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X Files Season 7 - the last one with Mulder!
on 1 February 2006
Season 7 of the X Files is important in many ways, not only because it is the last one with David Duchovny as part of the regular cast but also because it was intended and assumed to be the final series ever. This is particularly evident as many long-running storylines and characters bow out during this season. For many fans, I am certain that they treat this season as the series' last considering the general consensus that the show "jumped the shark" by going on for another two seasons without Mulder. However, whether you agree with this opinion or not, there is plenty to enjoy here.
As a fan of the show, I have to admit that I enjoy the stand-alone horror/sci-fi episodes much more than the alien mythology/government conspiracy two-parters. The season begins well with "The Sixth Extinction" with Scully desperately trying to unlock the secrets of an alien vessel off the coast of Africa in order to save Mulder's life. However, the story continues on in "The Sixth Extinction 2: Amor Fati" which completely discards the alien ship storyline and casts Mulder into a dull virtual reality thread. This not only completely throws the viewer but ruins what might have been otherwise a decent set of episodes. By this time, this whole alien story arc has become so overcomplicated that it is hard to follow. My advice is don't try and rather appreciate the other episodes here. The quest for Mulder's sister finally comes to an end in the intriguing but rather bizarre "Closure" while you may notice a more notable comedy element creeping into many of the episodes particularly towards the end which only serves to make the season finale "Requiem" with Mulder's abduction, the death of the Cigarette Smoking Man and the revelation of Scully's pregnancy that much more shocking. If the series had have ended on this note, it would have been a great finale, leaving the show posing as many questions as it did answer them.
Season highlights include:
HUNGRY - An episode told entirely from the vantage point of a real-life monster working in a fast food restaurant, who just cannot control his hunger for human brains. A really interesting and well-written episode which makes you sympathise for the character as he is pursued by Mulder and Scully.
MILLENNIUM - Chris Carter's other show "Millennium" finally crosses over with "The X Files" as Mulder and Scully try to enlist the help of Frank Black to stop some former members of the Millennium group from being resurrected and fulfilling a dark prophecy about the end of the world in the year 2000.
ORISON - A long overdue sequel to Season 2' "Irresistible", as death fetishist Donnie Pfaster escapes from prison and the memories of Scully's abduction by him come back to haunt her. As disturbing as the original.
THE AMAZING MALEENI - A truly funny episode as the agents investigate the death of a decapitated magician who moments before his death, performed the amazing trick of turning his head a complete 360 degrees.
SIGNS AND WONDERS - Investigating the death of a man who died from repeated snake bites but with no traces of any snakes, Mulder and Scully come to investigate a group of religious fanatics who test their faith through the handling of dangerous snakes only to find that darker forces are at work.
X COPS - "The X Files" done in the style of famous American reality police show "COPS" as the agents investigate a spate of mysterious deaths and attacks by an unknown creature in a rundown, crime-ridden area of Los Angeles.
FIRST PERSON SHOOTER - In a new virtual reality game, one of the players is slain by a female character Maitreya who was not originally in the program, prompting Mulder to try the game for himself and flush out the assailant who by all means, does not exist.
EN AMI - The Cigarette Smoking Man offers Scully a deal to retrieve a disc containing information about a possible miracle cure for all disease but can he be trusted?
HOLLYWOOD A.D - Mulder and Scully visit Hollywood where a film of their exploits on the X Files is being shot, with Garry Shandler and Tea Leoni (David Duchovny's wife in real life) playing them to hilarious results.
REQUIEM - The season finale where the agents return to Bellefleur, Oregon, the site of their first ever X File to find a spate of new abductions are taking place. Meanwhile, the CSM enlists Krycek to find the alien craft hiding in Bellefleur before Mulder and Scully do.
The extras are the usual that you would come to expect from an X Files boxset. The commentaries on certain episodes and the documentary "The Truth About Season 7" are the most interesting although none of them include David Duchonvy or Gillian Anderson talking about their roles or the episodes which I found dissapointing. There are also the usual Special Effects featurettes and the original FOX TV trailers for each episode. A DVD-ROM game based on "First Person Shooter" has been included as well though as yet I have been unable to get it working on my PC!! All in all, however, a strong season of the show that is well worth buying.