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Chinga

Anyone watching Fox during the last week has been bombarded by a booming announcer's voice heralding this special episode of the X-Files written by horror guru Stephen King. Did anyone notice the voice-over just before the episode aired? The booming voice wasn't quite as intense in announcing the "special new episode co-written by Stephen King and series creator Chris Carter." My theory is Carter read King's original script, vomited, then quickly set to saving his show by adding his own touches.

"Chinga" wasn't much for plot: It was your typical evil-doll-in-the-clutches-of-a-seemingly -misunderstood-child story (please see the "Chucky" reference Mulder made). Thank God Carter got his hands on this one, for the comedic interplay between Mulder and Scully made it all worthwhile.

Unintentionally, "Chinga" ranks as one of the series' funniest episodes. It's rare when we see Mulder and Scully outside work, and there's a reason for that -- Scully is an X-file magnet and Mulder is a socially inept workaholic. Once again Scully tries to get away for a while (I think she deserves a longer vacation considering that whole cancer thing), but an X-file inevitably finds her, as does Mulder, who's bored out of his gord while his partner is away. Mulder's boredom was the highlight of the show, particularly the shot of him planted in his office, intently watching the "Too Hot for TV" version of "The World's Deadliest Swarms."

I'd bet a good chunk of cash that Carter was also responsible for this show's deft character advancements. At one point Scully suggests the police must examine "extreme possibilities," which was Mulder's mantra in season one. Later in the show, Mulder offers a "scientific" explanation for the town's lunacy. In the last scene, Scully finally asks about the "I Want to Believe" poster; something she could have done five seasons ago. Slowly Scully is becoming the believer while Mulder is learning to accept science as an explanation.

I think we were all hoping for a better effort from Stephen King, but the show did hold value as a comedy. I bet next week's episode, written by tech-God William Gibson, will mark a return to form for the show.

Note: This review originally appeared at Ontap.com. It's reprinted here for archival purposes.



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