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120 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bittersweet year in which the greatest TV duo ever spend their last season together
The new slimpack releases of Seasons 7 through 9-which are essentially the original sets with the extras disc removed as well as many other special features-will complete the entire rerelease of all the X-FILES in affordable editions. I've been disappointed to find many of the special features missing in the first six volumes, but given that I couldn't afford the...
Published on March 27, 2006 by Robert Moore

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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Season 7: The Problematic Stepchild of the X-Files Series
Season 7 represents the end of the traditional X-Files episode formula and the befuddlement of the established series mythology. For every gem worth viewing, it has two or three low quality imitations to match.
The season highlights include "Hungry" (7x03), "Millennium" (7x04), "The Goldberg Variation" (7x06), and "X-Cops"...
Published on July 4, 2003 by flask


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120 of 127 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A bittersweet year in which the greatest TV duo ever spend their last season together, March 27, 2006
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This review is from: The X-Files: Season 7 (DVD)
The new slimpack releases of Seasons 7 through 9-which are essentially the original sets with the extras disc removed as well as many other special features-will complete the entire rerelease of all the X-FILES in affordable editions. I've been disappointed to find many of the special features missing in the first six volumes, but given that I couldn't afford the original editions, I'm all in all delighted to finally own my own copies, instead of relying on video stores and Netflix.

Season Seven is, on the one hand, unquestionably the weakest of the first seven that featured David Duchovny fulltime, and perhaps even weaker than Season Eight when Duchovny was only a part time member of the cast. On the other hand, the series still had more outstanding episodes than the vast majority of shows in TV history. So, my five-star rating reflects the show compared with other series, not with other seasons in its own run. In my opinion, the only season weaker than this one is the unfortunate Season Nine, with the near complete loss of David Duchovny and the weak overall story line.

Why did Season Seven fail to measure up to other X-Files seasons? First, there was the loss of the overall alien colonization story line. The season starts with a carry over of the final episode of Season Six, that seems to be reasserting an alien arc, but in fact this is a false promise, and the story told in that brief arc more or less disappears from the show. The problem, in fact, the show had in its final three seasons was the lack of a consistent and compelling story arc. There are efforts at story arcs, but the "super soldiers" arc that becomes full blown in Season Nine was riffled with inconsistencies, and was definitely not compelling. Still, the loss of Mulder in Season Eight provided a focus for that Season, while Season Nine at least had the opportunity of exploring the new partnership of Doggett and Reyes. Season Seven essentially had memories of the six seasons that preceded it.

Nonetheless, Season Seven still contained many absolutely outstanding individual episodes. From beginning to end of the series, the writers never lost the ability to concoct a killer tale to be told in 43 minutes. "X-Cops" is a classic among the Mulder-Scully parody episodes, with the real-life production crew of the show COPS capturing the duo on videotape as an X-File collides with a police investigation supposedly being covered for the show. Typically, Scully spends most of the episode glaring disdainfully at the cameramen, while Mulder delightfully welcomes their presence. The dramatic highlight might be the heart-rending two-parter of "Sein und Zeit" (with apologies to Martin Heidegger) and "Closure," which features one of the best single-episode guest appearances ever by Anthony Heald (a role so outstanding that a reprisal of the role would have seem necessary, but which sadly never occurred) as a man who claims he has visions of departed children. Images from those episodes are among some of the most haunting in the series of the show. "Millennium" features what is technically Mulder and Scully's first kiss (with Mulder commenting afterwards, technically commenting on the Y2K predictions of disaster, "See, the world didn't end"). The intensely romantic non-romance between Mulder and Scully becomes such a joke that in "Fight Club" Mulder mentions a doppelganger pair of agents who had, believe it or not, been together for seven years but had not had a romantic relationship. "En Ami" is a marvelous swan song for the Cigarette Smoking Man, as he persuades Scully to help him in a caper (he would reappear later in the season to die, but would thereafter tragically be missing from the show, another problem the show had in its final two seasons). "all things" (lower cap) is my personal favorite of the season, an absolutely astonishing tour de force by Gillian Anderson that reveals depths of talent in a host of directions that no one could have anticipated. She wrote, directed, and acted in the episode (with Mulder largely absent) as Scully unexpectedly reencounters a former professor/mentor, a man who was married at the time she and he had what was evidently a torrid love affair, revealing more about Scully's past than we had ever learned before. The show is outstanding on multiple levels, including visually and narratively (as well as musically, helped not merely by Mark Snow's usually brilliant score but by contributions by Moby). It also features the best teaser in the history of the show, with Scully at the beginning dressing in what turns out to be Mulder's bathroom, and leaving the apartment with a naked Mulder in his bed. The episode is so outstanding the viewer is only left to wonder why Gillian Anderson wrote and directed only this one. Probably my favorite Scully episode since the one where she learned that she had, inexplicably, a genetic daughter.

