Pros:some good episode, good picture & sound quality on DVDs
Cons:series feels tired, structure of special features
The Bottom Line: The earlier seasons were the best. Chris Carter had it right about ending it here and it would have concluded the series on a positive note.
The seventh season of the Fox Network television show The X-Files was really the last one that was good. Nearly everything after this should be considered a bad dream after Fox Mulder at a couple of chili dogs. Really.
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For those not up to speed, The X-Files followed two FBI agents as they investigated crimes out of the ordinary. Fox Mulder (portrayed by David Duchovny) was the lead investigator on what became known as The X-Files. These were cases that seemed to have a supernatural element to them that other agents wouldn’t touch. He was particularly fond of alien abduction cases due to the fact that his younger sister was apparently abducted by aliens when they were younger, never to return. The first season began with the addition of a partner. Dana Scully (portrayed by Gillian Anderson) was the scientist who dealt with facts and was sent to really de-bunk Mulder’s work. As the years wore on, her opinions changed due to many factors.
Getting to the seventh season, there are two distinct styles of episodes here. One are the stand-alone episodes which are generally my favorites when they are well done. These usually don’t have any reliance on previous history in the series and can be a lot of fun. Even these were getting a bit tired this season as series creator Chris Carter and his writing staff seemed to be exhausting a lot of their ideas.
The second style of episodes are what became known as The X-Files lore. This began with the story of Mulder’s sister’s abduction and followed through more when Gillian Anderson became pregnant and her leave was written in as another abduction case.
Carter approached the seventh season as if it was going to be the last for the series. He was looking to wrap up loose ends and close the show off properly. Unfortunately, Fox was not about to let their cash cow go, despite the reluctance of not just Carter, but the two series stars as well.
The season-ending cliff-hanger for season six never really pans out. The Sixth Extinction doesn’t really take that promising storyline in any great direction. It also changes the direction of what the aliens are possibly doing here. Where before it seemed as if they were intent on colonizing the Earth, now it seems that they are breeding a super-soldier to do… what exactly? I’m never really sure, but I know from here on out, we are supposed to be horrified by the appearance of these super soldiers. It was the episode Closure later in the season that was really the last decent episode having to do with what The X-Files had been about all these years. They should have basically ended the series there. The rest of the episodes that attempt to continue the ongoing lore just felt weak.
X-COPS is a funny episode that blends two Fox network shows - Cops and The The X-Files as Mulder and Scully help out the LAPD during a full moon. The levity was needed after the heavy episode Closure was. Other stand-alone episodes deal with a man addicted to eating brains, someone who has developed the ability of super-human speed, a magician who has the ability to rotate his head completely around dies mysteriously, a snake-charming cult in West Virginia is investigated for a link to a murder, voodoo as a possible murder weapon, and more. Normally I would be one to cheer for so many stand-alone episodes in a season as I usually enjoyed them more than the ongoing lore, but these also had a tired feel about them. Don’t get me wrong, many were quite good and are still better than a lot of stuff being passed off as television now, but from they are a far cry from the series’ glory days.
Shia LeBeouf appears in an episode about a man who seems to be unable to die and who might have some of the best luck anyone has ever seen. LeBeouf portrays the man’s neighbor. Donnie Pfaster, from the second season episode, Irresistible, re-appears and comes gunning for Scully. The Lone Gunmen ask for Mulder & Scully’s help with a murder at a video game company.
There’s also a half-hearted attempt to try to wrap-up Millenium, another Chris Carter show that aired for three years on Fox. The interaction between Mulder and Frank Black (portrayed by Lance Henriksen), the lead character from that show, was actually quite good. If they could have convinced Duchovny and Henriksen to work together on a series with Mulder and Black, that would have been worth watching.
This season does move Mulder & Scully's relationship to the next level by having them sleep together in the Gillian Anderson directed episode All Things. This later ties into Scully's spectacular revelation to end the season. And that should have been it. Everything else should have been left for movies or something. But, no, Fox had to beat it to death.
The DVD release is good. The prints are good and I have no complaints about the sound or picture quality. There are extras, but they are easy to neglect which is the problem. My main issue with all of these has been the structure. Deleted scenes are available while watching the episode by enabling a feature where an X appears in the corner of the picture and it gets clicked on to open up the deleted scene. Now, if I’m involved in watching the episode, I’ll miss the X’s on the screen. I’d rather have them available from a special features menu with that particular episode so I can just cue them up without having to watch the episode all over again. The last disc does have them all in one spot from every episode, but by the time I get there I’ve forgotten the particulars of each scene from the beginning of the season. There’s a few commentaries here that are worth listening to for the particular episodes.
Fox should have let the seventh season of The X-Files be the final one. Really, it was showing problems here and it could have gone out on a decent note. Compared to what came after this, this season was good. Compared to what came before, it’s lacking.
The Sixth Extinction Part 1
The Sixth Extinction Part 2: Amor Fati
• International Clips & Deleted Scenes on The Sixth Extinction Part 2: Amor Fati
The Goldberg Variation
The Amazing Maleeni
Signs & Wonders
Sein Und Zeit
First Person Shooter
• Commentary on First Person Shooter with Chris Carter
• Commentary on All Things with Director/Actress Gillian Andersen
• Commentary on Je Souhaite with Director Vince Gilligan
• International Clips on Requiem
• Documentary: The Truth About Season 7
• X-Files Profiles
• Promo Spots
• Special Effects Commentary with Paul Rabwin
• Deleted Scenes
© 2012 Patti Aliventi
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