A Review of Episode Five (“Babylon”) of the Return Run of “The X-Files” (Some Spoilers are Revealed Below)

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Episode Five (“Babylon”) of the Return Run of “The X-Files” left me more conflicted than any installment of the series ever has. Read on if you wish to learn why the show pulled me in two different directions.

Islamofascist Terrorists on Television

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I was shocked by the first few scenes that depicted an Islamic fascist terrorist cell, two of its members entering an art gallery, explosions and people catching on fire.  Arabic terrorism being featured on television dramas is not common these days. The belief that such depictions are racist (or in some cases the fear of being labeled racist) has made them few and far between. (The pure insanity of associating a religion-related issue with race is a subject better left to another blog post.) More usual is the fantastical image of a white male terrorist dressed in typical American clothes and carrying himself in a typical American manner that we see in the “See Something Say Something” videos that play on endless loops at every major train station in the United States.

I applaud “The X-Files” for having the courage to show the television viewer Muslim terrorism in all its horror. The show deserves credit for its willingness to accept absurd criticism from individuals such as  Price Peterson, who wrote in his tv.com review that the episode “included some of the hoariest, most stereotypical terrorism imagery of the past 15 years.” How in the heck could the word “stereotypical” apply here when 99% of the terrorist attacks against the U.S. since the year 2000 have been conducted by Muslims? Using the word “stereotypical,” as well as using the word racist in the context of Islamic terrorism, are two prime examples of how the Left tries to win politically by changing the definition of words.

The Politics of The X-Files

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There is also much about the episode that I condemn. Before the terrorist attack one of the terrorist suffers racist and xenophobic insults at the hands of three “red neck” Texans. In the eyes of “The X-Files,” Texans are seen to be as almost hateful as the terrorist and stereotypes are acceptable when they involve white Southerners. (Price Peterson did not feel moved to point out this stereotype in his review.) Another implication behind the behavior of the Texans is that the conduct of the U.S. and its citizens is at least partially responsible for terrorism. This point is further brought home  by a cable news debate several minutes of which are seen and/or heard during the episode. The argument is disgusting.

About half way through “Babylon,” F.B.I. Special Agent Brem (Eric Breker) expresses views about Muslims and terrorism that are only held by a minuscule percentage of the American population and no F.B.I. agents that exist outside of movies and TV shows. The audience is condescended to when Agent Dana Scully, portrayed by Gillian Anderson, responds to his rant with the line: “Not all Muslims are extremists, certainly.” Even a young child knows this. The lesson is repeated when two Homeland Security agents converse in Arabic later on in the show. Are we all grade school students who need to be reminded that some Muslims are working in law enforcement to keep us safe in the U.S.?

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Before Brem exits the episode he explains that he wants a terrorist in a coma, who is actually a “beautiful baby boy,” because he did not activate his suicide vest, to remain alive so he suffers. When Scully says she “witnessed unqualified hate that appears to have no end” later in the episode she is talking not of the “beautiful baby boy” terrorist but of Brem and a nurse.

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This white female nurse (Janet Kidder) in question tries to kill the terrorist by turning off his respirator. When she is interrupted she takes the bizarre step of utilizing the opportunity to express over-the-top opposition to Islamic refuges entering the U.S. I assume “The X-Files” creator and episode writer, Chris Carter feels that consulting the online terrorist membership directory will be enough to vet those refuges and ensure that no terrorists enters the U.S. disguised as refugees. The fact of the matter is that many of those who request asylum either have no paperwork or destroy it before it can be checked. Such people can claim to be anyone and none of their assertions can be verified. Terrorists have already entered the Europe and the United States while pretending to be refuges. Will Carter allow any of the refuges to crash at his mansion until they can get settled?

The nurse, of course, had to be a white person because the Left believes that non-whites can never be prejudiced. I am surprised the nurse was not a man since in the eyes of people like Carter, white males are responsible for all that is bad in the world.

