X Cyclopedia: The Ultimate Episode Guide, Season I

21. BORN AGAIN
WRITERS: GORDON/GANSA
DIR.: FREEDMAN
An 8-year-old girl is inhabited by the spirit of a long-deceased cop. Killed nine years ago by three of his colleagues, he attempts, through her, to exact psychokinetic revenge. Creative casting: The ubiquitous Mimi Lieber, late of Friends, does her Noo Yawk goil shtick; in young Andrea Libman, the series once again makes inspired use of a child actor. Critique: Lots of conventional gumshoe work in this engaging but ultimately just serviceable episode. B-

22. ROLAND
WRITER: CHRIS RUPPENTHAL
DIR.: NUTTER
Brilliant, dead aeronautical scientist continues his groundbreaking work via his cryogenically preserved brain and his autistic brother Roland, while simultaneously dispatching the colleagues who took credit for his inroads into jet propulsion research. Creative casting: Zeljko Ivanek is astonishing (and convincing) as the touching, tortured savant. Critique: Good news: excellent death scenes, particularly the liquid nitrogen checkout (and dig the subsequent police chalk outline). Bad news: telepathic revenge again? That's three times in one season! B+

23. THE ERLENMEYER FLASK
WRITER: CARTER
DIR.: R. W. GOODWIN
''Don't give up on this one ... you've never been closer,'' Deep Throat advises Mulder in this watershed episode. A routine traffic infraction sets off a chain of events that lead Mulder and Scully to the discovery of a government research program in which an extraterrestrial virus is introduced into human subjects via gene therapy. Historic moment: Deep Throat's demise (last words: ''Trust no one''); Scully's firsthand encounter with an alien life form; and the X-Files are shut down. Critique: Alarmingly dense, and, as with any of the ''mythology'' chapters, raises as many questions as it answers. ''This,'' says Gordon, ''is the first real conspiracy episode. We started to know where we were going.'' A [7]

Originally posted Nov 29, 1996 Published in issue #355 Nov 29, 1996 Order article reprints
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