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HERC Gives Tonight's X-FILES ****!!

X-FILES 8.20 FAQ

What’s it called?

“Essence.”

Is this the season finale?

Sort of. Fox is billing it as part one of a two-part finale.

Is Herc giving four stars to every drama this week?

No, there’s lots of inferior stuff he’s seen but not reviewed (yet).

Will the “X-Files” be back for a ninth season?

Fox doesn’t announce its fall schedule until Thursday, but it seems almost certain that the show will go ahead next season without David Duchovny (and possibly without Chris Carter).

Who’s responsible for tonight’s episode?

Teleplay is credited to series creator Carter.

What does TV Guide say?

“Frances Fisher plays a nurse with dubious motives in Part 1 of a gripping two-part season finale in which alien abductee Billy Miles (Zachary Ansley) resurfaces. Last seen in perfect health following his resurrection from the dead, Billy shows up at a genetics lab that Scully has suspected is involved with alien babies. When an arson fire destroys the facility, Mulder enlists a reluctant Doggett to visit both the site and Scully's former obstetrician (Steven Anderson), a partner in the lab. Later, they encounter Billy, who's clearly not the man he once was.”

What isn’t TV Guide telling us?

This is one of the best episodes of the “X-Files” ever. You may not believe Chris Carter had it in him.

The big news?

Krycek turns up!! And he makes by far the best entrance of the episode!! And, boy, you won’t believe the role he has to play in all this!!

What’s so great about tonight?

Billy Miles returns, but this time as an alien killing machine who can cannot be stopped by a hail of bullets or the impact of a speeding automobile. In rapid succession, Miles kills the founder of a lab which makes alien babies, the obstetrician who treated Scully during her first two trimesters, and the new nurse’s co-conspirator. Before the episode is over, the enormously terminator-like Miles will be coming for Scully and her unborn child.

Who is Billy Miles again?

He was abducted, just like Mulder. Skinner’s discovery that Billy was still alive a few episodes ago led Skinner to have Mulder exhumed – three months after Mulder’s burial. Miles’ body, however, could not avoid being taken over by the alien intelligence that kept him alive.

Who’s the nurse?

Hired by Dana’s mom to look after the very pregnant special agent, the nurse – within minutes of meeting Dana – begins secretly filling Dana’s prescription bottles with mysterious pills.

Was Scully right about the genetics lab’s involvement in alien babies?

Apparently, since Billy Miles catches one of the lab’s founding doctors cradling a live alien baby. Miles tells the doctor he’s there to confirm that the lab’s work has been “fruitful.” “I can see that it has by the abomination you’re holding in your hands,” says Miles. “Your work here is done.”

How are Mulder and Doggett getting on these days?

Markedly better since Mulder saved Doggett’s life last week. After Billy burns down the genetics lab, the civilian Mulder arrives on Doggett’s doorstep on Saturday morning looking for help. Before long they discover the other founder of the smoldering lab was Dana’s old obstetrician.

Does Dana’s old obstetrician keep a bunch of deformed fetuses in jars around the office?

He does. And wait till you see what Miles does to Dana’s old obstetrician.

Reyes turns up?

Yes, in the final minutes, and I, for one, found her presence in the episode more than a little suspicious. (We’ll be seeing her next week too.)

Is Krycek well-utilized this time?

Oh yeah. He provides all sorts of great answers about Scully’s fetus tonight. He calls Unborn Scully things like “a miracle,” “something more human than human,” and “a perfect human child with no human frailties.” There seem to be two sets of opposing aliens at work here (more shades of “The Hidden”) -- and at least one set of aliens fears what will happen if Scully comes to term in a few days.

Herc’s rating for “The X-Files” 8.20?

****

The Hercules T. Strong Rating System:

**** better than most motion pictures

*** actually worth your valuable time

** as horrible as most stuff on TV

* makes you quietly pray for bulletins

You’re not the source of me.

I am – Hercules!





Readers Talkback
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  • May 13, 2001, 3:44 p.m. CST

    First?

    by Sgt. Bilko

    This show confuses me so much!

