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11x08 - Familiar

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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Tue 6 Mar - 18:06



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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Mar - 3:46




Mulder & Scully Investigate The Playground | Season 11 Ep. 8 | THE X-FILES

The X-Files
Enviado em 5 de mar de 2018

Mulder & Scully search the playground a little boy went missing from.

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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Mar - 4:01



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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Mar - 4:10

The X-Files exclusive clip: Mulder finds a suburban spell book

Kelly Connolly March 06, 2018 AT 09:52 PM EST



Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) is about to face the greatest horror of all: a children’s TV theme song.

In this exclusive clip from Wednesday’s episode of The X-Files, his investigation into the apparent animal attack of a young boy leads Mulder to question a woman and her daughter — and bond with the woman, Anna (guest star Erin Chambers), over parenting.

“I have a son,” Mulder says. “He’s grown though.”

He may be leaving out a few alien-related details, but given that Anna’s husband keeps a bookshelf full of literature on witchcraft, it’s possible Mulder isn’t the only one whose family has a few secrets. Check out the full clip above.

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


EW.com

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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by Duchovny on Wed 7 Mar - 6:02

thanks
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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Mar - 6:44


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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by Duchovny on Wed 7 Mar - 8:40

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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Mar - 9:07

'The X-Files' Episode 8: Mulder and Scully Find Darkness in the Suburbs (VIDEO)

Samantha Lear March 07, 2018 10:45 am


Shane Harvey/FOX
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in 'The X-Files'

We're nearing the end of this second 10-episode installment of The X-Files, and it seems like Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) still have plenty of ground to cover.

In this week's Season 11 Episode 8, titled "Familiar," the twosome head to Connecticut to investigate a brutal animal attack against a little boy. Of course, as is always the case with this show, they suspect darker forces are responsible for this shocking tragedy.

In an exclusive clip from the ep, we see Mulder and Scully searching the home of a convicted sex offender in the area, who failed to register his status. When they go inside, they find some things you'd expect—and some you might not.

Watch the full preview below:



The X-Files, Wednesdays, 8/7c, Fox


TVInsider

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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Mar - 9:15

SEASON 11: THE X-FILES Fox Mulder & Dana Scully (David Duchovny & Gillian Anderson) on North Shore for March 7th

By Susan Gittins February 16, 2018

Images: Shane Harvey/FOX.



THE X-FILES: Fox Mulder and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny) investigate the brutal animal attack of a little boy in Connecticut but suspect darker forces are at work in the Familiar episode airing Wednesday, March 7th, on FOX.



This was the 9th episode filmed but will air as the 8th. Shot in and around Garibaldi Park and Capilano Canyon Park in North Vancouver.







Filmed at North Vancouver’s Garibaldi Park on December 6th and 7th with Eastwood Police cars.


It’s official…longest Gillyboard in history! #TheXFiles #bts 🦊 pic.twitter.com/crkkZbfcFG





In the woods.







Production filmed in Lynn Canyon on Saturday, December 2nd and Monday and Tuesday, December 4th and 5th, with Eastwood Police cars.







The X-Files airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on FOX.


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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Mar - 18:58

Can The X-Files still do a serious episode? 'Familiar' argues yes...kind of


Shane Harvey/FOX

Darren Franich March 07, 2018 AT 09:00 PM EST

The best X-Files episodes this season are the weirdest. Darin Morgan’s “The Lost Art of Forehead Sweat” paid homage to the fading possibility that we live in a shared reality. Last week’s “Rm9sbG93ZXJz” imagined that normal life in 2018 is a never-ending X-file. Neither episode was perfect, but I loved them, loved their cockeyed-yet-mythic view of Scully and Mulder. The FBI agents were suddenly “heroic” the way Adam West’s Batman was heroic, droll icons less concerned about exploding houses than half-remembered rip-off Jell-O. Impressively, both episodes also landed on sweet, poignant, romantic-if-you-want moments of quiet grace.

Good stuff! Especially by comparison. I don’t want to rag more than the world already has on the awful season premiere, but I’ve felt a lack of spark in all the “normal” episodes this year. Awkward attempts toward serialization have felt inconsequential. And then an episode like “Kitten” feels beamed in from a distant X-Files eon: boomerish Vietnam fixation, woodsy horror, government paranoia out of the anti-fluoride anarchist’s cookbook.

If The X-Files continues — big, huge, Gillian Anderson-sized “if” there — I’m not averse to a whole show of dark-humor absurdity. But maybe you think X-Files‘ appeal requires the mixture of serious and silly. Wednesday’s “Familiar” implies that the show can still do straight-faced, clever procedural storytelling. But only up to a point.

“Straight-faced” is the wrong word. “Familiar” features one of David Duchovny’s funniest line readings, “Iiiii did not see that coming,” after the local police chief admits to an affair with his subordinate’s wife. But “Familiar” starts with a mutilated kid-corpse and ends with a death parade. Along the way, it takes big swings, exploring the history and topicality of American hysteria.

In a small town in Connecticut, a police officer’s child dies. The local PD suspects an animal, coyote or wolf or maybe even a coywolf. Scully suspects humanity: An adult, a local, maybe even a parent, with a predilection for child suffering. Mulder’s suspicions are more fantastic. This is witch country. There’s always the possibility of a hellhound.

Scully brushes aside Mulder’s fantasies of phony witch history. “As we’ve discussed before,” Scully says, patiently, “People don’t just spontaneously combust.” But their investigation does spontaneously combust, the violence spiraling in unexpected directions. The townspeople’s lives are full of soap operatics — sexy affairs, bloody murder — and the melodrama falls like a fog over the actual supernatural mystery.

The best part of the episode is also the most explicitly thematic. Rumors of a child-murderer lead the dead boy’s father to a local sex offender’s house. The house contains what Colin Farrell in Minority Report referred to as an “orgy of evidence”: Eerie pictures of young children, all kept inside a darkened house. The man’s nowhere to be seen, but an angry mob gathers.

“This guy has no chance,” says Mulder. Why defend a convicted sex offender? Because of due process. “This rush to judgment, “Mulder decries. “What happened to the precious presumption of innocence? … You and this mob are reconvicting him right here and now for the sins of his past, with a fervor that we see too often in this American experience of ours.” Quoting two different beleaguered presidents, Mulder says, “This is a witch hunt.”

This American experience of ours. Don’t give writer Benjamin Van Allen points for poetry, but X-Files can be fun when it’s blunt. The broadest, non-hellhound-ish summary of “Familiar” sounds like any episode of Criminal Minds, but with X-Files you get the dark humor of Mulder, the ruminative skepticism of Scully, the cockeyed sense that any monster isn’t as monstrous your average regular person.

So the sex offender arrives, is brutally attacked by the policeman. And then the mob positively stones him. Finally, the cop pulls out his gun and shoots the man through the head: Judge, jury, executioner, the kind of hero America worships in bland procedurals. This is thoughtful stuff. It almost works.

The episode guest stars Roger Cross, one of TV’s best familiar-face character actors. Cross is probably best known as Curtis from 24, the solid dude-liest ally Jack Bauer ever had. (The show went downhill, immediately and forever, when Curtis died.) He played four different roles on the original run of X-Files, always in some uniform, an Officer, a Private, a Lieutenant, an Agent. In “Familiar,” as the one seemingly sane person in the town, he brings a thoughtfulness to the role of an old-fashioned lawman. “I didn’t become a cop,” he tells the FBI agents, “To watch men get gunned down without due process.”

Cross also happens to be black, which doesn’t necessarily have to matter in this episode. But there’s provocative material being played with here. Mulder decries the double injustice of the sex offender’s murder: “The death of an innocent man, and the escape of a guilty officer.” The language nods toward the contemporary conversation about police brutality and unarmed-suspect fatalities. But the hysterical circumstances make the provocation feel defanged. And Cross’ character fades when he should come to the forefront. So the fuddy-duddy side of the X-Files revival is very much on display here. See also: The kids love a TV show that looks exactly like Teletubbies, which reached the height of its popularity around X-Files season 7.

But “Familiar” works in a way no other “serious” episodes have lately. There’s no incoherent William drama, no awkward struggle to incorporate fan-service cameos. The supernatural event is as old-fashioned as the American colonies, but that means “Familiar” feels blissfully nothing like Black Mirror or Mr. Robot. Director Holly Dale shoots the woods with sumptuous dark greens, filming one of the doomed children in an extreme long shot that has the eerie resonance of a fairy tale. The town itself is called Eastwood, named for one of American’s true icons of manhood. And the town’s witch-killing history reflects a national original sin of anti-femininity. Is there hope for the future? Almost everyone — man, woman, child — winds up dead.

So Mulder and Scully do the one thing they can. They leave, looking for anywhere better.


EW.com

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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Mar - 19:04


Courtesy of Fox

The X-Files Recap: Witch, Please

By Kimberly Roots / March 7 2018, 6:02 PM PST

This week’s X-Files feels like a classic episode wrapped in a fresh exploration of the Mulder-Scully dynamic, and it’s one of the season’s best.

At the very least, “Familiar” is a hell of a creepy X-File in which very bad things start to happen in a town with a history of witchcraft. But the subtle character work David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson do during the hour elevates it to something great. Like last season’s “Home Again,” this week’s hour puts our favorite FBI agents in a familiar situation — in this case, investigating mysterious deaths in a sleepy hamlet — and allows us to see how the intervening years have tempered Fox and Dana’s thoughts, feelings and reactions.

For this longtime X-Phile, the result was something of a revelation. Read on for the highlights of “Familiar.”

CAN’T SEE THE FOREST FOR THE CREEPS | On an afternoon in Eastwood, Conn., a boy rides a playground’s merry-go-round, clinging to a marionette-ish doll that looks like some kid of deranged Pinocchio without the long nose. His mother pauses pushing the merry-go-round to take a call; it’s not a happy one, and while she’s distracted, the boy sees what looks like a man-sized, alive version of his doll peeking out from a tree in the woods near the playground. When the boy, whose name is Andrew, can’t get his mother’s attention, he slips away into the forest to follow the figure.



Andrew is singing about Mr. Chuckle Teeth (at least, that’s what it sounds like) and wondering where he went. The figure appears again, luring the boy deeper into the trees. And then something that we can’t see attacks Andrew. By the time police find him later that night, the boy is dead from what seems like an animal attack.

MOOSE AND SQUIRREL IN THE WOODS | As it turns out, Andrew’s father is a local cop, which gives the FBI jurisdiction to investigate. But when Scully and Mulder arrive on the scene the next day, the police chief doesn’t like what they — especially Scully — has to say: Because Andrew’s neck was broken, she’s pretty sure that he was murdered by a person. And when the chief scoffs, Mulder speaks up quickly. ” These aren’t just assumptions,” he says. “Agent Scully is also a medical doctor, and damn good at her job.” Is it weird that I feel oddly warm and proud of him at this moment?

