The Field Where I Died
Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man
El Mundo Gira
In many ways, season 4 of The X-Files is more of the same from last year. The overarching plot is good, with the mythology of the show and more of the alien conspiracy uncovered. Mulder and Scully reprise their familiar roles and four seasons on, their chemistry is as good as its ever been. The writing is solid too albeit a little uneven at times, but with the writing team changing you can feel a slight shift in the presentation. In many ways this is business as usual for The X-Files, with another solid season of entertainment but unlike last year, there’s a little bit more experimentation and furthering the plot away from the tightly refined cover-up evident in the first few seasons.
The story picks up right where season 3 left off, with the alien bounty hunter chasing Mulder and Scully. After the resolution to this, the black oil makes another appearance in a two part episode midway through the season that sees Mulder captured in a Russian prison and strange experiments involving the oil being carried out. There’s more character developments this time around too, with the stand alone episode for Cancer Man (William B. Davies) really well developed, giving some much needed characterisation to the mysterious government agent.
In many ways season 4 is a more ambitious, with the writing team changing you can feel the creativity being brought to the foreground of this season. With more experimental episodes and a greater emphasis on the alien conspiracy and trying to answer some of the questions the show have raised over the years, it feels like headway is being made in this respect. There’s some interesting episodes that focus on Mulder’s sister and an apparent answer to exactly what happened to her as well as an interesting and shocking story involving Scully contracting an alien cancer. There’s no denying that season 4 has a lot going on and whilst it does reach a lot of the highs that make the show so great, there are some episodes that just aren’t at the same calibre that make it slightly less endearing than last season.
On the whole though, season 4 of The X-Files feels like a transitional season. The more ambitious nature of the episodes don’t always hit, with less stand out episodes than before but the chemistry between Mulder and Scully stays constant throughout. The familiar supporting cast including Cancer Man get their own episodes that help to break the monotony up and once again, season 4 leaves the door wide open for the fifth season with its cliffhanger ending. Whether the conspiracy will be fully explored and explained in a satisfying way remains to be seen but for now, season 4 keeps the balls rolling with a solid season of science fiction entertainment.