Thursday, November 18, 2010

X-Files--"Conduit"

Mulder becomes even more obsessed than usual over an alleged UFO abduction case when it sounds eerily similar to the disappearance of his sister, Samantha. A young girl named Ruby Miller is allegedly taken from the woods on a camping trip one night. The only witness is her eight year old brother, Kevin, but he cannot understand what he saw.

Their mother, Darlene, suspects alien involvement as much as Mylder does. Back in 1967, she was part of a Girl Scout troupe which witnessed a UFO. She becomes far less cooperative when Kevin claims to be receiving binary code signals from the television set which turn out to be signals from a military satellite. They are both snatched up by Department of Defense authorities. They are given the all clear after a couple days, prompting Darlene to insist Mulder and Scully leave before they cause more problems.

The case takes a turn when a body of a man is found in the same woods. He was to be part of an assignation with Ruby, but was killed by one of her jealous friends. The girl will not confess to Ruby’s murder and claims Ruby never showed. The news is enough to convince Scully there was no alien involvement, just a redneck lover’s spat that ended in murder. That is until Ruby returns in a coma and suffered the effects of long term weightlessness. She refuses to speak about anything that happened after she awakens.

‘Conduit” is a touching episode which further develops Mulder’s dedication towards finding his missing sister. It feels like a bit of an oddity because Scully acts as though she is just now learning about Samantha from the case file even though Mulder told her all about the incident in the pilot. I guess in terms of production the pilot may not exactly be in continuity, but since I just watched it on Monday, it sticks out in my mind as strange.

In terms of drama, it is highly effective. If we do not have the pilot revelation in mind, we learn as the episode progresses why this case is so important to mulder and how empathizes so much with Kevin. Without the continuity blip, “Conduit’ is one of the more effective emotional episodes. Even with the blip, it is still very good.

Rating: *** (out of 5)

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