Thursday, February 18, 2016

TV REVIEW: The X-Files - "Babylon"

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[POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD]

Babylon received a lot of flak it did not deserve. Well, for someone who loved the episode, I'd definitely say that. Let's just say, when Chris Carter writes a story about religion, faith, and humanity, it's something I take into heart. I love when he writes about these themes not because we're on the same page, but because his stories help me keep an open mind. For me, religion should not be black or white, nor should it interfere with one's faith and being. Yes, faith and religion aren't the same (for me). There must be respect for human beings regardless of ones beliefs, faith, or religion. I, however, will not go into that.

First up, Agents Miller and Einstein. They are the "Mulder" and "Scully" of their generation. The believer and the skeptic/medical doctor. Miller's more laid back and Einstein's just really aggressive. I'd prefer Miller over Einstein. She's just not a Scully. Einstein is so full of her "I'm a medical doctor" status, but I applaud her for the placebo. Props to Robbie Amell and Lauren Ambrose.

I thought the Mulder-Scully-Miller-Einstein scene in the basement office was probably one of the highlights of the episode. Some fans hated it because they just hate the idea of a new "Mulder" and "Scully", but then again, Chris had done that before. He's probably just making a point that Mulder and Scully, David and Gillian are irreplaceable. It's just nice watching Mulder and Scully seeing themselves in others. It's funny.
 
Oh, and of course, "nobody down here but the F.B.I.'s most unwanted" coming from Scully was simply brilliant. We've all been waiting for that to come out from your mouth, Scully. 23 years!!! I thought it was a smart move.

There was also a moment when I thought that Scully calling Miller and Mulder calling Einstein were part of a Mulder and Scully plan for I really don't know what. I was wrong, of course. I guess they're just drawn to work with their opposites. It kind of challenges them. They have their reasons and it was kind of explained in the episode. I'll just leave it at that.

The Miller and Einstein moment towards the end was pretty cool too. Talking about the value of an open mind, the power of suggestion, and the nature of reality. These are the things we should contemplate on.

Mulder's 'Magical Mystery Tour' is one of the funny moments in Babylon. It had mixed reactions. I thought it was weird, but found it funny. Symbolism at its finest. Read this review. It best explains that scene. All I can say is, Mulder had a time of his life. The Lone Gunmen being there was priceless. A bit longer of the 'Gunmen' would have been better. I agree with the majority sentiment that Byers, Langly and my favorite Frohike deserved more than that tiny bit. Nonetheless, we were really happy to see them back on The X-Files.

Finally, in this world of political correctness, I understand certain critiques about the episode (I,  too have some), but the hate it's getting, I really don't.
When it comes to themes like faith, religion, and humanity, the message is what I'm after. It's probably why I loved Babylon. Thinking about perceptions, generalizations, faith, religion, and humanity. I have only read one review, which I have mentioned above, that really explained this episode very well. It's worth reading. It's an affirmation of what some of us have been saying all along, not in the open, just a small group discussion on why we actually like, or in my case love, this episode. The intricacies of Babylon not many people appreciate, we appreciate.

I'm not from/in the United States so I can't really comment on American stereotypes, but I can comment on stereotyping terrorists. Terrorism is a worldwide problem, after all. In my point of view, Babylon successfully presented that point--it's why it is receiving such flak. The good news is, we, as citizens of the world, were able to determine that. For me, that's basically the point. We see what's wrong yet we do nothing about it. We get mad, but not do anything about it. We are offended by what others say or do, yet we do the same to them. It took shows like The X-Files just to prove that point.

The final conversation scene between Mulder and Scully effectively summed up the episode, for me--the perceptions, the realizations, faith, God, religion, and unending questions. This is also my favorite scene from Babylon. Imagine, the shippiest moment yet from the revival came from an episode penned by Chris Carter who have always loved to troll with the shippers! It's not only shippy, it's very insightful.

Mulder: I saw things, though, Scully. Powerful things. I saw deep and unconditional love.
Scully: I saw things, too. I witnessed unqualified hate that appears to have no end.
Mulder: But how to reconcile the two? The extremes of our nature.
Scully: That’s the question. Maybe the question of our times.

That conversation alone speaks volumes about humanity. "Unconditional love" and "unqualified hate" are, indeed, the extremes of our nature. How do we reconcile these two? A question no one could truly answer.

We abhor terrorism, yet we spread hate in our own little way. Some days, we are full of love. Other days, we're full of hatred. In life, there's always a middle ground, but sometimes we just forget about it. It's a never ending cycle of our extreme nature. It seems Scully's right, we should just..."open our hearts and truly listen."

Truly listen.

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