Apparently, Scully is wearing the profiling pants in the family today, because she goes on to say that the killer is likely a male who lives nearby, who gets off on this type of violence and who will murder again. Mulder, meanwhile, thinks a hellhound — as in, the dog that guards the gates to Hades — is to blame. He points out that a lot of weird ish has gone down in the town, all the way back to when a woman accused of witchcraft allegedly burst into flame. “As we’ve discussed before, people don’t just spontaneously combust,” Scully says, and Gillian Anderson’s line reading is so perfect and infused with so much of the characters’ shared history, I want to buy it an Apollo 11 key ring to show it my undying admiration. But Mulder’s undeterred: He’s sure that there still are people in town who practice the dark arts. Scully, who’s been give-no-effs sassy in these past couple of episodes, shoots back that the only devil they need to worry about probably parks near the playground, “stirring something other than his cauldron.” Eew.

ANOTHER TRAGEDY | As she performs the autopsy on Andrew’s little body, Scully tells Mulder she thinks the kid’s father might have killed him, and she worries that his fellow officers are covering it up. Mulder, who is visibly sobered by the sight of the boy’s corpse lying on the table, says he wants to interview the chief’s 5-year-old daughter, who also was at the playground with her mother when Andrew went missing. Scully thinks that’s a waste of effort, but Mulder ignores her. Just like old times!

The chief’s daughter, Emma, is so absorbed in her Teletubbies­-like TV show, she barely gives Mulder a second glance. Mulder is far more polite than I would be in that situation — seriously, Emma’s mom, turn off the boob tube! — and instead engages the woman (whose name is Anna) in conversation while her child stares, glass-eyed, at the set. Anna asks if he has any kids. My heart breaks a little when Mulder simply replies, “I have a son. He’s grown, though.” Mulder pokes around a little and notices The Grimoire of the Eastwood Witch; Anna says that she and the chief are both lifelong residents of the town, and he’s super into its history. And just then, Mr. Chuckle Teeth appears on Emma’s TV show. “Mommy, he was in the forest!” the little girl cries.

Meanwhile, off a tip from one of his co-workers, Andrew’s dad Rick uses police computers to find any registered sex offenders who live in town. He finds one whose house is very close to the playground, then jumps in his car and peels out of the parking lot, set on vengeance. Scully, who is at the precinct to tell the chief her suspicions about Rick’s involvement in his son’s death, winds up on a ridealong when the chief speeds after Rick, trying to stop him.

When they all wind up at the pedophile’s house, he’s not home. Which is good, because Rick probably would’ve shot him on sight. In the woods nearby, Mulder is checking out the crime scene when he sees what looks like… a hellhound sniffing around. He calls Scully, who tells him to come to the offender’s place, and the demon dog slips away while Mulder watches. (Side note: I love how, after all the stuff he’s seen, Mulder’s just kinda like, “Well, huh” about SEEING A HELLHOUND.)



PRESUMED GUILTY | A crowd gathers outside while Mulder, Scully and the cops search the home of Melvin Peter, who never registered with the local police when he arrived in Eastwood years before. He works as a children’s party clown, and when the search yields a Mr. Chuckle Teeth costume, it looks like Melvin is pretty guilty. But Mulder’s not convinced, and he’s unnerved by how ready Scully and everyone else is to pin the murder on the creepy kids’ clown. “What happened to the precious presumption of innocence?” he wonders.

Back at the chief’s house, Emma is watching her show when the purple character suddenly appears outside her window. So she follows it outside… and before you know it, Emma is dead in the woods, too, seemingly mauled like Andrew was. At the scene, a slightly shaken Mulder (“she was alive just this morning”) realizes that there’s a salt circle hiding just under the leaves, and uncovers that they’re standing on an old Puritan burial ground. He posits that there’s a spellcaster in town who might’ve opened the gates of Hell — hence the evil pup — and a demon is luring kids by taking the form of something they love. Then heconfronts the chief. “I have let the devil into my soul and I have sinned against God,” the lawman says, copping to an affair with Rick’s wife, Diane. “I have broken a sacred commandment, but I have not killed anyone.” After he leaves, Scully compliments her partner’s insight. “I… did not see that coming,” he admits. (Ha!)

WHICH WITCH IS WHICH? | Back at the house, Melvin comes home and soon finds himself under physical attack from Rick and the crowd. Mulder has to shoot his gun into the air to get everyone under control, and then Rick pulls his weapon and kills Melvin by putting a bullet in his skull. Even worse: The cops later learn that Melvin was working a party far away when Andrew was killed — there’s no way he could’ve done it.

Elsewhere, Rick is arraigned on $5000 bail and goes home to yell at Diana about the affair, but she says she’s leaving. He takes his gun and follows, but doesn’t realize that when she’s driving and sees what looks like Andrew standing in the road, she flips her car and dies. Rick goes to the chief’s place, where he suspects his wife is, and walks around ready to shoot someone. But then Mr. Chuckle Teeth appears to him, and it’s confusing and scary, and then the chief shows up and Rick gets shot.

That’s how Mulder and Scully find him, but the chief is off in the woods, chasing a figure he thinks is Diane. But instead he finds his wife, Anna, chanting from the grimoire in the middle of a circle made of candles. “I have to end what I started,” she says, explaining that she only wanted to curse Diane for sleeping with him. But then the hellhound shows up and makes a midnight snack of the chief. Mulder and Scully show arrive right around then and beg Anna to stop what she’s doing, but she won’t. And then she bursts into flames. Spontaneously. The book, however, remains unscathed.

“That woman went up in flames,” Scully notes later. “Maybe it was the candles,” Mulder says. Oh, I get it — you guys have been together so long, you’re switching roles for this episode! Cool. But just as I’m ready to watch Mulder eat yogurt with bee pollen for lunch while Scully tosses sharpened pencils at the ceiling,” she says, “Maybe it was the gates of hell. Let’s get out of this town, Mulder.”

And they do. But after they leave, the playground merry-go-round turns, seemingly of its own accord.

A seriously disturbing Monster of the Week. Scully more in charge of the profiling/driving the investigation. A kinder, gentler, wearier Mulder who connects with the little victims in an achingly new way. Do you see what I mean about growing and changing and this hour being worth your while?

Now it’s your turn. What did you think of the episode? Sound off in the comments!


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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Mar - 19:08



Familiar / 7 Mar 2018

The X-Files: "Familiar" Review

By Matt Fowler

Warning: Full spoilers for the episode below.

The nuts and bolts of "Familiar" were decent. On the surface, this was a fairly dark, zero-sum tale about a cursed town and witchcraft gone wrong. Not only did two kids get killed, but two young kids. Yes, narratively, there is a weird and stark difference between dead kids based on age and children barely out of their toddler years being brutally killed is extra morose.

The X-Files has dealt with the supernatural in the past, but it's not exactly the show's bread and butter. The most we ever really see from this realm are some of the freaks and monsters Mulder and Scully chase down. It's more urban myths and folklore than magic. Then there are the paranormal aspects of the series: the ghosts and ghouls and vengeful spirits. Still, X-Files made its name with science-gone-wrong type tales that explored wayward experiments and/or unexplained mental powers/phenomenon.

The idea of witches and curses and spellcraft isn't outside The X-Files' domain, surely, but it does feel borderline. And with Supernatural now in its 13th season over on The CW and the Winchester boys sort of having a lock this type of story, Mulder and Scully felt like they were almost creeping around in hunter territory this week.

And, like I said, the bones of the mystery were strong and quite devilish. As was the nature of the spell itself, which basically turned the town into paranoid rabble - not only punishing both the target of the spell and the caster of the spell, but punishing everyone for the horrific witch trials that took place in New England hundreds of years previous.

So while the culprit here, the caster of the curse - the police chief's wife (played by Erin Chambers) - intended to bring misery to the woman her husband stepped out with, she wound up sewing up her entire sordid mess (and spontaneously combusting) leaving Mulder and Scully not much to clean up afterwards. Which then allowed Mulder to further wax about how the town's tendency to turn into an angry mob, on a dime, spoke to the overall societal climate of 2018.

Which was, for sure, the worst part of this episode. The need to tether this case to something as hacky as "What's going on here is what's going on everywhere. The news these days, I'll tell ya." Woof. So dumb. For the most part, Season 11's been able to comment on the modern era with a modicum of meta-charm, but this particular stretch was painful. And that final exchange? Scully saying "I can't wait to get out of this town" and Mulder responding with "There is no getting out of this town, Scully. Not these days." Boy, that sure showed us out here in society. I think I shouted "No!" at my TV when he said that. Also, at the thought of the writer chef-kissing after typing that particular bit of nonsense.

Was "people shouldn't rush to judgment" the lecture we needed right now? A much more interesting take on "witch hunts," these days, would be to comment on how many rotten men are misusing the term throughout the #MeToo movement as they try to strangely own a concept rooted in the persecution and murder of women. Better still, this episode didn't need an undercurrent of comparison at all. It just needed to be a cracking, vibrant mystery.

One final element here, meant perhaps to draw up some IT comparisons, was the use of a clown luring kids to their doom. Or in this case, Mr. Chuckleteeth - a children's show TV character so wildly disturbing in appearance that it was almost distracting. As in, there is no way any sane parent would allow their kid to look upon something as terrible as Mr. Cuckleteeth for more than two seconds. Same for the Bibbletiggles (some sort of demonic Teletubbies). Part of this episodes' menace-of-the-moment involved these overtly nightmarish "toys" ushering kids off to their doom. It's a good gotcha gimmick but, again, these things almost looked too suspiciously evil to believe.

The Verdict

"Familiar" was a solid, self-contained case-of-the-week creep out, that went really dark at times, but it faltered a bit under unnecessary, and muddled, messaging.

Good
A child's death brought Mulder and Scully to a cursed small town.
7 Mar 2018
7.4


IGN

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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Mar - 19:14

March 7, 2018 9:00 pm

The X-Files Recap: Don’t Go Into the Woods

By Brian Tallerico



The X-Files

Familiar Season 11  Episode 8
Editor's Rating  3 stars  

“Familiar” is a well-directed and performed X-Files episode, but it ultimately falls into a few too many screenwriting traps to ignore. The metaphors are seriously muddled — infidelity, witchcraft, McCarthyism, and vigilante justice are all thrown into the mix — and a lot of the dialogue is tragically overheated. Worst of all, Scully and Mulder are forced into beliefs that don’t make much logical sense aside from serving those cloudy metaphors. “Familiar” isn’t a horrible episode, just a forgettable one — assuming you can get that damn Mr. Chuckle Teeth song out of your head.