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Moral Equivalency

The overarching theme of the installment was moral equivalency. Carter wants us to come away from the episode with the sense that the average citizen of the U.S. is little better than a Muslin terrorist. This point is touched upon during a discussion that takes place during the final scene in which violent passages in the Koran and the Old Testament (or Tora) are compared. The comparison is flawed for several reasons. The number of Christians or Jews who commit terrorist acts after claiming to be inspired by their respective holy books is so small as to be statistically insignificant. Only a small minority of the world’s Christians and Jews interpret their holy books literally. By contrast, 100% of the planet’s faithful Muslims believe every word of the Koran was dictated by God to Mahomed and therefore believe the Koran is the literal word of God. Keep this last point in mind the next time you hear a terrorist justify terrorism by quoting from the violent rhetoric of the Koran.

Miller and Einstein

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Moving on to more lighthearted criticism, the episode introduced us to F.B.I. Agents Miller and Einstein. Lauren Ambrose brought to life a mildly interesting character in Einstein.  Robbie Amell’s Miller looks more like someone you might see posing outside an Abercrombie and Fitch store with no shirt than an F.B.I. agent.  The concept that the two are meant to be young versions of Agent Fox Mulder (portrayed by David Duchovny) and Scully was just plain silly in a stupid and boring manner of speaking. Is Carter really setting the stage for “The X-Files” to continue on with these new characters after Duchovny and Anderson either quit the show or age out of their roles?

A Major Continuity Error

IMG_0722.JPGThis photograph was taken from my TV and is the best I could do. On both the left and the right sides of the gallery you can see fire balls, smoke and debris from two different bomb detonations.

Before I close I must bring up a whopper of a continuity error made by those who created “Babylon.” It is obvious that, as previously mentioned, the show wants the audience to accept that only one of the two terrorists who walked into the art gallery detonates his suicide vest. However, the viewer is clearly presented with two distinct explosions and two different fireballs during the art gallery scene. This would suggest both vests had to have been detonated. If they were, however, both terrorists would have been blown to smithereens and neither one could have later been seen lying in a hospital bed and in a coma.

Despite the hammering I have given the episode in this review, I nonetheless found it to be fun and thought-provoking TV. Check my blog next week for a review of the season finale.

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My Review of Episode Two (“Founder’s Mutation”) of the Return Run of “The X-Files”: How I “Got” “The X-Files” After Almost Twenty-Three Years (No Major Spoilers are Revealed Below)

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In my review of the miniseries premier I wrote that I hoped for episodes that featured mythical creatures or monsters of various varieties conjured from the darkest corners of the imaginations of the show’s writers. Instead viewers witnessed another extraterrestrial-related conspiracy installment. The quality storytelling, impressive special effects and high production values fans have come to expect from the program were all present and so watching nonetheless proved to be an enjoyable experience.

Another Government Conspiracy

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The episode furthered a storyline centered on very bad and powerful people in the U.S. government power structure engaged carrying out a sinister plot to take over the nation. As I watched I came to a realization. Almost twenty-three years after the show’s debut, it came to me what “The X-Files” has truly always been about.

Oliver Stone and Chris Carter

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To explain I must bring up the despicable Oliver Stone. Stone knew when making his movie JFK that Jim Garrison had been diagnosed with “severe and disabling” mental illness “of the type that will require long-term pyscotherapeutic approach.” Stone was aware that Garrisons was corrupt and unethical as they come, had been known to have slept with a loaded gun under his pillow and his conspiracy theory related to President Kennedy’s assassination had zero merit and destroyed the lives of innocent people. Yet just as social justice warriors told us that “the facts don’t matter” after the UVA rape case was demonstrated to be a fraud, Stone, if he were to be honest, would say the same when defending his movie JFK.  From Stone’s perspective, that JFK is a pack of lies is not important. The point of his movie was to communicate to his audience a “greater truth.” This is the basic notion that the American government is horrible and the U.S. is a force for all that is terrible in the world. In the postmodernist tradition, Stone wants to help to rip down the United States so that something he perceives will be better can be created in its place.

Obviously, neither “The X-Files” creator and main writer Chris Carter nor anyone else connected with the show believes there is even a grain of truth behind the government conspiracy theories that have been a constant thread in the series. Yet like Stone, Carter wants viewers to see the U.S. government and therefore the United States in general as dark and up to no good and utilizes a fictional narrative to accomplish his goal. As is the case with other postmodernists, Carter wants to undermine the American system as we know it today by causing people to lose faith in it. Only then, can it be overturned and replaced.

#*&@ “The X-Files.”

