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11x06 - Kitten

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11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Sat 14 Oct - 12:18

One X-Files Character Is Finally Getting An Origin Story In Season 11

By Laura Hurley
yesterday



The X-Files is returning to television for a brand new batch of episodes in the not-too-distant future, and the trailer promises to deliver plenty of Mulder and Scully back in action. While we do know that a lot of focus in Season 11 will be on their absent son, it turns out that another character from The X-Files over the years will get a lot more focus in the new season. The long-suffering Walter Skinner will get more of an origin story than ever before. Actor Mitch Pileggi revealed some of what's in store, saying this:

You're going to find out a lot more about his past. Fans will find out who he is, where he comes from and why he is the way he is.

Walter Skinner has been around The X-Files from the very first season, and longtime fans have gotten to know at least a little bit about him. He fought in Vietnam when he was 18-years-old, and his experiences there shaped him in the rest of his life. Skinner also had a wife named Sharon, and he had the unfortunate habit of getting in over his head with bad people despite his intentions to do good.

At times an ally and at times an antagonist to Mulder and Scully, Skinner has been a key part of the series to date. Judging by Mitch Pileggi's comments to TVLine, we'll find out much more about the Skinman in Season 11, which should be great news for fans who didn't get as much Skinner as they wanted out of the six episodes of Season 10.

In fact, The X-Files Season 11 is giving Skinner an origin episode of his own. The sixth episode of the 10-episode season will be all about Skinner and the man he is when not attempting to keep Mulder and Scully under control. The trailer points toward some strife as the intrepid agents lose their trust in him, but Pileggi promises that Skinner ultimately "is their champion."

After all that Skinner did for the dynamic duo, ranging from selling his soul to the Cigarette-Smoking Man to try and save Scully from her cancer to pledging his support for the X-Files unit after Mulder's abduction and Scully's pregnancy, it will probably take something pretty huge for him to lose their trust. Dealings with the Cigarette-Smoking Man are a pretty solid way for folks to alienate Mulder and Scully, as Scully even turned on Monica Reyes in Season 10 when Monica revealed she'd been pressured to help the CSM after Scully left the FBI at the end of Season 9. Incidentally, Monica will be back in Season 11, so maybe we'll get to see her and Skinner together as a pair of former trusted allies whose loyalties are in question.

Personally, the news that we're getting more Skinner in Season 11 has me all the more excited about what's to come. Skinner has been one of the most intriguing characters of the series, and I'll admit that I laugh whenever he's faced with Mulder and Scully dragging him into their ridiculousness over and over again after the past 20+ years. More Skinner can only be a good things.

The X-Files will return for Season 11 at some point in 2018. Hopefully it will answer some of the biggest questions we're still asking about everything that has happened over the years. For what you can watch while we wait for more X, take a gander at our fall TV guide.


CINEMABLEND


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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Tue 31 Oct - 10:35

‘The X-Files’: Haley Joel Osment To Guest Star In Fox Event Series

by Denise Petski
October 31, 2017 10:00am


Rex/Shutterstock

Haley Joel Osment is set to guest star in the latest revival of The X-Files, scheduled to premiere next year on Fox. No character details are being revealed, but Osment will feature heavily in the “Skinner”–centric (played by series regular Mitch Pileggi) episode teased at New York Comic-Con.

The show, which earned 16 Emmy Awards, five Golden Globes and a Peabody Award, throughout its initial nine-season run, follows FBI special agents Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson), as they investigate unexplained cases – “X-Files” – for which the only answers involve paranormal phenomena. Series creator Chris Carter returns as executive producer, writer and director for the next installment, along with stars Duchovny and Anderson, Pileggi, William B. Davis and previously announced guest stars Annabeth Gish, Robbie Amell, and Lauren Ambrose and Barbara Hershey.

Osment was most recently seen co-starring in HBO comedy Silicon Valley, and will next been seen in the sci-fi comedy Future Man, premiering next month on Hulu. He’s repped by MGMT. Entertainment, APA and Edelstein, Laird and Sob.

The 10-episode second installment of The X-Files event series will premiere in January on Fox.


Deadline

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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Tue 31 Oct - 10:38


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The X-Files: Haley Joel Osment to Guest Star in Skinner-Centric Episode

By Michael Ausiello / October 31 2017, 10:00 AM PDT

Haley Joel Osment is about to see bald people.

The X-Files has tapped the Sixth Sense actor to guest star in Season 11’s previously-announced Skinner-centric episode, TVLine has learned. Fox confirmed the casting but declined to provide details about Osment’s character.

News that one of The X-Files‘ 10 new revival episodes would delve into the origin story of Mitch Pileggi’s still-mysterious Assistant FBI director broke earlier this month at New York Comic-Con. “You’re going to find out a lot more about his past,” the actor confirmed. “Fans will find out who he is, where he comes from and why he is the way he is.” (Series creator Chris Carter went on to reveal at NYCC that the episode will introduce us to a younger version of Skinner — could that be who Osment is playing?)

Osment’s TV credits include stints on HBO’s Silicon Valley and the forthcoming Hulu comedy Future Man.

The X-Files returns to Fox in early 2018.


TVLine

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Post by jade1013 on Wed 10 Jan - 8:58

First look at Haley Joel Osment on The X-Files

James Hibberd January 10, 2018 AT 11:07 AM EST

To celebrate our Winter TV Preview, EW is bringing fans 25 Scoops in 25 Days. From now until the end of the month, follow the hashtag #25Scoops25Days on Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the latest — and check EW.com/25scoops for all the news and surprises.

Ready for your exclusive first look at Haley Joel Osment on Fox’s The X-Files?

The Sixth Sense and A.I. star is joining the sci-fi drama for an upcoming episode that gives some never-bef0re-revealed backstory on Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi):


Fox

“We’ve really never explored the character of Walter Skinner,” creator Chris Carter told EW. “We learn more about Skinner and more about his connections to Mulder and Scully and how he’s been a loyal advocate of theirs at his own expense. We learn about his young life and the X-Files moment he experienced as a much younger man.”

There are no details yet about what role Osment’s character will play in Skinner’s story.

Since his child actor days, Osment had arcs on Amazon’s Alpha House and HBO’s Silicon Valley.

The Skinner-centric hour will be the sixth episode of the current season, which airs Wednesday nights on Fox.


EW.com

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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Wed 17 Jan - 15:38

The X-Files - Episode 11.06 - Kitten - Press Release

Posted by SpoilerTV at January 17, 2018



THE PAST CAN BE HAUNTING ON AN ALL-NEW "THE X-FILES" WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, ON FOX

Episode Written by Gabe Rotter and Directed by Carol Banker; Haley Joel Osment Guest-Stars

Skinner goes AWOL when his past comes back to haunt him. As Mulder and Scully try to track him down, their growing mistrust of him reaches its apex in the all-new "Kitten" episode of THE X-FILES airing Wednesday, Feb. 7 (8:00-9:00 PM ET/PT) on FOX. (XF-1106) (TV-14 L, V)

Cast: David Duchovny as Fox Mulder; Gillian Anderson as Dana Scully; Mitch Pileggi as Walter Skinner

Guest Cast: Haley Joel Osment as Davey James; Cory Rempel as young Walter Skinner, Jovan Nenadic as John "Kitten" James, Brendan Patrick Connor as Sherriff Mac Stenzler, James Pickens Jr. as Alvin Kersh, Jeremy Jones as Sergeant

Source: FOX


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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Mon 22 Jan - 16:02

The X-Files - Episode 11.06 - Kitten - Promotional Photos & Press Release

Posted by SpoilerTV at January 22, 2018



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Post by jade1013 on Mon 22 Jan - 18:38




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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Thu 1 Feb - 4:53




The X-Files 11x06 Promo "Kitten"

SpoilerTV
Publicado em 31 de jan de 2018

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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Tue 6 Feb - 9:44

'The X-Files': Mitch Pileggi Says 'Kitten' Will Explain Why Skinner Is Who He Is

Marisa Roffman February 06, 2018 11:00 am


Shane Harvey/FOX
Mitch Pileggi in the "Kitten" episode of 'The X-Files'

Agents Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) have spent much of Season 11 of The X-Files suspicious of their longtime boss, FBI Assistant Director Skinner (Mitch Pileggi), and things reach a boiling point in Wednesday's episode when he suddenly goes MIA. (Is he hanging out with the Cigarette Smoking Man?)

The hour will at least give the audience a clearer picture of Skinner, with a deep-dive into his backstory, complete with flashbacks to his pre-X-Files life. In addition to filling in some holes regarding his time in Vietnam,“you start to understand why Skinner behaves the way he does,” Pileggi teases.

The Sixth Sense’s Haley Joel Osment is a key presence in the installment, though details of his appearance are being kept under wraps.


Haley Joel Osment in the "Kitten" episode of 'The X-Files'

Shooting the episode also turned into a family affair for Pileggi. Cory Rempel, his nephew by marriage, plays young Skinner. “He threw himself into it,” Pileggi boasts. “I got a text from him at the end of his first day of filming, saying, ‘That was probably the best day of my life.’”

However, he has one minor gripe. Jokes Pileggi, “I think he’s a little too good-looking as Skinner.”

The X-Files, Wednesday, Feb. 7, 8/7c, Fox


TVInsider

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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Tue 6 Feb - 17:08



The X-Files season 11 episode 6 preview: Kitten

by Sarah Crocker
2 hours ago
Follow @superduperspock

FBI Assistant Director Walter Skinner gets some more screen time in this week’s episode of The X-Files. Here’s what to expect from “Kitten.”

