Monday, December 6, 2010

X-Files--"Born Agaiin"

“Born Again” digs deep into the Kids Are Creepy well. It makes a noble effort, but comes up short. It may sound a little off, but the story comes across as a generic cop show with an extraordinary element which could still be rationalized away as a way of shaking up the usual plot resolutions. In other words, it does not feel like X-Files.

A police officer is killed by jumping out a window in the police department. The only witness is an eight year old girl named Michelle. She claims there was another man in the room with them. Michelle’s mother tells the agents, who were called in because of the odd circumstances, that she is being treated for multiple personality disorder. Mulder suspects reincarnation instead, surmising the man she saw in the room with them was a ghost who committed the murder.

The description Michelle gives of the man matches a cop who was murdered nine years before as a revenge killing by the Triads. The cop, Charlie Morris, had his left arm cut off and right eye gouged out. During therapy sessions, Michelle has been mutilating dolls in the same manner. Another cop is killed days later when his scarf gets caught in a bus door. He is dragged for a mile to his death. Michelle is present there, too.

Through investigation, our heroes discover these were crooked cops who took part in a drug deal nine years ago. Morris got cold feet, so he was killed by being drowned in his own living room aquarium. He was then mutilated to make it look like a Triad revenge killing. Morris is enacting revenge on his fellow crooked cops by channeling psychic powers through Michelle. When he/she corners another of the cops, he confesses out of fear of death. Morris apparently leaves Michelle’s body, curing her of MPD.

I would probably think “Born Again” is better episode if “Lazarus” had not done soul transfer better and "Eve" was not a better scary little girl than Michelle. As it is, it appears the powers that be were filling out an episode order and could not come up with anything new. It also does not make much sense that Morris only kills two of the conspirators and lets the other four go free, which Mulder frustratingly admits in his journal entry voice over. The loose ends are annoying.

Rating: ** (out of 5)

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