There were also some disappointing moments. "Hollywood A.D." simultaneously was one of the funniest and worse episodes, a weak X-file with a funny backstory of a Hollywood producer (a friend of Skinner) following Mulder and Scully in order to gather background for a Hollywood film. Though much in the episode is wooden, there are some precious moments, such as the producer talking in the phone to studio execs: "No, its an optical illusion. She is actually quite tall" (obviously referring to Scully--I have always been extremely sceptical about the 5'3 or 5'2 that is often given as Gillian Anderson's height). Also wonderful is the exquisite pairing the wildly improbable Gary Shandling as Fox Mulder with Tea Leoni (in real life Mrs. David Duchovny) as Scully. Anyone who saw Gary Shandling's THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW knows that David Duchovny was one of "Larry Sanders's" more frequent guests, with many jokes about Duchovny having a cursh on Sanders, so that Shandling's playing Mulder is a fairly complex in-joke. Another perfect moment in the episode is Leoni asking Scully to show her how she is able to run in heels. We then see while Shandling and Mulder talk in the foreground, Scully in the distant background sprinting from one side of the stage to the other while Leoni looks on.

But for me the biggest disappointment is the final episode, "Requiem," which is more or less Mulder's exit from the show. Although he would reappear in a few episodes in the final two seasons, this episode ends the seven-season partnership between Mulder and Scully. The episode, despite some fine moments, just didn't seem to have the "gravitas" that such a key episode would seem to require. It did nicely take place in the same town in Oregon that saw Mulder and Scully have their first adventure together in Season One, but all in all it was not one of the more remarkable episodes.

