The X-Files (S1.Ep13) – “Beyond the Sea”

The X-Files – Season 1 – Episode 13 “Beyond the Sea” ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Director: David Nutter Writers: Chris Carter, Glen Morgan, James Wong Cast: David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Brad Dourif, Don S. Davis, Sheila Larken.

I remembered this was a good one, but I didn’t remember it being so good!

If you really want to be convinced that this is good tv and you’ve never seen the X-Files, you should give this a try!

This episode packs so much in 45 minutes and does so many things right: for a start it unexpectedly switches the the role of our two heroes, the believer and the skeptic: it’s great to Scully willing to accept what she calls “extreme possibilities”, while Mulder is convinced it’s all a scam.It also makes her is the main protagonist allowing Gillian Anderson to showcase her talent and her range: from fragile and broken, to strong and pissed off (the moment where she shouts “I’ll be the one that will throw the switch and gas you out of this life for good, you son of a bitch!” Is so unexpected and yet so well earned!).Scully’s father’s death at the beginning of the episode is beautifully handled and brings a whole series of personal and emotional resonance to the table. The image of the father appearing to Scully, sitting on a chair moving his mouth in silence is also one of the spookiest scene in the series: real stuff of nightmares.

This is also the episode where Mulder calls her by name for the first time: another piece to add to their ever-building relationship. There are so many small and yet very tender moments in “Beyond the Sea” between the two agents: not just the “Dana” moment, but caresses, Mulder being shoot and that final moment at the end, sorest and understated. No wonder people speculated for years whether they would ever get together. It all seems to start from here.

And I haven’t yet mentioned Brad Dourif in the role of Boggs. The scenes between him and Scully, clearly remind us of those between Hannibal and Clarice in “The Silence of the Lambs” and are some of the most powerful in the series .

David Nutter’s direction is perfect too. He evokes images from Lynch (interestingly Scully’s father is played by Don S. Davis who also appeared in Twink peaks), does some beautiful cutting between the visions and “visioner” (Boggs) and creates an tense, creepy and eerie atmosphere of without having to resort of loud bang and jump scares.

I should probably mention Sheila Larken as Scully’s mother too: she only appears for a minute or so, but she makes the most of her role, so much so that she’ll be used again.

Definitely my favourite episode of the season 1 so far.

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