Wednesday, February 7, 2018

REVIEW: FOX's 'The X-Files' and '9-1-1' (February 7)

Various FOX reviews for February 7, 2018:

The X-Files - Episode 11.06 "Kitten"
9-1-1 - Episode 1.06 "Heartbreaker"

In 2018, it's impossible to watch every scripted show out there. There are over 450 of them. It's even more impossible to even provide adequate coverage of some of them. Great shows slip through the cracks. Some shows take awhile to figure themselves out. So as a way for me to provide more coverage, I'll just be writing some paragraph reviews of the various shows that aired new episodes on FOX from February 7, 2018. Enjoy!

The X-Files - "Kitten"
Skinner goes AWOL when his past comes back to haunt him. As Mulder and Scully try to track him down, their growing mistrust of him reaches its apex. Written by Gabe Rotter and directed by Carol Banker

"Kitten" is nothing to write home about. It's not a bad episode of the show. It's just average in a way that shows the drama can still produce a solid procedural episode. The story and themes are topics the show has covered before. Yes, it's meaningful to get more of a visible story to Skinner's past. He has had a more prominent role this season even though it's once again a story about whether or not Mulder and Scully can trust him. Skinner is holding a key piece of information that is clearly important to the season's endgame despite how unfortunate and icky it is. There is absolutely no reason for Mulder and Scully to think that Skinner isn't their ally. Here, they are confronted by the idea that Skinner hasn't been promoted because he's always protecting the two of them. It dawns on them as a new realization. But this can't be the first time they've possibly thought that, right? The actual monster-of-the-week story is fine too. Haley Joel Osment makes for a creepy guest star in a dual role that didn't necessarily need to be a dual role except to amp up the unsettling factor. It's a character type he has played a lot in recent years with it being a more monstrous twist on the formula. It's perhaps too neat of a story. Skinner admits after it's all over that he bonds with Mulder and Scully more than any other agents because they remind him to be skeptical of the government and willing to expose whatever dangers need to be exposed. It's a nice thought to close the episode just as the audience gets the ominous scene that the gas poison really is being spread by planes just like it was feared. B-

9-1-1 - "Heartbreaker"
On Valentine's Day, a surprise marriage proposal goes awry with dangerous consequences. Athena attempts to help a desperate woman and unintentionally joins the Lonely Hearts Club. Bobby and Chimney pull holiday duty and learn about the "Casanova Fracture." Abby and Buck go on their first official date. Written by Matthew Hodgson and directed by Bradley Buecker

When this show goes for the absolute outrageous in its stories, it can actually be quite fun and entertaining. It's unintentionally funny but I also have to expect everyone involved is aware on some level despite the melodrama happening elsewhere to keep this cast interested in the project. This episode thrives on the craziness happening everywhere. But it's also just abundantly clear that the show doesn't even want to be consistent in its stories. Chimney is miraculously back on the job. That makes no sense whatsoever. It would take such a high level of suspension of disbelief to go along with that. The only reason for him to survive that kind of injury is to see the consequences it has for him in this job. But instead, he's back as a firefighter as if a piece of rebar didn't pierce his skull. Meanwhile, Abby told Buck that she only wanted to talk on the phone last week. But here, she's invited to the firehouse and meets all of the other main characters for the first time, which leads to Abby and Buck going on their first date, which leads to her cutting a hole in his neck after he chokes on bread. It means that two characters have been in the hospital in the course of six episodes. But based on Chimney's recovery time, Buck will be doing cartwheels next week. It's so ridiculously over the top. But the show is so inconsistent on what these two actually want. They just keep going back-and-forth on whether they want a mature relationship, casual sex or just phone friends. It's weird. And then, Athena's plot is lifted straight out of a Lifetime movie. At times, it really makes me wonder why Angela Bassett is on this show. It's so crazy but not in an entertaining way. It mostly leaves me wondering why Athena doesn't have a partner on the job? C