washington and Ivory Coast parallel narratives being equally suspenseful. I found Skinner’s uneasy alliance with DOD operative Michael Kritschgau in an attempt to save Mulder’s life particularly powerful. With Mulder bed-ridden and close to insanity it’s Skinner who has to carry the risk-taking heroics of the Washington narrative.
Also, now that Kritschgau is no longer played as a completely expositional character his presence here feels far more realistic. Michael Ensign as the psychotic Dr Barnes continues to be menacing and utterly engaging in this episode. In fact, the entire supporting cast seems to be bringing their best to the table.
There seems to have been a storyline that was developing but got thrown off course- the resurrection of the dead prophesied in the Bible to be the feeder source for the alien's shock troops for the final colonization. Or perhaps this was a metaphoric foreshadowing of the "supersoldiers" or alien replicants who emerge as the human host body dies.
7ABX04 The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati (Duchovny/Carter)
Raj: As much as I love anything mystically-oriented, for me this is a completely unnecessary coda to the previous two episodes that were simply stunning. Duchovny’s writing just feels portentous and far too on-the-nose for any kind of subtlety. While the Cigarette Smoking Man attempts to exploit Mulder in a dangerous experiment we follow the agent’s journey through a strange wish-fulfilment dreamscape. It’s oddly messianic but without the nuance that would sell such a premise. We know Mulder is an archetypal hero with mythic traits but none of us actually thought he was Jesus, did we? Having said all that, in the right mood this episode is still kind of fun – especially the dream-within-a-dream sequences where Mulder builds a sandcastle Godship on the beach with an eidolon of his unborn child.
In hindsight I think it would have worked better had there been more effort made in selling the dream sequences as reality, since they seem to go wobbly a bit too soon. And knowing now that the model for all of this wasn't Last Temptation of Christ, but in fact the thematically-identical dream sequence in an old episode of The Invaders, a knockoff that was never cited or acknowledged-- well, that spoils the fun for me a bit.
What is perhaps apparent in hindsight is that Duchovny was trying to derail a storyline he wasn't interested in playing (the alien apocalypse storyline) and redirect the narrative from Scully's major revelation (discovering the spaceship was huge for her) back onto Mulder, where he believed the focus of the show belonged. Because as fans have noted over the years, 'Biogenesis' and 'The Sixth Extinction' seem to be going in one direction and 'Amor Fati' takes the story down an entirely different side road.
Raj: This is another comedy episode, but one that works rather well in my opinion. Rob Roberts is an apparently mild-mannered regular guy working at a burger joint, but he hides a terrible secret. He is in fact a monster, some kind of humanoid shark with an unstoppable appetite for human brain tissue. Unusually, we follow Rob’s story, with Mulder and Scully’s investigations constituting the very pared down B-story. But it works so well because Chad E. Donella plays Rob with such amicability and sweetness. There are flashes of genuine darkness in his character aside from his monstrous compulsions, but for the most part we see clearly that Rob doesn’t really want to hurt anyone. This ‘nice-guy monster’ conceit might have failed miserably in lesser hands, but here I found myself invested enough in Rob’s plight and the larger story to be genuinely affected by the inevitably tragic conclusion.
7ABX05 Millennium (Gilligan/Spotnitz)
Raj: For me this episode is a failure. It works neither as a continuation of Millennium’s own potent mythology nor as a particularly strong X Files standalone. Really it feels like a completely squandered opportunity to bring the character of criminal profiler Frank Black into official XF canon. Its central conceit of ex-Millennium Group members becoming zombie ‘Horsemen’ to usher in the Apocalypse feels like lazy writing. It doesn’t connect to the show Millennium in any discernible way aside from the inclusion of Lance Henriksen’s Frank Black, and his character is given no story-arc whatsoever in this episode. All we are told is that he’s engaged in a custody battle for his daughter and has checked himself into a psychiatric hospital in an attempt to ‘get better’. Henriksen is still great as Frank Black, especially considering how little he was given to work with in this episode. It’s definitely not a Millennium story though, and at best it’s a very lukewarm X-File.
Chris: There are really two episodes in one here. One that begins as a fascinating horror/mystery with religious overtones and the other one that ends up with two guys shooting at zombies in a basement. There are a lot of great moments here but I think everyone thought the climax was beneath the show's dignity, most of all Lance Henriksen, who was openly critical of the episode.
