Our Town – Season 2, Ep 24

MULDER: Look at these bones. They’ve been polished at both ends suggesting they were boiled in a pot. Anthropologists have used similar evidence to prove cannibalism among the Anasazi tribe of New Mexico.

*FORESHADOWING ALERT*

 
 
 
Season 2, Episode 24: “Our Town”

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Okay, let’s be honest here. “Our Town” is absurd. But you know you love it anyway.

There’s always someone who doesn’t like something, I know. But I honestly can’t see how anyone could not like this episode. It’s too ridiculous to be taken seriously, scary enough to be interesting, and…I don’t know, it’s just fun.

The good citizens of Dudley, Arkansas are members of a cult that eats people. Oh, and they run a chicken farm. Put the two together, and you have what may be yet another subtle commentary on the downsides of eating meat. What I want to know is, who’s the vegetarian behind the scenes? Was it the story editor? The writer? Chris Carter himself?

I’m usually terrified by occult things, but I think this is the episode I realized why the scary stuff on The X-Files doesn’t scare me as much as it might in a horror movie or another show. It has to do with the fact my subconscious is aware that Mulder and Scully are going to make it out okay. Whatever horrors they face, those horrors (at least, in the MOTW episodes) can be defeated. Knowing that, I can just sit back and enjoy the ride.

What makes “Our Town” work is the stark contrast between the people of Dudley, Arkansas and the type of activity they engage in. The people seem like your typical small-town southern farm community, innocent, familial, and not enormously complicated. Yet at night they gather together to eat human remains. Which they get served in bowls, around a bonfire. It’s this sick, twisted combination between southern and cannibalistic lifestyle, and it creates an atmosphere of fantastic unbelievability.

A lot of people take issue with the fact that Scully has to be rescued by Mulder in this episode. To this I respectfully refer you to this link. Seriously, though, if you haven’t realized by now that Mulder and Scully are intellectual equals and that Scully is more than capable of handling herself, I feel sorry for you. Keep watching and there’s no way you’ll be able to miss it.

We’re down to Season 2’s final stretch, folks. Oh, boy. 🙂 🙂 🙂

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Final Score

8+stars

Final score for “Our Town” is 8/10. Come on, guys. How can you not love this one?


Notable Nuggets

  • I always laugh when they unmask the guy with the axe and you find out it was the sheriff.
  • The beginning might be a little too ridiculous. “You’ll have to catch me first?” Who says that after preschool?
  • Shipper moment: Mulder brushes Scully’s hair aside after he saves her from the cannibals. 🙂

 

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3 thoughts on “Our Town – Season 2, Ep 24

  1. Emily Michelle says:

    The link to the picture of them in the helicopter made me laugh way too hard.

    I’ve always loved this episode. At first it was because I’m a sucker for any episode where M&S show each other any kind of physical affection, which is not a crime, okay? But the more I watch it, the more I love it for the subtle commentary I see as going on under all the ridiculousness. Specifically, I love it when the people turn on Mr. Dudley—which always makes me a little sad, even though he’s responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people. Mr. Dudley’s really big on family, on community—he’s always insisting that they’ll be okay as long as they take care of each other and only eat outsiders. But the trouble is, when you justify immoral acts by classifying yourself and the other perpetrators as some sort of group, and your victims as outsiders, as others, you’re creating a system where your group can turn on anyone they decide to classify as “other”—and that includes you.

    It reminds me of Die Hand Die Verletzt, where Mulder says “Did you really think you could call up the devil and ask him to behave?” In this case, “Did you really think you could train the whole town to be murderers and ask them to behave?” As soon as they’re unhappy with how Mr. Dudley is running the show, they claim he is no longer what’s best for the group, they classify him as an outsider, and then they kill him. It’s a nice little bit of depth for an episode that is otherwise (entertainingly) ridiculous. This episode also has one of my favorite absurd and slightly gross images in all of the X Files: Scully crouching in the middle of a vast room of human bones, Mulder telling her that these people were all cannibalized, and then you actually see her lose her taste for the bucket of fried chicken she’s currently munching on. It’s such a subtly funny moment.

    • Knife Ink says:

      Good Lord, I never noticed that last bit. I’ll have to go back and rewatch it. And yes, I absolutely adore this episode – probably because it was so close to when the show and I just clicked.

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