The X-Files Season 1 Episode 4 Review: “Conduit”

The X-Files

I love stories that set up a larger mystery. In the previous episodes of The X-Files, the series has been establishing the mythology, the characters, and how the characters exist inside the realm. This episode dealt with the larger mystery. The similarities in the “case of the week” and Mulder’s own life story tied everything that has happened so far together. It created a sense of hope that is uncommon on television nowadays. I love episodes that tie everything together, and I was truly satisfied by this one.

On this episode of The X-Files: Mulder and Scully follow a case based on an abduction claim in Iowa. A teenage girl has disappeared, and her mother (not a stranger to the paranormal) insists that she was abducted. Her little brother has also gained the ability to process binary code from the television. The FBI makes Scully aware of the similarities between this case and Samantha Mulder’s.

One of my favorite things about this show so far is the it is whittling away at Scully’s skepticism. It seems as though every time she speaks with someone else at the FBI, her skepticism is renewed. But, as each case progresses, Mulder’s unwavering faith and the evidence presented slowly morph her way of thinking. Gillian Anderson is wonderful, and it’s really fantastic that she can display so much of her skepticism turned belief turned “explain it away” without even speaking. She radiates the Scully character, and it is wonderful to watch.

From what I have read and discussions I’ve had with fans of the show, the first season offers a mixed bag in terms of episodes. I know that I’m watching it differently, because binge-watching is available to me but I’m taking it slow (for the readers’ benefit, of course). For the most part, I’m loving the show, and I’m having a hard time restraining my viewing habits for this particular assignment. However, if I were told that “Conduit” was the first not great episode of the series, I would understand why. Personally, I would blame the mother of the disappeared daughter. The actress, Carrie Snodgrass, was more than proficient. As I understand it, she was nominated for an Oscar in the 1970s (she also passed away 11 years ago). The character, however, drove me absolutely nuts. She pushed Scully and Mulder away much more than I would have believed. She took no notice of distinguishing the FBI from the NSA, and then she wouldn’t even let her daughter help the agents upon her return. So if we’re talking about things I didn’t like, I didn’t buy her as a character at all. Or maybe I did, which is way scarier. I loved the “Conduit” kid, though. That whole element was particularly well crafted.

It’s really fun to watch The X-Files and its mythology take shape. Anderson and Duchovny really have remarkable chemistry. They’ve created this really cool world where you root for Scully to lose her skepticism and side with Mulder. Mulder is like the favorite uncle you’ve always had. You can’t help but root for him, no matter what he does. The show (in its early stages) is a constant struggle of getting Scully to believe in what you, and Mulder, can both see is real. I’m having a blast through this show so far.

What do you think of The X-Files’ fourth installment? Let us know in the comments!!

The X-Files Seasons 1-9 are currently streaming on Netflix.

[Photo via FOX]

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