Raj: One of the better standalone episodes of the seventh season, Rush is about a group of high-schoolers who are gifted with incredible speed after entering a mysterious subterranean chamber. I’m sure that Josh Trank, the writer-director of the 2012 sleeper-hit Chronicle, was a studious fan of Rush – seeing as how elements of that movie are lifted directly from this episode. The execution of the super-speed sequences are impressive and clever, as is the revelation that the newly empowered teens are displaying numerous micro-tears in their musculature from moving so fast in bodies not designed to handle such speed. It’s the little details like this that I appreciate in fantastical storytelling, grounding the events in some kind of reality and making suspension of disbelief that much easier. It’s what The X Files used to do so well.
There's a tremendous amount of visual imagination on display here, so much so that some of the riffs would be recycled for the season finale. Unspoken but implied for those who do their homework is that the source of the power on display here is alien, both by its reuse in 'Requiem' and by Carter and Spotnitz's maxim that all episodes are mythology episodes since human beings are part-alien (a fact made explicit at the beginning of this season).
Raj: I’m back and forth on this story. I find it rather enjoyable and annoying in equal measure. It’s another comedy episode, about the connections between a preternaturally lucky man, Chicago mobsters, and a very sick young boy. The story is slight and sweet, but miles apart from the dark storytelling that the show was once famed for. It’s not a bad episode, per se, it just doesn’t feel like The X Files. It feels more like a generic cop-show-with-a-twist idea, an episode of Bones or Castle or something similar. I can imagine Mulder and Scully being substituted here by two attractive local police-officers and a will-they-wont-they brewing romance, and the narrative would feel exactly the same.
We were a world away from 'The Pine Bluff Variant'.
Raj:This episode is a sequel to the second season’s 'Irresistible'. We see the return of Donnie Pfaster, a death fetishist (network-code for necrophiliac) who kidnapped Scully five years earlier. Although this sequel takes Pfaster’s ambiguous monstrousness far more literally than its excellent predecessor, there’s no denying this episode has a grim kind of power. This is in no small part due to Nick Chinlund’s soft-spoken turn as Pfaster, who exudes flesh-crawling menace as a predatory deviant with an unconsummated lust for Scully. The last act, with Scully escaping her confinement and executing Pfaster in cold blood, is well-helmed and extremely chilling. Scott Wilson also turns in a genuinely unsettling performance as the mysterious Reverend Orison who initially breaks Donnie Pfaster out of prison. Glory, Amen.
Chris: I actually much prefer this episode to 'Irresistible'. The writers (be aware that writers' credits on TV shows often have nothing to do with who actually writes a script; this was largely written by Carter and crew) here give Donnie's evil a lot more room to breathe and the Reverend Orison's magic and the recurring synchronicity of the old R+B hit give much more of an X-Files jolt than its predecessor, which by Carter's admission was more a dry-run for Millennium. Outstanding direction by Rob Bowman, and a truly memorable and intense climax. Just a bigger, badder and bolder take on the character.
Raj:Again, this episode feels a lot like 'The Goldberg Variation' in its cop-show-with-a-twist idea. It’s not a terrible episode, but it doesn’t feel like The X Files. Remove Mulder and Scully, and it could be an episode from any generic crime show. The script is convoluted and yet so slight, with nothing really at stake, that it was hard for me to get invested. While the themes were ostensibly concerned with the nature of misdirection and performance, the episode itself felt like a kind of awkward performance – a very network-television vibe. It’s amusing and clever in places, but ultimately rings hollow to me. If anything the episode is a good analogy for how the show had changed after season five and the relocation to Los Angeles. The X Files used to be genuinely dark, concerned with real magick and its consequences. But it had become a lighter show about stage magic – where there are no real consequences, and where the trickery involved has become the main attraction. The emotional violence and resonance that used to typify the show significantly withered in the Hollywood glare of the sixth and seventh seasons.
It's a shame because there probably was a really satisfying episode here but what you're left with is a story one that's merely diverting, thanks mostly to some fine performances. But it also suffers from following so close from the very, very similar 'Goldberg Variation', so much that the two begin to bleed together in the memory.
Raj: Give Me That Old-Time Religion, huh? This episode reminds me of that famous gospel song dating back to the nineteenth century. I’m not too sure about the story’s implied celestial politics – the twist that Reverend Mackey, of a more inclusive and tolerant church than Enoch O’Conner’s, is revealed as the episode’s truly satanic villain – but as a slice of deep-fried Southern Gothic it works surprisingly well. Priests as villains always freak me out, regardless of their politics, because there is no need whatsoever for me to suspend my disbelief. The final scene where the relocated Reverend Mackey is revealed as some kind of demonic entity – where a snake emerges from his throat to eat a mouse – is definitely a memorable image.