In the end, the ending of the greatest partnership in TV history is what creates an indescribable sadness at the end of the season. There would be two final seasons, with many great new episodes, but if you had to point to the single thing that made THE X-FILES such an amazing phenomena, it was--along with the great writing--the exquisite pairing of Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny as Mulder and Scully. Many of us remain hopeful that there will be a future movie. We know that the key figures have discussed it and have all expressed a willingness. But so far we have had no definite indications that Mulder and Scully will get together again. Hopefully the truth is out there.
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44 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The X-Files Season 7 - A season of closure!, July 8, 2003
By 
K. Wyatt "ssintrepid" (Cape Girardeau, MO United States) - See all my reviews
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After watching the special features I found it hard to believe that the shows creator, Chris Carter wasn't sure whether or not there would be an eighth season. This lead Chris Carter and gang to come to some conclusions and closure of certain plot lines within the series. Chief among those is Mulder's quest to find his sister is finally brought to closure after six and half seasons of innuendo and unanswered questions leading to additional questions.
The "mythology" episodes had to take a somewhat different direction during the seventh season due to the syndicate being decimated in the sixth season, leaving only the CSM, Krycek, Diana Fowley and Marita Covarrubias and they seemed to be looking for a new direction during their episodes. The seventh season principally consists of going back to the thrilling standing alone episodes that did one of two things, provide a good scare with astonishing imagery not normally seen on television or they combined that with some brilliant humor.
The mythology episodes:
The Sixth Extinction & The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati - Continuing on from the outstanding sixth season cliffhanger, Biogenesis, these two episodes usher in the seventh season brilliantly. Fox is bed stricken, infected with an alien virus that has his mind working triple time; Scully is in Africa trying to come up with clues as to how to save her partner and AD Skinner is doing his best to help both Mulder and Scully while dealing with Agent Diana Fowley and Krycek. These two episodes also contain some of the best imagery of the entire series.
Sein Und Zeit - This exceptional and extremely emotional episode is part mythology as it leads into the follow on episode, Closure. In this episode, a young girl goes missing in the middle of the night, just after her father has a terrible image of her and a note is inexplicably left behind by the mother.
Closure - This is the episode the fans have been waiting for almost seven years to see as we're finally and with no small modicum of heart wrenching emotion lead to the end of Fox Mulder's quest to find his sister. In no small measure, this episode was done quite magnificently and accolades are due for director Kim Manners.
En Ami - The CSM is back and he claims to Scully that he's dying and he entreats her to help him. This episode is remarkably well written and played out on screen as we're able to see the CSM and his continued ability to confuse through obfuscation. Of special note is that this one was written by the CSM himself, William B. Davis.
Chimera - I categorize this brilliant episode as part of the mythology because it gives us a look into Scully's past and her present persona in comparison to that past. While it is a hard pill to swallow, believing that "by the book" Scully would have an affair with a married man while she was in medical school, it does show that she can be "human" as well and fall into that trap. Of special interest is the fact that Gillian Anderson, wrote, directed and starred primarily in this great episode.
Requiem - This exceptional season seven cliffhanger stands out as giving Mulder proof that the truth is out there, as you will see when you watch this episode. The one true sad thing about this episode is that it marks the end of the last full season in which David Duchovny/Fox Mulder works on the series full time!
A brief synopsis of some of the better stand alone episode:
Hungry - This particularly fascinating episode is about a young man who isn't quite a young "man" and he has some dietary needs that are quite hard on those around him. What I also found to be appealing about this episode is that it's told almost completely from the "monsters" point of view which brings one to empathize with him.
Millennium - In a manner of homage to the Millennium series, Lance Henriksen is brought on the X-Files in the same character that he played on that series, Frank Black. Now Mulder and Scully must deal with the Millennium group as the time is at hand. The long awaited first on screen kiss between Mulder and Scully is done skillfully.
Orison - This exceptional episode brings Mulder and most predominantly Scully back into the world of Donnie Pfaster who was first seen in season two's "Irresistible" where he nearly killed her. He's escaped from prison and they're destined to meet again.
The Amazing Maleeni - The X-Files explores the world of magic and this episode scores big in the humor area while telling a good X-File.
Hollywood A.D. As comedic episodes go, this is one the series finest and it tells a good X-File at the same time. Of note is that David Duchovny gets to work briefly in this episode with his wife, the ever gorgeous Tea Leoni'.
Je Souhaite - This is a marvelous comedic X-File as well as we're taken to Missouri and we meet a not so bright young man who opens up an abandoned storage area only to find a "Jinniyah" in a rug who grants him three wishes. The scenes with Scully in this episode are priceless as we get to see her smile a little more.
Special Features of note:
The one true disappointment about this boxed set is that the special features appear to be somewhat limited in contrast to past boxed sets. {ssintrepid}
- "The Truth About Season Seven"
- 10 deleted scenes
- 13 special effects sequences
- 44 promotional television spots
Episode list:
The Sixth Extinction {mythology}
The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati {mythology}
Hungry
Millennium
Rush
The Goldberg Variation
Orison
The Amazing Maleeni
Signs & Wonders
Sein Und Zeit {mythology}
Closure {mythology}
X-Cops
First Person Shooter
Theef
En Ami {mythology}
Chimera
all things {mythology}
Brand X
Hollywood A.D.
Fight Club
Je Souhaite
Requiem {mythology}
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A mixed season with some gems and some duds, March 10, 2006
This review is from: The X-Files: Season 7 (DVD)
The 7th season of "The X-Files" found the stand alone episodes as the stand out episodes as well. The best episodes did what the series always did best. "Hungry" told the story of a creature that sucks out brains to live and regrets every minute of it. It's a compelling episode because for the first time we see the point of view of the monster. "The Goldberg Variation" about a guy with all the luck in the world and disaster for anyone who messes with him. "X-Cops" plays as a witty parody of the Fox TV show "Cops". Shot in the same style as "Cops" it perfectly captures both the absurdity and sense of danger in that show. Although "Hollywood AD" written and directed by David Duchovny has its moments it just doesn't gel for me personally but does have fine performances. Garry Shandling and Mrs. Duchovny Tea Leoni are cast as Mulder and Scully in a movie version of one of their cases. It's a clever parody of why so many Hollywood projects that look so promising go bad.

"The Sixth Extinction" and "Amor Fati" have a compelling stories at their core but are overcome by some hamfisted writing by Chris Carter. Still, the show is visually impressive and features some strong performances. In this particular episode Scully goes to an excavation site along the African coast to uncover the meaning of strange markings on an alien spaceshift buried under the beach in order to save Mulder. He has been infected by an alien virus triggered by the rubbings from the craft's exterior that is burning out his brain by increasing synaptic activity at breathtaking speed.

"Sein Und Zeit" and "Closure" are more successful episodes. The first episode deals with the disappearence of a girl with an odd note left behind apparently by her own mother. In "Closure" Mulder discovers what truly happened to his sister after all his years of searching. The latter episode is moving particularly if you've followed the series from the first episode. In "En Ami" the Cigarette Smoking Man returns seeking Scully's help; he claims to be dying and he also claims that he and Scully can save the lives of others that, like Scully, have been abducted and returned. To this he needs her help and she must trust him. Actress Gillian Anderson writes and directs the marvelous "All Things". The season closes the way the show began with a follow up to an episode from the first season involving abducted teenagers. The aftermath of these events set up another story arc involving another nasty alien plot.