A basic way to sum up this week’s episode is that The X-Files team clearly liked the movie version of Stephen King’s It a lot. Obviously inspired by the saga of Pennywise the Clown, “Familiar” opens with the introduction of Mr. Chuckle Teeth, a doll being held by a raincoat-clad kid named Andrew. His mom is on the phone, barely pushing his merry-go-round. Suddenly, Andrew sees an adult-size Mr. Chuckle Teeth in the woods and follows him. Something scary comes at Andrew in the woods and he gasps. The lesson, as always: Don’t buy your kids creepy dolls.

Andrew is dead, of course, and the local cops try to push Mulder and Scully away with the theory that it was a coyote attack. They don’t buy it. Scully is convinced that a male offender, possibly someone who gets off on killing kids, is roaming these woods, and Mulder thinking something more like Hellhounds or a coywolf (yes, that’s a real thing). Scully is in full FBI mode and Mulder loves it, telling everyone she’s “damn good at her job,” but he’s more inclined to consider witchcraft given they’re in Massachusetts. As he explains in a great line, just because there were bogus witch hunts doesn’t mean there actually weren’t a few actual witches.

While they’re examining Andrew’s body, Mulder notices some salt on the boy’s foot. Everyone knows that witchcraft and salt go together, right? But Scully just shrugs at the discovery. Nevertheless, Mulder wants to talk to the other kid at the park the day that Andrew disappeared.

Before that, it’s time for the child’s funeral, where we learn that the chief of police and Andrew’s father, Eggers, don’t just work together. It turns out Chief Strong’s daughter is the one that was also in the park that day. (We’ll later find out that Eggers’ wife is cheating on him with Strong.) Eggers wants to know why they don’t have a body to bury. What does the FBI suspect? His partner reveals Scully’s theory that it might be a male sexual predator. The seed is planted for vigilante justice.

Emily, the chief’s daughter, is watching TV and shaking her head as Mulder asks questions. She’s also spouting what sound like rehearsed lines, given to her by her mother. The show she won’t turn away from is a Teletubbies riff called Bibble Tickles, and it’s super creepy. Mulder conveniently notices The Grimoire of the Eastwood Witch on the bookshelf. (It’s not a real book, but a grimoire is a very real thing.) Something suspicious is going on.

Meanwhile, Officer Eggers is off to get some of his own justice. He finds a registered sex offender who lives two blocks from the park and didn’t report. While Scully is trying to convince Chief Strong that Eggers himself needs to be ruled out, the grieving cop races off to take justice into his own hands. Chased by Scully and Strong, Eggers bursts into the dark house with his gun drawn. The guy isn’t home and Strong and Scully catch up to him just in time to take his gun away, but not before Eggers flips a table. He’s getting angrier.

Eggers’ noisy behavior quickly leads to a mob outside the sex offender’s house. While Mulder is spotting hellhounds in the woods, it’s actually growing more dangerous on the street. They get a search warrant to investigate his house and find a closet with a monkey in a cage and a Mr. Chuckle Teeth mask. “You couldn’t dream up a more perfect suspect,” says Scully. “He’s John Wayne Gacy with a monkey.” The mob grows. This guy has no chance. The metaphors here get seriously muddled as Mulder monologues about Salem and McCarthyism. Skepticism is good and mob justice is bad, sure, but Emily just told Mulder that she “saw” Mr. Chuckle Teeth in the woods and they found a mask and big shoes in the home of a sex offender. And Mulder still doesn’t suspect him?

Of course, we know Mulder is right, and a dark episode gets even darker when Emily is taken by a giant, purple Bibble Tickle. She’s found dead in the woods and her mother screams at Chief Strong that this is all his fault. What does he know? Mulder finds salt in the woods again and theorizes that it’s a magic circle used to summon demons. He confronts the chief but gets an answer nobody suspect: The chief didn’t summon evil directly, but he feels guilty because he was sleeping with Andrew’s mother. He believes the death of the children are because of his infidelity. Mulder knows there’s gotta be more to it.

Coming home to a mob scene means violence for the sex offender who lived near the park. Eggers pulls him from the car and beats him mercilessly as the crowd cheers him on. Mulder and Scully get there to stop the mob from beating the man to death, but they can’t stop Eggers, who pauses, pulls out his gun, and shoots him in the head.

After an arraignment that suggests Eggers may get off for murdering a man in front of dozens of people, his former partner reveals that he has already proven that Eggers shot an innocent man. So who killed Andrew and Emily?

Eggers comes home to misery — remember, his wife was cheating on him with his boss. They’re breaking up and Diane Eggers drives off into the night. She believes she sees Andrew in the road and crashes the car. Meanwhile, Eggers barges into Strong’s home looking for more vengeance. He sees Mr. Chuckle Teeth walking around the darkened house. Just as he turns and sees Strong, shots are fired.

Mulder and Scully come on the scene to find Eggers shot in the doorway and salt on the front lawn. The Grimoire is gone, and Mr. Chuckle Teeth is getting even creepier on the television. They have to go back to the scene of the crime.

Of course, everyone is headed to the woods. First, Strong sees Diane’s flipped car and sees a figure that looks like Diane in the woods. He follows. He comes upon a circle of candles and finds his wife Anna in the middle, reading from the book. She’s to blame for all of this. She just wanted to punish her husband and his mistress. She had no idea what she would unleash. After Strong is ripped apart by a hellhound, Mulder orders her to put the book down, but she finishes her incantation and bursts into flames. The book, in the middle of the fire, remains intact. With all the loose ends tied up and so many characters dead, Mulder says something about the state of the nation and our current witch hunt culture: “There is no getting out of this town, Scully. Not these days.” The merry-go-round spins in agreement.

Other Notes

• Why did the sex offender have a Mr. Chuckle Teeth mask? Did Mrs. Strong frame him? Or does he wear that as a kids’ performer? And the children really don’t scream at that thing?!

• There are some good ideas here, but the whole episode needs more clarity. Most frustratingly, Mulder and Scully act in illogical ways with Mulder ignoring the mask and Scully dismissing salt as evidence. Also, Scully sees a woman burst into flames and a hellhound eat a man, but she’s still talking about mob justice? Okay then.

• Mr. Chuckle Teeth will remind people of It, but the episode’s narrative also recalls The Witch, which you should watch if you haven’t yet.

• The tag is back to “The Truth is Out There” this week. Guess they couldn’t settle on a witch or a mob justice one for this story.

• The appearance of a monster clearly modeled on the Purple Teletubby reminded me of the Jerry Falwell controversy around the sexuality of a kids TV icon.

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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Mar - 19:20

An okay X-Files is elevated by a nifty monster

Zack Handlen
Today 8:00pm



The title gives the game away. The name “Familiar” refers to the shape-shifting demon who appears multiple times throughout the hour, a mysterious beast as comfortable in the clothes of (seriously creepy) kid show staples as it is in the skin of an ex-lover. But it’s also an accurate description of the episode as a whole. We’ve been here before, more or less. Mysterious deaths, a seemingly normal small town hiding monstrous secrets, and Mulder and Scully, bumbling about doing what they do—which in this case is trail just five steps behind what’s going on until the eventual and inevitable collapse.

The X-Files
Season 11
"Familiar"
B

It’s the sort of entry I struggled to write about back when I was co-reviewing the original series. Not because it’s bad, necessarily (although it’s not great), but because it’s such a meat-and-potatoes type deal that serious efforts to unpack it just end with a lot of empty luggage. Those times when the episode does strive to make some sort of point, namely the way Americans rush to judgment in times of great stress and horror, don’t really work, because they’re so clearly forced. Characters behave more like props than actual people, extensions of a theme that doesn’t have enough meat on its bones to make an hour’s worth of meal.

Yet I kind of liked it? I mean, there’s more to criticize, and we’ll get to that, but up until the last five minutes or so, I enjoyed “Familiar,” in no small part thanks to the predictable but deeply creepy set-pieces. Repurposing supposedly friendly figures from children’s entertainment into just-a-little-bit-off monsters isn’t a new trick (I mean, that’s how we got Pennywise), but just because something’s old doesn’t always mean it’s not effective.

Mr. Chuckleteeth, the grinning avatar who pops up multiple times, isn’t exactly plausible as a legitimate kid show staple; and the Bibbletickles, basement-bin knock-offs of Teletubbies that look like grey aliens stuffed into neon-hued bear suits, are so clearly menacing as to border on self-parody. Yet even recognizing the obvious manipulation at play didn’t make me any less susceptible to it, and up until the final “explanation,” I found myself giving the episode more and more benefit of the doubt if only because ole Chuckleteeth made such a memorable impression. He feels like he might have stepped whole cloth out of a James Wan movie, and I say that as a compliment.

“Familiar” also gains ground off the simple fact that it’s 2018, and standard MotW Mulder/Scully episodes aren’t getting made anymore. I praised “Kitten” a few weeks ago for proving the show could still turn out competent, if not exactly breathtaking, entries, and while this one lacks that earlier entry’s emotional core, it’s shares the same nostalgic novelty. I can quibble over the belabored nature of the Mulder/Scully conversations, but I can’t deny there’s considerable charm in seeing both actors put through these particular paces. Which, of course, is why revivals like this exist in the first place; but just because I recognize the mercenary nature of the enterprise doesn’t always make me immune to its appeal.

Still, that affection can only do so much. While the scary scenes work, the bits between range from competent to disappointing, without much cumulative effect. Early in the episode, Mulder mentions a woman on trial for witchcraft who burst into flames a few hundred years ago, and the script makes a strained effort to connect witch hunts with the rush to mob justice we see later in the hour. It’s a weird diversion that has a grief-stricken police officer shooting a potential suspect because he fits Scully’s profile of a potential killer; it’s all too schematic for its own good, and even having Mulder point that out doesn’t help much. Before he’s shot, the suspect, a registered sex offender who failed to announce himself to police when he moved into town, shouts, “It was statutory! I never hurt anybody!” It reeks of someone trying to create a challenging moral dilemma without really understanding how or why people do anything.

That carries over into the deflating finale, which reveals that the whole mess was caused by a scorned wife trying to get revenge on the woman who slept with her husband. It’s the weakest possible conclusion, pinning the chaos (and surprisingly high body count) on characters we know very little about. The actors do their best with the material, but it’s the sort of twist that was tired even before the original X-Files hit the screen. After all, when that show turned its hand to devil worship, it at least had the decency to implicate an entire town.

So, on the whole, a good start that loses steam as it goes, before ending with little more than shrug. I’m rating it probably higher than it deserves, if only because I had a lot of fun watching the Chuckleteeth bits. But even so, I can’t help wishing they’d managed to come up with something a little more interesting than this spot-the-cliche plotting.

