The X-Files

Season 8 Episode 5

Invocation

2
Aired Monday 9:00 PM Dec 03, 2000 on FOX
SUBMIT REVIEW

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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7.8
out of 10
Average
215 votes
  • Small wonder

    7.0
    I wasn't into this one sadly because it seemed like they were doing too much with this story, I thought it would have been much more interesting to simply having a ghostly child that can appear anywhere it pleases. I was just scratching my head at the end wondering what the heck the deal was with this kid anyway.



    One good thing is that we get a scratching of Doggett's backstory, it's fairly obvious what happened to him but they don't write too much about it in this episode which is smart, save it for a later episode.
  • Invocation

    10
    Invocation was a perfect episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the story was well written, touching and full of character development. I loved how agents Scully and Doggett interacted and learned more about and from each other. It was great to see another unexplainable case for Doggett and to watch how he handled it. I liked how every thing played out and look forward to watching the next episode!!!!!!!!!
  • More Missing Kids

    5.0
    Not so much hard to understand as it is half-baked and poorly constructed. The old "dead child's spirit returns to protect the living/avenge his death" chestnut is dusted off for another go, only a few episodes since "Closure."

    It's revealed that Doggett himself has had some past involvement with a missing child, presumably his son. Hmmm, where have we seen that before? Hint: starts with "S" and ends with "amantha."

    There continues to be zero chemistry between Scully and Doggett. Scully seems strangely detached and clinical in her investigation of Billy's reappearance, which is incongruous given the strong bond she developed with Emily (in Season Five), as well as her state of pregnancy.

    In fact, this is a very poorly written episode, with terrible characterization. For example, when the family first returns home with their son who has been missing for TEN YEARS, the mother barks at her husband to take Billy inside while she goes next door to pay the sitter. I suppose that after paying the sitter she proceeds to take out the trash, perhaps water the lawn, maybe run to the store for some milk and, oh yeah, THEN go inside to be with her son, who has been missing for TEN YEARS.

    Another clunker moment occurs when Billy's nine year old brother leaves the car while his father is pumping gas to chase down a pony across a dark, deserted street. Hey, it could happen.....

    And exactly how is Billy kidnapped from a very busy playground in broad daylight? From the teaser, one is led to believe that he simply vanishes into thin air since his empty swing continues arcing through the air as though he had only just left it. As it turns out, the writer rather conveniently never explains Billy's magical disappearance, which is typical of the level of writing to be found here.
  • Despite how much I completly love this show I hated this show because it made 100% no sense at all

    4.5
    A boy goes missing and returns 10 years later and has not aged a day. He went missing at a fair at his school and supposedly was kidnapped by a guy who was forced to take him by his mother\'s boyfriend. The boy refuses to speak and is supposedly trying to kill his brother, but his mother defends him all of the time. Then his brother gets kidnapped by the same people but is luckily found in time and it leads them to the skeleton of his brother who was supposed to have come back and the boy\'s ghost is put to rest.
  • An X-File which provides physical proof of the paranormal.

    8.5
    John has obviously worked child abduction cases before, he is very good with Billy and though his taking the backpack away might seem cruel, John's desire to get Billy talking is understandable. Billy was just either returned or escaped and the faster the police move, the better. Seems John has a secret of his own, was his own child abducted?

    Billy's father, Josh and the dog all sense something is wrong with Billy. The mother is so grateful to have Billy home that she refuses to see the strangeness in him. But Billy meant his brother no harm, instead was a death omen, warning of the danger threatening his brother and finding justice at the same time. Certainly explains why 'Billy' wouldn't talk.

    This case is one of the very few X-Files which leave behind physical and scientific proof of a paranormal event, proof that is undeniable: blood samples, photographs, various medical tests, and a multitude of witnesses who saw and interacted with 'Billy' before his grave was discovered. This case should be very convincing to Doggett since he cannot deny the volume of evidence.
  • This is the type of early season character development that Chris Carter attempted in "Patience." The case is baffling and the paranormal elements are useless. And that's the point.

    8.0
    After a terrible experience in "Patience," Doggett should begin to question his ability to handle x-files cases with his conventional investigative tact. In any other case, he may well have changed his approach. But in "Invocation" he is assigned to a case that hits close to home for him for a reason not fully explained. Regardless, it is clear that he wants to make full use of his exceptional "good cop" investigative methods to aggressively pursue a child abductor. The abductor in this case does not come in the form of aliens or anything paranormal. The villain is a man. The victim was a boy. The only reason Doggett and Scully get involved is the "reappearance" of the boy 10 years later un-aged. Scully is not able to explain this and that is the extent of the x-file. There are paranormal clues along the way. The knife left by Billy pointed the agents to the symbol for the pony farm. The same symbol appeared on the psychic's forehead, who was brought in on the insistence of Scully. But Scully's strength as an investigator is not in assuming Mulder's role. This is what she tries to do here and she fails. None of the paranormal clues are proven helpful. Doggett's approach as an emotional investigator is what leads the agents to the abductor and murderer. They are what save the next boy's life. But Scully is not worthless in this episode. Despite Doggett's success, he remains confused and dissatisfied. It is Scully who points out what he has accomplished. And this accomplishment has a deeply personal meaning for Doggett - one that the audience is not fully aware of but can be appreciated just the same. Doggett stares at the photo in his car. Later, he seems to privately empathize with the father. The x-files "look" is definitely back in this episode just as it was in "Patience." But here, the direction is more restrained and less in your face. Anderson's Scully here is a bit confused but she saves it in the end. We are just beginning to see the emotional wreckage that Mulder's absence is causing Scully.

    Writing 2/2 Directing 2/2 Acting 1/2 Character 1/2 Entertainment 2/2: 8/10
  • A boy disappears from a fairground. 10 years later he's back, but at the same age and with a face that kind of tells you he's not exactly as he was.

    5.9
    I'm sure there's a good episode in here just trying to get out, but it's all a bit of a dog's dinner.

    A child disappears, for bizarre reasons, then reappears 10 years later, except he's exactly as he was when he went, not a day older. The giveaway, however, is that as much as his mother is glad to see him again, he's obviously a child of the damned, and we've all seen 'devil' children before in all kinds of films and series. In the end, he's trying to prevent a terrible event, but his actions at the beginning are more than a little weird, probably to throw the audience off, but I think it would have been much more chilling had the returned child seemed more normal.

    The denouement with the brother being found etc. seems to try and make sense of the whole thing, but there are just too many holes here. I really wanted to like it, but it's just not well-constructed enough.
  • A boy missing for ten years is returned, unchanged by time and harboring a deadly secret...or something.

    5.3
    All right, not to toot my own horn, but I'm a smart guy. I have a certified near-genius level IQ and I'm usually on the ball. But having watched this episode twice back-to-back in hopeless confusion, I still have no clue what is going on or why I should give a crap.
    Was the kid a ghost? A clone? Does it matter? Too...much...conflicting...nonsense..head hurting...
    Feel free to save yourself a headache and give this episode a pass, which is an occurance that I can count with less then one hand's worth of fingers. Either I'm missing something that I'll kick myself for later, or this is a dreadfully ambiguous mystery.
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