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The X-Files: Season 7

By the time the Fox network's "The X-Files" reached its seventh season (1999-2000), the show was limping along, seemingly out of ideas for weekly freaks and monsters and grappling with a conspiracy theory which had become indecipherable. The media hype surrounding the show and internal fighting over salaries, coupled with the two leads (Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny) chasing after feature film careers, had begun to eclipse the actual series, causing its uniqueness to fade along with its audience. The two-part season opener "The Sixth Extinction" and "The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati" are slow and ponderous, offering no answers and no suspense. "Requiem," the season finale, is a tired cliffhanger that leaves one wishing the show had ended a year earlier. Sandwiched between are plenty of stinker episodes, although a few good turns kept the season from being a complete loss. For instance, "Honey" is an intriguing tongue-in-cheek tale of a creature who tries a 12-step program to control his unusual eating disorder; "Millennium" gave those who actually liked the short-lived Chris Carter series a chance to see Frank Black (Lance Henriksen) in action again; and "Hollywood A.D." is amusing, directed by Duchovny and starring Tea Leoni and Gary Shandling as Mulder and Scully in a reality-TV version of an X-Files case. Unfortunately, these few highlights weren't enough to make up for such debacles as "Fight Club," a failed attempt at humor, "First Person Shooter," a failed attempt at video-game silliness, or "All Things," a failed attempt at directing by Gillian Anderson. Most fans were losing hope by the end of the season, aware that the previously groundbreaking show was just breaking down. Fox's DVD release of The X-Files: The Complete Seventh Season offers anamorphic transfers (1.78:1) with Dolby 2.0 Surround audio. The six-disc box set includes the following episodes: "The Sixth Extinction," "The Sixth Extinction II: Amor Fati," "Hungry," "Millennium," "Rush," "the Goldberg Variation," "Orison," "The Amazing Maleeni," "Signs and Wonders," "Sein and Zeit," "Closure," "X-Cops," "First Person Shooter," "Theef," "En Ami," "Chimera," "All Things," "Brand X," "Hollywood A.D.," "Fight Club," "Je Souhaite," and "Requiem." Extras include commentary on three episodes, a 30-minute commentary entitled "The Truth About Season 7," 17 international clips, nine deleted scenes, profiles on Skinner and Samantha Mulder, and 13 special-effects featurettes. Probably a must for hardcore fans, but only of passing interest to those who lost faith in the show during the previous season. Six-disc folding DVD digipak with paperboard slip-case.
—Kerry Fall

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