The X-Files (S1.Ep8) “Ice”

Season 1 – Episode 8 – “Ice” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2

Director: David Nutter Writers: Chris CarterGlen MorganJames Wong. Cast: David DuchovnyGillian AndersonXander Berkeley, Felicity Huffman

This is definitely the best episode so far in this season. Written by some of the best writers in the series Glen MorganJames Wong and directed by one of their best men, David Nutter, the only reason why it doesn’t get the full 5 stars rating from me, it’s just because some of it seems to riff John Carpenter’s “The Thing” a bit too closely (they call it homage… but, let’s be honest, it’s a complete rip-off. But hey, who cares when it works so well!).Right from the first few frames you know this is going to be a much darker and better episode. The way the camera glides across those details of dead bodies is intriguing and creepy at the same time. Apparently the decision to have the most of the episode taking place inside the ice station, was to somehow balance the budget with the rest of the series and actually make a cheap one. Well, it might have been cheap, but the use of the single location really does enhance the feeling of claustrophobia which beautifully fuels the whole episode. The sense of paranoia, as we don’t know who to trust is beautifully handled and so is the interplay among all the characters, both in terms of script and acting, including the first really tense moment between our two heroes, who find themselves pointing theirs guns at each other in one of the greatest scenes of the entire season.It’s their first big argument and it gets as close as killing each other off. Brilliant. Of course it does help that you also have 2 great supporting actors too: Felicity Huffman (well before her time in Frasier, Desperate Housewife and many others) and especially Xander Berkeley (a great character actor and later seen playing Mason in 24) bring a sort of lived-in baggage to their characters making them believable and three-dimensional. This is what the X-Files is all about: paranoia, mystery, tension, gross-out moments, and a little bit of humour too (Mulder having to take his clothes off in front of the others and proclaiming “Let’s not pass judgment, we are in the artic!).

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