The X-Files 11×07 Review: Rm9sbG93ZXJz
I wish I had a better excuse for this X-Files review being so late, but I don’t. The long and the short of it is that I simply didn’t like “Rm9sbG93ZXJz”.
I’m almost afraid to admit as much, because at least on my social media feeds the response to “Rm9sbG93ZXJz” has been overwhelmingly positive. Unfortunately, while I can understand why others enjoyed it, that doesn’t change the fact that the whole episode simply felt like too much. Shoot, by about two thirds of the way in I was counting down the minutes until it would end.
One of the reasons for my dislike was, admittedly, the lack of dialogue, but that is by far the smallest reason. I also felt like the story dragged on and on; it was very, VERY obvious that the point was that all of the technology in “Rm9sbG93ZXJz” was evil. (But only, of course, because Mulder didn’t tip the robot chefs at the sushi restaurant.) Basically it felt like forever before the episode reached its climax, and I wasn’t a fan.
Additionally, “Rm9sbG93ZXJz” wasn’t campy in the way that so many of the great non-mythology episodes of The X-Files are. Perhaps the lack of dialogue is partly to blame for that, but really I think the whole thing was just way too forced. Like, we get it, Black Mirror is super popular…but please, X-Files, stop trying to …one up it? Copy it? I’m not sure what’s happening, and to be fair, “This” was Black Mirror-esque and really good, but enough is enough. (Seriously, even the dog-looking robot things in the end looked like they were pulled straight from the Black Mirror season 4 episode “Metalhead”, which was, by the way, probably the worst episode of season 4.)
Oh, and don’t even get me started on the cold opening of “Rm9sbG93ZXJz”. I honestly believe that if it hadn’t been included, I would have been able to stand the long buildup of evil technology a *bit* longer, if only because the opening basically told viewers what the episode was going to be about. It wasn’t a smart inclusion, especially considering that having it in there at all makes it seem as if The X-Files doesn’t trust its viewers. (And come on, guys, after all this time, you really should.)
Thankfully there have been some great episodes this season, and there are still a few left. I’ll also admit that I did like the very end of the episode, when Mulder and Scully put their phones away and just kind of held hands and were sweet with each other. (Yeah, yeah, I know, it’s the shipper in me, deal with it.)
The TL;DR? This story has been told before. I think The X-Files *could* have done it better, but with “Rm9sbG93ZXJz”, they didn’t.
Author: Tara Lynne
Tara Lynne is an author, fandom and geek culture expert, and public speaker. She founded Ice & Fire Con, the first ever Game of Thrones convention in the US, and now runs its parent company Saga Event Planning.
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