Written by Chris Carter
Directed by R.W. Goodwin
Gethsemane wasn’t a great episode, but at least it was trying something different —- using the alien backstory as a character development, even if the viewer couldn’t believe in it. Now we find ourselves at the start of the season, and not only are we going a step backward—– that’s par for the course in these kinds of episodes—- we seem to be determine to crawl there, with barely any action at all.
We’ve gotten used to the tortured syntax of Carter by this point, we’ve gotten to where we expect there to be a purple monologue or two. Redux is nothing but monologue. What makes it more offensive is that it’s not even revelatory monologue, but basic flatout narration. And just to make even more annoying, both our heroes are doing it—- sometimes one right after the other!. This basically robs this episode as seeming like anything other than what it is— a ridiculous amount of padding. And just when you think you can’t take any more of it, Kritschgau shows up and delivers a four-minute monologue explaining the conspiracy as he knows it!. It would be comical if the stakes weren’t so high. When we hear Scully finally telling us what she seems to be prove, we don’t know what’ll kill her first, the cancer or the tortured prose.
All of this gives the opinion that at this point, Carter doesn’t have even any confidence in making this seem logical. In the season finale, we were told that the alien body that was at the center of the episode, was a carefully drawn, slowly made up hoax. Now Mulder walks right into the DOD—- and he finds an entire warehouse full of alien corpses! This doesn’t make any sense at all. Then there’s the fact that Mulder manages to get Level 4 clearance for DARPA—- a level higher even than Kritschgau—- which is so secure, it doesn’t even bother to check if the man’s face matches the picture.
The show clearly doesn’t seem to trying any more/.This even clearer when we find out that the Bureau has been spying on Mulder for months, which leads us to suspect that, once again, Skinner is a traitor, basically erasing everything he’s done for the last two seasons. We know better by now, so why are they wasting our time this way? This is eventually revealed as yet another false trail, but why make it in the first place?
And what makes all of this incredible mess seem even more worthless than it was is that while our heroes are revealing every step they take in voiceover —- voiceovers, by the way, that neither could provide under normal circumstances—- is that for each of them, the separate quests that they take are ultimately revealed to be worthless. Mulder goes through the Pentagon basement, looking for a cure for Scully’s cancer, finds a vial that seems to promise something—- only to have the Lone Gunmen reveal it to be deionized water. It’s far worse for what’s going on with Scully. Here she is, once again bleeding for her work, finally producing what would appear to be scientific evidence of a lick between her cancer and the government, and the second she is about to present it, she collapses in the final extremity. Naturally, this plot line is never visited again. Why should we?
About the only good thing about this episode is CSM. The scene that he has in Mulder’s apartment is one of the more emotional we will ever see him do, and its particularly remarkable, considering its all done with expression. There’s also a sense that, for the first time, the Smoking Man may be left out of the loop, and that would appear to be a promising directions, except that in the next episode, actions will be taken to remove any further logic for his character’s path.
But the fact of the matter is that this episode is by far one of the dullest in the entire canon. It’s one thing to do a three-parter, and keep the lead character out of the action, it’s another to do it, and not offer any rewards in return. Redux is an episode that despite trying to fill in the gaps, proves after the first ten minutes that it has nothing new to say. Even that wouldn’t be horrible if it weren’t for the fact that it also spends a fair amount of time repeating what it said before. Most of the high dramatic points are taken directly from Gethsemane, albeit out of order. Everything else is just soliloquy, and not even particularly interesting ones. Gethsemane at least tried to be epic in scope, this episode basically shows our heroes walking and talking in hallways for thirty minutes. Even that would be forgivable if there was some kind of climax promises at the end, but even without knowing how the movies going to screw it up, we know all too well by this point that we’re not going to get anything new anyway.
My score: 1.5 stars.