How much do we really know about Walter Skinner? There are the basic facts, of course — he’s an Assistant Director for the FBI. He fought as a Marine in the Vietnam War. His middle name is Sergei. He has suffered from sleep disorders that may stem either from too many drugs in Vietnam or related back to a succubus (you know, typical X-Files stuff).

At the beginning of The X-Files, Skinner was a bit of an antagonist. He’s effectively Mulder and Scully’s supervisor, so you can see why he’s a bit grumpy. Imagine you have an employee that goes off on long, poetic tangents about Bigfoot or extraterrestrials, and you’ll get it.

The unwanted appearance of the Cigarette Smoking Man in his office implies that he’s under the conspirators’ thumb, but Skinner eventually redeems himself and becomes a valued ally. Even a later nanotech infection by baddie Alex Krycek didn’t slow him down for too long.

Well, until season 11, anyway. The very first episode, “My Struggle III”, shows Skinner and the CSM having a meeting of sorts in a parking garage. The CSM tried to get Skinner in on the whole “infect humanity with an alien virus and cleanse our horrible species” deal, but we never saw Skinner’s response.



In last week’s episode, “Ghouli”, we even see that the CSM has once again stationed himself in Skinner’s office. We can only imagine how long it took for Skinner to get that cigarette smell out of the carpet, only for the CSM to waltz in for round two.

As far as anyone can tell, Mulder and Scully don’t know that Skinner may or may not be under conspirator control yet again. However, they’ve picked up on his weird behavior. Walter Skinner has been even more enigmatic lately, skulking around and being decidedly vague about where he’s been or why he smells like tobacco smoke.

Then again, he’s also helped out the agents. In “This”, he tracked Scully and Mulder down in the middle of the woods while they were running from ominous, armed government contractors. He gave them a few hints and some money, even.



What’s eating Walter Skinner?

So, what’s up with Skinner? According to the episode synopsis for “Kitten,” something about his past causes him to go AWOL. If the previews are to be believed, it likely has something to do with his past military service.

Those hallucinogenic visions that disturbed his sleep will also probably come into play, given that someone’s face turns into a horse skull. Between that and Haley Joel Osment’s demented cackling, something tells us that the mental landscape of the characters are going to be pretty rough this week.

How will Mulder and Scully get involved? That remains to be seen, though it’s nearly certain that their complicated relationship with Skinner will motivate them.

Meanwhile, will we get a definitive sense of Skinner’s loyalties? What does “Kitten” refer to , anyway? Will he finally catch a break from all the drama? Hopefully, actor Mitch Pileggi will get in some good moments. At least he won’t be stuck glowering behind a desk this time.

Above all, retain some sympathy for poor Walter Skinner. It must be difficult to be caught up with the insanity of the X-Files. Moreover, he has to deal with all of the shadowy government forces that are trailing Mulder and Scully. Even worse, imagine all of the paperwork that Mulder’s antics must generate.

“Kitten” airs Wednesday on FOX, at 8:00 p.m. ET.


Culturess


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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Feb - 10:56

The X-Files Preview: Mitch Pileggi Promises "You're Going to Find Out Who Skinner Is"

by Chris Harnick | Wed., Feb. 7, 2018 9:05 AM

Step aside Mulder and Scully, it's Skinner's time to shine. The X-Files turns the spotlight on Mitch Pileggi's Walter Skinner in "Kitten," the sixth episode of the 10-episode second revival season.

"You're going to find out who Skinner is, why he is the way he is, some of the stuff that he's gone through to make him the person that he is…it was really interesting. I think it was a lot of fun, and Gabe Rotter wrote it and Carol Banker directed it, who was our script supervisor back in the day in Los Angeles and now she's doing very well as a director and I was so pleased to be able to work with her as a director and that she was directing that episode…And Gabe did a wonderful, wonderful job.

"I've heard nothing but great things about it…so I'm very excited to see it. And there's a surprise casting in it that is a pretty cool story that I can't talk about. I can't give you anything. That's all you get," Pileggi continued to E! News during a set visit ahead of The X-Files' second return to television.



In the episode, Skinner goes AWOL after his past comes back to haunt him, leading Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) to track him down. The episode features guest star Haley Joel Osmet, and the special casting Pileggi's teased is familial. Pileggi's nephew Cory Rempel playing a younger version of his long-running character.

Banker is one of the show's handful of female directors.

"How many it is, it's due and it's time and I'm glad it was her. You know, because I know her, she knows me, and she uh, it was a treat," he said.

Click play on the video above to hear more from the actor.

The X-Files airs Wednesdays, 8 p.m. on Fox.



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Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Feb - 17:55



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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Feb - 18:19

The X-Files recap: 'Kitten'


Eric Millner/FOX

Kelly Connolly February 07, 2018 AT 09:00 PM EST

We gave it a B-

Hot on the heels of last week’s mile-a-minute, meet-your-dead-son-wait-he’s-alive game-changer, it’s time for “Kitten,” wherein the height of the action is Skinner falling into a hole. And yes, walking himself directly into a spiked pit because he was trying to help someone is a metaphor for Walter Skinner’s career. Mulder and Scully’s beleaguered boss takes center stage this week in an episode that attempts to tackle the partners’ fear that he’s gone to the other side, but even by X-Files standards, it doesn’t give us many answers — even to the question of why Mulder and Scully stopped trusting him in the first place. He smelled like smoke that one time? Explain it to me, Mulder.

In their 25-year history as the FBI’s most extreme two-person clique, Scully and Mulder have made it a habit to suspect Skinner of betraying them when he obviously isn’t. (They’ve also made it a habit to erase those periods of mistrust from their memory; Scully wonders early in the hour, “What happened to the old reliable Skinner we knew and loved?” like she never pulled a gun on him.) Sometimes it’s almost cute that they’d rather go on the run together than get in their boss’ car, but there comes a time when the agents’ exclusivity can only hurt them and the people they care about, Skinner included. “Trust no one” has its limits, and as this episode tries to demonstrate, all it does is benefit the same government Mulder and Scully don’t trust.

On that note: Kersh is back! I didn’t realize I missed James Pickens Jr.’s hard-nosed deputy director, but here he is, takings digs at Mulder and Scully’s “conspiracy-addled minds,” and here I am, delighted. He’s summoned the agents to his office to inform them that Skinner has gone AWOL, which he’s making their responsibility because how many of Skinner’s professional problems aren’t Mulder and Scully’s fault in the end? “Walter Skinner’s stalled career has everything to do with his blind loyalty to the both of you,” Kersh insists, “and your misguided search for some imaginary truth.” For someone who hasn’t been promoted in 16 years, Kersh is awfully petty about Skinner’s lack of upward mobility. Mulder and Scully answer all of his questions with more questions just to match him for pettiness.

The partners start their search by breaking into Skinner’s tastefully minimalistic apartment. (Mulder, deadpan as ever: “Maybe he’s out meeting with an interior decorator.”) It seems absurd for Scully to worry about invading Skinner’s privacy when his home couldn’t reveal any less about him if it tried, but she and Mulder both know that sometimes the most polished surface is the one with the most to hide. In this case, the dirty secret is an envelope addressed to Lance Corporal Walter Skinner, containing one human ear and a note: “The monsters are coming.” This season already did its Twilight Zone riff, and Oak Lane isn’t quite Maple Street, but I was still reminded of Rod Serling’s “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street,” another story about how fear makes monsters of us all.

Take this episode’s Vietnam War flashbacks. One of Skinner’s earliest standout moments came in season 2’s “One Breath,” when the assistant director opened up to Mulder about his wartime experience. “Kitten” is impressively faithful to those details: enlisting in the Marine Corps the day he turned 18 only to lose his faith after blowing the head off a 10-year-old North Vietnamese boy who walked into camp covered in grenades (this boy looks slightly older than 10, but for the sake of all of our trauma I’ll allow it). In “One Breath,” Skinner went on to tell Mulder about an out-of-body experience that probably would have made a more interesting X-Files episode than anything in “Kitten,” but it also would have been too supernatural for the message this episode is trying to send: Humans are capable of worse atrocities than any monster.

So instead we get the story of John “Kitten” James, one of Skinner’s platoon-mates. John (played in flashbacks by Haley Joel Osment) was a frightened kid until he was exposed to an experimental gas that turned his fears against him, making him see monsters. Skinner (played in flashbacks by Mitch Pileggi’s nephew, Cory Rempel) watched as his friend morphed into a ruthless soldier who wore his victims’ ears around his neck like trophies, but even though he knew the gas was to blame, he was forbidden from mentioning it at John’s trial — and Skinner, as he tended to do before he met Mulder and Scully, followed orders. The government vanished John after that, and Skinner assumed he was dead until that letter arrived last week. (“Letter” is Skinner’s term, and it says a lot about how accustomed he is to getting body parts in the mail.) (Next: “The Pit” by Mouse Rat)

The ear and the note were wrapped in a newspaper clipping from Mud Lick, Kentucky, so Mulder and Scully follow Skinner’s trail to the rural community, where too many people — including the town doctor, whose body was found with an ear cut off — have been turning up dead in punji stick traps, a staple of the Vietnam War. When one local veteran falls into a pit in the woods, a motion-activated camera catches Skinner standing over the body. The sheriff rushes to put out an APB without bothering to see how the footage ends, but Mulder and Scully sneak a peek: A figure in a horned, skull-like mask looms toward the lens.

