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well, that sucked.
I forgot how bad Season Six was in places. I'm rewatching during workouts and I just stumbled through "Ghosts Who Stole Christmas","Terms of Endearment", and "Rain King."  The latter has its moments, and I think it may the absolute pinnacle of Pointlessly!Bitchy!Scully (my wife suggests asking your doctor about Aleve, Dana.)

But altogether, it's a real trifecta of shit, redeemed pretty much only by the gift scene in "Ghosts" (and Lily Tomlin and Ed Asner.)

Sure, there are worse episodes (any episode with a Spanish name is worse--think about it), but these three stinkers in a row are a real low point.

The only thing that bugged me about the writing on the show was that they tended to make one-shot characters into these really disposable cartoons; there's little or no sympathy at all in the portrayal of anyone besides Mulder and Scully. You never get the sense that there's any backstory, that Mulder and Scully have stepped into a place and a set of lives that existed before them and will exist after they've left. I think it's really on display here, especially in the nasty cornpone sentimentality of "Rain King." If I was from Kansas (and I'm not far, actually) I'd be pissed about that one.

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I rewatched the episode last night with Kyle, to see if he thought she seemed excessively bitchy, as I am so Scully-centric in my view of the show. He felt, and I agree, that the premise of their little trip to Kronor was on its face so absurd that her reactions were entirely justified and even a bit muted. Mulder knew he was skating on thin ice there, too, which is why he was so deliberately vague about the details.

I apparently have broad taste in comedy because I loved the episode on second viewing. Or maybe as a Blue State resident, eight years of being subject to Red State political domination has warped my view of the Midwest.

Didn't anyone else think Scully's little speech to Sheila in the little girl's room (that saved the day, you go girl) was sweet? Her face just went all soft and so did her voice. You could tell she was talking about Mulder. I'm not even a shipper and I loved it.

"Oubliette" is the one episode where even I actually want to shake Scully, plus her CPR skills are decidedly subpar. Stupid writers.

Critics have often commented that The X-Files rescued itself by reinventing the approach to its dark material. They got funny, they got meta, they kept you guessing from week to week. But the down side of that is that, from week to week, you didn't know which Mulder/Scully you were going to get, or really which show you were watching.

See, I can't see that as a down side. I like that the tone was so varied, and that you never knew what show you were going to get. The continuity problems were legion but I don't think that can be blamed on genre switching or the huge variation in the episodes, from low comedy to high drama. That's just laziness on the part of 1013. I doubt this show would have held my interest at all had it been more conventionally conceived and written. I certainly wouldn't have been inspired to write fic for it.

Most people I run into do seem to love that conversation between Sheila and Scully (myself included). It could be heavy-handed, but somehow it's not.

And I got into further detail in my own reply below, but I also like the varied tone. As with any gamble in a creative realm, taking chances with variety can backfire as often as it can reward; I just happen to think that ultimately they were rewarded by the chances they took, even if they did stumble a bit here and there.

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