John Doe was a superb episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching because the stand alone story was interesting and had some good scenes for Doggett. It was fun watching the other agents try to find him as Kersh denied them additional resources. I liked how Doggett was figuring things out for himself as well. The guest cast was amazing and I liked how they played their roles. Every thing played out well and the ending was great. I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!
Vince Gilligan is one crafty writer. As avowed a Doggett hater as I am, with this single episode Gilligan turns me into a believer, at least until the next Shiban or Amann episode. Like no other writer in the series, Gilligan gets right to the heart of what Doggett should be. I'm assuming that it's no coincidence that the story is set in dusty Mexico with a man having no name. Bet you a "Dollar" that Gilligan is well aware of the resemblance between Patrick and Clint Eastwood. We even get a brief homage to "The Gauntlet" at the end. Well played, Mr. Gilligan, well played.
It is simply brilliant that Doggett is able to eventually regain his memory by holding on to the event that seemingly defines him, that being the kidnapping and murder of his young son, despite the extreme pain these memories inflict upon him. This alone tells me more about his character than all of the previous Doggett episodes combined.
I am a complete sucker for the washed-out, grainy look employed in the Mexican exterior shots. I'm not sure which series used this process first, Alias or X-Files, but I just love it. Being a former Southern California boy, I also appreciate the authentic look of the Mexican jail and town. I'm glad they didn't use Danny Tejo, who seemingly plays every Mexican bad guy. True, they did use him in Season Eight's "Redrum."
And yes, this is not really an X-File and there is maybe only five minutes' worth of paranormal stuff, but dang it if I wasn't entertained and intrigued for an entire 30 minutes of the 42 minute running time. The episode does end on a ridiculous note as Reyes rather unconvincingly arrives to save Doggett's butt and even AD Skinner shows up deep in Mexico wearing his FBI jacket. LOL!
Whatever you may think about the characters of Doggett and Reyes( I personally wish that they never existed) it has to be said that both Patrick and Gish put sincere effort into their performances in the last two seasons of the X-Files.
This episode strikes me as a labor of love from a writer( Vince Gilligan) who cared more about portraying the characters on the show in a heartfelt and sincere manner than the man who created them in the first place( hint: his initials are CC).
While this episode isn't really an X-File per se( though there is a slight paranormal edge to it that we see at the end) it is a really fun story about Doggett waking up in Mexico and trying to recover his memory while Reyes, Scully, and Skinner try to find him.
The part that I especially like is at the end when Doggett( who recovered his memory by getting flasbacks of his dead son) says that he'll take the bad memories as long as he can keep the good ones. And I think rings true about the X-Files itself: Even though it did end badly( and not just in the last two seasons but even beforehand) I'll still take the bad memories of the show as long as I can keep the good ones.
What is this about? It's quite interesting to find Doggett waking up in Mexico with no idea who he is or how he got there. But where is the X file? He's disappeared, he gets his memory back, his fellow agents try to find him.
It's all very Sergio Leone meets Quentin Tarantino and they both get drunk and decide to make a film. It's not appalling, it just doesn't fit. There's some clever use of different kind of cameras - the extreme lighting on the outside scenes, the filters on the home flashbacks...
Annabeth Gish - completely underrated actress - is fabulous, as are the rest of the cast. Apart from the Mexican Cigarette Smoking Man with his skulls and his little ability to erase memory, there's nothing paranormal here really. This could have been an episode of just about any cop show going. It's well directed, well written, well acted, but somehow it doesn't belong. And at the end of the episode even the story that put everyone in there in the first place - the disappearance of one Hollis Rice - doesn't really get resolved.
Definitely not my favourite and I usually like the Vince Gilligan ones.
Seriously, nothing happens here. Sure, there's a little flashback with Doggett and his kid, and that's sweet and all. But really, Doggett gets amnesia, his amnesia goes away, there's no compelling X-Files reason for either, and life goes back to normal for all concerned. Like many other episodes this season, it's not terrible, but nothing worth writing home about either.
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