Stray observations


  • The episode’s efforts to make Melvin Peters (the doomed suspect) a martyr would’ve worked a lot better if we’d had any sense of who he was at all. The shots of him with smiling kids are so blatantly troll-ish that it’s almost funny. That, plus the reveal of the Chuckleteeth mask in his closet (and also a monkey?) made me briefly wonder if he’d been conjured up by whomever was really responsible to throw the cops off the scent, but there was no real twist.



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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Mar - 19:23

March 7, 2018 9:23PM EST

‘The X-Files’ Recap: Mr. Chuckle Teeth Is Here To Haunt Your Dreams In An ‘IT’ Inspired Episode



Samantha Wilson
News Writer/Reporter

Oh hell no. ‘The X-Files’ delivers the first truly scary episode of the season with some sick ‘IT’ and ‘Goosebumps’ hybrid. Warning: you won’t be able to sleep tonight after reading this recap.

May we repeat ourselves? Oh. Hell. No. Look, you’re not tuning into The X-Files every week for a cheerful, fuzzy hour of television. But the series revival hasn’t really brought on the scares, more focusing on Scully’s quest to find William and some jarring extraterrestrial clues. This episode was pure horror, and it was clear from the first minute. It’s obvious that they’re sourcing from a few horror staples for this murder spree, and it somehow, gruesomely comes together.

A small town is rocked when a little boy named Andrew, clearly modeled on Georgie from IT, down to the yellow raincoat, is murdered in the forest. The toddler is lured into the forest by a life-sized version of his beloved toy (and children’s show mascot), a ventriloquist dummy named Mr. Chuckle Teeth. It’s horrifying. The dude is a mix between Pennywise and Jigsaw, and gives us anxiety-inducing flashbacks to the days of reading “Goosebumps” books. Thanks to R.L. Stine and a particular dummy named Slappy, we’re forever scarred by anything involving them.

The police later find little Andrew’s body in the woods, mutilated beyond belief. While local police conclude he was killed by a coyote or wolf, Scully can’t rule out murder. It’s a small town, but these things happen. BTW, she has jurisdiction because Andrew’s the son of a police officer. Let’s pause this story for an important update: Scully’s bob is back.

Anyway…She’s taking the practical approach and assuming he was killed by someone in the town, perhaps a child molester. Mulder, of course, immediately goes to the fact that this Connecticut town experienced witch hunts in the 1600s. And maybe it was a hell wolf that killed him. Best line of the episode? Scully to Mulder: “as we’ve discussed before, people don’t just spontaneously combust.”

Andrews father, Officer Eggers, freaks out at the funeral after learning about Scully’s profile. He rushes to the house of a convicted sex offender, vowing to kill him. He’s thankfully stopped — we have no idea if the dude even did it. What they do find at the home is a room full of balloons, clown shoes…and a Mr. Chuckle Teeth mask. Coincidence? Actually, it might be. Too bad that Eggers later shoots him point blanc.

Mulder goes to the Chief of Police’s house to speak to his five-year-old daughter, Emily, who was in the park with Andrew that day. She tells him that she saw Andrew walk into the forest, and that our old buddy Chuckle Teeth was with him. Turns out he’s one of the stars of a bizarre children’s show that’s a blatant ripoff of Teletubbies, but Fox couldn’t get the rights since the episode is about straight up murder. Later, after Mulder leaves, Emily sees one of the off-brand Teletubbies outside, and follows him into the forest. She’s found dead in the same spot where Andrew was discovered.

Shouldn’t Scully trust Mulder after 20 years to know that he’s always right? Witchcraft is involved here. Mulder uncovers a ring of salt around the ground where the bodies were found. It’s a Magic Circle, a ground for practicing witchcraft. There’s a stone skull in the dirt, too — Puritan graveyard. Oh, and Mulder sees a hell hound. NOPE. BIG NOPE. They initially suspect it’s the Chief, considering he had a bookshelf full of texts about the town’s witch hunts. But why his own daughter?

The remaining 15 minutes of the episode were a doozy. We learn that the Chief was having an affair with Officer Eggers’ wife, Diane. There’s a deeper connection between Andrew and Emily than first thought. After Egger murders that dude, Diane storms out and says she’s leaving him. She winds up flipping her car by the forest when she sees Andrew’s spirit on the road in front of her. Again, IT vibes. Georgie’s brother saw him, yellow raincoat and all, down in the sewer before facing Pennywise. Yikes.

While this is happening, Eggers has gone to the chief’s house, gun drawn, to confront him about the affair. He’s not there…but Mr. Chuckle Teeth is. Seriously, this guy is the stuff nightmares are made of. Like Pennywise, he has a sh*tty theme song and does a somehow terrifying jig. Then murders you. Eggers is tormented by Chuckle Teeth in the dark home. His body is later found in the doorway, surrounded by a ring of salt. Meanwhile, the chief is on his way out of town and discovers Diane’s flipped car. She’s already dead, but he thinks he sees her wandering into the forest.

All he finds, though, is HIS WIFE in the Magic Circle, surrounded by candles and reciting a spell from one of the books from their library. She tells him that she only meant to curse him and Diane for the affair. The spell then took away what they loved the most — not each other, but Andrew and Emily. Before he can say anything, he’s mauled and killed by the hell hound! Of course, this is the point where Mulder and Scully show up. To be honest, they’re really off their games in this episode.

Anna screams that she has to stop what she’s started, and finishes her spell. She goes up in flames! And Mulder and Scully don’t even try to help her. WTF? Perhaps they were going off the assumption that witches don’t burn? Well, this one does. The only thing left is the spellbook. Mulder and Scully just casually leave town after that. Case closed, apparently.

The X-Files airs Wednesdays at 8:00pm on Fox.


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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Mar - 19:30



The X-Files 'Familiar': Witches, hellhounds, and demonic Teletubbies

Alyse Wax
@alysewax
Mar 7, 2018

Spoiler Alert! Do not read this full recap of The X-Files episode 1108, "Familiar," until you have watched the show. Unless you just want us to tell you all about it.

I hate to say this, especially since this season has really been great -- a return to form for The X-Files -- but tonight's episode was disappointing. When it was over, I felt strangely unfulfilled.

I was troubled by how cold Mulder and Scully seemed towards each other. Other than Mulder telling Scully he backed her up because she's his "homie" (which I just know hardcore 'shippers will be up in arms about), there was no banter. It was odd, coming off of last week's episode, where they were nothing but cute. I know that the continuity in The X-Files leaves much to be desired, and this episode was originally supposed to air as the ninth in the season, not the eighth, so I wasn't expecting them to be all lovey-dovey. But regardless of the MSR factor, the pair seemed cold, distant, awkward with each other. I felt like there was going to be a call back to William, that he was on their minds, and that was why everything was strained. Maybe that was supposed to be the unspoken undercurrent.

In the episode, Mulder and Scully head to a small town in Connecticut to investigate the death of the young son of a police officer. Apparently, the FBI has jurisdiction in cases involving the death of law enforcement's immediate family. The coroner said that cause of death was animal attack, but after looking at the report, Scully feels certain the boy was murdered. The local cops don't want to believe something like that could happen in their sleepy little town... or they are covering for someone.


Shane Harvey/FOX

Unsurprisingly, Mulder suspects witches. The town has a history of witch trials, and just because the witch trials were bogus, doesn't mean there weren't real witches. It was either witches, or hellhounds. Because, you know, Mulder.

The two go to the morgue to examine Andrew's body. Though neither says it, the specter of William hangs heavy over them. After a cursory examination, Scully confirms that it is likely the boy was shaken to death. Her primary suspect is the father, Rick Eggers. Mulder notices salt on the little boy's feet, and is confused as to why the eyewitnesses -- a little girl named Emily, and her mother Anna -- weren't interviewed. They are the police chief's family -- and yet Scully doesn't think it is weird that no one spoke to them. Another troubling detail.

Mulder visits Emily and Anna. He learns very little. Emily says she didn't see anyone, just Andrew wandering into the woods. The family has a lot of books on witchcraft, which Anna chalks up to her husband's fascination with the town's history. As Mulder starts to leave, a TV commercial causes Emily to shout. "Mr. Chuckleteeth! He was in the forest." Mr. Chuckleteeth is some kind of terrifying full-sized ventriloquist dummy with a deranged smile on his face.

Scully visits police chief Strong, who maintains Eggers didn't kill his son. Scully is not swayed, and wants to speak to the grieving father herself. Problem is, Eggers just left. He checked the national sex offender database and found one person, Melvin Peter, who lives in town -- and he fits Scully's profile. Scully and Strong hop in a police car and give chase to Eggers, who is speeding erratically through town.

Eggers ends up at Peter's house and is incensed when he finds it empty. Mulder calls to check in. He is back at the crime scene in the woods, and doesn't mention to Scully that he sees a hellhound staring at him. He meets Scully at Peter's house, where a crowd has gathered as they wait for a search warrant. Mulder isn't convinced that Peter is responsible, but he joins the cops in the search of the house. Peter is certainly creepy: there are pictures of him as a clown posing with children; he has a room filled with balloons and teddy bears; and he keeps an angry monkey in a cage in the closet. Also in that closet: a Mr. Chuckleteeth costume.

Scully puts out an APB for Peter, but Mulder doesn't like him for the murder. It felt uncomfortable watching Mulder defend a pedophile. It's The X-Files, so you know he is right, but Peter performed at children's parties and had a creepy pedo-playroom in his house. Even though he later yells that he was convicted of a statutory offense (a throw-away line which doesn't necessarily make him innocent), it was weird that Mulder wouldn't at least support bringing him in for questioning.


Shane Harvey/FOX

Emily is watching TV while her mother makes lunch. When Anna calls for Emily, she is gone -- she followed a demonic Teletubby outside. Mulder and Scully find her body a few hours later in the woods. Mulder notices salt on the ground and starts kicking aside leaves to reveal a circle made of salt. While Scully begs him to stop messing with a crime scene, Mulder goes on about how salt is used to draw a magic circle, one that protects the caster from summoned demons. (Clearly, Scully has never watched an episode of Supernatural.) He discovers that the land is a Puritan graveyard, and thinks that spirits and demons have been unleashed. He confronts Strong, who unleashes his guilty soul -- but only about an affair he was having with Andrew's mother, Diane.

The agents return to Peter's house. Peter has come home, and is being pummeled by Eggers. When another officer, Wentworth, pulls Eggers off, the crowd starts beating up Peter. Mulder fires his gun in the air to scare people away and Scully tells Eggers to call for an ambulance. He reaches for his radio... but at the last minute pulls out his gun and shoots Peter dead.

