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"The X-Files" Wetwired (1996)"The X Files" Wetwired (original title)

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30 out of 31 people found the following review useful:

Why Didn't Mat Beck Write More?

Author: Muldernscully from Washington Terrace, Utah
15 July 2006

Mat Beck was the visual effects supervisor for the x-files all the years while they were filming in Vancouver. Somehow, he wrote an episode for them as well that turned out to be one of the best "pseudo-myth/arc" episodes. I don't know if the producers asked Mat to put myth/arc elements in his story or if he just did it that way, but he really got it down well. Wetwired is an intriguing story with good drama, suspense and action. It features the Lone Gunmen, X, and the Cigarette Smoking Man. It certainly is a jam-packed 45 minutes. I'm sure Mat Beck also produced the cool special effect of the paranoid people experiencing the TV-like vision of a signal being adjusted. Scully becomes affected as well, and it highlights her fear of being betrayed by Mulder. She runs to her mom, as the only person she feels she can trust. This episode even leads into the season finale myth/arc 'Talitha Cumi' in a way, which additionally makes me wonder if the producers requested that Mat include certain elements in his script. Mat Beck does an 'A' job in his only stint as a writer for the show, which begs the question stated in the summary of this review.

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10 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

I just watched thirty-six hours of Bernard Shaw and Bobbie Batista. I'm about ready to kill somebody too.

Author: D. Williams from United States
11 September 2010

How this episode continues to slip under the radar of season three favorites is beyond me, but "Wetwired" is a personal favorite and a strong mix of mythology and Mulder/Scully psychology that few episodes were able to entwine so flawlessly. Written by visual effects supervisor Mat Beck, the script borrows bits and pieces from previous episodes "Blood" (the concept of mind control) and "E.B.E." (the paranoia of surveillance). As good as those episodes were, I think this one is even better. There are enough twists and turns to keep the viewer asking questions, and it serves as a nice segue into the season three finale, "Talitha Cumi." One thing I enjoyed was the subtlety the writers and director used to portray Scully's descent into paranoia - just the way the camera zooms in creepily on a motel wall adds an interesting touch. We also see the returns of the Lone Gunmen, Informant X (Steven Williams), whose presence is integral to the show's final act, and Sheila Larken as Margaret Scully, who is always a delight. There are also some spooky special effects in the teaser and a scene with a running faucet. Revisiting this episode made me remember how much I missed the gray Vancouver backdrops and the eerie atmosphere they provided. All in all this is a great representation of a standalone/mythology hybrid and one of the better episodes of the series. 10 of 10.

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6 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Not even "Must-See TV" could do that to you

Author: Sanpaco13 from Sandy, UT, United States
17 October 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Wetwired is truly one of the best episodes of the entire series. First a little trivia fact. The episode is interestingly written by Mat Beck, the special effects coordinator for most of the episodes over the years. I am not sure how one comes up with that jump. I guess he just had a really good idea and let Chris Carter know about it and with a little help from Darin Morgan and Frank Spotnitz and others he gave us this great episode. There are so many elements and plot twists and turns that keep the viewer riveted the entire 40 some odd minutes of the episode. The basic plot in a nutshell is as follows. Mulder receives a lead from a source that neither he or we have ever seen before. the tip leads into a case dealing with normal ordinary people committing murders based on subliminal messaging coming through their cable filters. Scully is affected by the brain-washing device and believes Mulder has turned on her. When she finally is found and talked into getting help, Mulder follows a hunch to find that the one behind the case was his regular informant X. The episode ends with Mulder covering for X because he needs him as a source.

