Ken Tucker offers a unique challenge to the makers of 'The X-Files'

By Ken Tucker
Updated April 27, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT
Advertisement
type
  • TV Show
network
  • Fox
genre

Who killed Fox Mulder?

If this was the sports page, I’d be running the banner headline ”HOME RUN!” for last night’s edition of ”The X-Files,” a lovely, appropriately eerie reverie in which a 1947 homer king in Roswell, N.M., is both black and an alien. The episode was written and directed by ”X-Files” costar David Duchovny, who also gave his Mulder and Gillian Anderson’s Scully a couple of the sweetest, gentlest, most intimate scenes they’ve ever shared.

Duchovny’s central conceit was that, to be black in America is to ”be” an alien, especially in the time the flashback episode was set, with racism and institutionalized segregation front and center in this country’s life. Duchovny directed the episode with knowing winks to ”Field of Dreams” and ”Chinatown” (Mulder sneezing to disguise the sound of tearing a piece of paper was a trick of Jack Nicholson’s J.J. Gittes). The show was nothing less than a high point of the series six-year run thus far, and helps refute the increasing number of complaints I read in print and on the Internet that ”The X-Files” is losing its touch.

I think this season’s ”Files” have frequently been welcome departures from the ”mythology” episodes that dominated last season and peaked with last summer ”X-Files” movie. Duchovny is saying in interviews these days that he’ll serve out his contract but is itching to do other things.

Here’s an idea, one in keeping with the iconoclastic nature of the show as conceived by its creator, Chris Carter: If Duchovny is bored with his role, why not kill off Mulder and permit the actor to serve out his remaining time as a writer and director? Think of the publicity and ratings such a move would provoke, even as it satisfied the creative urges of one of its stars. 20th Century Fox may want to keep the characters around for feature films even after the series ends, but I say to Carter and Duchovny: The heck with the suits — blow everyone’s mind and mess with the franchise.

Episode Recaps

The X-Files

type
  • TV Show
seasons
  • 11
rating
  • TV-14
genre
status
  • In Season
network
  • Fox
stream service

Comments