This is the end of David Duchovny's involvement and the beginning of something new. After seven seasons the Mulder/Scully relationship has grown stale. The plots are more attuned to weirdo murder mysteries than the deep heat of the supernatural.

Gillian Anderson looks like she's on antidepressants, while Duchovny lays out charm with the consummate skill of a soul magician. He's lazy now, but he can still do it blindfold.

Copy picture

You can't break the spell of the X Files with a few stories that don't pass the aptitude test, although it's sad that there is no continuity between episodes and little chemistry left.

A story, such a Orison, has a strong narrative flow, which fits the thriller genre, rather than anything otherworldly. A serial killer of women escapes from maximum security with hypnotic help and comes after Scully. This is genuinely frightening and well made, but it's not sci-fi.

All Things, written and directed by Anderson, is a strange, personal episode about love, choices, guilt and the inability to express emotion. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the X Files, but concerns intimations of mortality, a spiritual search and a dying ex-lover, as well as dipping its toe into holistic philosophy. It is New Agey without being overtly sentimental and has a peculiar uniqueness all its own, which implies that Anderson is as interesting as she looks and a future director of some note.

Because of who they are and who they were, an absurd story, such as First Person Shooter, about a virtual reality game that goes live, is gloriously tongue in cheek. It contains Mulder's best line: "I don't know about you guys, but I would be looking in your pants for cake."

The concept of Mulder and Scully and the X Files remains as compulsive as ever, despite everything. If this is a mid series crisis, it is probably time, because the scripts have lost their edge. However, being here for Mulder's last goodbye is a privilege.

It's been good. Maybe, it will get better when Scully breaks free. Underneath that professional cool, she is an emotional woman. Mulder liked to do things his way and tended to treat her as a useful assistant, rather than an equal, which must have been hurtful.

Now it's her turn.

Reviewed on: 10 Oct 2003
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X Files - Season 7 packshot
Last series with David Duchovny, in which there are less supernatural shocks.
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Director: various

Writer: various

Starring: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson

Year: 1999

Runtime: 990 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: US


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