Wednesday, November 24, 2010

X-Files--"Fallen Angel"

“Fallen Angel” is one of the most pivotal episodes of the X-Files mythology. It foreshadows three key events. One, the existence of The Lone Gunmen, a group of amateur enthusiasts of Ufology and other such unexplained phenomena. Two, the eventual fate of Deep Throat for assisting Mulder along. Finally, the closing of the X-Files in the season finale in order to curtail Mulder’s activities. I shall elaborate as we go along.

At the behest of Deep Throat, Mulder goes AWOL to visit what is publicly being called a toxic clean up by the military, but is a UFO landing instead. The military is covering up both that truth and the dozen or so bodies of law enforcement and military who have been fatally burned beyond all recognition by the on the loose alien.

Mulder is captured and thrown in a stockade where he meets Max Feng, a UFO enthusiast. Feng is part of NICAP, an amatuer0 group like The Lone Gunmen who are attempting to uncover the connection between the government and aliens. Mulder comes to believe Feng has been abducted by aliens himself because of a distinctive scar behind his right ear, but Scully, when she eventually arrives, dismisses the idea because Feng has been institutionalized before for hallucinations.

Mulder refuses to leave, but the two agents get no where carrying on an investigation near the quarantined landing site. Col. Henderson, your stereotypical gung ho military lunk head , inhibits them at every turn. The two aspects of the story collide when Mulder figures out the alien is after Feng, not the other way around. Feng is mysteriously kidnapped from a warehouse after a spectacular light show by an alien we never get to see. We will, however, see Feng again in the fourth season. Somewhere around March or April, I would guess.

Mulder is brought up for a disciplinary hearing in which the X-Files is most certain to be closed because of his infiltration of the landing site. However, Deep throat intervenes in order to keep Mulder’s quest going. He rationalizes that, if he is at the Fbi, they can keep a close eye on his activities. Deep Throat will pay for his aaction soon.

“Fallen Angel” is one of the best of the season and series as a whole. Feng will become one of the most memorable guest stars. His experiences with aliens sets the tone for how many other will play out in future episodes. The presentation off the alien sets a precedent, as well. It remains out of sight in order to be scarier for the audiennce. It is a highly effective move. The alien kills effortlessly and is obviously horrifying to see. Such is best left to our imaginations to fill in the image of it.

Rating: **** (out of 5)

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