The X-Files

Season 8 Episode 18


Aired Sunday 9:00 PM Unknown on FOX

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

out of 10
196 votes
  • Vienen

    Vienen was a perfect and very entertaining episode of The X-Files. I really enjoyed watching as Mulder and Doggett were stuck on an oil rig together investigating a strange case. I liked how the story played out and it was interesting to see Scully do her part from afar. Mulder tests the patience of Kersh who eventually lets him go from the F.B.I. which I couldn't believe. Some of the scenes with the infected were scary. I look forward to watching what happens now that Mulder is officially out!!!!!!!!!
  • I'm Coming...

    This episode plays like a hybrid of "The Thing" and "Dawn Of The Dead." The big draw is the chance to watch Mulder and Doggett go at it, mano a mano, on an isolated drilling rig. It's entertaining enough, especially since Reyes is entirely absent, but Doggett seems strangely impotent, as is usually the case in most S8 episodes.

    Mulder continues to seem disconcertingly out-of-character, with a "flipness" to his character that seems to stem from Duchovny's own personal boredom with the show. Really, it's remarkable the mocking way that Duchovny plays Mulder throughout Season Eight. He even manages to get himself kicked off the X-Files with his antics in this episode. (Yeah right, we know how long that will last...)

    It's disconcerting how Season Eight's supposed "Myth" episodes seem like warmed-over highlights from the classic S1-S5 mythology arc. This episode is a case in point. We have a reprise of the whole Black Oil storyline, but it's as though Seasons 3-5 never happened. Mulder doesn't seem to remember that he was infected by the VERY SAME black oil in S3. It's like "Groundhog Day" all over again. Disappointing and disheartening...
  • Return of the black oil, and The X-Files proper.

    Why some fans dislike the Alien mytharch I'll never understand. The typical explanation, that the alien mythology is confusing, and therefore boring, is simply incorrect. While the X-Files was on the air, I followed the storyline easily enough, but now that that series is on DVD, one can see just how well 9 years of the mytharc actually fit together.

    Vienen is a nice return to the black oil storyline, which is really one of the most interesting and foundational plots of the X-Files.

    If I had one complaint about the episode, it's the amount of time the writer and director decide to spend on Kersh. Is it really necessary to show him frowning again and again and again? Instead, the action of Mulder and Doggett dodging the infected crew would have been much more thrilling.

    Having said that, it's a great episode, and reminds me of why I like Mulder and the X-Files: the willingness to push for the truth no matter its outlandish nature.
  • Action and suspense

    ‘Vienen – they’re coming’

    The Black Oil returns at last. In my opinion, one of the greatest X-Files alien “things”, the Oil is both creepy and an interesting concept. Especially disgusting are the shots of it pouring from the men’s faces.
    The Doggett and Mulder exchanges and relationship are really what keeps this episode afloat however. It’s just so good to have David Duchovny back on the show.
    The actual premise behind this episode is pretty straight-forward, two men trapped on an oil rig and threatened by alien virus-possessed workers, but the tension and action work nonetheless. The escape from the rig is pretty cool too, although just a tad far-fetched and OTT.
  • Another in a tedious long line of alien episodes – it's gotten very old.

    Mulder's always been a reckless, obnoxious jerk but somehow before it was usually cute. Doggett just provokes Mulder but it's more than that, Mulder's gotten incredibly reckless since he returned from the dead, he doesn't care about consequences or other people's career. He seems not to care if he gets fired which is in direct opposition to his desire to keep the X-Files open and work on them. It's absolutely no shock that Mulder gets fired, I would have fired him too even without an alien/govt conspiracy.

    Diego is a superstitious, ignorant, dangerous moron – and the saddest thing is I've met people just like him. He attacks Doggett and then when he realizes Doggett's not infected, continues to threaten and wave a knife in his face?! That's not going to persuade Doggett to help him!

    Enough with the aliens, it's time to get back to the normal X-Files stories. 80% of the time I don't like the alien/govt conspiracy storyline to begin with so when they get carried away like this, it's really annoying.
  • Mulder elbows his way into Doggett's case involving a strange death on an oil rig. Scully finds her own answers in a morgue on dry land. Lines blur and furies clash as the question of superiority arises, but the case resolves the question at end.

    In an expertly written and superbly directed S8 episode, Mulder and Doggett work through a flashback to the "good ol' days" of The X-Files. After S5 and the movie, there was little done anymore with the Purity Line, as far as I am concerned, and it was a welcome change and a bit of a surprise to see Doggett on this kind of a case.

    In a storm of raging testosterone, the interaction between Mulder and Doggett was theoretically supposed to create a tense situation, especially in light of their stranded state without their Scully-Buffer in place. However, the whole transaction turned into quite an amusing display of what equates a dog fight for superiority and authority.

    All in all, all Philes must admit to the episode being amusing, if nothing else. It was a great reprieve from the somewhat vague mythology of S8 and a nostalgic reminder of days passed.


  • Great Episode

    *Contains some spoilers*

    I'm not really a fan of that many episodes past the fifth season. I think they've gone downhill since there. However, this is an exception. Mulder and Doggett have had a hate/hate relationship since Mulder's return. However, on this episode they finally become civil to each other. This episode has an interesting story. We see the return of Black Oil, and Doggett can no longer claim he's never seen any proof, because he sees it himself. While David Duchovny has been only a recurring character throughout this season, after 179 episodes, this episode finally sees him turning over the X-files to Doggett (Scully being pregnant at this time and not very active). The end of the Fox Mulder era. Can't wait to see the next 23 episodes to see what Doggett does.
  • When a man on an oil rig dies of familiar-looking radiation burns, Doggett and Mulder go to investigate, and wind up trapped with an entire crew infected with the Black Oil.

    A solid episode, but ultimately we've been here before. It's saved by the tenuous dynamic between Doggett and Mulder, always at odds, but forced together to survive. Doggett sees for certain some of the bigger picture, and a very explosive (literally) big-time action ending is an interesting conclusion, so unlike the usual X-Files methods. Good to see that the writers haven't forgotten the old concepts among all the new changes, even if they don't something terribly interesting or new with them.
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