For once, the partners are in agreement that they’re not dealing with an actual monster. In counterpoint to all of this weaponized fear, Mulder and Scully are a united front in “Kitten” (just look how many times I’ve already written “Mulder and Scully” in this recap). But for most of the hour, Skinner stands a little bit outside that circle of trust; even though they’re defending his good name and working to prove his innocence, the fear that he’s turned a dark corner still infects Mulder and Scully’s private conversations, which would be more effective if they had any sensible basis for that fear. They still don’t know the one good reason to be at odds with Skinner: He’s keeping secret everything he knows about CSM’s alleged role in Scully’s pregnancy. By leaving that issue off the table, this episode misses out on the potential for real, emotional tension, giving the agents so little to work with that they just look disloyal. Maybe that, too, is part of the point — fear and logic rarely coexist — but after 25 years, this mistrust is a little too illogical.

Obviously, Skinner’s motives are all on the level. Though we never do find out how he found that body in the woods, he didn’t call it in because he’s on a mission to help his friend. But John’s son Davey (Haley Joel Osment again) says his father blamed Skinner for the way their lives turned out: John spent 38 years at nearby mental institution Glazebrook, where he was experimented on even further in order to advance the development of the gas. It’s implied that Davey’s mother killed herself (her face is cut out of a photo on the wall, possibly in a nod to season 4’s “Demons,” in which a man shot himself after cutting his face out of every photo he could find). Skinner’s testimony helped set that in motion, and he bears that guilt even though you get the sense the military would have had its way regardless. This is the moral gray area we’ve come to expect from Skinner: He believed in the system and paid the price.

But he wants to make things right, and Davey, ominously, agrees to take Skinner to his father. After nightfall, he leads Skinner to a tree outside his trailer, where a man in uniform hangs high in a noose. Did John manage to hang himself from this very tall tree? Did he kill himself elsewhere and Davey moved the body like bait? Or, despite Davey’s claim that his father was “driven” to this, was John killed at his son’s hand — or the government’s? Davey says his father was released after almost four decades because he was no longer a danger, but clearly he was. They made him that way.

John may have been the only member of his family to breathe the gas, but he wasn’t the only one infected by it. For Davey, the idea of it has become as potent as the gas itself, pushing him to become the monster his father sees. When Skinner steps closer to the body, he drops into a pit and is impaled through the abdomen — which isn’t quite the mild flesh wound this episode makes it out to be — and Davey hovers over him with a flashlight to his face: “Now who sees monsters?” (We get it, Davey.) While Mulder and Scully interrogate Davey, Skinner is left to bleed out, his cries for help drowned out by John Cale’s “Fear Is a Man’s Best Friend” on vinyl. Davey claims he’s never heard of Skinner, but his family photo albums give him away, so Mulder doubles back on foot as soon as they’ve driven far enough from the trailer to throw Davey off the scent, leaving Scully to call for help.

The attempted rescue is cut short when Davey, in full monster getup, rams Mulder into the pit, though at least Mulder lands close enough to the wall to avoid the spikes. It almost looks like Skinner pushes him to safety. Skinner, still remarkably conscious, offers to give Mulder a boost (aww), but Davey returns with gasoline and a lighter — and then Scully shoots him from behind (AWWW). Unfortunately, being impaled with multiple punji sticks seems to be the only injury that sticks in this town, and by the time Scully has thrown Mulder a rope, Davey’s disappeared. The agents chase after him, paying too little attention to their feet for how many traps are in these woods. Right before they hit a tripwire, Skinner comes out of nowhere and knocks Davey to the ground, punching him repeatedly. Davey crawls right back into the wire, releasing a grid of wooden stakes; Skinner rolls out of the way just in time, but Davey is killed, taking everything he knows about his father’s last days with him. (Next: Call your dentist)

In the light of day, as Scully bandages Skinner’s mild flesh wound, the partners admit that Kersh suggested they’re the reason the Bureau doesn’t love Skinner, as if that never occurred to them before. Earlier, to Mulder, Scully reasoned that Skinner had made his own choices when he stayed loyal to them, and it felt like a cop-out — does it really absolve Scully and Mulder if the only other item on the list of reasons why Skinner hasn’t advanced his career is “the intangible concept of free will”? But Skinner doesn’t blame them either: “If it wasn’t for you two,” he says, “I wouldn’t be here right now, and I’m not talking about the fact that you showed up here today.” Like Scully, he defines his life by choice: He enlisted; John James was drafted. Watching the war upend John’s life poked holes in Skinner’s faith in the government. “You two came along,” he says, “and you taught me not to hide from it but to have the guts to shine a light directly into the darkest corners. And if given the choice between advancing my career by being blindly loyal to some faceless puppeteers pulling strings from the shadows or to throw in with you two, make no mistake about it, I’d make the same decision every damn time.” It’s a speech so good and so well delivered that it almost makes this episode’s chaotic ambiguities feel appropriate: In a story with a lot of open ends, Mulder and Scully still make sense.

As Skinner finally makes his way to an ambulance, Mulder and Scully recommit to their boss: “We’re with you.” They never had a good reason not to be, but there’s still something a little charming about the fact that nothing of substance really happened here. Skinner didn’t admit anything about what the Smoking Man told him; there was nothing for the three of them to work through. Fear was undone by trust alone: an exchange of faith to make up for what Skinner lost in the war. But coming as it does just after this season’s halfway point, this episode misses major opportunities to mine potential conflicts, trading the bigger story for a theme that isn’t even new to the show.

Fear as a weapon has been done on The X-Files; fear as an X-File was done just a few episodes ago. The episode ends with a biplane flying over Mud Lick, spraying its crops with a form of the gas; this must be why everyone in town (plus Skinner) is losing teeth. Whatever shot this scene had at subtlety is lost when a voice-over from Davey kicks in, repeating what he told Mulder and Scully earlier: “Imagine the power of a government that could literally control the minds of millions and millions of its citizens, could influence every choice and decision they made simply by exposing them to this poison. It’s happening. It’s happening right now.” Again, Davey, we get it.

The visual calls back to a couple of other X-Files stories about poisoned crops: not only that iconic corn field from the 1998 movie, but also season 2’s “Blood,” which, like “Kitten,” dealt with pesticides that heightened existing paranoia. In one biting line in “Blood,” Mulder calls fear “the oldest tool of power. If you’re distracted by fear of those around you, it keeps you from seeing the actions of those above.” Comparatively, this episode is (literally) toothless; there’s no commentary here on why the government hopes to heighten people’s fears in order to incite violence. Scully tells Davey that his idea sounds like a dystopian novel; it does, but it also sounds like the same view of America in 2018 that The X-Files has taken all season. “Kitten” just never connects the dots.

Open files:

  • Mitch Pileggi nailed that last monologue.
  • Eagle is bald, but Eagle wasn’t bald then. So how’d he get his nickname? (I was really hoping Skinner would be Kitten.)
  • Do we think the mustachioed man who was compelled to kick John at Glazebrook was meant to be a younger version of Ozzie, the hunter who was trapped in the first pit?
  • I love Scully defending Skinner on the basis that if he murdered, he’d be better at it.


EW.com

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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Feb - 18:24




John James Fights In The War | Season 11 Ep. 6 | THE X-FILES

The X-Files
Publicado em 7 de fev de 2018

John James's time in the war is traumatic.

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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Feb - 18:28




A Hunter Is Spooked In The Forest | Season 11 Ep. 6 | THE X-FILES

The X-Files
Publicado em 7 de fev de 2018

A hunter meets his doom in a creepy forest.

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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Feb - 18:30




Mulder & Scully Meet John James | Season 11 Ep. 6 | THE X-FILES

The X-Files
Publicado em 7 de fev de 2018

Mulder & Scully pay John James a visit.

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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Feb - 18:52







justholdinghands:

Kitten BTS

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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Feb - 19:14

February 7, 2018 9:00 pm

The X-Files Recap: The Monsters Are Here

By Brian Tallerico


Photo: Shane Harvey/FOX

Kitten Season 11 Episode 6
Editor's Rating 3/5

It’s a Skinner episode! We’ve seen the distrust between Scully, Mulder, and Skinner grow this season, and “Kitten” is a solid hour in terms of bringing them back to the same cause: discovering the truth. It also offers some nice insight into the background of Walter Skinner, including how he became both a reliable keeper of government secrets and someone looking to expose them.

It all started in Vietnam. That’s where “Kitten” opens, introducing us to a young Skinner and a fellow soldier named John, played well by Haley Joel Osment. John, Skinner, and another man have been assigned to protect a crate labeled “MK Naomi” with their lives. As they’re taking gunfire in a Vietnamese hut, the crate is punctured, allowing a green-yellow gas to emerge. John takes the brunt of the chemical impact, and instantly sees a figure in a terrifying skull mask. He starts stabbing. People are massacred.

Post-credits, we jump to years later and get an appearance by a familiar face, FBI Director Alvin Kersh (James Pickens Jr.), whom we haven’t seen since the original series finale. He tells Mulder and Scully that Skinner is missing, also noting that their buddy has basically stalled his career by protecting the X-Files. Kersh is still kind of an asshole, but he does tell them to bring Skinner back while he still has a shred of his career left.