Arraignment sees Eggers get $5,000 bail -- small town justice. As Scully and Mulder leave the courthouse, they see Wentworth waiting for them. He did some digging and discovered Peter was 40 miles away when Andrew was taken; he could not have murdered the boy. Eggers goes home and confronts his cheating wife. He is leaving her; she says "No, I'm leaving you." She leaves, followed shortly by Eggers -- who takes his gun.

Diane is not Eggers' focus. He goes to Strong's house, calling for him. Strong is not there, but someone is... Mr. Chuckleteeth. He chases Mr. Chuckleteeth through the house, arrives at the front door -- and comes face to face with Strong. The two men aim their guns at one another.

Scully and Mulder show up. They find Eggers dead in the doorway. Scully notices salt around the outside of the house. Mulder finds a grimoire is missing from the bookshelf. Scully again tries to convince Mulder that this was a crime of passion, not a crime of spirits. Don't waste your breath, Scully -- you guys are going back to the scene of the crime.


Shane Harvey/FOX

Strong, meanwhile, is trying to call Diane when he sees her car in a wreck on the side of the road. He sees a figure in the woods and chases after it, thinking it is Diane. He is so intent on following the vision of Diane that he doesn't notice real-Diane lying dead against a tree. He moves towards a glimmer in the woods. Standing in a circle of candles is Anna, chanting over the enormous grimoire. She insists she is ending what she started, but her husband thinks she has unleashed something she can't control. She only meant to curse Diane and her husband; clearly she doesn't have control. The hellhound attacks Strong, tearing him to pieces.

Strong's screams draw Scully and Mulder, but they arrive too late to save Strong. Mulder tells Anna almost the exact same thing Strong told her. As much as I hate to say this, it looks like the men were right: she can't control it. Anna is consumed by fire; the grimoire drops, completely untouched by the flames.

After watching this episode twice, I still feel unfulfilled -- and not just because of the lack of MSR. In general, it felt like there was too much jammed into this episode. You had the terrifying children's characters. Witchcraft. Hellhounds. Mob justice. A pedophile. It was too much. Nothing was explored properly.

Random Thoughts:

  • When Mulder was asked if he had kids, it was awkward watching him stammer for an answer. I think the only reason he mentioned it was because it was a case dealing with kids.
  • There was a lot of whispering in this episode. That didn't help the lack of chemistry between Mulder and Scully this week.
  • Scully in a turtleneck felt weird. I think she has only worn a turtleneck in one or two other episodes.
  • It wasn't nearly as much as an IT knockoff as the trailers made it seem.
  • Mr. Chuckleteeth and the demonic Teletubby knockoffs were the scariest things I have ever seen. Seriously. How can parents allow their kids to watch creatures like that? Is it because I am an adult who knows better? Was this just done for the benefit of the audience?


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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Mar - 19:33

The X-Files Review: Abandon All Nuance, Ye Who Enter Here

(Episode 11.08)

By Dom Sinacola | March 7, 2018 | 9:00pm
Photo: Shane Harvey/FOX



Within the course of the cold open alone, the mystery of “Familiar” has an obvious solution. So obvious, in fact, that the rest of the episode’s 40 or so minutes do little more than confirm hunches, solidify motivations and generally insult all but the most uninvested viewers with red herrings and unflinching violence, as if eleven seasons of The X-Files haven’t reached sometimes brilliant heights based on a mastery of tone, of suspense, of upending television procedural tropes without resorting to treating the audience like they’re stupid. “Familiar” lives up to its title so unironically, the episode is practically over before it starts.

So it goes: Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) investigate the death of Andrew Eggers (Sebastian Billingsley-Rodriguez), a young boy in a small, tight-knit community where, according to Mulder, a Salem-style witch hunt occurred in the 17th century. Mulder explains this history to Scully by pointing to the exact spot where the woman accused of witchcraft died, because apparently Mulder’s pored over countless maps and cross-checked historical records to deduce the precise, non-descript location where this piece of historical ephemera happened more than 400 years ago.

Like usual, Mulder and Scully face opposition from the town’s head of police, Chief Strong (Alex Carter), who insists that based on the available evidence, the kid was mauled to death by some sort of large animal (ostensibly a wolf). He’s extra protective because the kid was the son of Officer Rick Eggers (Jason Gray-Stanford), whose wife, Diana (Sharon Taylor), we observe in the aforementioned cold open arguing with someone on the phone about what’s clearly an affair. Before Mulder and Scully even see the body, it all clicks into place: Diana and Chief Strong are having an affair, which is so not-secret that Strong’s wife, Anna (Erin Chambers), knows full well what’s been going on, inspiring her to punish Diana by killing Andrew via black magic, a prediction we can extrapolate based on A) the introduction of witchcraft and the name of the episode (“familiar” being the supernatural, non-human envoy of a witch or warlock); and B) the fact that the only witnesses to the Eggers’ kid’s disappearance in the cold open were Anna and her daughter, Emily (Emma Oliver).

Scully manages to convince Chief Strong that Andrew may have been murdered, reciting the many profiler rules-of-thumb when it comes to such tragedies, like: It was probably someone Andrew knew, someone who found the murder sexual, etc. This information of course makes its way back to Andrew’s dad, who searches the police database, finds the town’s one unregistered sex offender, Melvin Peters (Ken Godmere), and then goes vigilante, chaos in his eyes and bereft beyond all reason, to find Melvin and seek revenge. While Scully chases after the crazed Eggers with Chief Strong and Officer Winters (Roger Cross), Mulder attempts to interview young Emily, discovering a shelf in the Strong household conspicuously lined with a grimoire and books on witchcraft. Anna dismisses Mulder’s inquiry by explaining that her husband’s a history buff when it comes to the town’s past, but c’mon, lady, and c’mon The X-Files, you’re barely even trying here.

Workmanlike writer Benjamin Van Allen and director Holly Dale vaguely try to throw us off the scent, but nothing sticks, the two instead intent on exploring the idea of mass hysteria—or something—which they use to explain both the town’s gang beating of an innocent Melvin Peters, and Eggers’ subsequent murder, in cold blood, of Peters on the spot, which pretty much goes unpunished. The moment in which Eggers pulls out his gun and shoots Peters in the head in front of a congregation of civilians might be some sort of brutal, surreal commentary on the rage-filled state of our nation were it not so ludicrously shoveled under the rug of plot contrivance. Granted, they’re federal agents and so conditioned against emotional reactions in situations like this, but Mulder and Scully’s dearth of a response to such a heinous act only confirms that the reality of the themes The X-Files now explores, especially in this frankly bad episode, come with a patina of serialized amnesia and the ever-present knowledge that this is just some hack shock-for-the-sake-of-it television.

After Hell literally breaks loose and everyone you know will die does, upon Mulder and Scully’s last words as they gladly exit town, one realizes that besides bringing up the whole “witchcraft!” theory in the first place, the two agents functionally did nothing besides get an innocent man gunned down in the street. Had Scully’s institutionalized knowledge of child murder not reached Eggers’ fevered, grief-leaden mind, he wouldn’t have taken out the tragedy on Peters, and still, everyone who died during this episode would have died anyway due to the circumstances of the town’s mystery. Everything Mulder surmised about witchcraft simply served the audience’s comprehension; everything that came to pass bore no practical origin in Mulder’s postulations.

Conceptually, there is a lot to think about in Mulder and Scully spending most of this eleventh season floating from one weird happening to another, witnessing the perplexities of the Trump era but helpless to do much to stop all the suffering they encounter. Actively, this is short-sighted, spotty-ass writing, beholden to high-concept ideas without the intelligence or imagination to give them weight, to anchor all the weirdness in anything but grim, typically grotesque bloodshed. You might as well consider this the low point of a season on its last legs, but we’ve still got one more Chris Carter-helmed episode to come.


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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Mar - 19:38

The X-Files Season 11 Episode 8 Review: Familiar

In a story about witchcraft gone wrong, The X-Files provides some genuinely scary and disturbing moments.



Chris Longo
Mar 7, 2018

This X-Files review contains spoilers.

The X-Files Season 11 Episode 8

March 7th is a significant date in the X-Files universe. It’s the date of Mulder and Scully’s first case as partners. It takes place in the show’s pilot, in which the two agents venture out to the Oregon forest where Billy Miles and his classmates were abducted. In the episode we get some now classic X-Files tropes: missing kids, burned evidence, and strange occurrences in heavily wooded areas. Of course, Mulder has his “spooky” explanations, and Dana Scully, despite seeing timely literally stop before her eyes, does not buy them. Sound familiar? 

By nature of being old enough to rent a car, it’s nearly unavoidable that The X-Files will tread some familiar ground. What’s been refreshing about this season is that the creative team recognizes that and wants to subvert our expectations. Better yet, they’ve been trying to show us something new, as we saw in last week’s tech-heavy episode. If the killer robots didn’t keep you up at night (after the episode concluded, I smashed my Amazon Alexa into little pieces as a precaution), The X-Files sure did try its best in this week’s installment, appropriately titled “Familiar,” to inject a healthy dose of nightmare fuel into its latest monster-of-the-week case.

Whereas last week was X-Files x Black Mirror, “Familiar” is plain old X-Files standalone fare. I mean that in a good way. The episode doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. When a missing little boy turns up dead in the woods, it’s initially ruled an animal attack by local police in a small Connecticut town. When Mulder and Scully arrive on the scene, it’s Scully who questions the initial report and puts something more sinister in the head of the grieving father, a town policeman. After all their years of investigating violent crimes, the case looks like a straight up abduction. Scully suggests it could be of the predatory nature, which sends the father on a witch hunt to find a local man who’s registered for a sex offense with a minor.

Watching along as the episode unfolds is an exercise in catching red herrings. A child predator being the culprit is far too easy. Open and shut. Why would Mulder be sniffing around the crime scene then? The cold open tells us a person or what appears to be a person lures the child into the woods. What the child saw was Mr. Chuckleteeth, fictional character from a children’s show (On a side note: Mr. Chuckleteeth is creepy as hell. Who would let their kids watch that?). As the episode continues, we see the same shoes and Mr. Chuckleteeth mask in the sex offender’s house, only to find out that the guy is, of course, a birthday party performer with an alibi that day.

Lazy pedofile characterization aside, all of the drama in the episode comes from the adults in the town. At first, it looks like the police chief is guilty. Mulder finds another red herring at the police chief’s home when he spots a book that the chronicles the town’s history of witchcraft. Everything starts to come together for Mulder when the police chief’s daughter is lured out of the living room (again, watching an insanely creepy Teletubbies knock off) and summoned to the same spot in the woods where the little boy is killed. They find the body of the little girl inside what appears to be a salt circle, the kind of ritual circle that witches use to cast spells and harness energy.