This set comes with commentary tracks on "First Person Shooter by Chris Carter, Gillian Anderson on "All Things" and writer Vince Gilligan on "Je Sohaite". A couple of episodes have deleted scenes that you can integrate into the episode by going to the menu and activating it. There are also a number of international language clips as well but the last disc that featured the special effects featurettes and documentary are NOT included here as part of this set. Image and sound qualtiy are extremely good as they feature the original transfers done for the previous set.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a break from mythology, January 29, 2003
By 
C. Mejía "CMM" (Btá, Cmarca Cbia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Another season of the X-Files is about to be released and we are getting close to The Truth. This seventh season is known to be one of the most difficult to swallow for the fans. I believe that the negative response it got from some people had to do with the fact that there was a big void: there was no real mythology episodes here... the transicion from the old mythology to the new one took place between the second half of the sixth season and the begining of the eighth. This means that the entire seventh season had to flirt with some elements of mythology without really starting a new one. The season starts with The Sixth Extinction two parter. These episodes don't really set new things, instead they try to elaborate around the things we saw in Biogenesis (the symbols in the artifact, and how it came from a space craft buried in an African beach). The CSM returns to reveal something to Mulder and to work as a devil who will tempt the hero with the promise of a new and normal life. By the end of the second episode nothing really important has happened... Mulder returns, there is no big revelation and Scully has learned that sometimes prayer works better than running around in high heels... and of course... Diana Fowley's demise. This two parter proved to be the most disappointing season opener of the series, but it was followed by some really great episodes. Hungry, which turned the focus of the series around and centered itself around the monster, although many thought that it was a bad episode I actually enjoyed it a lot. Then we find other really great episodes like Rush, Orison (Donnie Pfaster's return), The Goldberg Variation (a bit too light for me, but quite good actually), The Amazing Maleeny and Signs & Wonders (one of the most visually disturbing episodes of the season). In the middle of the season we find the two parter which resolved Samantha's abduction. Okay... those two didn't really work... but then we found some of the most brilliant stand alones of the series. X-COPS was just great, funny, clever and new. The always controversial "all things" (directed by Gillian Anderson) which kept me looking at the TV screen the entire time... it was that compelling to me (the problem: well, it is not really and X-File, but I took it as a breath of fresh air). Brand-X is an excelent episode: Mulder getting his lungs almost literally sucked out is just priceless drama... this was the first ep. from Steven Maedea. First Person Shooter offers some of the classic images of the X-Files: Mulder and Scully in virtual reality game customs and Scully shooting Maitraya. Je Souhaite is another really good episode from Vince Gilligan's hand, where we get to see the agents behaving in that goofy fantastic way (like in Small Potatoes, Bad Blood, Syzygy and Jose Chung): Scully is fascinated by an invisible corpse only to be later disappointed by its disappearance, and Mulder lecturing the genie in front of Skinner and a bunch of FBI agents who think he has finally lost it. In En Ami Scully is "seduced" by the possibility that cancer man can actually show a human side of him... but it could be all a trap or a set up: from William B. Davis' head comes this excelent episode. And finally: Requiem. The season finale that is mother to all season finales... not because of it being the best of them all (which i don't think is), but due to the implications of that final act: Mulder being finally abducted and Scully being pregnant.
In overall, season seven lacked a well constructed mythology arc but it kept being one of the best shows on TV. The impulse that drove fans to the series crumble because of the uncertain future of the series, which forced Chris Carter not to enter completely into the development of the new mythology. But it sets in Requiem the first brick of the second mythology, which got almost half the episodes of season eight. And of course... FOX's work is just neat with these Boxed sets... I am really looking forward that Gillian Anderson commentary, as well as Vince Gilligan's. I have no doubt that the box will be just as beautifully crafted as the previous ones and there is no other booklet as good as the one that comes with this series' seasons (I know much people don`t care about these details, but i love them).
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The REAL end of the series..., September 10, 2003
By 
"the_unnatural" (Clifton Park, NY) - See all my reviews
I'm not going to get into a full episode by episode review of this season, nor do I have any intention of arguing passionately against those who moan to the heavens about the weaknesses of season seven.