#*&@ me too because the show has me hooked and am sure I will enjoy tuning in to the remaining four episodes.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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A Review of Episode (“My Struggle”) One of the Return Run of “The X-Files” (No Major Spoilers are Revealed Below)

x files 2016.jpgAfter all these years Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) are back for a six-episode miniseries. After watching episode one, however, it remains uncertain whether it will be worth investing the time in the next five installments set to air.

The X-Files Past

Although I have never believed in UFOs, government conspiracies or the paranormal I was always a big fan of The X-Files. Quality storytelling, impressive special effects and high production values sucked me in when the show burst on the scene in 1993, kept my interest until it went off the air and even drew me into the movie theater for two forgettable The X-Files feature films. It was with great interest, then, that I sat down to watch the first episode of the six-episode The X-Files miniseries that debuted last night on FOX.

The Intro

The program begins with a segment that sums all that has already transpired in the world of The X-Files and sets the stage for what is to come. I can hardly find the words to describe how good these first few minutes were to watch. Enthralling, captivating, hypnotic, and cinematic are just four that spring to mind. For fans it was as if the show had never left the air. Those unfamiliar with the series were brought up to speed. I imagined everyone watching was ready to have our socks knocked off.

Bashing the Right

What came next was a string of very offensive insults directed toward Republicans and Conservatives. After what seemed like the tenth shot had been taken at the Right I had decided that this review would be limited to just three words: “#*&@ The X-Files.” By the time I finished watching the episode I had changed my mind. The program did not deserve to be dismissed so easily.

Monster of the Week

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Though most would probably associate the show with extraterrestrials, early in the series’ run many plots were centered around other subjects. The X-Files was at its best when mythical creatures such as the Jersey Devil were brought to life or monsters created in the fertile minds of the show’s writers became the program’s star for an episode.

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Mulder and Scully

The dynamic that existed between Mulder and Scully and how it shaped the series was another factor that made the show so special. Mulder was always a “believer” who was ready to accept paranormal, otherworldly and conspiratorial explanations for the cases the two FBI agents handled. Scully argued for the skeptics viewpoint grounded in known science. The audience was left to decide for her or himself which of the two presented a more believable argument in the context of the program.

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Changes in the Show

As The X-Files went on and the seasons past, the show shifted more and more of its focus toward UFOs and UFO-related conspiracies and away from all other topics. In the series’ final season, which concluded in 2002 only two episodes had no relation to UFOs.

Another change that took place over the course of the program was that Scully went from becoming a skeptic to a “believer.” As a consequence of these two major evolutions of the show, The X-Files lost much of its luster and became a shadow of its former self. It nonetheless never ceased to be worth watching and much better TV than most of what else was on television at the time.

Hopes for the Future

When I learned that The X-Files was coming back to television, I hoped that the show would return to what made it great. Scully, of course, could never go back to being an all-out skeptic. However, devoting some episodes to something other than “little green men” certainly seemed doable.

Perhaps considering what The X-Files became by 2002, episode one simply could not have centered around anything but aliens. Despite my disappointment at this fact the program did make for enjoyable TV. I will be watching tonight and hope to see Mulder and Scully chasing Bigfoot through the Pacific Northwest.

Advice for Chris Carter

If The X-Files creator and primary writer, “tolerant” Liberal Chris Carter, wants to bring the series back to TV on a permanent basis he would do well to remember that at least half of those who watch television will vote Republican in November. If the remaining five episodes of The X-Files include more jabs at Republicans and Conservatives The X-Files may well alienate a large portion of its audience and fail in the ratings for the same reason that The Late Show with Stephen Colbert is tanking.

This is not what I want. I want something similar to The X-Files of the mid-1990s, but will probably enjoy shows about “little green men” as well as long as they do not come with a dose of blue state men’s politics.

If you enjoyed this blog post, please consider sharing it on Facebook or Twitter.

 You may also want to follow my blog and follow me on Twitter (T.J.Kong @Ride_the_bomb).

You can email me at T_J_Kong@yahoo.com. I always welcome suggestions for blog topics.

 I also have a YouTube.com channel called: “Ride the Bomb!” See https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpauuMnQBSI2FWgFiScj2mw

I believe in free speech and so I approve all blog comments. No exceptions.

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