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I’m a bioengineered combat unit.


The X-Files
9.2: Nothing Important Happened Today II


And Part 2 continues to sustain interest. There’s some murkiness to Sharon’s motivation that’s never fully resolved, largely because Lucy Lawless became preggers and had to opt out of further returns. Or it was a balls up. If I’m going to be generous, I’ll suggest her super soldier isn’t the same as Billy Miles’, being as she and Knowle are prototypes, and she retains some individuality. Or she’s just pretending to display humanity. Certainly, she doesn’t come across in a T-1000 way (well, aside from knocking Rohr’s head off).

Scully: Chloramine is just a substitute for chlorine, you can drink it and it’s harmless.
Shannon McMahon: Unless someone were to quietly go and change its molecular make-up. 

But what exactly she’s doing here? She evidently wants to give them the skinny, but to what end? If it’s a ruse, how does it help to let Doggett, Scully and Reyes have information? She does save Doggett From Knowle, and gets run through for it. X-Files fandom suggests he’s merely being deceptive, through claiming theirs was merely a genetic engineering programme and that the men she killed were attempting to contaminate the water supply in order to prime the population to breed a generation of these soldiers.

It may be as simple as obfuscation then; from what we’ve seen of the transformation process, there’s no chance anything she’s describing could happen through adding something to the water. Which makes it interest to note the analogies; that putting vaccines in the water supply has been suggested as an option, to ensure full compliance (either through the requirement for freedom of choice or because it simply wouldn’t work, this didn’t happen). But the idea of changing the subjects’ DNA, with results that render the subject magnetic (so some of the vax recipients’ accounts also go) makes for an interesting comparison.

ScullyIf this is true about this ship and this lab, there may be answers there I can’t risk not knowing.

I guess tearing Knowle apart makes a good show if you want to convince someone of your bona fides… Generally, this is another solid episode (directed by Tony Wharmby), with several caveats. Scully insists on going look-see at a former international waters lab because, in a turnabout, there are suddenly answers she can’t risk not knowing (yawn). She’s also very lucky that there’s an absurdly rubbish countdown clock in the lab, which turns ten seconds into about five minutes, or she’d have been toast (seriously, someone on the production staff should have called that out).

Then there’s the reveal that Kersh is a good guy?!! I mean, sure. Okay. I kind of like that, actually, because it’s saying he’s been so ridiculously, nonsensically OTT dickish for two seasons, he just had to be okay, really. If only the series were always as straight up about its deficiencies. The King George III quote is made-up? Maybe – I mean, it wouldn’t be like established history to be totally fabricated, now would it? – but it’s quite a cool quote, all the same. Generally, there’s a sense that this arc is playing out on the fly, not least Mulder running off because this, of all things, gets him spooked. But this two-part season opener is dramatically engaged, benefiting from the action focus, and the good time to be had mostly outweighs the demerits.

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