The X-Files

Season 5 Episode 5

The Post-Modern Prometheus

Aired Monday 9:00 PM Nov 30, 1997 on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (27)

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out of 10
407 votes
  • Very special episode

    I have watched this episode three times this week to try and understand the basis of the episode and aside from the homage to the old frankestein movies, I feel that this episode is all about perceptions and stereotypes. The perception that Mutato is a monster based on what he looks like, the perception that the townsfolk are simple and can be reduced to cultural stereotypes, Dr Polidori as the mad, ingenious scientist, the Father as a simpleton farmer.

    Mutato was a product of his making, in the sense that he landed up paying a price for Dr Polidori's mistake, as a result the Dr's father tried to recreate him so that he could have a mate to share his life with, however without the full understand of what he trying to do as well as the facilities to do it in, he made to with what he could access and what he understood (a man of the land). None of this should be an excuse for either Dr Polidori, his father or Mutato, but the townsfolk accept it as such because they all have a certain kinship with Mutato and this is echoed in Izzy saying but "he is no monster". This comment is very ironic considering Izzy could have landed up looking more animal like and less human. This sentiment is echoed as well in the beginning and the end of the episode, with the Jerry Springer excerpts - acceptance of something possibly less human that what we perceive it to be. Mutato and his Father had done what they did out of a basic human need and desperation for what would never be a normal life in thier view. This does not make the deed any less wrong, but it does not necessarily make them evil, what it does make them is misguided.

    The way the episode was shot was amazing, the black and white, I remember the first time I saw it I initially thought that either my TV or video machine had gone on the fritz and blown something. Some very cheesy comedic scenes through out the episode, the diner scenes, where the townsfolk initially believe that Mulder and Scully are there to relieve or change some part of thier possibly humdrum exsistance. The car scene with the letter, Gillian Anderson is one of the most expressive actresses I have ever come across, the way her right eyebrow arches when she is particularly sceptical, cracks me up every time. Mulder's smoking gun with the peanut butter jar as well his almost deadpan expression throughout the episode. The woman would not be considered missing as the townsfolk may have assumed that the houses were being fumigated - for as much as people have a natural curiosity, they also have a tendancy to not want to interfere and I get the impression that, the townsfolk are more than just a little wary of Shanieh Berkowitz and Dr Polidori, to stick their noses to deep.

    The ending was appropriate to the episode for me in the sense of Dr Polidori paid the price for his misdeeds,and the townsfolk felt that Mutato had already paid the price for his misdeeds with how he had already lived his life. The impression that I get is that they most likely felt that he had already been punished enough for what he and his Father had done.

    I think that this was in a number of ways an off the cuff episode, however I do not think that it was in any way meant to make light of or reduce the evil of rape or molesation.

    For me the episode rates a 10/10 for it's artistic and theatrical touch and for it's homage to the original Frakenstein movies
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