Mulder and Scully head to Skinner’s apartment and find no personal items, mementoes, or family photos. They do discover the clue needed for this week’s adventure — don’t you love how conveniently that always happens? — in an envelope addressed to Skinner that reveals he was a Marine. What’s in the envelope? An ear! Ewww. They also find a piece of paper that says, “The Monsters Are Here,” and they track the package to a little town called Mud Lick, Kentucky.

Their first stop is the Mud Lick police station, where they encounter a homeless vet out front rambling about “kitten.” They learn that there’s been some weird happenings around town, including hunting traps and missing teeth. People are even saying they’ve seen a monster in the woods. Cut to a hunter falling in a trap and Skinner appearing at its edge. Is he setting the traps?

After Scully and Mulder do a little detective work involving a conveniently placed motion-sensing deer cam, they figure out that “Kitten” refers to a person. It’s the Vietnam vet’s nickname — and Skinner’s nickname is Eagle! Awesome.

Cut to Eagle walking around a house in the woods. He sees a picture of John on the wall with the faces of his family cut out. We get a really disturbing flashback to what the gas did to John. He brags about cutting off his enemy’s ears, and wearing them around his neck like trophies. Then we see Skinner save John’s life when an enemy approaches with grenades strapped to his body. Skinner’s investigation is interrupted by John’s son, Davey, who looks exactly like his dad (and is also played by Osment because The X-Files loves actors in dual roles).

Davey isn’t happy. He rails at how Skinner betrayed his father, testifying against him after the war and never revealing that the gas changed a scared, peaceful kid into a killing machine. Skinner wanted to make amends, but the government “vanished” John. Davey insists his father wasn’t crazy, just forever altered by the gas, and that the experiments continued at a local veterans facility after the war. Skinner was forced to stay quiet and keep a dangerous man off the street, but at what cost?

Meanwhile, Scully and Mulder have a conversation about whether or not they can trust Skinner. Truthfully, it sounds a lot like Chris Carter jumping in for a quick rewrite: “A man ruled by his moral compass” is very Carter, as is Mulder using the word “unequivocally.” The point is that Scully and Mulder can’t decide how much to trust someone they’re now trying to save.

Davey leads Skinner to his dad’s body, strung up from a tree, and Skinner falls in Davey’s trap, where he gets speared by a wood spike. As Mulder and Scully drive up, Davey pulls a tarp over the trap. He plays nice and the agents come inside while Skinner tries to get cell service in his death trap. Meanwhile, Davey offers a bit more detail about his father, including references to mind control and MK Ultra, a real government program recently detailed in Errol Morris’s excellent Wormwood. It turns out MK Naomi was the successor to MK Ultra. As Davey is rambling, Mulder sees a picture of Skinner in the photo book and tells Scully it’s time to go. While she goes to get cell service, Mulder will rescue Skinner.

Back in the house, Mulder finds the skull mask in the closet, but doesn’t notice Davey is actually wearing it. He hears Skinner in the trap and bends over to get him out, just in time to get pushed in himself. Don’t bend over when you don’t know where your attacker is, Mulder! Davey pours gasoline on Mulder and Skinner. He’s just about to light them up when Scully comes to the rescue, shooting him once. Davey disappears while they’re getting Mulder out, but he’s ultimately the victim of one of his own traps as a brutal wall of wooden spikes plummets into him.

The episode wraps up with a nice scene of Skinner saying that he wouldn’t be here at all — much less upwardly mobile — if not for Mulder and Scully. He couldn’t protect John, a kid who was drafted and turned into a monster. That failure planted seeds of mistrust that made him a natural third musketeer for Mulder and Scully. He’s also searching for the truth and wants to bring down a government that betrayed so many people. He owes that kid who really died in Vietnam.

After the nice beat of “Skinner, we’re with you,” things end a little goofily. Skinner is losing a tooth like the other Mud Lick residents, and the episode leans into a chemtrail conspiracy theory, as planes gas crops against Davey’s voice-over about a government that only wants to control its people. You can’t win ‘em all, I guess.

Other Notes

• The song that Davey plays is thematically perfect: “Fear is a Man’s Best Friend” by John Cale.

• In case you missed it, the credits tag this week says, “A War is Never Over.”

• The Vietnam plot not only recalls government programs like MK Ultra and MK Naomi, but the controversy surrounding Agent Orange and its impact on our soldiers.

• In an episode that was seriously light on humor, I did enjoy Mulder’s reference to his “juices.”

• The Skinner background is very well done in the way it provides depth to both sides of this complex character. On the one hand, he kept the government’s secrets, refusing to testify about the gas that changed his buddy. On the other, keeping that secret made him more likely to support the X-Files. It’s nice to have these three closer together than they’ve been all season. It’s not the same show without Skinner.


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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Feb - 19:22

Skinner heads to the woods for a pretty good X-Files

Zack Handlen
Today 8:00pm



“Kitten” opens with a Vietnam War flashback. This isn’t new ground for the show—the war, with its morass of political betrayal and meaningless death is fertile subtextual territory for the mythology—but there’s something almost charming to see it now, a curious nostalgia arising at the vision of a helicopter bearing down over all that lush greenery. One of our country’s great nightmares has been pop culture fodder for so many years that it’s largely lost its ability to haunt us, at least as a fictionalized setting. A place and a conflict that created a decade’s worth of nightmares for millions has become a theme restaurant. Please have a seat; would you like the Credence or the Buffalo Springfield?

Season 11
"Kitten"
B+

Still, there’s comfort in that, and while this isn’t the best episode of the revival, it’s the first in a long time that feels like old school X-Files. Not a home run, but solid, the sort of meat-and-potatoes style entry the show used to offer up on a weekly basis in its heyday. The main reason I was legitimately excited to hear that season eleven would run nearly twice as long as season ten was the probability of getting more standalones like this one; episodes which reinforce and develop the lead characters and re-establish their world without needing to strain for big moments or shocking twists.

It doesn’t hurt that “Kitten” pulls in the one major character who still feels underserved by all this tomfoolery: Walter Skinner. While the show often engages in wild narrative shifts, its anchored by the usual structural conservatism that was a hallmark of TV shows from its era: namely, as much as things change, the basics stay the same—Cancer Man is nearly always the villain, Mulder and Scully are sort of but not exactly in a relationship, the government is up to something secret and no good (occasionally involving aliens), and Skinner is a good guy but we aren’t sure how much we can trust him.

In general, this stolid refusal to really change the status quo (all while promising greater and more horrifying revelations to come) works, because we want to see big exciting things, but we also like Scully and Mulder enough that we don’t want anything to change so much that it would actively affect our enjoyment of them. But it has done a disservice to poor Skinner, whose loyalty and desperate efforts to keep our heroes out of harm’s way have so often been rewarded with suspicion and even outright hostility. The show was making some progress towards this in the later seasons of its original run, making Skinner more or less a de facto part of the team, but the reboot has seemingly pushed him back out into the cold. Cancer Man is back in his office, and Mulder’s shoving him around. The poor guy deserves a win.

I’m not sure I’d call getting nearly murdered by the son of the man you testified against in court is a “win,” exactly, but it’s smart to do a Skinner-centric entry at this point, and I appreciate that the writers found time to do it. After the Vietnam flashback cold open, the episode has Skinner pulling a disappearing act; Kersh (who is apparently still in the same job, which is impressive) questions Mulder and Scully about the disappearance, and the two decide to do some poking around, prompted in part by the revelation that Skinner’s stalled out career path is due to his determination to protect them in them bureau. This isn’t a huge surprise, and honestly, it’d be embarrassing if Scully and Mulder hadn’t already realized this, but it makes for a good starting point for the episode’s emotional arc.

That arc is the best thing “Kitten” has going for it—our heroes realize they’ve been taking Skinner for granted, Mulder risks his life to save him, Scully risks her life to save them both, and then Skinner tells them how their search for the truth inspired him to embrace his own suspicions about the government’s activities; suspicions which started during his time in Vietnam, which makes for a nice continuity. None of this is exactly new, but it’s satisfying nonetheless, and a relief to see Mulder actually get off his boss’s back long enough to offer support.

Apart from Skinner, the best part of the hour is Haley Joel Osment’s dual role as the father and son whose lives are both destroyed by the mysterious crate gas. Apart from underlining Skinner’s guilt (Dad Osment was one of his squadmates, and Skinner is partially responsible for getting him locked up) and making sure the idea of damage passed down through generations is as literal as possible, there’s no real reason for him to play both parts, but Osment does a fine job. He gives his rants a sort of sad sack authority that makes them both cringe-inducing and difficult to ignore. It’s a shame that the characters he plays aren’t much more than symbols of paranoia and impotent rage, but he makes them more memorable than they might have been.

The actual story here isn’t much to get excited over: an experimental gas, a soldier turned into a monster by his government, and a son determined to get revenge for his father by killing veterans and dressing up as some kind of freaky forest demon. There’s some perfectly good thematic stuff going on here, especially in the final reveal that the some agency really is blanketing the town of Mud Lick with the fear toxin, and it all more or less makes sense in a way that X-Files doesn’t always bother to do. That it’s not precisely memorable outside of a few choice moments keeps this from being a classic, but they can’t all be classics, and it’s nice to see that the show is still capable of this sort of thing.

Stray observation


  • Given the ultimate nature of the threat, it makes sense to keep the “monster” mostly on the sidelines. There’s never any real question as to who’s in the suit, but the fact that the episode never goes out of its way to spell things out explicitly (as in, we never see Davey taking off the costume) is clever. And I loved the shot of Mulder finding the suit in a closet and then moving on—just as the thing rises to full attention.