To go from candy-fluff like 'Amazing Maleeni' to a dark bit of Grand Guignol like 'Signs and Wonders' is at the very least, disorienting. It implies the writing staff seems uncertain in which exact direction to go.
Raj: Damn, this stunning two-parter is undoubtedly the best thing about the seventh season. It’s an incredible piece of work from ideas to themes to execution. In a show that had by this point lost most of its sense of authenticity, Sein Und Zeit kicks us in the stomach, grabs us by the heart and doesn’t let go. It doesn’t rely on familiar XF tropes, it plunges valiantly into a world of heart-breaking grief, lost children and spiritual entities composed of starlight. Mulder is forced to reconsider his sister’s disappearance and the abduction narrative he had built up over decades. Not only is the script dark and disturbing, it’s also incredibly tender and nuanced. And the acting, from both the leads and the supporting cast, is on-point and completely beguiling. Of particular note is an absolutely haunting performance by Kim Darby as jailed mother Kathy Lee Tencate. In an episode filled with such strangeness and risk-taking, this is as real and dangerous as the seventh season has ever felt.
Raj: The conclusion to the two-parter is also a genuine work of art, with a heart-rending performance from Anthony Heald as police psychic Harold Piller. With the capture of serial child-killer Ed Truelove, and with help from Piller, Mulder and Scully are led to an Air Force Base that might hold the answers to Samantha Mulder’s true fate. The scene where Mulder reads Scully excerpts from his sister’s diary is gut-punching and exquisitely acted, as is the final scene where Harold Piller is unable to accept Mulder’s confirmation that his own missing son is also dead, but in a better place. It’s powerful, soul-wrenching stuff.
Chris: I have a major problem with 'Sein Und Zeit' and 'Closure'. It's a very serious problem, one that impacts on my enjoyment of Season Seven as a whole.
There are no two ways about it.
This is the series that gave us 'Duane Barry' and 'Paper Hearts'. How refreshing to see it again.
Raj: This is a novelty-comedy narrative presented as an episode of the hit television show Cops. This idea is the literal embodiment of the cop-show-with-a-twist atmosphere that had come to permeate much of the seventh season. It’s clearly influenced by The Blair Witch Project from the previous year, and is innovative in as much as it anticipated the slew of found-footage and horror mockumentaries that were to come. 'X-Cops' is fairly engaging for what it is. Mulder and Scully’s investigations into a ‘monster’ terrorising downtown Los Angeles are hampered by the shooting of a Cops episode, and in this meta-context the story is actually quite a bit of fun. Although I have to say that I found the broad caricatures of the gay couple Steve and Edy a little insulting. It felt a bit too much like we were supposed to laugh at them rather than with them, but maybe that’s just me.
Raj: I’m sorry, Gods of X, but this episode is just fucking atrocious. Mulder gets sucked into a video game and Scully has to go in to retrieve him. Yeah, I know. I have no idea what went wrong here, but along with Fight Club this has to be one of the worst episodes of The X Files I’ve ever seen. It’s lewd, boring, childish and spectacularly stupid. It says nothing and means nothing. I like to pretend it doesn’t exist, and have nothing else to say about it.
Raj: While I don’t think this episode concerning Appalachian hexcraft is particularly inventive, in comparison to the season’s cop-show-with-a-twist vibe I mentioned earlier Theef is a solid back-to-basics X-File. It’s well directed by Kim Manners and fairly well-paced. We’ve seen these kinds of stories on The X Files many times before, we know most of their story-beats off by heart, but it’s a welcome bit of darkness in a season mostly bereft of the intoxicating demon-poetry that gave the show its legs in the first place. The finale with a vulnerable, magically-blinded Scully is particularly creepy.
In keeping with the Millennium reunion vibe that ran throughout all four seasons of the LAX-Files, we see 'Dead Letters' vet James Morrison as the bewildered doctor.
Raj: This is a solid low-key thriller that actually takes a lot of risks and poses a lot of questions if you’re paying attention. It’s a kind of more real-world accompaniment to the fourth season’s Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man, and serves to further explore the complex psychology of the show’s iconic villain. The entire episode is a kind of dance or strange flirtation between Scully and CSM, where he attempts to symbolically seduce her with a potential extra-terrestrial cure for all human disease. An interesting and engaging episode, with a well-crafted atmosphere of uneasiness.
