Tuesday, December 19, 2017

The X Files - Quagmire



****/****
In Georgia, rural nowhere Georgia, near a lake known for the “Big Blue” (similar to the Loch Ness), men are being dragged off in forest and “somewhat” eaten. Mulder wants to see Big Blue while Scully tags along faithfully because she’s loyal to him and investigates because the deaths are in a string not far apart. The frogs, we learn from a tired biologist named Faraday (Timothy Webber), are at risk of being extinct. Faraday dismisses Mulder when he just offers the idea that Big Blue (or a prehistoric creature of some sort) while Scully kind of hangs that look of, “Good luck getting support, Mulder”.

Scully bringing along her dog (named Queequeg from Moby Dick) means certain death for the poor pooch (I kept hoping for the twist involving the dog turning up when Mulder and Scully are certain it will be the monster, but that bit of brilliance belongs to a duck). Scully, poor Scully, doesn’t even get to mourn the demise of her pooch (nothing left but the gnawed-on collar) before Mulder requests her drive a boat as he follows the map out on the lake with them attacked by “something big in the water”, leaving them on a rock. It being so dark, they don’t realize their rock isn’t but a minor distance from the shore!

 The whole show is just clever and hilarious like that. But also just full of insight and profundity as Moby Dick finds its way into the conversation between Mulder and Scully as she compares him to Ahab and he retorts that he always wanted a peg leg! The sheriff just won’t waver to Mulder’s persistent request for the lake to be closed until he himself feels something big brush against his leg after pulling him into the water…he hops right out and demands his deputies get in touch with whatever law enforcement will put out a grand grid search for that beast. And introduced characters in the community start to feed the monster like the proprietor of a shop that sells goods for those that hunt and fish (also exploiting the Big Blue through merchandise and his stories of it) and a cameraman after the “big picture”. The scout leader is pulled up by a fisherman…well, his lower torso anyway with his fly open, Mully observes!

This will probably forever be remembered by X-Files fans as the “Mulder, what are we doing here?” from Scully which is indeed a valid question. Chasing after the truth, what does it ultimately get him? Scully just lets out this frustration that has its merit…Mulder, like Ahab, just drives towards something (the truth) that appears out of reach, only making his life forever difficult, often dragging those with him towards danger. All of this on that rock on the lake in the cold night, just a stone’s throw away from the shore, as a monster seems near (as well as the quacking duck). When Mulder kills the alligator at the end, feeling as if Big Blue represents the “truth” he so avidly searches [and hopes] for and never quite apprehends, Scully reassures him that at least he took care of a terrible menace behind the rash of murders (and nasty arterial wound on the leg of Faraday). Mulder and Scully, that wonderful team I (and so many others) love so dear, looking out into the lake at the calm, walking away together, yet another disappointment, and what does this show do? That image of a creature can be seen at the top of the water before fading into the drink…Mulder was right, yet once again the truth is just out of reach.










Scully- I called him Ahab and he called me Starbuck. So I named my dog Queequeg. It's funny, I just realised something.
Mulder- It's a bizarre name for a dog, huh?
Scully- How much you're like Ahab. You're so... consumed by your personal vengeance against life, whether it be its inherent cruelties or its mysteries, that everything takes on a warped significance to fit your megalomaniacal cosmology. 
Mulder- Scully are you coming on to me?

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