Instead, I'm just going to say that unlike other seasons, where the bad episodes made me cringe for hours afterward ("The Field Where I Died," or SEASONS 8 AND 9 anyone?) nothing in this season offended me to elicit more than a shrug and a "There's always next week." That reaction was limited to two or three episodes, which isn't bad in my book.
And when they were good--they were GOOD. Sure, the mythology stopped making sense back in season 6's "The Beginning," but the standalone episodes more than picked up the slack for me. Two standouts for me were The Goldberg Variation and Je Souhaite (arguably the season's storytelling high point and the way I like to "end" the series for myself--Mulder and Scully, hanging out on the couch...), which had an entertaining air of mystery and lightness that seems to only have been replicated by the new USA network series "Monk." And for those who didn't think the Mulder/Scully tension could be carried on any further without the television exploding, this season finally provides closure and consummation for the two. And honestly, if you cut off the ridiculous notion of Mulder getting abducted by aliens at the end of "Requiem," that episode would have served as a perfect end for the series--having come full circle from "The Pilot," and allowing the characters to move on. It was a beautiful episode, and it was the last time the show ever aired something breathtaking.
As far as I'm concerned, nothing on television will ever approach the quality of storytelling, acting, and cinematography of seasons 1-7 of the X-Files. It's too bad Fox dragged the series out into a sick, sad twisted spinoff of itself in its last two seasons. Thankfully, season 7 wrapped up the edges neatly enough that any fan of the real X-Files could, in order to appreciate the greatness that the show was, let it be the end of the series and the stories of Mulder and Scully. And that alone--a decent, legitimate end for the characters and their quests and desires--makes season seven a 10 on my list.
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32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Season 7: The Problematic Stepchild of the X-Files Series, July 4, 2003
Season 7 represents the end of the traditional X-Files episode formula and the befuddlement of the established series mythology. For every gem worth viewing, it has two or three low quality imitations to match.
The season highlights include "Hungry" (7x03), "Millennium" (7x04), "The Goldberg Variation" (7x06), and "X-Cops" (7x12). Honorable mention should also be given to "First Person Shooter" (7x13) -- at least for its outlandish action scenes -- "Theef" (7x14), "En Ami" (7x15) and "Brand X" (7x18).
Surprisingly, the episodes penned by David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson are oddly flat. Duchovny's "Hollywood A.D." (7x19) is humorous, but lacks the endearing sentimentalism of "The Unnatural" (6x20). Anderson's "All Things" (7x17) attempts to graft her own spiritualism as an actor atop the scientific rationalism of her character. As a result, the defining essence of Special Agent Dana Scully is iconoclastically ruined and the episode instead strikes the viewer as a glorified music video.
Season 7 is also significant in that it was the last full season in which Duchovny starred. In a sense, perhaps the departure of David Duchovny was inevitable. The character of Special Agent Fox Mulder had simply run out of steam: his crusade to stop alien colonization was resolved in Season 6 with the destruction of the Syndicate in "One Son" (6x12), and his quest for his abducted sister was brought to a poetic conclusion in "Sein Und Zeit" (7x10) and "Closure" (7x11). Hence, what more was there left to do? Perhaps Duchvony sensed this as well and left the series accordingly.
In terms of mythology, the X-Files reached its true end with Season 7. The Syndicate was destroyed, Samantha Mulder had been put to rest, the Cigarette Smoking Man had become an outcast and, last but not least, Scully and Mulder had admitted/consummated their affection for one another. All the plot widgets had been sown up. Unfortunately, the show dragged on for two more years and became something quite different. By that time, "the truth" was gone forever.
Overall...
Seasons 1 through 3 are excellent.
Seasons 4 through 6 are very good.
Seasons 7 through 9 are average.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unparalled Excellence, October 29, 2005
There has been an enormous amount of revisionism concerning the seventh season of the X Files. And it must be said, the seventh season was when many of the X Files' so-called fan community on the Internet began to irrationally attack the show. This is to be expected. For a show to be as challenging, popular and emotionally charged as the X Files was, many people naturally found themselves unable to keep up as the show continued to break more ground. Others were stymied by the breakneck changes in tone that the seventh season reveled in. Others were intimidated as Chris Carter broke off from a predictable and easily digestable good guys-bad guys narrative with the Alien conspiracy and dug even further into the far theoretical reaches of Paranormal and Conspiracy research. The X Files very much charted the intellectual and metaphysical journey of its creators, and in the seventh season the black and white hats were left behind forever, replaced by disruptive and unsettling shades of gray.