  • “There’s no way to tell what Skinner’s been up to recently. But I’d keep my eyes peeled for cigarette butts.” -Mulder

  • Mud Lick is charmingly odd even if you don’t factor in the “everyone there has been dosed with a fear gas” element.

  • Really excellent use of John Cale’s “Fear Is A Man’s Best Friend.”


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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Feb - 19:30

The X-Files Review: The "Truth" Hardly Seems To Matter Anymore

(Episode 11.06)

By Dom Sinacola  |  February 7, 2018  |  9:00pm

Photo: Shane Harvey/FOX



On this episode of The X-Files, we learn that Assistant Director Walter Skinner’s (Mitch Pileggi) nickname in the Vietnam War was “Eagle,” a moniker derived, as Mulder (David Duchovny) conjectures, from Skinner’s gentlemanly baldness, even though a cold open flashback and a series of photographs from his deployment depict the erstwhile X-Files ally sporting a full head of youthful locks. Granted, Mulder’s attachment of “Eagle” to the bird’s white dome and not its American-ness could be a coincidence, as could be Skinner’s late-in-life loss of hair, but none of this episode’s writing (scripted by Gabe Rotter, a regular series crew member in his first credited screenplay) leaves that nickname open to ambiguous deduction, which means that it simply exists. It’s semi-clever connecting tissue, not meant to be questioned, nor to anecdotally lead a whole review about the episode in which it unfortunately appears.

Were that episode—called “Kitten” after another of Skinner’s war buddy’s nicknames—more functional than a mid-season reminder that Skinner is still a main character, with main-character-level backstory we’ve previously not been privy to, who, up until this point in his arc, may’ve been far too embroiled in shady dealings with the Cigarette Smoking Man (William B. Davis), and therefore more of a liability to Mulder and Scully (Gillian Anderson) than friend. Were that episode a compelling examination of Skinner’s dubious place within The X-Files mythos, an attempt not to explain but to dissect the background of a person who’s devoted his life to serving a government he knows full well doesn’t deserve such loyalty, a career law enforcement man who, after 40-plus years of that service, has finally found himself at a point where he has to make a choice: between the edifice he’s spent a lifetime building, and the moral truth he’s spent a lifetime of complicity covering up. Were “Kitten” that episode, we might rejoice in such a historically overlooked character given, after all this time, some serious ethical attention besides the crisis at hand whenever Mulder and Scully find themselves in a pickle beyond their purviews.

“Kitten” is not that episode. Essentially, though, it operates as a way to understand the precarious role Skinner holds in Mulder and Scully’s lives, implying that he’s been knowledgeable of the government’s nefarious doings since long before he held any position of importance—a revelation that’s admittedly important to the 11th season’s narrative arc, since Mulder and Scully have spent much of the past season relying on Skinner while never quite trusting him, and we all know how important “trust” is to The X-Files. In “Kitten,” a message alluding to an event in Vietnam, in which Skinner witnessed first-hand the U.S. government’s trial run in biological warfare—in this case, mind-control gas that convinces those exposed that they’re being attacked by monsters (see last week’s “Ghouli” for more government mind-control chicanery), codenamed “MK Naomi”—draws the Assistant Director into a clandestine hunt for his old army pals and whatever dirty secrets have been buried. Contacted by known stick-in-the-mud Deputy Director Kersh (James Pickens Jr.), a man still berating Mulder and Scully for their “spooky” work like he’s just chronically out of the loop—because at this point you probably couldn’t walk five steps in the FBI without stumbling upon some recently declassified shocker—our two agents travel to Mud Lick, Kentucky, to find Skinner finding Kitten.

Skinner doesn’t find Kitten, but instead pretty handily stumbles upon his son, Davey (Haley Joel Osment, proving to be a formidable character actor in adulthood), who, no doubt due to his dad’s exposure to the MK Naomi monster gas, has become a full-on conspiracy nut, replete with ascetic life outside town in a Unabomber-ish cabin, much like Mulder’s. In the ensuing confrontation, Skinner suffers a horrible injury (without revealing too much, combine “wooden stake” and “liver” in your head), which sets the stage for Mulder and Scully to stop by, confront Davey and save the day. Mulder, of course, sympathizes with Davey, and in their small scene together, the strength of the show’s subtle ability to present intriguing character parallels, for a moment, exists simply without comment, Duchovny watching Osment with a mix of admiration and terror, perhaps seeing in the poor recluse a life he could have led had he not found Scully. The specter of an alternative life, another timeline, emerges without beating the point into the viewer’s forehead.

The whole mess resolves as one might expect, though in the aftermath of the episode’s climax, as Scully patches up Skinner’s open, gaping wound and Skinner gets up to walk around rather fitfully and probably even drive himself home—a feat Mulder and Scully (who is a medical doctor, remember) do not comment upon, as if a wooden stake going clear through your abdomen is nothing for a seasoned FBI agent—Skinner officially vows his allegiance to Mulder, Scully and the truth. In turn, Mulder and Scully affirm that they trust Skinner, that they are “with” him as together the trio moves into the last leg of their biggest season yet. The whole life-threatening organ-piercing thing was both literally and figuratively an upping of stakes to push Skinner to this place, nothing more. Which is why he gets up and walks away. Which is why his Vietnam nickname doesn’t need to make logical sense.

What this development in the relationship between the agents and their long-time boss doesn’t account for are the previous ten seasons of Skinner’s waning faith in the goodness of the United States government, nor the fact that Skinner witnessed the deplorable effects of government experimentation way before he ever entered the FBI and climbed its ranks. “Kitten,” then, does not earn the emotional resolution it flaunts, because, as evocative as Pileggi can be as an often underutilized actor, the weight of 50 years of complicity with the government’s blatantly evil methods of warfare does not make its way into Skinner’s confessional outpouring. Perhaps that guilt lies underneath Eagle losing all of his hair, but a man who at a very young age witnessed his friend’s frequent slaughter of innocent Vietnamese civilians due to his own government’s sinister actions is not the same man who gets a pass all these years later after almost 20 years of further witnessing the disastrous outcomes of the same kind of subterfuge. Just more sloppy retconning on behalf of a show which, it looks to be the case more and more each week, is using its possible final season as a way to make excuses for a reputation for sloppy retconning.

A simple Google search will unearth enough conspiracy theories about where The X-Files is ultimately headed, and I’m more and more convinced that we’ll soon learn of a massive, heretofore unknown web of alternate realities governing the contradictions and lapses in logic we’ve previously tried to ignore. Maybe the timeline in which Reggie Something was a founder of the X-Files is as “real” as the timeline in which Season Ten never happened, or as real as the timeline in which the apocalypse foretold at the end of Season Nine occurred, and the aliens did colonize, and CSM did die in New Mexico. Maybe, but that would also mean The X-Files has no stakes, that the show’s narrative continuity will always be at the mercy of further plot lines, retconned and re-explained until they fit. It faces the same problem that the Mission: Impossible films and Pretty Little Liars faced: When you have characters who wear masks that allow them to be anybody, then it hardly matters what happens to whom or when. When you open your sci-fi show to infinite timelines, it hardly matters what is real for whom, or when, or why—it hardly matters what the “truth” is anymore.


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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Feb - 19:38

‘The X-Files’ Season 11, Episode 6: 30 things we learned in ‘Kitten’


Guest star Haley Joel Osment in the "Kitten" episode of THE X-FILES. (Fox)

By Caitlin O'Conner
Published: February 7, 2018

The X-Files delights in keeping viewers on their toes, asking dozens of questions and only half-answering half … only to turn around a few episodes (or seasons) later and challenge those same notions. In Season 11, Episode 6, "Kitten," the show really puts the monster in monster of the week, with the season's goriest episode to date. The episode flashes back to A.D. Walter Skinner's past and also features Haley Joel Osment seeing not dead people but, well, something certainly sinister. Herewith is a list of 30 things we learned in "Kitten."

·       While serving in Vietnam as a Marine (which has been referenced several times in previous episodes), Skinner was assigned to take a mysterious crate that says "MK Naomi" to a rendezvous point without peeking inside.

·       The crate contents are accidentally released inside a hut on some Vietnamese villagers and Skinner's platoonmate John "Kitten" James (Haley Joel Osment). Skinner, once exposed, briefly sees a monster and stops John from attacking him.

·       Afterward, John is transformed — describing in detail brutally carving ears off of Vietnamese people, including children. After the war, Skinner testifies against him, resulting in his being locked in a mental institution for 38 years.

·       In present day, Skinner has gone AWOL.

· Deputy Director Kersh asks Mulder and Scully where he is, and explains that the reason Skinner hasn't been promoted "after 35 years in the Bureau" because of his "blind loyalty" to Mulder and Scully (answering a question I had last season about why the guy has gotten 0 promotions since 1993). Why Deputy Director Kersh doesn't have a higher job is another question that is, however, unanswered.

·       Skinner "hasn't been the same" since Mulder and Scully returned, but also has been "poking around in places he shouldn't" — Kersh won't be more specific.

·“There’s no way of telling what Skinner’s been up to recently. But I’d keep my eyes peeled for cigarette butts.” – Mulder

·       "After all of these years, we know precious little about Walter Sergei Skinner beyond the professional." – Scully

·       In his apartment, they find a cut off human ear sent to Lance Corporal Walter Skinner with the words "the monsters are here."

