A two-part story from the ninth season of the paranormal investigation series. Scully is asked to look at some markings which she believes come from a spaceship discovered off the coast of Africa a number of years ago. She also thinks these markings might help clear up some of the mystery surrounding her son. Unfortunately however, a UFO cult also makes the connection between the spaceship and Scully's son and proceeds to kidnap the child.
As with earlier releases, The X-Files: Providence
splices together two episodes, "Provenance" and "Providence", into a pseudo-movie. Again, the results fall way below the series average as the long-dead alien conspiracy business is flogged, with a lot of running around and ominous rumbling still not adding up to anything like an actual story. FBI agent Neal McDonaugh (of Minority Report
) inexplicably survives a flaming motorcycle crash, leaving behind brass rubbings taken from an alien spaceship, then shows up and tries to murder Scully's psychokinetic baby, who is promptly kidnapped by a UFO cult.
In Part 2, Scully (Gillian Anderson) and Reyes (Annabeth Gish) fend off enemies and friends within the bureau as they track down the cultists, who are having trouble with a spaceship they've dug up, and a typical pointless climax has things happen without the characters doing anything to contribute. Even at this late, post-Duchovny stage in the game, The X-Files has turned out some fine stand-alone episodes, but these dreary wallowings go a long way towards explaining why only diehards are still watching. After the child says "I made this" at the end of the credits, it's becoming very hard not to shout "well, clean it up then".
On the DVD: The X-Files: Providence, as with Nothing Important Happened Today, arrives in a great-looking anamorphic widescreen transfer. There are two slight promotional "featurettes"--three-minute clips/talking heads promos focusing on the episode "Providence" and actor Cary Elwes' character. --Kim Newman