Raj: Again, like the previously mentioned Theef, this episode harkens back to a darker, more vicious X Files. While Scully’s lonely stakeout is still played for laughs, Mulder’s investigations into a series of brutal Raven-linked murders is compelling, especially in comparison to the overall lighter tone of the season. The underworld entity responsible for the killings works as a frightening creation, and is genuinely menacing. But the episode suffers somewhat from having to find a reason to separate Mulder and Scully for its duration. And perhaps it’s just me but something seems to be missing in Duchovny’s performance here. Perhaps the actor was just so eager to leave the show, but Mulder feels somewhat lifeless to me in this episode.
Raj: While I accept that this episode might be a touch too New Age and soft-focus for some palettes, I truly love 'All Things'. Penned and directed by Gillian Anderson, it delves into the complex relationship between Scully and an old flame. The narrative complicates Scully’s character in interesting ways whilst remaining true to her core. And due to a charismatic performance from Nicholas Survoy as Daniel Waterston I can totally buy that he and Scully were once very intimate lovers. Strong support is given by Stacy Haiduk as Daniel’s grieving daughter Maggie. Also rather compelling is Colleen Flynn as Colleen Azar, a former physicist turned crop-circle researcher. While the character is painted in broad New Age strokes the actress invests her with an earnestness and intelligence that rings true. And that’s the highest compliment I can give 'All Things'. It’s a slow-burn character study that feels earnest and refreshing, but also intelligent and poignant. For me this episode doesn’t feel cynical, and as such it stirred a little bit of wonder in me.
7ABX19 Brand X (Walker/Maeda)
Raj: This episode is notable for a stand-out performance from Tobin Bell as Daryl Weaver, a chain-smoking psychopath. I find the character of Weaver almost hypnotically watchable in this episode. Bell would later go on to achieve cult-fame as the ingenious Jigsaw in the Saw movie-franchise. The story itself isn’t particularly creative, aside from a genuinely terrifying premise, but it’s Bell’s performance as Daryl Weaver that makes the episode work for me. But Mulder being infected by the tobacco-beetles, and them hatching their eggs in his lung tissue, is far too serious an injury for the character to sustain in what is otherwise a throwaway standalone. Scully saves him, of course, inoculating him with massive doses of nicotine. By the episode’s end Mulder seems fine, with little more than a sore throat despite his trauma. I can forgive this kind of thing when it serves a grand mythology-storyline, but in a standalone it just feels like lazy writing. If you’re going to keep hospitalising your lead characters, have it mean something more than just an inconsequential brush with killer cigarettes.
And what's that I see- yet another Millennium holdover? So many appear (and will appear) it seems like an editorial comment on Carter's behalf. Not a particularly memorable X-file but a welcome relief from the novelties. Obvious nods to the Russell Crowe film The Insider are not your imagination. Solid if unspectacular episode that may have been better served in Season Eight
Raj: You know, as someone with an unrepentantly Gothic sensibility I adored the documentarian sci-fi and horror that The X Files let me cut my teeth on. So, to have to sit through stuff like this makes my inner Goth sigh a little in desperation. This episode is fun, I guess, in the right frame of mind. But it isn’t good, let alone great. You could make the argument that it is in fact terrible. It’s full of meta-winks and nods to things outside of the X Files universe, as with the stunt-casting of Gary Shandling and Tea Leoni as B-Movie versions of Mulder and Scully. It’s very Los Angeles, perhaps more so than all of season six. For the most part the seventh season’s failures felt simply bland and generic, rather than the aggressively self-aware parody that occupied most of the sixth season. But Hollywood A.D. goes all out in trying to divorce Mulder and Scully from any notion of grounded reality. In this episode they kind of wander around through a bunch of scenes that make no real logical sense. At this point not only is The X Files a victim of its own success, but Duchovny decides to write an entire self-indulgent script about that very fact. When I enjoy this episode I enjoy it in a very defeated, heart-broken way. Dr Chuck Burks is in it though. Chuck’s cool.
So much of his fake movie lifts riffs from 'The Sixth Extinction' storyline and 'Millennium' that a fair assessment can be reasonably made. The conflict between Micah Hoffman and Cardinal O'Fallon feels like a placeholder for Duchovny's own conflicts with his boss, since Hoffman looks and acts like an idealized version of Duchovny himself (who, lest we forget, was writing himself to be the new Christ at the start of this season). Having Chuck Burks replay his scene from 'Biogenesis' pretty much seals the deal, connection-wise.
Wayne Federman takes his performance right up to the edge but never steps over. Shandling and Leoni feel a bit indulgent but seeing Skinner in a bubblebath more than makes up (if you watch The X-Files carefully, you'll notice all the very subtle hints that Skinner is gay).