So Mulder finds all the evidence he needs to conduct a justified (in his mind) witch hunt. The problem is the cop dad and the townspeople have given in to their puritan roots and have anointed the sex offender as guilty in a witch hunt of their own. The vengeful cop dad decides not to wait for due process and murders the innocent man in cold blood. Somehow it only gets crazier from there. The episode turns into Big Little Lies, relegating Mulder and Scully to supporting roles as the town is overcome with death, grief, and adulterous behavior.

The police chief ended up being a big, fat red herring himself. He was sleeping with the wife of the cop dad. In an act of revenge, the police chief’s wife made a ritual circle in the woods and brought this madness on the town. The problem? She’s a rookie witch. And this episode in the end should have been titled When Keeping It Witch Goes Wrong. She assumed she could just open a spell book, turn to a random page, and summon a wolf creative to lure her cheating husband into the woods. Eventually it worked, but it cost the life of an innocent little boy and his mom, a registered sex offender, and her own daughter. A fuckup for the witch record books, my friends.

The allegory the X-Files was going for here was a simple case of mob mentality. It’s done differently now, mostly through social media, but innocent people are sometimes caught up in these whirlwinds before they receive due process. As they watch a woman go up in literal flames, Scully is still a little skeptical (maybe it was the candles?), because time rarely changes people. She does at least leave the question lingering, was it: “evidence of human faults and frailty or the grip of a curse unleashed by a modern day witch?”

It’s both. Open and shut. OK so it wasn’t the cleanest path to the truth, but it was at times a gripping, if not campy, journey to get there. The episode did have some genuinely scary and disturbing moments. While we’ve seen some good, not great, monsters in seasons 10 and 11, Mr. Chuckleteeth is one I’m not going to forget. If I ever see that mask I’m running the hell away. 

Whether it’s people who don’t know how to cope with the pain of loss or puritans living in fear of that which they do not understand, our great human flaw is that we constantly let emotions get the best of us. Mulder knows that well. Scully is far more often emotionally in check. It’s why this partnership has lasted so many years. But remember when I said time doesn’t change people? 25 years ago, a fearless Fox Mulder leapt into the darkness (and the light) in Oregon. On the whole people might not change, but time does have a way of softening some of us. In “Familiar,” Mulder, who has seriously seen it all and has barely flinched a muscle, is genuinely startled by a spider monkey in a cage. Talk about showing us something new.

3.5/5


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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Wed 7 Mar - 19:44



Exclusive: Writer Benjamin Van Allen explains Mr. Chuckleteeth and previews upcoming episodes of The X-File

Alyse Wax
@alysewax
Mar 7, 2018

This week's episode of The X-Files, "Familiar," felt very much in line with a horror film: witchcraft, child murders, and the scariest children's entertainers since John Wayne Gacy. Almost as scary is the realization that there are only two new episodes of The X-Files left -- possibly forever.

We spoke with Benjamin Van Allen, who wrote "Familiar," but is also a staff writer on this season. He told us about the terrifying origins of Mr. Chuckleteeth and Bibble-Tiggles, and how William fits into this episode. He also gave us a preview of what we can expect from the last two episodes.

There is a lot going on in this episode: witches, a pedophile, hellhounds, terrifying kids characters... where did the idea for all of this come from?

Benjamin Van Allen: I've always been creeped out by children's television show characters, like Teletubbies. There is another show I saw that kind of inspired the Bibble-Tiggles, as we call them in the show, called Boohbahs. A lot of kid's shows like that, when you watch them, you're like, "Holy s***. How am I letting my kid watch this? It's so weird." Kid's TV shows have always really creeped me out. I really just wanted to make a classic X-Files episode. It's a monster-of-the-week episode, but not all MOTW episodes actually have a monster. I really wanted to have some recognizable monster for the episode. That's where the Mr. Chuckleteeth guy came in. Like the classic X-Files feel, I definitely wanted to set it in a small town. I wanted to start the episode in the town with Mulder and Scully, and end the episode in the town with Mulder and Scully. As much as I love all the X-Files lore, I didn't want to see the X-Files office, I didn't want to put Skinner in this episode. I just wanted it to be a very classic, standalone monster-of-the-week episode.

Mr. Chuckleteeth and the Bibble-Tiggles were crazy-terrifying.

Awesome! I'm so happy to hear it! That's all I want!


Shane Harvey/FOX

I'm watching it and I don't understand how these parents aren't being arrested for letting their kids watch this stuff.

If you go watch kids TV shows that are on right now, you will notice they are a little weird.

Oh, I do notice this!

Yo Gabba Gabba is another one I was watching the other day. That one's just as creepy.

Yeah, but I have a soft spot for Yo Gabba Gabba because it was created by the Aquabats.

Mr. Chuckleteeth was actually inspired by an old British kids TV show called Jigsaw. There's a character in Jigsaw called Mr. Noseybonk. He kind of looks like Mr. Chuckleteeth a little bit, so that was the inspiration for me when I was writing the character. It was the starting point for the design, but we really made it our own thing. My inkling is that it might also have been the inspiration behind Jigsaw, the character in the Saw films.

Why did you decide to have the episode be set against a witchcraft story, rather than just focus on the kid's show aspect?

When I was thinking of this episode, I thought of the teaser first, then I had to figure out a way to make the teaser make sense. I was trying to figure out a way to make the lore behind these characters, how to make them real, and how to make them dangerous. I'm really big into research and history. I started going into a lot of research into spirits. I'm from Massachussetts, so I kind of wanted to set it in the New England area. When I was researching spirits, I started reading about familiars and it all just clicked together. That, and I love witchcraft and magic-type stuff.

It feels like, in this episode, the specter of William hangs heavy over Mulder and Scully, because they are dealing with the deaths of two children. William is never really specifically addressed in this episode. Was that the intention?

I think it was more of a happy accident. When we went into this season, we knew William was going to play a big part, because they kind of set it up at the end of last season. You see so much on TV nowadays that the killing of adults and, to some extent, the killing of teenagers... it's not as emotional as the death of a child. I really wanted to do something hard-hitting with this episode, so I wanted to make the victims children. But you are absolutely correct. I don't know that I went into it necessarily thinking about William, but it definitely plays on the season, for sure. You are absolutely right about that.

Mulder says a couple of times in this episode that this is a witch hunt. Is that specifically referring to the literal hunt for witches, or is it a veiled reference to current events?

Probably both. I think what I was playing on with that -- and everyone can read into it what they want -- is there is kind of a mob-mentality on the internet now, with every single topic that ever comes up. I'm just as guilty as anyone. You read articles on Twitter, and it's like headline culture. You'll retweet stuff without even reading the article. You'll jump onto what anybody else is saying and attack other people without ever looking into fact. Like I said, I'm guilty of it as well, but it's a dangerous direction our culture is headed. I don't know what can be done about it, because social media has brought so many people together, and given so many people their own voice. It runs the gamut from small personal attacks on people to entire cultures of people being targeted.

I was reading this book where someone was talking about the four or five big witch hunts in history. There was the original witch hunts; then there was McCarthyism; the satanic cult craze in the 1990s [ed note: the "Satanic Panic" was at its most fervent in the 1980s]; then Islamophobia today. But I think with the way social media has gone, everything turns into a witch hunt. Regardless if people are right about who they are hunting, I just think it's a dangerous culture we are in, with social media and all. Margaret Atwood wrote a good article about throwing out due process. It's a hard topic to talk about these days, but it's something I think everyone should look at.

You also touched upon that with the mob mentality that goes into killing the sex offender.

Oh yeah, for sure. And he wasn't a good guy, but he didn't do the killings!


Shane Harvey/FOX

You are on the writing staff. Can you talk about the evolution of what is ostensibly the final season of The X-Files?

It's not a traditional show with a traditional writer's room. In a traditional writer's room, everyone would come in and talk as a group about where the show is going, then everyone would break each episode together, in a room. The X-Files has never really worked like that. We did that a little bit on this show. We decided who would be writing which episodes, and how many episodes. All the writers individually pitched their ideas and got feedback. But unlike a traditional writer's room, we all went off on our own and broke the stories by ourself. Once we had the entire story outlined, then we would come back and meet.

When my outline was done, I would come back and pitch it to all the writers, and they would give me feedback to restructure my episode. Then we got to a place where everyone was happy with it, and I would go off and write it by myself. Chris [Carter, series creator], especially in these last few seasons, has taken the mythology episodes. We talked with him and he told us the ideas he was thinking of, and where he wanted the mythology to go. We gave him our notes and our comments on what we thought. Chris pretty much takes it from there.

Can you give us a preview of what we can expect from the last two episodes?

I think you're really going to enjoy the penultimate episode. I'm not going to say much, but it's very dark and it's a feast for the eyes, that's for sure. The very last episode, I just got a chance to watch in the mix, and I think it's amazing. I think it's thrilling and, I have to be honest, I read the script and I've been with the show the whole season, and I still got a little choked up at the end. So I think you are in for a mix of emotions.

You think the X-Philes will be happy?

[Laughs] They run the gamut! You can't please everyone. Chris said to me, years ago, when I first started working with them, "When you create something that becomes as big as The X-Files has become, you don't really own it anymore. The fans own it." And there are millions and millions of fans, so everyone is going to have their own opinions. I think the episode is awesome.


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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Thu 8 Mar - 4:30

The X-Files 11.8 Review – ‘Familiar’

March 7, 2018 | Posted by Wednesday Lee Friday



7.5 The 411 Rating

If you look at the totality of X-Files episodes, you’ll notice that they span several genres. There’s straight sci-fi and speculative fiction. There’s also satire, horror, and a fair bit of comedy. Of course there’s mystery, drama, police procedural elements, action, and even the intermittent romance. In a way, one might say that this show straddles every major genre. That’s why it’s especially nice for me when we get an episode that’s straight-up mystery with strong elements of horror. Spoilers for “Familiar” follow.

We begin with an adorable child named Andrew, who seems to have no idea how creepy the tune he’s singing is. At first we think the mom is divorced and avoiding her ex. But no…before we can learn more about that, the boy trots off into the woods after a real-life representation of his spooky doll. We know the kid is probably doomed, but I don’t think any of us expected him to be torn limb from limb. The cops are horrified—oh, and Andrew’s dad Rick, is a cop. That adds a layer of difficulty since cops are able to stonewall the Feds and hide information, which is pretty much what happens.



The boy was shaken to death, died of asphyxiation, and had salt on his feet. So why is Mulder talking about hellhounds and spontaneous combustion? Because that’s Mulder. Scully, of course, is more focused on the premise that the parents are the most likely killers of children this age. At Andrew’s funeral, we see the boy’s mother giving major stink-eye to her husband’s boss. Hmmmm.

