• Barbara Bordalejo

Day 163: X-Files

Photo-Illustration: Maya Robinson and Photo by 20th Century Fox Film/Everett Collection

We have been watching the X-Files from the beginning. This will be the fifth time I watch the whole series, but the first to watch it with my kid (12). I tried to share it with her five years ago, but she got too scared and refused to keep going.

Many things about the show feel vintage, but not dated (besides the internet and phones) and it generally looks good.

A few days ago, while watching Fresh Bones (season 2, episode 15), my kid remarked with a mocking tone:

"I'm an unproblematic American. All the problems are caused by someone else."

The plot of Fresh Bones revolves around a concentration camp where Haitians are detained in the US. The following episodes also showed Albanians and Romanians creating trouble by being weird or having beliefs that proved incomprehensible (along with the language) to the Americans. It is probably not one hundred percent true, but the Gregor clones came from Germany although they were created in Russia, the pyrokinetic killer was English, the fluke came out of a Russian vessel, the parasitic disease generating the prison outbreak is from Costa Rica and there are countless episodes in which the whole world (the US) is about to collapse because of these alien threats. Of course, the biggest threat of all are the real aliens who, season after season, are hinted to have infiltrated and corrupted the government. Even when Native American mythology is brought up, it is as another instance of alterity capable of contaminating whiteness.

Even if it were not to be present in every single episode, there is an inescapable paranoid anxiety about otherness. I have not watched the whole of the series since 2015 when I was preparing for the revival, but I can recall other examples of episodes that centred on foreigners, including El Mundo Gira (season 4, episode 11), that featured Ruben Blades, or Hell Money (season 3, episode 19) where Mulder and Scully investigate a secret lottery in Chinatown. Of course, the show also features other outcasts, like the freaks in Humbug. The anxiety is the same.

We will have to keep watching to see whether it holds. But I already told my kid that I think she has an article there.

9:15 pm

Canada cases 127,903

Deaths 9136

Recoveries 113,809

World cases 23,820,104

World deaths 818,137

World recoveries 15,484,770


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B. Bordalejo


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