Raj: This episode shares double-billing with First-Person Shooter in being my least favourite X-File. I definitely hate this episode a little less, but Fight Club is still garbage in my opinion. I hate to say that about my beloved TXF, but it is what it is, man. It’s yet another ‘comedy’ episode, but I have to say that virtually none of the jokes land. As a result the entire episode feels horribly awkward and indulgent. I mean, what the hell is this episode about, besides pointless doppelgangers? I know that this is some kind of oblique continuation of the show’s meta-critique that began in season six, especially considering Fight Club’s bizarre teaser. I don’t know what Carter is trying to say here, but I’m sure he’s saying something. Still, there’s no real theme here, no emotional resonance that would make all the meta-hijinks and turgid run-arounds feel worthwhile. Worst of all, this episode is simply boring. If I sound scathing it’s because The X Files is very dear to my heart. It may be flawed at times, but almost never bores me.
Whatever could he be referring to here? I guess we'll never know. Weird, wild, wacky stuff.
Raj: Yes, it’s another comedy episode. Yes, nothing that happens is of any real or lasting consequence. So you might be surprised to learn that I kind of love this episode. I’m not suggesting that it’s good, only that for some reason it works for me on almost every level. It’s more like a whimsical Twilight Zone story than an X-File, yet I find it has massive re-watch value for me. Despite myself, I find Will Sasso and Kevin Weisman hilarious as the Stokes brothers. And Scully’s excitement over getting to autopsy an invisible Anson Stokes will melt even a cynic’s heart, surely? The last act is a lot of fun too, where the genie’s intentional misinterpretation of Mulder’s wish for world peace results in him becoming the only human being left on Earth. Not only is the scene funny, it’s also kind of epic and haunting. In some oblique way the episode and that scene in particular seem to fit with the elegiac season finale that was to follow. I don’t know, maybe I just love genies.
As with many of these novelty episodes the story is clever and well-rendered but I never feel a burning need to rewatch it. Like much of the season, the episode is very much of its time and very remains there. This would be m excellent episode in a season with only a couple comedy episodes, it's just a fine episode in a season with eight of them.
Raj: I still really enjoy this season finale, even though I’m aware of all its flaws. The narrative feels like a retrospective more than a forward-thinking story in its own right, and David Duchovny seems rather disinterested in the whole thing – seeing as how his lead-actor status was finally at an end. But nevertheless, there are things to like in this episode. The threat of the cloaked alien ship that is slowly rebuilding itself feels sinister and stylish, and harkens back indirectly to season one’s Fallen Angel. Also, Laurie Holden and Nick Lea are on fine form here as Marita Covarrubias and Alex Krycek. The script is nowhere near as tight or as interesting as it should have been for what was potentially the last ever episode of The X Files, but considering the stress and behind-the-scenes hostility that Chris Carter had to endure it’s no wonder his writing-juices weren’t flowing as freely as they once did. What happened to The X Files in the sixth and seventh seasons is unfortunate, but perhaps what’s really surprising is how the show managed to burn with such multidimensional power for so long – way longer and with far greater finesse than anyone could have imagined. But TXF was indeed offered an eighth season. With Duchovny out of the picture, temporarily at least, Carter and the writing staff threw down the gauntlet in terms of reinvigorating the series mythology. With the introduction of Robert Patrick as the world-weary John Doggett the eighth season got back to the business of creating blistering, intelligent sci-fi and horror thrillers. Gone was the self-parody of season six, and the cop-show-with-a-twist atmosphere of season seven. In its place rose a cinematic phoenix of genre storytelling – sexy, dangerous and lucid once again. The Truth is Out There.
The conspiracy got so huge in the middle of the series that it seemed impossible to imagine the world not noticing. Here, the people signing off on the investigations do so only with great reluctance, since they all believe this business about aliens is crazytalk. Hell, even the new X-Files investigator refuses to believe it. That kind of disbelief gave the stories more gravitas, since they felt like they took place in a world you recognize.
The genius of The X-Files is that, with the exception of the third season, every season finale could exist as a series finale. Requiem was no different. With the start of the following season a new imperative would be followed; a deliberate and delineated campaign to jettison the excesses of X-Files Light and return the series to its roots; sci-fi, conspiracy, horror and the paranormal.
Yet the envelope continued to expand- after clearing the decks of some solid but unexceptional MOTWs, the series shed its episodic format and finished the season as a serial, a clear harbinger of the genre serials that would follow in its wake.
NOTE: Marita and Krycek were supposed to form the backbone of a new conspiracy in the eighth season but Laurie Holden was unavailable. Too bad- would have been cool to see The Syndicate: The Next Generation.