But for those familiar with the ground Carter and Co. were travelling, season 7 was a mind-blowing journey that kicked at the doors of consciousness itself. In it, HG Wells and Richard Matheson were replaced by Carlos Casteneda and Zecharia Sitchin. Simple answers and tidy resolutions were no longer forthcoming, because the real-time source material that the show's writers were plundering didn't offer any either. All that was offered was more questions. And questions within questions, and so ad infinitum. What the X Files was doing had not been seen on television before.

The series kicked off with the landmark "Sixth Extinction" two-parter, a hallucinogenic journey into the world of alien astronaut origin theory, clairvoyance, deep parapsychology and radical eschatology. How a show that claimed that human and religious origins can be traced to alien intervention ever got aired is a mystery to me. It certainly couldn't be aired today.

After the rocket ride of that two-parter, we got a light-hearted critique of self-improvement psychology and 12 step programs with "Hungry". But maybe the change wasn't so radical as one might think. As Mulder and Scully struggled with the reality of their fundamentally altered genetic structure in Sixth Extinction, "Hungry" tells us that maybe there are things about ourselves we can't change.

"Millennium" wrapped up the loose strands of that eponymous series and offered a biting yet subtle critique on what level of morality and consciousness the dogmatic Biblical literalists striving to usher in Armageddon really possess.

"Rush" is an homage to the superhero the Flash, and shows the horror of great power put in the hands of moral pygmies. "The Goldberg Variation" is an attack on the very idea of randomness and causality, and the cinematography is bathed in warm, golden tones, as if illustrating the presence of a divine watchmaker unbeholden to our limited physical concepts.

"Orison" is a meditation on the limits of our moral concepts and the impotence of our religious strivings in the face of true evil. It posits that sometimes evil must be fought with evil. Or at least with ruthless clarity.

"The Amazing Maleeni" is a light-hearted puzzle piece about stage Magic, and somewhat of a tribute to the 70's classic film, the Sting. Magicians Ricky Jay and Jonathan Levit bring an air of authenticity to the proceedings. "Signs & Wonders" is a jarring defense of pure belief against hair-splitting rationalizing, with the message being: believe or don't. Don't stand in the middle of the road. In hindsight, this subversive episode was simply a setup for the leaps Chris Carter would ask the viewer to make in the following two-parter.

"Sein Und Zeit" and "Closure" are perhaps the most radical and unsettling episodes of the entire series, and pack a bone-crushing emotional wallop that one would expect more from cinema. The central question of the X Files was always the whereabouts of Mulder's sister, whose disappearance started him on his quest to begin with. With seven years of questions and heart-breaking red herrings, Carter could not simply have her re-appear again. So he put all his chips in and raised the stakes.

In these exquisitely rendered episodes, Carter introduces a concept torn from the farthest reaches of metaphysical speculation and not only makes it work in context of the story, but makes you utterly believe in the story's central premise. Anthony Heald guest stars and puts in one of the greatest performances of the show's history.

Allowing the viewer to catch their breath, "X-Cops" brilliantly satirizes Fox's police verite series and also manages to make a statement on the nature of fear. "First Person Shooter" is a throwaway, however. William Gibson's script rehashes his early 80's riffs and the episode is notable only for being one of the few showcases for the Lone Gunmen in Season 7.

"Theef" is a throwback to Season 2 metaphysical horror and is a perfectly enjoyable standalone. "En Ami" is written by Cigarette Smoking Man William Davis himself, and is a tightly constructed story of a double cross, with a subplot questioning the origin of religious faith. "Chimera" explores the rage and lust lurking beneath the pleasant facade of Suburbia.

"all things" follows "Chimera's"exploration of marital infidelity with a story written by Gillian Anderson about Scully's torrid affair with her mentor/teacher from medical school and the effect it had on his family. The episode also continues the path of Scully's journey from die-hard skeptic to reluctant believer.

The next four episodes are standalones. "Brand X" is the X Files take on the Russell Crowe film, "the Insider." "Hollywood AD" is a hilarious satire on Hollywood phoniness, written by David Duchovny. The subplot seems to posit that Hollywood is the new Vatican. "Fight Club" is a mess and stars Kathy Griffin, an actress whose voice is like fingernails on a blackboard pumped through a stadium PA to my ears. "Je Souhaite" is a wonderful recovery and is a humorous meditation of the futility of trying to interfere with the Divine Plan.

"Requiem" brings the series full circle, back to Bellfleur, Oregon, the site of the series' pilot. This powerful episode is filled with the jarring shocks and unsettling imagery Chris Carter trades in, and is a good jumping off point for those who don't have the taste for the post-Duchovny X Files. In its way it's similar to "the End", the last episode of the fifth season. If you didn't like the post-Vancouver era of the show and wanted to end your experience on a suitably downbeat note, you could stop there.

