The X-Files

Season 4 Episode 13

Never Again

Aired Wednesday 8:00 PM Feb 02, 1997 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (14)

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  • An odd little show

    What is "Never Again"? As an X-File, it's a middle-of-the-road affair: a tattoo that produces hallucinations and violent behavior due to a psychotropic substance used in the ink - isn't that something pretty realistic, down to earth, mundane even? Yes, at least it's nothing paranormal, I'd say. So watched from this perspective, the episode might look like a disappointment, and sure enough, for thrills or spookiness, look elsewhere.

    So we'll subtract the supernatural. What we're left with is a character study and, in a way, a romance for Scully. And here's where the gold lies. After "Leonard Betts"'s revelation that Scully might have cancer, it's only fitting that in this show, she would examine her unhappiness with her life - or what's left of it once she's not with the FBI. And so we see the story of a lost woman who's desperate to find some human connection, to break out and be alive again. So Scully gets 1. drunk, 2. a tattoo, 3. laid (possibly) - that's all new. And very exciting for an X-Phile like me who appreciates the character work done on the show.

    However, a few things still bug me. The mystery's not mysterious enough, as explained above. Jodie Foster, while a cool credit to see, is distracting as the voice of Betty. An unknown would've diverted less attention away from the story because the only effect we get from having a star in the role is: Look, it's Jodie Foster doing the voice!! Not so good. Also disconcerting - although intended under the premise of "Scully's unhappy with Mulder" - is the tone of voice the two characters take with each other.

    Like "Field Where I died" and "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man", this episode is a fourth season experiment with the X Files formula. It works splendidly in places, but leaves a sour taste because it raises the question "When does X Files stop being X Files and start being a soap opera?" I certainly don't mind so much, but there have been other episodes (e.g. "Paper Clip", "Irresistible", "One Breath") that managed to be both at the same time: Great character drama AND exciting, paranormal thrillers. Given the choice, I prefer to get the whole package.