The Cynics Corner

The X-Files

The Cynic on X-Files' "Bull Disclosure"

by David E. Sluss

15 February 1999

 
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I'm going to go off-format here, rather than doing an actual CCR, because I want to comment a little more broadly on the X-Files as a hole, excuse me, whole.

 

"Full Disclosure," eh? We were told virtually nothing we didn't know before. This two-parter is about the most cynical thing I've seen on The X-Files. But it's clever, in the sense that despite being virtually incoherent, it manages to look like it is actually forwarding the story, when in fact it is doing nothing of the sort. Carter, as I expected, didn't really commit to anything of significance.

  1. A lot of the Cabal guys are charcoal. So what? CSM is still around, as is Krycek, and other people who were "missing."

  2. Samantha is "out there" with the aliens? So what? We knew that.

  3. The Cabal is/was attempting to delay colonization. So what? We knew that.

  4. Spender dead? Who knows? In typical Carter fashion, the episode doesn't really commit to that. Chris Owens may well be on the X-Files Welfare Program (like Peter Donat, whose character really is dead, but who manages to make a credited and paid cameo).

  5. Cassandra dead? Who knows? And if she is, all it means is that the colonists never did find out about the successful human/alien hybrid, and so that situation is reset to zero.

  6. Mulder/Scully reinstated? Yawn. No good reason for that either. Why would their new superior agree to that? But M/S are hunting Moby Dick next week, so we're back to square one.

  7. Alien Fetus stolen? Big deal. Alien DNA samples are all over the place, as seen in any number of past episodes.

 

As far as incoherence, how about, for starters:

  1. Mulder's characterization: One minute, Mulder's given up, sullen about the futility of fighting the aliens, next he's sucking face with Mimi Rogers, next he's shooting at a train (LOL!) in a last ditch effort to stop the aliens.

  2. Scully's characterization: One minute, she's ditched Mulder because she's jealous of Mimi, next she's insisting on his help, because she got a phone call from ... Spender? Hello?

  3. Marita/Blond X: Spender got out of the CDC complex -- with or without her? Who knows? Why was she in this episode in the first place? She didn't reveal anything worthwhile. Another welfare recipient, I guess.

  4. Shapechangers: First, they are morphers, then last week and most of this week, they're pancakers, wearing faces that can be torn off, then, in one scene this week, they're morphers again. Bad enough the show can't be consistent from one two parter to the next, but it isn't even consistent within a single episode!

 

Consistency with past episodes: Of course, Carter's ad hoc plotting of the conspiracy is bound to have holes. I'm not an expert on X-Files lore, but here are a few items that occur to me:

  1. How does all of this square with the Roy Thinnes alien healer(s) from a few seasons back, who cured CSM's lung cancer and Mulder's mother's stroke?

  2. How does the hybrid program, only 25 years old, square with all those half-human/half-alien corpses from 40-50 years ago Mulder found in train cars buried in the New Mexico desert?

  3. What makes Cassandra a "successful" hybrid? What about all those other hybrids we've seen over the years? What makes/made them unsuccessful?

  4. There's still some aliens unaccounted for. Apparently, the National Enquirer Greys, the Slasher Greys, and the Black Oils are all one thing. And the shapechangers/pancakers are another. How about those invisible Predator guys? How about those green-glowy bugs that cocoon people, and kill all of those who aren't principal characters?

 

This is a mess. And worse, next week we go back to monster-of-the-week, even though Mulder and Scully (and Skinner and Hersh and maybe Janet Reno, for crissakes) know there is a full scale alien invasion in the works. Jeez. This makes Deep Space Nine's war arc look like the most tightly plotted story ever told...

   

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