Season 3, Episode 3: “D.P.O.”
So, I haven’t posted a review in a hell of a long time because the month of April really sucked for me this year. Aside from that, though, the next two episodes themselves gave me a hard time because for one of them I have too much to say and for the other I have too little. “D.P.O.” is the latter, and even now after all this time I’m still scratching my head wondering what the hell to say about this one.
It’s not like “D.P.O.” is a bad episode; far from it. I suppose its biggest problem is that it’s a funnier premise or idea than it is an actual episode. Darren Peter Oswald, the dumb kid with a teacher crush, frying cows and his teacher’s husband with a weird electrical ability sounds funny when you write it down but in actuality it really isn’t anything beyond slightly amusing. And as soon as Jack Black’s character gets fried and Mrs. Kiveat shows up, the whole thing turns rather serious and the dark, twisted charm the episode might have had is gone.
I think “D.P.O.” is a precursor to other later, and yes, better episodes such as “Syzygy” (yes, I liked that one) and Season 5’s “Bad Blood.” You have the angnsty teen and the small farming town with a problem (and a lot of dead cows). Where “D.P.O.” isn’t quite as successful as these others has to do with several factors. For one thing, it isn’t as ridiculous as “Syzygy,” so it loses a lot of interest with the actual paranormal element. Second, its placement couldn’t have been worse. It’s squeezed right between “Paper Clip,” which was dramatic, developmental, and emotionally packed, and “Clyde Bruckman,” which, ah, we’ll get to soon. Because of this, people have a hard time remembering it even exists, which is at once understandable and unfair. It’s understandable because there’s not much in it to remember, but it’s unfair because, like I said, the episode isn’t bad at all. And while I feel it doesn’t deserve to get shoved in the corner like it so often has, I really can’t come up with a reason to bring it into the spotlight.
A whole month, and all I could come up with was three lousy paragraphs. Sigh…
Final score for “D.P.O.” is 6/10. Because…hell, I have no idea.
- The exchanges between Scully and the Sheriff are actually very good and funny. Usually it’s Mulder who has trouble with the local law enforcement, so it’s nice to see that change.
- I’ll admit I rolled my eyes at the final scene. Fade out to subject of the episode locked up in an institution…we’ve seen it already.
- Jack Black pre-famous is in this episode. Yay?