  • May 13, 2001, 3:50 p.m. CST

    haven't seen it yet........

    by Jarek

    ........but I've had it on tape since this morning. Hope it's good. Oh, and Tuesday's Buffy rocks, as well as Monday's Boston Public.

  • May 13, 2001, 3:51 p.m. CST

    Loose Ends

    by Mr. Biege

    If all of that happens tonight, that leaves one final hour next week to wrap up at least some of this show's loose ends, before it either comes to an end or changes beyond repair next year. One hour? Somehow I doubt they plan on wrapping up a damn thing, except the baby situation. Kind of a sad way for those who invested themselves in the twists and turns of this show to have it go out...

  • May 13, 2001, 4:27 p.m. CST

    HERC, you bastard...

    by -mrbean-

    How is it that HERC is always getting access to TV shows before they air. I am just curious, do the networks send tapes out to television critics or something?

  • May 13, 2001, 4:46 p.m. CST

    Herc's access to shows.......

    by Jarek

    He probably gets early shows the same way I do..... you see, I was able to tape the new Buffy, Simpsons, Futurama, Boston Public, X-Files and The Practice from a C-Band satellite wild feed over the weekend. Basically, networks air their new episodes a few days early for some purpose, and anyone with a big dish (C-Band) or a 4DTV reciever can get these.

  • May 13, 2001, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Another surprise guest star:

    by HugoHeir

    It's Rob Zombie! Like Herc said, they've got to tell Scully that her fetus was "more Human than Human!" Get it? Eh, I need another drink.

  • May 13, 2001, 5:59 p.m. CST

    Music in the key of X

    by Led Gopher

    I can't expalin why I continue to "watch" this show as I spend most episodes, sitting at the computer, listening to the TV. Which brings me to the point of my subject title, I have always enjoyed the work Mark Snow has done for this show and "Millenium" and "Harsh Realm" (remember that one?). Anyway anybody else notice how a few seasons back when the alien bounty hunter first showed up with his big needle of death? Ever notice how almost every time the needle would shoot out, there was that little (for lack of a better term) musical shreik? Well that same noise shows up alot in the myth ark ep's. I just was curious if anybody else noticed this, I am sure you have, I just felt the need to ask.

  • May 13, 2001, 6:15 p.m. CST

    I just don't recognize you,my old friend.

    by PR_GMR

    Having seen tonight's episode I'm reminded once again on how strongly I believe this show needs to end.I just don't recognize you,my old friend.The notion of an "X-Files" without Mulder and not even Chris Carter on board saddens me.I disagree with Herc--tonight's episode was just Blah.I'll be watching next week as I move on to search (or just hope) for good quality sci-fi TV.

  • May 13, 2001, 6:15 p.m. CST

    Oh Fuck Yeah

    by themidnighter23

    HOT DAMN!!! Those last five minutes were great!!! This was better than Buffy's episode. THAT'S RIGHT!!! I SAID IT!!! IT WAS BETTER!!!!

  • May 13, 2001, 6:17 p.m. CST

    RE: PR_GMR

    by themidnighter23

    You are insane. I haven't been this excited to watch the next episode in a long time.

  • May 13, 2001, 6:20 p.m. CST

    RE: PR_GMR one more thing

    by themidnighter23

    And as for going on without Mulder, GO RIGHT AHEAD! The show doesn't surround him anymore. He's already content with his sister's disappearance, he KNOWS that aliens do exist, and he has nothing to prove but make a believer out of someone which he already did. SCULLY and SKINNER. and by the looks of it, DOGGET may believe a little too now. I'm done now.

  • May 13, 2001, 6:33 p.m. CST

    Well

    by PR_GMR

    Well I agree with Pettifoi above--With Mulder gone I don't care about this show.It's that simple.The premise was about a believer (Mulder) and an skeptic (Scully) investigating paranormal phenomena and seeking out the truth.That premise has been played out,and rather poorly I might add.The next episode looks interesting...but that'because 'someone is going to die' which it doesn't take a genius to figure out it will be Mulder who's going to bite the bullet.Sadly,this will mean no possibility for 'X-Files' movies.