So, where do you stand on the X Files? Was it simply a good, solid dose of pulp fiction for you, or did you appreciate the exploration and manifestation of deep left field concepts it offered? The answer to that question will determine your enjoyment of this season. But I think on any level, Season 7 delivers and is worth your time. If you think you don't like it, try it again and see if you are willing to go to the uncharted terrain the show's creators want to take you.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ok, here's the deal, May 20, 2003
By A Customer
This is a must have for all X-Files fans. Season 7 has been criticized by many a viewer, but there are however, some great points in it. Points being: the actors doing some writing and directing on their own, the different directions that the characters are taking, and the stand alones (Hungry, X-Cops, and First Person Shooter). As for becoming stale, just keep in mind that David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson have been playing the same characters for the past 6 years. It can be a little difficult to maintain the edge on something like that. The writers chose to bring the Samantha Mulder storyline to a close with some brilliant, emotional acting by DD in "SUZ" and "Closure". GA explored the private side of Scully in "all things". This season was a healing experience for both characters. (they seemed quite distanced from one another after the rift over Diana Fowley)There is more hand holding and gazing (yes, he does GAZE at Scully). Scully and Mulder are more in touch with each other's feelings and emotions. Skinner becomes the ally that he wanted to be in the 6th. Fans that followed the series should not be disappointed in season 7. Many loose ends are tied up and more intersting questions are posed. Season 7 is a must have for X-Files fans.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A season to be appreciated as a whole..., March 9, 2004
By A Customer
I am often floored by the reactions people have to seasons 6 and 7--I find it incomprehensible that a show like The X-Files be relegated to having only "dark" or "scary" episodes. Occasional forays into lighter, funnier storytelling hours breathed a life back into this series that it was threatening to lose through season five. Honestly, it became clear upon the start of season eight that "dark and scary" do not alone a story sell, so this argument being used as why season seven isn't up to par doesn't track for me.
That said, I find season seven to be a much different year than any other in the X-Files realm. The key to this year was the power of the themes and messages the year developed on the whole--messages of closure, the "rightness" of Mulder and Scully's path, etc. Moreso than any other season, season seven needs to be watched together to be appreciated. Other years certainly have more standalone masterpieces, but lack the common threads of thematic development and quality hooking this season together. Compare this, for example, to season three--a year in which many standout episodes aired alongside absolutely boring and ineffective hours.
Honestly, the so-called "bombs" of season seven will never bother me as much as the bombs of other years. I will take a stylistically out of place episode like "Fight Club" over an out of character, over the top, poorly conceived episode like "Emily" any day of the week.
The Mulder and Scully of season seven were certainly more secure, enjoyable people than in years past. They became comfortable with who they were and what they were doing with their lives. Watching them develop through season seven was as pleasurable a thing to do as any paranormal story the show had to tell.
Select highlights from this season include:
"The Sixth Extinction: Amor Fati": A highly symbolic adventure in which a nightmarish alternative to Mulder's path in life is presented to him--proving once and for all to himself that his quest in life (and the woman he's questing with) is the right thing for him.
"The Goldberg Variation": One of the most overlooked episodes in the entire series, this hour of television is simply delightful. It's clever, sharp, and Mulder and Scully are just a joy to watch.
"Sein Und Zeit"/"Closure": Though many fans were disappointed that Samantha didn't meet an untimely alien end, the resolution to this arc was highly moving and poetic. It was a fitting, acceptable end for something so powerful a backstory to the character of Mulder.
"Hollywood A.D.": A hilarious romp in which the X-Files gets to poke fun at itself, much in the way it did back in season three's "Jose Chung's From Outer Space."
"Je Souhaite": The last fantastic standalone story from Vince Gilligan, this hour of television is not to be missed. Featuring the hilarious Will Sasso, this episode tells the story of a bitter female genie. Scully is a delight to watch as she gets her hands on proof of the paranormal...or does she?
"Requiem": Easily one of the top ten hours of television The X-Files has turned out. "Requiem" has Mulder and Scully coming full circle, back to Billy Miles and Bellefleur, Oregon. They're different people now, and this hour is just a beautiful exercise in coming to an end. Regardless of the fact that the series dragged painfully on after this season, you can tell that this was written as the intended end for the show (well, minus the Mulder abduction), and it's moving, dramatic, and a fine sendoff for the characters we spent seven years loving to death.
All in all--season seven's a great year. It allowed The X-Files to settle further into a more expanded atmosphere of storytelling that included both dark and lighter hours. It certainly functions as the most fitting end to the greatest series on television--and for that alone, I would give it five stars.
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62 of 81 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars weakest season of THE X FILES, January 29, 2003
By 
Season 7 of THE X FILES (1999-2000) is the last season featuring the original team of David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in unmodified form. It is also the weakest of all nine seasons.
