“As with the first set, this is a nice addition to any fan’s library, provided that they don’t already own the season box sets” – Daulton Dickey
David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Mitch Pileggi
In the second installment in Fox’s X-Files Mythology sets, “Black Oil” divides its attention between the mysterious black oil, a parasitic alien life form that inhabits peoples’ bodies, and, continuing the theme from the first Mythology volume “Abduction,” the aftermath of an abduction—specifically, the toll it takes on the abducted.
Compiling fifteen episodes from seasons three through five, “Black Oil” exhibits the increasing complexity and sophistication the show began to exhibit as it progressed. Interpersonal relations between Mulder, Scully, Skinner, and Alex Krychek evolve to startling levels throughout these three seasons, which only attests to the show’s greatness—and why it has, and will, continue to thrive as an audience favorite.
While there are some fantastic episodes here, the mythology aspect of the series—which some loved and some hated—tends to grate on ones nerves after a while, and as a result, this set shouldn’t be consumed in one or two sittings. The conspiracies surrounding the show’s mythology angle have grown so convoluted that they’re virtually impenetrable; any relevant information given seems to contradict previous information, or is simply so complex that it goes in one ear and out the other.
On a technical level, though, we’re introduced to the ever-evolving techniques used to create the X-files. The stories here are more complex than in previous seasons and by season five the show takes on a more cinematic aesthetic. But, ultimately, it’s the characters we care about here, and in these three seasons, we’re introduced to fascinating facets of the men and women we’ve grown to love. Assistant Director Skinner proves an increasingly complex character; his moral ambiguity and questionable loyalty makes for not only good TV, but for a truly interesting character arc. And while Mulder and Scully’s characters flop between right and wrong, belief and fact, their growing intimacy and friendship rank among the all time best television duos.
Although this set isn’t as thematically consistent as the “Abduction” set was, it does expand the mythologies greatly, and is comparable to the first set. Like the first set, “Black Oil” includes a few commentaries, which occasionally provide insight into the show’s mythos, but usually provide anecdotes and the occasional silence. The Threads of Mythology document manages to strike a nice balance between sharing behind the scenes secrets and explaining facets of the black oil angle.
As with the first set, this is a nice addition to any fan’s library, provided that they don’t already own the season box sets. But if you’re a die-hard X-Phile, you’ll probably add want this set for the doc and commentaries. Plus, it’s nice to have the mythology episodes in one—or in this case, four—set(s).
Reviewer : Daulton Dickey