The only witness to Andrew’s disappearance is Emily, Chief Strong’s daughter—who hasn’t seen anything except her equally annoying favorite TV show, the Teletubbi—I mean, Bibbletiggles. Later, a disturbing RL approximation of said Bibbletiggle is seen at Emily’s door wall. Next thing we know, she’s gone. And um, also torn apart by a wild animal. Meanwhile, Officer Rick Eggers, Andrew’s father, learns that there’s a convicted pedophile in town that nobody knew about. Like a true reactionary dolt, he heads off to beat some answers out of the man. An investigation reveals that the pedophile had a mask of Mister Chuckleworthy—which is not as funny as it sounds. Maybe the pedophile lured the kids away, but didn’t kill them?



It takes Mulder kind of a long time to put together salt on the feet with magical circles. That’s pretty basic stuff for someone with as much occult knowledge as Mulder—especially given that they discussed the Salem Witch Trials as they came into town. When the agents bring all this up to the Chief, he sounds like he’s about to confess to using witchcraft to murder children. He’s even got a bunch of witchcraft books, including a grimoire (but NOT a Malleus Maleficarum, which you’d think someone opposed to magick would have). Isn’t THAT suspicious. But no…he merely confesses to being a cheater-pants. That would be boring, except that he thinks that his cheating ‘opened the gates of hell,’ because he ‘let the devil into my soul.’ Mulder sums up our feelings nicely, “I did not see that coming.”

Is the town cursed? Is the gate to hell there? Did the pedophile hurt the kids? We don’t really get a chance to ask him. First, he’s beaten by Eggers. Then he’s whaled on by an angry mob. When Mulder and Scully arrive to break up the carnage, Eggers murders the pedophile in cold blood. So we all watch helplessly as otherwise decent people descend into violence and murder out of sheer hatred based on presumption. Due process is a thing for a reason. Now Eggers is a grieving dad and a murderer…one the town has zero interest in prosecuting. Meanwhile, Mulder sees what appears to be an actual hellhound in the woods. Is there a bogart just showing people what’s on their minds?



But wait, because there’s a good guy among the cops. He wants the truth to be known, for justice to prevail. The pedophile was (disgustingly) working as a party clown when Andrew was killed. He didn’t do it. We then watch Rick and Diane break up, twice actually. Diane storms off and immediately gets into an accident after hallucinating her son in the road. Meanwhile Chief Strong is panicked that he can’t get her on the phone. It’s about this time that I start to wonder what Strong’s wife’s role is in all this. Next thing we know, Eggers and Strong have drawn down on each other, and one of them is shot.

We return from commercial to find that Eggers is dead, and his wife is too. So long, entire Eggers family. Mulder and Scully follow the clues and end up in the woods—where Anna Strong is—amid a circle of candles and the missing grimoire. “I have come to end what I started,” is a little on-the-nose dialogue-wise, but it’s also fitting to the scene. See, Anna first put a curse on the woman schtupping her husband. Fair enough, except that the “curse” resulted in the death of little Andrew. But she didn’t stop. Instead, Anna cursed her husband, which resulted in the death of her own child. Even then, it took her a while to even try to stop with the curses.



Remember in Harry Potter 7, when Crabbe (Goyle in the movie) used a feindfyre spell he didn’t know how to control. Sure, the spell worked in that it threw unquenchable fire at his enemies. But he ended up burning himself alive when he couldn’t stop the fire or contain it. A fire, like a curse, isn’t something you can neatly control. Summoning powerful things that don’t have to obey you is dangerous business—as Anna finds out when she bursts into flames. Funny, as Scully and Mulder had already discussed spontaneous combustion and that it doesn’t really happen. Combustion, yes. Spontaneous? Maybe not.

To punctuate “Familiar” with a bit of extra discomfort, we see that the grimoire has not burned, and the carousel in the park is moving of its own accord. Spoooooky. I imagine this episode will be the subject of debate in modern Wicca circles (pun intended), mainly for its use of the word “Familiar” as the title. This is one of the most commonly misused phrases in modern witchcraft, since silly fangirls so often pretend that their pets or other status animals are ‘familiars,’ demonstrating that they don’t even understand the term. Then there’s the reduction of all witchcraft as a means to conjure malevolent spirits. That’s like saying Catholicism is an excuse to drink wine in church. But then, X-Files has always amped up the lore to make it more dramatically appealing. Anyone relying on the show for historical accuracy is bound to emerge disappointed.



“Familiar” had several annoying issues, but was also a fun story that went to places I didn’t expect. I enjoyed the creepy imagery, the hellhound, and the way most of the evil people got what was coming to them. Shame that a couple of cute kids had to die to get it done though. What’s the moral lesson here? Is it “don’t cheat?” Don’t mess with witchcraft? Try not to conjure hellhounds? Watch your damn kids even if you’re getting a call? Maybe the lesson is to always fire-protect your spell-books so future generations can enjoy them.

It’s worth mentioning that Mulder referred to his son again this week. As we know, William is not his son. With only two more episodes remaining in the season, we’ve got to be getting close to some sort of revelation about all of that. No official word on whether or not this will be the last season, but that seems likely.

See you’s next week!

7.5
The final score: review Good
The 411
In "Familiar," X-Files explores small town madness, remnants of ancient unholy practices, adultery, and the striking number of kid show mascots who are creepy AF. We heard a haunting theme song, saw police murder a man without due process, and saw an honest-to-Zod Hellhound. Cool!


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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Thu 8 Mar - 4:38

Let’s Talk About The X-Files Season 11 Episode 8, “Familiar”

Posted by Mary Anne Butler March 7, 2018

The time has come for another classic The X-Files style belief vs skepticism episode, “Familiar”. If you missed last week’s tech-heavy yet minimalist episode, you can read about it here.

In season 11’s 8th episode,  Mulder and Scully investigate the brutal animal attack of a little boy in Connecticut while suspecting darker forces are at play.  Also, there’s a scary AF doll.


He’s got….nice hair?
Photo courtesy of FOX

One important thing to point out about “Familiar” is the director. Holly Dale, who has a long list of TV series (like The Americans, Dexter, Cold Case, and Flashpoint just to name a few) under her belt is now the third woman to direct an episode in the series.  Yup. The third.  Across 11 seasons.

A little history- and then we’ll dive into the episode because that’s what you’re here for, right?

The first woman to write AND direct an episode of the series was none other than Agent Dana Katherine Scully herself,  Gillian Anderson. The season 7 episode 17 “All Things” was such a beautiful story for Scully, it remains one of my favorite in her narrative. Then 2 seasons later comes season 9 episode 7,”John Doe”, directed by Michelle MacLaren (Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Game Of Thrones). That brings us to season 11.  So, maybe if we get another two seasons of the show, we’ll get another female director?

Ok, so things that happened in The X-Files s11e8 “Familiar”:

  • it starts with a child singing to his scary doll while his mom has a bad phone call
  • Andrew, the kid, sees a human sized version of his doll Mr. Chuckleteeth beconing him into the forest. He follows it.
  • cut to later that night, where a group of police are combing the same forest looking for Andrew, and they find the doll, covered in blood
  • The local police tell Mulder and Scully that the boy was killed by an animal attack, even though the cause of death is a crushed windpipe
  • The likely culprit is a coyote/wolf hybrid they say
  • “Thanks for backing me up out there,” Scully says. “Yeah, you’re my hommie.” Mulder responds
  • So classic X-Files here, Scully trying to explain the happenings with science and Mulder jumping right to witches
  • As Scully is examining the body, Mulder notices something on the boy’s feet, he thinks it’s salt
  • The FBI agents speak to a young girl who may have seen something, but she’s watching a weird alien-teletubbies thing
  • Mulder looks at the books on the little girl’s mom’s bookshelf, which is filled with Witch lore and histories.
  • The little girl calls to her mom and points to the tv, and Mr. Chuckleteeth is on the show.




  • Creepy. AF.
  • Ah, I see we’re back to the breathless Scully
  • She confronts one of the local Police Officers who is adamant that the boy’s father (who is in law enforcement) couldn’t possibly be the killer
  • They go to check on him, and he’s notably freaked out, pulls a gun on both Scully and the officer
  • Mulder is out in the forest and comes face to face with a big wolf
  • Mulder and Scully track down the actor who plays Mr. Chuckleteeth, who has a monkey in a cage and big giant shoes
  • Back at Emily’s (the little girl) house, it’s lunch time and one of the not-teletubbies shows up outside her window and she follows it
  • It looks like things don’t end well for Emily- the girl’s body is found in the same forest area as Andrew’s
  • Mulder finds salt at the scene, he brushes away leaves from the ground and uncovers a huge salt circle
  • Scully reminds him it’s a crime scene, and he continues to talk about 17th century witches (so typically him)
  • The Chief reveals that while he has been an adulterer, he is not an ‘evil’ man. He was having an affair with Andrew’s mom when the boy wandered off
  • A mob tries to take down the man who plays Mr. Chuckleteeth, and one of the policemen shoots him in the head
  • “Time has a way of shining light on injustices, especially in this part of the country,” Scully says outside the courthouse where the shooter gets a $5k bail
  • Andrew’s mom leaves her husband (after he calls her a witch) and gets into a pretty bad crash
  • Edgars and the Chief have a showdown in the doorway of Chief’s house, and a gunshot is heard as it fades to black



  • Mulder and Scully show up right after the firefight, and Edgars has been killed.
  • There’s salt at the scene, and in the house, the Mr. Chuckleteeth show is playing
  • The Chief goes to the forest, and finds his wife Anna in the middle of a circle of candles.
  • She admits it was all her doing, that she wanted to curse her husband for his cheating, not cause death
  • the hellhound comes out of the darkness and attacks the chief
  • Anna tries to finish closing her spell, but bursts into flames
  • The Grimoire doesn’t burn (duh it’s magic), and Scully gives it to the helpful local officer
  • Mulder and Scully climb into their car, to leave the town and the local playground’s merry-go-round starts turning with no one on it.

Join us next week for episode 9!

(Last Updated March 7, 2018 11:01 pm)


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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Thu 8 Mar - 5:16


therogercross

Who’d have thunk it! All these years later I’d be doing my 5th #X-Files episode with these 2. @gilliana @davidduchovny

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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Thu 8 Mar - 8:30

The X-Files: Familiar – there is no getting out of this town

by Susan Leighton
31 minutes ago
Follow @SusanontheLedge

When the brutal murder of a little boy happens in Eastwood, Connecticut Mulder and Scully race to track down the culprit. Is the killer the evil in our society or an ancient curse?



“There is no getting out of this town these days.” – Fox Mulder

Rush to Judgment

In today’s world, we are often blinded by our own beliefs and biases. It’s a part of being human, unfortunately. However, sometimes that tendency prevents us from thinking clearly. Tonight’s episode of The X-Files, entitled Familiar, deals with not only a supernatural element but a societal phenomenon as well.