  • May 13, 2001, 6:39 p.m. CST

    Old Monkey's heart was beating a mile a minute watching this epi

    by Monkey_King

    Herc was right in his review alright. One of the best ever. Billy Miles was like an alien version of Michael Myers; he just kept a'coming after they threw every damn thing at him, including a speeding car driven by Krycek. My predicament: Krycek or Skinner dies in the next episode, Scully gives birth to Mulder's "balance of the force/miracle baby", and Doggett and Mulder live to finish next years 'final' season of The X-Files. Where's Kirsh in all this? He's a damn alien himself. That's why he booted Mulder from the bureau because he was "too much of a threat" while Doggett was already assigned to the "bogus" X-Files. Bogus my furry monkey ass!!!

  • May 13, 2001, 6:43 p.m. CST

    xfiles8.20

    by gdelaney

    I completely agree with herc's assessment of the episode "Essence".It was thoughtfully written and well-acted--something we haven't seen from the 'files in several seasons. Episodes like this one make me remember why I started watching the 'files!!

  • May 13, 2001, 6:48 p.m. CST

    You need to adjust your medication, Herc.

    by Ophelia 's twin

    Four stars? One of the best X-Files ever? Did we watch the same show? I admit the last ten minutes were pretty damn good--good enough to make this the best episode of the X-Files season (but certainly not of the series). (And being the best of this season is, sadly, not saying much.) *** It's too bad the writers have never found more uses for Krycek. His appearance, as usual, was the highlight of tonight's ep. (Although a couple of his lines were so badly written, I don't know how Nicholas Lea managed to say them with a straight face.) *** My rating: The first 50 minutes gets 2 stars and the ending gets 3 1/4 stars.

  • May 13, 2001, 8:21 p.m. CST

    After Scully's baby is born

    by raingirl

    Will it age fast like the baby did in V? Considering the sanctimonious cheese in the scripts, it won't be long until it will be publicly announced that Carter is looking to cast a moody teen.

  • May 13, 2001, 9:11 p.m. CST

    stupid enter key

    by Tall_Boy

    but yeah, like I said above, Files without Mulder really doesn't do it for me & without Carter's creative force, I dunno what the hell would be going on. I really don't think Mulder is going to buy it next ep, they already pulled that, and besides, there's movies to make. I'm thinking Scully will have her baby then Mulder will have to disappear with it for its own protection because the kid will bring balance to the force or something. The death will probably be Krycheck. . .AND THAT WOULD REALLY SUCK, but yeah, I think Rat-Boy is history. . .too bad.

  • May 13, 2001, 9:32 p.m. CST

    I agree with Tall Boy

    by coop

    The only way they can make sense of a season without Mulder and do movies in the future would be to have Mulder and Scully be in hiding for a year while Doggett chases monsters to fill the time until the show's over.

  • May 13, 2001, 9:38 p.m. CST

    *Sniff*

    by Swithin

    I've been watching since episode 001... still remember that night, somehow I got my father to watch that with me... This ep brought back a lot of those first-season memories. The jars, Billy Miles, the 'greenhorn' Krycek, Skinner still being a badass, Scully's family, driving around in cars meant to evoke the 1994 Tauruses they used to drive... So *this* is what Deepthroat died for! Anyone else notice that tonight, huh? I wonder where the Cigarette Smoking Bastard is, and the esper kid with his own personal ET... 'More human than human', is that what all the Samantha clones were supposed to be? The part-alien clones all died soon after birth, and fully human clones didn't have very much success until a few years ago, according to the Zeus genetics woman. Think ZG had anything to do with those kids? But if ZG was funded by the same council CSM was on, and CSM was with the rebels, and the bees were from the other side but were being created on the same plantation as the clones, isn't this a contradiction??? AHHH.... tonight's ep made me dig up the past, made me remember and recall all the old eps and 'good times' that sucked me into the X-Files. It made me question and care again, and now I've got this wonderful 'I've just rediscovered something I used to love' feeling... yep, tonight's episode deserved ****. Definitely. It bridged the gap to the oldschool X-Files. Now all we need to see is a Dogget-CSM confrontation. What an interesting verbal bout that would be. I just hope that they don't kill off Skinner, he still is the best character on the show.

