Fresh Bones – Season 2, Ep 15

SCULLY: (breathing heavily) Mulder …

MULDER: You’re okay?

SCULLY: I feel better than you look.

Ouch. Considering how sick Scully feels throughout this show, that could be considered a very large insult.

Season 2, Episode 15: “Fresh Bones”

Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 8.09.05 AM

“Fresh Bones” is different from what we’ve seen on the show before. It’s an X-Phile sprinkled with little bits of social commentary. We’ll see this pop up in other episodes too, like “El Mundo Gira”, “Kaddish”, all the Vietnam war episodes, even, to some extent, “Post-Modern Prometheus.” (There are more, but I’m just naming a few.) It deals with Haitian refugees and the behavior of the military in refugee camps.

It doesn’t get terribly political, of course, but there are some good things thrown in there. For example, I love the part when Mulder and Scully speak to Colonel Wharton about the state of the refugee camp and the military’s treatment of the refugees:

(Mulder and Scully are speaking to Colonel Wharton while he is eating his breakfast)

COLONEL WHARTON: If anything, it’s my men who are being harassed. The UN, the relief organizations, they’re all so busy protecting the rights of these refugees nobody’s looking out for my men.

MULDER: Well, we’ll let you finish. Wouldn’t want your breakfast to get cold.

Someone just got TOLD.

Mulder likes to make little remarks like this in these “social” episodes, and I love it every time he does. Usually Scully’s the one who delivers the burns and Mulder cracks the jokes, but we see that Mulder’s just as capable of delivering a badass line as Scully. And, really, who doesn’t like to see one of their favorite characters stick up for the poor and disenfranchised? Not me.

But how’s the rest of the episode? Well, we have a particularly good cast of characters here, at least, they worked for me. I really, really liked Chester Bonaparte and I think it’s a shame he didn’t get more screen time. I also liked Bauvais a lot, he had a very authoritative and powerful speaking voice. I could listen to that guy talk for hours. These two characters in particular make the episode very memorable. There’s just something kind of fascinating about both of them.

We don’t see enough of them, though, and unfortunately most of the episode is spent with the military. Because of this, I felt the episode got really bogged down and spent more time with characters I didn’t want to see, like Private Dunham and Colonel Wharton. They weren’t interesting enough to carry the scenes they were in. “Fresh Bones” is an episode that is more visually appealing than it is story wise or writing wise. It’s beautifully shot, and the visuals are striking. It’s supposed to provoke a feeling of extreme discomfort within the audience – maybe not fear, per say, although I’m sure some of you are scared of Voodoo and zombies, but mostly an air of unease.

The episode kind of lost me, though, at the end, when Scully starts freaking out about the wound in her hand and then starts seeing things. Like, another hand comes out of the wound. Which is freaky, don’t get me wrong, but up until this point we have never heard Scully scream like a girl, and although I’m all for giving our characters a variety of emotions to face, Scully screaming like a female guest star was not something I enjoyed watching. At all.

All in all, “Fresh Bones” isn’t really anything special, but it is memorable because of its visual quality. And, as I said, there are a few good social bits sprinkled throughout. It doesn’t really do any good or harm, but it’s a good watch.


Final Score


Final score for “Fresh Bones” is 7/10. Not particularly special, but it’s a good watch, and sometimes that’s all you need.

Notable Nuggets

  • Chester turned into a cat?! Why wasn’t this explored further?
  • I’m sure a lot of Shippers got excited when Scully knocked on the door to Mulder’s bathroom when the shower was running. As for me, I think it’s a little too early in the show to be freaking out over scenes like that. Now, Season 4 and on? YES.
  • How did Mr. X get that card into Mulder’s room, and how did he know it would fall to the ground exactly when it needed to? Not only is Mr. X dangerous and badass, he’s like a magician or something.

3 thoughts on “Fresh Bones – Season 2, Ep 15

  1. Emily Michelle says:

    I figure Scully was screaming like that because whatever was making her go all crazy and black-eyed (frog poison? voodoo spirits?) was kind of messing with her head and making her all woozy and confused and screamy. She’s screaming and fighting, but she seems really out of it in that scene. Was the guy strangling her the guy who came out of her hand? Also who was he and why was he in her hand? (What I love about the X-Files is that questions like that are perfectly reasonable.)

    I actually liked this episode a lot more this time around than the first time I saw it—it was well-made and nicely creepy, and I really liked Chester and the cemetery caretaker. But I still don’t actually know what the plot was actually about.

    • Knife Ink says:

      What’s really interesting about “Fresh Bones” is that I’ve found I go to back to it when I judge all the “cultural” episodes, the ones that feature folklore from other countries. Even though it’s really not the best episode ever, I do find it’s the standard by which I judge “Hell Money,” “Teliko,” etc. Looking back, I probably should have given it an 8, but oh well. I don’t change my reviews ever. Once I post it, it’s done. Not because I think they’re perfect (trust me, there are a lot I’m not proud of, like my “Deep Throat” review) but I feel like leaving them as they are allows me to grow as a reviewer. Reviewing this show has made me watch the show differently, and this episode is a prime example. That’s why I love this show and I love doing these reviews. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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