Previews

The X-Files Preview: “Babylon”

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/Fox Broadcasting Co.

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/Fox Broadcasting Co.

[Warning: General spoilers ahead.]

The next-to-last episode of The X-Files (which really needs to be announced for a renewal NOW-like) is tonally all over the place (and borderline stereotypically offensive to me as a Texan) but it eventually rambles to its point, stopping off for discussions about love, hate, and the power of suggestion.

Written and directed by Chris Carter, “Babylon” had a lot of behind-the-scenes attention last summer because of the guest stars–The Flash‘s Robbie Amell and Six Feet Under‘s Lauren Ambrose–as special agents Miller and Einstein, who have similar mindsets to the OG/early days Mulder and Scully. In a fun wink-nudge, the pairs split and reteam in a surprising way to make contact with a now-comatose suicide bomber.

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/Fox Broadcasting Co.

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/Fox Broadcasting Co.

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/Fox Broadcasting Co.

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/Fox Broadcasting Co.

The road through this story begins from the perspective of the young, devout Muslim who, by all appearances, is the least likely candidate to be a bomber but who is nonetheless the recipient of Ugly Americanisms from the locals in the small Texas town where he lives. Once the bombing happens, the action shifts to the investigation, and Miller and Einstein come calling on Mulder and Scully because Miller has a theory about how to contact the young man and perhaps thwart other bombers in the same cell.

Threaded through the hour are ideas about the power of language and thoughts. While Scully pursues a more scientific approach rooted in her own grief from last week’s episode, Mulder takes a fantastic trip through the mind that is a cameo-loaded treat for the fans, which I am NOT going to spoil, before the episode turns heartbreakingly serious again. The final moments are full of heart-to-hearts (and hand-holding, which I do believe is a first).

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/Fox Broadcasting Co.

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/Fox Broadcasting Co.

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/Fox Broadcasting Co.

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/Fox Broadcasting Co.

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/Fox Broadcasting Co.

Photo Credit: Ed Araquel/Fox Broadcasting Co.

I liked the episode a lot, but it did feel a little bit like a lot of ideas in 44 minutes. Look for Continuum‘s Stephen Lobo and Janet Kidder to pop up, along with familiar face Garry Chalk, in what is amazingly his first appearance on the show. There’s a lot of mainstream music in it, too, although, surprisingly, not David Gray’s “Babylon.” Aside from one-off uses of music here and there over the years, I don’t recall music threaded through an entire episode before, but here it works (although, again, it’s tonally all over the place).

The X-Files airs Monday at 8/7c on FOX. Here are a few sneaks of “Babylon.” Next week is the finale! If you’ve missed an episode, they’re all online at FOX.com.

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