  • May 13, 2001, 9:39 p.m. CST

    The Future of the series and music in the key of X

    by Cuppa Joe

    I loved tonight's episode, it was GREAT. All the suspicious suff at the beginning with the nurse and the whole alien baby stuff. Pretty cool. Especially when Krycek pops in. As to MULDER leaving next year. If he does go, if the series DOES continue, I won't really care as much either. Simple as that. But the sick thing is I'll probably still watch, then just come to the Talkback after every painfully bad ep. without him, and bitch and moan about how good the show used to be, and "How bad it sucks now" just like...pretty much every other person on the X-Files Talkback for the past couple months or more. And to the guy who posted Music in the Key of X, do you remember his work on Nowhere Man too? I dunno', I liked that show, but I'm probably the only one.

  • May 13, 2001, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Brillance at work here folks

    by 2GOLD

    Once again Carter gives us the old, "ALL QUESTIONS ABOUT THE X-FILES WILL BE ANSWERED NEXT WEEK!" We have all heard that same stupid line EVERY DAMN YEAR and EVERY YEAR we don't get ONE of our questions answered cause it's obvious Carter forgot the questions! Hey Chris, save your scripts so your dumb self can REMEMBER what your suppose to be answering. I say, if this child is as important as Carter is playing it up to be...one of them, either Krychek or Fox, HAS to live and become the child's protector (unless it has the ability to crap lighting bolts and spit fireballs). I gotta say, this whole baby thing has more holes than a five pound chunk of Swiss cheese. "I must kill the child to protect the secret but now I realize that it's the only thing that can stop the aliens unless they decide to invade when it's still a baby then we're all screwed." And why is it that Krychek ONLY appears in a big role at the end of EVERY SEASON! What kind of contract did this guy sign? And why waste the talent with crappy lines and such. I'll watch the season finale but if I get more questions than answers then Carter and the Files can kiss my rear!

  • May 13, 2001, 9:50 p.m. CST

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but...

    by Swithin

    Doesn't what the Zeus Genetics woman said contradict what I remember of Operation Paperclip? Yes, I know, too many minutiae to remember, but still... if the scientists who were working on clones for the CSM's posse continued OpClip from the Nazis, why would they need genetic material from 1947? The German scientists already had plenty, right? Oh well, memory fuzzy of the ancient and forgotten episodes.

  • May 13, 2001, 10:54 p.m. CST

    does anyone else think...

    by Wolverines dad

    They they could be setting Scully's baby up as the secone coming of Christ? They said something like it would prove the existance of a higher power...

  • May 14, 2001, 2:07 a.m. CST

    Nowhere Man

    by Grommet

    First of all I loved nowhere man a very well written underground show. Tonights episode was the best of the season.

  • May 14, 2001, 2:14 a.m. CST

    God

    by Grommet

    Interesting that Mulder mentioned that the Aliens where afraid of Scullies baby because it proved there was a God. Scully always has been the focus of the Spiritual episodes. Sorry spilt coke on Keyboard space bar stuck.

  • May 14, 2001, 6:34 a.m. CST

    Mulder on the Lone Gunmen

    by Someguywithaname

    I was surprised to see Mulder pop in on last friday's Gunmen. You would think such an appearance would be heavily promoted. Even when he appeared on Space Above and Beyond I recall that he was shown in the promos. It was nice to see him interact with Jimmy Bond though. The Terminator angle in this Xfiles episode had to be deliberate. They rip off everything on that show. It was okay--but there is a loss of drama since we know that they plan a movie so Mulder and Scully wont be biting it. It'll either be Skinner or Krychek of probably both of them. I dont plan on tuning in once Mulder goes(and without Chris Carter) there just isnt a point. This show needs to wind it up or it'll turn into a berman/bragga "gem."

