In Review: The X-Files, Episode 5 “Babylon”

Memorable for Mulder's trip, this episode fizzles before the conclusion.

The X-Files, Episode 5 “Babylon” Broadcast on February 15, 2016

Written by Chris Carter

Directed by Chris Carter

In southwest Texas, a young Muslim man prays in his apartment. When done, he rolls up his prayer rug and fixes himself a sandwich. In his car, he smiles at two young women who cross before him. His joy turns to intimidation as the pickup truck next to him, driven by a large cowboy hat wearing individual, revs its engine. “Are we in the wrong country now?” says the hat to the giggles of his two female companions. With his tormentors gone, the man picks up a friend at a hotel and the pair go to an art gallery titled Ziggurat. They share a prayer of strength before entering. The building soon explodes. Cue opening title sequence and first commercial break.

A mixed bag of an episode that starts really strong but peters out in the end. The introduction of two younger agents, Agent Miller (Robbie Amell) and Agent Einstein (Lauren Ambrose) who share than more than a passing resemblance to the show’s leads as well as their personality traits was fun. The dynamics between the two were like being in a time warp and having each interact with Mulder and Scully was sensational. Having each go with the opposite agent was a great way to build up the newcomers and show the strengths of the experienced agents. Fox’s experience was fantastic, having me laughing uproariously at what he does and whom he sees (and if that’s the way viewers have to see that trio, okay, but Mr. Carter, you can still correct their passing). Mitch Pileggi’s scene with David Duchovny was quick but memorable, especially with the use of the word “dude.” It was good to see Dana still recovering from her mother’s death from last episode and Gillian Anderson put the right amount of soul searching into Scully in this outing. The final scene between Mulder and Scully came across as the writer speaking rather than characters, with their dialogue coming across as too forced, then shoehorning into the opening video that Mulder was watching. The pop song at the end was also too heavy handed.

The good: Robbie Amell, Lauren Ambrose, the opening scene before the first commercial, a tremendous makeup job on one of the terrorists, the return of the greatest trio in supporting cast history, and the trip.

Fun lines: “It’s important what they believe. The ear-witnesses,” “Top that,” “I’ve been waiting twenty-three years to say that,” “That would make two of us,” “Nothing else would explain it!”, “I’m all about that,” “I don’t do ‘woo-woo'”, “So that’s a maybe?”, I believe that you believe,” “Where’s your hat?”, and “He spoke to me.”

The bad: The pop music that gave this a noticeable CW air and the final scene between Mulder and Scully. These elements made the last twelve minutes disappointing.

The final line: Memorable for Mulder’s trip, this episode fizzles before the conclusion. Still, I’m on fire to see what the season finale will be. Overall grade: B-

Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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