To commemorate the 20 years since the X-Files saw the light of day I decided to rewatch all the episodes and share my opinions and thoughts the episodes provoke.
Director: Jerrold Freeman
Writers: Alex Gansa & Howard Gordon
There were a lot of movies dealing with computers and ‘hacking’ in the nineties, like ‘Hackers’, ‘The Lawnmover Man’ and ‘Ghost In the Machine’ and this show wanted to have a piece of the action, so here we are. Mulder’s former partner asks his help in a case where a head of a major corporation was electrocuted in his office bathroom. Soon all the evidence points to a disgruntled software designer Brad Wilczek, but once again, Mulder sees another possibility. He suspects that the Central Operating System, COS might have gained consciousness and therefore could be behind the murder. And once again, Scully is skeptical at first. Mulder’s old partner goes to apprehend Wilczek, but gets stopped when the elevator that he used in the building malfunctions and drops down and kills him. That upsets Mulder a little.
The story in this is actually very similar to a Paul Reiser TV-movie ‘The Tower’ where a computer program controlling a whole office building goes berserk and kills people. That film wasn’t very good and I’m sad to say, ‘Ghost in The Machine’ isn’t a very good episode either. The whole ‘killer computer’ scenario has been seen too many times to be interesting and the show doesn’t do anything genuinely interesting with the idea. Sure, it’s fun to see when Mulder and Scully storm the building in order to install a virus into the mainframe of the computer, but that’s pretty much all the fun the show has this time. But hey, you get to see Scully firing her gun for the first time…so there’s that. And the set design was pretty cool.
When all is said and done, this episode was not very engaging. And a total waste of the Deep Throat character. Yeah, he was in this too, for some reason. Come on guys, you can do better.
Best scene: Scully’s Die Hard moment in the ventilation shaft.
Most memorable bit: The clumsy HAL 2000 references.
Scully: How come you two went your separate ways?
Mulder: I’m a pain in the ass to work with.
Mulder: I’m NOT a pain in the ass?