People are often tried in the court of public opinion and in social media outlets. Due process is overlooked in favor of mob mentality. Benjamin Van Allen’s script deals with this fact in typical X-Files style.

When Mulder and Scully try to track down a cold-blooded killer, they are witness to the insular tight knit clannish mentality of the small town in which they find themselves. On the outside, things may appear to be white picket fences and everybody knows your name type feel but behind closed doors, when suspicions are raised, an ugly side rears its head.

We see what happens when a convicted sex offender, who actually had nothing to do with the murder of a local child, becomes a target and is nearly kicked to death. The scene is undoubtedly uncomfortable for some viewers but hits a deep chord. Is this what has become of us?

Mr. Chuckleteeth or Pee Wee Herman from Hell



All I can say is writer Benjamin Van Allen must REALLY have a deep dislike for the Teletubbies and Pee Wee’s Playhouse. These two cartoons are kind of prominent in the Familiar episode. Well, their demonic cousins maybe.

Pee Wee has been replaced by the malevolent Mr. Chuckleteeth and the Teletubbies, well their substitutes are the black-eyed Bibbletickles. In the very first scene we are introduced to the doll form of Mr. Chuckleteeth as young Andy Eggers (Sebastian Billingsley-Rodriguez)playing on a merry-go-round.

He gets lured into the woods by a real-life Mr. Chuckleteeth when his mother Diana (Sharon Taylor) is engrossed in a deep conversation on her cell phone. When she finishes, she turns around to find that her son is missing.

Nighttime falls and a search party of local police officers are combing the woods. One of the group, Officer Wentworth (Roger Cross) finds the mangled body of Andy. His father who is a fellow officer, Rick Eggers (Jason Gray-Stanford) cries out in anguish when he sees his son.

Hell Hound or Serial Killer?



Mulder (David Duchovny) and Scully (Gillian Anderson) are on the scene. Immediately when Scully finds out that Andy had a crushed windpipe and a broken neck, she overrides the police that think it is a coyote attack. Even Mulder chimes in that it could have been a Coy-Wolf.

Always logical, Scully think the bite marks were postmortem and that it is murder. She gives a profile to the police and tells them that he is probably a resident of Eastwood and frequents the park.

When she and Mulder get back to their car they start talking about the case. Scully scoffs at his suggestion that the perpetrator was a Coy-Wolf. He informs her that he was thinking more along the lines of a hell hound.

Of course, Scully stares at him incredulously. Mulder then explains that the hell hound guards the gates of hell and that Eastwood is ground zero for that kind of supernatural activity because of the past. Apparently, a witch named Goodie Bishop spontaneously combusted and the ground is cursed.

In typical Scully fashion, she discounts what Mulder says and insists that it isn’t paranormal it is the work of evil in this world. During the course of the examination of Andy’s body, Mulder discovers salt on his ankle.

Neither he nor Scully understand why. After they finish, they discuss talking to the Chief of Police’s daughter since she was a witness.


1428 Elm

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Re: 11x08 - Familiar

Post by jade1013 on Thu 8 Mar - 10:23

The X-Files season 11 episode 8 recap and review: Familiar

by Sarah Crocker
1 hour ago
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Get ready for gore, violence and the worst Teletubby you have ever seen in Familiar, the latest episode of The X-Files season 11

It all begins with a creepy, rainy playground where surely nothing terrible will ever happen. A young boy named Andrew – dressed in a bright yellow raincoat like poor Georgie Denbrough in Stephen King’s It – is on some playground equipment. His mother, Diana Eggers, is nearby. However, she is distracted by a tense phone call. She might also be trying to ignore her son’s horrible doll, a dark-gray monstrosity he calls “Mr. Chuckleteeth”.

Maybe she should be paying a little more attention because her son sees a full-size Mr. Chuckleteeth looming about in the woods. Young Andrew runs off and ultimately meets a gruesome end. When we later cut to the police officers searching for him that night, the episode twists the knife even more by making his father one of the officers.

At least Mulder manages to keep it together when interviewing Emily, the police chief’s 5-year-old daughter who was also at the scene. She’s watching a horrifying version of the Teletubbies, the “Bibbietiggles.” They are almost the same, down to the bottom-heavy costumes and brightly colored fur. But their eyes are black voids and they dance over and over to the same music. Then, Mr. Chuckleteeth shows up on screen, dancing and grinning forever. Between that and the extensive witchcraft library, Mulder is thoroughly creeped out.

“Familiar” is definitely gory, perhaps even excessively so. That’s certainly the case when we come back from commercial to see Scully and Mulder perusing crime scene photos. The cops say it was probably a wild animal attack, while Scully thinks it might actually be a human.

Mulder chimes in with witchcraft, or possibly a demon-related hellhound. Absolutely no one finds this to be helpful.



The grimness intensifies with an autopsy, followed by Andrew’s funeral. His father, Rick Eggers, asks fellow Officer Wentworth what’s going on. Why won’t the FBI release his son’s body? Wentworth spills the beans, saying that the agents seem to think there may be a human culprit.

That’s all Eggers needs to go full vigilante. Somehow, he hasn’t been placed on any sort of leave and is able to search through the sex offender registry via a station computer. He finds one nearby: Melvin Peter. Eggers practically steals a patrol car and leads Chief Strong and Scully on a chase to Peter’s home. Nothing much happens, though no one in town pulls over for sirens or flashing emergency lights. It makes for a very manufactured chase scene, to be honest.

While Chief Strong talks Eggers down, Scully takes a call from Mulder. He’s just meandering around the crime scene again when he encounters a poorly rendered black wolf looming in the woods. It walks away. Mulder hangs up without saying goodbye (though Scully is probably used to it at this point).

Later investigations of Peter’s home reveal way too many party balloons in a bedroom and plenty of pictures of Peter in costume at children’s birthday parties. There’s also a surprise capuchin monkey in a closet, for no discernible reason other than to provide a jump scare.

“He’s potentially John Wayne Gacy with a monkey,” says Scully. But Mulder thinks it’s too easy. He’s also pretty put off by the angry mob forming outside the home. “Mass hysteria, Salem, McCarthyism,” Mulder recalls, looking around at the people.



Meanwhile, young Emily sees the purple hell-Teletubby at her door and follows it outside. She meets a gruesome end in a similar fashion to Andrew. Mulder finds a salt circle and Puritan gravestones at the site. That’s plenty strange, though Mulder’s leap to witchcraft and demons is still a bit of a stretch.

It’s enough to unnerve Chief Strong, however. He tells the pair that “I have let the devil into my soul and I have sinned against God… but I did not kill anyone.” Strong says he is a “lustful man, an adulterer.” In fact, he was on the phone with Andrew’s mom when Andrew went missing. He cries that he has opened the gates of hell and then runs off.

“I… did not see that coming,” Mulder says.

Later, he pulls out his B-movie dialogue and tells Scully that “I think someone has put a curse on this town and maybe unwittingly opened the gates of hell.” Clearly dramatic, but it’s hard to argue fully when Melvin Peter – who had a clear alibi – is beaten by a mob and then murdered by a distraught Eggers. Even worse, Eggers is released on a $5,000 bond.

Eggers’ wife doesn’t want to cut him a break, however. He confronts her about the affair with Chief Strong. They fight, she leaves, he gets a gun and then leaves after her.

Diana speeds along a dark country road, crying, then briefly sees Andrew standing in the middle of the road. She swerves and flips her car. We cut to her wrecked, upside-down vehicle. The computer wolf walks up to it and growls.




Meanwhile, Eggers breaks into the Strong household and experiences utter strangeness. First, there’s the “Mr. Chuckleteeth” song, apparently sung by his deceased son with plenty of otherworldly vocal distortion. Then he actually sees Mr. Chuckleteeth and starts shooting, though of course, he does not land a single shot.

The TV starts playing a Mr. Chuckleteeth clip, which, in true creepypasta fashion, ends with a line about “[sending] you straight to hell.” It’s complete with a fast zoom into that awful face and some flames in the background. We’ve got some real Candle Cove vibes here.

Eggers tries to leave, but he comes face to face with Strong on the doorstep. When Mulder and Scully arrive after the commercial break, they find Eggers on the ground, dead of a gunshot wound. They drive off to find that Chief Strong has found Diana’s wrecked car and followed her doppelganger into the woods.

Once deep into the forest, Strong discovers his own wife, Anna. She’s holding a huge grimoire and chanting in the midst of a candle circle. Must have taken forever to light each one. “I have to end what I started,” she tells her husband. “I only meant to curse Diana, for what you were doing behind my back”.

The computer-generated wolf chooses this moment to leap in and chow down on Chief Strong. Mulder and Scully rush in, only to see Anna go up in flames. Scully and Mulder just stand there, because I guess what else would you do? You know, apart from trying to help her or something.




The grimoire, however, survives intact. Later, Scully hands the book to Officer Wentworth, saying, “somehow, this didn’t burn.” He looks like he really, really doesn’t want to receive this particular piece of evidence.

“Let’s get out of this town, Mulder,” Scully sighs. They do just that, but as their car pulls away, a piece of playground equipment starts moving on its own. You can’t end an episode of The X-Files without some lingering strangeness, you know.

Apart from the deeply sad and grim deaths of children, “Familiar” wasn’t a bad episode. It did, however, spend a little too much time focusing on the boring interpersonal relationships of awful adults. More demons, please!

No, it’s not that I’m a sadist (really, I’m not). But how many of us tune in to The X-Files for small-town drama? Sometimes, it felt like there were simply too many adults bickering and hurting one another. If we have to face horrible injuries and broken relationships, can you at least properly creep us out while doing so? Heck, I’d even take more of those nightmare-inducing Teletubbies from the underworld.




Unfortunately, a lot of the supernatural things that were present were strangely flat. That computer generated wolf spent most of its time wandering the forest, while Mr. Chuckleteeth danced about on screen (with nary an adult commenting on the weird kids’ show).

The reveal that Anna Strong is the incompetent witch at the center of the tragedy was also somewhat unexciting. Maybe we should have seen just a little more of her initial witchcraft to make it really stick. This is one of those rare cases where just a touch of backstory could have rooted things more firmly.

In the end, this is a serviceable episode that doesn’t quite pack the thrills of other X-Files tales. It’s good enough for an evening, but how many people will re-watch it when there are other, more tightly written demonic episodes of The X-Files? At least there were a couple of interesting monsters — in the form of those Teletubbies and Mr. Chuckleteeth.

Next week is “Nothing Lasts Forever,” which looks to be a pretty gross one, with all the talk of organ theft and cult rituals. There may also be a hint of vampires here, with the various stakes through hearts. At least, that’s what Mulder wants you to think. We’ll have to wait until next week to see if he’s right.


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