NEGATIVE POINTS:
1) Excepting the excellent mythology scripts, Duchovny is emotionally detached in his portrayal of Agent Mulder. While in prior seasons his occasional onscreen fatigue could plausibly be tied to plots featuring a disillusioned Mulder, it is too much of a stretch to extend such a notion to Season 7, which is severely damaged as a result.
2) In terms of new ideas, the writers on the show seemed to have been genuinely stumped throughout much of Season 7, particularly with regard to "stand alone" episodes. The numerous uninspired "stand alone" scripts could hardly have been expected to provide the necessary stimulus for a weary Duchovny, struggling through the grind of a notoriously demanding production schedule. The perfunctory interaction between Mulder and Scully in many "stand alone" scripts proves especially damaging to a show that thrives on dynamic interplay between its two main characters.
3) Some of the failures relate to the well intentioned but ungainly synthesis attempted by blending THE X FILES with different shows:
The script titled "Millenium" features a hackneyed plot (zombies a la George Romero) and is a waste of actor Lance Henriksson's talents. The highly publicized Mulder/Scully "first kiss" is anticlimactic, unfittingly placed in such a lackluster episode.
Vince Gilligan's "X Cops" tries to merge THE X FILES with the "reality show" COPS: a noble failure that works in the first half only to fall to pieces in the second.
4) Other failures had to due with recycling plots and themes from prior years:
"Signs & Wonders" is a fair effort (a good performance by the guest actor portraying the fiery preacher). Unfortunately, it is too obviously redolent of superior scripts previously penned.
"Orison", featuring the return of the abominable Donnie Pfaster ("Irresistible"), falls well short of the masterful episode from Season 2. Its closing moments are, however, a tour-de-force with Agent Scully fighting ferociously with Pfaster against the backdrop of David Lynch style cinematography.
"Rush" is a poorly thought out foray into the world of teenage angst. Equally juvenile is "First Person Shooter", a "virtual reality" script that completely wastes an appearance by the Lone Gunmen.
5) The most disturbing failures of Season 7 are manifested in three horrible episodes:
"Chimera" is a unique combination of gaffs with its razor-thin storyline, an uninterested Duchovny (barely in character), bad supporting acting, poor lighting and even a mediocre musical score: an "anti X FILES", with all of the series standards turned upside down.
"Hollywood AD" (written & directed by Duchovny) doesn't even seem to be an X FILES episode. On the surface level, the script plays in territory previously staked out by Darin Morgan, but "Hollywood AD" falls well short of the inspired shifting perspectives offered in "Jose Chung's `From Outer Space' ". With its pedestrian version of ironic juxtaposition (the "converted radical" & "apostate traditionalist") "Hollywood AD" swerves between chic absurdity and "hipper than thou" movie-star smarminess, a combination completely antithetical to the spirit of THE X FILES.
Chris Carter's "Fight Club" is an essay in bitterness, all too reflective of the turmoil playing out behind the scenes. With this singularly unpleasant episode THE X FILES bottomed out, sinking to a depth of self-loathing that nearly destroyed it altogether.
POSITIVE POINTS:
1) Unique scripts, so often seen in previous years, were few and far between in Season 7 but "All Things" (written and directed by Gillian Anderson) is an artfully prepared piece; "outside the box" but retaining a sense of continuity and fidelity to the life and character of Dana Scully.
2) Vince Gilligan's "Hungry" is a beautifully conceived black comedy, shown (sympathetically) from the point of view of a quirky "anti-villian".
3) Other episodes fit more readily into the "classic" X FILES mould. "Theef" and "Brand X" feature catchy dialogue and "gross out" situations that could have comfortably been aired in Season 2. These scripts, while not meeting the Olympian standards set in the "glory years", have the effect of shoring up the more disastrous areas of the season by working in familiar territory.
MYTH ARC:
The heart and soul of Season 7 is located in the six mythology episodes, which feature the type of committed acting and thoughtful writing fans have come to expect from THE X FILES ( the newly invigorated myth-arc plot plus the ongoing Scully/Mulder "symbiosis" would carry the dramatic weight of the show in its final years ).
The opening two-parter ("The Sixth Extinction I/II") borrows an important element of its plot from the Nikos Kazantzakis novel, "The Last Temptation of Christ".
The mid season two-parter ("Sein und Zeit" / "Closure") follows up and (apparently) ends the mystery surrounding Mulder's quest for his sister. "Closure" features an incredibly moving performance by Duchovny (one of his finest moments on the show). "My Weakness", a song written by pop artist Moby, plays a haunting musical role in the episode.
"En Ami" (co-written by William B. Davis), while not at the same level as the other mythology episodes, does feature some interesting dialogue between Agent Scully and the Cigarette Smoking Man. The amoral brilliance of the Machiavellian "CGB Spender" is an interesting contrast to the noble goodness of the equally intelligent Dana Scully.
The cliffhanger ("Requiem") is full of dramatic tension, bringing the agents back to the location first featured in the 1993 series "Pilot". This excellent and influential episode (the plot launched a dozen more scripts) was a noble conclusion to the troubled 7th season and helped put THE X FILES back on a path worthy of its unique quality; the show would ultimately ( though not without missteps) fulfill its 9 year run as an aesthetic and philosophical unity.
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The X-Files: Season 7
The X-Files: Season 7 by Rob Bowman (DVD - 2006)
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