With summer quickly approaching, pretty much every show worth watching is coming to an end. That makes the summer the perfect time to binge watch what you missed along with some old classics. That’s where the Multiversity Summer TV Binge comes from. One of my personal favorite shows ever is The X-Files, and it is my mission in life to make everyone ever watch it. This summer, I’ll be looking back at season one. This week we look at “Lazarus,” another fine but forgettable episode that only matters because it focuses on Scully.
1. The Premise
“Lazarus” is like Freaky Friday without the charm. Scully is assisting another F.B.I. agent named Jack Willis in catching bank robbers. The two of them aren’t in a real relationship but do enjoy a slight flirtation and have definitely dated in the past. On this particular day, they are trying to catch a duo in the act thanks to a tip they got. Warren Dupre and Lula Phillips arrive to the bank and things go terribly wrong as Dupre shoots Jack. In the chaos, Scully shoots Dupre back and once at the hospital, Jack is flatlines but through Scully’s determination and some kind of supernatural phenomenon, Warren wakes up. But wait! Warren seems to not be Warren anymore. “Lazarus” is a far better episode than last week’s “Gender Bender” but it still feels a little weak compared to some of this season’s better episodes.
2. Scully In The Forefront Again
Let me let you in on a little secret – I love Dana Scully. She’s my everything so I’m absolutely here for episodes that put her in the forefront like this. “Lazarus” lets us into Scully’s romantic background just a little bit as it’s established that she and Jack have a slight bond. They aren’t head over heels in love and they aren’t about to get married but they share something. They have the same birthday and a gift she gave him does play a part in this. There is not much chemistry between the two of them but what we get from them is enough to sell the relationship but mostly from Scully’s side. “Lazarus” does a good job giving Scully thing to do and even though it’s a lot of telling instead of showing, what she says gives us enough insight into this relationship.
3. Mulder Butts In
Mulder is obviously in this episode and it is he who brings in the supernatural side of things. It is he that brings up that Jack is not really Jack anymore and I like that’s he’s present. However, “Lazarus” is not his episode so Mulder feels very “well, actually” in his interactions with Scully and it’s kind of funny? Mulder is always doing things with the best intentions so when he gets like this it does become hard to be mad at him. What really stands out about his role here is when Scully is held captive by Jack/Dupre. He says something along the lines of how important this is to get her back and given that I wanted these two together from day one, I read into this. Little things like this matter and all the way in season one we’re seeing them get close.
4. Good Support
Christopher Allport as Jack/Dupre and Cec Verrell as Lula are very good in their roles and they help make “Lazarus” a little better than it probably would have been without them. Lula is a fairly complicated character for the role that she plays and the episode does go out of its way to not make this some kind of Bonnie & Clyde cliche. Allport has the difficulty of basically playing two characters and he does it very well. His time as Jack is very different as his time as Dupre and while it doesn’t make for the most memorable performance of the series, it does get the job done here.
5. Lack Of Tension
Scully’s time as a hostage should be more tense than it is and it’s a shame that it isn’t. I don’t want to skip too far ahead but when we leave season one, there is a time when Scully is a hostage where you believe something awful might happen to her. In “Lazarus” that is not the case. There really isn’t tension here because I never really felt like Scully was in danger. I never felt like she couldn’t just bust her way out of there and move on. Jack/Dupre and Lula never felt like true danger to Scully. The ending of the episode really closes the book on the entire story which is something I like from these kinds of episodes. The Twilight Zone-esque open endings can and do work at times but “Lazarus” needed finality and it got that.