·“Monsters, Mulder. Does that get your juices flowing?” – Scully“As much as I appreciate any reference to my ‘juices,’ my only concern here is for Skinner.” – Mulder

·       Skinner's military record including names of his platoonmates has been classified, and Scully has been denied access.

·       Via info in the package with the ear, Mulder and Scully head then to Mudlick, Kentucky, where people have been seeing a monster out in the woods. In the morgue, the town doctor has been killed by a trap in a style used in Vietnam and is missing an ear. He is also missing teeth.

·       There is a mental institution outside the city called Glazebrook, where several veterans have been sent.

·       The next murder victim has also been losing teeth, as have his friends and the sheriff.

·       For once, Mulder doesn't believe the monster is an actual monster because monsters don't dig pits and set traps.

·       Skinner's nickname is Eagle — and the Eagle is bald.

·       Skinner meets John's son Davey, also played by Haley Joel Osment, and who says that Skinner was known as "the baby killer" (perhaps a reference to his killing a 10-year-old boy covered in grenades, referenced in earlier eps).


Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) has a tough time in this episode. (Fox)

·       Skinner says he searched for John after the war and thought he was dead because "they vanished him" and sealed all of his records — they being the same people who turned him into a "monster." He also says he thinks about him every day.

·       Davey believes in the monster that his father saw, while Skinner believes that the gas he was exposed to preyed on his own fears. Skinner believes that people are now being hurt again because of John.

·       While Mulder wrestles with what Kersh said about Skinner sacrificing his career for them, Scully says she believes that Skinner "is a man ruled by his moral compass, above all else."

·       John James is in fact dead, hanging from a tree in the woods. Davey uses this to lure Skinner into a pit trap like the others.

·       When Mulder and Scully arrive, Davey says he hasn't seen his father in weeks but that he was released from the mental institution one month before.

·       Davey also says that his father knew secrets about the government, such as the weaponized gas he was exposed to, which then lead them to continue to experiment on him and others at Glazebrook. The intent was to control minds through fear, he says.

·        Scully, naturally, does not believe. Mulder does believe, and cites the CIA's real 1950s mind control research program, MKUltra. Davey says MK Naomi is the successor program and is spread over crops and in chemtrails.

·       Mulder knows Skinner is around and goes looking for him, and they eventually find him in the pit after a struggle with Davey and, perhaps, the monster.


Mulder squares off against the monster. (Fox)

·       In a subsequent struggle, they kill Davey with one of his own traps.

·       When Scully asks if they are the reason Skinner has not been promoted, he tells them that they're the reason he's here. Because during the Vietnam War, he lost his faith in the government and that he was doing the right thing, and that Mulder and Scully taught him to continue questioning rather than remaining blindly loyal to "puppeteers pulling the strings."

·       Skinner says he intends to find out the truth of what they used John James for, no matter the cost.

·       Skinner is now losing teeth too.

·       The final scene shows trucks from Mudlick dispensing chemicals to crop dusters.


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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Feb - 19:52


Courtesy of Fox

The X-Files Star, Scribe Break Down Skinner's Devotion to Mulder and Scully

By Kimberly Roots / February 7 2018, 5:59 PM PST

Way back in a Season 2 episode of The X-Files, FBI assistant director Walter Skinner struggled to convince Fox Mulder, a headstrong agent grieving for his dying partner, not to resign from the Bureau. Aspart of a larger story about having the courage to investigate the inexplicable, Skinner offered this harrowing vignette:

When I was 18, I went to Vietnam. I wasn’t drafted, Mulder,  I enlisted in the Marine Corps the day of my 18th birthday. I did it on a blind faith. I did it because I believed it was the right thing to do. I don’t know, maybe I still do. Three weeks into my tour, a 10-year-old North Vietnamese boy walked into camp covered with grenades and I, uh… I blew his head off from a distance of 10 yards.

The memory was one of the first — and only — glimpses we’ve ever gotten into the inner life of Mulder and Scully’s taciturn, conflicted, gloriously bald longtime boss… That is, until this week’s installment of the sci-fi drama.

“He’s someone who, as Scully points out in the episode, we know precious little about, even after all these episodes,” says producer Gabe Rotter, who wrote the script. “So I just thought it would be cool to take a deep dive into who this guy is and what makes him tick.”

Mitch Pileggi, who plays Skinner, recalls giving series creator Chris Carter a ribbing about Season 10’s scant use of the A.D. “I was whining last season about not having enough screen time or not having enough to do on the show. And at one point when I was talking to Chris about it, I said, ‘Is Skinner really hard to write for?’ And he was like, ‘No.’ And I was like, ‘Well, how come we haven’t done it?’,” he says, laughing. “It’s funny, because Gabe Rotter was standing there, listening to this conversation, and he said that was when the light went off in his head.”

This week’s episode, titled “Kitten,” revisits the wartime incident mentioned above. Skinner goes MIA from the Bureau while looking into one of his Vietnam buddies named John (played by The Sixth Sense‘s Haley Joel Osment), who has recently been released from a psychiatric hospital after a long stay. As we learn during the hour, John accidentally inhaled some experimental gas while deployed, and the exposure turned him from a meek draftee into a callow killing machine. What’s more, Skinner’s testimony at his court-martial — where a young Walter was forbidden by his superiors to mention the gas — led to John’s forcible stay at the institution.



A cryptic note from John, accompanied by a desiccated ear, sends Skinner to John’s home state of Kentucky. That’s where Walter meets John’s son Davey (also played by Osment), who’s bent on getting revenge on Skinner as well as the men who apparently continued to experiment on his father in the government-run psych ward. Thankfully, Mulder and Scully ride to the rescue just as Davey is getting ready to kill Walter, and the A.D. vows to do right by his war buddy by finding the truth of what the government is up to, “no matter the cost.”

In separate interviews, TVLine talked with Pileggi and Rotter about the hour, which seems to herald a truce between Skinner and the agents who have inadvertently tanked his career in law enforcement. Read on for the highlights:

TVLINE | Just a few days ago, one of our readers tweeted me and asked, “Why hasn’t Skinner advanced after all of this time at the Bureau?” And now we have our answer!
PILEGGI | Now we know! [Laughs] People have been asking me that since last season and even before then. “What’s going on?” I’ve always said, “Well, it has to do with his association with Mulder and Scully.”



TVLINE | What struck me as so funny is that this episode seems to be the first time that Scully, if not Mulder, realizes that they may have been part of derailing his career.
PILEGGI | They’re so self-centered. They’re so inconsiderate of what’s going on with the Skinman. [Laughs] It’s an abomination.
ROTTER | We talked about that a lot in the writers’ room… They’ve got their eye on the prize. They’ve always had this guy’s support, and they’ve never fully weighed how much it affected him.

TVLINE | It’s so sad when they’re in his apartment and Scully notes that there’s nothing on the walls. There are no personal effects. It makes me wonder: What does Skinner do when he’s not at work? Have you ever thought about what his off-hours look like?
PILEGGI | It’s funny, because at one point years ago, when The Lone Gunmen got their spinoff, I said to Chris, “What about Skinner?” And he goes, “What would it be about?” [Laughs] I was like, “I… don’t know?” Because what does he do? It’s obvious that there’s nobody else in his life, which is kind of sad. He appears to be living such a Spartan existence — other than, did they show the Metamucil in the apartment?

TVLINE | Yeah.
PILEGGI | I haven’t seen the episode yet. But yeah, I thought that was hilarious when I read it. Skinner has been described as being perpetually constipated, so I thought that was funny. Gabe had fun with that.
ROTTER | The idea was that this is not a home. This is a utilitarian space, it’s functional. He is a guy who lives for his work and he comes here to eat and sleep.

TVLINE | Mitch, your nephew, Cory Rempel, played the younger version of Skinner. Did you talk a lot about the scenes, either before or after?
PILEGGI | He had watched a bunch of stuff to get a feel for Skinner. We talked a little bit, but I just wanted to give him — as a matter of fact, I asked him, “Do you want me to come to set the first day? Would it help if I were there?” Initially he said, “No, no. I’ll be OK.” And then I got a call from him the night before, and he goes, “Well you can come if you want to.” [Laughs] I said, “You know what? You’ve got a 4 o’clock call or something like that. You’re on your own, dude.” I knew that he was good in Carol Banker and Gabe’s hands. They know that character as well as I do.



TVLINE | I watched a screener that was very dark, so you’ll have to help me here: It seems, when Skinner falls into the pit, that he’s impaled on a very sharp punji stick. And then he gets himself off of it… all by himself?!
PILEGGI | Yeah. I was like, “Is he pulling the punji stick through him? Or is he pulling himself off the stake?” You know, Skinner’s a badass. But I was going, “This wound, is this going to be, am I going to be crippled? How bad is this wound?” [Laughs] Like I said, I haven’t seen it yet. But it’s assumed that he gets himself off the stake, somehow or another, and when Mulder falls into the pit, he bulrushes him to pull him to the side of the pit to stop him from being impaled.

TVLINE | Not gonna lie: I was kind of hoping for the inverse of that scene from I Want To Believe, where Mulder comes to as Skinner is lovingly cradling him.
PILEGGI | [Laughs loudly] You liked that, huh?

TVLINE | At the end of the episode, in the trailer, Skinner gives a speech that seems to convince Mulder — who’d been skeptical of his boss’ motives and allegiance earlier in the season — at least for now. Does that truce last?
PILEGGI | I think it’s momentary. [Laughs] It’s temporary. Things go back and forth with them.

