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 The X-Files > Season 2


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 Written by
Howard Gordon

 Directed by
Rob Bowman

 Original Air Date


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Excellent and evolutive
Written by Jack Anderson on 2016-01-01
Thinking of it, the episode is almost like a premise of "Pusher" from next season. Once again, The X-Files is so great when not going too far into the science-fiction.
I really enjoyed the theme of the episode.

The introduction of Alex Krycek is simply perfect. The way Nicholas Lea is portraying him is marvellous. Often, in The X-Files, new characters will either be hated or loved from the very start. Like in a working interview, we only need a second to judge a new character. Thankfully for us, the new characters from the early seasons all work beautifully.

After the death of the perfect character Deep Throat, we now get to see Mulder's next informant, X (sometimes referred as Mr. X).
It was logical to have a character different from Deep Throat. It would have been cliché to have a similar character.
X, portrayed by Steven Williams is and will be a totally different character from Deep Throat. He is reluctant to being here, he is agressive, he is everything but the father figure that was Deep Throat before him.

After directing just one episode from the first season, Rob Bowman is back with an episode very well directed. I'll mention three visual ideas that worked particularly well. For instance, at one moment, Mulder leaves a building and is met by Krycek angry at him. The introduction movement of this scene is superb. We start in the air and then arrive near the road. Most directors would have had a very simple introduction, not Rob Bowman.
Second, when in the medical prison, the scene starts with images from the ceiling and then the camera is quickly going back to the characters rapidly walking.
Third, the shots from the first meeting between Mulder and X are beautiful. And when Mulder leaves, the camera is slowly moving out.

In "Sleepless", we have a slight glimpse of Mulder and Scully relationship. There is a beautiful scene in which they talk on the phone and Scully refers to Mulder working with someone else. The way they talk to each others is very delicate and by not saying much, we actually understand more. This is not only working well, this is also very realistic.

Finally, The X-Files is continuing on its beautiful evolution of the series. After closing the FBI x-files section, we now understand that we should fear even more and that something even great will happen soon.
The final scene from "Sleepless" is hinting that Scully will be part of it...

The episode's atmosphere is very dark, very realistic. Although it is not perfect, "Sleepless" is an excellent episode, marking the (second) debut of Rob Bowman as a full time director on The X-Files in this second season. The introductions of Alex Krycek and X are as good as the characters themselves.
And the paranoia and references to the mythology are just perfect, like the last scene.
Finally, the theme of the episode is very fun and is almost like a premise to the sublime "Pusher" from next season.
I give the episode 7 out of 10. Excellent.

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