Season 4, Episode 16: “Unrequited”
If you’ve been keeping up with this blog for a while, you might have realized by now that I’m not fond of military episodes. They just don’t hold that much interest for me. They tend to be political but in a watered-down manner, because this is network television and they can’t make any grandiose political statements. Nearly all of the military-themed episodes are about the exact same thing: a former soldier takes revenge on either his fellow soldiers or superior officers for horrible crimes they committed, usually during the Vietnam War. Think “Sleepless,” “The Walk,” or, though it technically isn’t a military episode but has nearly identical themes, “The List.” Many of the ideas in these episodes are practically interchangeable and the only thing that really differs is the paranormal ability.
Even the paranormal ability isn’t all that different, actually. Is there really any fundamental difference between Nathaniel Teager’s invisibility in “Unrequited” and Rappo’s astral projection in “The Walk”? What is the character distinction between Augustus Cole in “Sleepless” and Neech in “The List”? I often have trouble distinguishing these episodes from one another in my mind, and although that’s partially because I don’t really watch them often, it’s also because they’re very much the same.
Luckily, “Unrequited” is the last of this type we’ll be seeing for a good while, if I’m not mistaken. But even with that in mind, the trope here has more than overstayed its welcome. Although “Unrequited” manages to break away from the usual X-Files mold by giving us an unusual beginning and rewinding the episode back, as well as have Mulder and Scully handle the case a little differently in a sort of FBI operation style, other than that, the episode is quite boring, and there’s not much for me to talk about. I’m sure all you dedicated Philes will go through every episode on your rewatch, but to the casual viewer, I’d say skip this one.
Final score for “Unrequited” is 3/10. There’s really not much in this episode that’s very good, to be honest. Even the script is lackluster. I had a really hard time finding a quote for the quote box and it was tough deciding what to even talk about. Fortunately we’re done with this type of episode, to my knowledge.
Notable Nuggets (sort of)
- Marita Covarrubias reappears to remind us that she, in fact, exists.
- I do like how Skinner straddles the fence in this episode. As usual, it’s not clear how much he buys into Mulder’s theories, but he does a good job of not leaning heavily toward either side.
- Um….what to say for a third one….nice job Mark Snow?