TVLINE | Skinner is still hiding a giant secret from Mulder and Scully. How torn is he about that?
PILEGGI | He’s trying to figure out the best plan of attack to accomplish what he wants to accomplish — as he has many times in the past when there’s some indication as to whether he’s under Smoking Man’s thumb or not. He’s manipulating certain things himself. He has his own methods of operation, unofficial channels, you know? It’s the way he’s always operated. Why he doesn’t bring them into the picture, I don’t know. But he doesn’t.



TVLINE | Gabe, was Haley Joel Osment in your mind when you were writing the episode?
ROTTER | He wasn’t in my mind when I was writing it. But Rick Millikan, our casting director, suggested him. I loved the idea. Chris and Carol Banker, our director, honestly didn’t love the idea when we first heard it. Very much to Haley’s credit, he did something that a lot of actors at his level just won’t do, which is he put himself on tape for us. It just speaks to the kind of guy he is.. And honestly, that won him the part. As soon as Chris and Carol saw him, they said, “You’re right. This guy’s amazing.” He did a great job. He’s a creep. A good creep.

TVLINE | We see Skinner pulling the bloody tooth out of his mouth at the end of the season. Do we get anything more on that this season? It’s troubling.
PILEGGI | I think they’re gonna leave that one there and let people draw their own conclusions. He’s not going to be toothless by the end of the run. [Laughs]


TVLine

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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Thu 8 Feb - 4:17

The X-Files Finally Gave Skinner An Origin Story And It Was Absolutely Heartbreaking

By Laura Hurley
10 hours ago



Warning: major spoilers ahead for Episode 6 of The X-Files Season 11, called "Kitten."

Walter Skinner (Mitch Pileggi) has been a key character on The X-Files from almost the very beginning. His loyalties have shifted a few times over the series -- for reasons ranging from a bad guy infecting him with a nanovirus to Skinner himself making a deal with the Cigarette-Smoking Man to save Scully -- but fans haven't gotten a real origin story for the character. Fortunately, Season 11 finally delivered the kind of Skinner-centric episode (including flashbacks!) that we've been waiting for, and it was absolutely heartbreaking.

In "Kitten," Skinner went AWOL from the FBI and journeyed to a remote area in Kentucky, charmingly called "Mud Lick," after receiving a message (and severed ear) from one of his former Vietnam comrades-in-arms, John "Kitten" James (Haley Joel Osment). As it turns out, Kitten was a soldier who had been drafted into the Vietnam war around the same time that Skinner eagerly joined up to serve his country. Their unit was tasked with protecting a mysterious crate, which turned out to be filled with a weaponized experimental gas that forced those affected to see horrific visions of a monster. Skinner only breathed a small amount of the gas after the crate was shot, but Kitten was surrounded in it, and it more or less broke his mind, driving him to kill a lot of people.

Young Skinner was pressured by the military to lie about what had happened and omit any mention of the gas from his testimony in Kitten's case, and Kitten was sent to a mental hospital for more than 30 years. Although Skinner wasn't at fault for Kitten's exposure to the gas, he has been haunted by what happened to Kitten ever since Vietnam. When he got the message (and ear) from John, he hastened to Mud Lick to try and help any way he could. Unfortunately, John hanged himself before Skinner arrived, leaving his son Davey (also Haley Joel Osment) alive and looking for vengeance.

Blaming Skinner for falsely testifying in his dad's court martial, Davey led the Skinman into the woods, showed him Kitten's body hanging from a tree, and then tricked Skinner into falling into a booby-trapped pit filled with stakes. Even worse, he cut his father's body down from the tree so that it fell right on top of Skinner. Poor Skinner was skewered by a stake, stuck in a pit, and sharing a small space with the corpse of his former friend. Suffice it to say that "Kitten" isn't the most hilarious episode The X-Files has ever produced.



The good news is that Mulder and Scully were on the case. Mulder discovered Skinner in the pit, then promptly fell down the pit himself. Luckily, Scully was smart enough not to immediately fall down into the pit, and she was able to shoot Davey before he could drench Mulder and Skinner in gasoline and light them on fire. She only wounded him, however, and he escaped to run away. He led Mulder and Scully on a merry chase that almost resulted in their deaths by booby trap, but the injured Skinner showed up in time to knock Davey under the trap instead, killing his former friend's son via lots and lots of stakes.

If that's not heartbreaking enough, Skinner spent the episode dealing with his Vietnam demons, not the least of which was how he was forced to shoot a 10-year-old Vietnamese boy in the head when he walked up to Skinner's unit wearing a bunch of grenades, earning the nickname "Babykiller" from his comrades. "Kitten" also revealed that the reason Skinner has been "Assistant Director" Skinner for the past 25+ years is that he supported Mulder and Scully in their attempts to chase aliens and monsters with badges and guns. He told the agents that he was proud to have supported them and that they saved his life more than once. The events of "Kitten" were traumatizing enough that he feels compelled to do what he can to expose the government's previous and ongoing experimentations with gases, career be damned if that's what it takes.

Sadly, the Skinman's time may be limited. "Kitten" revealed that exposure to the gas results in teeth falling out, and Kitten's teeth were already falling out when they were still in Vietnam. The episode ended with Skinner pulling a bloody tooth out of his mouth. He may begin seeing monsters just as Kitten had. Will Skinner's suffering never end?

Before "Kitten," we knew bits and pieces of Skinner's past in Vietnam. He'd previously shared the story of shooting the young boy, and he'd confessed to what was either a hallucination or a haunting paranormal experience. It was also a pretty safe bet that Skinner had been held back at the FBI due to his support for the X-Files unit. "Kitten" showed via flashback what we'd been told, and it gave a deeper glimpse into what makes Skinner tick after all these years. We now know more about why Skinner is the way he is, which makes "Kitten" an incredibly rewarding episode for longtime fans who have been watching him for a couple of decades at this point.

The good news for Skinner is that this experience seemingly resulted in Mulder and Scully coming to trust him again despite their suspicions of a renewed connection to the Cigarette-Smoking Man. Given that those suspicions aren't exactly unfounded, it should be interesting to see how they react if/when they discover why he's been working with Old Smokey again.

The X-Files airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Fox. For more viewing options, check out our midseason TV premiere guide.


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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Thu 8 Feb - 4:24

‘The X-Files’ Review: ‘Kitten’ Plays With ‘Full Metal Jacket’ Tropes But Fails to Shock or Scare

Haley Joel Osment guest stars in Season 11 Episode 6, which puts the focus on Skinner.

Liz Shannon Miller
Feb 7, 2018 9:00 pm
@lizlet


Shane Harvey/FOX

[Editor’s Note: The following review contains spoilers for “The X-Files,” Season 11, Episode 6, “Kitten.”]

Previously, on “The X-Files”…


When FBI agents Mulder and Scully investigate weird crimes for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, they report to their boss Assistant Director Walter Skinner — who’s been yelling at them since 1994. Sometimes they trust Skinner, sometimes they don’t — right now, in 2018, they’re feeling pretty skittish towards him because he’s been acting weird. (In fairness, that might be because Cigarette-Smoking Man unloaded the father of all secrets on Skinner during the season premiere.) And really, in the long run, they just don’t know all that much about the guy.

This Week’s Dossier


We start in Vietnam 1969, a scene that does what Steven Spielberg couldn’t and resists the temptation to sample Creedence Clearwater Revival. There, a young Skinner and his terrified war buddy Kitten (Haley Joel Osment) are tasked with taking care of a mysterious crate. But when gunfire punctures the crate, Kitten gets a heavy dose of noxious green gas, and he starts to think that he sees monsters.

Back in the present, Skinner’s gone AWOL with no explanation, and Mulder and Scully are asked by their old boss Kersh to track him down. Breaking into his apartment leads them to discover that Skinner had been sent a severed human ear from a small Kentucky town called Mud Lake. When they arrive, Mulder and Scully find a whole lot of former Vietnam vets. Also, people are getting killed in the woods by Vietnam-style traps, which leads them to believe a former vet is behind the attacks — which might mean Skinner, who’s caught on camera by a deer cam.

Of course, that’s not the case: The ultimate culprit is Kitten’s son Davey (also played by Osment), who confronts Skinner over his testimony during Kitten’s court martial. Davey blames Skinner for ruining Kitten’s life, reveals that Kitten has committed suicide in the woods, and then shoves Skinner into a hole with Kitten’s corpse.

Fortunately, Mulder and Scully swing by Davey’s place, and Mulder quickly figures out that something weird is going on (beyond Davey’s rantings about the government continuing to experiment on people with the same crazy-making gas from the Vietnam flashback). He and Scully manage to rescue Skinner, and Davey is killed by one of his own traps in the process. In the end the three of them seem to be back on the same page…though Skinner may also be suffering from the effects of the gas, if that lost tooth at the end of the episode is any indication.



Wait, Explain It to Me Like I’m Five


It sucked to go to Vietnam. The government is definitely experimenting on people with crazy-making gas. And Skinner says he’s loyal to Mulder and Scully (though how true that is remains to be seen).

Makeout Watch


We got a little casual flirting in Skinner’s apartment (though, Scully, please don’t feel the need to elaborate on what exactly you mean by “Mulder’s juices”), which was nice, but otherwise there were no indications of residency in Pound Town. One more week of this, and we’re going to start thinking we were hallucinating during “Plus One.”