  • May 14, 2001, 7:52 a.m. CST

    more human than human

    by cohen

    "More human than human is our moto" -tyrell

  • May 14, 2001, 9:15 a.m. CST

    Its gone on Toooooo LONG

    by cooper2000

    Four stars? I dont think so. This was good but if you look at the first few seasons and then look at the show now then thats all that needs to be said. Its a mere shadow of what it used to be and like another post said, I am confused. I dont get the conspiracy anymore and I dont like the lovey dovery scenes between Mulder and Scully. Yuck. And then Mulder trusts Kricheck? What???? You know it wont happen but FOX should really just end it. Gillian Anderson has said she has done all she can do with the character and I couldnt agree more. At one point I wanted to see movies too but Carter has driven this one time 5 season ONLY show into the ground.Not even a paring with Doggett and Reyes will bring me back. Why cant FOX spend money on developing New shows instead of keepin Old shows on like Melrose and 90210 past their prime???People end it why they still have some dignity left and while we still remember what a great show this used to be.

  • May 14, 2001, 10:10 a.m. CST

    Thanks Cohen.

    by Mister_Pink

    I was wondering where that came from. I knew it sounded familiar. maybe Sean Young will be the next Agent.

  • May 14, 2001, 1:35 p.m. CST

    I have the answers little ones......

    by mirandarocks

    okay - how can so many people in one talkback be so wrong? first of all, no way is mulder gonna die! all you talkbackers who think that are obviously smokin' the crack.... Krycek is the one who bites it - and another little prediction - whatever Scully's baby turns out to be Jesus Jr. or superhumanbaby - Mulder is gonna take off with it to "protect it" setting up next season without Mulder or the baby around....

  • May 14, 2001, 2:32 p.m. CST

    ep

    by Woodward

    I think its clear where they're taking this -- Doggett and Reyes will be teamed up next season as the new Mulder/Scully. I can see Scully having the baby, Mulder taking both of them into hiding to protect them, and Doggett/Reyes being tapped as the new "guardians" of the X-Files. I, for one, would be OK with that. I think the show still has potential, but the characters of Mulder and Scully are just played out. We already know pretty much everything there is to know about them, and the whole "will they ever get together and shag" tension has been pretty much killed by the past 8 years. Of course, the very best way to save the show would be to bring in WILLIAM SHATNER.

  • May 14, 2001, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Didn't dig it

    by DomisInnerChild

    I admit I've been watching the episodes hit and miss lately, but I was kinda bored. David D. still seems to be walking though his scenes. Billy seemed to be taking movement tips from Mr. T2 (that scene at the end was just too close to escaping the hospital). Is it just me, or is an alien baby invasion (or worse yet, an alien baby invasion defended by perfect human alien baby from barren women) about the lamest way to end this series? I mean seriously, what the hell is that? What were all the past alien experiments, ecounters, attacks for? Failures? They all seemed like they were working pretty good (except the bees, aliens pops out of human, alien walks around looking human, oil takes over human, etc... THEY ALL WORKED AND FASTER!!!). I don't get it, if you have to abduct and then take months to change a human into an incubator (like how Mulder is okay now because they didn't have enough time), what kind of freaking invasion is this going to be? A zillion year invasion? Is Billy going to go all Species and turn next season into a porn movie? I'm sorry, but this is just lame. At least V (for instance) had a straight forward plan that seemed like it could work in a reasonable amount of time.

  • May 15, 2001, 7:54 p.m. CST

    You people don't understand!!

    by Orange Bat

    All of you people that say there are too many plot holes in this show obviously don't understand the X-Files. It isn't about "solving" the mystery. This is all supposed to be happening right under our noses, and we know none of it. There isn't SUPPOSED to be answers, only more questions. If they ever do wrap up this story, you people will be HIGHLY disappointed by the un-eventful ending they may conjure up. As for no Mulder or Skully? What, just because they're not around the "conspiracy" just disappears? C'MON peeps!! Lighten up!! Enjoy one of the best long-running shows on da TEE-VEE!!!

  • May 15, 2001, 9:22 p.m. CST

    Orange Bat

    by raingirl

    One can only put up with questions being answered with more unanswered question until it becomes tedious and just plain silly. Are we supposed to keep on blindly accepting what is spewed out at us until the show drags on to a Season 15 or god forbid even longer? TV shows only have a certain lifespan and The X-Files has outlived its span to the point of no return.

  • May 17, 2001, 8:41 a.m. CST

    And, ya know..

    by Orange Bat

    If your not happy with the show, don't watch it. Remember, ratings go down, and shows die.