Season 2, Episode 15: “Fresh Bones”
“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 for “Fresh Bones” is 7/10. Not particularly special, but it’s a good watch, and sometimes that’s all you need.
- 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.