the x-files project: ep 4:7

the x-files

season 4, episode 7, “musings of a cigarette smoking man”

aired: 11.17.96

as a villain, the cigarette smoking man is up there with the likes of darth vader. he’s mysterious, powerful, and seemingly unstoppable. i love the csm character. that’s why i am perplexed why i don’t love this episode. i understand wanting to flesh out his character. in “one breath” he tells mulder, “i’ve watched presidents die.” i believed him then and i was intrigued, but somehow seeing it in this episode didn’t give me much satisfaction. i am glad that they handled his backstory in a way where you aren’t entirely sure if it’s accurate or even who’s point of view it is from. is it frohike’s? is it csm’s? “the x-files” is good at keeping up the mystery and this episode plays better if the validity of the accounts is vague. i can appreciate the production value, the direction, and the cinematography. this is a beautifully shot hour of television. and i liked the departure from the standard tv show structure. not that “the x-files” always follows structure. actually, they are good at challenging it often and succeeding. chris owens who plays the young csm is fantastic. as is william b. davis who takes this episode centered on his character and runs with it. with all these aspects in its favor, why don’t i like this episode that much? the only thing i can think of is the lack, or absence, really, of mulder and scully. to me, they are the show. they are what got me invested in the first place and they are what kept bringing me back. although i cannot deny that this is a good episode, on a personal level, it just doesn’t satisfy me.

rating: 3.5

wandering thoughts:

of course mulder’s first word was ‘JFK.’

csm carrying around the picture of teena and mulder is a nice touch.

the syndicate controls the oscars and the super bowl?

yay! deep throat.

1013 mention. that was the security council resolution to kill any e.b.e’s.

that “life is like a box of chocolates” line? bitter much? also, it’s 100 times better than the version in “forrest gump.”

notable quotables:

csm: “life is like a box of chocolates. a cheap, thoughtless, perfunctory gift that nobody ever asks for. unreturnable because all you get back is another box of chocolates. so you’re stuck with this undefinable whipped mint crap that you mindlessly wolf down when there’s nothing else left to eat. sure, once in a while there’s a peanut butter cup or an english toffee. but they’re gone too fast and the taste is… fleeting. so, you end up with nothing but broken bits filled with hardened jelly and teeth-shattering nuts. and if you’re desperate enough to eat those, all you got left is an empty box filled with useless brown paper wrappers.” so, he probably was a decent writer, after all. maybe his story structure is what was lacking.


About buckuplittlecamper

this is a random mix of whatever. some book and movie reviews. a lot of fangirling over the x-files. reviewing all episodes, slowly but surely. thanks for visiting!
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2 Responses to the x-files project: ep 4:7

  1. momasteblog says:

    The box of chocolates speech is fucking life. LIFE!!! I hadn’t watched this episode in a good 16 years at least and when I rewatched it last week, I realized I’d had that speech buried in my brain all along as I suddenly started reciting it. #LoveandtheXFiles

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