Some Deep and Relevant Thoughts About Hair


Mitch Pileggi has been rocking this beard for some time, but given this episode’s focus on him, we had the chance to spend some real time thinking about it — and you know what? It’s a look that’s working for him. Pileggi has always been a founding member of the Attractive Bald Men on Sci-Fi Shows Club (other members including Patrick Stewart, Lance Reddick and Terry O’Quinn, of course) but the beard is taking it to the next level.

Nostalgia Alert!


Up until now, Seasons 10 and 11 have been so focused on Mulder and Scully and their crime investigating that we almost forgot how much of a big part the show’s supporting characters used to play. Thus, it’s nice to see Pileggi get a chance in the spotlight — even if the episode ends without much clarification of what his deal is.

Ultra-Nerd Facts


“The X-Files,” like many shows with a dense mythology and hundreds of hours of storytelling behind it, has its share of issues with maintaining continuity. But “Kitten” doesn’t contradict Skinner’s previously established backstory; rather, it actually complements it. A flashback takes us to the day Skinner shot a 10-year-old Vietnamese boy in the head and subsequently lost his faith, an event that was previously described by Skinner during the second season episode “One Breath.”



“I’m not going to ask you if you just said what I think you just said, because I know it’s what you just said.” (Most Awkward Quote)

The entire confrontation between Kersh and Mulder and Scully was an exercise in frustrating dialogue-writing, as it felt like neither side of the conversation was listening to each other. Direct questions like “Has anyone checked Skinner’s apartment?” went completely unanswered in lieu of Kersh ranting about Skinner’s relationship with his pet agents — honestly, were those three actors even in the same room together?

“Dear Diary: Today my heart lept when Agent Scully suggested ‘spontaneous human combustion.'” (Best Quote)

“Then you two came along, and you taught me not to hide from it, but to have the guts to shine a light directly into the darkest corners. And if given the choice between advancing my career by being blindly loyal to some faceless puppeteers pulling strings from the shadows, or to throw in with you two, make no mistake I’d make the same decision every damn time.”
— Skinner

This was actually a really sweet and touching moment, the kind that felt truly earned thanks to 20-plus years of backstory. Unfortunately, whether he’s truly recommitted to his friends or just paying lip service to the idea isn’t at all clear. The fact that he’s still keeping some massive secrets from them doesn’t speak well to his intentions.

Final Report


Congratulations are in order for Carol Banker, who this week became the third woman to direct an episode of “The X-Files.” For the record, that’s three episodes, total, directed by women — out of 214 produced hours of television. Not a great ratio. Also, it’s too bad she didn’t get a better script.

The best thing to be said about “Kitten” on a storytelling level is that it’s nice to see Chris Carter and his staff approach Season 11 as a more interconnected affair than Season 10; for the second week in a row, an episode that might have seemed like a stand-alone ended up being instrumental to the season’s ongoing narrative.

Osment was pretty chilling during his second Vietnam flashback, delivering almost Vincent D’Onofrio levels of giggly insanity, but in the present day, his role as Davey didn’t push enough into the realm of creepiness, simply because there wasn’t material to warrant it. In general, there simply wasn’t enough plot in “Kitten” to sustain much in the way of interest (which is probably why nearly every scene felt twice as long as necessary) and as a result, it feels like there was a lot of opportunity here that was ultimately wasted. And given how we’re only getting closer and closer to what could be the series finale (at least for a while), it’s a major disappointment.

Grade: C



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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

Post by jade1013 on Thu 8 Feb - 4:29

The X-Files Season 11 Episode 6 Review: Kitten

The X-Files focuses on Walter Skinner's past in an episode that does great work for both his character and the show.



Daniel Kurland
Feb 7, 2018

This X-Files review contains spoilers.

“Have you ever wondered why, after thirty-five years in the Bureau, Walter Skinner isn’t sitting on this side of the desk?”

During the height of The X-Files’ popularity, a number of spin-off ideas were put into consideration. When the series began to wind down, a new vehicle that focused on fan favorite characters the Lone Gunmen went into—and then quickly out of—production. The Lone Gunmen have a bunch of quirky appeal, but there’s a fundamental character from The X-Files that has been in the picture for as long as Mulder and Scully have, yet he continually gets skirted over. Assistant Director Walter Skinner may not carry the same appeal as Mulder and Scully, but he’s a necessary component of the FBI that makes their jobs possible.

Over the course of The X-Files’ eleven seasons and upwards of two hundred episodes, there has somehow only been one installment that’s focused on Skinner. That’s insanity. Season three’s “Avatar” shines a light on Skinner’s romantic life and tells a story about his failing marriage and his horrible attempt at a one-night stand, but it’s a fairly forgettable episode. The fact that “Avatar” isn’t the strongest X-Files entry means that nobody has really rushed out to deliver another Skinner-centric episode. It’s truly a shame because Skinner is a deeply interesting character who’s witnessed even more than Mulder and Scully.

While it’s too bad that the series has never dug into Skinner’s early years with the Bureau or his X-Files days pre-Mulder and Scully, season eleven’s “Kitten” finally begins to right these wrongs and explore the character’s past. “Kitten” might not have a high bar to pass when it comes to Skinner episodes, but it does the character justice and it’s long overdue.

Skinner’s behavior has been questionable this season, as he’s almost turned into an antagonist of sorts. He has some kind of alliance with the Cigarette Smoking Man, plus this year Mulder seems all too ready to throw him under the bus whenever possible. Skinner’s atypical actions come to an apex in this installment, with the supernatural business of the week dating all the way back to Skinner’s time in Vietnam.

There are some welcome flashbacks to Skinner’s tenure in the army when he first comes in contact with X-Files-like behavior, but unfortunately the majority of the episode is spent in the present. An X-Files episode that’s set entirely in 1969 and done as a “man on a mission” war movie with a young Skinner would be absolutely wonderful, but it’s not meant to be (although this is no doubt how Vince Gilligan would have done the episode). That being said, “Kitten” does deliver a satisfying installment that explores PTSD to strong effect.

All of a sudden Skinner winds up AWOL and Deputy Director Alvin Kersh (who hasn’t been seen since season nine’s “The Truth, II”) naturally assumes that Mulder and Scully either have something to do with it or that they know where he is. Kersh is all sorts of awful here and he not only dresses down Mulder and Scully, but he tells them that the reason that Skinner has never gotten anywhere in the Bureau is because he continues to help them out. Furthermore, Kersh tells them that if Skinner doesn’t show up to work, then he’s officially done at the FBI and that it’s Mulder and Scully’s responsibility to bring him in. Kersh’s asinine comments sting, but they at least make Mulder and Scully aware of Skinner’s disappearance.

The fear within “Kitten” is largely of a psychological nature, but there’s also an efficiently eerie creature at the center of it all. While Skinner’s company was in Vietnam, the government exposed them to a weaponized fear gas (they’re fans of Batman’s Scarecrow, no doubt) that makes people see this cattle skull beast. It’s a freaky visual, especially when it runs right at you, and “Kitten” succeeds on that front. Skinner is seen wherever this cattle skull creature shows up, and even though many people begin to vilify Skinner, Mulder and Scully continue to believe the contrary. If anything, the two of them are worried about Skinner’s state of mind. They’re concerned that he’s suffering from some PTSD-based trauma and the episode’s focus is more on exploring the psychological consequences of war than it is about hunting a monster.

As Mulder and Scully dig deeper into the government’s dealings in Vietnam, it starts to look like someone has an ax to grind with Skinner on the matter. Haley Joel Osment’s character, Davey, reveals that he still holds a grudge against Skinner because, when his fellow men were put on trial for their fear gas-influenced crimes, Skinner didn’t stand by them or help clear their names. Davey has good reason to be angry with Skinner, but Skinner defends his actions and comes up with satisfying reasons for why he did what he did. “Kitten” actually does a commendable job to clear Skinner’s moral ambiguity and return him to the “tough love boy scout” demeanor that defines his character.

The most interesting scenes from the episode all take place within Davey’s trailer, and they largely build off of the uncomfortable energy that Osment gives off. He does a really good job in this role and is careful to not overdo it, but also comfortably plays into the character’s more uneasy qualities. On top of that, Davey’s trailer is a cramped little space and the claustrophobia definitely sets in, especially when it feels like Davey could go off at any second.

Another strong moment features a rock and roll record that loudly scores a tense escape attempt from Mulder. All of the moments where Davey runs his mouth about the government really work well, but it’s a little discouraging that they boil down to mind control conspiracy theories, which are pretty overdone at this point.

The reason that “Kitten” works is because it explores the first time that Skinner becomes disillusioned with the government and learns that they can do wrong. This is an idea that plays parallel to what goes on in the present timeline with Davey, and it’s obviously something that Mulder and Scully push throughout every episode of the series. This makes sense as a device to help bring Skinner back to Mulder and Scully’s good graces, and it will hopefully reframe his character for the back half of the season.

“Kitten” does a lot of things right and it manages to be one of the better X-Files episodes from this season, but there are still plenty of rough patches in this installment. All of the material in Mud Lick falls pretty flat and Mulder and Scully’s interactions with their police department leave plenty to be desired. It’s also hard not to cringe at Trigger Davis, the “magical homeless man,” who warns the FBI about “Kitten” right from the jump. His appearance is completely unnecessary and really just muddles what’s going on. “Kitten” might not be the perfect Walter Skinner episode, but it marks a strong start and at least makes the case for why the character deserves more chances to star.

Hopefully, he’ll still have most of his teeth left when he next gets the opportunity.

3.5/5


Den of Geek US

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Re: 11x06 - Kitten

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