Sunday, March 15, 2015

The X-Files, season 2 episode 20: "Humbug"

A while back, I began -- but, sadly, did not finish -- a project for another blog wherein I revisited and rated the entirety of The X-Files.  I still plan to finish that one of these days, but in order to help myself feel better about the time I've put in already, I decided to post a lengthy extract here: namely, a lengthy plot summary and analysis of the episode "Humbug."
Rather than edit it for context, I now merely present it to you (mostly) as it would have appeared there.
And at last, we come to the first of the episodes written by Darin Morgan. The only reason I didn't give this episode a 5X rating is because I do genuinely feel as if it is a hair less good than "Beyond the Sea," "One Breath," and a few other episodes which will be coming up later in the run.  Asked to justify why, I guess I'd say that the themes and idea Morgan introduces work better separately than they do as a whole.  But I'm not really sure I believe that. Whatever.  This is a great episode.  I could write a very lengthy post all about it. "Hey," I hear you asking, "waitaminit!  Where's the summary?" Well, in this particular case, I couldn't bear to use the shitty one at Wikipedia, so here comes one of my own creation, complete with extensive screencaps.  To be honest, I wish I could do this for each and every episode, but there just isn't time for that level of scrutiny.  I feel like I can make an exception for "Humbug," though, and I'll probably end up doing the same for Darin Morgan's other episodes. So, here goes: On a moonlit night in Gibsonton, Florida, two young boys are at play in a backyard swimming pool.  They are, ominously, being watched, by an unseen figure; we glimpse only its hand, which is monstrously deformed, and an eye, which sits within a similarly monstrous face. 
In shadow, it moves closer and closer to the pool and the boys.  It slips unseen into the water, and we see it approach the children from beneath the surface.  Suddenly, the boys scream, and a hideous monster bursts from the water.