Twists and turns. The teaser is very intriguing. We see a man who is burying a body the whole time telling him that now he can never kill again. Later as he cleans off in the kitchen the man shows up again and he kills him again. Things really get weird when the cops show up and we see that they too look just like the man that was already killed. After being subdued the man's vision changes and we see that he has really killed his family and the cops are normal ones with dark bushy mustaches. From there we go to the scene with Mulder meeting with the unknown informant. It is perplexing of course to Mulder and to me who this guys is and why isn't X the one giving him the lead. Mulder follows the lead and soon Scully comes up with the theory of subliminal messaging through the TV. This is ironic to me for two reasons: Scully isn't usually the one coming up with the crazy theories and also one of the times she is right she is the one affected by the brain washing. After watching hours of TV Scully seems to see Mulder and CSM chatting it up in a car like old buddies. From here Scully starts to suspect Mulder of foul play, demanding he give her the scrambling device for analysis, wanting to know why he didn't talk to agent pendrell about it, looking for cigarette butts in the car's ash tray, etc. Finally Scully flips out and runs off. The next great turn is the moment of Mulder going to ID Scully's body. I remember how tense this was the first time I saw it even though I knew that for sure it wasn't her. Finally Mulder finds Scully at her mom's house and her mom is able to talk her into getting help and the trust is renewed. Mulder begins to wonder who is responsible based on Scully's story of seeing him in the car at the hotel with CSM and decides that maybe there was someone else there with CSM that Scully saw. As he begins to suspect the doctor he tries to track him down and through the hotel's number on a matchbook finds his room and is ultimately able to track down the location of the doctor's and cable guy's executions by none other than X. Monologuing follows with X explaining that his position does not allow him to be a renegade like Mulder and all he can hope is to have Mulder solve the cases before he has to carry out orders. Finally in our final two scenes we get a great summary of X as a character in my opinion. First with Mulder reporting to Skinner that he is an unknown subject and then switching over to the meeting of X reporting to CSM about having taken care of Mulder's informant and when asked who the informant's informant was telling him that he replies simply, "That person remains unknown." I love the parallel that this makes between Mulder's and X's characters as well.

Other tidbits that I liked in this episode: - MULDER: I just watched thirty-six hours of Bernard Shaw and Bobbie Batista. I'm about ready to kill somebody too. - MULDER: The naked lady in the ice cube. FROHIKE: Ah, one of my personal favorites. - *Shipper moment alert* MULDER: Scully, you are the only one I trust. - Mulder kicking the informants car in the parking garage. - Oh so many more...

I give Wetwired an easy 10/10.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

It was nice to see Scully play such a different role

Author: SleepTight666 from Netherlands
24 October 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A much better episode than I give it credit for, but it still suffers from too many vagueness and unanswered questions and that irritates me like hell.

But for the most part, this episode works very well. The directing is splendid, I love the scenes with the flashes of reality turning into delusions. Gillian Anderson is especially outstanding in this episode. She becomes paranoid by her own worst nightmare, of Mulder betraying her.

I loved the scene where she was hiding at her mom's house and Mulder had to convince her that it was all in her had. Again, some great Mulder/Scully moments here. It was nice to see Scully play such a different role, because she is usually the stable one.

X - i'm still not sure how I feel about him. He's a prick, but a good enough character with some nice mystery. He two-times both Mulder and Cancer Man. I appreciate that.

FOUR stars for this one. a very strong episode with some flaws.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

The CSM Channel

Author: AudioFileZ from United States
4 February 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

In the eighties when cable was still largely without competition for offering "mega" TV selection the phrase "57 channels and nothing on" was popular banter (humorous: 57 channels was touted as amazing, more humorous: in 2013 w/ over 200 channels the maxim still holds). So here we have the premise of a "58th channel" which could be interlaced among every channel subliminally. This is good fringe science as it still is actually believed to be a potentially effective method of mind-control/suggestion. "Wetwired" the 23rd season three episode of The X-Files effectively uses this as a possible way to hi-jack a normal person into a killing machine.

Wetwired's beginning "teaser" immediately reveals a man who has just killed two people he believed to be someone else. Why this man has just killed his family isn't clear. That's a "big" enigma for a start and as the episode unfolds things begin to reveal the common element in the man's murdering spree and a more recent housewife gone wild murder is quite possibly that ubiquitous thing we all slave ourself to...TV. Before the hypothesis gels, however, Scully is herself a victim and darkness gets much blacker. Scully wigs out, shoots up her motel door with Mulder on the other side and flees. Mulder has to figure this out and the quicker the better now that Scully is in eminent danger. Enter The Lone Gunmen who in short order analyze a filter Mulder believes may be involved. Mulder was only spared his own brainwashing as he is colorblind. Now it's a race to save Scully from her madness as well as prevent any more victims from becoming murderous drones.

This is a very good, many times skipped over, episode. It is a return to form after last week's dud "Quagmire". Here we have nothing particularly paranormal as it is grounded in some actual science (even if it is extreme). It is a refreshing and good diversion to the alien myth-arc episodes though it does have the elements of the same conspiracy within the "shadow government" operatives being the behind-the-scenes "puppet masters". Wetwired is a really menacing, interesting, and entertaining episode that should be revisited and given its due.

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